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When I was on vacation, a beautiful wedding took place on the beach just before sunset

It was a picture perfect backdrop for love.

Because the wedding was in a public place and people are drawn to romance, their celebration drew a crowd. Most of the people on the beach kept a respectful distance except for an elderly man in a very tiny speedo that didn’t hide much.

This older man made his way right up close to the wedding party. Not something I think the bride or groom anticipated but it didn’t seem to bother them.

It didn’t appear that anything was going to take the bride or groom away from their intent of celebrating love. And the beautiful part is the photographer will be able to crop and Photoshop so everything will appear picture perfect.

But here’s the thing – in life, intimacy and sex, you can’t go back and Photoshop an experience. You can’t go back and adjust the lighting or crop out the bits you didn’t really like all that much. Things happen:

Penises and orgasms aren’t reliable. Awkwardness, clumsiness and mind chatter take over. The sensations don’t feel good. The baby cries. The phone rings. The neighbor starts the lawnmower. Fear of criticism, rejection or fear that things are never going to change. Guilt, shame and judgments. These are just a smattering of what could happen unexpectedly.

“Sex is perfectly natural, but it’s not always naturally perfect” ~ Janice Epp Ph.D. Click To Tweet

The more you focus on wanting sex to be picture perfect without the unexpected, the more you set yourself up for things to get under your skin. And all of a sudden, sex isn’t that great.

The reason this happens is because we completely forget to focus on our intent for intimate connection and we get all wound up when things go ‘wrong’. Then we start to blame or feel shame. If it continues we start to doubt if we’ll ever get our sex life back. All because we lost focus of our intent to intimately connect.

So here’s what my husband and I do when the unexpected happens, and it’s what I help clients with – understand that you’re not always going to be in sync and that your sex life will always ebb and flow. The trick is to not get caught up in it.

When things go sideways during sex remember your intention is for connection.

Stay naked, cuddle and talk instead. That’s a beautiful intimately connecting experience. Or get dressed and head out to connect intimately in a different way.

The best way to get the most out of life, intimacy and sex is to put aside picture perfect expectations. Remember that experiences can’t be Photoshopped so enjoy connecting in a different way.


Dr. Gayle Friend

p.s. Do you want to know the real secrets for how to connect really intimately? Then sign up for my 3 part video series on love, intimacy and sex. These are a must watch!