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What Does Sex Mean To You?

What Does Sex Mean To You?

After coaching hundreds of woman and their partners about sex, I have finally come up with the most important question to ask about anything to do with sex! And I made this discovery during an intake interview with a woman who was planning on attending one of my “Back to The Body Retreats.” I asked her if she had any food restrictions, and she said that she did, that she was a vegetarian.  Now, I might have taken that on face value, on what being a vegetarian meant to me, but instead I decided to ask one more question: “What does being a vegetarian mean to you?”  What I discovered was that it  meant that she ate eggs, dairy, fish, and organic chicken! WOW! To me, that isn’t a vegetarian at all.  I was so glad that I had asked the question, “What does that mean to you?”

It’s just a simple question really, and I have started to use it a great deal with tremendous benefit in my sexuality coaching practice.  So many of us throw around a lot of labels and terms when it comes to sex; especially around sexual agreements.  For example, one person might call their relationship agreement monogamy, because they always sleep at home with their partner. But otherwise, they feel free to go out and play sexually with all kinds of partners.  Their partner may feel that what is happening is an “open marriage” and may not agree to that.  It’s important to ask your partner when it comes to sexual agreement this simple question: “What does that mean to you?”

This also holds true when it comes to sexual play requests.  You may have read “Fifty Shades of Grey” and want to play with ropes and paddles. You may tell you partner that you want to play with S & M.  Your partner may get really excited, because he/she has always wanted to hang someone upside down and flog them! Did you mean that? Maybe you did! But wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what playing “Fifty Shades of Grey” means to each of you before dashing off into a possible sex disaster?

You may be a person who likes to have intercourse with people that you don’t know very well. Hook-ups could be really fun for you. But what if having intercourse for you, was well – just intercourse? The no-strings attached kind of sex? And for the person that you are playing with, it means love and commitment? Wouldn’t it be good to know that before you went somewhere that you didn’t mean to go? The question here might be, “What does having intercourse mean to you?” It’s as important a question as whether or not you have safer sex supplies!

I think you are following along! Remember this question when you are exploring sex with your partners and even with yourself. What does this sexual activity or agreement mean to you? Check in with yourself and your partner. Make sure that it means the same thing, or if it doesn’t  – can you still work with it?

Having the “What does this mean to you?” conversation is one of the best ways I know to prevent heart break and a sex disaster!

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Do you want to learn more about Pamela’s sex coaching practice and her ground breaking “Back to The Body: A Sensuous Retreat for Women?” Click Here!

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Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women's Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale, Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.Her websites and her daily blog,, are a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers.


+ add your own
10:07PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

I've been trying to find hours and now I have got such splendid work.

sex chat

10:32PM PDT on Sep 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing this

2:47PM PDT on May 14, 2013

sex is a very intimate thing for me. i could never have sex with someone i didn't really love. I am super monogamous. At the same time, though, I accept other people's views of sex as equal to mine :) just as valid

3:14PM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

Sex means nothing to me - I never get to participate:)

1:57AM PST on Mar 10, 2013


1:13PM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Known, but sometimes we forget it. Thx for reminding =)

7:45PM PST on Feb 22, 2013

Agian, everything comes down to communication...

3:36PM PST on Feb 21, 2013


2:25PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Interesting stuff

6:05AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

a great question!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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