You want to talk about sex? Maybe you want to talk about sex, maybe you don't, because sometimes talking about sex can be really uncomfortable. That's what we're going to talk about today: sex, working on your sex life, reading things about sex, investigating, researching, all of it. Following my stuff can often feel so uncomfortable. Believe it or not, I still experience discomfort when it comes to talking about sex.
A little bit about me
My name is Janna Denton-Hows. I am a sex and intimacy coach for married women. I help married women want and enjoy sex more with their husbands because that was my journey and now, I've helped hundreds of women. And it's my absolute honor to make this my life's passion.
Now, let me take you back. Let me take you back to about the fifth year of my marriage. I've been married for 19 years now and we had been fighting about sex for a while at this point. It was frustrating. It was hard because it was the only thing we fought about really. The rest of our marriage was pretty good. We really enjoyed each other. We really loved hanging out with each other, but we were fighting about sex and it just had to stop.
I sought out some help
I went on Google and I just searched for some person to help me locally. A counselor, a therapist, whatever I could find. And I found somebody who was within walking distance. I made the appointment and I dragged my husband along. We went up the elevator and I felt so uncomfortable. I sat in the waiting room and felt so uncomfortable. I saw another couple come out, and I was like, "Are they talking about sex? Is this normal? Is this okay? Is this terrible?"
We went into this office. There was a guy in this tiny room with no windows. I get it. I get it. People are renting space. I understand, but this was tiny. I can see it now. It's like burned in my memory. We were sitting knee to knee and he had a bookshelf over here full of stuff. And, unfortunately, he had this weird kind of pause. I think we all have different comfort with silence. And with this gentleman, I never really knew if he was making a statement or asking a question. Never knew.
My heart was racing. He asked me about masturbation. You guys...He asked me about MASTURBATION. I had not talked about sex with anybody. I was mortified. I don't even remember what I said. I remember him talking about assertiveness and going home with some worksheets. Bless his heart. He really tried.
Man do I understand feeling uncomfortable
When I talk about discomfort, I get it. I've not always been like this. This is something that I've grown into. Talking about sex and saying all the things is something that I've desensitized myself around. Let's talk more about being uncomfortable. The first time I went into a bookstore (before Amazon duh) and I bought my first book about sex...uncomfortable. I was standing in the section about sex and having people walk by me. When I am standing in the aisle where condoms and lube are, that is uncomfortable. Seeing pictures is uncomfortable. Talking to my mom about sex, uncomfortable. Talking to my kids about sex, uncomfortable. There's so many times in our lives that we're going to still be uncomfortable when it comes about talking about sex.
That's the first step, really. When you want to work on your sex life, when you want to start taking those few tentative little things, like reading a book or joining the Wanting it More program, or coming to a live class that I have, or even just watching this video, there is going to be a level of discomfort. There will be that discomfort because our culture tells us that we should not talk about this. Something really wrong or something really bad is going to happen if you say it.
I was just interviewed this week by the sweetest woman. I'm so excited to share this interview with you, but right before we hit record, I was questioning whether or not she was going to go through with the interview because it was so different. She's a parent coach. It's so different than what she's used to saying. I could see her try to justify bringing on an expert to talk about sex, but we're a community. Think of her and bless her heart, she did an amazing job, but wow, discomfort.
I still experience discomfort. I was scrolling Facebook and I came across an app, an app about sex and how to increase your drive and enjoy it more. I don't know. I'm curious, but I felt discomfort. I thought, “What's around the corner when I download the app? What are they going to require of me? What are they going to suggest? Is it going to be something that doesn't make me feel safe or comfortable? Then what will happen?”
You're not alone and it's normal to feel that. Thank you, culture. Thank you very much. But now, we are grown women who are going to just accept a little discomfort. Here's where I stand now when it comes to this stuff: I initially expect a little discomfort still, but now, I trust the next thing that happened.
What SHOULD happen after the discomfort
I downloaded the app. I read a few things. I continued to feel uncomfortable because I did not agree with what the app was doing, so I got rid of it. When you're looking and working on your sex life, expect a little discomfort in the beginning, but the next step, you want to feel relief. You want to feel validated, you want to feel normal, you want to feel at peace, you want to feel curious. You want to say, "Oh, wow. Okay, yeah. I experienced that. What's more?"
The books that I just love and adore, initially, it was hard to get the book. But then you open the first page and you're like, "Yes." It’s that feeling when somebody is speaking truth and you resonate so deeply with it. That's what I hope you feel like when you watch my videos or read this blog. If you don't, please, click away. I cannot be somebody who says, "Trust what feels good and what doesn't and radically trust your gut and your intuition," and then say, "No, but stick around. Stick around." That's my full stop right there.
All right, so there's going to be some initial discomfort but at some point, it needs to really click and feel empowering. If it doesn't, it's not for you. The initial counselor that we went and saw wasn't for me. Bless his heart, he did his best. Some of the books I read are not for me. Some of the workshops I attended were not for me. Still, there's lots of stuff about sex online that is just not for me. I say, "Thank you very much for putting that out in the world and having that perspective, but it’s just not for me."
There's a learning curve
It's really a dance of learning. Is this discomfort coming from our culture that is not helping us? Or is this discomfort coming from the feeling that, "This is not right for me"? Learning to decipher is going to be your journey and it has been my journey and continues to be my journey. I think that's my main point.
It's been a while since I worked on my sex life, so I kind of have, it's called the "curse of knowledge" in psychology terms. Basically, when you know something, you can't unlearn it, you can't go back. So I can't go back to the days where I was like, "Our sex life isn't really working, but what if it feels so uncomfortable when I start working on it? Or it feels so uncomfortable to even click on a video that has sex in the title? I don't even want to go into that world. It's so uncomfortable. No, thank you very much."
It's kind of like a budget
I can relate because I recently did this with money. Money felt very uncomfortable for me. It felt like a lot of shame. It felt really weird. I knew we needed to deal with money because we just had never gotten the kind of education that we needed to have a good relationship with money. We got married very young. We immediately went into student loan debt. We just played around with having a budget, but never really were able to stick with anything. I knew I needed to do it. It made me feel uncomfortable, but I found somebody who I related to, and I knew she was not going to judge us or shame us. I knew that she was going to guide us into something that was practical and doable.
Yes, I had that initial discomfort. But then I saw what she was doing and the discomfort disappeared. It started to go away and now, thank the Lord, we have a fantastic means of budgeting. It's a non-issue anymore. We used to fight about money all the time, just like we’d fight about sex, but it's not an issue anymore.
Imagine if you go through a little discomfort and then you feel some relief and then the discomfort is gone. It's just the best feeling in the world. For me not to have any discomfort when it comes to budgeting and talking about money with my husband was so good. I mean, I have that with sex, too, but it's been quite a long time now that I don't have any discomfort when it comes to sex.
It's possible. It's normal. There's nothing tragically wrong with you if sex stuff makes you kind of squeamish and like, "Eek, I didn't know if I could do that." Believe me, on the other side, it's delightful. It's full of peace, it's like, "Eh." It's like a non-issue.
I talk about sex differently
I don't know if that's very inspiring. I mean, other people talk about sex are like, "You'll have the hottest sex of your life and it will be mind-blowing," and I'm kind of like, "It'll just be a regular thing that you do. You clean, you fold laundry, you clean out the garage, you pull some dandelions (if that's your thing), and you have some sex and then you go and buy some house slippers, right?" It just becomes normal. In my world, having sex, being a non-issue and just being normal; it’s so good.
If you're resonating with this and you're feeling some of that relief feeling that I'm hoping you do, I would love for you to come to my free class. There, you'll actually get the steps to work on your sex life and hopefully, those steps feel really doable and not weird and not crazy kinky or any of that stuff. Just like house-slipper sex. Can I say that? I'm just going to go with it.
I would love for you to come. I'm teaching them live, so we get to actually have a live conversation. You get to ask me your questions and you get to see all these other women who I ask, "How are you feeling about coming to this class?" And a lot of times, they're like, "I'm nervous, but hopeful. A mixture of both." You can come and you can show up with all your emotions. You can just pack them in a bag and bring them along and I'll just love you. Whatever is in your bag, it’s okay? That's it. We're just going to love and accept you. Just the way you are.
Okay, come to the class, come hang out with me. Come learn the steps. I hope that I can show you that it's possible to work on your sex life once you get through that initial discomfort. It's possible to work on your sex life without it being a big deal, without it feeling like you've got to go through all of these steps and uncover all the things from your past and do all this desensitization work or feel like you're like some sex goddess We'll just be a bunch of women hanging out together talking about sex. How about that?
Okay, have a great day. Or just have a day. Just have whatever day you want to have, okay? If it's not great, that's fine, too.
I'll talk to you later.