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Category Archives: Gender

One for the boys scared of erotic boutiques

Most men I’ve taken into erotic boutiques get a glazed-over look on their usually intelligent faces and say, ‘I wouldnt know what most of these things are, let alone what to do with them.’ They want to shop, but don’t know where to start.

For those of you who want to buy erotic gifts for your partner, but are nervous about setting foot in the shop, here are my top 3 tips to get you in the mood.

1. Let the sales assistant do the work for you

Don’t be afraid to be naive. You’re a customer in a shop not a school boy in a classroom. No one is going to test your knowledge.The sales assistants are there to help you. Rest assured that every question you want to ask, someone else has asked before you.

Don’t be tempted to hide your nervousness in banter, You’re in a sex shop – its likely the banter that falls out of your mouth will be suggestive. And then you’ll just look sleazy, the sales assistant will do a brilliant job at ignoring your awkwardness and you’ll want to run from the shop.

Just be honest. Say something like, ‘I’m not really sure where to start. I’m looking to buy my girlfriend a gift.’

If you’re unsure about how she’ll react to a dildo and leather cuffs, go for a gentler option. Candles, massage candles, massage oils, perfumes and chocolates are all good gifts that won’t get you into trouble and will make her smile.

On a practical note, know what your budget is. You can spend anything from £20 to several hundred on one gift.

2. Lingerie

If you’re buying lingerie, shop for her not for you. Yes, I know its for you as well, but if doesn’t like it, she won’t wear it. Not the result you want.

Take your clues from what she already wears. Get similar stuff. You want to look at colour, material and style.

Colour – If she wears pinks and whites, don’t buy a black and red combo. Even if thats your fantasy.

Material – If you’ve never seen her – or felt her – in velvet, don’t buy velvet. If you’re unsure, silk is a usually a good option.

Style – Is her lingerie more girl-next-door or vamp? Buy accordingly.

As a general rule, women like both comfort and looks in lingerie.

If you’re unsure or cant remember the colour, material and style that she likes, don’t worry. There’s a way out. Go simple. Tell the sales assistant that this is the first time you’re buying her lingerie and that you want to play it safe. Go for a neutral colour –  black or cream, and get something fun and flirty rather than outright sexy. Like a camisole top and knickers.

3. Mindset. 

Think of the shopping trip and the purchase as fun, not dirty. In your mind, it needs to go in a different compartment to lads mags. Mindset might not seem important but it is. Lots of blokes trip up on this one. It bites them in the backside later on when they see their girlfriend enjoying the gifts and being more explicitly sexual than she usually is. Strange but true – lots of men struggle with this and start to see their relationship as ‘dirty’. Not the result you want.  Don’t do that to yourself. You want to keep the fun you have with your girlfriend separate in your head to the stuff of lads mag.

Enjoy!

I recommend both Coco de Mer and She Said http://www.shesaidboutique.com/

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Posted by on 13/02/2012 in Erotic Pleasure, Gender, Sex

 

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Tearing Up the Good Girl Script: A Date for Women

We were taught to be good girls. Thats the trouble. Good girls don’t make happy women. Are you ready to stop being good and start being happy?

Our date will be dedicated to two questions:

1.Where in my life am I trying to be good instead of aiming to be happy?

2.What shifts need to occur for me to be happy in that area of my life?

If you are unhappy in your relationship but don’t want to rock the boat; or you feel overwhelmed by taking care of your family’s needs at the expense of your own, then its likely that you are playing out the good girl script.

We are brought up to be good girls. Its a script that runs so deep that, as adults, we can keep playing it out unconsciously. Our date will be structured in an informal workshop style, including guided exercises, teaching and discussion. My expertise is in contemporary gender theory and the technologies of the tantric/yogic traditions. I’ll share with you some invaluable tools that will help you identify, articulate and create a way of being that is less ‘good girl’ and more ‘happy woman’.

Date & time: Sunday 26th February  2012, 1pm to 5pm

Place: Bermondsey Fayre, 212 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ

Cost: £40 (Payment by card, bank transfer or cash)

To book, contact Liz Dillon on 07749 453 894                                                                                                                       

Previous participants said:

It was wonderful to tear up the the good girl script with Vena. Since the workshop I’ve been noticing this issue everywhere, the session raised my awareness significantly. Following the workshop I felt more assertive and carefree, and like I’d made progress on some personal issues. Vena’s caring and empowering presence enables an immediate freedom of expression, her work is liberating and like a breath of fresh air.  

Emily Wilkinson, Artist

When I saw the title to this event I was intrigued. I sure had the good girl script running and wondered what was the other side of it. The day was not only revealing but freeing and I cannot recommend it highly enough in such a safe environment and intuitive hands. I feel I have gained new and exciting insights as well as gaining the courage to keep re-writing MY script.

Jo Noon, Director :: Creative Services Consultancy

“Tearing up the good girl script” proved to be a compelling and insightful exploration of where we as women give up our power and our willingness to ask the question ‘what do I really want?’ and to stand up for the answer. Vena is an excellent guide for such an exploration because she has lived and breathed it in her own life. Everything she does is given exquisite care, and you will be in experienced and safe hands if you decide to take this next, exciting step on your own journey into being the beautiful, bold woman you are. My advice? jump right in…!

Joanne Sumner, Coach and Holistic Therapist

I experienced the workshop as a wonderfully safe, exploratory space. I greatly appreciated your skills as facilitator, ensuring safe boundaries while bringing focus and insight. I continue to reflect on the tensions between being ‘good’ and being happy in my own assumptions and behaviour, and I the workshop has given me perspective and confidence with which to challenge myself – on a pretty much daily basis!

Rebecca, Art Psychotherapist

 
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Posted by on 08/11/2011 in Events, Gender

 

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Benefits with Friends?

Yesterday, I went to see the new Justin Timberlake/ Mila Kunis film – Friends With Benefits http://fwb-movie.com/

It touches on the well known question, ‘Can you have sex with a friend without the sex complicating the friendship?’ or ‘Can you have sex with someone and remain friends?’

This type of question assumes that sex has the power to complicate friendship; which assumes that sex is complicated and friendship is simple. I would ask the question the other way – can you develop a friendship with someone and still have great, uncomplicated sex with them?

Just asking….

 
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Posted by on 31/08/2011 in Gender, Love, Romance, Sex

 

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Unlocking Your Body’s Sexual Power. A salon for women

I’m delighted to be teaching this salon, hosted by the exclusive erotic boutique – coco de mer.

Date: Wednesday 16 March, 6.45pm

Place: coco de mer, 108 Draycott Ave, South Kensington, London, UK

Ladies, to find out more and to book, click here

http://tinyurl.com/Body-s-Sexual-Power

 
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Posted by on 07/03/2011 in Events, Gender

 

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Tearing Up the Good Girl Script: A Date for Women

Our date will be dedicated to two questions:

  • Where in my life am I trying to be good instead of aiming to be happy?
  • What shifts need to occur for me to be happy in that area of my life?

If you are unhappy in your relationship but don’t want to rock the boat; or you feel overwhelmed by taking care of your family’s needs at the expense of your own, then its likely that you are playing out the good girl script.

We are brought up to be good girls. Its a script that runs so deep that, as adults, we can keep playing it out unconsciously. Our date will be structured in an informal workshop style, including guided exercises, discussion and exquisite food. My expertise is in contemporary gender theory and the technologies of the tantric/yogic traditions. I’ll share with you some invaluable tools that will help you identify, articulate and create a way of being that is less ‘good girl’ and more ‘happy woman’.

Time: 11.00am – 2.30pm

Date: Thursday 20th January 2011

Place: Dru Cafe, 131 Drummond Street, Euston, London NW1 2HL

Fee: £50.00  Includes organic lunch and refreshments

The group will be small so it will be a very rich experience.

To book, email vena@venaramphal.com

Previous participants said:

When I saw the title to this event I was intrigued. I sure had the good girl script running and wondered what was the other side of it. The day was not only revealing but freeing and I cannot recommend it highly enough in such a safe environment and intuitive hands. I feel I have gained new and exciting insights as well as gaining the courage to keep re-writing MY script.

Jo Noon, Director :: Creative Services Consultancy

“Tearing up the good girl script” proved to be a compelling and insightful exploration of where we as women give up our power and our willingness to ask the question ‘what do I really want?’ and to stand up for the answer. Vena is an excellent guide for such an exploration because she has lived and breathed it in her own life. Everything she does is given exquisite care, and you will be in experienced and safe hands if you decide to take this next, exciting step on your own journey into being the beautiful, bold woman you are. My advice? jump right in…!

Joanne Sumner, Coach and Holistic Therapist

I experienced the workshop as a wonderfully safe, exploratory space. I greatly appreciated your skills as facilitator, ensuring safe boundaries while bringing focus and insight. I continue to reflect on the tensions between being ‘good’ and being happy in my own assumptions and behaviour, and I the workshop has given me perspective and confidence with which to challenge myself – on a pretty much daily basis!

Rebecca, Art Psychotherapist

 
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Posted by on 04/10/2010 in Events, Gender

 

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Alpha Men and Emotions: Having the Balls to Feel

A good proportion of my clients are men between the ages of 40 and 55. They are successful high achievers. They have dutifully played the part our society scripts out for successful, high achieving men: they have a noteworthy career, a wife and children and a certain standing in the world. They’ve earned the respect of others.

Another part of the script they’ve played very well is the stage instruction that reads: ‘suppress your feelings’.

From a very young age boys are taught to not do feeling – girls do that. Boys are taught to cut off from their emotions – don’t cry; pull yourself together; be a boy not a wuss. That’s what makes boys ‘strong’. And strong boys grow up to be powerful men. So its not surprising that these powerful men live their lives ignoring their feelings. Until they can’t.

The underlying reason they are my consulting room is that they are waking up to their own feelings. The more obvious reasons  are usually along the lines of: they are thinking about leaving their wife; or their wife has left them; or they are ‘having an affair’. I really dislike that term and only use it for convenience. Dissatisfaction in personal relationship is a classic symptom of what’s usually called a midlife crisis – another term I dislike. Its not a crisis, its an awakening.

We know that gender stereotyping is very deep seated. We also know that such stereotyping suppresses certain behaviours in both men and women – it dictates what is acceptable and what is not for both genders.

I want to talk about a more subtle aspect of this gendered script: its energetic impact. Men are expected not to express emotion. This means that they are expected to suppress it. It takes a lot of energy to suppress emotion. Its easy to think of it as a passive process but its not. Ignoring something is an active choice – its an activity. And activities take up energy.

From what I’ve seen in my clients, by the time they come to see me they have spent years actively ignoring what they want. Their dissatisfaction didn’t turn up last week, it started whispering its presence a long time ago. And now its shouting. Its not unusual for me to hear that someone has been unhappy for well over a decade. In all that time they have put their precious energy into suppressing what they feel and want. They know they have been unhappy but they have soldiered on, often distracting themselves in work.

It would be perfectly viable to recommend that men experiencing a midlife awakening should reconnect with their emotions simply because its a healthy thing to do – which it is. But there is more to it than that. Emotions are a huge power source. We all know how much we can be affected by the way we feel – it impacts our behaviours, thoughts, outputs, achievements, interactions. Emotions are potent. So a key benefit for alpha men allowing themselves to feel, express and follow their emotions is that they access their own power source. The irony is that by ignoring emotion, alpha men are preventing themselves from being as successful as they could be. Think of all the energy that has gone into ignoring and suppressing feeling. Now think of the energy contained in the feeling itself. Thats a lot of energy that could be put to good use. Suppression acts like a short circuit mechanism – cutting off thinking and acting from feeling.

Having the balls to go off script and become a feeling alpha male will probably have a range of consequences – some of which might be uncomfortable, because its new behaviour. But one thing it will do for sure is give you a level of access to your innate power that you simply cant have when short circuiting your emotions. You can then focus this power to create even greater levels of success – in work, in relationship, in whatever you like. And because you’ve included your feelings in your life whatever success you create will be truly satisfying. Enjoy!

 
 

Tearing Up the Good Girl Script: A Date For Women Of Substance

 Would you like to come on a date with me?

Our date will be dedicated to two questions: 

  • Where in my life am I trying to be good instead of aiming to be happy?
  • What shifts need to occur for me to be happy in that area of my life?

We are brought up to be good girls. Its a script that runs so deep that, as adults, we can keep playing it out unconsciously. Our date will be structured in an informal workshop style, including guided exercises for you to access your embodied wisdom, as well as shared conversation over exquisite food. I’ll share some information from contemporary gender theory and the yoga/tantra traditions that I have found invaluable in helping me to shift from being good to being happy. I’ve had quite a journey with this so far, and I look forward to more!

What time: 11.00am – 2.30pm 

On one of the following:

wednesday 17th Feb

thursday 18th March

Where: Dru Cafe, 131 Drummond Street, Euston, London NW1 2HL

How much: £50.00 for the event and for delicious, freshly cooked organic lunch, juices and afternoon tea ‘n cake/ energy bar

The group will be small so it will be a very rich experience. 

To book, email venaramphal@hotmail.com  stating which date you would like to come on.

Previous participants said:

When I saw the title to this event I was intrigued. I sure had the good girl script running and wondered what was the other side of it. The day was not only revealing but freeing and I cannot recommend it highly enough in such a safe environment and intuitive hands. I feel I have gained new and exciting insights as well as gaining the courage to keep re-writing MY script.

Jo Noon, Director :: Creative Services Consultancy

 

“Tearing up the good girl script” proved to be a compelling and insightful exploration of where we as women give up our power and our willingness to ask the question ‘what do I really want?’ and to stand up for the answer. Vena is an excellent guide for such an exploration because she has lived and breathed it in her own life. Everything she does is given exquisite care, and you will be in experienced and safe hands if you decide to take this next, exciting step on your own journey into being the beautiful, bold woman you are. My advice? jump right in…!

 Joanne Sumner, Coach and Holistic Therapist

 

I experienced the workshop as a wonderfully safe, exploratory space. I greatly appreciated your skills as facilitator, ensuring safe boundaries while bringing focus and insight. I continue to reflect on the tensions between being ‘good’ and being happy in my own assumptions and behaviour, and I the workshop has given me perspective and confidence with which to challenge myself – on a pretty much daily basis!

Rebecca, Art Psychotherapist


 
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Posted by on 05/01/2010 in Events, Gender

 

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