(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:03
So hello everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Insurrection Interviews. I'm Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz here in London, and I'm joined today by Stella Anna Sonnenbaum, sexological bodyworker, and somatic sex educator.
So a very warm welcome to you, Stella. And where are you hanging out today?
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 0:30
Thank you. I'm so glad that I can hang here with you, Andrew. I'm in London.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:36
Okay. And so, Stella is the founder of StellaWithLove.com. And if you follow her around the internet the way I have, you'll discover that Stella has been featured in GQ, Cosmopolitan, Metro, Men's Health, and even been interviewed on BBC One. But more than that, she has extraordinary testimonials from clients, whose relationships, intimacy and sexuality has been completely transformed and awakened by working with Stella.
Stella helps men, women, non binary and fluid individuals, and couples of all gender and orientation with sexuality and relationship issues. And she does this with personal sessions courses, and in non COVID times cuddle parties. So thank you, Stella, for your time today.
And our title today is top tips to keep your relationship juicy. And Stella is going to tell us exactly how to do that by answering six questions. So Stella, the time starts now.
The first question is, who is your ideal client? And what is the transformation you help them achieve?
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 2:01
You know, Andrew, I really love working with couples. Because so for couples, it's really important to keep the eroticism alive. Couples may be very well aware that they need to talk to each other, that they need to sit down and be intimate and real with each other. But what a lot of them don't do is cultivate eroticism.
And I can help them rediscover that eroticism, even if they've been together for 25 years or longer. And to find a way of lovemaking that doesn't feel like a chore, as it's often do for many couples.
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:39
Yeah, lovemaking is a chore. Some people might say that's like a, you know, that's a high quality problem.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 2:51
That's true as well.
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:52
Yeah, speaking of someone has been single for a few years. Um, so we're at just over a minute. Question number two, what's the biggest challenge they face?
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 3:07
Especially now in Covid times with lockdowns and everything. A lot of couples now both work from home. So both people work from home. And so that means that they spend much more time in physical proximity. And for part of the year they had, if they have children, they have the children around as well, because the schools are closed and so on.
And so some couples report that they felt closer together than ever, but also like the sex was better than ever. Other couples report the opposite term. So that can even lead to very, very unpleasant manifestations like domestic violence and so on. When two individuals, individuals are on in such a close proximity over for 24/7 basically. Okay, so that is difficult for eroticism and sexual attraction...
Because usually, let's face it, when, when they when couples plan date nights, it's usually a night out. Because so they go to restaurants, they go to theaters or cinemas. And the reason being is that we want to see the partner in different surroundings than our usual domestic arrangements.
And that is exciting, that makes us see your partner with new eyes and also makes us see your partner with the eyes of others. Because they are usually really other people around even if it's just waiter and waitress, to talk and engage with our partner and that is conducive. This kind of newness and I'm seeing each other anew for eroticism and sexual attraction, and so on... but that can also be cultivated in the setting that they are in, and that's what I have.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:03
Okay, lovely. So that's at three minutes. We're at question number four. Actually, no. Number three, what is your number one insight you can share to help them right now.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 5:19
Eroticism does not need to lead to sex. So this can be something separate, but it can, obviously. And so it's a question of managing expectations.
So what I teach couples is to rediscover the sense of touch, which brings us into the moment and then actually into actually enjoying touching our partner, rather than touching them for their sakes, we're kind of caressing them. And that cultivates this kind of ravishing energy.
And a simple practice is to just let this energy to just take one piece of clothing off of the partner. And then they can just give each other a kiss and go to bed. So it doesn't have to lead to sex.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:59
That's quite. I just had it sort of reminds me of a friend of mine some years ago, it was a woman in her mid 30s. And her girlfriend had a boyfriend, who was 18. And she was saying, Well, you know, how do you have a relationship? I mean, he's so much younger, and what do you talk about? and her friend says, I don't care. I just rub his nose and he gets an erection.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 6:28
(Laughter) That's beautiful. Thanks for sharing that.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:36
Um, but I think, you know, she was somebody who, for the most part had been dating people her own age or even older. So you know, that eroticism component had had really wilted for her. You know? And so yeah. So we're at almost five minutes. So it's Question number four, what concept book or program or talk has been most impactful for you and your experience?
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 7:05
What I use a lot is Betty Martins, we have consent, and three minute game.
Dr Martin is actually from Seattle. And she teaches about looking at our own touch preferences. And so are we usually in a massage mode as in like, what would you like to receive, and I do it for you, which has its place, but it's not really these kind of lover's quadrants of ravishing or being ravished.
And that is something as once people become aware of it, that they see, oh, that's a different way of engaging with each other, with touch wise, and also what kind of touch can we give each other? And how can we communicate about touching preferences?
And that's where the 3 minute game comes in, that I teach couples, which, which has two questions. How would you like me to touch you for three minutes? And how would you like to touch me for three minutes, and then just walk around?
Andrew Hryniewicz 8:00
That's very Oh, that reminds me, I mean, because you're right, touch is so important. I was talking with a friend of mine, you know, COVID story. And they were in lockdown. wife and child were trapped in another country.
They were locked down at home for four months, with no contact. I mean, you know, people weren't coming in, you know, the, the people who used to come into the house weren't. And they said that, you know, once the lockdown eased some weeks ago, or a month or so ago, they had a massage. And as soon as the massage person started to touch them, they burst into tears.
So we'll definitely put a link to that that book in the show notes. So now we're at almost seven minutes. So we're at question number six. The last one, what should I have asked you that I didn't? Even what would your answer be?
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 9:07
It was difficult to see people in, obviously during this year, and but what I've done more than ever, zoom sessions. And I noticed that zoom sessions, work a treat with couples.
First of all, I get often they they can't leave the house and children are around and it's difficult to have good childcare and still have privacy. However zoom sessions they can do with me. And we can do touch exercises, off camera. And so I can demo something and they can repeat that and then feedback and to also what actually a lot of people have asked me to do with them are tantric practices.
Because my background is in Tantra. That's something I can easily teach and it can be as simple as eye gazing. That is wonderful to have a facilitator like me there because couples may feel it's difficult to initiate that.
But the eye gazing itself is a very strong practice of vulnerability of intimacy, and sort of being seen and seeing each other in a new way. And to have someone like me, like, facilitate that. And for them to kind of get into that and be inspired to carry on at home, that was really beautiful.
Andrew Hryniewicz 10:22
Okay, and for those who don't know, the word Tantra, what what, what is Tantra?
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 10:29
Tantra is like a philosophy of also like a religion that comes from India originally. And so that has been adopted, via neo-Tantra in the West. And so basically, it's about how to achieve a deeper or better level of lovemaking by involving more of us. So originally, it's, it's a spiritual path in his origin, and as the White Tantra, which is non sexual and the Red Tantra which is sexual.
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:03
Okay, great. And this is something you're an expert in and you bring into this couples work.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 11:09
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:10
Okay. And that probably accounts for some of the really powerful and stirring testimonials and stories that I read on your website.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 11:21
And so to be honest, this is something that I've only just like, rediscovered with couples now. And and so and so usually, it's like sexological body work I do, and somatic sex education but I draw on a lot of different disciplines.
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:36
Okay, perfect. So Stella, thank you so much for your time.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 11:46
It's been a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me, Andrew.
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:49
Okay. Have a great day.
Stella-Anna Sonnenbaum 11:52
You too. Thank you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai