Elena worked out at Gold’s Gym, the serious bodybuilder’s gym in Venice, California. I’d see her there almost every day as I trained my pro-athlete clients in mind/body techniques for peak performance. She was strong, and extremely spirited. She tackled the weights aggressively, and her form as she trained showed that she’d achieved a mastery over her body that the other women apparently all envied.
One day she pulled me aside and asked if she could pay a visit to my office. At our appointment a few days later, she sat across from me, an attractive, strong, vibrant woman, and explained that she wanted my help in resolving a problem in her marriage. She and Jeff had just celebrated their first anniversary. In all respects, it had been a loving, rewarding time, except one.
“From the very beginning, Jeff has been the sexually aggressive partner, he initiates everything,” she said, to my surprise. “I do love that quality in him, but it also intimidates me. I’d like to do some of the seducing in our sex life, but I just can’t find the courage to act out my desires. I’m afraid he’ll resent me for it. I’m also afraid that if I stay inhibited about this, the relationship is going to suffer.”
As a hypnotherapist, I frequently work with people who feel trapped by limitations. Clients seek me out because they feel there’s something holding them back from achieving what they believe they can. Elena had broken lots of barriers in her life-she was a tiger on the job and in the gym, with big payoffs in terms of lifestyle and body image. But in the privacy of her own bedroom, her sexuality was held prisoner by something she couldn’t understand–something she felt she couldn’t overcome.
Like Elena, Marti was a strong, resourceful, vital woman. When she came to me, she was full of enthusiasm about her life; her job as an advertising coordinator was exciting, she took night classes to learn advanced graphic design, and she was very much in love with her live-in partner, Stephen.
But her life required a tremendous amount of effort as she juggled work, school, housework and Stephen. “Inevitably,” she said, “Stephen wants to make love (he’s a very motivated sex partner) after I’ve already put in a 16-hour day. I’m bone-tired, but how do I tell him that? I don’t want to disappoint him, so I give in and end up just going through the motions, not really enjoying it. How can I put a stop to this so I can be honest about my feelings without hurting him?”
Both Elena and Marti were denying themselves the potential for radiant, joyful sex, and loving, honest relationships by allowing negative subconscious programming to dictate their sexual self-image and subsequent actions. That inner mental programming, which, for the most part, originates during childhood years, has a broad influence on responses to sexual situations, and invariably sabotages even the most valiant efforts to change.
These are not deep-seated psychological problems. Literally, they’re not “problems” at all, merely conditions which are an extension of negative self-communication, having its roots in inhibition and fear based reasoning. When we feel like we can’t express our powerful sexual drive in a way that’s natural for us, we start to build, then hide behind walls of quiet frustration. The resulting resentment and sense of failure can literally destroy self-esteem-and otherwise loving, nurturing relationships.
The exciting premise of hypnotherapy and NLP is that we can retrain our minds, uprooting negative, restrictive ideas and beliefs, and liberate our strong, spontaneous and naturally expressive selves. Both Elena and Marti, and many other clients, have been able to rapidly make that transition by using a creative mental training technique I teach clients called “Sexual Self-Image Programming,” or SSIP. In my clinical experiences, SSIP has proved itself an effective and practical way for you to reprogram old, frustrating sexual habits with new responses that unleash your natural sensuality–in a thrilling and wonderfully healthy way.
THE FIRST “WRITING” ON OUR CLEAN SLATES
As children, we all received messages from our parents and other authority figures that, in many ways, made us look at sex and our sexuality suspiciously. The rules were handed down to protect us from others and deter us from early experimentation. But the long-term impact is that a lot of us suffer from inner conflicts in adulthood; we deny ourselves the right to pleasure and the full expression of who we are. Even though our reasoning mind tells us that our sexuality is healthy and natural, our subconscious mind projects feelings of guilt and negative consequence when we attempt to be truly intimate with our lovers. And the frustration can be merciless.
If you find yourself in a situation similar to Elena’s and Marti’s, the simple fact is that your potential for complete sexual happiness is being sabotaged by your past conditioning. “Good girls don’t flaunt their sexuality; good wives don’t reject their husbands’ advances.” From the depths of your subconscious, such directives still whisper at you.
YOU’RE NOT HOPELESSLY TRAPPED
Your conscious, rational mind has been telling you the truth all along. And it’s in your best interest to both accept and respect your own feelings with the same interest as you do the expectations of others. The SSIP technique enables you to assert your right to express your sexuality in a way that’s satisfying and fulfilling for you; you can transform those old habits and suppressed feelings into open, honest, sensual expressiveness!
What’s been learned can be “unlearned,” and replaced with new, enriching ways of thinking and acting. The time you’ve wasted in frustration and anger at yourself and your partner can be better spent discovering the erotically rich and sexually alive woman within you. The Sexual Self-Image Programming technique enables you to decondition the inhibited sex related behavior of your past and develop the free flowing assertive nature leading to enriched intimacy in all aspects of your relationship.
SEXUAL SELF-IMAGE PROGRAMMING: THE FIRST STEP
First, set aside some quiet time to take stock of your current sexual behavior and make a note of the traits that dissatisfy you. Make a list if you need to. When you’ve isolated these, choose the one area you want to work on first. For example, maybe you’ll concentrate on asking your partner to touch you in a certain way, or mustering the courage to directly show him how. Maybe you’ll focus on telling him you’d like a rain check when you aren’t up to an erotic interlude, or maybe you’ll pay attention to learning how you can play the aggressive seducer.
One important note: work on one issue at a time. If a couple of qualities in your sex life trouble you, don’t tackle them all simultaneously. The SSIP technique works best when you concentrate on just one concern at a time.
For example, Susan came to me with two unfulfilling situations on her mind: Like Marti, she felt obligated to unconditionally meet her partner’s expectations no matter what she wanted. But because of her suppressed desires and “giving” nature, she also was often unable to have an orgasm even when excited during lovemaking. She so wanted to tell her boy friend that a new position she perceived as exciting and increased oral stimulation would solve her problem, but she was afraid that Tom’s pride and ego would be hurt. After some discussion, she realized she had a right to explore and fully enjoy the realm of her sexual nature, and decided she wanted the ability to tell Tom exactly what she wanted, exactly the way she wanted it.
Focus exclusively on one aspect at a time until you see, and enjoy, improvement. Then move on to the next.
THE SSIP TECHNIQUE
(Please read the entire technique through first before you begin to perform it.)
When you’re deeply relaxed, you can bypass the critical, rational, conscious portion of your mind and gain direct access to your subconscious (inner mind). As the tension flows out of muscles and nerves, your conscious processing slows down, and your subconscious mind – with its life-enriching capacity – can then be influenced. And when directed toward your outcome, this subconscious power naturally converts into feelings and behaviors generated toward achieving (and richly enjoying) your desire.
RELAXING DEEPLY TO GAIN SUBCONSCIOUS ACCESS
Take your phone off the hook and seclude yourself in a quiet, darkened room where you won’t be disturbed. Remove your shoes and loosen any clothing that’s binding. Lie comfortably on your back, either on the floor, your bed, or in a relaxing E-Z chair. Separate your legs so no part of the thighs or calves are touching, and extend your arms slightly outward from your body, palms down, fingers loosely apart.
Remaining as still as possible, fix your eyes on a spot on the ceiling above, and take three l-o-n-g d-e-e-p breaths, inhaling through your nostrils, exhaling slowly each time through your mouth.
As you exhale the third breath, gently let your eyelids close. And for the next few breaths, mentally repeat the word c-a-l-m with each exhalation, allowing yourself to easily let loose with each easy breath. If any unrelated thoughts intrude or your mind drifts, just gently bring your attention back to repeating the word c-a-l-m as you exhale.
Then, begin to focus on relaxing the muscles of each part of your body: start with your toes, move up through your legs, abdomen, chest, back, arms, the back of your neck, up over your head and down into your facial muscles. Just clearly focus on each part of your body, and easily visualize the muscles slackening like loose rubber bands.
Don’t force it or “try” to make it happen; just allow it to happen by envisioning and feeling each body part you focus on turning loose, and let yourself go totally limp and relaxed. When you feel the onset of deep, soothing inner comfort, you’re ready to perform the SSIP technique.
RELEASING THE NEGATIVES – UNCHAIN YOUR SEXUAL POWER
Next, clearly imagine yourself sitting comfortably in a plush, thickly cushioned chair. In front of you is a glistening, wooden console, and on top of it sits a large video screen. Directly in front of you on the console is a control panel to operate the screen.
On the left side of the panel is an On-Off toggle switch. Next to it are three round, silver command buttons. The first button is stamped “Old”; the second button “Clear”; and the third “New.” Take a moment to clearly visualize the console, screen and control panel.
Next, flip the switch to “On” and watch the screen light up. Now sit back in your chair for a moment and think about the trait you’ve decided to work on. Think about the present effect it has on how you feel about yourself, the way you relate to your lover, and the quality of your overall sexuality. Call to mind a recent memory when this situation came up.
When the memory is clear in your mind, lean forward and press the console button marked “Old.” Then watch the situation replay itself on the video screen, exactly as it happened. Vividly experience the entire scenario, noticing words and feelings expressed, gestures made, thoughts entertained, and degree of passion (or lack thereof) generated.
Next focus on exactly how you felt after this episode. Re-live the feelings of possible emptiness, anxiety, incompleteness, frustration or anger. And as you’re experiencing a connection with the specific unresourceful emotion characterizing this encounter, press the “Clear” button, and watch the picture fade, then disappear completely from the screen.
Now, let your attention focus on your breathing, and with each breath, mentally repeat the word r-e-l-e-a-s-e. Imagine that each time you breathe out, you’re exhaling a dense white mist that dispels all the negative feelings, pictures and sensations associated with that situation. With each breath, f-e-e-l the negativity flow right out through you, and focus upon (and wholly sense) a cleansed, refreshed inner disposition steadily developing.
SHAPING AND STRENGTHENING THE SEXUALLY VIBRANT YOU
Directly, after four release breaths as outlined above, press the button marked “New,” and again watch the same scene appear on the screen. This time, however, see yourself expressing and generating thoughts, feelings and actions exactly the way you really want to.
For instance, tell your lover, with graphic conviction, you want to experiment with a different position, relating why you absolutely know it will magnify pleasure for both of you. Or, explain that you’re too bushed to make love the way you’d really like to, and relate a course of action which is either an alternative or representation of your feelings and your desires at that time. Or, seduce him as you’d like to in your wildest dreams; let your “sexual animal” ravage him with unabashed, and intensely unbridled passion.
While you experience this new realm of responsiveness, be sure you DO NOT hold anything or any part of yourself back! Graphically envision yourself generating the full sexual magnitude of who you really want to be, doing what you really want to do. And revel in all the accompanying physical, mental and emotional sensations you experience.
Recognize and fully accept that this is the real you, that what you see, feel and are here represents the awaiting to be claimed and activated capacity of your real sexual power! And continue to experience yourself acting out your real sexual power to the extent which reflects the full expression of your desire, the very essence of your need, and the full realization of your pleasure!
Deeply savor the feelings of physical satisfaction, self-respect and self-esteem which flow from being a communicative initiator — from being the full, free, representation of sexually expressive power. And when your scenario is finished, then, still savoring the richness of feeling, immediately move to the next phase.
FULLY ASSOCIATING WITH YOUR “SEXUAL ANIMAL”
Now, instead of just watching this picture of you acting out your desires, press the “New” button, activating the original scenario, step into the picture, and be this spontaneous, straightforward sexual power. See exactly what you would see, feel exactly what you would feel, do exactly what you want to — and would do as you act out, and act upon, your sex desires and inclinations!
Feel your partner’s touch upon you in response to your requests and suggestions. And feel yours upon him. Graphically, vividly act out the full extent of your needs, wants and desires, however intense, fiery and lustful they may be.
Take charge, speak up, take the initiative, make the move, make it happen, keep it going, making sure it works wonderfully for you! Wholly be this force of directness and sexual power expressing all of the delicious sensory outpouring connected within the full context of your sexual purpose!
This is the self-image, sexual identity restructuring phase. What you’re literally doing is programming new attitudes, actions and outcome responsiveness through channeling different sensory information alignments to encode new neural pathways in your brain. In explicit detail, you’re subconsciously establishing, and impressing new behaviors and responses characterizing a new, free flowing, spontaneous liberation of your true sexuality.
Understand that this straightforward, initiating personality is already part of your potential for self-expression. Unfortunately, many women I consult choose not to acknowledge this fact, and allow an otherwise enriching sexual nature to lay dormant throughout their lives. But, by focusing upon connecting with, energizing, and activating this nature within you (as outlined), you’ll stimulate this full quality to emerge and enliven the entire spectrum of your sexual expression!
FUTURE ACTIONS OF SPONTANEOUS, UNBRIDLED PASSION
After the first reprogramming cycle (experiencing and discharging the negatives, watching the new sexual you, being the new sexual you) has been completed, take a long, deep breath. And as you then exhale slowly, reach forward, press the “Clear” button, and see the screen fade and go blank. Next, press the “New” button again, and see the screen light up with a future possible sexual experience where you might find yourself prone to act and respond with your “old,” limited, restrictive tendencies.
Now, instead of allowing it to play out as a representation of how you “normally” would have interacted and responded, vividly experience yourself speaking, acting, performing and emoting exactly the way you – the embodiment of vibrant, unleashed sexual power – would! Imaginatively step into the picture and into her body. And, looking through her eyes, feeling what she feels, be this passionate power acting out the full extent of your wants, your desires, and your needs! This is your opportunity to practice being the bold, sexually powerful you in a manner enabling you to both subconsciously create, and program future desired actions and responses.
As you experience yourself interacting with and responding to this encounter, acknowledge that your sexual desires are valid, important and totally appropriate; that you have the right to determine when, where and how you’ll derive, and enjoy, the full pleasure of exotic intimacy.
Let it be okay not to feel obligated to satisfy the desires of others before you satisfy your own. And make your feelings heard and GO FOR IT with all the lusty sensual passion you can generate!
Because you feel unhampered and justified, possessing natural radiant sexual vitality, expect to, and act in the manner which ensures you receive as much satisfaction from sex as you give. Fully experience yourself as this take charge, open, self-directed sexual prowess, as if it were the only way you knew how to be, and was an already accomplished fact in your life!
Really f-e-e-l your personal power and sensuality pulsing and surging through you, and savor your ability to directly communicate (and act upon) your true sexual needs, wants and desires!
After you’ve fully sensory acted out this take charge sexual intensity within this future situation, press the “Clear” button to gradually fade the picture from the screen. Then, still bathing in the confident aliveness of the new expressive you, flip the toggle switch to “Off.”
RETURNING BACK TO YOUR FULL AWARENESS
Next, to return back to your full awareness once again, imagine yourself slowly climbing a flight of five steps, and suggest to yourself that at the top step you’ll feel refreshed and completely rejuvenated. When you reach the fifth step, let your eyelids open, inhale deeply, and stretch.
The entire SSIP process should take about 12-15 minutes.
REGULARLY ENJOYING THE NEW, VITAL, SEXUALLY EXPRESSIVE YOU
To establish new, spontaneous sexual behaviors – thinking, feeling and acting differently (in line with your desires) – you need to consistently reinforce emotionalized goal programming into your subconscious mind. With regular practice and desire for change, your SSIP visualizations steadily convert from possible fantasy quality, to become identified with and totally lifelike; you’ll find yourself naturally responding as if you’ve always been this communicative, free, open, sexually assertive personality!
I recommend that you perform the SSIP exercise in the evening, at a time when there will be no disruptions. It’s best to have a specific time each day to practice liberating and enjoying this new sexual you.
Be forewarned: During the early stages, you might run up against your own mental resistance to change. Many clients often experience fear of the unknown, a fear of failure, a fear of being criticized by their partner for exhibiting this new vital expressiveness, brimming with sexual power. It’s just your past negative conditioning, up to its old sabotage attempts — don’t let yourself surrender to its ploys. Persist with the SSIP technique, and in a short time, you’ll find the mental resistance giving way to a newfound energy – and singular passion – for change.
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