Dr Harmony’s Introduction to Kink Book of the Month January

Dr. Harmony’s Recommended Reading for an Introduction to Kink for Professionals Fundamentals Working with Kinky Clients: A Clinicians’ Manual With the advent of the Internet, those who participate in alternative forms of relationship, gender, and sexual expression have come together as a community and have created a new sexual minority subculture. The clinical needs of …

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Couples in Conflict:The Top Three Articles for Conflict and Repair

Manage Conflict: The Six Skills

Today on the Gottman Relationship Blog, we continue the discussion of Manage Conflict by introducing Dr. Gottman’s six skills of conflict management. Many of us connect all too well with comedian Mitch Hedberg’s feelings when he quips, “I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That’s a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap!”

While his commentary on the frustrations all couples feel in the face of conflict may hit close to home, or deeply amuse us, we know that problems in real relationships are rarely solved through stand-up comedy. In the interest of finding more constructive solutions, we would like to direct you to a different quote, that lovely old adage: Love is saying “I feel differently” instead of “you’re wrong.”

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Managing vs. Resolving Conflict in Relationships: The Blueprints for Success

In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman’s research proves that 69% of problems in a relationship are unsolvable. These may be things like personality traits your partner has that rub you the wrong way, or long-standing issues around spending and saving money. Their research findings emphasize the idea that couples must learn to manage conflict rather than avoid or attempt to eliminate it.

Trying to solve unsolvable problems is counterproductive, and no couple will ever completely eliminate them. However, discussing them is constructive and provides a positive opportunity for understanding and growth. Let’s look at three “conflict blueprints” to help you and your partner constructively manage conflict around unsolvable problems.

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5 Steps to Fight Better if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For

Conflict is inevitable in every relationship. Psychologist Dan Wile says it best in his book After the Honeymoon: “When choosing a long-term partner, you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unresolvable problems.” However, Dr. Gottman has found that nearly 1/3 of all conflicts can be resolved with the right approach.

The popular approach to conflict resolution, advocated by many marriage therapists, is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes, listen to what they say, and communicate with empathy that you understand their perspective. It’s a decent method if you can do it.

But most couples can’t. Even happily married couples. After studying couples for the last 40 years, Dr. John Gottman has recognized that even happy couples do not follow the experts’ rules of communication.

By studying what these couples did, Dr. Gottman developed a new model for solving your solvable problems in an intimate relationship.

Read More

 

Intimacy

Therapist Nicki discusses different types of intimacy couples, families, groups, etc can share with one another.

Talking to the Shadow

A topic was brought up briefly today and I want to explore it a little further in this blog post. Everyone has many facets to their personalities, different selves. One being the “dark side”, the dark passenger, or shadow self. In the Wiccan traditions, I have worked with getting in touch with the shadow self is essential to growing as a magickal practitioner. No, I did not spell magick wrong. Magick is different from magic. Magic is the stage show and slight of hand tricks. Magick refers to energy exchange, spell-work, and ritual work commonly found among Pagan religions.  Speaking from my personal experience if I did not work on my shadow self I would not be able to connect fully with myself, others, or the spiritual planes. We all think dark thoughts and we are all capable of dark things. Dark does not mean bad; when I say dark I am speaking of things like violence and death, which is not necessarily bad. Violence and death can be bad under certain circumstances like mugging and be killing someone for no reason. Violence and death can also be a blessing like if a police officer is stopping a domestic violence situation. Also, death is part of the cycle of creation and destruction. So to me, everything is on a spectrum, everything is gray, there is no black or white. To understand my higher self I need to explore my lower self. Exploring your shadow self or dark passenger can be scary and uncomfortable at the same time it is therapeutic to understand all parts of you. Once you understand something some of the fear goes away. Notice I said some fear goes away; it is good to have a healthy fear and understanding of the darker side of your being.This is a form of respect and acknowledgment of the power the shadow self-does have and is capable of if/when released out into the world.  It is healthy to meditate and have rituals of connection with all parts of your being (especially the darker parts) because if you can connect with yourself you have a greater chance and understanding of how to connect with others. In the sense that my weirdness understands and accepts your weirdness. If you would like to know more about connecting with your darker parts please feel free to contact me at 678-964-4739 or [email protected]

Book recommendation for rituals of connection with the Shadow Self:

Dark Moon Mysteries: Wisdom, Power, and Magic of the Shadow World  by Timothy Roderick

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Moon-Mysteries-Wisdom-Shadow/dp/0738747211?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2F6RDUSIYCWQMFQ&tag=sa-b2c-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=0738747211

Our Top 4 Tips for Fulfilling Your Sex in Public Fantasy

Sex in public: it's one of the most common sexual fantasies, but unfortunately, it's one fantasy that can be incredibly difficult to fulfill. You don't want to commit an illegal act or risk getting caught--and for many people, the fantasy may be better than the reality. This is especially true since if you get caught, you could face serious legal consequences.

That doesn't mean, however, that you can't fulfill your sex in public fantasy. Try these tips for fulfilling that fantasy without the risk of getting arrested. 

Tip #1: Talk it through with your partner first.

Does the idea of sex in public add a special thrill to your fantasy life? Before you get ready to act it out, talk it through with your partner. First and foremost, of course, this is one of those fantasies that you'll definitely need your partner's consent for ahead of time. While you're talking it out, however, you can get a better idea of what it is that turns you on so much. Do you love the possibility that you might get caught? The thrill of having sex somewhere that you aren't supposed to? As you talk it through, you may get a better idea of exactly what it is that you love about the idea--and, therefore, how you can do it more safely.

Look for the common element. For example, if you love the idea of having sex somewhere that you aren't supposed to, you may want to try:

  • Sneaking into a room at your parents' house with your partner.
  • Slipping into a coed restroom together for a few frisky moments.
  • Having sex outside on the deck or in another relatively private space. 

You may even discover that simply having sex in another room of your home--one where you wouldn't ordinarily have sex--or engaging in sex using a piece of furniture that isn't usually part of the fun can help increase your thrills. 

On the other hand, if what you like is the idea of someone else watching you while you're having sex, you may want to come at your fantasy from a different direction. You might want to consider recording yourselves together--and even enjoy going back and watching it together later. Get creative! Once you know what it is that excites you about the idea of sex in public, you can brainstorm ways to accomplish it together. 

Tip #2: Get a little frisky in public together. 

You can't get naked and have sex with your partner in public without the risk of getting arrested. You can, however, get a little frisky without a problem--especially if you remain fully clothed. Some of the fun of the "sex in public" fantasy might be the idea of doing something sexual and private in front of other people, perhaps when they have little or no idea what you're doing. Try some of these strategies to get a thrill out of your sex in public fantasy without taking things far enough to get in trouble. 

Grab your partner's butt or engage in a gentle caress when no one is looking. When your partner's back is to a wall, you can get away with a little more than you can if you're in full view of everyone. Wait for a private moment, then give your partner's butt a squeeze--or have your partner do the same to you. Brush your fingers across his package or run them up her inner thigh. The cover of a table can be enough to allow you to get a little frisky without anyone noticing what you're doing--and while the thrill of potentially getting caught is there, you're also unlikely to scandalize anyone. 

Grind against your partner when no one is looking. A light brush can be enough to tantalize. If you're in a crowded public place, you can probably get away with pressing even closer, grinding up against your partner and adding a little friction. Sit on your partner's lap in a crowded public room and wiggle just right--just make sure that you're positioned properly to avoid squishing or pinching. 

Use a bullet vibrator. With a high-quality bullet vibrator controlled by a phone app, you can stimulate your partner without anyone knowing what you're doing. Insert the vibrator before you go out for the evening. It can stay off, gently tantalizing and letting you know that it's there. When the moment is right, the partner not currently wearing the vibrator can turn it on: low vibrations to tease and excite, favorite patterns to ramp up the tension, or stronger stimulation to take your partner all the way to orgasm without anyone noticing.

There's nothing visible as long as no one reacts, and especially if you're in a crowded place or one where no one is paying much attention to you--at a restaurant alone together or at the movies, for example--you can likely get away with thoroughly enjoying one another without anyone realizing what you're doing. If you're feeling particularly daring, Poco can also be inserted or settled into place before you leave the house, then turned on later in the evening. Bonus: tantalize your partner all evening, then sneak off somewhere private for a sex session. 

Try getting frisky in a car on private property. Do you remember those steamy teenage days in the back seat of the car? If you'd like to recreate them, try pulling into your own driveway, especially if it's relatively secluded. You can enjoy your partner in the car on your own property to your heart's content--with that added little thrill of having sex in a place where you aren't usually supposed to. 

Whisper or text suggestions to one another throughout the evening. Talking (or texting) dirty yet discreetly is a great way to engage in foreplay long before you head home for the evening, and it can give you the thrill of sexual play in public without any of the danger. It's private, just between the two of you, though of course there's always a faint risk of being overheard or having someone catch a look at your phone screen. Not only can those texted suggestions liven up a boring evening, but they can also help you live out your fantasy with less risk. 

Tip #3: Try a little role play.

couple car makeout

If you find the idea of sex in public a complete turn-on, role play is a great way to make it happen without the associated risk. In the privacy of your own home, act out that fantasy with your partner. You'll get some of the thrill as well as incorporating some extra fun that could help enhance your sex life. Try some of these strategies to increase the thrill factor without crossing the line into something illegal (or something that could cause you to be unable to look friends and family members in the eye later). 

Act out your favorite fantasies together. You don't really have to be on a crowded beach when your personal deck (well-secluded, of course) will do. You can have hurried sex up against the wall with her dress pulled up and his pants barely unfastened in the privacy of your own living room or bedroom. 

Take the same precautions you would take if you were actually in public. Make it fast. Don't take all of your clothes off. Whisper and keep quiet, rather than allowing yourselves to cry out in pleasure the way you normally would. You can take it as far as you like within the privacy of your own home, where you won't actually be seen or overheard. 

Choose a safer location to act out your favorite aspects of that fantasy. If having sex outdoors, for example, sounds like a huge turn-on to you, make plans with your partner to act out that fantasy safely. You might choose to rent a cabin in the woods, where it's completely secluded and you know that you'll have absolute privacy, or to rent a private beach house, where you can enjoy one another on the beach without interruption. 

Tip #4: Take precautions.

If you do decide to ramp up your desire to act out your fantasies, make sure you take the right precautions. If you're using a bullet vibrator on your partner, for example, have a safe word in place in case things get to be too much. Planning an outdoor sex session? Make sure you have a blanket or robe handy to cover things up if someone unexpectedly comes on the scene.

What sounds sexy in a fantasy might be much less impressive when it happens in reality. Discuss your fantasy and plans in depth with your partner before choosing to act it out. Troubleshoot any potential problems ahead of time and go in prepared to avoid those problems. 

 

Sex Therapy and Clinical Sexology

affair

Couples Counseling – Sex Therapy

All couples go through stages where they don’t feel they have the time or energy for regular sex with their partner. Many couples realize that they need help as it is something that is becoming consistent in their lifestyle. Sex therapy can help couples to rediscover their sex life and improve their relationship with their partner. The process of wanting better sex is normal and natural for most couples but there are reasons as to why they face their individual difficulties. There are people that can provide advice and help with easing and eliminating the difficulties.

What is Sex Therapy?

Whether you go for the therapy by yourself or with your partner what entails is mostly talking amongst yourself, your partner and the therapist. They will ask questions to discover each individuals issue and to establish if the issues are physical, psychological or a combination of both. They then will plan exercises and goals to reprogram your body and to change your lifestyle for the better.

During the sessions, the therapist will arrange to see you on a weekly to fortnightly schedule to ensure consistency and to gather progress reports. Clients are surprised at how much progress they make throughout the course of attending the sessions as they see changes within their sex life slowly improving.

Sex therapy is available for couples who are experiencing difficulties in their love life’s and want to improve their sexual intimacy overall. Therapists are knowledgeable and experienced in providing the help they give; they want the best for you and will aim to bypass your difficulties.

Will Sex Therapy Help you?

Sex therapy is an effective and powerful way to transfer your sex life in the long term. It is rewarding for many couples and attending regular sessions definitely pays off and presents positive changes within their life. For couples who have stopped having intercourse a plan to attend therapy sessions are a great starting point and a continuation to see changes.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, lesbian, straight or bi sexual, sex therapy ultimately helps to improve a person’s life and specifically their sex life.

Sex problems between couples can cause many barriers; it knocks the fun out of sex in general and distances couples to be intimate. Sexual problems can prevent couples from starting a family and sex therapy can bring awareness to this issue by addressing if the issue is physical or psychological and they can then help to conceive. Therapy can help with making improving your sex life for the better and to step over any specific issues that both individual face.

Cost of Therapy

Each center that provides sex therapy has their own costs and plans in place for couples that can range in prices.Generally a sex therapy session costs between $100 - $250 dependent on the location of the center and the circumstances of your situation.

In some centers, lower prices are given depending on the level of income one receives and if the person is receiving benefits.

Basic Dungeon Etiquette

Dr. Harmony’s Basic Dungeon Etiquette

Many of the rules that involve nudity and sex are dependent on the country, state, and county laws.

Communication

●  DMs have the final word on all matters within the play area, including the right to stop an unsafe or abusive scene, as well as the right to eject any participant who refuses to abide the posted rules. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

 If you are a D-type, it is your responsibility to lead by the example of being polite in all situations. Just because you are a D-type does not make all s-types your s-type. Please respect others’ protocols.

●  Do not make assumptions about the availability of someone to play or interact with. Although there are general rules of etiquette, remember the strictness of protocol is different from D/s to D/s, thus, it is important to error on the side of High Protocol.

●  Do not touch, speak, or interact with anyone or their property without direct permission.

●  Please assume all s-types are under the protection of a D-type and ask permission from their D-type prior to interacting with the submissive.

●  Treat everyone with respect no matter the identity they hold. Do not assume that as a D-type, this identity supersedes any protocols they have negotiated with their owner.

●  In general conversation a sub, from time to time, may forget to use the honorific Sir/Ma’am and may even make another minor mistakes. If the sub is not yours, you are permitted at worst to frown to indicate you are a strict D-type. You are NOT permitted

to take to task a sub for the omission unless you have direct permission from their owner.

When addressing s-types in conversation there are several different scenarios, some of which are indicated here:

●  The s-type is on a leash or standing behind their D-type. In this case it is rude to even acknowledge the presence of the s-type and is up to their D-type to initiate any conversation with the s-type, or not as the D-type pleases.

●  The s-type is beside or slightly between you and the D-type. Approach as if the s-type was just a chair, around the s-type.

●  Always address the D-type first and allow the D-type to introduce you to their s- type, or not as the D-type pleases.

●  If you know the s-type and you have had several previous conversations with this s-type before, even then it is rude to talk to the s-type before proper greetings are given to the D-type. Then it is always best to ask of the D-type how is their s-type doing.

●  The s-type is alone and appearing not to be with someone. Please introduce yourself and ask the s-type if they are free to talk to you. DO NOT be offended if the s-type indicates or says no. Many s-types are owned and may be under orders not to talk to strangers.

●  If for any reason you are unsure of the type of person you are talking to it is considered polite to ask.

 As an s-type, unsure of the type of person asking you this question, the polite answer is “I belong to Sir/Mistress X, please ask his/her permission to speak to me.”

●  Negotiate ALL scenes.

●  Respect ALL limits.

●  DO NOT under any circumstances interrupt a scene or involve yourself in a scene without an invitation from the D-type.

●  Either have a negotiated safe word or agree upon the use of the universal color codes of Green, Yellow, and Red.

●  Respect the play area and use universal procedures for wet play.

●  Please disinfect and clean any equipment used.

●  Please clean up your play area following your scene.

●  Limit the use of loud noises in the play area.

●  Limit play to designated areas.

●  Never walk away from an active scene when an s-type is bound in any way.

Confidentiality

● When meeting someone outside the Kinky community environment that you know is in the scene, it is rude to acknowledge how you know them in anyway. Privacy and discretion are to be respected. All information about party activities, attendees, etc., is to be considered confidential.

Drugs and Alcohol

●  No alcohol or recreational pharmaceuticals are allowed. If you appear impaired, the management reserves the right to refuse admittance into the establishment or escort you off the premises.

●  Most dungeons and State or County laws do not allow nudity and alcohol within the same establishment; however, this varies from state to state. Additionally, most liability insurance companies will not insure a dungeon if they allow alcohol.

Optional Dungeon Rules

Pictures and Video

● Do not bring cameras or recording devices.

● Cell phone calls must be made and received outside of the play area Weapons

● No weapons (including pepper spray) or weapons can be allowed into either the play area or the premises. Some dungeons allow edge play and the will allow weapons upon inspection and special permission.

Smoking

● No smoking or glass allowed in the play area

Sex and Nudity

● No penetrative sex

● There is no nipple or genital exposure allowed in the play area.

 

DrHarmony Basic Dungeon Etiquette

 

Dealing with Whining, Meltdowns, and Tantrums?

SnuggleBuddies to the rescue! This plush toy collection with a purpose is helping children around the world learn to name and regulate their feelings.

The four color-coded mood emojis inside every SnuggleBuddies encourage children to share their emotions on a daily basis

These huggable 13″ plush toys engage children on both an emotional and a sensory level, featuring expertly embroidered details, vibrant colors, and super-soft, minky (aka awesome to snuggle) fabric. SnuggleBuddies are adored by parents, educators, therapists, and children around the world!

There are seven animals in the SnuggleBuddies collection and each one includes:

Four Mood Emojis

These 3″ plush symbols tuck inside a pocket and are connected by short, silky ribbons so they will not get lost. Each mood emoji represents a different set of feelings (happy, sad, calm, mad/scared) and prompts kids to think and talk about their emotions, thoughts, and memories.

Laminated Feelings Poster and Calendar/Journal

Using this laminated posterchildren practice noticing and naming their feelings three times a day. Just mark, wipe, and use it again, month after month!

Dry Erase Marker

enjoy life’s wonders and enchanting moments, even in spite of the seemingly inescapable lows of life. No matter the person, the tools, or the object, it is important to care for your wellbeing, in any way possible. What have you to lose?

The Advantages of a Cuddle Buddy

The Advantage of a Cuddle Buddy

Have you ever felt that feeling of cloistered peace within a night’s rest, listening to the drifting wind or the soothing rain? That warm sensation that you are watched over, safe and not alone? Perhaps the comforting cuddling of another, despite the struggles and turmoils of the day by day. This elusive ideal sensation of peacetime, of relaxation. It should belong to all, as it astronomically improves one’s well being, and attitude towards life. But what is one to do in the cold, when there is no other to aid in this feeling? Perhaps it may be received as juvenile, rejected, or unsettling, but the positive results are positively undeniable. The solution is to cuddle inanimate, comfortable objects in the absence of another. Sometimes, it is even more advantageous to cuddle inanimate objects in the presence of another partner. Why is this the case? There are two answers to this question, however. The secular advantage, in the chemical balance of the body, or perhaps the more personal perspective from that of one’s own actions. Examining the secular advantage to inanimate cuddling is the simple act of endorphin stimulation. The comforting touch of another, be it inanimate or otherwise, is of a healing process that aids in the reinforcement of safe feelings. This act of routine or occasional relaxation provides a necessary reprieve from the day to day stresses of the singular individual. Although it may seem tacky, it allows one to revisit the instinctive comforts of youth and safety, and allows for a better sense of security overall. The continuous, unchecked anxiety of the individual unconcerned for their own wellbeing can be detrimental to daily life, so it is imperative to keep the anxiety in check and take care of it. When looking from the personal experience perspective, the advantage of such cuddling and relief, be it an object or person, is not totally obvious. Some find it warm, unsettling, or perhaps lack the experience of such practice. But it cannot be denied the relief when, faced with monstrous and overwhelming obstacles, that one simple hug from the correct individual may grant one the strength to persevere and continue to provide their best in the trials ahead. That correct hug, that promise of safety, can be provided by something like a doll or teddy as well if preferred.  There is nothing shameful or condemnable about self-help. It is the responsibility of yourself to tend to yourself and soothe using the tooths that are available to you.   

Relationship and Sex Contracts

Why a Sex or Relationship Contract?

An great conversation starter – many couples never express their sexual wants and needs, even though they truly want to. Just bringing up the topic can be daunting. Going through a Sex Contract together is a fun way to get started. It brings up the topics for you!

Motivates you to explore – includes plenty of saucy ideas. Use the Negotiation Sheet to create, talk about and plan your sexy adventures.

Keeps your eye on the “prize” – with all the daily grind stuff that gets in the way, having a mutually enticing agreement ensures you prioritize time for erotic encounters.

Keeps you talking – a main reason why relationships fail is couples not communicating about these crucial issues. A sex contract brings up all the essential topics and makes the process fun, easy and even sexy.

Writing a Contract is the best way to:

♦ Bring up and discuss your needs, wants, desires and expectations;
♦ Set down your goals, rules, rights, responsibilities and limits;
♦ Know where you stand;
♦ Prioritize intimacy and sexual exploration;
♦ Review your progress and make changes to reflect your exploration;
♦ Formalize your commitment (please note an Erotic Contract is NOT legally binding). It is a tool to help guide your relationship.

Why have a Contract for Casual Sex?

It’s fun & raunchy! Plus you can set clear boundaries and make your intentions known from the start by signing a mutually beneficial contract. When you engage in sexual intimacy with someone, emotions run high and the situation can get misread very quickly. Both parties should know and agree that it’s just about casual sex with “no strings” attached.

Even if you verbally agree on this in the beginning, many ‘friends with benefits’ still gradually break the boundaries. Unfortunately, the feelings are usually only one sided and this can lead to potential emotional disaster, and unwanted behavior like stalking. Avoid this and make an agreement for both your sake.

Why a Contract for Casual Sex and Dating?

This agreement is something you can put to the person you are seeing if you’re not exactly sure where you both stand. It’s specifically designed to empower you both to discuss your needs and wants. It’s flexible enough to provide for just casual sex but also to develop into something more if the desire is there.

When you first begin seeing someone it can be extremely difficult to judge the other person’s intentions. Excitement is running high and sometimes meanings can be misjudged. What does the other person want? What do I want? Communication can be difficult even among long-term couples. That’s why it’s best to outline your intentions right from the start. There are restrictions in the agreement on what you can do and ask of one another. When someone is denied of taking a relationship further, it may just make them want it more.

So, whoever gets stronger feelings will want to end this agreement and will want to begin a new one at the next level (a relationship). That means if either party has feelings for the other, your arrangement won’t last long as a casual thing. The agreement will either come to an end completely or it may signal the beginning of something new. Either way, the idea is to enable you to end casual sex early enough for neither party to get hurt. It’s an excellent way to speed up communication and gives both parties a position of power. Whatever you want out of the deal, this contract can get if for you. Good luck and have fun!

What’s a Kinky Contract?

Are you looking to add some kink to your relationship?

Do you fantasize about taking control or being dominated?

Well, there’s never been a better time to get into it. But where do you start?

The best place to start is to discuss what you’d both like. Talk about your needs, wants and also your dislikes (limits). Many people just dive into the experience and expect their partner to automatically know these things. Don’t fall into this trap…it’s a recipe for disappointment.

If your partner is not a mind reader, you’ll need to have a chat first.

Rather than just fumble your way through it, try our Kinky Contract to start the conversation!

It’s a great way of bringing up the topic and to talk about those fantasies you may otherwise leave dormant and unfulfilled.

It doesn’t have to be a formal discussion. Make it as fun and hot as you like. What conversation could be more piquant and erotic than talking about what you’d like to do to each other (or have done to you).

The Kinky Contract is a legal style document that helps couples set up their own dominant/submissive arrangement (whether in or outside of the bedroom or both).