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

We had the pleasure of being guests on the Super States: Practices of TRANCE-formation Podcast hosted by Joshua Peters.

In this episode, titled “Exploring Tantra for Personal Growth with Sara and Thomas Stout,” we delved into the transformative practices of Tantra and its profound potential for personal growth.

You can listen to the podcast episode here:

 

During our conversation with Joshua, we covered a range of topics that can offer valuable insights into Tantra and its benefits:

  • Understanding the essence of Tantra and its principles
  • Exploring SkyDancing Tantra and its unique approach
  • Discovering the three keys to ecstasy within Tantra
  • Unveiling the two fundamental tools of Tantra practice
  • Exploring how Tantra strengthens trust on multiple levels
  • Learning ways to initiate body-based practices for personal growth
  • Simple practices that invite more aliveness into your life
  • Exploring Tantra both individually and within the context of partnership
  • Guidance on determining if Tantra aligns with your personal journey

We believe this podcast episode serves as a valuable overview of Tantra for those curious about its potential.

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:
Emotionally:
• 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.

Intellectually:
• Inspired new thoughts and continued personal growth.

Spirituality:
• 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?

As we reflect upon our recent weekend retreat, The Art of Loving: An Introduction to SkyDancing Tantra, we are deeply moved by the authenticity that permeated our time together. It warms our hearts to know that our students appreciated our commitment to authenticity. We didn’t expect that acknowledgment since it’s just who we are – a value that lies at the core of our shared journey.

Authenticity is the art of living without masks or pretenses, allowing our true selves to shine forth in all our rawness and vulnerability. It’s about embracing our humanness—the messy, imperfect, and beautifully flawed aspects of who we are—and finding beauty and strength in our authenticity.

Throughout our retreat and beyond, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of authenticity.

It’s in the moments of shared laughter and tears, the honest conversations that flow from the depths of our souls, and the genuine connections that form when we show up as our true selves.

In a world that often prizes perfection and conformity, authenticity is a radical act of self-love and self-acceptance. It’s about owning our stories, embracing our uniqueness, and finding liberation in our truth.

Authenticity is not about being unfiltered and rude.

Self-expression without sensitivity of impact is reactive and unaligned with your soul’s truth.

Authenticity isn’t always easy. It requires courage to show up as we are, even when it feels uncomfortable or vulnerable. But in embracing our authenticity, we create space for deeper connections, meaningful experiences, and profound growth.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found so much freedom, space, expansion, love, and acceptance, which allowed me to expand my love with myself and my partner. Thank you.“   Marc

Let’s welcome authenticity as the norm, inviting voices and expressions of our uniqueness.

It begins with each of us welcoming our contrary and unexpressed selves to be present. In this moment, the question that we inquire – What is my authentic self now?

What are you waiting for?

The right moment, a sign, a companion, enough money, free time, or to not feel nervous?

Waiting is one of the quickest paths to regret. 

During our recent conversation on our tandem bike (where we often appreciate our life and each other the most), I told Thomas that I feel no regrets with him. That is not an easy state to achieve together. It takes a lot of intention and coordination of multiple desires.

Of course, like any long-term relationship, there are still harsh tones and words I wish I hadn’t said or affections I wish I had expressed, but primarily, my hopes and dreams feel fulfilled. There are no looming unmet needs.

Living fully in the moment is an essential tool for a happy life. 

For many years, we could not have said we were living without regrets.

It was easier to focus on why I couldn’t do or have something rather than be living as much as possible. When I thought I was waiting for more money and more free time, what I was waiting for – was to trust life. I didn’t believe in abundance or that I deserved to receive what I wanted.

Tantra helped me listen to my desires and dreams and live in a state of trust and abundance. I could also access the feeling of joy and pleasure around me and within me throughout my day.

I wasn’t waiting for something outside myself to make me happy.

This week, as I recoat our wooden kitchen counter, I am struck by how much I enjoy the golden color and glistening grain. My fingers in the soil weeding the flower bed feels so nourishing. I pause and appreciate all the greens, yellows, and colorful leaves just budding.

We know it can feel like we’re waiting for our time to travel or do what we want when our children or work can be consuming. But even with a busy schedule, there are choices for fulfillment.

Thomas has been my best teacher for making time for pleasure. When we had little babies, I was up to my elbows in diapers and didn’t think I had time for myself, he persuaded me to take a night off each week to take an art class. Coming home happy and excited gave me energy for the rest of the week. And for him.

Having future dreams and intentions doesn’t mean you are waiting. It means focusing on what you have and trusting that joy will happen or can happen as it becomes more important than our current choices. Thomas wants to work less so he can bike and relax more. I’d love to have more time for writing and art.

Is it time to no longer wait?

Can the answer be Now?

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and not have lived. 

“The one that can not do something is not the real you.”

~ Margot Anand

 

Carpe diem ~ Seize the moment.

By Sara Stout

In most Tantra programs, there are opportunities for pleasure, fun, community, and personal growth.

What makes SkyDancing® Tantra stand out?

SkyDancing Tantra supports higher, conscious living from which a sense of freedom and full self-expression flourishes. Some Tantra schools have a reputation for wildness and hedonistic activities. Others are meditative and dismiss the body. SkyDancing supports the body and consciousness. Freedom without consciousness can lead to harmful choices. When one develops tools of awareness beyond the mind, they are less likely to compromise their boundaries but instead, stay on their truly aligned path and find their grounded freedom and ecstasy.

People love Margot Anand and her books. Margot is world-renowned author and teacher who brought Tantra to the west and has made it accessible to everyone through her step-by-step methods. It’s a gift to receive Margot’s transmissions through SkyDancing teachers.

SkyDancing Tantra is a well-established Institute, supporting students for over 32 years. It teaches ancient Tantric practices and incorporates modern-day cultural and psychological considerations.

People trust SkyDancing Tantra for its high ethical integrity. 
In the world of programs on sexuality and spirituality, it is tragic how many other institutes have received reports of abuse of power and sexual violations, SkyDancing Tantra Institutes are highly respected and trusted around the world. And the institute continues learning the most current trauma-informed practices and refines its policies as needed.

When people want maturity, they appreciate the depth of teaching and accessibility for all ages and diversity.

Spirituality is supported on this path of awakening.
SkyDancing Tantra invites individual expression of spirituality and holds reverence for all of life and human existence. Oneness is the basic principle and through awareness and vitality one awakens to wholeness and a non-separate sense of self.

All relationship configurations are supported. 
Whether wanting to dive deep into profound intimacy as a couple or explore the expansion of self, alone or with others, all are welcome.

Feel the quality of heart-centered presence with SkyDancing Tantra. It is possible to experience profound acceptance and love more than you imagine.

Teachers receive extensive training for over three years and maintain their ongoing personal practice.

There are many reasons why SkyDancing Tantra is recognized at one of the premier Tantra Institutes. If you have any questions about the Institute the program, we welcome curiosity.

I have a very competitive spirit, coming from an athletic family, and especially trying to keep up with my three brothers. But this weekend, when my dad said I was “the best,” I had mixed feelings. First, I felt a gentle acknowledgment, followed by a wish that we were all better.

How have you told your loved ones that you love them?

My dad, Geno, has been going to a lot of funerals, and to his surprise, he often hears the positive impact he has had on the family’s lives as their neighbor, teacher, coach, or community activist.

Funerals are often the time when we acknowledge those that have passed. Why do we wait until they are gone to tell them what they mean to us?

Last week during one of my restless nights, I started thinking about what I love about my dad.

He has been a leader in his community, not a follower. Especially in the last ten years, he’s boldly taken a stand, been regularly published writing to the editor, and marched for months protesting for “Black Lives Matter.” He demonstrates that any discomfort he feels is worth getting his message out for the greater good.

His tall, thin stature, deep voice, and flair for fashion commands notice and respect. With the help of his daily exercises and stretches, you’d never guess he’s 88.

My dad’s desire to be attractive and manage his image was difficult for me when he wasn’t always kind about my weight or scraggly hair.

A redeeming factor is that I can tell him what upsets me. I appreciate that he is open to hearing from me. He listens, asks questions, apologizes (if appropriate), and is accountable. As a couples therapist, I know we all make mistakes and do things that hurt our loved ones. It’s how they make corrections and respond to confrontations that speaks to their character.

If actions speak louder than words, my dad has supported the underprivileged, racial diversity, fought for equality and humanitarianism.

My dad also tried to provide athletic opportunities for me and the girls in my school when they were limited. During my woodworking shop class, I made a laminated cutting board. It was his dad, my Grandpa, who said, “I didn’t know girls could do that.”

It’s one thing to say girls should have equal rights. It’s another thing to participate in historically traditional “women’s chores,” cooking, cleaning the house, laundry, and parenting. In so many ways, I can see that my dad has been such a support and inspiration.

Thomas woke up hearing my sniffles. “Are you okay?” he asked. “I love my dad so much,” I softly said.

I was excited to tell my dad and was glad we were together over the weekend. When I told him, he was touched. Exclaiming it was almost too much to take in.

When we reflected that we’re not that good at telling each other what we love, he said, “you’re the best.”

I wish we were all better. With Tantra, I have felt more connected to love and more comfortable speaking my feelings.

And lastly, another thing I love about my dad is his humor, but don’t tell him. He is a very punny guy.

 

By Sara Biewen Stout