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Uploaded:2017-11-16
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Relationships are incredibly challenging. They take time to understand and maintain. This video is a list of my top ten tips on how to navigate them as well as a cute scene of me playing with sex toys designed to gently suck the clitoris!

Additional resources:
This infographic shows what makes the happiest couples happy: https://lifehacker.com/this-infographic-reveals-the-secrets-of-the-happiest-co-1518305669

Financial Diet is YouTube channel, blog, and soon to be book where you can learn how to have a healthy relationship with money:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSPYNpQ2fHv9HJ-q6MIMaPw
This episode of Sexplanations is sponsored by adamandeve.com, a fun place to buy gifts for your relationship, or sit down all cozy-like and make a date of it.

[intro]

I'm so nervous about this episode! Relationships are challenging and there are lots of feels when I reflect on what does and doesn't work. They're important, though, and there's certainly not enough information out there on how to navigate them, so I'm going to do my best to give you the best tips I have.

Tip #1: Learn what the clitoris is and how to stimulate it. The clitoris is an organ that's only known function is pleasure. It's something that takes years to understand: the best ways to approach it, keep it healthy, and when to back off. Even if there isn't a clitoris in your partnership, it's a helpful metaphor: figure out what's what, keep it clean, and do what feels good.

Tip #2: Hang out with your friends. Friends help you maintain your interests, your much-ness, the you that your partners were attracted to in the first place. They provide social interaction and energy that you can take back to your relationship. They distract and entertain you so you have healthy time and distance from your partners to miss them. If you have friends like mine, they're also good at calling you out on harmful behaviors and attitudes – offering perspective. They help you to be a better version of yourself. And they're there for you if your relationship needs to end.

Tip #3: Tell the truth thoughtfully. "I like it when you make me dinner." "I like when you pull on my hair during sex." "I like the way you smell." "I'm okay with meeting your family." "I need a few hours to myself." "I don't know where this relationship is going." "I don't want you to have unprotected sex with other people." "I'm more likely to go down on you after we shower." Being honest gives the other person the dignity to make their own decisions. To have informed consent. We lie because we're trying to control an outcome, or in this case another person. If we don't give them all the information, we can manipulate them into thinking or feeling a certain way about us. But that's not who we really are. That's not who the other person consented to be with. The sexiest, most intimate, coolest thing you can do is to present your case and then let the other person choose if and how to proceed.

Tip #4: Stash condoms, hand sanitizer, and lube (if you need it) all over. Condoms can cover penises, toys, hands, and you can cut off the tip of one of them and unroll it to make a dam for a vulva or anus. Hand sanitizer makes sure that you kill what you can before you touch those clean condoms. The more accessible these items are, the more opportunities you'll have for spontaneous passionate playtime. According to a study by The PEW Research Center, 61% of married adults interviewed said a satisfying sexual relationship is very important to a successful marriage.

Tip #5: Do more math. Count how many positive and negative interactions you have with your partner. According to a 2013 PEW research study, people in happy relationships had a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. People who ultimately divorced had 0.8 positive interactions to 1 negative. By taking an inventory of your relationship like this you can improve it. Give more compliments, show more appreciation, relive a fun memory, go on an adventure together, do something kind for the other person, like an act of service, and touch them consensually. You could also reasonably assess that the relationship isn't a good match and plan an exit strategy.

Tip #6: Dance. Move whatever body parts you can in ways that express the privilege to be alive. It's such a great way to experience humility, silliness, vulnerability, and joy: real human emotion that gets witnessed by another person. That and it's exercise, which has all sorts of physical, mental, and sexual benefits. Modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn said, "Dance is the only art which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made."

Tip #7: Try to negotiate rather than compromise. This will take some time to learn how to do, but it will improve all aspects of your life. Compromise is when two or more parties reach a middle ground. No one gets what they truly want, they just meet somewhere in the middle. In negotiation, the goal is for everyone to get something they want. Not necessarily everything, but something. For example, if I want sex once a week and my partner wants sex six times a week, we could compromise and have sex three times a week. But then, I might resent the other two times I have to do something I don't want to and she might not be satisfied. Negotiation takes a lot more thought, but it could mean a resolution, like I have sex with her once and she has sex with others five times, or I have sex with her once and then hold her while she has more sex with herself. Win-win.

Tip #8: Laugh. One of the most challenging threats to relationships is codependency: a sense that your well-being relies on another person, that you need them, or they complete you. You're a complete human being, though, and a relationship, a healthy one, is when people add to one another, not complete each other. One of the quickest remedies for codependency is humor. So I find myself laughing during fights, going to comedy shows, telling jokes, and watching funny movies, shows and Youtubers to arrest my tendency to expect that someone else is going to fix me.

Tip #9: Work on your finances. One of the biggest and most common hardships in a relationship is money. Character defects like judgment, control, manipulation, envy, fear, and dishonesty come out. We get all wrapped up in someone else's spending habits and take their bank accounts personally. Money equals power equals love? I don't know. I do know that the other person's finances aren't any of your business. Focus on yourself. Make sure that you're fiscally responsible. Have you paid your taxes? How's that budget looking? What have you learned recently from watching The Financial Diet?

Tip #10: Stay curious! This is the best advice that I can give you, so I say it often. Having a sense of wonder about the world makes you more attractive. Trying to understand what doesn't make sense elicits compassion. And curiosity motivates you to ask questions and learn: What turns you on? What turns you off? Is this okay? How can I make it better? You don't assume that you've figured it out and you know until the end of time how you or the other person or the dynamic between you is going to be. You stay curious.

I was curious about Adam & Eve's new line of Satisfier Pro toys, so they sent me some of their collection. [click] Ahhh-ha ha. Ahh, it's sucking! So many different levels! And this one already comes in gift wrapping. It's so cute -- it's a penguin! [light vibration sound] [laughing] Mm hmm, little kissing. It's so cute. This is so cute!

If you use the discount code DOE when shopping at adamandeve.com, you'll get 50% off and eligible item and free shipping in the US and Canada. [outro music]