Lovehoney Sex Expert Interview: Dr Adam Sheck
Dr. Adam Sheck is a licensed psychologist, couples counselor, relationship coach, and sex therapist and has been in practice for over 25 years, supporting couples and singles in connecting to their passion and purpose.
An MIT graduate and engineer, he pursued a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology later in life. His reputation as the "Passion Doctor" came early in his career when he discovered his gift for supporting long-term, committed couples reignite their romance, intimacy, sexuality, and passion.
He's also coupled his engineering skills with his psychotherapy and counseling skills to create multiple websites and teleseminars to support people with their personal trust issues online.
Dr. Sheck's practice is based in Los Angeles and he currently works with clients all over the world through telephone and Skype. Find out more about his work at thepassiondoctor.com.
What's it like being The Passion Doctor and what is your best advice to develop or rekindle passion in a relationship?
I LOVE being the Passion Doctor! As a licensed psychologist, I found my calling in the fields of couples (and moresome) counseling and sex therapy. I LOVE the use of technology to be able to support people in relationships, not only in my Los Angeles office, but throughout the world through video conferencing.
My specialty is in "rekindling passion," so your question is one that I am asked often. My first response is to do what you used to do when you first met.
During the courting phase of our relationships, we pay great attention to our partners and attend to their needs. We do what it takes to make them feel special, adored, wanted, and lusted after. Do what you did then, and you might very well get what you want and reignite your passion!
How can incorporating toys into the bedroom help strengthen and increase the level of play in a couple's sex life?
Toys can serve two wonderful purposes in our relationships.
First, they allow us to connect to ourselves and know ourselves better sexually. For example, a man may learn more about ejaculation control through self-stimulation with some of the great male masturbation toys that you carry.
A preorgasmic woman may learn more about what she requires to create an orgasm within herself.
An orgasmic woman may discover how to have deeper and/or multiple orgasms.
And all of these discoveries can be brought into the relationship!
As a couple, toys can create new, stimulating experiences that aren't available without the toys. We are wired for novelty and new experiences, and this is one way to satisfy that need. There are some great toys that can be used together during intercourse as well as applied in non-penetrating activities.
Second, toys can help partners live out their sexual fantasies in a safer way. Many of my couples have used toys to simulate being in a threesome. Sometimes this has inspired them to actually live out the menage-a-trois fantasy with a third person. Sometimes they decide that the fantasy is enough.
How can couples better learn to connect and fan the flames of romance, intimacy, and sexual connection?
As I wrote earlier, we are novelty-seeking creatures. In a long-term relationship, we don't have the same newness and often begin to take each other for granted. If we choose to be monogamous (not the only choice, of course), then sexually, there is only so much we can do that is novel or different in the physical realm. Only so many parts, so many orifices, so many positions.
So we must make it new and exciting in our minds and in our hearts by discovering and sharing new parts of ourselves. That creates the newness that stimulates us romantically and sexually. And that sharing, whether verbally, emotionally, or sexually is what I call intimacy.
Part of this may include sharing our fantasies with our partners. The stumbling blocks to sharing fantasies are three-fold:
- 1. I'm not aware of my fantasies
- 2. I have judgments about my sexual fantasies
- 3. I'm afraid my partner will judge me (or reject me) for my sexual fantasies
All of these can be worked through and overcome with patience, openness, and communication. Especially if we can foster an environment of safety in our relationships, so that we may be vulnerable enough and willing enough to share our thoughts and feelings with our partner.
What are some of your very best tips to help couples fully express themselves to each other sexually?
1. Recommit each and every day to making your relationship the best that you can, making it a priority every day.
2. Commit to taking one action each day that expresses intimacy, romance, or sexuality.
3. Ask yourself: How can I be romantic in this moment? How can I share more of myself today with my partner? How can I turn them on in this moment? How can I verbally 'paint a picture' of how I see them, what I want to do with them, what I want to do to them?
4. Have sex in a new or different location. Take it out of the bedroom to create newness.
5. Take some time in your lovemaking to gaze into your partner's eyes, slow down, and breathe together.
6. Be playful. Laugh together in and out of the bedroom. Sex doesn't have to be so serious. Enjoy it.
What's your very favorite bedroom advice to give couples?
My favorite recommendation is what I call 'all-day foreplay.' And by foreplay, I mean more than kissing, petting, and oral sex. It's time to engage the largest sex organ of all: your mind!
And not only in the bedroom!
All-day foreplay begins in the morning by telling your partner how you feel about them and what you'd like to do with them when you come home from work. Perhaps leave them a little note with more of your thoughts. Maybe later, send them a text or even a picture!
Warning: dick pics really don't do it for most women, so make it something sexy and sensual. Sexting can be a VERY effective form of foreplay. Next, maybe an email or a sexy telephone message. Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone here - pretend you don't get embarrassed.
And when you get home, set the stage even more, whether it's with the traditional flowers and candy, or an erotic gift (or toy), or maybe another card or an original poem. Building the anticipation and tension is another huge way to ignite/reignite your passion, especially when you know you'll be relieving that sexual tension later on that day/night.
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