Ep #194: The Messy Middle and the Impossible Intimacy Game

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | The Messy Middle and the Impossible Intimacy Game

In the last couple of episodes, we’ve discussed everything from the Impossible Intimacy Game to living with no regrets, and exploring how to transform the impossible into the possible, especially in the realms of intimacy and sexuality. But today, I want to highlight those in-between stages. The times when it’s not all smooth sailing and it feels like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back.

These moments of uncertainty and discomfort are where real growth can happen. And this is what I call The Messy Middle, a concept that challenges the idea of a smooth journey towards our intimacy goals. It’s important to have those difficult chats with our partners – embracing the awkwardness, potential hurt, and vulnerability that come with it. The Messy Middle is about facing these challenges head-on and understanding that they are essential for progress.

Tune in this week to learn how to navigate the messy middle of your own journey. We’ll explore practical ways for maintaining open communication with your partner, tackling intimacy issues directly, and managing the emotional discomfort that accompanies real growth. Discover how to find clarity in the chaos and embrace the tough moments as necessary steps toward achieving your impossible gains. It’s not about doing the impossible every day; it’s about committing to the journey, one messy step at a time.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • What the concept of “The Messy Middle” is and its role in personal growth.
  • Practical strategies for maintaining open communication with your partner.
  • How to tackle intimacy issues head-on with courage and honesty.
  • How to manage emotional discomfort and vulnerability in relationships.
  • Methods for finding clarity and purpose amidst chaos and uncertainty.
  • Actionable advice on committing to your journey, one step at a time.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, episode 194.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, hello, hello, Diamonds. We are getting closer to episode 200, and I wanted to make an important announcement at this time. The announcement is when I get to episode 200, I think that is going to be my last episode that I continuously do. I’m going to drop additional episodes along the way, but not in the same manner in terms of one episode a week. What I’ve been doing is doing about three episodes and then taking a week off and then doing three more episodes. But I think at 200, that is going to be my last scheduled podcast.

For me, that’s a huge body of work that I’m extremely proud of, but I’m also entering a different stage in my life. When I think about my Diamonds, I always think about wanting to be an example of what is possible. Part of that being an example of what is possible is making sure I’m taking care of my needs and the needs of my family and continuing to be there for my Diamonds.

So as I do this work, I am going to continue to be midlife sex coach for women. There’s no way I could not do that. I’m going to do it in a different way. So I feel at episode 200 that my work in terms of my podcast is complete. I will drop additional episodes, but not necessarily on a schedule plan.

But what I do want to do is spend more time talking directly to my Diamonds. So what I’m going to be doing is actually opening up my calendar to talk to you directly if you want to book a call with me and just sit and talk. I feel the need to connect more directly with you.

So in the show notes, I’m going to be putting a link to my calendar and you can just schedule, there is a fee, but you can just schedule and come and talk to me about whatever it is that you want to talk about. We have been talking about the impossible game, and that concept came from Tracy Goss and The Last Word on Power. I’m feeling the need to really help my Diamonds directly with their impossible intimacy game.

So let’s go ahead and do this. I’m changing it all up. Not burning it down, but changing it and making sure that I am there for my Diamonds in so many different ways. So there will be a link in the show notes. You can connect, click on that, and then come and talk to me. Then also, make sure you’re on my mailing list. If you’re not on my mailing list yet, look in the show notes, and there’s a link there so you can always get on my mailing list to find out all the fun and amazing things that are going to be going on in the next couple of months for The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™. Okay, let’s get into this today.

So we have been talking about the impossible game. Last week we were talking about the impossible intimacy game. The week before that, I was talking about living a no regrets life. This is all tied in together. Something that’s really important to know is yes, I’m all there for a no regrets life.

Yes, I’m all there for creating your intimacy game, which is something that you want to be part of your legacy in terms of your overall life. Then your impossible intimacy game in terms of what you want the intimacy in your life to look like. We really talked into that, we delved into it, and talked about what I’ve done to help other Diamonds, an example of what their impossible intimacy game has looked like.

I don’t want to give like a false concept that this is all happy glory. Like you decide you’re going to have an impossible goal, and you decide that you’re committed to doing the impossible game in life or intimacy. Then things just work out.

What I’ve actually found is the opposite. That ultimately it works out, but between having that point where you’re making that intimacy goal decision or that life, that impossible game decision, as to what you are going to dedicate your life to, what is going to be your legacy. Once you make that decision, there’s a lot that happens between making that decision and coming to that place where you have accomplished that goal.

In between is usually what I call the messy middle. I have not talked about the messy middle in a while, but I really want my Diamonds to understand that it’s not all happy go lucky as soon as you make the decision. Then magically on the other end, the results happen. There’s a lot of work in between. There’s a lot of hard conversation. There’s a lot of realization. There’s so much that goes on in the messy middle. We just cannot gloss over it. It’s not important. It is the most important part.

This goes back to concepts like Ask and It is Given by Esther Hicks, and Jerry. You have to have a belief and understanding that something that’s impossible could actually happen. You have to go and ask. So you formulate what it is that you want. You ask for what it is that you want. Then you need to take action. Then you need to do something in between. Then you need to take the first step of many steps.

Some of the steps are forward. Some of the steps feel like they’re backward. Some of the steps feel like they’re kind of going to the side. Some of the steps you don’t even want to take no matter what. You’re like this is going to hurt. This is going to be painful. I don’t want to do it. If you’re committed to playing this impossible game, you do it anyway.

We don’t really know how everything is going to sort itself out. As I say, in the end, it works out. It may not work out the way you thought it was going to work out, but it does work out. It ends up being pretty awesome. When you’re in the middle, you don’t know what’s going on.

For me, that was this last year. I made a decision to add another child to our family, which was a wonderful decision, but it’s not just you make the decision and then you have a happy, wonderful family. There’s a lot that goes on in between. Sometimes you have to rearrange your life and really commit to that goal in order to end up with the result that you want.

Before I talk about the examples I gave last week, I do want to talk about just general overall. So I talked about the messy middle. If you have a partner and you and your partner together want to change the intimacy in your life, there’s got to be open communication.

I don’t know how many women I talked to that want something to change, but are afraid to talk to their partner. They’re afraid to hurt their partner’s feelings. They’re afraid to have those uncomfortable conversations in that uncomfortable phase. Let me tell you, there is going to be discomfort. Anytime anything is worth doing, there’s going to be discomfort.

So how do we handle the discomfort? We honestly know that it may feel like the discomfort is going to kill us, but it’s not going to kill us. So that’s the first thing to understand is getting comfortable with the discomfort. Oh, I haven’t really been enjoying sex with my partner for the last 10 years, but I don’t want to upset them. So I’m not going to say anything.

Well, they know something’s happening, and it might be uncomfortable for you to say the words that I’m not really enjoying sex. But if you say the words, there’s a chance, there’s an opening, there’s an opportunity for something to change. If you don’t say the words, something is still going to change, but not in the direction that you want it to go, if that makes sense.

So while you’re sitting there not enjoying sex and so you and your partner are engaging less and less and less, there’s a disconnection happening. There’s a discontent. That like under the still waters, there’s a lot that’s going on, resentment and anger, avoidance, there’s so much going on there. We don’t acknowledge that that’s happening. Because we don’t acknowledge that’s happening, we think that it is harder to have the hard conversation. But what’s really harder is the avoidance place that you’re in right now.

Take a step and be willing to take a step into the messy middle to figure out how to tolerate the discomfort. Maybe you just take it in little bites. Maybe it’s the fact that you talk to your partner and say hey, can we schedule every Sunday afternoon for half an hour to just talk about what’s going on and to make the next plan, the next step.

So that’s the first thing, right, is getting used to it. After a while, it’s not as painful. I’m like the queen of avoidance of arguments and things like that. When I got with Dr. Kimmery, Dr. Kimmery is absolutely a person that likes to talk everything out. I’d be like oh, more talking.

Now I’m the person that comes to her and I want to talk to her about everything. She’s probably like, oh, more talking. But I had to go through that messy middle where the conversation would start and everything inside of me would be like, no. I’d just tell myself okay, Sonia, we’re just going to tolerate this for a little while. You’ve done nothing wrong. We’re going to sort this out. We’re going to have conversation. This is good for our marriage.

So what is it that you need to tell yourself so that you’re able to tolerate this discomfort? Because it’s going to be important. If you’re towards your impossible game, your impossible intimacy goals, there’s going to be discomfort along the way, right? But also ask yourself how can I make this a safe space for having these discussions? That’s going to be something that’s important.

Recognize that yes, having the conversation might feel uncomfortable, but doing nothing is ultimately going to lead to the worst damage possible. Having the conversations, allowing your partner to feel whatever way, and you might want to go back to, I know I did a podcast and I don’t know the number of the podcasts, but when we talked about tolerating our partner’s emotions, right?

So they might be upsetting, and we don’t necessarily want to be in the muck and dealing with our partner’s emotions, but that’s the only way we’re going to get to the other side. If we say, I don’t want to deal with this issue because I don’t want to hurt my partner, it’s okay for your partner to get hurt.

You can do it in as loving and a kind way as possible and say I do want to talk to you about something, and I know this is not easy to hear, and I am sorry that I did not bring it up sooner. But I want to work with you because our partnership, our relationship, our marriage is so important and I want the sexual intimacy to remain in the marriage or to bring it back to the relationship. So this is why we’re going to have this conversation.

We can do it in little pieces, and you can text them ahead of time or talk to them ahead of time and ask them hey, when would be a good time to have these conversations? But the messy middle is going to involve some uncomfortable emotions, 100%.

What else is the messy middle going to involve? It’s going to involve some uncomfortable realizations, right? We have to own up to the truth as to what’s happening in our lives before we can change it. We have to get to this place where, hey, something has to happen here. So let’s look a little bit at these examples that I gave last week, right?

Okay. So we talked about Diamonds coming to me because they want to have orgasms, and they’ve never had orgasms in their life, right? This is something that I coach on all the time with my private Diamonds, my private clients.

Maybe the realization is that they may never have the type of orgasm that is written in erotica books or in romance novels or that we see in movies and stuff. Maybe that will never be their orgasm. Maybe that is not necessarily the way their body works. Maybe they don’t necessarily feel their orgasm the way that other women may feel and that society says is the way that you have to feel. So there’s a loss that might be there, which could lead to an acceptance.

At the same time, you can still learn more about your body and still be on this exploration of pleasure and still learn to love how your body enjoys stimulation and how your body responds to stimulation, even if it never gets to that place that the books and magazines and movies say is the way to have an orgasm or what an orgasm should feel like.

Or maybe it is, I work with some women who can only have an orgasm if they are in a certain position, which does not necessarily lend itself to penetration. Maybe the way that their orgasm, they can reach an orgasm, they have to have their legs straight out, or maybe they need to have a pillow between their legs, or maybe they need to be on their stomach flat with their legs together.

So the way that they’ve learned to have an orgasm is not one in which their legs are wide open for penetration. So there is that realization that the way that they have their body, the way their body works and the way they have an orgasm may not be conducive to having an orgasm during penetration.

Now, we may have been telling ourselves the whole time that there’s something wrong with us because the way we have an orgasm is not the way that society says we should be having an orgasm. It’s not in the position that society says is the position for having an orgasm. It’s not simultaneous or with penetration.

Well, 85% of women cannot have an orgasm with penetration alone. But somewhere in there, we have come to this realization that something is wrong with us. So there is that realization. Then we shift that realization because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. Something wrong with society if there’s only one way. There’s a million bazillion women in this world, and each one has a unique way of having an orgasm or not. Society says there’s only one way. Well, that is not correct.

But in order to get to that place where we embrace ourselves and realize that we are amazing in whatever way we have pleasure, we may have to go through a period of loss in terms of realizing that it may never look the way society says it needs to look. So there’s going to be that messy middle that we have to go through.

There may be that messy middle where we talk to our partner or we have a partner that says hey, you’re not orgasming the right way. This doesn’t work for me. You might need to let that partner go and be like you don’t work for me, right? I’m laughing, but it can be a sad realization that maybe that’s not the way it’s going to happen. Or it’s a conversation you’re having with your partner multiple times to figure out how to make this work for both of you and how it can shift and look the way it’s supposed to look for both of you so that you can have more intimacy and win at that impossible intimacy game, right?

But there’s the messy middle in between where there might be frustration and shame and anger and words and feeling despondent. Then it shifts, but it requires that you continue to work at it. It requires a realization, and it requires a lot during the messy middle.

So I never want people to think that it’s la, la, la, la, la, la. That we start, we come, we get to that place of excitement. We get our impossible goal and then we accomplish our impossible goal because that’s not how it works. There’s a hell of a lot of messy middle between deciding we’re going to enter that impossible goal, impossible intimacy game and getting to the other side where we have accomplished, or we feel like we’re at the place that we want to be.

As I said, what we thought the goal of the intimacy game was and what it ends up being may not be the same, but it’s usually even more wonderful than we thought it could ever be. Definitely.

Okay. Let’s see. What else did I talk about? The sexless marriage, right? So sometimes people come to me, they’re in a situation of a sexless marriage or at risk for a sexless marriage where they’re having sex like 10 times a year or less. They come to me because they’re like, this is it. We’re going to get the frequency up. It’s going to be amazing. That’s the beginning of the impossible game and then there’s the goal on the other side.

In between is the messy middle where some people might realize that they’re in a sexless marriage because they can’t stand their partner, and they don’t want to be with their partner. So it may come to this place where there’s a realization that they don’t want to stay in this marriage or they don’t want to stay in this relationship. There’s a lot of mess that goes with that till you get to the other side of freedom and even love for each other and release.

For the ones that stay together and decide that they want to commit to changing their sexless marriage into a marriage with sex, that requires a lot of work as well because you have to untangle what led to the issue. What is the problem? Can you change your concept of sex? It’s not just about the frequency. There’s usually something going on there that’s leading to the sexless marriage. Usually it has to do with the connection overall and the intimacy overall.

Sex is just kind of a reflection of what’s going on in the relationship overall and having to bring that relationship back together. It can be done. It definitely can be done, but sometimes it doesn’t exactly work out the way you think it’s going to work out, right?

Then we talked about the woman that’s having performance anxiety and how that is killing the intimacy in their relationship. That one, there’s a concept of what sexual intimacy should look like and how you should be the sexy kitten and how there should be this performance that goes on. Then we talked about there’s no Oscars for sexual intimacy. So nobody’s in the room with you evaluating it and then deciding wow, this is amazing or this sucks. This is not a performance. This is about connection and pleasure and satisfaction.

So what is the anxiety? What are the thoughts? You have to deal with what is causing the anxiety. What is causing the thoughts? What is it that you’re thinking that’s causing this performance anxiety? Being willing because there’s anxiety. So there’s going to be a lot of discomfort, right? Being willing to look at the thoughts, being willing to release the thoughts that, you know, it has to look a certain way or I have to perform a certain way. Being willing to come up with new ideas, being very, very willing to be vulnerable and talk it through with your partner, right?

So this messy middle, it’s not for the weak at heart, but it is an integral part of this whole process. So I want to make sure that you, my Diamonds, are aware that whatever endeavor you choose in your life in terms of this impossible intimacy game, that you understand that it’s going to involve the messy middle, and that is okay.

So when you’re at the beginning of this journey and you are identifying what you want your impossible intimacy game to look like, what is worth it for you to invest your time and energy, recognize that once you make that decision, there’s the messy middle that’s going to start. There may be a lot of discomfort in there, emotional discomfort. Might be needing to release a lot of ideas that we thought or a lot of ways that sex looked like in the past.

I was just talking to a Diamond about she has a tendency to, she’s in her sixties, and sex definitely is not the way that she thought it should be because she’s still comparing the sex in her sixties to the sex that she had in her twenties and thirties. It’s time to release that and to stop the comparison because you can’t make amazing sexual intimacy now if you’re still holding on to an antiquated idea about what it should look like.

If you can release that, then you can start working on what’s happening right now. But with that release, there’s also a loss. There’s a sadness. There’s an acknowledgement that my joints may not be working the way they did before. So I need to figure out how to get into a certain position. That position is the best position for my body or my back or my hips or whatever’s going on.

There’s an acknowledgement that my health may not be the same. There’s an acknowledgement that I may not have the same sensations that I had before. There’s a lot of acknowledgements. The partner may be dealing with, if it’s a partner with a penis, they may be dealing with erectile dysfunction, right?

There’s a lot of things that have to come into play in the messy middle to get to the other side where you figured out what positions work for your body and you figured out how you can still have pleasure whether or not you have an erection. When you get to that place where you get to create your new impossible intimacy goals and game and you succeed and you’re feeling fabulous but recognize you have to go through that messy middle.

So it’s going to take determination. It’s going to take grit. The key to the impossible intimacy game is fortitude and determination and definitely self-compassion mixed in there.

So Diamonds, are you ready to play your impossible intimacy game? Because the rewards on the other side are a hundred percent worth it. A hundred percent worth it. Okay. I think I’ve given you enough today to think about. It’s Dr. Sonia, out. Love you so much.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast. If you enjoy Dr. Sonia’s fun and caring approach to sexual intimacy, head to soniawrightmd.com to learn more.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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