A former figure skating coach and choreographer, Ashleigh took the quest for perfection into marriage and motherhood, with some disastrous and hilarious results. Through her books and her viral Keeping it Hot video series, she's built a committed mass-following who tune in daily for her fresh, nofuss advice on everything from keeping monogamy hot, to renegotiating a marriage, to getting kids to clean the house (because nothing makes her prouder than child labor). 

394: How to Keep Monogamy Hot

Ashleigh Renard

Being in a long-term monogamous relationship is notoriously difficult, and then you add kids into the mix, and it can be the death blow to a healthy sex life. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Your relationship with your partner (if you have one) is the most important foundation for a stable family, and hot sex can be part of that! Don’t feel guilty for feeling dissatisfied. In this episode, Ashleigh Renard shares stories, tips and even equipment that can make monogamy hot again.

How to Keep Monogamy Hot - Ashleigh Renard [394]

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*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Ashleigh Renard: The conversation that you get to dive into, like out of necessity, you have to dive into with your partner conversations, questions that most people never ask themselves or never ask each other even if they're together for decades.

[00:00:16] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 394. Today we are talking about how to make monogamy hot with Ashleigh.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and raising Kind Confident Kids. Welcome back to the Mindful Mama podcast. So glad to be with you today.

And listen, if you haven't done so yet, please hit that subscribe button so you don't miss any episodes. And if you get some value from this, please cover to Apple Podcasts. Leave us a rating and review, and it just helps the podcast grow and it just takes 30 seconds. I greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my.

In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Ashleigh Renard. She's a former figure skating coach in choreography, and she took this quest for perfection into her marriage and motherhood, and she is now a writer through her books in her viral Keeping It Hot Video series, she's built a committed mass following coun, TuneIn daily for her fresh.

No false advice on everything from keeping monogamy hot, to how to renegotiate a marriage, to getting kids to clean the house. This conversation is so important because our relationships with our partners is the foundation for our kids. Stability, right? This matters enormously, but being in the long term monogamous relationship can be really hard.

And with kids it's even harder and it can be this like death blow to our sex. But it doesn't have to be this way. So I'm gonna talk about this with Ashleigh. She's gonna stare, share some stories, and even as we go into this episode, you're gonna hear tips on equipment. I can make monogamy hot again.

So I hope you love it. Join me at this table as I talk to Ashleigh Renard.

So Ashleigh, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama

[00:02:45] Ashleigh Renard: Podcast. Hunter, thank you so much

[00:02:47] Hunter: for having me. I am glad to talk to you and I'm so excited to talk about this. I think this is so important. This is such an integral part of Parenting, right? Is to have strong relationships. If we're in a relationship with a Parenting partner to have a strong relationship, we're gonna talk about mono.

But first let me just tell us a little bit about yourself and kinda what led you to this, wanting to write about this. Yeah, so

[00:03:12] Ashleigh Renard: Hunter's giggling and all of you guys just giggle. Now we're just gonna rip the bandaid off. So I am from Canada, raised in figure skating like I'd skates on my feet when I was two and a half years old and spent the next 37 years on the ice, like six days a week.

Okay. Taking that perfectionism into marriage and mother. With some good results until I didn't get good results anymore and I was just reaching for the highest level of difficulty in everything, including my marriage because I had three kids. My littlest was a toddler. I was still nursing hunter and running my nonprofit, homeschooling on purpose.

This is before pandemic home birthing all of these things. It's like I ran out of cakes to bake on Pinterest in my spare time, and I thought, how can I have more excite Because nothing. Making me feel satisfied. But I was so used to having drive. I think, so many of us have drive in doing as our coping mechanism so often.

Just keep going, keep trying that. I really pushed my marriage to the limit with non-monogamy and honestly it was like a, oh, isn't it great that we're not really jealous? We could go to, we like Google Lake Swinger sex clubs and they're in every city in the country, every. Hundreds of people. So we really experimented right on the edge of like high level of difficulty in

[00:04:38] Hunter: marriage.

Oh wait. Okay wait. Slow down. Because this is so interesting cause like, this is something that. Is a fascination between, myself and my girlfriends and, we're like, what is that? There's there, people have open marriages, there's all, you learn about that stuff now.

And you and your husband decided to try that. How can you, just like before you're like, we decided to Google sex clubs, how did that conversation go and who brought

[00:05:07] Ashleigh Renard: it up? Such a good question. It was a conversation. Wait.

[00:05:10] Hunter: And one more question. I'm sorry. I don't usually interrupt in that way, but I also let's talk about like also what were some of the challenges that were leading to that,

[00:05:19] Ashleigh Renard: Yeah. Okay. So here's the thing. Me and my husband and I both have some really incredible blind spots that we could just. We can just plow right through. So we did not think we were reaching towards this adventure cause there was anything wrong in our marriage. Like we, very egotistically, I can feel now, like ego is in those blind spots in our development, in our.

Awareness really thought, oh God, everyone would do this if everyone was us. Had as little possessive nature and jealousy as we do. So we really went into it like, oh, like everyone would love to have their cake and eat too, and just have some sort of thing that's more exciting than the Groundhog Day of committed long-term partnership and intimacy and parenthood and everything.

We've been passing kids back and forth for 10 years. . Our jobs were incredibly stressful and we thought, wait, is there any way we can prioritize fun for us? And I would say my husband would bring it up more often over the years. But I did not push back a lot because it didn't give me an uncomfortable feeling.

It was more like, oh my God, how could we ever be alone for eight hours without our children? Like it was more just that seems going through the look in class. So we would have these convers. Over the years, and then we got to a point where we knew we were done having kids and our littlest was old enough to go for sleepovers at the grandparents with the older two, three boys.

They're 15, 13, and nine now. And we went with the mentality that the majority of people go with to a swinger sex club. Okay. They're like, they look like bars. They're like a warehouse in a bar, right? There's like a bar in a. Most people who go are just going there for the atmosphere. They don't going there to interact with anybody else other than their partner.

They're going past environment super sexy. And the fact that just pri the fact that pleasure for grownups is prioritized so openly is something that we're not used to in our society. You walk in and everybody is so welcoming. Everybody can remember how they felt the first time they walked in and they were like, oh my God, are they gonna be normal people?

Are they gonna be nice people? So you walk in and it's cheers. Or Sesame Street, like everybody's so nice, hunter, and then everybody's there just have fun and it's not actually a creepy atmosphere, even though, and I will you can dig for more details of this, but in every club we've been to, Set up so that people are allowed to be nude or engage in physical intimacy with their partner out in front of everybody.

So there may be like mattresses around there may be like There, there are mattresses around, there are private rooms when go close the door and close the curtain or leave the curtain open a little bit.

[00:08:14] Hunter: Wow. I feel so innocent. Listen to the whole conversation. I'm like, I'm 44 and I'm, I don't not like shy about things.

This is so fascinating. Tell me more. I'm

[00:08:24] Ashleigh Renard: gonna tell you everything. And then so I would say, so there are like three different groups of people who we've met at clubs and talked to, and I just love talking to people. So I would go there, like for the conversation. How long have you been married? Like I was, it's like I knew I was gonna be writing about this even when we were there first testing the water because I was like, this is fascinating that there's a whole subculture that, that people don't talk about and everybody keeps so, so private.

And that's where like the tenants of the swing lifestyle, like if you run into somebody, at a club, we're both here. So there's this like code of silence. So like the biggest. Insecurities and the biggest questions are gonna come up in conversation with your partner before you even buy the tickets to go to the place, right?

Like the conversation that you get to dive into, like out of necessity, you have to dive into with your partner conversations, questions that most people never ask themselves, or never ask each other, even if they're together for decades. Okay, if you saw me kiss someone else, would that upset you or not?

Would it make be a turn on? Would it make you be neutral? If I was dancing with someone in touch, then would that be okay or not okay? Because it's just like we don't really know what we're getting into, so you wanna lay out all the ground rules. So there's this opportunity to really dig in to some things that are normally just assumptions in relationships.

And for me, that brought me the emotional intimacy with my husband that I was craving so badly, even though I had convinced myself so strongly that I was for my healthy kids and my thriving business and my like husband, who is a great hands-on dad, even though I didn't have the emotional intimacy with him that I really craved.

[00:10:05] Hunter: Did you guys, can I ask this since you're sober, but Yeah. What was your sex life like?

[00:10:10] Ashleigh Renard: Like awesome. Always awesome. It was. It was

[00:10:13] Hunter: good.

[00:10:13] Ashleigh Renard: Okay, great. What? It was always great. And Hunter, I would say it's always, my sex life has always been great. , I really am comfortable with sex and that's why like I make videos.

My most viral video series is how to keep monogamy hot about this. And it's like I'm talking about the weather because people just feel like it's disarming. Cause I am really comfortable talking about it. And I always knew my body. I was a figure skater and then a coach. And choreographer for 23 years after I stopped competing.

And I know how to tell someone else what to do with their body in relation to mine very easily. So like from the first time my husband and I were ever together with our clothes off, it was like, fire works. And he's I'm the king of the world. And I'm like, that was great. It's always great for me, but glad it's great with you too.

You know what I mean? Like it was and then I'm sa I'm giving those details there too. This is the thing that I think was one of the greatest gifts of dipping our toe or diving in or whatever people wanna call it. Because some people would say I went like all the way. I would say I tried, but it got so complicated so quickly that like, All the demons of conversations passed came up to haunt me.

Like everything that we had brushed under the rug, everything I decided, maybe I don't really care about that much. Maybe that doesn't matter to me. Like things I'd felt dissatisfied about in our relationship and just thought no. Like mind doesn't matter, right? I w I was an athlete in a sport where even if you were trying your hardest, you had to make it look effortless and beautiful.

Like you're not allowed to. Skating. Do you know what I mean? So a lot of our things in our marriage were me just thinking like I can outsmart my emotions by just going, no, that's not really that important to me.

[00:12:03] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

So are you saying like this experience then of talking to him, having these conversations, then going to these clubs and having all these things open up, it brought to light some dissatisfactions. It brought this emotional intimacy that you really crave, which is so cool. And then it also brought to light some dissatisfactions that you had.

[00:12:29] Ashleigh Renard: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because it's like when you are upping the ante that much, when you're saying like, oh yeah, we're gonna summit like kill Majaro, like on Saturday. You gotta pull your, you gotta look at what's in your gear bag. You know what I mean? And when I started, when we started having these harder conversations, I realized we really have very few communication.

To get through anything that's sticky because we would just, both of us Enneagram threes we're Libras with multiple placements in Libra each We love harmony so much. And we had really told ourselves that, oh, we are such a solid couple because we never fight like other people do. But you've probably ran into that and had conversations with other people.

Not fighting is so often just a sign of codependency, people pleasing, just avoidance. So for us, it really, it created a situation where it was like we were looking at our marriage through a microscope and with an aerial view, like a drone view at the same time. And we couldn't really ignore things anymore about our real dysfunction as far as communication.

Like we really had to put our ships in the table and go, oh wow. Like we are out of our depth. , I think we just pushed right. I pushed it right to the limit because I think I knew maybe that there wasn't as strong of a foundation as I liked to tell myself that there was. So it was like, when you like shake the tree to see what comes out, it was a situation like that.

And then then you have to deal with the things that cloud if you wanna stay together. Which has been, that was the process of swing really understanding. Okay. When you push a relationship to the limit so that we can't just go back to how we were before. What are the things you have to do on a one-on-one level, like to yourself, like an internal relationship with yourself level to decide, all right, I haven't been honest with myself and how do I wanna move forward with integrity?

And it took a while to figure out is that something that my husband's gonna be a partner in moving forward? Cause a lot of the hard conversations were conversations that were. Further than he ever wanted to go. She was just like, can't we can't, we just say things are good enough? And so you're talking about emotional intimacy here, right? Like in this, in these hard conversations you're

describing. Yeah. I'm talking about emotional intimacy, cuz that's what it really brought up for us because the sex life was never lacking and I really thought I was just going there for excitement.

And so two thirds of people who go to Clems don't have any interaction, are not having. With other people or having any like touching interaction. A third of the people would just go to a club and this is what we did the first couple times, just for the incredible atmosphere, and then go to a back room.

A lot of people just go home then and have like great wild sex with their partner maybe for a couple days. Cuz the afterglow really is a real thing and that's hard to manufacture in a relationship that you've been in for so long. Like to really crank up the excitement that high so it's mimicking the first month that you were intimate.

Like it's, it is really a surreal experience to have that. Another third of people who were at clubs, and this is what our favorite thing was to do, was to be there dancing. Maybe have a glass or two of wine, the action shirts on the dance floor. Like you might look over Hunter and like a woman is on her knees, like giving oral sex to her partner, like right there on the dance floor.

Like it is or a man you know, has his hand like up his wife's dress and you can just see okay, like it is so open. It is so open and it's so mind. For all of that to be happening in real life because in most people have not been in that situation with strangers having intimacy. Right?

Naked strangers in the same space as them. So the way it cranks up like your pleasure centers and your, it's. I could feel for myself right away. Wow. This is something I could become very interested in just because the excitement was there and I really had gone searching for excitement without my partner in most areas of my life, like building my skating organization and.

all of these different things, all these different ways that his moms and his wives and 90% of my dms are actually from men who have found my content and they're like, wow. I'm realizing that being a good husband is more than like just, doing the dishes. Okay, that's something for the house.

But being a good husband is actually asking my wife different questions, so I get different answers and like men are taking more responsibility. And I think part of that is because I coach teenager. For decades, so like the way I can communicate so it's pretty clear and it doesn't get your backup or get your defenses up and you can say, oh, okay, yeah, this is a new idea, suggestion.

And there's some cooperation already woven in the frequency of it. I think that's one of the reasons that men are being so pulled to my content. But the thing that I see so often from women is when we feel dissatisfied, we feel so much. About it, especially if we have healthy children and a beautiful house and privilege that other people would really, re that would really help other people, really give other people a leg up in their life.

And so to feel dissatisfied in a lovely looking life, like there's a lot of asking yourself, why should I just be more grateful? .

[00:17:53] Hunter: Yeah, I can really imagine the listener. Say, think. You know a lot of listeners thinking that like when we, yeah, if you have healthy kids, you have a nice house, you have things like that.

Your sex life may be just me, but should we just feel grateful for all the great things in our life? But that's interesting cuz you had great sex. The thing is I think that a lot of people are not having great. A lot of people are now having great sex in their partnerships are monogamous partnerships, nec aren't necessarily hot?

And do we, and that is a question that kind of goes in our minds do we even, should I even be it? It like goes against this sort of ideal mother. Quality of oh, self-sacrificing that BS ideal mother stuff, but like we have a right to, and it's not, there's nothing wrong with us for having a desire and there's nothing wrong with you for wanting to create sex.

That is a, an essential component of being human and having a good

[00:18:50] Ashleigh Renard: marriage too. It is, absolutely. And here I think is where one of the fundamental disconnects lies. In marriage, we go into marriage, especially SISs hat marriage, which is the majority of Wait,

[00:19:03] Hunter: Wait. We need to define that for people because, yeah.

Okay. Ashleigh, I started, listen, I've been listening to, okay. John Savage's Savage Love podcast. In the last year, it took me like six months to figure out what SISs hat. So I will just tell us what it is,

[00:19:19] Ashleigh Renard: so I will slow it down. We'll back it up. Okay. . So hetero the hat means just heterosexual.

Heterosexual and cis means like gender assigned at birth. So it's like husband and wife. It's like the bride and groom on top of the damn wedding cake. It's like what? A majority of committed partnerships, I would say look like. Okay. But when we enter those partnerships, we've all been given a different set of rules about marriage that have just been programmed into us.

About what husbands are like or what wives are like, or what. Things married people are likely to fight about. And if you're looking or if you've just been like, put in a certain faith community or culture or something, you're gonna get just that whole flavor on top of having to endure like married with children with Al Bundy and the sh terrible humor all around about.

Just how either women as a wife, like his direction and his like comments about Pang, how she was like, he has this beautiful wife who's dressed up for him every day and he is talking about how she's like, how she's the most annoying thing he's ever seen in his life. Like he can't tolerate his wife, but his daughter is so hot.

Christina Applegate, remember played his daughter Kelly, his daughter's so hot that he routinely makes jokes to his friends about, do you wanna bang my daughter? All right. We've got like confusing messages, vibi, about how men should treat women. We're, we know that, and in marriage so often it gets more confusing because we have been told, a lot of us have got this memo that men are gonna want sex more than women.

Okay. So when there's emotional disconnection in a relationship and the female partner is I can't believe you're asking for that right now. I can't believe you. You're coming up and rubbing up against me. You're like, Hey baby, can we get. and it's don't you know these other responsibilities we have in the house do?

Don't you know how hard I'm working? Like when men actually want emotional intimacy, quite often they just ask for sex because that's the only thing that they have been told all the time that they are okay to crave and it still makes them more manly. So quite often they actually just wanna talk or they wanna have their handheld or they wanna, they have their fears.

They don't know how to ask for any of those things, hunter. So what they'll say is they'll be grumpy cuz they're not getting sex very regularly. And then the female partner will be like, I have three kids. And they're so exhausting. And why are you pouting like a toddler? I'm so confused here. And he's sucks.

And it's okay, I gotta tell you that pouting is not the way to get me there. Because then it's and listen, I love sex so much and I know my body and I love my partner. Even though we are two humans in relationship who are trying to evolve and really get closer to our own spiritual growth, really get closer to our own passion and still stay together in a healthy partnership.

I want everybody to understand like it's a lot of work, but there are a lot of places in life where it's done better than marriage, like in team sports, the way that people rely on each other and they say, yeah, a huge part of my job is to make my partner look good and feel good. And you get to reduce your ego.

You get to, you really get to really turn up how much influence you're allowing your partner to have over you. Like how open are you to having your line changed by your partner? How open are you to getting to a new understanding? Because a lot of us, a lot of us dig our heels in and we've become very stubborn because we're annoyed with something our partner has done.

But we do not bring in awareness, or we're not bringing the self-awareness in to say, how am I holding this pattern where it is like, where am I actually not acting out of integrity? Like acting from integrity to. Have a more honest conversation with my partner. I think that so many people just feel so exhausted about the same little things that come up that they fight about with their spouse, whether it's like the credit card bill or main, the car maintenance or this thing with this kid or this kid, and we just get in the habit of just never getting to the next level.

Just stewing in or stewing around these issues. So

[00:23:35] Hunter: let's say we decide. We say, I deserve great sex. I want great sex in my life. I want a hot, monogamous relationship. I wanna take it to the next level. Where do people start? Are you asking, are you saying we need to start with

[00:23:51] Ashleigh Renard: self-reflection?

I think that would be wonderful. And some people aren't there yet. So the way I recommend people start is text your partner and say, Hey honey, I have something awkward to talk to you about. Do you wanna talk, do you wanna do it over text or do you wanna talk later? And then, listen, I've had to break bad news to teenagers for a long time, or skating parent.

So it's there's an art of just communicating it, you. Put the sign up and go, this is an awkward conversation for both of us, and I'm, I don't feel the most comfortable here. And then hopefully couple things, your partner will go, oh, okay. I wonder if I did something wrong. I'm going to make prep in a fertile way to receive maybe something I don't wanna hear, but I'm gonna part myself.

And then when you say, I heard this podcast, I was listening to Hunter's podcast and the woman on there was talking about keeping monogamy hot. And I was thinking like there are some things that I would love to try or do, or I would just love for it to be more intentional, or I would love for us to have more fun, or I would love for us to have more variety, or, it's been a while, babe.

It's been a while, and I would love to, set a date. And at least have a make out session. Here's the thing, you gotta start, and a lot of us resist, a lot of us resent the courage it takes to start an awkward conversation and we just stew about how mad we are in our partner. Like the things aren't in a satisfying place.

So text your partner, see what they say, then start the conversation. If they get defensive in any way or if they push you off, like they don't wanna talk about it, lead a little space. Especially if this isn't something that you routinely talk about or it's something that you know is hard for them to talk about because of their faith upbringing or this or that, or whatever it is that is complicated.

Something that's already, no, it's complicated. Something that's actually so simple. Our bodies are incredible and they can do incredible things. And in the closeness and intimacy of a committed partnership, you can. You can actually use your two bodies together to go oh my God, how much better can we make that?

How could we try, your body on my body in this position and this and that, and oh, what if we used need before? What if we have massaged? Oh my God, my brain was just in a totally different space. Just open up the conversation. And then there are some basic things in the bedroom that I recommend that, especially married couples with kids have to make quickies easier to make excellent sex, more access.

To make even a 15 minute romp something that like feels energizing to both of you. Okay? Because when was the last thing you and your partner, and there's this hypothe. Went and we're like, we are going to kill it. We are gonna hit it out of the park today in this thing that we're gonna do together. Okay?

If you're in business together, maybe you have some opportunities to do that, but a lot of people work separately. Even though everybody's working from home. A lot of people are working from home now. Still people are working at like completely different missions that are unless you intentionally come back together, those are actually bringing you further apart too.

Cause you're not really feeling understood or support the way you'd like to. These are the things you need in a bedroom. You. A sex blanket. You need a dedicated intimacy bed covering, you know how you know there, there'll be the wet spot. Oh,

[00:27:00] Hunter: For the wet spot ?

[00:27:03] Ashleigh Renard: Yeah. No, the wet spot or the cleanup or the whatever.

And listen, I love having a clean house. That's one of the things that I love. So I, our bed is always made, so we throw a huge waterproof blanket over the bed hunter. And then we grab the lube and body oil because that's the second thing. We need. Lube and body oil. We never used lube in our relationship.

and I'm not at perimenopause yet, even though menopause comes very early in my family. And I'm 42, but, so it's not like there was a physical change for Loop. It was that actually I'd started making videos and companies started sending me things and I was like, oh, we can try it. And I was like, this is incredible.

Like it feels good, like second one, right? So it's just like, How do we just get there faster and it's like with the blanket down, we can get lube on our hands and then rub it on each other's body. It's like on my shoulders. Hum. Sure.

[00:27:52] Hunter: Oh, like loosens your inhibitions of the waterproof blanket cuz you're like, let's just go crazy with this stuff cuz you're not worried about your lovely duvet cover from the company store or whatever.

[00:28:01] Ashleigh Renard: You're not just like Exactly My beautiful white duvet cover looks perfect. But we can, so it's listen it's reducing the resistance around really having fun. Is it gonna make a mess? Is it gonna take time? Do we have what we need? Do we have enough time? The kids are all there. Boom. Okay. What we do is we just lock the door, we tell

[00:28:20] Hunter: the kids, I was gonna say, that's gotta be part of the equipment.

The lock on the

[00:28:23] Ashleigh Renard: door. We lock the door and it's just and our kids are three and, sorry, our, we have three kids who are nine, 13, and. Honestly, our kids don't wanna have that much to do with us. We are so glad that we played family board games a couple nights a week and they're like, Hey, you wanna play Taboo?

And we're like, oh my God, how are we still cool? Yes kids, for the most part, they would really like to be FaceTiming their friends. So if we sneak away to the bath or if we sneak away to the master bedroom for 30 minutes in the evening, and I go to bed before anybody in my house, so this is like a five 30 or 6:00 PM thing, our.

Aren't missing us, hunter. They're not concerned about where we are. And the third thing that we have in our bedroom is some kind of toy. I love the magic wand because it is a great multi-use vibrator that can be used for massage. It's also just so big and so powerful, hunter, that when we are having intercourse, if I put that vibrator anywhere below my belly button, I'm having an orgasm

And that doesn't happen so easily during intercourse or a lot. Including me. I would rather at climax from oral than from intercourse, but when may I be, I haven't had a shower. Maybe I'm sweaty for my hike. Maybe I'm just like, I would love to have fun, but I only have 20 minutes. Then we can just get it.

This is the thing when. You have less time and you go in and you're like, this is gonna be amazing. And you have the muscle memory, you have the cooperative memory, you have the good will towards each other because you did this two days ago where you did this a week ago, or you did this two weeks ago and it was like you went in, you went into the bedroom and like you hit it out of the park.

There were like high fives across the bed like, wow, we're good at this. Like that kind of fun with a partner is delicious because as an. Things just aren't as fun as they could be, and if we can try to work that in, then you go in, you have incredible sex, you come out kind of breathless. The kids are like, Hey mom, hey dad.

And then, your partner goes and unloads the dishwasher. Or you say, oh, hey babe. Hey, I had, I reconsidered that mortgage thing. We were talking about the refinance. What do you think about X, Y, Z? And already there's this goodwill already. It's like when we cooperate, magic happens. So if we can get to that place where we legitimately have an afterglow, With our partner, we are cooking with gas.

That is actually the energy from which I would love to parent and mother and relate to my husband as much as possible. Like really from that place of like we are a good team and I have a memory in my body. I have endorphins flowing through re that remind me of just how safe and great life can feel when we're really working together.

[00:31:18] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

All right. I love this. This is great. We have tools. We have, I think the picture you're painting is really positive and hopeful and exciting about the, where we can get to we're a place where intentional, we're having fun. Speaking of intentional, do you recommend like people schedule sex?

Do you recommend people do things like sext, that kind of stuff?

[00:31:49] Ashleigh Renard: You know what, it's gonna be different for everyone. I think the more you can bring it to the table if you want an improvement in your life in a certain place, the more you can go. How is that looking? Look at that. How is that looking?

And just bring that conversation up. I think that's the biggest stumbling block for a lot of people that they never saw their parents talk about sex, and maybe their parents didn't talk to them about it at all. So honestly, we have very little experience seeing our parents be husband and wife to each other.

We see them being. We saw our parents being hands on, parents are not being the kind of parent we would like to be, right? But then where every generation is left to reinvent the wheel from wait, where? How do we interact as partners? Wait, so even if talking about intimacy is makes your skin crawl and goes and if you think, okay, I don't mind having sex, but I never wanna talk about it, bringing some.

Playfulness, bringing just a little curiosity and bringing it even like a homework assignment I just want my kids to have a little bit of an easier time in marriage than I'm having. So I'm gonna start these conversations with my partner and bring the kids in a little bit on this, on on, as adults, when you don't agree how is there compromise?

How do you get to a place where you both feel like you're heard, and sex is a way that really. It's one of the harder things to talk about, right? Like sex, money, religion, politics, right? Woo, it's like one of the big ones. But because of that alchemy that can happen in a relationship, when you go, wait a minute, we're gonna, we're gonna make, we're gonna make, this month, we're gonna make, say February coming up, we're gonna have an awesome sex month.

So we're just gonna prioritize that as a couple, right? Like we're just gonna prioritize that, having fun, moving some responsibilities off our plate. Talking about when we wanna do it, open up the conversation. What I say is, if you would love to have intimacy with your partner later today. To let them know, Hey, I would love to hang out with you later.

Is there anything that I can take off your plate in order to make that happen? And if you're the partner who is everything on your plate, and when your spouse brings up intimacy, you're like feel like, oh my God, we need to get this puppy fixed because I feel like this man is like humping my leg. Right?

Because that is like the weird young, not on the same level energy that marriage sometimes goes into when there's a little bit of. There's not clear communication about sex and there's not a trust that both people want it and that it's something that they're going to come to together.

If you're the partner who's overdoing you saying, Hey, it is really hard for me to get my head in the game if I know that this thing is like undone or that thing's undone, or even my partner will say to me, okay, so you had that stressful work call that you just got out of and okay, do you wanna go have sex like a noon?

To then, like recalibrate and I'll say, yeah, I say, that would be so fantastic. I would love to hang out with you, but there's no way I'm having an orgasm right now because my nervous system is still so stimulated from that stressful conversation I was, I had to have for work that yeah, I would just be going through the motions.

So I can't I would rather us. Go for a walk together or we have a sauna, be in the sauna naked. That has been such an incredible thing for asking him. I asked my husband really specifically if he's are you in the mood for sex? I'm like, I don't really know if I wanna have orgasms right now, but I would love a sauna.

Do you just wanna lay with me naked in the sauna? And he's oh my God, yes, please. And I've told him I don't love being touched in the sauna physically. Like I don't, I don. But sometimes I realized just a few weeks ago, over Christmas break, I realized, oh, but I don't mind giving, I don't actually mind touching him or manually or orally stimulating him if we're in that situation.

But I really don't want it. and he keeps trying to give to me about situation Hunter. I just point no. I really still don't like it in the sauna. And he's I just feel bad not giving it. I'm like, okay, we need to be more implicit about when we are just receiving without any strings attached, because I think there's so much just under the surface resentment in most partnerships about who's doing what and whether we're.

In a relationship of reciprocity that getting much more specific about what we need in this situation to feel good. It seems like so granular, but a lot of us as partners, if we know specifically what actually will make our partner feel better, we're really willing to do that. We just don't stay in the conversation long enough to get the clarity.

[00:36:37] Hunter: Okay. So we need to bite the bullet and have these conversations. But if earlier you said, bring the kids in on this like conversa. Now what are you talking about there? Because I'm sure if that stopped me for a second huh. That stopped

[00:36:52] Ashleigh Renard: a bunch of my listeners. Okay. So I got paid to tell other people's kids what to do for a decade before I ever became a mother, before I ever had my own children.

So I give kids a lot of credit because I used to have to put 16 to 20 athletes on the ice. All of them with blades on their feet. And first we would spend thousands and tens of thousands of dollars to fly to like California for nationals, right? And I had to confidently put these children on the ice and know they were gonna keep each other safe.

That I had been specific enough in my instructions to them. So kids are so wise, they are sponges energetically, they could tell you everything that's going on in your marriage. Even if you say your marriage is fine, they get the vibe of all of it. So if something is weird between you and your partner, tell your kids we're buying a new house and.

Deciding what we're going to take as a business loss and what we're gonna show as revenue this year, because we really wanna qualify to the mortgage for this beautiful house is a different conversation than we've had in other years, and we're really coming up against I think the patriarchy smacking me in the face with every conversation, but we're coming up against some really old held belief.

My husband who is raised in a Greek Orthodox household, they're coming to the surface, right? And going wait a minute. Do we really wanna carry that forward with our children as far as partnership, true partnership and marriage? So I've been talking to my kids and saying, daddy and I are really not agreeing on how we're gonna handle the finances right now.

because we really have different, we have different things that are important to us and neither of us are wrong, but we're really both being very stubborn about the thing that we think is important. And so we are gonna have to have a lot of conversations to try to get more on the same page, even if we disagree.

We have to have, I wanna get to a place where we're not resentful, where we truly understand that the other person is go going for the best. Like they think it's the best thing for the. So just bringing these conversations to our kids.

[00:38:45] Hunter: But what if that conversation and difficulty is about sex and we're trying to have these conversations about sex and intimacy within our

[00:38:53] Ashleigh Renard: partnership?

Yeah. Okay. So sex is very rarely just about sex. It's about we both really willing to receive. , because that's a big thing for moms. They do. They do. They do. They do. They do. They do. They do. And they really feel like they need to do to a certain level where they're gonna, at some point feel like they've done enough and they're gonna be able to relax.

But we know that's not actually something that happens very often. We just keep doing and doing, and we get really addicted to the cortisol and all of the things that run through our bodies when we're like doing things in panic or rush. So when we're talking about it with our partner, It's not just, could you change your technique in the bedroom?

It's could you listen to me? Are you willing to listen? Am I willing to actually be open? It takes vulnerability from fo both people. So I think those conversations are things that you can model for your kids all the time, that you can model for your kids all the time. And if it is a challenge for you to talk about those, Practice in front of your kids.

You don't have to get it perfect. You don't have to get it perfect. You gotta just try and when you're misunderstood, go wait a minute, okay. That didn't come out right. Can I try that again? Show your kids that. Having the courage to have honest conversations is like just the courage to say, I wanna open this book and start talking about it, whatever it is.

And the fear that we're gonna bump up against something in our partners or ourselves that is gonna. I don't know what we're really fearful of. So let's just give your listeners the invitation to say, if you just panic thinking, oh my God I need, I'm dissatisfied in the bedroom and I need to talk to my partner about it, or need to talk to my partner.

I'm dissatisfied with the way they initiate because it's dismissive and it's doesn't take into account the things that I'm doing at that time. It makes me feel invisible when they initiate, when I'm busy or whatever. Then you need to say, it makes me feel invisible when I am working on something and you.

Hey, look like you're doing nothing here. Would you like to have sex? Or whatever it is. Like just open up these conversations. So you're saying

[00:40:56] Hunter: like, let's be open. Let's open up this sort of vulnerability. Open up these conversations about our being honest and authentic and transparent about our needs and wants.

Not necessarily talk about our sex life with our kids, but talk about other aspects of our partnership and our relationship, like about our needs and wants and owning them as all humans have needs and wants.

[00:41:15] Ashleigh Renard: Absolutely. And owning. Your growth process and giving your kids a little bit of perspective about that oh yeah.

Daddy and I used to think like we would always do things this way and then, after we had your brother, we were like, wait a minute. I dunno if that works for our family anymore. So we had to figure out how do we really wanna do it? And just talking about too, We talk to our kids about the pressures that come from in-laws from both sides, and just saying, we grew up in two different kinds of families.

So I have this autopilot and daddy has this autopilot. So like for us to actually consciously make a decision of what's important, we have to unpack that a little bit and bring some awareness. So just like those kinds of things with your kids. Tell your kids when you were brave enough to change your mind.

Be brave enough to let your kid change your mind. Be brave enough to go, wait a minute, tell me more about your opinion. Yeah, I think you're right. I think you're totally right with that. Like it's just really opening up the vulnerability. And in order to do that, hunter, we need to slow down a little bit, right?

Because if we're just running from one panicked thing to another, and that's why like your audience knows this and the things you teach, like we have to become more Mindful if we wanna feel more satisfied. We have to become more Mindful if we wanna actually get our needs met. So many of us have.

I married that person and they don't really check these boxes anymore, so I guess I don't have that in my life and I would like to invite everyone to go, wait a minute, I wanna pull those back out of that, that shoe box under my bed and go, I always thought I would have this and this in my marriage.

What if I brought that to my partner and said, Hey, is. I think maybe we could have this together. What do you think? Could we work towards these things? I

[00:43:00] Hunter: love that. I love that. I think that's the modeling. That's what a healthy relationship looks like, right? We're not like, we're not just putting part of ourselves in the closet and saying, oh we're saying this is my one life and maybe we can, my needs and your needs, if we have enough solutions, we can figure it out.

We get both of our needs met. ,

[00:43:20] Ashleigh Renard: and that's the way that in teams sports or in business, like if we were business partners, hunter, we would. Oh my God, it's so amazing that we're different. It's so amazing that you see things from this perspective. And I see things from this perspective. Cuz we don't have the same blind spots and here we go, let's build an empire.

Okay? And when we're different in marriage, we go, ugh. Men are like that, women are like that, whatever. And women will perpetuate it. Complaining about, how their husband's like another child or, they can't pack this or pack that. And it's what story do we really wanna be telling about marriage?

Because I would love, and I think that most of us have this idea if we chose our spouse, like we weren't in an arranged marriage. Okay? There was some point in our lives where we said you, I think it's you that's gonna make my life better. Like in partnering up with you. Is yes. Oh my God, yes. And then there's just so much disappointment in life, right?

Because things don't work out when you hope or how you hope. And then we can start to doubt did I even pick the right person? Can I have the things I want in life? Because some of these things don't come very easily with this package of a human that I got. and I'm a package every human. Like when we got married, my husband and I met right outta college, 21, 22 years old, so we've been here 20 years last August.

Same here. , we never knew what it was gonna be like to parent a 15 year old together. This is our first time doing that. Now that we have a freshman in high school. Let's just give ourselves some grace that like we are all just figuring this out. And we can have a little humor and we can have a little playfulness around it.

And instead of the resentment building up, let's just lay some of our chips on the table and go, some things I wanna talk about it's awkward, but there, there's some places where I would love to raise the bar for both of us. It's

[00:45:19] Hunter: interesting because it's it's, we just, we talked to, I talked to Amy Lang recently for the podcast about talking to sex.

Talking about sex with your teen tweens. Amazing. And her advice is so similar yeah, this is awkward, but we need to talk about it, and, We can get through those things. There, obviously there's so much to talk about here. I'm sure people can dive deeper, but I really appreciate you coming on Ashleigh and sharing this.

I think that, I hope, dear listener, you are inspired to, to get yourself some equipment and text your partner really soon and I'll be there with, right there with you. Ashleigh, this has been fabulous. I really enjoyed talking to you. Is there anything we missed and how can the listener find out

[00:46:02] Ashleigh Renard: more about what you.

Yeah, come say hi on Instagram, send me a dm. I would love for you to say that you heard me on Hunter's Podcast. I have tons of resources for couples because when I shared this memoir about a very personal part of my marriage and my sex life, then people just started opening up to me hundreds of dms a day about their marriages, and I was like, wow, cooperation and marriage is so remarkably similar to cooperation in any other healthy space.

So I have things you can read. I have Keeping it hot, the workbook, my book Swing, which has been option for a streaming series, which is Oh wow, how cool. So fun that we're gonna take really awkward marriage situations and family situation and let's just put it on the screen for everyone to see, right?

[00:46:47] Hunter: Oh, I'll be looking forward to that.

[00:46:49] Ashleigh Renard: and After Dork we're workshops or couples where I bring in trained sexologists intimacy coaches, tantric practitioners, to give couple. They're called after dark workshops where it's just a 60 to 90 minute workshop giving you so many ideas for techniques in the bedroom.

It's like a sexy date night in, it's like on, you can just put on the recording, like grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, lay out your sex, and then just, whether you and your partner giggle or have the best sex of your life during it. It's something that's bringing couples closer. So

[00:47:20] Hunter: cool. I love it.

Ashleigh, thank you so much. I think this is so important for, it's part of Parenting, it's part of our whole life to be whole and complete human beings that are, happy, satisfied content. Hey, thank you so much. I wish you more great sex. I wish our listeners great. Thank you so much for being so open to talk to us about it.

I really always love an open, great conversation like this, so thank you for coming on. You're welcome.

I hope you enjoy this episode, my friend. Wow. Is literally a little different from our normal Parenting talk, but it's so important, right? It's just like an important part of our lives to have, good. Healthy, sexy relationships. Yeah. That's an important part of our humanity and I think we should own that.

That's just something that's nothing to be ashamed of. We should be acknowledging this part of our humanity we're not, can break away from the puritan roots of our country. In the US and acknowledge that we are fully sexual people and this is an important part of your life. So I hope this episode helped, and if so, please let me know.

Please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. It makes such a big difference. I wanna give a shout out to d Pippin who left a five star review with Clappy hands. They wrote. I'm so grateful that I've stumbled across this podcast. Each episode leaves me feeling inspired to continue to strive to be a better parent.

Thank you so much for leaving that review. It helps enormously. So thank you. Please leave a review. It helps so much. And listen, hope that you had a great time listening to this podcast. I hope you have some great sex this weekend. And maybe it's sex with your partner. Maybe it's some sales sex.

Hey, just acknowledge your full humanity. That's what I'm encouraging and. I gotta go and go for a walk, Maggie. A 15 year old, still 15, so I will say very well, and I wish you a great week. I hope you have Mindful moments. Hope you pause. Hope you breathe. Thank you so much for listening.

[00:49:50] Ashleigh Renard: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like. Acting more with them and not feeling like you yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely enjoy it. It's so worth it.

It'll change you no matter what age someone's child is. It's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to.

Everything in your Parenting,

[00:50:54] Hunter: are you frustrated by parent? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'll be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of Mindful Parenting and now have confidence in clarity in their Parenting. This isn't just another Parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go. Mindful Parenting course.com to add your name to the wait list, so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.

I look forward to seeing you on the inside, Mindful Parenting course.com.

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