conversation starters

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did you like about school as a child?

  2. What do you wish was different about your school experience?

  3. Share one memory from your elementary school experience.

  4. Share one memory from your middle school experience.

  5. How did your family or community support your education?

  6. What were you good at in school?  When did you feel proud?

  7. What did you imagine you would be when you grew up?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #10 – She Drives Me Crazy: Attachment Styles in Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 10: She Drives Me Crazy: Attachment Styles in Relationships

Are you repeating the same patterns over and over again in relationships? How you bond with your early caregivers can affect how you partner and show up in relationships.

In this episode Julie and Gina discuss the 4 main attachment styles and how they influence your current or future relationships.

This episode covers:

  • What “attachment style” means.

  • How your early attachment influences your relationship patterns.

  • The 4 main styles of attachment.

  • How knowing your attachment style can help you feel validated about the choices you make in relationship.

  • The different areas of your relationship that can be affected by your attachment style – intimacy, conflict, sex, communication, expectations and more!

  • Stan Tatkin's language for attachment – Anchor, Wave and Island

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

What is attachment style - 

“Attachment theory is the vitamins of couples therapy work. You want to know about it”

“There is so much about relationships I wish we learned in school!”

“There's not a hierarchy of good attachment and bad attachment, like “you're a bad person if you have this time of attachment.” This is all created when we are little. And it can shift and change over time. Our primary attachment style is imprinted from early on.”

On early attachment -

“I first learned about attachment in graduate school. It's a very big part of our education especially if you are working with families and couples. A place it really started to resonate with me was when I was becoming a mom and focusing on my kid's attachment. And wanting to be able to be a secure base for her. Sometimes when I talk about attachment with people they say they understand that it is what a parent does with a kid, but they don't realize that that creates the person who is going to grow up and attach with another person and that can affect how we show up in relationship.”

On the ways attachment style affects your partnerships-

“Our attachment style can lie dormant but it gets heightened in certain moments and it really gets heightened when we move towards one another or move away. That can be global or very specific. Leaving for work, or going to bed at the end of the day, or leaving on trips, or coming together, or moving in together.”

“How you view intimacy and how you view partnership is influenced by your attachment style. How you deal with conflict. What your attitude toward sex is – what it represents for you. How comfortable you are coming together or not – the distance you keep or the lack of space you want to have. Your ability to communicate your wanting and your needs. And the expectations you have about your relationship or about your partnership – can all be influenced by this stuff that was imprinted ages ago! It’s so wild to me! The conditioning that starts so long ago, that is a foundational building block, then becomes a foundational building block for our relationship too.”

“When we have different styles then it can be really challenging for people because the very thing I need from you to feel comfortable is something that isn't comfortable for you potentially, or the thing that feels kind of typical or normal for me is a stretch for you. How do we meet each other? How do we meet ourselves sometimes? How can I better understand what you are wanting and needing and how can you better understand what I want and need as well?”

On attachment style and dating - 

“For the folks that are single or dating – I strongly recommend they learn more about attachment because then they can not only know their attachment style, they can have a better idea about what kind of attachment style will best resonate with them or serve them depending on how they want to shift and grow in their lives.”

The Anxious and Avoidant couple - 

“Partner #1 'Why can't you tell me you love me more often?' Partner #2 'Why can't you trust that I love you?'”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love  by Amir Levine  

Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin

Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate by Stan Tatkin

Action Steps from the Podcast

Really look at your rituals of connections and separateness throughout the day.Create connecting rituals – usually morning and evening work well.

How do we greet each other in the morning? How do we say goodbye? How do we greet each other at the end of the day? And how do we say goodnight? What feels really good for both of us? 

Play with that idea of separateness and togetherness – moving towards and moving away.

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. Which of your childhood experiences most influence your life today?

  2. Who were your relationship role models growing up?  Who are they now?

  3. What did your parents' partnership teach you about relationships directly or indirectly?

  4. What were the best and worst parts of your parents' relationship(s)?

  5. Which of your previous relationships most influences the way you show up in relationships now?

  6. What do you wish was different about your relationship history?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #9 – Rock the Boat: Breaking Out of a Sexual Rut

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast: Episode #9 – Rock the Boat: Breaking Out of a Sexual Rut

Most long-lasting couples end up in some kind of sexual routine and lots of them ultimately find themselves in a sexual rut. They can feel uninspired, bored, disconnected or generally un-sexy and that’s where it can become a problem.

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina focus on the ways couples end up in a sexually stuck place and a few ways you can break out of routines that no longer serve you.

This episode covers:

  • How to break out of a sexual rut in your relationship.

  • Why diversifying your sexual interactions is good for your relationship.

  • How to start a conversation about what you want in bed.

  • Where to find inspiration if you need help coming up with ideas.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On why you got in a rut in the first place - 

“There’s nothing wrong with having a few go-tos… and for people who are feeling stuck or uninspired with that it’s good to have ways to expand your routine.“

“We create a routine because it works for us we find something that works and we’re like‘I want to do this again because I want to feel this way again’ so we keep repeating and keep repeating and keep repeating it.”

“We do what works because it feels safe, we know if we do it this way we’ll maintain orgasm and we fear if we change it we’ll lose everything.”

Why routine is a problem -

“It feels so stuck and people feel shame around it, like it means they’re boring or not sexy or not inspired. You can get sucked into that energy and get sucked into a hold of gloom about it.”

“Sometimes we fall into routine to protect ourselves from vulnerability… our routine instead of supporting connection protects us from that vulnerability.”

On bringing up your needs -

“There is nothing wrong with having fantasy or desire or wanting to try something new.”

“Sometimes a desire or idea lands on our partner like a request. You can run to a place of request and start implementation and problem solving and miss the opportunity to honor the vulnerability of my bringing it up.”

On finding inspiration -

“Sometimes people have ideas but they’re afraid to share what’s outside the routine. And sometimes they’re like ‘I don’t even know what we would do differently. This represents what sex is for me and I don’t know what else is out there.”

“You may not be into the most extreme ends of BDSM Play but you might want to be nibbled on or even whipped cream play could be something you’re interested in…. so this list is great to spark ideas EVEN IF BDSM isn’t something you consider part of your interest.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Sexual Communication Episode Link

Sexual Self-Reflection Journal

Consent Worksheet for Relationships

BDSM Checklist

Action Steps from the Podcast

Seduction Bowl

Have a conversation with your lover about things you want to try during sex. A full list of things you’d be interested in doing if your partner was down right now.

These things can be very simple: lights on instead of off, undressing each other, etc not the most intimidating fantasies you have. Only include things you’re both on board and ready for.

Cut the list into strips of paper and put them into a container for inspiration in the moment.

So if you find yourself lacking inspiration in the moment of trying to initiate sex with your partner you pull one of these slips of paper out and do it.

Sexy Bucket List

Any items from your seduction bowl that take more time, preparation, or learning put on a sexy bucket list so if there is a day when you have more time to prepare or plan for an act you can do it with due diligence.


About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. When do you feel most proud?

  2. What helps you feel confident?

  3. When do you feel sexy?

  4. What makes you feel most alive?

  5. What can I do to support your strength?

  6. When do you feel most connected to me?

  7. What can I do to foster more of that sense of connection?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #8 – Honey, I'm Home - Division of Labor & Connected Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast: Episode #8 – Honey, I'm Home - Division of Labor & Connected Relationships

Do you and your partner fight over the roles and responsibilities in your relationship? Does the division of labor feel equitable? Are you clear about your expectations?

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina talk about one of the most common sources of conflict in relationships – Division of Labor! They'll share tips for exploring your default roles and ways you can create a system that works better for your relationship and lives!

This episode covers:

  • The division of labor in households and relationships.

  • The way our culture or family of origin influences our default roles in relationship.

  • Different types of labor or contribution in relationship – primarily emotional, physical and financial.

  • The conflict or resentment that can arise around division of labor or relationship contribution.

  • Examples of how you and your partner can “weigh” different tasks in your relationship to help things feel more equitable.

  • The importance of checking in about roles and expectations to make sure your division of labor is still working for your lives and your relationship.

Memorable Quotes from the Podcast:

On division of labor -

“For a long time the main way I saw it come up with people was specifically talking about chores around the house and the things that keep the household running...in the last year or two it's come up more about “the big picture of the relationship” - the hopes and the dreams and the goals. Who's keeping the relationship moving forward.”

“Sometimes the work that goes into creating a family or a life or a team, some of it's really tangible. What’s the financial investment? What are the hours invested? Who's doing physical labor? And some of it isn't necessarily tangible - the management functions of tracking, coordinating or overseeing or planning...it's harder to name these things. So sometimes folks I see get in conflict over this because they are striving for an equal balance, that feels really important to them, they want that, but one of them tends to have greater strengths in one area and one has other skills. We each monitor our contribution and try to measure our partner's contribution to whatever our defaults are.”

“When we think of that big picture thing or the emotional labor, I think of the computer tabs you have open in your brain. And sometimes your partner doesn't even know that they are there. But somebody's got to have them. And I talk to people who are so beside themselves - 'How do you think this household runs? How do you not know this?'”

“In my partnership, my partner loves to do the dishes and I hate it. I hate it! I would rather throw out the dishes than do the dishes honestly. So it's been beautiful! I haven't done dishes in 10 years.”

On our default roles and expectations -

“The reason this comes up all the time in sessions is that it's usually something that we set up on default without a lot of talking about it or without a lot of intention and almost never do we have a system in place to check in with each other about how's it going.”

“We often create this system out of default. Like what our family taught us. Or what culture teaches us....Or what used to work for us but not longer fits with our lives.”

“You'll end up in defaults, potentially with resentment, if you don't have a way to talk about the ways the contributions sit right now and if you don't have a way to check in as they change.”

On division of labor equality -

“I like to tell the couples I work with, If you are aiming for an equal split, If you don't feel like you are doing more than your fair share, you are not doing your fair share. There is just so much to do!”

“Our culture hasn't done a great job of teaching half the people in it to take care of their home or their belongings. I've worked with a lot of men who are like, “I would like to help out, no one really taught me how to do this well and I feel like I'm letting down my partner all the time when I try...”

“There are some things that we sometimes just have to do to manage a life or a household or a team that neither of us are good at and neither of us want to do. Nobody wants to clean the cat box. Nobody wants to wrap the gifts for Christmas and still sometimes those things have to get done. So how do we do it in a way that feels like it honors not not our strengths but also honors the things we are avoiding or hate doing?”

On the importance of having a process to talk about your roles, responsibilities and resources -

“We need space to have these conversations. Yes, focused space. I think about how often in long term relationship or couples who are doing lots of coordinating and managing, you can read their tests and the beginning stage texts are 'La la la you're so cute. Tell me about the things you like' and the longer they are together the texts are like 'Can you pick up cat food? Did you remember the _____ I'm running late ______.' It's just not very cute.”

“In an ideal world we can sit down and have this beautiful conversation about who's going to take on what and how we got there, but there is all this pain wrapped up in this stuff too.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

How to Share the "Mental Load" of Chores With Your Partner

You should’ve asked

Women Aren't Nags—We're Just Fed Up

Action Steps from the Podcast

Have a regular management meeting 

Check in about Resources, Roles and Responsibilities

What are the resources you are contributing? What are your shared resources?

What are your roles (give updates about what is falling under your role or ask for input)?

How are you feeling about your responsibilities?

Household Management Meeting Template for Couples

About Your Swoon Hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What excites you most in life right now?

  2. What made you happy this week?

  3. When do you feel most inspired in your daily life?

  4. What brings you a sense of awe or wonder?

  5. When do you feel most creatively alive?

  6. Tell me about a time you felt overwhelming joy.

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Light My Fire - Erotic Fire in Long-Term Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This Week: Episode 7 – Light My Fire - Erotic Fire in Long-Term Relationships

Do you feel disconnected from your partner? Does it feel like it takes a lot energy to initiate sex (or show up for sex)? 

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina talk about tending the erotic fire in your relationship. As away to keep the romance, intimacy and passion alive in your relationship

This episode covers:

  • What it means tend your erotic fire.

  • Things you can do to connect to your own sexual fire.

  • Ways you can keep the erotic connection going in your relationship. 

  • How touch, flirting, seduction, and active engagement can help you feel connected between and during sex.

  • Finding small ways to have sex or sensuality or pleasure on your radar in between sexual encounters.

Memorable Quotes from the Podcast:

On tending your erotic fire - 

“People can have a sexual encounter and then if there isn't a thread or erotic fire in between encounters, the next time it's time to have sex you kind of have to gear up for it...to get into the sexual realm can feel like it takes a lot of energy.”

“If you've ever built a fire, it takes a lot of energy to get it started from scratch. And if it goes out, it takes a lot of energy to build it up again. But if you have a fire and it dies down a bit, it's easier to build it back up again.”

“Different people have different erotic templates or different things that get them in the mood to have sex and help them feel ready...for some people, that includes things that are not sexual, feeling connected outside of sex. I talk to a lot of people who say, 'I feel disconnected, I can't have sex and their parter is like 'well I feel disconnected so we need to have sex, that's how I feel connected” Thinking about the erotic fire or thread allows us to do things that help us feel engaged so that when we are ready to have sex we're not going from 0-60, the engine is already a little big warm.”

On compartmentalization -

“We often compartmentalize sex from other parts of our life and it feels like it's over there and I have to get in the mindset or prep for it.”

“Some people pack their sexuality away...especially people who have careers or jobs where it feels inappropriate to be sexy. They pack that part of themselves away and they keep it packed away until it's time to have sex...and then what do you have to do? You have to unpack it and put it back on.”

On Foreplay -

“Foreplay begins as soon as sex ends or as soon as the last orgasm is had. If you are viewing your relationship and your sexual connection through that lens, the way you interact on a daily basis is going to be different. You may be more mindful with your words. You may be more attentive to your partner. You may prioritize different things. Because all of it...it becomes this entire dance about eroticism and connection.”

On putting energy into your relationship - 

“Are you showing up for date night the way that you showed up for your third date? Or are you showing up for it, kind of half-assed without a lot of excitement?”

“Relationships and sexual relationships require energy...and some people don't like that. There is still this pervasive idea that sex should be spontaneous and easy, our connection should be spontaneous, it shouldn't require any work or effort or planning or attention. I very much disagree with that idea. I see a lot of people who hope that's true and then end up not having any sex.”

“Do small things regularly and get a huge payoff.”

On tending your own erotic fire - 

“Whether or not you are in a relationship, it's important to explore your own erotic fire. What are the things that keep you connected to who you are as a sexual being?”

“Sometimes the things that make our heart beat really fast, those are the things that make us feel a little bit alive.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

BDSM Checklist Worksheet

Action Steps from the Podcast

Make a list of 10 ways you can tend your own erotic fire.

Then start doing the things on your list.

**Bonus homework - If you are in a relationship – 

Make a list of 10 ways your partner can attend the erotic fire between you.Each person does this and then you share your lists. Where is the overlap? What is different? Start doing the things that stoke your partner's fire and they will start doing things off your list.

About Your Swoon Hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. How are you like your mother?

  2. How are you different from your mother?

  3. How are you like your father?

  4. How are you different from your father?

  5. What keeps you close to your parents?

  6. What creates distance between you and your parents?

  7. How would you like your relationship with your parents to grow or change in the next year?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Your Body is a Wonderland - Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week: Your Body is a Wonderland - Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Do you have a hard time staying present during sex? Are you distracted? Worried about performance? Or focusing on your to do list?

In today’s podcast Gina and Julie share tools and practices to help you stay present and experience more pleasure in and out of the bedroom.

This episode covers:

  • Sign the petition asking Psychology Today, the largest online therapist directory, to add a third gender option to their search filters. 

  • What it means to get out of your head and into your body.

  • Different ways anxiety, distraction, multitasking or focusing on performance creates more stress and pressure during sex.

  • The ways embodiment can make sex more enjoyable and connecting.

  • Tools or rituals to get in your body – Sensual walk.

  • A practice you can use when you feel distracted (or your mind is busy) during sex.

  • How presence can lead to more pleasure.

Memorable quotes in the podcast

On being in your brain vs. being in your body -

“I often work with people who are operating from the neck up. They are not connected to their body. Sometimes they can't feel sensation in their body. Sometimes they are so wrapped up in the swirls and whirls and rollercoaster that is going on in their brain that they can't feel if they are turned on, they can't feel desire, they can't feel pleasure, because they are so in their brain. “

“I think our brains are really important. I don’t want you doing math with your vagina. There are things we really need our brains for. However, there are times our brain get in the way – distraction, multitasking, anxiety, making a to do list while your partner is kissing your neck - there are times that being in our brains keep us from the full spectrum of pleasure.”

On the times if doesn't feel OK to be in your body -

“It's unsafe for some people to be in their body. I get migraines and when I do, I don't want to be in my body. It's so painful and if I just sat there and felt my pain, that's not going to be helpful for me. What I always have to do afterward is come back into my body the next day. And I have a ritual around that.”

“It's not a problem to not be in your body. Sometimes it's too painful to be in your body. We also need to know how to get back in our body.”

On pleasure and presence -

“What is your goal for sexual connection? Is your goal something that is actually serving you? If the goal is connection, orgasm or erection might not matter. If the goal is joy, or pleasure, there are a lot of pathways to achieve those goals that aren’t always as specific as 'I have to have this kind of sex', and 'it has to look this way' and 'it has to take this much time.'”

“Our minds work like a tribe of playful monkeys. If you are going to train them, yelling at them isn't going to help much. But if you are gentle or playful with them you are far more likely to have success and far more likely not to stress yourself out.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Action Steps from the Podcast

Focus on Sensuality -

Connect with your senses in a nonsexual way.

What are you seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling?

Practice this with food or in the shower.

Bonus Action Step - Shift to a mindful kiss

Notice, did you actually connect with your partner during your kiss. Were you present?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. Who was your hero growing up?

  2. What did you learn from them?

  3. Who do you admire now and why?

  4. If you could ask them one piece of advice what would you ask?

  5. If you could trade lives with them for one day, what would you learn?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: I Want You to Want Me: High Desire Partners & Intimate Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week: I WANT YOU TO WANT ME: High Desire Partners & Intimate Relationships

Being the high desire partner can seem like a simple problem form the outside, but people living this experience will tell you it's not that easy. You want to connect, share passion, and get your needs met, but you need to be careful to do it in ways that don't add pressure to what can often be a tense situation.

Let Gina and Julie help you understand how to handle high desire in mismatched desire relationships, in loving consensual ways.

This episode covers:

  • They ways “higher desire” can affect an individual and a relationship

  • Many of the factors that can influence how much desire someone experiences

  • The difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire 

  • Practical tools you can use in your relationship or with yourself to explore willingness, pleasure and desire

Memorable Quotes in This Episode

On the inner experience of the high desire partner -

“High desire partners often experience an intense inner struggle, where on one hand they know they are entitled to have desire, and they know there's nothing wrong with asking for what I want, but at the same time I'm tired of always being the one to gets things started... so I either feel like I am pressuring someone all the time, or I take it personally.”

On our culture and sex -

“Sometimes we have a tendency to talk about sex like it's not important or it's base. We tell people to focus on love more. There's something wrong with you if you have a lot of desire. You're not enlightened if you have a lot of desire. So there can be shame around this.”

On knowing when high desire is a problem -

“There are a small number people on one extreme end of the spectrum where their desire, boundaries about sex or impulse control about sex are interruptive in their life, they can't make it work, they betray relationships, they don't respect the boundaries of others because they can't manage their sexual impulsivity BUT that is one small end of the spectrum.”

"Is it causing you emotional strife or relationship problems?"

"Is it negatively impacting your life?"

On sex and love -

“For some people, sex and love go together and that's really important. But for some people, it doesn't and that's okay. ”

On exploring desire -

"If I believe the only way for me to get my sexual needs met is to have sex with a partner that can put a lot of pressure on a relationship... When we focus in on only one pathway to pleasure and stop playing around."

"It's okay to like other stuff."

"One of the most important ingredients for a great sex life is curiosity and a willingness to explore."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity TED Talk, Esther Perel

Action Steps from the Podcast

Explore different ways of being in your body and connecting sexually with yourself and/or with your partner.

Esther Perel Reflection Activity

Take a piece of paper (or use your computer) and draw a line down the middle (creating two columns).

Write "Love" at the top of the left column and write down your first responses to the following questions.

"Love is..."

"When I think of love, I think of..."

"When I love, I feel..."

"When I am loved I feel..."

"In love, I look for..."

"I wish I experienced love as..."

On the top of the right column write "Sex" and write your immediate associations to the following prompts.

"Sex is..."

"When I think of sex, I think of..."

"When I desire, I feel..."

"When I am desired I feel..."

"In sex, I look for..."

"I wish I experienced sex as..."


Now take a few minutes to look at your responses. Notice any similarities? Notice any differences? How do you feel after looking at your lists? Do you wish you had different responses?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What lessons about puberty did you pick up from your family or culture?

  2. How did you learn about puberty?  Who taught you?

  3. What do you wish was different about that learning experience?

  4. What was puberty like for you?

  5. If you could go back in time and give your younger self a message, what would you say?

  6. If you have children how will you share messages about their changing bodies with them?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. How do you feel about sharing meals at restaurants?

  2. How do you feel about sharing clothing with me?

  3. How do you feel about sharing a toothbrush?

  4. How do you feel about sharing medical information with me?

  5. How do you feel about sharing bills and expenses?

  6. How do you feel about sharing savings and finances?

  7. How do you feel about sharing your internet passwords with me?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  


IMG_4905.JPG

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in healthy communication, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

She leads workshops and couples retreats in the Midwestern United States and Pacific Northwest and consults with clients online.

Access her free Relationship Resource Toolbox here, or join her next FREE Monthly Relationships Masterclass coaching call.

Connect with her on social media or schedule a free consultation to see if her support could help you build more fulfilling, connected partnerships.

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. If our relationship was an ice cream flavor, which would it be and why?

  2. If my personality was a tree what kind would it be and why?

  3. If our relationship history was a series of weather patterns, what would the sky look like today?

  4. Which actors would play us on the big screen? 

  5. What would our relationship's movie title be?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.