Discover more from Awakened Partnership
Shifting From Resistance to Receptivity in Our 30-Day Sex Container
Sharing the powerful learnings from confronting social conditioning and deep patterns around sex.
This is part 2 of a multi-part series on how we’re intentionally choosing to focus on our sex life to heal wounds and transform intimacy in our relationship.
Read part 1 — The 30-Day Sex Container: A Deep Dive into Sexual Intimacy — to learn about the origins of our experiment to break down walls and build trust in our relationship.
I don’t want sex to feel like an obligation.
I don’t want to jump through another hoop before we become parents!
I don’t want sex to feel like a “chore” or a “should.”
I don’t want the pressure to say “yes” when I want to say “no.”
These were the concerns I expressed to Edmond when he shared his desire for us to embark on a 30-day journey of exploring sexuality before we have a baby. I clearly felt resistance to the idea.
We’d left the conversation unresolved — I needed a few days to consider it.
Then, a breakthrough came during one of my morning meditations. As I embraced the resistance and approached it with a sense of curiosity, I noticed it gradually softening.
I saw how I'd been afraid to reveal my insecure and scared parts around sex.
I saw how my initial “no” had been a self-protective strategy aimed at creating a sense of safety.
I saw how I had been pushing Edmond away in an attempt to avoid the difficult choice between his needs and my own, ultimately leading to self-abandonment.
Deep down, we both wanted a thriving sex life.
And so, I agreed to the 30-day sex container, as an experiment. For 30 days, we’d commit to confronting any and all blocks to sexual intimacy.
I said yes, because I knew that this would be about more than just sex.
What shows up in sex shows up in all other areas of life.
And I wanted to explore how we might heal the patterns that led us to push each other away — not just in sex, but in other parts of our relationship as well.
We’re a husband-and-wife duo sharing stories and teaching lessons about how to create partnerships for deep personal growth. Join us.
Undoing the Social Conditioning Around Sex
For so much of my early twenties, I’d believed that if I didn’t have sex with my partner, then someone else would.
I better keep them satisfied, I thought.
And so, even when I didn’t want to have sex, I would override my “no” and say yes instead — in the hope of feeling more security in the relationship.
And in my early thirties, when I decided I was done with overriding myself, I still had many protective strategies.
I would close my heart and push my partner away.
I would demand solo time so I didn’t have to factor in their needs and only have to worry about me-myself-and-I.
Or I would fight for what I wanted and and override their needs.
It was messy.
Protective strategies like these are shaped partly by childhood wounding and partly by social conditioning. Traditional gender roles place women in the role of nurturer. And the media objectifies a woman's body as being for the pleasure of men.
All of this created protectiveness around sex and concerns around childbirth for me, as I feared:
Will he stop wanting me if my body changes?
Would my partner's love go away if I stopped wanting sex?
Would the security I felt now start to get shaky when we have a child?
All of this inner conflict was the perfect material for our sex container — demanding to be faced.
One Step Back, Two Steps Forward
“Don’t pressure me. I’ll say NO whenever I want to, dammit!” I yelled.
My fiery nature came alive.
Eight days into the 30-day sex container, we hit a painful rupture.
I’d been miserable feeling so much pressure around sex. The container didn’t feel safe, and I was fighting for my “no” while he’d feel frustrated and hopeless that I was pushing back on the commitment to explore sex every day.
The experience seemed to be creating more fighting and hurt than it was healing.
We thought we were failing when just a week into the experiment, we called off the 30-day sex container.
We felt lost.
I was afraid that holding my boundaries would require a battle.
He was afraid that he’d have to shut down his desire whenever he encountered my resistance.
It took pausing for a few days to realize that in reality, the container was working! It was revealing both of our patterns and fears so that they could be healed.
And in that time, we realized we needed to redesign our agreements for the sex container so that we could both feel safe in exploring those fears.
So we carved out time to engage in a two-way, discovery conversation, where we both put what’s important to us on the table so we could create agreements that helped us feel safe.
One of the agreements we jointly decided on was to approach a “no” with loving inquiry, seeking to understand the underlying needs and motivations behind it.
The agreement would help us break through the brick wall that’d been there before, and it would unexpectedly open up more possibilities in all areas of life.
In sex, it would create curiosity where there used to be separation.
In our business together, it would foster collaboration where there used to be pushback.
And in daily life, it would bring about playfulness where there used to be misunderstanding.
With the new agreements in place, we gave our 30-day sex container a fresh start.
Join our Awakened Partnership community, and get more stories and lessons about growing in partnership.
Discovering a Clear No Within the Body
I lay curled up on the bed in the fetal position, frozen in place, and felt the hard “no" in my body. Resistance, freeze, and shut down were what I was bringing into the sex container that day.
Edmond welcomed all of it.
He sat next to me and asked what I needed. As he did that, I noticed my legs began to uncurl, and his curiosity slowly created openness in me.
I’m feeling frozen and protective. Will you make love to those parts of me? I asked him with both fear and tenderness in my eyes. He said yes, and gently continued.
His acceptance of my emotional state was exactly what my body needed to let down my guard. And as we welcomed the patterns that would’ve historically pushed us apart, that became our path to freedom.
When we re-started the container with new agreements, it was no surprise that the same patterns that created distance the first time showed up again.
But this time we were better equipped to navigate them together, as a team.
Rather than overriding my “no” or fighting for my “no” by rejecting connection altogether, a new path became available. I could welcome the fear and bring that into sex, so it could be transformed into connection.
Weeks into our experiment, this became one of my most important learnings:
There's a difference between a “protective no” coming from fear and a “clean no” coming from truth.
A “protective no” felt like constriction, rigidity, and heaviness in my body.
A “clean no” felt soft, yet strong, and spacious on the inside of me.
Over the last four years in partnership, we've found that sex has become the most potent path to understanding ourselves, breaking unhelpful patterns, and healing ruptures.
And through that journey, our relationship has become a safe place to feel, to learn, and to heal together.
In future posts, we’ll share the impact of the thirty days on our relationship, as well as the structure and agreements of our sex container. We’re hoping to inspire you as you embark on your own journey of self-discovery and intimacy.
Join our Awakened Partnership to get the next story in the 30-day sex container series.
Special thanks to Edmond Lau for edits and input on this piece of writing, and to Papaya Photography in Costa Rica for the images.