conversation starters

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about change?

  2. How did your parents react to changes while you were growing up?

  3. What helps you navigate change as an adult?

  4. When have you been most successful in making big life transitions?

  5. Who has supported you through life transitions?  How did they show up for you?

  6. How has your family changed over time?

  7. How has your resilience through change shifted over time?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast Episode #18 – Feelin Myself: Masturbation is an Essential Life Skill

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode #18 – Feelin Myself: Masturbation is an Essential Life Skill

Masturbation is an important part of self-care, and being a better lover with partners. 

In today's episode, Julie and Gina dispel myths about self-pleasure and share resources to help you begin or expand your masturbation practice.

This episode covers:

  • Rethinking the limiting myths our culture teaches us about masturbation

  • Things we wish everyone knew about masturbation

  • How to talk about masturbation with your partners (and without shame)

  • The many needs that can be met by masturbating

  • How to begin a masturbation practice if you haven't tried (or are out of practice)

  • How to expand your self-pleasure experience in healthy ways

Resources Shared in This Episode

Your Body is a Wonderland - Swoon Podcast Episode 6

Betty Dodson

Becoming Cliterate - Laurie Mintz

Better Sex Through Mindfulness - Lori Brotto

Good Vibrations Videos

OMG Yes 

Make Love Not Porn

Erica Lust

Action Steps from the Podcast

Start a practice or expand your self-pleasure practice by committing to it and prioritizing it. Spend regular time exploring sensation in your body and expanding your fantasy life.

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about joy?

  2. What did your family teach you about celebration?

  3. What did your family teach you about loyalty?

  4. What did your family teach you about resilience?

  5. What did your family teach you about authority?

  6. What did your family teach you about pride?

  7. What did your family teach you about community?

  8. What did your family teach you about kindness?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode 17: Let's Talk About Sex: Sex Education We Wish Everyone Knew

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode 17: Let's Talk About Sex: Sex Education We Wish Everyone Knew

When beginning this podcast, one of your host's greatest hopes was to dispel misinformation about sex and get some accurate sexual health and pleasure information out into the world.

Listen in and learn some of the most important facts about sexuality we wish more people knew.

This episode covers:

  • Things we wish everyone knew about sexuality, sexual health, and pleasure

  • How many people feel sex is a mystery because they had no sexual education

  • Porn is not sex ed

  • What we wish people knew about lube (and how important it is)

  • How useful it is to know your way around a vibrator and/or a clitoris

  • How extremely common erectile dysfunction is

  • How to talk about consent in order to have fulfilling sexual connections


MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

"Almost no one gets quality sexual education. A lot of people get abstinence-only or no sex education. Or fear-based sex education which is all about things to avoid instead of things to enjoy... just be afraid of sex. Don't do it. And almost all the sex ed if anyone does get it is about straight intercourse and reproduction- never is it about creativity, joy, or pleasure or consent... and never is it about communication- it's all body-based. So we needed to do a podcast to undo a whole bunch of that."

"Porn has a great place for arousal and as entertainment but when we use it as education sometimes people don't realize a lot of porn is acting. It's fantasy and we can't use it as a template for a relationship in real life."

"If you're wanting to learn about pleasing a partner, porn isn't the best place to do that because porn is about pleasing the viewer."

"You can mess around with vibrators all over the place."

"You are entitled to your desires and pleasures no matter how surprising or unusual they may seem."

"Masturbation is an essential life skill."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Books:

Come As You Are - Emily Nagoski

What Makes a Baby - Cory Silverberg

Becoming Cliterate - Laurie Mintz

The Whole Lesbian Sex Book - Felice Newman

The Guide to Getting it On - Paul Joannides

She Comes First - Ian Kerner


Websites:

Planned Parenthood Sexual Health Information

Good Vibrations Videos

OMG Yes 


Workshops:

She Bop Events

Center for Sex Positive Culture


Action Steps from the Podcast

Take a class, workshop, or read one of the books or resources we've listed here. Really, invest time and energy into learning about sex- there's always something new to know!

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. How has this relationship changed you?

  2. How have you seen me change over the course of our relationship?

  3. What have you learned from me?

  4. What else would you like to learn from me?

  5. What do you think others could learn from me?

  6. If you could teach the world one thing, what would you choose?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode 16: You Can't Hurry Love: Dating in Real Life

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode 16: You Can't Hurry Love: Dating in Real Life

We've received so many questions about dating in real life we decided to start with a dating overview so you have tools to navigate the most common stressors people face in the dating world.

Listen in to stay grounded while you look for connection.

This episode covers:

  • How to avoid making the same dating mistakes over and over again

  • How to navigate the feelings of scarcity and insecurity that come up when you're putting yourself out there

  • How to incorporate feedback from your friends and supporters while you're dating

  • How do you manage the anxiety of dating and savor the excitement at the same time


"For every person out there, there's a unique way to date, really. Right? Every one of us goes about this somewhat differently and at the same time, we're operating in a culture where there are some norms about how we meet or make invitations or what's expected that we don't always break apart... let's break down how much of this is story and how much of this is what I actually want?"

"So often we put our expectations on another person and the more we can stay connected to ourselves and what we truly want the more we can find it."

"We have to learn to sit with the disappointment of not having something that we want. And in our current culture, we get what we want relatively quickly(if we have some level of privilege)... we're so used to things happening really quickly. So if we're specific about what we want there's a smaller pool to choose from and you'll have to learn to manage your own anxiety about being alone- which doesn't mean you have to be lonely."

"Sometimes we are pulled towards things that aren't good for us because it lights up part of our brain... Sometimes what's familiar isn't necessarily what's good for us."

"More dating means more breakups or more awkward moments... thinking ahead about how to manage disappointment can give me a sense of 'I will get through this.'"


Resources Shared in This Episode

Deeper Dating - Ken Page

The Desire Map - Danielle LaPorte

Wired for Dating - Stan Tatkin


Action Steps from the Podcast

We've included a few reflection questions to ask yourself about dating:

  • How do I want to feel in this experience?

  • What do I want to learn from dating?

  • What am I looking for? (get specific)

  • What are the indicators that my life is in balance?

  • How do I know when this is working for me?

Your Dream Partner exercise from Deeper Dating
1. What is your ideal partner's appearance?
2. Where or how do you think you are most likely to meet your ideal partner?
3. What is your ideal partner's main personality traits?
4. What is your ideal partner's prior relationship history?
5. What is your ideal partner's financial status? Occupation? Hobbies? Interest?
6. How would your ideal partner treat you? Treat others?
7. How much time would it take after meeting your ideal partner for your first kiss? Sleeping together? Living together? Engagement? Marriage? Children?
8. What would your ideal partner say or do first thing in the morning?
9. What would your ideal partner give you on your next birthday?
10. How would your ideal partner react if the two of you had a disagreement?


About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. How does your current work align with your life purpose?

  2. When do you feel most connected to your core purpose?

  3. What are your current learning goals?

  4. How do you like to learn new information?

  5. How do you want to change the world?

  6. What would you teach others?

  7. What have you most curious about this week?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode 15 – Start Me Up: Initiating Sex and Getting Things Going

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode 15 – Start Me Up: Initiating Sex and Getting Things Going

For many couples initiating sex and foreplay is a loaded issue. We get locked into roles of initiator and receiver and can build huge resentment stories about the patterns we've fallen into over time- and it can feel impossible to break free.

In this week's episode, Gina and Julie share thoughts on how to shift those patterns and get things started with ease.

This episode covers:

  • Why initiating sex is so hard for so many people

  • How to understand bids for attention- and respond in ways that support connection

  • How to think about your patterns in new ways

  • How initiation clarity applies to partners who have experienced trauma

  • How to get clear about what you need and want in the bedroom


MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

"In lots of relationships, we get stuck in patterns where you're always the one to initiate, I'm never the one to initiate, you're always feeling rejected, I'm never feeling wanted. No matter how we organize those roles we're polarized and disconnected."

"It is a vulnerable act to be like, 'Hey, I want to experience this. Do you want to experience it with me?"

"Having more practices around how we want to want to initiate, or can initiate, can't initiate, and how we want to be initiated with will create less room for miscommunication, missed connection or disappointment when we want to connect sexually."


Resources Shared in This Episode

Want to Improve Your Relationship? Start Paying More Attention to Bids - The Gottman Institute


Action Steps from the Podcast

Talk about what initiation looks like for you. Tell your partner your favorite ways to be seduced or invited to erotic play. Talk about your barriers to initiation. Ask the following:

  • How would you like your partner to initiate sex with you?

  • Is there a form of initiation that would work best for you?

  • What's the easiest way for you to initiate?

  • What makes initiation hard for you?

  • How will I know the difference between initiation and flirtation in this partnership?

  • What gives you a green light or red light around initiation?

  • What are the ways you could be deliciously engaged sexually?

  • What makes you feel aroused?

  • What makes you swoon?

Then make a plan for sexual connection. Commit to a time to initiate and share sexual energy to break up your default patterns and create space for something new.




About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina


questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones?

  2. Do you watch TED Talks? Which is your favorite?

  3. If you were going to film a documentary, what would you focus on?

  4. What do you want to learn next?

  5. What do you wish the world knew more about?

  6. What issues or concerns would you advocate for if you had a platform?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode 14 – Born This Way – What Straight People Need to Learn from Queer Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode 14 – Born This Way – What Straight People Need to Learn from Queer Relationships

Happy Pride Month!

In this episode Gina and Julie celebrate queer relationships! They also discuss research that highlights some of the wonderful things we can learn from gay and lesbian relationships.

This episode covers:

A 12 year year study of gay and lesbian relationships that highlights 4 main areas of strength in same-sex partnerships:

  • Collaboration around division of labor

  • Navigating conflict

  • Creativity and communication about sex

  • Trustworthiness and stability (especially in lesbian relationships)


 

Resources Shared in This Episode

Gottman Research
Gottman 12 year study


Action Steps from the Podcast

Look at the four areas of strengths that we covered in this episode. Here are some questions for you to explore in your relationship:

  • How have we been intentional about our role-sharing in our relationship?

  • How could we build in more humility or humor around our conflicts and work on not taking things so personally?

  • How could we explore more creativity or more communication in our sex life?

  • Are there things we could do to build more trustworthiness or stability in our partnership?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about personal space?

  2. What did your family teach you about boundaries?

  3. What did your family teach you about affection in relationships?

  4. How did you respond to conflict in your family growing up?

  5. Have you ever been cut off from your family? Why?

  6. Did you ever run away as a child?  What happened?  Where'd you go?

  7. How important is it your partner get along with your family?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast Episode 13: Freak Like Me: Working with Your Erotic Template

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 13: Freak Like Me: Working with Your Erotic Template

Embracing the full complexity of your sexual self - including desire, fantasy, and even some of the areas that can feel confusing can help you have a more fulfilling sexual life.

Join us for this week's episode with Julie and Gina focusing on understanding your own erotic template and exploring yours with a partner.

This episode covers:

  • What is your erotic template?

  • How it can help you to understand your turn-ons and desires with a larger perspective.

  • How you can explore your erotic template with a partner.

  • What to do when shame gets in the way of sexual exploration

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On a more holistic sexual conversation -

“Often we limit our sexual possibility because we just focus on 'I like this or I don't like this' like an on/off switch with a binary rather than an orchestra of possibilities that make us unique individual erotic people.”

"So what this is about is looking at the bigger picture of what creates willingness or openness." "Yes, and building anticipation... Sometimes thinking about it and building it up for it is way more erotic than just seeing a naked person in front of you. There are all these moving parts and everybody is a little different if you allow yourself to explore these pieces."

"Sometimes the erotic template can be really raunchy and dirty and sometimes it's really tender... It's more about exploring where I've come from, where I've been, where I am and where I want to go."

On erotic fantasy -

"Fantasy plays into this as well. And a lot of the people I work with feel nervous to talk about fantasy because sometimes the things we fantasize about are not things we want to experience in real life. They're not safe in the confines of our relationships or personal safety. But if we look at and deconstruct fantasy too, sometimes it's not about the specific act we're imagining but it's about the energy. It's about surrender, control, power. It's about taboo. It's exploring all these pieces which I might say, "if I don't want to experience it's not part of my erotic template, but it is because it's really erotic and sexy and I might explore it by myself or if I really trust the person I'm with I might as them to explore with me."

On embracing your less mainstream desires -

"Sometimes specific kinks get wired in based on something we experienced when we were young and we're trying to shift it when we grow up."

"Owning what's in your erotic template is a really important self-empowerment practice for people. We can have a lot of shame about our desires. 'There's this thing I'm interested in, am I a pervert? Is there something wrong? Am I not a feminist? Am I a sex addict?' And we have to unpack that. It is okay for you to be fantasizing about or desiring all kinds of things. All kinds of things. When things start to impact other people we want to be really careful about the boundaries about how we behave that can impact on other people. But you get to fantasize about whatever you want to. Coming to own that I have this fantasy or dream or piece of my history coming up and it doesn't mean there's something wrong with me, it just is part of me can help people feel so much more sexually empowered."

"Dwelling too much in the 'why am I this way' can sometimes stoke the fires of shame."

"There is a super common fantasy about being raped. I don't know anyone who wants to have that happen in real life. When I talk with people about this they're like "this is horrible, what's wrong with me?" And it's like no, sometimes a fantasy is something that would shock us in real life or make us feel humiliated in real life and we don't often explore the areas that can be really erotic if you're using them in a way that's really safe."

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment, by Jack Morin

Arousal, by Michael Bader

Action Steps from the Podcast

Using these guided questions to open up a more complete conversation about your sexual template from Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson: Create a how-to manual for your partner about what you want sexually.

If you wrote out a Brief Guide for the Lover of ________ and inserted your name, what would you put in it? Basic directions might include answers to the following: 

  • What helps you begin to open up emotionally and physically to sex? 

  • What turns you on the most before and during lovemaking? 

  • How long do you expect pleasuring or foreplay and intercourse to last? 

  • What is your preferred position? Do you enjoy fast or slow lovemaking? 

  • What is the most stirring way for your lover to move you into, stimulate you into deepest engagement in lovemaking? 

  • Can you ask for this? 

  • What makes sex more satisfying for you? (This may not be orgasm or even intercourse.) 

  • When do you feel most unsure or uncomfortable during sex? When do you feel closest to your partner?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did you do during recess time as a kid?

  2. What did you do after school?

  3. Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

  4. Were you in extracurricular sports or clubs? Which ones?

  5. What was your favorite book as a kid?

  6. What subjects did you struggle with in school?

  7. What was your greatest educational accomplishment?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #12 – Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 12: Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

In this episode Julie and Gina discuss monogamy and nonmonogamy. They talk about different relationship styles, different forms of intimacy, relationship expectations and some of the ways people may get their wants and needs inside and outside of their primary partnerships.

This episode covers:

  • What is nonmonogamy?

  • Different relationship configurations.

  • Is non-monogamy right for your relationship?

  • How default monogamy may not serve you.

  • The importance of talking about relationship agreements and expectations, even if you are monogamous

  • The reasons people may explore nonmonogamy.

  • The reasons nonmonogamy might not be a good fit for a relationship.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

What relationship style is best for you -

“Being monogamous is hard, for all sorts of reasons. Being nonmonogamous is hard for all sorts or reasons. Not being in relationship is hard for all sorts of reasons. There's not an easy path.”

“Everybody wants to know, 'What's the best way to do is?' There is no one right way to do relationship. There are so many factors. I've seen people do monogamy beautifully and do nonmonogamy beautifully and I've been people crash and burn in both too.”

If you and your partner have different desires -

“Your options are – your partner tries to meet you in a way that doesn’t feel good to them, you subvert your wants and needs, or you find a way to get those wants and needs met elsewhere.”

“If we were talking about anything outside of sex...if I was like, “Oh man, I love scrapbooking and my partner’s not into it, people would be like 'Julie! Go join a scrapbook...scrapbook with everybody, spread your scapbooking seeds all over the world!' Right? But because it's sex? Yeah, you should only scrapbook with your partner, ever.”

On monogamy -

“We think nonmonogamy is one thing and monogamy is one thing. It's way more complicated than that on both sides. The trouble people get into with monogamy is falling into a default setting and never talking about what it means to be monogamous for me and you and what to do if we have a crush or want to dance with someone etc.”

On nonmonogamy - 

“If you have a strong history of infidelity...I see a lot people come to this because they always cheated on their partners, some people can make that transition, but it's different than cheating or infidelity. And if you have infidelity in a relationship, nonmonogamy doesn't solve it on it's own, we need to look at, 'What's the context that lead to deceit?' So that deceit doesn't continue in nonmonogamy. You can cheat in nonmonogamy.”

“Some of the things I love about models of nonmonogamy are the levels of agreements, boundaries, shared language and shared expectations.”

“People think that nonmonogamy is an orgy every weekend – it could be, I mean, good luck!”

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Ethical Slut

Opening Up

More Than Two

Action Steps from the Podcast

Worksheet about monogamy

Talk about your expectations and boundaries.

Worksheet that looks at the forms of intimacy

What can you get met in your relationship? What do you want to meet elsewhere?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about love growing up?

  2. What did your family teach you about trust?

  3. What did your family teach you about conflict?

  4. What did your family teach you about safety?

  5. What did your family teach you about forgiveness?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.