Summary of this Episode

In this episode of the Generous Marriage Podcast we discuss:

  • The Story of Tracy and Rob who are great friends, who know well how to take care of each other’s needs, and how to play and have fun together, but hardly have sex anymore.  They have developed a lot of emotional security over the years they’ve been together. This emotional security, little by little, diminished the erotic tension between them.

    Eroticism needs some mystery, some sense of overcoming challenges, but because they were so good with each other, it wasn’t challenging any more and their sex life declined.

    Learning about maintaining a healthy erotic tension, and doing some differentiation work helped them revitalize their sex life and have a satisfying, free, creative sex.

    DIfferentiation is the psychological process in which partners define themselves to each other by daring to share their inner worlds with each other if it wouldn’t be easy to the partner.

    Daring to express yourself and your needs, rather than only taking care of your partner’s needs, creates a healthy distance between you, which is sexy, and important in maintaining a healthy erotic tension.


  • The tool of Core Erotic Theme, a concept developed by Jack Morin, a sex therapist from San Francisco who studied more than 1000 stories of peak sexual experiences he gathered from Sexual Excitement Survey. Core Erotic Theme is the internal blueprint for arousal we have that can transform old childhood and adolescent wounds and conflicts into excitation.



Bonus: Guide on How to Find Your Core Erotic Theme


To download the guide click the button below:

The Full Transcript of the Show:

Welcome to the generous marriage podcast. Fight  less  feel appreciated and have a deeper connection with your spouse and now your host Shachar Erez and Ziv Raviv.Hello and welcome to the generous marriage podcast. This is episode number 10 and the topic of today is Healthy Erotic tension. This is such a sexy topic. I am Ziv Raviv your  hosts together with Shachar Erez our counselor and expert on all things related to generous marriage. Hello, Shaka Erez. Hi Ziv. Hi everybody. I’m excited to be here. Finally talking about sex.

Finally, like we’re doing this podcast for 10 episodes now and it took us that much to talk about sex. This is funny because sex is actually quite important and the reason for listening to this, we keep mentioning  this over and over again. The reason why you might want to listen to the generous marriage podcast  to actually implement a generous marriage in your life is one of the reasons is to have more intimacy. And when we keep saying intimacy, we also mean sex definitely for sure. So today we’re going to do as always, we’re going to explore a story of a real couple, like real but with different names and different details so that we will make sure that they have the confidentiality and kept  and this  couple has a an issue here. They have some story in some problem that they will go through that problem together with us. I’m sure some of us listeners  will feel that this might be related to your life as well. From there  We will talk about the tool and that tool will help us understand how to solve the problem of that couple  that we mentioned. And then finally we’ll mention a research that will help you understand better about  this too. So without further  do, take it away. Shachar tell us the story of these episodes.

Importance of Finding Cause of the Crisis in Sex Life

So today we’re gonna talk about Tracy and Rob and they for me, they were unique because most couples when they come into my office, they’re fighting, you know, they’re in a crisis. They fight a lot. The surface hardly big enough for them. They don’t really, they have a hard time sitting next to each other. And they fight all the time. This couple, they come in and they’re beautiful. They’re charming, they are loving, they answers each other’s bids for connection. They’re just great friends, Eh, they know really well how to take care of each other’s needs. They know how to play. They have a lot of  fun together. You know, I was curious. So what’s going on? So what was going on is that they  hardly had sex, they had sticks around roughly around once a month, maybe even less. And that’s considered a sexless marriage. It’s not enough. Being good friends is fun, but of course all of us want and deserve to have a good, satisfying sex life. It’s a huge part of a healthy relationship.

They came to you Shachar without having any external crisis, like, like a, a problem within the fail or the tube head or something like that. They actually were able to identify that they have a good connection and that they have a problem in the sex life. And they came to you to help them, is that’s right.Yes. So they were in a crisis, but it wasn’t so obvious. They look like great friends. They were great. They are great friends. But uh, so they weren’t fighting. The crisis was, was more hidden and it didn’t have enough sex. And uh, and the crisis was around that she started to feel not a sexy enough, not good enough for him, felt  like it wasn’t man enough for her. And there was a lot of shame around it. So it was hidden, but it was a big crisis. It just wasn’t so obvious. Like other couples when they come into my office.

Yup.It’s a little bit funny, but their problem was because they were so secure with each other because they knew so well how to take care of each other’s attachment needs. Their connection was really safe, really secure. And that actually keeps the eroticism between them because the eroticism need some mystery needs some sense of overcoming challenges. They were so good with each other. There was no challenge anymore. So that their sex life just a little bit  clients.

Sex is Very Important to Marriage

Basically you mentioned how there is a need for some mystery and the connection was so good in front of me, an open and clear that uh, it killed all the mystery and it killed eventually the erotic tension. But how important is it for them to have sex? I know you mentioned that sexless marriages like once a month and less, but  is sex really important for marriage.Super important. Without sex after time the relationship goes sour in a sense. It’s a big part of being human and it’s a big part of any relationship and you know, people can tolerate not having sex for a while, for a few years even. But then it starts, creates a lot of other problems and sometimes the affairs or divorce, you know, sometimes couples divorce, they still love each other. There’s good friends, they want passion in their life. They wanted sex. Yeah, it’s, it’s super important.

This is almost like lotmost paper  test for your marriage. Like the fact that you have a sexless marriage is one of the of the ways to identify this as a risk for the entire marriage in the future. Because there’s some problem in, in the basic functionality of, of your connection that can, can eventually, you know, be one of the things that leads to, to even a divorce.Yeah. But I want to be cautious with that its not have  enough Sex  for a month or two or even three. That doesn’t mean that you’re a relationship is bad. You know, sometimes couples longterm couple. So we go through this kind of periods of time when there’s less sex, there’s less libido. Maybe someone is a little bit depressed. Maybe someone is a busy with some other problems. That’s fine. Eh, longterm couples, the sexual tension goes down a little and that’s natural. But if that’s going on for year, that’s a big red flag, then you should seek therapy, sexual therapy. You should, I don’t know but  Read books, go to workshops, take care of it. It’s actually not, Eh, eh. Gutman says that Dr. Gutman that we keep mentioning. He says, that’s a great sex life is not rocket science. And I tend to agree if you don’t push it away for too long, it’s not easy, but it’s really the are effective ways to have the great sex  life. But don’t, you know, some couples stop having sex and the, and don’t talk about it for two, three, four years and then it becomes a problem, then it becomes hard to bring it back. So I would say six months. Once  a year.   Yeah.That’s a big red flag. After six months you should take care of it.Okay, cool. So we understood how important it is to do have sex and let’s talk about what happens to,yeah.

Importance of Finding Cause of the Crisis in Sex Life

So  in my work with the Tracy and Rob, we worked on differentiation. Differentiation is the psychological process in which partners define themselves to each other by daring to share their needs, their desires, their wishes, feelings during to share their inner world with their partner, if even if it won’t be easy to the partner. Even if sharing those needs those fantasies, we’ll make the partner feel uncomfortable. That’s differentiation. These guys  Tracy and Rob, they were so caring for each other. They, uh, put themselves last, they forgot their own needs. They forgot their own last because of that. And the little by little, I there them to be able to share more and more of what they need, what turns them on and not so much be busy with the other. So it’s not about becoming a self centered person, but it’s becoming someone who knows himself or herself and is attuned today partner at the same time.It reminds me a little bit of the situation, you know, when you’re on an airplane and they show you the safety video where if there’s something wrong, you need to take care of yourself first with the oxygen oxygen mask. And while being in a relationship here with, with, uh, your spouse, you need to, obviously you need to be attuned to your spouse. It’s, but you need to know that you are a second separate human being if you are allowed to have your own psychological and sexual needs and desires and uh, even, uh, you know, in a world your style, your, your, your own preferences. That okay, that is legit. And being able to share that with your spouse, uh, is the, that is what creates this differentiation and allows to rebuild healthier erotic tension. Did I get it right?

How to Have Peak Experience in Sex Life?

Yup. And I would say it’s sexy, direct to express yourself and your needs to your partner  creates a healthy distance, which surprisingly, or at least to Tracy and Rob  it was a surprise, is sexy. It helps maintain this healthier  tension  for eroticism  we need  some tension to happen there. And that’s one way of creating it. Okay. What more we did is I introduced to them, and this is the tool we’re going to talk about today. The concept called the core erotic thing. This is a concept that was developed by Jack Moraine is a sex therapist from San Francisco. He’s actually, he actually passed a in 2013 I think a few years ago he passed and  he was really special. I studied    more than a thousand stories of peak sexual experiences and develop this concept called core erotic thing. He says the choriotic thing is the internal blueprint for arousal that each of us has and it can transform childhood and adolescent  wounds  and conflicts into excitement, into sexual excitement.

So basically, Jack Maureen found out through extensive research of stories related to sexual experiences, but not just sexual experiences but but what he calls peak sexual experiences. Yeah. Those, those are like special experiences and stories that we have, uh, about what was the best sex experience, basically your peak experience in our lives. We all have those, those peak experiences or fantasies. And then he researched those stories and found out that not only it gives you, yeah, some sort of a blueprint to understand what is arousing for a specific human being, but it also has the potential of being a healing tool for yourself because basically the reason why you have this peak sexual experiences sometimes related to all sorts of of wounds from  the way you will hasten and the way you were as a child and so on. But uh, either way, the basically created this tool, this Core  erotic theme tool, which is quite an interesting experience. So tell us what is this, how can we leverage understanding the importance of peak sexual experiences and and use them for  erotic theme in our life.

So the idea is to think back about you few of your big sexual experiences, those unforgettable moments that you remember feeling the most turned on and then looking for a theme. And what about these experiences stent out to you? Look, look for patterns in those, you know, think about three peak experiences and look for patterns in these three experiences. Usually when I ask men, for example, what turns them on, most men would say boobs and ass, you know, stuff like that. But what Jack Moreen is pointing at is that there’s actually something beneath that, something more psychological. And many times it’s about power or about submission or about being in control or about breaking rules. There’s a kind of a list. There’s a Eh, not too long list of needs and the and things that Eh, off themes not made of things that usually that are common four people, but you know, take your own a peak experiences or another way, look at it, think about your comments, sexual fantasies, and try to see what’s the pattern, what is common in all these big experiences or fantasies and then dare to share it with your partner there to bring it to bed.

You don’t even have to share it with their partner. Sometimes  Sometimes it’s just about you knowing it and asking for it or doing it, knowing that you deserve it because it’s related to a missing experience that you didn’t have  this childhood. And the understanding it and daring to bring it to your bedroom is highly, highly arousing and highly satisfying.

So let me, let me get it straight. Basically we’ll say that if you go through your life, your memories, your you, you go through the sexual experiences you had and you kind of map these three peak experiences, those three situations where you can actually remember every detail of that sexual experiences. We all have those. And then you try to find what is the pattern, right? Like, I, I think about it, the boy think about it while you’re talking a, I saw it like I have to think about sex while you’re talking here.Don’t be sorry.

Fulfilling CET (Core Erotic Thing)

Yeah, it’s fun and it happens anyway. Uh, in situations for us men   when we think about sex a lot, but, but specifically here, like I tried to, to, to map, uh, one of the peak experiences and it has for me this, this situation of feeling that someone was submissive to me, but not in any, any way that these like super  in key in any way. Just the feeling that, uh, I am in control and I can live, I can live this, right? This gives me a lot of acceptance. So I take this theme and I either share it with my partner or I even just know it actually, this is what turns me on. And when I go to, to the next sexual experience I have, I bring the same energy and that energy will be something, that my spouse will feel if they will feel that I am aroused in that way, that I have more energy  that they bring to, to this game. And let me ask you what, just one thing, just to make sure your spouse, your partner, they can decide, you know, they’re not interested in fulfilling your CET, core erotic thing. So what do you think about that?

Of course they don’t have to, but somehow, you know, we talk about the relationship dynamics and somehow we magically chose the right person for the stuff. And if we communicate it in a gentle way, it’s really brings out the generosity of our partner. So let’s give you an example of my own relationship. So when I did this exercise, first I realized, you know, I’m a therapist. I take care of people all day long. That’s what I do. And it started way before I became a therapist. It started in the, in my chances, when did the family that a I come from and uh, when I did this core erotic thing exercise, I realized that for me what’s exciting is actually that someone else takes care of me. Like in my fantasies, there  are many times two women, no, just one. And they are both taking care of me.

And that’s really arousing for me. And then when I realized that I started asking in bed from my wife asking for what I need before that, you know, some core belief, I used to have some core belief . It’s not okay that they should ask for stuff that I should take care of her. And when I started daring ask for what I need in bed, she found it super arousing I did as well. But even she loved it. Somehow it really worked without dynamic. It’s really helped both of us reach, um, and missing experience that was a missing for us. So, and even at the end, and sometimes she doesn’t want to and that’s totally okay. You know, some needs don’t really need to be fulfilled, they just need to be seen. So, you know, we, we’re a practice couple, she knows how to say no in a way that is still seducing and that I don’t feel rejected. So we know how to dance around these kinds of experiences. But usually it just works really well and now I don’t pay attention to it anymore. It just transformed our love life and it’s just became a part of it that she can ask her stuff. I can ask for stuff really healthy and nourishing and, and, uh, satisfying and generous And having that mutual generosity is of course the, the end game, the end result that we all want a entities, why we are on this path, on this journey to research the gentleness merge tools. And I really love it. I just want to ask, before we go into the research, would you say that this tool is actually also useful and beneficial for people that already have great sex? Yeah, of course it will just upgrade great sex, even greater sex,

Right. So being generous, even if you’re pretty satisfied, you have a lot of sex. You have, I don’t know, maybe, uh, every week or every or more than once a week, whatever you have and you’re happy about the frequency and you’re happy about the quality. But just showing to your spouse, what is your what you  Core  erotic  theme that is an act of vulnerability. You know, you open up in front of them, you, you create a differentiation like you, uh, your own, a human being with your own needs and your own, uh, things that you like and that can create additional sexual uh, tension that will help you reach even better sex anyway, so definitely a good game to play, to sit down, like we’re basically asking you guys, uh, maybe not while driving a to sit down and imagine those three peak experiences that you had. Um, you don’t have to write it down in an email and send it to us. You just need to sit down and think about it and then, you know, find out what is your theme and share that may be on your next date night with your spouse. That would be an amazing exercise. So is this something  that was researched.

So the research was done by  Jack Moreen  himself. He gave a sexual excitement survey to hundreds of people. HE  wrote. It’s funny that you said, we don’t expect you to write us an email cause that’s, but he did expect from people and they wrote around the thousand more than a thousand mmm. Uh, pieces of Eh, Eh, the most memorable sexual encounters, their favorite fantasies or their most intense point of excitement they, they had had. And he wrote a book called the, he wrote a few books, but this book is called the  erotic mind. It’s a theory book, eroticism in which he weaved in some of the answers to the survey, to the sexual excitement surveys. So this book is at peace. You read a few pages of theory, and in this few pages you read two or three fantasies, peak experiences of other people. It’s really a great book. Its really superb book. Read the book you’ve ever read some dry if you read some dry theory and then you read some exciting fantasy, super healthy. And now there’s a term called sex positive. This is one of the most sex positive books I’ve ever had. Sex positive,  means that sex is healthy, is good, and that we shouldn’t be ashamed. Uh, about it. And this book just really delivers this message in a beautiful way. I really recommend reading the book.


Well, uh, the sounds like a good lead. So we will put a link on the show notes for this, uh, for this book and for, for this. Basically this book summarizes the, the research that Jack Morain, did , Jack Morain passed away a few years ago, but he did leave a legacy and that legacy of helping people with their sex, sex life, with the connection with their intimacy. That is something that is a notable, that legacy. And uh, he, uh, we are, uh, indigenous marriage podcast, sharing that legacy with you guys as a tool and as a research so that you could, uh, explore by yourself, your differentiation, your ids, your, your, uh, experiences and make a good use of these in order to find out your core  erotic theme. And in order to be valuable and share that with your spouse, that that would be a generous thing to do, to share with her what turns you on and what works with you. And that would be something that we hope will help you in improving your sex life, which is important. Um, before we summarize this episode today, is there any, any special bonus that, uh, your cooking  for us ,you always  clear ,  this wonderful bonuses for people?

I think core erotic theme is such an important tool of the bonuses. Really about it, If you don’t have time to read the whole book, download the bonus and we’ll give you some points on how to figure out your own core erotic theme and how to help your partner. And I’m sure it will be really nourishing and satisfying and even fun and exciting. So check it out.

I, I can’t wait to go over this one and learn it and I really think that um, we are challenging you guys to do something that will help you in your marriage. Like every one of those episodes, bonuses, they have some extra work, some excellent formation, and even some extra tasks that if you go through and follow, you will improve the usability of the tool and you will improve the results, which is the most important thing that your marriage will improve, that you will have more sex, more intimacy, a better connection and, and a better life. Um, we, uh, waiting for you guys on the website. Just go there into the podcast tab and in episode 10, the healthy and what extension episode, you could download this extra bonus document and go ahead and implement the Core erotic theme efficiently.

The Core erotic team tool is waiting for you inside the website. And of course we are giving full credit to Jack Morain. Wonderful. Walk into his book and it will just trying to save you guys time in implementing tools that actually work that will well researched. Thank you again, uh, Shachar for this episode of agenda, this marriage podcast. It was great fun to remind ourselves of our peak experiences, uh, in our sex lives. And, uh, to share this information. I can’t wait to go back to them, my wife, and share some of these episodes, uh, uh, principles and with her. And, uh, we’ll see how that goes. I think it’s an important topic. We have additional important topics next week and the week after in the generous marriage podcast. Season one is coming to and end soon. So stay tuned and we will meet you next week on a generous marriage podcast. Thank you, Shachar. Thank you. Thank you everybody next week. 




Weekly episodes with stories, tools and research that will help you make your marriage generous


Shachar Erez, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 12 years married, father of two

Ziv Raviv, 16 years married, father of three