top of page

Individual and Couples Counselling in Calgary

  • Writer's pictureRovena Magidin

Dyads and Intimacy

a couple facing each other, lovingly

My very first blog post was about one the best communication tools for couples I know of - Dyads. It’s a practice I share with all people I work with.

It’s very simple. You've got two people, a sharing partner and a listening partner, and you start with a question. Listening partner asks the question and the sharing partner responds. The listening partner says "Thank you". Then the roles are reversed.

The listening partner’s job is to hold space, listen and understand. Understand deeply.

You don’t ask questions, you don’t problem solve, you don't offer suggestions, you don’t talk about you, you just listen. You hold a safe space for your partner to share something that might not be so easy to share, that may be vulnerable. The only thing you are allowed to say is "Thank you". Thank you means I get it, I understand. Thank you for sharing with me.

Sharing partner - it takes courage. You go for the real deal, for your truth, in that moment. You speak about yourself and what’s true for you. You don’t criticize or blame or shame your partner, you talk about your own thoughts, and feelings, and experiences.

The intention is to learn something about yourself and your partner, to feel heard, seen, understood. To feel safe and connected. To open up, to move through judgement and misunderstanding. To slow down. A lot.

It’s a beautiful and very connected process.

When you are listening - you know it’s not about you. It is your job to focus on your partner and not to take it personally.

It’s a great tool to use before trying to make a decision or find a solution to a problem. When both people feel truly understood, you avoid a lot of grief and conflicts.

a couple facing each other, smiling

When it comes to sex and intimacy, this becomes an advanced practice.

When sharing about sex, it’s much harder to be vulnerable and take risks, it’s much harder not to take it personally, it’s much harder to stay calm and present and not feel threatened.

So we practice! We start with easier questions first. We open up a little bit. We test the waters. We only go deeper when we are ready.

These are good conversations to have. You might learn something new. You might become closer. You might feel inspired to try something different. Even if you feel you know your partner very well (which is wonderful), you are growing and changing and your relationship changes - you might discover something new.

We go through different stages in life that can impact our intimacy greatly. Sometimes we don’t always know what we want or need, or how to talk to each other about it.

It’s ok. It’s human. We can learn to talk about it in a way that feels sacred and special.

Here are some Dyad questions suggestions. Pick and choose, make up your own, play with it. Practice. Let me know what happens.

Remember to say “Thank you” and nothing else after each share. Don’t make a joke, or a suggestion, or share your opinion. You don’t know how hard it was for your partner to share. Hold an impeccable space for them. If you haven’t read the original post, please do it first.

You might ask the questions about sex, or intimacy, or have it open, focisuin on both aspects, sexual and non-sexual intimacy.

In no particular order:

Tell me something about you and sex and/or intimacy that you want me to know

Tell me something about you and sex that you think I don’t get

When it comes to sex and/or intimacy, tell me something that’s important to you

When it comes to sex, tell me something that’s vulnerable for you

When it comes to sex tell me something you want

When it comes to sex tell me something you need

Ask one question, say thank you, then ask the second question, say thank you and only then switch. Go back and forth like this 5-6 times, see what comes up

If you could have it all your way, sex would be ......

If you could have it all your way, non sexual intimacy would be ......

If you could have it all your way, Initiation would look like .....

- Foreplay would look like ......

- During sex ........

- After sex ........

When it comes to sex

  • tell me something you are worried about

  • tell me something you fear

  • tell me something you are grieving

  • tell me something that changed

Tell me something you are longing for in our sex life and/or intimacy

Tell me something you want more of in our sex life

Tell me something you appreciate about our sex life

Tell me something that's wokring well for you about our sex life

Tell me something you don't know how to ask for in our sex life

When it comes to sex, tell me something that excites you

And you finsih with sharing something you appreaciate about your partner in this conversation. Their willingness to show up, their courage, their patinece, their support, thier openness. Thier love.

Remember the intention here is to start an open dialogue. If you hear something that triggers you and you overreact, it will be much harder for your partner to share again next time. By saying "thank you" you are not agreeing to anything, you are just acknowledging that you understand, you appreciate your partner for taking a risk, for sharing, for being vulnerable with you. When you discuss the process later, you could say "I really appreciated you sharing xyz with me, even thought it was hard for me to hear it". You can ask more questions then, you can discuss if there's something you might want to try now, after sharing and learning about your partner.

a couple hugging

If you need a little bit more support with having conversations like this, or figuring out how to create intimacy that is fulfilling and joyful and free, I'd be a happy to support you. As a Sex Therapist and Couples Counsellor in Calgary, I love working with individuas and couples. You can book a free consultation with me here.


bottom of page