Transformational Pleasure

By Melissa Fritchle LMFT Holistic Sex Therapist and Educator

Ever-Present Gift

Dear Body,

It has not always been pleasure, has it?

There are times when pain has been the ruler. Many days of discomfort and a fair amount of feeling basically numb. I know how important it is to honor that too. I have tried to learn the lessons there, trying so hard to stay curious even while I am afraid of getting lost in the oppression of pain or illness.

But I have discovered something amazing though this life! You actually always offer pleasure to me - if I can sense the subtlety of the invitation.

I am thinking about in the hours after surgery, those cool blueberries my love fed me in my hospital bed, the incredible bursts of tart crunch – an invitation to be here in the moment, alive with my senses. I am thinking about staggering in the shock of grief, coming to my now dead father’s home and seeing the deer on the hillside, how my body mirrored their stillness, my breath steadied, and I felt a gentleness enter me.

I am thinking about the rocking vibration of an orgasm, building and shaking something loose in me on those days when I have felt trapped or stuck. I am thinking of rising from my knees, tears still on my face, to meet the lightness of the next dance. I am thinking of the deep stretch of sore muscles and the warmth of tea and the pressure of my partner’s lips and letting a gathering of hair curl around my fingers. Yes, I am even thinking of the slippery touch of dish soap and dish that is available to me as I do chores.

You have never forsaken me pleasure, even in my most difficult moments. This ever-present gift, the amazing capacity you have to delight in the senses, may I always remember to open to it and let it heal me.

With deep gratitude, your human

Want More Sex? - Plan for it.

Previously published in SHE Magazine (Winter 2019)


What is the number one thing you can do to have a more vital, fulfilling sex life? Make a point of planning the time to have sex.

Yes, I mean scheduling sex.

Oh, I know, big groan. There is a lot of resistance to this out there. I know this because I talk to people about it weekly. And those people I am talking to are not having even close to the amount of sex they would like to have. Because they think that planning for sex somehow makes it less appealing.

 It’s time to change this perspective. That fabulous rush of fumbling, inspired sex that you remember from early stages of dating? You planned for it. That is, at a certain point, largely what dating is all about - prescheduled time you have cleared to be free to spend alone time with someone with whom you hope to have sex. You also prepped yourself, your mind and body, for the possible sex you would have, pulling out the nice underwear, fantasizing about your partner touching you while you showered and made yourself smell delicious, you bought condoms and put them somewhere convenient.

 I can also tell you that many people who have affairs, full of hot sex, go to quite extreme lengths to plan for how they will work meeting with their partner into their calendar. People who go on sex vacations or swinging weekends have planned that. Honeymoons, vacation sex, long distance relationships…

 So planning for sex doesn’t make it boring. And spontaneous sex, whatever that means, is not necessarily better. When we plan for sex we are saying it is a priority, something we are excited to make time for in our busy lives. We also expand the sexual experience beyond just the time we are engaging with our partner and make it also about anticipation and seduction.

 Here’ some tips to make planned sex hotter:

 Seduce Yourself – Figure out how to work yourself up; think about what you enjoy, masturbate, do the things that make you feel sexy and desirable. We often have a belief that our arousal is our partner’s job and so we wait passively to be “turned on”. But really, you are carrying your sexual energy around with you daily and can decide to turn it up or down. Take this opportunity to build up to sex by enticing yourself.

 Be Proud of Your Desire – Many of us have learned to play it cool, being unwilling to show how much we want sex from our partner. Especially if you have had patterns of being turned down or disappointed, you may need to do some healing to let yourself embrace and express your desire. Practice telling someone you are looking forward to being touched tonight. Show up with a new toy or idea for a scene.

Don’t Show Up For it Like it is a Doctor’s Appointment – Arriving bedside and undressing at 8pm may be efficient but it is awkward. Just because you have a timeframe doesn’t mean you don’t have to initiate in some way less clinical than “time for sex!”. Explore ways to ease into the sexual energy. Flirt, start with a kiss or a silly striptease, but put some consideration into how you begin to seduce each other. And make sure to include some time to transition from work day stress to focusing on your partner into your plan.

Shake up the Sure-Thing Energy – Feeling obligated to have sex in the same way on the same day of the week is not exciting. That is not the goal. Make a date to be alone in a private space where you can be erotic together. From there, let the rules drop. You may have intercourse, if that is what you and your partner are into, but that is not the defining feature of being sexual. Give each other the freedom to decide in the moment what you want to do. Maybe your sex that night is whispering an erotic story into their ear while they masturbate. Maybe it is washing each other in a bubble bath. Maybe it is making out with your clothes on or slow dancing naked. Develop the skills to know what you would like and to communicate that.

Don’t Rely on the Plan Exclusively – Scheduled sex is meant to provide a foundation for sex to remain an important part of your life. But you can still be spontaneous! In fact, many people find the more they are having good sex, the more they are motivated and comfortable initiating. There is less pressure from wondering when sex is going to happen and more availability to just try.

Don’t limit yourself to sex that is only a last minute consideration. Make it a priority that you can be excited about.