Episode 299 – Focus On The Journey, Not The Destination

enjoy the journey

Have you ever been on a road trip and heard the words, “Are we there yet?” That person is just focused on the destination, not the journey itself. The same thing happens in our sexual relationships when we just focus on climax. Our world places so much emphasis on instant gratification that it is easy to let that thought into the bedroom. Are we relishing in all of the minute details and interactions that can lay claim on our body and our heart or are we like the kids in the backseat who ask over and over “are we there yet?” In this episode, let’s take a look at how we focus on our sexual journey, rather than just the destination. I will share with you seven key elements that are crucial for every relationship and contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful experience.

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Show Notes:

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Show Summary:

Recently, my parents left for an 18 month mission for our church to Croatia. The day before they left, they came to church with me and my family and then we came back to our house and had dinner and had some good conversations. We started talking about our time in Maryland, where we lived when I was a teenager, and how many great experiences we were able to have living in a new part of the country.  As a teenager I didn’t appreciate many of the cultural experiences that my parents were trying to give us. Although there were some things that I absolutely loved, many I found quite boring at the time.

We only lived in Maryland for three years and we would typically come back to Utah each summer for about a month and a half to visit. But one summer we decided to forgo our trip to Utah and take a trip up the East Coast all the way to Canada, seeing sites all along the way. My dad had some business meetings in Boston, so we spent a few days there. We went to a beach in New Hampshire. We saw Joseph Smith’s birthplace in Sharon, Vermont. We were driving along the coast in Maine when we came upon a rustic little cabin next to a small lake with a swimming platform and decided to stop and play. That was so much fun. We also visited Fundy National Park in Maine. We went deep sea fishing in Nova Scotia. But the highlight of the trip for me was our northernmost stop to Prince Edward Island. You see, Prince Edward Island is where Anne of Green Gables was set, which happened to be my favorite book, my favorite series, and my favorite author at the time. I definitely had some fun along the way, but I didn’t really take the time and appreciate all of these amazing experiences I was having because really all I cared about was my end. Prince Edward Island.

This conversation made me think about how many times we often don’t appreciate the beautiful journey that can enfold in every intimate moment.  In a world that often places emphasis on the destination and instant gratification, many have let that seep into our intimate lives.  Are we measuring the pursuit of connection, intimacy, and pleasure solely on the basis of climax?  Or maybe we are just wanting to jump to the end to get the experience over with.  Are we relishing in all of the minute details and interactions that can lay claim on our body and our heart or are we like the kids in the backseat who ask over and over “are we there yet?”

In a fast-paced world that often glorifies efficiency, sometimes sex becomes a checkbox on our to-do list. But what happens when we treat intimacy as a task to be completed? Do we approach sex as something to get over with rather than an immersive experience.  There’s a prevailing misconception that the climax is the finish line, and once we cross it, the journey is over. But here’s the truth: reducing sex to a mere endpoint denies us the richness of the human experience. It’s time to dispel the illusion of the quick fix and acknowledge that the true magic lies in the journey itself.

Women have a complicated history with desire and pleasure. It’s often an “extra” in our life. Something that we don’t inherently deserve unless everything else is perfect and done. It’s something we don’t have time for because we have so much else on our plates.  But women often miss that without that desire and pleasure, we often lose ourselves in the mundaneness of life. That true joy comes from not just putting our head down and muscling through life and our tasks at hand, but finding pleasure and joy along the way.

When we prioritize the destination, we risk overlooking the intricate dance of emotions, trust, connection, pleasure, and vulnerability that happens throughout the journey. Foreplay isn’t just a warm-up; it’s an integral part of the journey.  For most women, it is the best part and where they have the most connection, pleasure, and satisfaction.  And I don’t just mean when the sexual encounter gets started.  Foreplay starts right after the last sexual encounter ended.  It’s the build up for the next sexual encounter.  Rushing through foreplay (or skipping it altogether) is like fast-forwarding through a captivating movie or reading just the last few pages of a book – it robs us of the anticipation, the excitement, and the subtle details that make the experience truly unforgettable.

So what does this journey look like?  It’s unique for every couple but I think there are some key elements that are crucial for every relationship and contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful experience.  Here’s a guide to what the journey of intimacy can look like:

  1. Communication: Open, honest communication is the cornerstone of any intimate journey. Both verbal and non-verbal cues help partners understand each other’s desires, boundaries, and feelings. Sharing fantasies, preferences, and expectations fosters a deeper connection and ensures that both partners feel heard and valued.
  2. Connection: Building emotional intimacy is crucial. This involves sharing thoughts, feelings, and vulnerabilities, creating a sense of trust and understanding.  Making sure each partner feels seen, heard, and valued in the relationship.  Beyond the act of sex, physical touch, hugging, kissing, cuddling, and affection contribute to a sense of closeness and bonding and are important.  Not every touch has to lead to sex right away, but it’s the build up of that sexual connection that will lead to the next encounter.
  3. Foreplay: Take time to explore each other’s bodies and discover erogenous zones. This can include sensual massages, gentle caresses, and kisses.  Build anticipation by incorporating playful flirting and teasing and maintaining a sense of mystery. This adds excitement and intensity to the overall experience.
  4. Mindfulness: Focus on being present in the moment, minimizing distractions, and savoring the sensations. Mindfulness enhances the connection and heightens pleasure.  So put down the phones, turn off the TV.  Be with your partner, mind, body, and soul.  You can also incorporate mindful breathing and relaxation techniques to stay attuned to the experience and reduce any tension or anxiety.
  5. Variety and Creativity: Don’t be afraid to try new activities, positions, or settings. Variety keeps the experience fresh and exciting. Incorporate elements of creativity, such as using sensual props, trying different forms of expression, or introducing role-play to add a playful dimension.
  6. Mutual Satisfaction: Ensure that both partners feel valued and that their needs and desires are considered. Strive for mutual satisfaction and reciprocity. Be adaptable and responsive to each other’s cues during the journey. Pay attention to feedback and adjust accordingly.
  7. Aftercare: After the climax, prioritize time for gentle aftercare. Cuddling, expressing affection, and affirming each other contribute to a sense of emotional connection and well-being. Discuss the experience afterward, sharing thoughts and feelings. This ongoing communication reinforces the emotional bond.

Remember, the journey is a shared experience, and the key is to create an atmosphere of trust, respect, and exploration that caters to the unique dynamics of each partnership. It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario, but rather a continual process of discovery and connection.

Neglecting the journey can have profound consequences. Viewing sex as a means to an end may lead to dissatisfaction, emotional distance, and unmet desires. It creates more disconnection than actually connection and intimacy, which should be the true goal of sex. 

As we wrap up today’s episode, I invite you to reevaluate your perspective on intimacy. The end of sex may be inevitable, but the journey—the exploration, the connection, and the shared vulnerability—are the true treasures. Embrace the erotic odyssey, and watch as it transforms not only your sex life but also your overall well-being and relationships.  And as always, if you need more help in this area, you can come into coaching.  Go to AmandaLouder.com and click on Get Help in the menu for the options.

Remember, love is a journey, not a destination. Stay committed, stay passionate, and stay connected. Goodbye for now.

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