"We do not believe in ourselves
until someone reveals that
deep inside us some thing is
valuable, worth listening to,
worthy of our trust, sacred to
Once we believe in ourselves,
we can risk curiosity, wonder,
spontaneous delight or any
experience that reveals the
human spirit." [e. e. Cummings]
From our perspective, a secure, satisfying, sexually fulfilling relationship
is a mature relationship. Erotic partnership is the luscious fruit that
ripens when the tree of relationship is properly tended.
In the same way that a master gardener understands and fosters the
growth of plants to create beautiful and bountiful gardens, After The
Honeymoon programs create the conditions for nourishing, satisfying
This section describes some of the conditions that foster erotic
While falling in love and having exciting sex often requires little or no
work in the beginning, maintaining an enduring passionate partnership
requires time, attention and understanding.
Too often couples find themselves years down the road questioning the
relationship, "How did I get here?" "Is this all there is?" "What happened
to my partner's (or my) desire for sex?" "If only he would be more
emotionally sensitive." "Maybe I married the wrong person." "I love her,
but I’m no longer in love with her." The luster of early romance inevitably
tarnishes with time.
There is a temptation to satisfy our longing by returning to the past. We
may yearn for a kinder, simpler time, before the innocence was lost,
before the thrill was gone. Some attempt to recapture the honeymoon
feelings in their current relationship. Some go from relationship to
relationship seeking the thrill of falling in love over and over again.
Just as we cannot relive our childhood, we cannot relive the Honeymoon
stage of relationship. Deep satisfaction comes from understanding and
responding to the necessities of the future and honoring the lessons of
the past, not from yearning to return to the past.
While we cannot return to the honeymoon stage of our partnerships, we
can experience an even more satisfying erotic connection through
participating in the work of transformation together.
The alchemists believed that by taking the raw material of lead and
exposing it to the fires of transformation, gold would eventually emerge.
Geologists know that coal becomes a diamond only after the application
of time and pressure. In these same ways, relationships mature and go
through stages. The most meaningful relationships happen when the
right conditions are created for transformation.
An essential condition for erotic partnership is that both partners commit
to the ongoing process of personal development and to relationship
building. Each individual in a partnership must focus on becoming a
more efective partner - must actively work on being connected to one's
own emotional center, to being authentic and communicating clearly.
Each partner must also cultivate genuine caring and appreciation for the
other - a willingness to listen deeply, express gratitude, and provide a
This kind of mutual participation in the work of transformation allows us
to work on change together rather than cling to being right or blaming
the other for the problem.
Trust is cultivated as each individual appreciates and supports their
partner's growth. A positive cycle is created as the safety of trust and
connection creates even more ability to risk personal change. Generosity
naturally increases. As we spiral toward an increase in personal power
and collaboration we can risk surrender to the powerful erotic forces that
move through us. These erotic forces are not just sexual. They are sexual, but they are
more than that. Each of has a core nature that in our own individual way
pulls us into passionate embrace with our partner, moves through us as
an interest in family and community, and creates a longing to engage
fully in our lives.
Sexual problems often manifest in relationships where couples do not
understand how relationships develop, when relationship is not made a
priority, when partners blame each other rather than working on
themselves, and/ or where there is insufcient skill to process diference.
All sexual problems that are not based on an organic issue are
manifestations of an individual's psychological make up and/or the
dynamics that live between the couple. (Check with your doctor if you
have any doubt about the organicity of your issue.)
We believe that mature sexual relationships are based in heart
connection. We emphasize the emotional building blocks for creating
enduring sexual satisfaction.
In addition, a satisfying erotic partnership requires that time and
attention be devoted to sexual practice. Some basic practices include
discussing specific sexual likes and dislikes, developing the art of flirting
and romance, and cultivating personal desire. (While hormones -
especially testosterone - play a role in the amount of spontaneously
experienced sexual desire a person might have, we must cultivate desire
within our long-term sexual partnerships.)
So, cultivating erotic energy in a long-term relationship requires a
multifaceted approach that includes personal development, collaboration,
and attention to technique.
And, it is a journey of pleasure. The "work" of constructing an erotic
partnership is balanced with the creation of a relaxed and romantic
atmosphere, the celebration of sensuality and having fun.
Indeed, we believe that transformation happens in dynamic tension.
After the Honeymoon is a place to gracefully hold the dynamic tension of
our lives - the tension between masculine and feminine energies,
between safety and exploration, personal freedom and emotional
connection, working hard and having fun.
This amounts to the creation of an erotic lifestyle that uses the dynamic
tension of partnership for the soul's transformation. The environment
that we create together and the practices that we engage in together form
a sacred container for our lives, an alchemical vessel within which we are
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