Maintaining a long-term, loving, and satisfying sexual relationship is no easy feat. It requires attention and care. This newsletter delves into common pitfalls that disrupt loving connections.

Have you ever hesitated to try again because you felt like you couldn’t get it right? Or refrained from opening up to your partner because you felt unmet, unseen, or unheard?

These feelings often underlie a lack of desire or fulfillment in the bedroom, manifesting as contraction, fear, disempowerment, or defensiveness.

One approach Thomas and I have found helpful in navigating sexual difficulties is committing to no criticism in the bedroom. We prioritize building each other up and honoring the vulnerability required to express our seductive, playful, passionate selves in an intimate space.

Of course, this doesn’t mean ignoring discomfort or dislikes. It’s crucial to communicate desires and boundaries.

But how can we communicate in a way that doesn’t hinder our partner’s pleasure?

Many couples fear spoiling the mood by offering suggestions during sex. Our culture often perpetuates the belief that we should instinctively know what our partner wants. However, lovemaking is a collaborative act of co-creation, requiring open communication and flexibility to adapt to each moment’s nuances.

If you’ve never talked about your sex life, one way to begin is by discussing the experience afterward, sharing three things you enjoyed and asking your partner the same.

Approach feedback positively, focusing on what’s going well before suggesting adjustments. Instead of saying “I don’t like that,” offer guidance like, “I love that soft touch; now would you try stroking in a circular motion?”

Consider a case we’re currently working on: a man yearning to reconnect with his wife intimately after seven years of no more than hugs and kisses. Despite once having a satisfactory sex life, they drifted apart after having children. Now, he feels immense pressure, as any attempt at intimacy is met with criticism. How do you think this affects his desire for intimacy?

Similarly, another woman shared her experience of being pushed away and labeled “over-sexual” when initiating sex. Criticizing our partner’s desire can stifle passion and freedom, inhibiting pleasure.

Instead, let’s find something to affirm: “I love your desire; you look incredibly sexy right now. Unfortunately, I have a work meeting, so let’s plan for tomorrow.” Rather than making our partners wrong for their desires, celebrate them and suggest a better time.

Keep the flame alive with texts, notes, and flirting until you can be together.

You might believe that people should be able to handle criticism, but research by relationship expert John Gottman suggests otherwise. His findings indicate that the ratio of one negative remark to five positive comments and interactions predicts relationship happiness.

Have you ever noticed how, even in the absence of explicit criticism, we might perceive it in a pause, tone, or “that look?” We sometimes laugh at the absurdities of what we make up from our partner’s unsaid expressions. Ya gotta laugh.

Shame and self-judgment are often our worst enemies.

If we’re primed to expect criticism, we’ll find it, even in silence.

When we lead with love and acceptance, criticism has less bite for ourselves and for life.

As we navigate the complexities of intimacy, let’s remember the transformative power of love and understanding. By prioritizing open communication, celebrating desire, and fostering a supportive environment, we can cultivate deeper connections and enriching sexual experiences with our partners. Let’s embrace each moment with openness and compassion, knowing that in love, there is endless potential for growth and fulfillment.

Sending love,

Sara & Thomas (SatchiJo) Stout

Want to know a Super Hot Turn-On?
One of the hottest and most long-standing turn-ons – is being met.

The first time Thomas and I met each other, I felt that he was too intense. I lacked confidence and thought I would not stand up for what was important to me. Our balance was off.

The opposite, having a partner who was a pushover, was not satisfying either. Being with someone who was grounded in their truth and had enough backbone to stand up to me was a turn-on. 

With my growing confidence and force as a woman, I didn’t want to worry about overshadowing my partner or in any way, needing to stay small.

I wanted someone who could handle all of me, my crazy ideas, my full expression and passion, and expand and grow with me.

It wasn’t until five years after our original meeting, when our paths crossed again that I loved how Thomas “met me.” I could be big, strong, passionate, expressive, and he didn’t get small and crumble.

And, it’s hard to admit, but I appreciated that he didn’t put up with my shit, like when I was over-controlling (don’t tell him). Or when I undermined my potential.

He met me:
• Lovingly supported me to express myself honestly, vulnerably, and accountably.
• When we began to sweat the small stuff, he’d lighten the mood. Or if I’d try to minimize something important, Thomas would kindly listen for the deeper truth.

• Inspired new thoughts and continued personal growth.

• Respectfully challenged me to believe in myself.
• Considered higher consciousness and the greater good.

Physically and sexually:
• Playfully wrestled with me, often ending in a passionate love fest.
• Sensitively moved us beyond mediocrity and kept us out of ruts.
• Reliably held me in his masculine power, allowing me to surrender into receptivity.

Being met balances power and surrender, yang and yin.

How do you like to be met?
Do you like slow, gentle caresses?
Or do you like to be ravished intensely and feel the strength of your lover?
And possibly a combination of softness and firmness turns you on.

Most of us need to feel met to feel passion. We want to feel our partner responds to our level of intensity and challenges us.

After 35 years together, I still love feeling the strength of Thomas’ body against me, his grip that matches my heat.

From Thomas’ side, he says,
“When I start to go down a rabbit hole, Sara listens to my struggle but doesn’t go down with me.

When we feel secure in our relationship, we have more intense play. She may not go skydiving with me, but she’s there as a support, watching and cheering me on.”

How are you meeting yourself?

Are you communicating your range of needs in your life?

When I was 12 years old, I was innocently hanging out with my friends at school when I was told my Grandpa had suddenly died. I was devastated.

His was the first death I remember experiencing. Since I am the same age as he was when he died, I can’t help but consider how we are similar and yet different.

This wasn’t his first heart attack; he struggled with his weight had high blood pressure, and I remember my Grandmother getting mad with him for cheating on his low-sodium diet. Her frequent meals of fried chicken, potatoes and gravy, and her famous and mysteriously emptying cookie jar probably didn’t help.

I spent at least a week with Grandma and Grandpa every summer. It was a highlight to have time alone with them.

During the day when Grandpa was at work, I would help Grandma garden, pulling weeds, shucking peas, picking raspberries, and spitting watermelon seeds.

Every evening, I’d kiss my grandpa g-night, and grandma tucked me into bed in the extra room above the living room. I could hear the TV below play Lawrence Welk, and I’d receive my nightly torture from the smell of fresh popcorn wafting up through the vent.

The differences between Grandpa and me likely began very early in life. Grandpa was four when his father died. As the only male in the house, he started providing for his household early with his mom and grandma. He didn’t earn a high school education and never settled into a career, contributing to lifelong financial instability.

I was blessed to have both of my parents, who continue to be a big part of my life. They achieved Master’s degrees that pulled them out of family poverty over time.

My Grandpa’s greatest dream was to own a home, but he never did. Thomas and I happily paid off our mortgage last spring.

I didn’t understand why Grandpa would get so upset with me when I didn’t care for my shoes. He always wanted me to use a shoehorn for my nice Sunday shoes. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that even buying shoes for him was extravagant. He wore size 13, and I’m sure the few pairs of brown shoes he owned were costly.

If you knew my Grandpa, you’d know he loved to fish. Not once-in-a-while kinda fish but every vacation and spare moment kinda fish.

Many hours we’d sit in the boat, on the dock, or by the dam, and I was convinced his fishing magic would rub off on me. More often, it resulted in me just drowning worms. 🎣 I don’t know if he was a good fisherman, a lucky fisherman, or it was only in my eyes that I imagined him that way.

Maybe we were alike by the quietness of our day together.

There were more ways we were different.

My Grandpa didn’t go to yoga class, meditate, or do a loving Tantra practice with Grandma. “Exercise” was a word that didn’t cross his lips. And I never saw him join Grandma as she tried to keep up with Jack LaLanne.

He’d sit drinking his morning coffee, smoking his cigarettes, reading the newspaper, and complain about the news.

My mom and her sisters would say complaining was one of his pastimes. Maybe, that’s where my mom got her mantra, “Life is hard.” I still struggle with falling into that oppressive mindset instead of seeing the amazing life I’ve been given. More than ever, I can now see the magnificence of this world. I wonder if he ever noticed?

On March 10th, 1972, he joined his buddies on a Minnesota lake ice fishing, and he was happy. With the cold fresh air and the anticipation of what he could catch, he fell to the ice with his last words, “heart attack.” Grandpa died doing what he loved. I hope I am like him in that way.

For both of us, family is important. We love to laugh, be outdoors, and have big feet.

Grandpa brought me a lot of joy. I can still see his big smile, feel his comforting embrace, and I eat popcorn 🍿 most nights.

By Sara B

SkyDancing Tantra

Margot Anand awoke many lovers in Minnesota over St Patrick’s Weekend, 2017 with her SkyDancing Tantra teaching. It was fabulous to see the passion in Minnesota come alive.
Over 70 people were regaled with tales of her adventures, gifted with decades of worldly wisdom, gained an appreciation for the miracle of their bodies capacity for pleasure, learned how to create sacred space in our lives so we can enjoy the richness of our sacred sexuality and most importantly received loving guidance to eradicate sexual shame by developing their own inner lover.
This video was taken before Margot Anand’s weekend in Minneapolis.

Margot Anand in Minneapolis

Love Passionately Tantra

Got this from a colleague of mine and it’s so apropos of what I work with in my sessions with people that I thought it would be good to repost here.

Many boundary classes that we take in this new world of consent operate from top down (mind down to the body).

I am a “yes” for this and a “no” for that… we are negotiating with ideas of what would eventually feel good or bad as we imagine it in the future. This is awesome. It’s an important step forward from where we have been.

Yet, usually what ends up coming in is that those ideas are based upon a traumatic projection on the future that we want to avoid, and keep avoiding.

It ends up becoming a way to control the potential future from my terrible past. Here, there isn’t much room for spontaneity, especially when we feel controlled. 

What we are working with in Embodied Intimacy are Embodied Boundaries — boundaries from the bottom up (from the body up to the mind).

Boundaries are dynamic, they represent waves coming and going, sometimes I have a yes for this, then a hell yes for that and a hell no there.

We are alive, and that aliveness is the path to intimacy.

We are in a constant relationship with everything. Relating is everything. Wherever you are you are relating.

So what we really want to emphasize then is that when you are grounded, when you have a spine, you are centered, you can apply defensive boundaries or somatic resources, then this animal is like… ok, I got you, I have in-tell-igence, I can tell inside and begin to listen and trust my yes and my no. 

When we add this dimension of dynamic boundaries to relating, it becomes really fun. Then we make mistakes but they are not violations to be punished for, it’s me trying to figure out how to best love you.

We are constantly trying to figure out how best to love one another by updating the old programs of the past with the more alive raw intelligence of the present moment.

Because the truth is that I don’t know how to love you. And this “I” that I’m talking about is the program that was created in the past.

Would you actually like me to know how to love you? Would you like me to treat you like an object? Would you like to be objectified by my traumatic history and be treated accordingly? How fun is that?

We start in truth. 

When we are scared and hooked on the story, we keep projecting it… it has our teeth in its flesh. In some cases we cannot do anything but to just feel ourselves back into our bodies to create room for our vulnerabilities.

We can create an environment that has the power to heal through love — because when I take off my mask, I’m taking the mask off you too. Its instant, your human heart responds.

Just like when you see a wounded animal on the side of the street –– how can I hold you and help you heal that wing? I really want to see you fly, because when you fly its like heaven, happiness comes when with generous giving, giving everything you got, its not taking its just the abundance of the human heart.

Come, take off your mask with us.

Buster (

Face to Face Connection

Why do people looking for connection, come to SkyDancing® Tantra?

There are many ways in which Tantra builds connection, whether you are a couple or single. Most frequently acknowledged is the simple act of mindful face to face interaction.

Even when you spend hours a day with someone, you can feel disconnected, alone, and you miss deeper relating. As much as you try to communicate, plan a date night, go to a movie, a concert, a drive together, still you feel an absence of true connection.

Studies show that most of relationship interactions are oriented side by side. That we go through life facing forward rather than turning towards each other. There is an element of parallel orientation when we take care of the home, the kids, sit side by side on the couch, or spend more time looking at our screens than each other. This is not enough quality engagement to sustain a fulfilling relationship. 

Couples turn towards each other when we are courting, during an affair, or in crisis. At these times we are more deeply engaged with each other rather than what’s going on around us. Ironically, most couples who don’t make time for each other day to day, will drop everything and are willing to do almost everything if there is a fidelity threat to their relationship. Rather than waiting for partner dissatisfaction, there are simple actions we can do everyday.

“For passion to spark, the couple needs to move from side-by-side energy to nose-to-nose energy. The partners most rouse themselves from life’s daily tasks and turn to face each other, be fully present to each other.”
Terry Real, Family Therapist

Intimacy comes when we turn towards each other. When we feel seen and heard. Consider how you might approach a child if you want to understand what they’re telling you, you bend down, get to the same level, make eye contact and listen intently, repeating back what they tell you. Too often when our partner tries to talk to us we are on our phones, continue what we are doing, watching our show, or are distracted. Tantra is mindful intimacy, when we pause, and turn to make face to face contact.

Face to face interactions communicate, I see you,
I am with you, I care about you. 

The act of taking our partner’s hands, looking into their eyes and Being, is powerfully loving. It activates the bonding hormone, oxytocin. For some, it can feel uncomfortable at first, those awkward silences that we fill with giggles, looking away, squirming and chatter. It can take practice. In our classes, we constantly hear how powerful and connected people feel, with a simple practice of eye gazing. And when people feel connected, the other tasks of managing a home, family and sexual desire and satisfaction come easier.

Tantric Tip: Set up specific times to turn towards the people important to you. This might be when you greet each other, before meals, and saying good-night. Pause, turn face to face, hold each other’s hands, take a breath together, and smile. Notice how much closer you feel to each other. Another pivotal time to mindfully connect is when you’re making a decision about how to spend the evening. Consider an activity other than screens, such as a massage, reading to each other, cuddling, and day dreaming together.

I appreciate how Thomas greets me with a loving hug when I come home from work. Anyone who sits at our table, joins us in pausing for a few breaths and eye contact before we eat. Since Thomas fractured his neck a few years ago, I don’t take for granted our future, so in the morning before I get out of bed, I turn off the alarm and we hold each other, skin to skin. I get my Thomas fix, breathing in, savoring his warmth and presence.

Face to face connection does not need to be a rare experience or reserved only for extreme situations. Enjoy the sweetness of being together. SkyDancing Tantra is particularly known for its heart to heart, face to face and mindful relating on many levels.

On March 28, 2019 Thomas was interviewed by Enhanced Radio on Love Passionately and SkyDancing Tantra.

Harbin Hot Springs

Everyone needs a place like this.
A place where pressure to be busy and accomplish disappears.
A place where the mind quiets.
A place where words are not needed.
A place where everyone is welcomed with unity and respect.

For most of us, our surroundings are cluttered with projects just waiting to be attended. When we try to relax, the papers on the coffee table need attention, the dust bunnies are nipping at our heels, the unfinished projects ask to be completed, and the unanswered emails call. It’s as if once we have been active in a space, it holds active energy. The challenge is to override the intensity that’s alive in order to get to a deeper level of quiet.

Going on vacation is one way we try to get away from the noise of doing. “What did you do on your vacation?“ most people will ask. Even on Facebook, we post the sights we have seen, the food we’ve eaten and the many adventures we’ve taken. Rarely do you say, “I’ve had the most wonderful vacation, doing nothing.“ What if the greatest adventure is just being? Not doing anything, just being and having a place that facilitates that delicious state. 

Last week, I was able to return to my sweet spot. A place where I first learned the depth that can be experienced of profound letting go and inner peace. When I name this place (for those of you that it is familiar) notice your visceral reaction……..

Harbin Hot Springs. And specifically, the sacred waters of the warm meditation pool.

For 3 1/2 years, while recovering from the fire that destroyed it, I have longed to return. I anticipated this venture might invoke many responses and still I had a lovely surprise.

The surprise was not the blackened trees that lined the road up to Harbin. It wasn’t the tears of grief for the devastation of what made up it’s character, lush greenery, old lodging structures, and the Temple. The surprise wasn’t the joy of seeing life sprouting from the trunk of the big fig tree that had canopied the warm pool, nor the compassionate Quan Yin statue sitting serenely in it’s spot. My surprise came while blissfully meditating in the pool, one thing made it more sweet, Thomas. 

I nestled against his warm chest. With the body-neutral water already dissolving the edges of our skin, our bodies melted together. Without thought, our breath synchronized and the words came to me, “I have missed who we are, when we are here.”

The noise of our busy lives disappears in these waters and tension between us is replaced with a tinge of sensual excitement. We discovered a newness about each other here. We were initiated into the magic of SkyDancing Tantra at Harbin. For a moment, we returned to innocence, curious, love struck. What could be more lovely than calm, pleasurable excitement?

The waters of Harbin flow. 
The heart of Harbin beats.

Harbin’s a special place. So special, I feel it’s presence in my bones. Although it has changed due to the fire in 2015, each of us carry it’s essence alive within us. During moments of distress when I seek refuge, I visualize walking down the steps leading into the warmth of the meditation pool. Aaahhhh.

Until we soak in the waters again, Thomas and I find elements of deep connection by dropping into our state of being every week when we create our Tantric practice of Sacred Space.

~ Sara

Harbin Hot Springs Entrance

Establish a sacred place in your home or nature to visit for reflection, meditation and quiet. Savor these times, drinking them into your whole being. The real gift to yourself, is returning to your personal place of being. Return again and again, with mind, body and spirit, either visualizing how your body felt, the sensory details and emotions, or in person.

Tantra Video with Sara & Thomas

Who am I? – When I am not who you think I am?

What happens when we let go of externally imposed constraints to discover our true selves? SkyDancing Tantra is about de-conditioning, letting go of self-limiting perceptions of who we are, and getting back to our raw, wholeness.

We allowed ourselves this exploration of freedom for 3 weeks when we were immersed in advanced studies of SkyDancing Tantra in France.
The two of us often care too much about what others think. As a result, we often merge ourselves and don’t feel fully defined as separate. Even in our relationship of over 27 years together, we are not always clear where one ends and the other begins. We joke, “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.” Especially, with chocolate desserts.

During recent Love and Ecstasy Trainings in France, we gave ourselves permission to let go of our roles, our ideas of what it means to be a parent, sibling, adult child, spouse, a professional, to explore who is Sara and who is Thomas. By letting go of obligations and cultural conditioning, we could see our imagined constructs and what self-imposed rules we’ve internalized. From a place of free will and empowerment, our values became clearer, what lies behind our true desires, what parts do we embrace and wish to maintain and what is old and no longer serves us.
SkyDancing Tantra promotes full expression of your natural self, with integrity. Freedom and removing constraints is not about breaking rules and vows, unfettered play without consciousness. It is about truth and honoring your whole self very consciously. You choose with awareness what is truly fitting for your highest good and what can be shed and discarded.

Sara’s Story:
In one exercise, when we slowed down our decision making to discern, from what criteria were we making decisions, Thomas sat across from me with the possibility of me mindfully moving closer and touching him. Immediately, my yoni, my sex, was so excited she started screaming “jump on Thomas.” Her enthusiasm and passion for him was clear and almost hard to restrain. I had to tell my yoni to quiet down so I could listen to the rest of me. Then, the sensations from my heart were immense. I burst into tears with such a full heart of love for him. I was closer to him by now, but physical touch was superfluous, we were already in deep connection. By giving myself the time to really listen to different aspects of myself, I appreciated many different kinds of love for Thomas. And no part of this love was diluted with obligations and expectations, it was pure in-the-moment soul connection.

See more surprises we discovered:

Tantra is a path of personal growth. For those of us who are seekers, whether we’re seekers for depth of relating, depth of knowing, knowing beyond mind, or knowing with our whole being. We feel blessed that we ventured into this never-ending path of celebration of discovering who we are meant to be.

Love to hear your thoughts,
Sara & Thomas Stout

SkyDancing Tantra seminars provide the space to explore, to play, and discover your true nature. From your embodied awareness you integrate these loving qualities into your life.

SkyDancing Tantra In Minneapolis
Saturday Evenings 7:00-9:00pm

Mar 30: Sensual Awakening*
April 20: Spiritual Sexual Renewal*
May 4: Tantra Community Night
May 18: Sexual Fitness and Pleasure*
May 25: Yum Night

Presented by Sara and Thomas Stout of Love Passionately
*Co-presented with Diane Long of Kaleidoscope Healing Arts

Minnesota Weekend Retreats

Ecstatic Touch™ (Level 1):
The Art of Pleasure
Shire in the Woods, McGrath, MN
April 26-28, 2019

Save the Date for SkyDancing Tantra Immersion
4 day Retreat
Shalom Hill Farm, Windom MN
July 4-7, 2019

East Coast Weekend Retreats

Timeless Loving® (Level 1):
An Introduction to SkyDancing Tantra
Rowe Center, Rowe, MA
Apr 12-14, 2019

Ecstatic Touch™ (Level 1):
The Art of Pleasure
Guest House Retreat Center, Chester, CT
Aug 9-11, 2019

If you’d prefer to learn Tantra alone or with just your partner,
schedule some Tantric Coaching Sessions  or
Tantra Massage for Couples

You’ll be able to go at exactly the pace and level of intensity you desire!

Love Passionately Tantra

What is possible with Tantric sex? Is it hours of high states of arousal, multiple orgasms, cosmic experiences, profound loving presence or energetic Tantric touch massages? I often ponder this question when something unexpected jolts me awake to the mysteries of the human body. Which is what happened this week and was so amazing that I’m excited to share some juicy and quite personal details.

How does one define the limits of something that is limitless? My attempt might minimize it as crudely as thinking the earth is flat. Just as my error may be in expecting the familiar, rather than the unexpected. What if I trusted the expansiveness of being? Even routine positions can result in new and exciting outcomes. The possibilities are endless and are fun to explore. 

One of the main Tantric practices includes opening the inner channel, the energy pathway from your sex center to the crown of your head, where you connect with spirit. This is the art of moving the creative, life force energy through your core, in front of your spine, via, what Margot Anand calls, “the inner-flute.” It’s a powerful experience that takes individual practice to clear the blocks and enliven the whole core of your being. The more you nurture this vitality, the more ecstasy you can feel, and the more present and engaged you become in all areas of your life. When you are connected to a greater energy system there are no limits.

At my first weekend workshop, Timeless Loving: An Introduction to SkyDancing Tantra, I learned to move my energy using “sexual breathing,” Initially, I felt awkward, stuck in my head with concerns about doing it right. How hard should I breathe? Do I force it or allow it to happen? And still in spite of all that noise in my head, I was thrilled with new pleasurable sensations throughout my body. Why hadn’t anyone told me that our bodies are capable of this? Why isn’t it known as a mainstream practice? Sign me up for more!  

I made a conscious choice to develop a regular practice as often as I could, even while driving the car. And what a delicious practice it was, like eating a brownie sundae everyday and not gaining any weight. Yum yum! The pleasure is as great, and yet as different, as anything I’ve ever felt. It’s as if my clitoris extends up through my whole body and touch isn’t even necessary. Opening this inner channel has taken me to heights that I had never imagined and a new one occurred just this week.

Before I tell you about that experience, let me give you some background about my husband, Thomas’, practices. For him, consciously moving his energy or even feeling his body sensations has been challenging. So his primary focus has been turning his attention towards subtle micro movements and physical sensations. Instead of expecting a mind blowing, vibrating, energy light show, he tunes into any small sensations that are present. His level of sensitivity, sustainability and fulfillment has grown (pun intended and that’s a blog for another time). 

The other night, as we were in a sensual Tantric lovemaking session, I felt my body pulsating with pleasure, opening more and more through my inner flute. Our bodies moved in sacred union. Then, in an instant, when he shifted his attention to the tip of his vajra, (Sanskrit for penis), I felt a powerful surge enter and rise up through my whole core. A cylinder of presence and love, filling me from his pelvis, all the way up my entire body. 

I felt his Vajra extend well beyond the limits of his physical body, that he filled my whole inner flute, my whole being. It was so much more than his genitals touching my genitals. My mind wanted to make sense of this. And yet the more we let go and trusted our body’s natural abilities, the more everything opened up. We continued to move together for some time, creating an ecstatic state that felt timeless. 

by Sara