How to Own Your Nervousness When Trying To Be Intimate

Cathy: So Reid, at your recent deep dive, where I took a lot of notes you was teaching a lot about sexual connection it was a beautiful class and you’re getting some ideas for your High Performance Relationship Mastery Class which is coming up in a few months. One of the things you said sorry I forgot to turn off the notifications is, “notice your.. oh and own your own nervousness that is the fishing line that you followed to the experience that transform your life”.

Reid: I said that?

Cathy: Yes

Reid: Yeah. I’m good sometimes.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: I don’t remember half the stuff I say.

Cathy: Well, I..

Reid: Thanks for taking notes everybody! In the moment

Cathy: Yeah. So this is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: So, can you explain some more about that?

Reid: I don’t remember. Do you remember the context?

Cathy: Yes

Reid: I love.. I love because Cathy has better memory than me so I love asking Cathy what she remembers. I’ll remember.

Cathy: Well, I will

Reid: But I don’t remember the.. I don’t remember saying that.

Cathy: Well, I wrote it down.

Reid: You did?

Cathy: I did make up my

Reid: No, I trust you.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: I’m just saying. What was the context for the.. for the piece?

Cathy: So you were talking about the example use that I thought was brilliant you’re like a lot of people rush into like they’re there wanting to kiss someone and they’re feeling nervous about it so they rush into the kiss

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: And you know they rushed through the sex because they’re trying to avoid that feeling of nervousness.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: Versus okay if I can own and be with that nervousness that I can be present with the person I kind of go through the experience with them rather than trying to get done so I don’t experience

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: The very thing I want to experience which is the pleasure.

Reid: Yeah. So, thank you for that. So, the idea is we spend so much time because we’re taught we’re supposed to be super cool and suave we spend so much time trying to not be awkward or anxious and I guess I mean I guess I mean anxious with a low.. with a lowercase a not like a full-blown you know panic attack kind of anxious. But we avoid all the uncomfortable feelings that come up when we’re having sex or trying to be intimate and vulnerable for people. And what I would invite people to consider is slowing things down so that you feel what you’re feeling and can notice what’s happening.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: For two different reasons: one if you can find your words and share with somebody, “hey I’m feeling nervous about this first kiss like I want to kiss you and I’m feeling nervous and I thought I would share that and I thought I might kiss you”. What do you think about that? This sounds really dorky but when you realize how stressful sex and connection and intimacy is for most people and how they’re kind of sprinting through the awkward and vulnerable which is really close to forcing themselves to do something so.

Cathy: Or definitely do it faster than they might normally do.

Reid: Yeah, which means that sometimes you steamroll over your own, “hey timeout I’m not sure if I want to do this or not”. And then you know we shot a video recently about “get to’s” versus “have to’s” so when you think you have to do something and you.. and you don’t slow down and you don’t practice using your voice things can go really sideways for you and when you have two people doing the same thing at the same time, both people can be going kind of sideways from what they really want and where they’re really at and you can end up way off target from having a real connection where people are given… giving themselves permission to really be participating in the thing that they’re participating.

Cathy: Well there.. there’s so much juice when you’re just you’re really present with it but if you’re trying to rush through it to get it done to check out the box

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: There’s not and if both people are doing it like you there’s not a there’s not the depth of feeling you’re just both skimming the surface.

Reid: And it feels nerve-wracking because I do a lot of college lectures so college adults are like, “oh my god that’s a lot” and it’s a lot even for adult adults. What happens though is when you get the hang of this things are so much deeper and richer and on the other side of that vulnerability and… and anxiousness is a huge amount often not always your mileage may vary a huge amount of pleasure and excitement.

Cathy: A lot of connection usually too.

Reid: Well, and that’s where and that’s the added bonus for the pleasure right is so many people are starving for connection and permission to be vulnerable right because that’s part of the intimacy.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Intimacy isn’t always like Rico Suave. Intimacy is like, “oh my goodness” like

Cathy: I’m barely nervous.

Reid: We’re open and we’re sharing you add on to open and sharing, I’ve asked for the kind of touch I want on my genitals and you’re kissing me where I have an erogenous zone and we feel connected that’s a kind of safety and experience that most people don’t get in their lives and that is like turbo charges.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: All the stuff that happened is happening relationally in a relationship so from a … from a nerd perspective like trying to get your relationship to be high-performance or to perform better, this slowing it down and this kind of like using your .. your nervousness as the fishing line to follow from the tip of your pole into the depths

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: To find that… that thing.

Cathy: Well the things that make you nervous that are often the most juicy. Like you’re only nervous because they’re big or new or like there’s something there.

Reid: Well, it’s.. it’s the experience of being alive

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: I’ve enacting coach you said that nervousness is just mislabelled excitement but like you being alive can feel uncomfortable.

Cathy: Yeah.

Cathy: And so many of us try to show it down, numb it out

Cathy: Or rush through like can I use you as an example?

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: So like if I mean if I’m trying to avoid my nervousness I’m like, “oh my god I don’t like this feeling, I’m going to but I want to get connected lonely so I’m going to try to and jump in and it’s through”. Versus I like, “wow I’m feeling really nervous,” “wow, hey just you know I’m feeling really nervous” and “I want to lean in for kisses.” Wow so I’m just feeling these feelings and what are you feeling? Like it slows it down and that’s .. me be where I am

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: And that’s the other person in dance or not as they’d like to.

Reid: Now the challenge is going to be you might be, you know hanging out with people who are like wow that’s a lot I feel confronted I’m not ready for they might not say it but they’re like I’m not ready for like that kind of presence. It’s not ever you know now you risk scaring them off but you’re scaring of somebody who can’t take actually being connected. So, just think about that for a minute either they’re going to get it and be like, “okay that’s kind of weird that you’re saying all this stuff but I’m with you like okay” so yeah.. yeah.. yeah you know.

Cathy: I mean I have to say all of it out loud but

Reid: But you can practice because this is the thing is like if you’re like, “hey can you take a breath with me?” This.. it so sounds so stupid and weird. But when both people like take a breath they’re kind of looking at each other

Cathy: They’re kind of insane a little bit of connection

Reid: Yeah and then you’re like, “okay so we” and then you can be playful if, should we go for the kiss? Like should we do it? Like let’s go slow so we don’t smash teeth. And then you’re like making fun of the situation and then people giggle if you scare that person off who’s not ready for connection when are they going to be ready for connection? And is that your responsibility? But if you don’t scare the person off and then and they’re like yeah like I get it I’m nervous too now the connection that you’re fostering is the kind of connection that will probably lead to a much better make out session or relationship or friendship or whatever it turns into. So these are the things that are at risk and it’s a very it’s not what culture tells us to follow our own anxiety we’re just supposed to cut the line and stop fishing altogether.

Cathy: Oh, if we really had it all together we wouldn’t be nervous

Reid: Yeah. Well, we really had it altogether we wouldn’t be fishing.

Reid: Yeah, back to the original analogy. All right leave your comments it’s a long video.

Cathy: Where can they find

Reid: .com. That’s right, the longest title ever.