Episode 67 Enhancing Intimacy: Navigating Communication and Connection in Relationships with Alexandra Stockwell, MD

On: Feb 27, 2024

Welcome to this episode of our podcast where we delve into the intricacies of communication and intimacy in relationships. I’m thrilled to have you join us as we explore these essential aspects of human connection with our special guest, Alexandra Stockwell, MD.

Summary:

In this insightful conversation between Juliette Karaman and Alexandra Stockwell, MD, we uncover the layers of effective communication and emotional intimacy within relationships. Alexandra shares her expertise on navigating various types of communication and how misunderstanding these can lead to frustration and disconnection. The importance of clarity, respect, and boundaries in conversations is highlighted, along with the transformative power of curiosity and emotional connection in fostering intimacy.

Key Takeaways:

1. Understanding Different Types of Communication: Recognise the diverse ways people communicate, including venting, problem-solving, sharing vulnerably, and asking questions.

2. Clarity and Boundaries: Clearly communicate the purpose of conversations to avoid misunderstandings and frustrations, and respect each other’s boundaries and availability.

3. Curiosity and Respect: Approach conversations with curiosity and respect, creating an environment where both partners feel heard and understood.

4. Emotional Intimacy: Cultivating emotional intimacy is the foundation for deeper connection and can significantly enhance physical intimacy in relationships.

5. Opting into Communication: Opting into conversations ensures mutual consent and collaboration, fostering a sense of respect and partnership.

Join us as we explore how clear communication and emotional intimacy can transform relationships, fostering deeper connection and understanding between partners. Tune in to discover practical insights and strategies to enhance communication and intimacy in your own relationships.

Resources Links:

Connect with Alexandra Stockwell: 

Find out more about Juliette Karaman here:

 

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Transcription:

The Scrumptious Woman EP67

[00:00:00] Juliette Karaman: Welcome to another episode of The Scrumptious Woman. I have an incredibly scrumptious lady here with me. Her name is Alexandra Stockwell, MD, known as the Intimacy Doctor. She is an actual medical doctor, and she’s widely known for her ability to catalyze immediate and profound shifts in high achieving couples.

[00:00:22] Juliette Karaman: We want it all. Genuine, emotional connection, sensual passion, and erotic intimacy. Now you have courses written, an incredible book on compromising intimacy and you have your own podcast. The in Intimate marriage podcast, there are so many. Other things, you’re a mother of four you’ve been married for 27 years, you homeschool your children.

[00:00:53] Juliette Karaman: There are just so many facets to you that I’m not even going to read this whole bio because I’d like people to just get a feel for you. So welcome, Alexandra.

[00:01:03] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Thank you so much. I feel honored to be here and I’ve really been looking forward to some dedicated time to play in conversation with you.

[00:01:13] Juliette Karaman: So happy to have you.

[00:01:16] Juliette Karaman: And I remember a few years ago, I was on your podcast for the first time. I was like, Oh, this is all exciting for you that don’t know. Alexandra was one of my first mentors, so she helped coach me. She helped. Peel back some layers of, the Juliette then and the Juliette now. And there has always been so much warmth and love and true dedication and penetration as well.

[00:01:47] Juliette Karaman: You were beautifully penetrated, but in the most soft way, which you’d always Change, if I wouldn’t get it, or my partner Alex at one point, we also, we did your year aligned marriage program. When he wouldn’t get it, because he’s very brainy and I’m much more explosive and sensual, you would pivot. And pivot is a word that I remember from you, you would just pivot and explain it in a different way.

[00:02:17] Juliette Karaman: And I think that’s really where your strength is, as me seeing, saying that.

[00:02:23] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Thank you. I find my inner stance in those moments is I never have any question, but there’s truth and connection available. So if it’s not obvious how to get there, then it’s up to those of us participating or when I’m coaching, it’s up to me to pivot and see things through a different lens.

[00:02:51] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Because I fundamentally believe that there’s alignment and connection available when two people care deeply about one another, and so the question is just how can that become apparent, not is it apparent.

[00:03:07] Juliette Karaman: You can already hear how Alexandra slows down, meets me where I’m at, meets the listeners, meets all of you, where it’s like, how can we just bring this into connection?

[00:03:22] Juliette Karaman: You’re brilliant at this.

[00:03:25] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: I so appreciate your saying that, because I had a lot of fun listening to other episodes and Being in conversation with you is a particular kind of invitation. And while all of your guests are amazing, they don’t all really accept that invitation. But I presume your thousands and thousands of listeners love that invitation that you provide because in it, Things can emerge that aren’t off some to do list, aren’t off some messaging script.

[00:04:01] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Those things can be said, but you really provide an invitation for things to emerge that either are always present or have never emerged before because of the quality of space. And for me, It’s so gratifying to be invited into a conversation of that nature.

[00:04:23] Juliette Karaman: Thank you. And it’s true, it’s, it is an invitation to play and not a lot of people see it like that.

[00:04:30] Juliette Karaman: They’re like, oh, it’s an invitation for me to get visible. I’m like, always, you always have an invitation to get visible with me. I will always showcase whoever and, but I will try and take a little meandering path and just, Hey, where do we want to play today? And that might be different tomorrow, or it might be different in 10 minutes time, but let’s see what’s alive for us in this space right now.

[00:04:58] Juliette Karaman: So thank you.

[00:04:59] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Yeah, absolutely. And just hearing you say that I’m reminded of clients that I coached yesterday, actually, and I. have been facilitating and training them in a particular sensual embodiment practice and he’s very driven and do it right and if he doesn’t do it he beats himself up and got to do it right like that’s the approach he’s taken in his life so of course it carries into the bedroom and into sensuality practice as well and she Who herself is pretty ambitious and driven, but has come to understand that there’s no such thing as getting it right in that sense, because what feels right today is not necessarily what’s going to feel the best tomorrow.

[00:05:54] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And I pointed out while coaching them, it’s not even what’s going to feel the best two minutes from now and the only way to get the richness of the moment is to be present in a particular way and I know both you and I have learned a great deal from the guidance of our embodiment experiences and practices.

[00:06:18] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: I was thinking of them in the context of paying attention to the quality of conversation you and I are having because He’s very ambitious, driven, wants to get it right, wants to figure out the right ways of doing things and then implement them and anything else he’s self critical and judgmental towards himself.

[00:06:39] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Anyway, his wife, who certainly in her past has been super ambitious and type A and get it right also through coaching and her life experiences recently has become so much more present and centrally responsive and so she was trying to explain to him that actually Something could feel really good today and tomorrow the setup could be the same, but it’ll be something different that feels good.

[00:07:09] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And I was really affirming her and saying, yes, in fact, two minutes from now, something else may feel good. And I was sharing that because I was feeling that in the context of our conversation, it’s how you move through your life and work with your clients. And it’s certainly also how I move through my life and work with my clients.

[00:07:28] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And so if we were to have a conversation tomorrow, it would have this same luscious, connected feeling. Even if we go in a totally different direction. I love

[00:07:40] Juliette Karaman: it, right? The real being in the moment, being in the here and now. And so often that’s what I keep telling my clients. I’m like, we’re either living in the past, And we’re thinking about things that happened to us, or that we might have done wrong, or whatever, beating ourselves up, like you were talking about these, this couple.

[00:08:01] Juliette Karaman: Or we’re future projecting, and we’re not actually staying in the what is perfect right now? What is scrumptious? What’s alive?

[00:08:10] Juliette Karaman: And this is actually so beautiful because we were talking about where every moment is different, where every experience is different, and how can we still stay in that connection, stay in that scrumptiousness, stay in that intimacy, into that deliciousness.

[00:08:28] Juliette Karaman: And I know that you speak about this a lot in your courses and in your and you have some beautiful ways of teaching couples how to be present and how to pull out of the doomsday scenario, like looking ahead or looking back at what hasn’t happened. Would you take us through something and let the listeners understand how we can actually be in this here moment with ourselves and with our partners?

[00:08:56] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Absolutely, and I just want to set Kind of a bunch of context for it, otherwise it sounds too simple like it’s not doing the actually profound thing that you’re talking about. So the first thing to be really clear about is that having a fantastic relationship is a learnable skill. And that’s really the context for everything we’re talking about, whether it’s overtly stated or not.

[00:09:27] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: It’s a skill set that can be learned. So if you’re not in the moment, if you’re not grumptiously gratified, I’ll say. It’s a learnable skill. That’s really the whole context for coaching on relationship and embodiment and so many different kinds of coaching. It’s because they’re learnable skills, even on topics that in society, we tend not to think about them that way.

[00:09:56] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: So that’s the first thing. The second thing is to think back to the feeling of being in love. And the feeling of being in love and open and connected and interested in your partner, it, it’s fully marinated in and flavored with curiosity. And it’s really wonderful to have the butterflies and not know what’s next and just the really beautiful moments at the beginning of a relationship and then We tend to enjoy the security and the solidity in the relationship.

[00:10:39] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: That’s one of the beautiful elements of being in a long lasting relationship. I guess I should be really clear that my passion, my devotion is to couples in long term relationships, because I just think they are. As in society at large, just so misunderstood because in lost, long lasting relationships, the most amazing passion and growth and expansion and self expression is available.

[00:11:09] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: That’s really where my attention and my service is directed. Again, at the beginning of the relationship, part of feeling in love includes so much curiosity. And for the, for almost all couples, once we get the security, the companionship, the kind of comfortableness within the relationship, the security tends to dial down, if not downright evaporate.

[00:11:39] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And When it does, and we take our attention, that kind of attention, off our partner, we’re essentially treating our partner as though they don’t continue to grow and evolve. We already know what their answers would be to any question. I don’t need to ask them. I know them well enough. And it’s beautiful to know your partner so well.

[00:12:01] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: But you never know them well enough not to have any questions. So when it comes to really dialing in with a beloved, really being present, whether it’s drinking tea on the back patio or in a profound erotic moment, We need to cultivate curiosity as a way of having our attention on ourselves and definitely expanded and directed towards our partner, perceiving them as someone with freshness and evolution.

[00:12:43] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: that we can’t possibly know unless we actually have our attention and ask, or perhaps in an erotic moment we’re not verbally asking, but we have that inner stance of curiosity. So when you ask, you take listeners through a process. It’s so simple. It’s why I had to create the context. So you really hear what I’m saying, that you cultivate curiosity.

[00:13:12] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And I want to add that if your relationship is. Stale. Disconnected. Maybe it’s connected and alive in many ways, but there’s some element, particularly when it comes to intimacy, where things are flat, a little bit numb, a little bit just gray. One of the most simple and absolutely potent moves is, I’ll use the word you referred to earlier, is to pivot from feeling like you have the answers.

[00:13:49] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: which inevitably are either future oriented or past oriented, and instead be in the present where there’s openness and curiosity. And again, if your relationship has a kind of dullness, it’s lost its sheen in any respect, literally any kind of question can be a gateway To more presence, more connection, and more intimacy.

[00:14:14] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: So it can be a whimsical question like, if you could have dinner with any celebrity, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you want to ask them? Now, if your partner is like a devoted Taylor Swift fan, and you already know it’s Taylor Swift, then Maybe this isn’t the question that’s going to function in the way I’m talking about.

[00:14:35] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: But most people don’t know the answer to that question with their partner. Or maybe you want to ask, What was the highlight of the past week for you? Or if you didn’t have the profession you had, what would you want to do? If we didn’t live here, where would you want to live? What I’m trying to convey is, you can ask about sexual fantasies, you can ask about identity, you can ask about something really just Charming and irrelevant, but either way you’re inviting more of your partner’s insides to be present so you can perceive them and receive them.

[00:15:16] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And while it is a verbal practice I’m describing, it’s actually very embodied and soulful when done in the way that I’m describing. This is asking questions that have no right or wrong answer. They’re really open ended. They’re an invitation along the lines that we were discussing earlier.

[00:15:39] Juliette Karaman: I love that.

[00:15:41] Juliette Karaman: And I also just actually want to call attention for the listeners to look at how beautifully Alexandra pivoted. She gave context to it and also how. She slowed down. And I often feel with couples, when you ask them to become intimate with each other and to cultivate that curiosity, they almost do it from okay, let’s make a little list and I’ll tick that and it’s all done.

[00:16:11] Juliette Karaman: And they don’t actually slow down enough. To be open, to receive that curiosity, and to slow down their, themselves to, slow down their breathing, know what’s going on in, in their body. I like to say, unclench your butthole, because oftentimes we walk around and we’re so clenched. And it’s okay, unclench everything.

[00:16:34] Juliette Karaman: My mother always used to say, tuck in your butt, and clench it all up. So that was what I was

[00:16:40] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: taught. Your mother. Went around telling people to clench their butts and you go around telling them to relax them.

[00:16:47] Juliette Karaman: But that’s the whole thing, right? So can we just relax, notice what’s going on in our bodies, and then we can start being curious.

[00:16:56] Juliette Karaman: And then also like when you do get an answer back, think oh I was If you say what was your best thing of, what was your best highlight of the week? And say, Oh, I had lunch with this really interesting woman. And then notice what’s happening in your own body. Where’s your mind going? What’s, is there some tightness is like immediate who are you talking about instead of staying curious again?

[00:17:20] Juliette Karaman: What was good about it? What was interesting about it?

[00:17:24] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Yeah. The way that I describe what you’ve just. evoked is to listen generously. We often listen both to know what we’re going to say next, and with a kind of unconscious filter I’ll keep this, I’ll get rid of this, I’ll keep this, I’ll get rid of this, although get rid of usually means criticize.

[00:17:45] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And there’s something about cultivating the capacity to even be a no to what your partner says But be a yes to the fact that they’re saying it to you, to the fact that they are answering with whatever level of depth and honesty they’re giving you. You don’t want to close them down. It’s we can look to Pavlov to see what outcome that creates, if your partner.

[00:18:18] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: For example, you get to the, I don’t recommend starting here when you’re really cultivating curiosity in the way that we’re talking, but when you get to the point where you ask, what’s a sexual fantasy that you’ve never shared with me? And what you hear is a total turnoff to you. You get to be turned off, you get to have your experience, but if you want more intimacy and connection with your partner, you don’t meet what they’ve shared that way, you can say, I’m so glad you told me.

[00:18:50] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Because if they don’t tell you, it doesn’t make it less true. It’s still true, it’s just that now you know, and they had the courage to tell you, and you can say, I’m so glad you told me, without indicating or committing or seemingly affirming anything about the particular content. And, curiosity in the way that we’re talking about it, it’s so beautiful for what I was describing earlier when.

[00:19:19] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Things are just more bland, more boring, more just flat in the relationship. Everything we’ve just said also applies when there’s considerable conflict and disagreement. That if you want, like, when people, when couples have conflict, I’m not talking about Physical violence, but like disagreement, should the kids go to public school or private school, do you want to go here on vacation or there?

[00:19:51] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Those are big things. It also could be, where are you going to go for dinner? What time you’re going to leave to go for dinner? It can be minor things and major things that typically when Either couples just don’t express their actual desires, or only one of them does, and the other one doesn’t.

[00:20:09] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: But when you both do and you disagree, then one person wins and one person loses or neither person wins and you just move on from the disagreement or process it continually. But the thing that allows conflict to contribute to connection is bringing this curiosity. You can ask yourself, what am I not this is the person you love and they have this point of view.

[00:20:41] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: If you think it’s really wrong can you let go of your conviction, not for making a, an action plan, just to pay more attention to the connection than the content for a moment and find curiosity, because whoever brings curiosity is basically going to be Lubricating the conversation towards a win.

[00:21:07] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: It’s certainty and conviction which is essentially closed off, and curiosity is what brings connection, creativity, and solutions that were previously invisible.

[00:21:21] Juliette Karaman: I love it. One concept, and you’ve expanded on it so beautifully. And I love where you say, listen generously. Because, like you said, we often are listening to interject, or to say, to immediately answer what we think about it.

[00:21:39] Juliette Karaman: But we don’t often listen to understand. We listen to judge. Do we like it? Do we not like it? And what we’re really asking here in the Creating, cultivating this curiosity is to understand a communication. Recognize that you might not agree. You might not even understand it yet, you’ve understood what they’ve told you and you’re actually really open to that.

[00:22:04] Juliette Karaman: And I have my people, if they don’t know what to say, I’ll just say, thank you. I thank you. Okay, cool. I understood that. And then, and then that can oftentimes then bring up another things like, Can I come back to that later? Because I’m not quite sure I, I. Really know how I feel about what you said, but I’ve understood your communication, I’ve understood what you’ve told me, and then it just opens.

[00:22:28] Juliette Karaman: It’s like that wallpaper behind you, those flowers that just open all of a sudden, right? Everything’s tight in a bud and then we can just bring some breath into that curiosity, into wanting to get to know each other again.

[00:22:42] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Yeah, I love how you’ve described that. And I wanna add, not only is there no rush, you can take the time to let your feelings emerge whether you know your feelings or you don’t.

[00:23:00] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: You also can take time to figure out your next step or to take action. So often people feel compelled to move forward whatever direction it’s going to be and it’s actually very rare. that you need to take action right away. It’s a challenging practice for anyone who is really competent and professional in the world, but I highly recommend it.

[00:23:28] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: It was revolutionary for me to not act until I felt aligned. And it was one of, I’ve done a lot of different practices to grow myself and become more authentic, more visible, I’ll say in the context of this conversation. And to just not act. until you’re actually ready and you have conviction about the next steps.

[00:24:00] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: That is an art that really transforms all relationships because it builds alignment with oneself, self trust, and it creates the right relationship between the Present and the future.

[00:24:18] Juliette Karaman: Completely. And it’s so true. We often just want to go, and try to fix or find the solution. And like you say, sometimes the solution is just to be and take that time for until it really clicks into place.

[00:24:36] Juliette Karaman: And then. step forward. Now, there’s one thing that I actually, Alex and I use together a lot from your course. And that is he’s a lawyer, a brainy lawyer comes home from the office and will come up and kiss me. And often I’m on course. I’m like, don’t come up here. And then he gets so I come to his office then and maybe he’s busy.

[00:25:02] Juliette Karaman: And sometimes I’ll just be like, And I remember you teaching us. It’s Hey. Let’s check in. Do you have the bandwidth for this? I need just about three minutes of your time. I actually don’t need all your attention on me, but I just want to vent or I want to tell you about my day a little bit.

[00:25:23] Juliette Karaman: And I just like a little bouncing stone that if I can hear myself speak it, that’s actually usually enough. Are you available for that?

[00:25:32] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Yeah, I think one of the easiest solutions to one of the most problematic complications in communications between couples or within couples is that there are so many different kinds of communications.

[00:25:53] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: This is slightly different from what you said, but I’ll come back to what you said. So there’s so many different kinds of communications. There’s venting, there’s problem solving, there’s just sharing vulnerably, there’s feeling afraid. I’m not actually doing an exhaustive list. There’s having a question.

[00:26:15] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: I actually, this is one of the things that I do with couples is go through the different kinds of communications there. It’s not an exhaustive list. often end up adding another one as I perceive, oh, this is another category that’s worth pointing out to. But there are at least eight to ten different kinds of communications that most couples weave in and out of in their everyday interactions.

[00:26:40] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: But one person thinks it’s one kind of communication, and the other person thinks it’s another kind of communication. So for example, you might want to just share what’s up for you without needing anything other than to be witnessed. But because of the nature of what you’re sharing and the nature of the mind of your absolutely fabulous partner Alex, he hears it and has some ideas to fix the problems that he perceives that you’re describing.

[00:27:15] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: So he thinks you’re telling him because you want his advice, And you’ve come to that conversation, you just want to be witnessed with what’s true right now. So then if he responds based on what kind of conversation he thinks the two of you are having, it ends up being very frustrating for both of you.

[00:27:36] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And often, especially as women, we think our partners, in heteronormative context particularly, we think our men should know the nature of the communication we’re making, but how are they supposed to know that? In fact, most of the time we are not actually conscious enough until it becomes a question. So the first thing really to just simply up, when there’s no particular Devastating matter in a relationship.

[00:28:11] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: One of the first things that really uplevels connection, besides curiosity, is,

[00:28:19] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: is clarity about what kind of communication is underway, and then you convey that to your partner and say, I’d like to just Share how I’m feeling and be witnessed. Are you available for that? And it has to be a real question. It’s not just some rhetorical pro forma phrase that’s stuck on I don’t know what.

[00:28:45] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: It’s not just a pom on your hat. It’s a real question. And then your partner can think. Am I available for that? No, actually I’m in the middle of something and that would be an interruption. I’m going to lose my train of thought and then he can say, not right now, I’ll be available in an hour. Or you ask and he says yes and he turns and he gives you the right amount of attention.

[00:29:13] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And he knows what it’s about. He knows how to win. You’ve set it up to be a win for both of you. And it’s this beautiful interaction. And, especially when there’s some bite to the communication, whether directed at our partner or not, or there’s something vulnerable. Actually, I think this is true for every kind of conversation.

[00:29:33] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: I can’t say when it’s most important, but to just be really clear. And if the conversation isn’t going the way you want it to, it’s because you’ve misunderstood between the two of you what the purpose of that conversation is. And I think that is what you’re describing. And it’s really relevant in the context you described, where one or the other of you is busy with your own work, then you want to ask, are you available for this?

[00:30:02] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: But it’s also just, Even if you’re sitting there on the couch together and both obviously available, it’s still a really important question so that there’s opt in and you’re collaborating rather than one person driving and the other one just dragged along not even sure which kind of a road it is.

[00:30:24] Juliette Karaman: So beautiful. I love that distinction and how you, again, pivoted and really went deep into that. Because I’ve noticed that I’ve used this with my children, they’re in their early 20s, all four of them. And you know what kids are like, they’ll come home or you’ll be with them and then they interrupt whoever’s speaking and Mommy.

[00:30:46] Juliette Karaman: I’m like, you’re not five anymore. Sometimes I’ll be like, Hey, but it’s also I can’t at the moment. I’m, yeah, I’m right in the middle of this, but I will be completely available for you in about half an hour, is that cool? And it’s really taught them to do it with each other, so it’s beautiful to see my twins, zero twenty two, living together, and yeah, it’s like cats and dogs and massive love between the two of them, but they’ll do this to each other.

[00:31:16] Juliette Karaman: One will come into the room and they’re like, not right now. I’ve, I don’t have the bandwidth. I don’t, I’m not available for this right now.

[00:31:25] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Yeah, there’s something about that brings respect to both people in that conversation, which I also think. enhances the success of the interaction.

[00:31:38] Juliette Karaman: Completely. And this is the simple thing, if we can bring this curiosity and opt into this level of communication about simple things, then once we really get to the intimate and essential things, then can you imagine what’s available there then, right?

[00:31:59] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Exactly. And just because You said I do in a marriage or implied a commitment when you moved in together.

[00:32:08] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: That does not mean that your partner is there for a yes to absolutely everything in every moment. It, that’s all of us being like five year olds, as you say, and There’s something that I want to add for some couples, bringing curiosity and the kind of clarity and consciousness and opt in to interactions.

[00:32:34] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Yes, it’s this amazing preparation for when really deep, intimate matters arise. But for many, it’s not a preparation. It actually just paves the way. What we’re talking about right now is actually enough to juice up many an intimate passionate sex life in many couples. I remember one of the first couples that I ever coached this, I think this was before I coached you, it was a long time ago, but it was, it made such an impression, as our early experiences do, this couple hadn’t, they loved one another, they were devoted to one another, there was a child, I don’t know, early teenager and late teenager, both still at home, and they hadn’t had sex in nine months.

[00:33:31] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And I was really quite new to coaching couples and I knew that it was a big deal for me to become a part of these intimate matters for them in conversation, of course, and Also, they were disconnected fundamentally disconnected that once the kids went to bed They just were in separate rooms until they were asleep and it was just essential both for me to build rapport with them and for the two of them to rebuild rapport with one another before even talking about sex or it was going to be a mismatch in the conversation and just reinforce whatever unhelpful patterns were at play.

[00:34:14] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: So I focused on curiosity and listening generously and all the things that we’re talking about and after Maybe it was the third session, they were sitting closer to one another on the couch, they were smiling, it just felt really different to be in their presence, and I said, and they were, she was a physician, he was an engineer, but they were still very discreet and modest in their language and so I met them where they were and I said now let’s transition into other things like that was my way of if I were to be perfectly crass saying okay now let’s talk about sex and what’s happening or not happening in the bedroom but what I said was now let’s transition and talk about other things and they were both confused they didn’t know what I was talking about and then I said you know the reason you reached out to me I’m talking about intimacy and her eyes got wide and she just started deliciously giggling.

[00:35:17] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: It was a very scrumptious moment. And she said, Oh, we’re all set because as soon as curiosity and rapport and listening generously. had happened. I don’t know exactly when that just translated right into sensual intimacy, erotic intimacy, and sexual reconnection. And in my own practice, I think more or less 75 to 80 percent of the time, Really cultivating what I label emotional intimacy absolutely lubricates things to heat them up in the bedroom.

[00:35:56] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Does it take it to the heights of ecstasy? No, there’s always more to learn, but it certainly brings them to their best sexual experiences, and only really about 20 25 percent of the time, even when people choose to work with me because they want more intimacy, more fire in the bedroom. It’s only, as I say, a minority of the time that we actually address touch and what’s actually happening in the bedroom, which I’m perfectly happy to do when it serves a couple, but often just heating up the soul connection.

[00:36:36] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: goes so far. Now what I’m saying obviously doesn’t apply to a one night stand where you can have an amazing erotic experience without knowing your partner’s name. I’m talking about when you’ve been together for a while, you have a life together. Emotional intimacy really is the most amazing secret sauce for every other kind of intimacy.

[00:36:59] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: I love it.

[00:37:00] Juliette Karaman: And you’ve beautifully, emotional intimacy is the secret sauce to any intimacy. And it’s interesting because I have my couples that haven’t had sex in years come to me about that. And I just say, point blank, we’re taking sex off the table for the first six weeks and they’re like, that’s what we came.

[00:37:19] Juliette Karaman: Four. And then brilliant. They all come to me sheepishly, like laughing at week four or five. They’re like, Oh, that homework that we weren’t supposed to

[00:37:27] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: be able to

[00:37:30] Juliette Karaman: do. Oh, Alexandra, this has been wonderful. It’s been such a beautiful meandering please let our listeners know where they can find you.

[00:37:41] Juliette Karaman: We’ll put all the links in the show notes, but talk about your courses, your offers, what, I’m sure a lot of people are like, oh my goodness, yes, I want to hear more.

[00:37:52] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Thank you, Juliette. So Come to alexandrastockwell. com. That really is the starting place with links to all of my social media. I’m pretty active and my book, Uncompromising Intimacy, my podcast, the Intimate Marriage Podcast, my program, the Aligned and Hot Marriage Program, or for a small number of people, Private Relationship and Intimacy Coaching.

[00:38:21] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Whatever you’d like more of at any level of commitment in terms of time as well as money, it’s all available starting at alexandrastockwell. com. And you can download the first chapter of my book which is really about the four types of relationships and what to do to make yours more juicy. So you’re welcome to sample that.

[00:38:48] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: Just go to my website and you’ll find the link there.

[00:38:51] Juliette Karaman: Thank you so much. All the links will be in the show notes. So really make sure that you follow Alexandra and she has a wealth of information and beautiful offers that you can just dip your toe into becoming more intimate. Alexandra, it has been a pleasure.

[00:39:08] Juliette Karaman: Thank you so much for being

[00:39:10] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: on. I’m so grateful. And with the fullness of your life and work and the fullness of my life and work. The way we get to connect is through a podcast interview. So I thank you for having me on your beautiful platform, and also just for the pleasure of connecting with you.

[00:39:30] Alexandra Stockwell, MD: And it happens to be recorded.

[00:39:32] Juliette Karaman: Perfect. I love it. Thank you, my love. Thank you.

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