Compassionate Communication for Intimate Needs and Desires: Dr. Patti Talks to Lori Grace Star and Scott Catamas, Master Teachers of Compassionate Communication is intended for mature audiences only.
Lori Grace Star, MA Psych. LMT
Founder and Director of Celebrations of Love
Lori Grace Star, MA Psych. LMT, has been studying and teaching approaches to communication and conflict resolution for nine years and Compassionate Communication for five. Compassionate Communication is an essential part of the skills she uses to connect compassionately with others and herself; to feel peaceful and inspired in daily life.
Lori maintains a private practice teaching people Tantra for over ten years and has been leading workshops in Tantra for fifteen years. She is also an anti-aging specialist. She has helped many couples and individual women overcome a wide variety of difficulties with their sexuality. She helps people expand their ability to communicate with their partners, feel compassion and understanding for each other, and experience profound levels of Tantric connection.
The following is a transcript of a interview with Dr. Patti Taylor and Lori Grace. About Compassionate Communication (a communication methodology founded by Marshall Rosenberg), or Nonviolent Communication, (NVC), with Lori Grace Star and Scott Catamas, both gifted teachers of NVC. Lori, a world-renowned teacher of All-Embracing Tantra, and Scott, a brilliant videographer of many of the leading teachers of NVC are committed to sharing a profound message of bringing joy, turn-on, connection, peace and understanding. Discover how you can bring hotter, juicier, sexier, more loving playfulness, understanding, and intimacy back into your bedroom.
Dr. Patti Taylor
In this exciting show, you’ll learn exactly, how to ask for, and receive, the love-making you want, through having more sex, love and intimacy. And do so in a way that leaves both you and your partner feeling more connected than ever!
I just want to make sure that we understand that ‘needs’ is a word that’s used in NVC a lot of times in regular conversation when we talk about what we want, or what we would prefer. And because people don’t like to see themselves as ‘needy’ – the use of the word need was just to give a real sense of the preciousness of what we’re wanting and desiring, and that it’s really okay. And it’s very universal; If I have a need for respect and consideration, that could possibly be met in a number of different ways. And so, that’s another important part: is if I’m sharing a need and I want to evoke empathy, I have to look at it in a very general way so that that other person could connect from their heart, with what I’m needing…
‘Needs’ are – and let’s really clarify that – in NVC, we’re learning about ‘universal needs.’ And a true universal need can be described in one or two words: respect, support, integrity, love. Once you start using more trust, once you start using more than one or two words, you’re not really describing the need, you’re describing your strategy to get that need met. And that’s a very clear delineation, an important delineation, that we use in compassionate communication. So, for example, I want to know – Lori has a need for respect – how can I disagree with that? I can’t! Of course she has a need for respect!
We all do; it’s a universal need. But maybe her strategy to get that need met is different than my strategy. So, if we get in to a place of just acknowledging we both have a need for respect, and acknowledge that, that keeps us connected. And then maybe we can look at finding strategies to get those needs met that works for both of us. . .. . I think it would be kind of gross to come inside a woman’s mouth, too. .
. .And I, as a woman, in receiving and enjoying oral pleasuring, had to come to a point, also, that I love my body; and I love receiving pleasure, and it’s okay. And that my genitals are beautiful!
-They are! I love your genitals thus far! I’m looking forward to envisioning them soon!
Dr. Patti Taylor:
Welcome to The Expanded Love-Making Show. I’m your host, Dr. Patti Taylor, of expandedlovemaking-dot-com. And I teach people how to give and receive, way more pleasure than they ever dreamed possible! Today on the show, we are talking about “Compassionate Communication for Connecting, Listening, Learning and Love-Making.”
I’m so excited about this show! Because I can literally divide my life, in to the time before I learned about Compassionate Communication, and after. My life has been profoundly changed by this information and practice. So I am deeply honored to welcome today’s guests on to today’s show. Welcome, Lori Grace, and Scott Kitanis!
Hi Patti! It’s just wonderful to be here with you!
Hi! It’s just fabulous to have you here! Lori Grace-Starr is the founder and director of ‘Celebrations of Love;’ she’s the teacher of all-embracing Tantra, which combines conscious communication techniques; heart-centered spiritual practices; sexual energy; movement; and the latest medical information on maintaining sexual passion as we age. She also sees individuals and couples privately, in her San Francisco Bay Area practice.
Scott Kitanis is a multiple-Emmy-award-winning writer, director and producer, who has also studied Compassionate Communication extensively. And who has filmed some fabulous and educational reference clips. We’ll give you the links to these so that you can access them to learn more about this work, also called Non-Violent Communication, or NVC, on your own. Both Scott and Lori have worked closely with the founder of NVC, Marshall Rosenberg.
I’m really glad the two of you can join us today! Who doesn’t want more loving communications? And for two reasons, really: One, to get more of what you want; and two, to give your partner more of what they want, too! So, today, we’re going to find out how NVC works; Scott and Lori will tell us about compassionate communication; and then role-play some situations they feel are typical of touchy situations, arising for men and women communicating about love-making.
So! (laughs) I’m looking forward to this! And let’s start with finding out a little about what is ‘Compassionate Communication’?
It’s a wonderful system that’s changed my life, too, Patti. I can point to the day before and after as well. It’s a way of communicating that makes it much easier for somebody, really anybody – a lover, a child, my husband, whatever – to be able to hear me more easily; and also to be able to really sense what that person’s underlying needs are; what is going on in a person – if they’re getting upset or saying remarks that I might interpret as attacks – being able to empathize with them, and their feelings.
So – how would you say your life was before; I mean, how did it change your life? What would you say would be just a simple two sentences before and after. I mean, I’ll just say for myself, the way I look at it is before, I was a kind of a ‘slash and burn’ kind of a girl, you know? When I had a problem with someone, I’d kind of ‘slash and burn’: I’d say horrible things, I’d leave the person trashed and angry and freaked-out. After NVC, I’d say the right thing, and heal, we’d usually wind up more loving afterwards, than even before the problem. So – find out your two or three sentences, just to get a little flavor. .
Well, there are several things that occurred: one is that, I noticed that I used fewer judgmental words in my communications, and I also really took responsibility for my own feelings more; and didn’t present myself, in any way, even remotely, as a victim. I began to see that when I used the words ‘taken advantage of,’ or ‘I feel used,’ or words that I used to use, I was feeling upset and I wanted more respect, or more fairness, more equality. Whatever was going on, and so – more caring; and I began to see that my emotions are really a result of either my unmet needs for something that I’m wanting – or my met needs. And by that I could also say wants or preferences.
Okay, well we’re already getting in to some juicy words here: needs, and juicy preferences. Let’s hear from a guy now, Scott, what is NVC to you . .?
Well. Yeah, I’ll speak from my heart. What’s amazing about NVC is right now I have four lovers ranging in age from thirty-one years old to fifty-six. And all four of them know each other, know about each other; they all practice NVC. We never experience fights, there’s no jealousy. For me, it’s extraordinary to be able to have great love with four wonderful women, all of whom I adore and care about, all of whom I have a great sexual relationship with. And it’s only because of NVC that I’m able to pull it off and experience it. And everybody can get along so wonderfully well.
So, most people can, you know – imagine having just one lover and getting it right. But, you know, we have lovers in our life – we have parents, we have children, we have relatives, we have co-workers – I mean, we all have many lovers in our life. So, I think –
That’s right. And many of us think we counsel a lot of different people. And it’s great for people in monogamous relationships to go much deeper in their intimacy. I happen to be poly-amorous. But, it’s good for everybody, it’s good for any kind of relationship. I’ve watched Lori and her teenage son transform their relationship through NVC. I’ve watched so many different types of relationships completely transform from anger and hostility, to genuine love, genuine compassion, through these very simple tools.
Well, I have to say the same thing. I can’t even think of anything where I’ve seen more miracles happen on a daily basis, myself. Well, this is truly just a garden of miracles when you learn this. Let’s find out a little bit about the basics. What are the basics – we don’t have too much time, and so I do want to say we’re going to have a rich, rich resource guide along with our ‘Episode’ page. So maybe we can just find out – what are the basics: I know that there are objectives, feelings, needs and strategies.
Just before I go in to the basics, I want to say that I too have had experiences with more than one lover at the same time, and been able to find a lot of ease in how I manage those relationships. If I’ve chosen to be monogamous with some man, I’ve noticed that as well. I have more ease, and joy, harmony.
So, in terms of the four basic steps of Non-Violent Communication – or compassionate communication as it’s also called – we’re talking about when the first thing is is you notice what’s going on that is perhaps triggering you in some sort of way. And if you’re going to talk about it with somebody, you describe it as though you were watching it through a movie camera. In other words, you don’t use judgmental words. For example, if I was going to say to somebody, ‘When you so rudely interrupted me.’ Now that is definitely judgmental. And if I said, ‘And when you started talking in the middle of sharing my story,’ that is an observation. And it’s much easier to hear an observation than it is a judgment or an evaluation. Another piece of it is that I might want to share my emotions. And they actually give you word-sheets on emotions, because some of us just don’t use emotional words that often. So, I said, ‘I felt upset.’ And then, the most key – important – part of non-violent communication is to be able to realize that my needs are what are triggering my feelings – it’s not like this guy or anyone is making me feel upset. It’s that I get upset – let’s say in this case of being interrupted – I have unmet need for respect and consideration. And then, the last part – the need or the preference for respect or consideration being unmet – is what’s driving my anger; it’s stimulating my anger. The last part is a request; which is a way of acting to meet my needs. And so then what I would perhaps speak to this person is, ‘Would you be willing to allow me to finish my story before sharing with me your responses to what I’m saying.’ And then I have a chance to hear how they respond; and if they say ‘No, I’m not going to let you finish,’ then I have a chance to ask them what they’re needing that’s making them say no to my request. So, it becomes a life of living by requests, and really noticing where the energy is going. And really understanding the needs of both parties.
One thing just to add, of course we could just go on and on: A tool, if you want to get just one thing out of this is: Whenever you’re having a feeling – feelings are beautiful. We absolutely encourage people to acknowledge, get in touch with their feelings. And then ask yourself, ‘What need has either been met or not met?’ In other words, if you’re having an uncomfortable feeling, it’s because there is some need or needs, that haven’t been met. And by getting in touch with those needs, it helps you to get past the feeling – we honor the feelings but then we get past it – like Lori described: “Oh, I’m feeling angry because my need for respect is unmet.” Whatever helps you to know yourself more – or conversely, to understand the other person more.
So, with my partner, or my friends, if someone is upset, I’ll listen, and then I’ll ask them, ‘Which of your needs hasn’t been met? What are you needing right now?’
I remember, when I started learning NVC, one of the things that I was so excited about – I was not articulate at all – about feelings. First of all, I thought ‘needs’ was a dirty word. So, I couldn’t believe anybody wanting to know what my needs were. I actually thought ‘feelings’ was a dirty word, too! Feeling were something to be ashamed of, and needs were something even more –
Because you don’t want to be needy.
Right. You don’t want to be needy. And feelings – no one ever asked me what I was feeling. So I just wasn’t used to talking about them. And actually they give you this list of feelings and needs and I carried that around with me, and so did my partners; and when we were learning about NVC – we’ll give that as part of the links for the show – by all means you’ve got to download this list. We carried it around, and every time we had a sensitive conversation for the first few months, we would sit down, and I would say, ‘I’m feeling . . ‘ and I would flip down the list of emotions and there were, I don’t know, thirty or forty of them. And I’d go, ‘Uh. . . ‘ I’d find the feeling, and it took me a while to even learn to put words to my feelings. And, I think for men that aren’t even used to verbalizing what they’re feeling, this was mind-blowing. So, for me as a woman – and I’m supposedly educated – even for me, it was totally revolutionary.
I just want to make sure that we understand that ‘needs’ is a word that’s used in NVC, but a lot of times in regular conversation, we talk about what we want, or what we would prefer. And because people don’t like to see themselves as ‘needy’ – the use of the word need was just to give a real sense of the preciousness of what we’re wanting and desiring – and that it’s really okay. And, it’s very universal: if I have a need for respect and consideration, that could possibly be met in a number of different ways. And so that’s another important part, is that if I’m sharing a need, and I evoke empathy, I have to look at it in a very general way; so that that other person can connect in their heart with what I’m needing.
Okay, great. So, quickly, before we move on to unmet needs: What would just quickly be some emotions – five off the top of your head – happy ones and then positive ones, for our listeners.
It could be angry, happy, sad, scared . .
Confused is a really good one. I find that, in NVC often saying, ‘I’m feeling confused, because I don’t fully understand what you’re saying. I’m taking full responsibility and I’m inquiring more.’ So, confusion is a good one. When there’s maybe a dispute; people aren’t seeing eye-to-eye; if I take responsibility for feeling confused, then there’s an inquiry to understanding the other person more. .
Right. And you want to look at the list if you have a feeling and not really a judgment. So which would a judgment be and not a real emotion?
Well, something like saying, ‘I’m feeling belittled. . ‘
Patti: . .Annoyed, maybe?
Well, annoyed is an emotion. But if I’m feeling belittled; I’m feeling misunderstood; I’m feeling taken advantage of. It’s a perception of a condition, really. That’s described as a feeling.
We call them ‘evaluations, masquerading as feelings.’ You know it, because when you say, ‘I’m feeling that you . .’ blank blank blank. Any time you do that, you’re not in a feeling; you’re in a projection about someone else.
Okay, so this is why you need the list! So that you actually have a genuine emotion, and not a diagnosis – that’s what they’re called – which is actually a ‘diagnosis of emotion.’
Okay, now we can move on to the needs, because this is the heart of Compassionate Communication. So I was brought up that ‘needy’ is like terrible, and Marshall and you all teach that needs are these precious things to be cherished. What are needs?
Well, ‘needs’ are – and let’s really clarify that at NVC we’re learning about ‘universal needs’. And a true universal need can be described in one or two words: respect, support, integrity, love. Once you start using more – trust – once you start using more than one or two words, you’re not really describing the need, you’re describing your strategy to get that need met. And that’s a very clear delineation, and an important delineation, that we use in Compassionate Communication. So for example, I want to know if Lori has a need for respect. How can I disagree with that? I can’t! Of course she has a need for respect.
We all do. It’s a universal need. But maybe her strategy to get that need met is different than my strategy. So if we get in to a place of just acknowledging we both have a need for respect – and acknowledge that – that keeps us connected. And then maybe we can look at finding strategies to get those needs met that work for both of us.
. . I would totally agree!
And you know, if we act it out, then we can see how we can come to that kind of conclusion.
So, Lori, what would you say about needs being precious and beautiful.
One thing I have to say is, as women we have a tendency to push our needs away, and try to serve and to nurture others. And so it’s been really important as a woman to really acknowledge the beauty of my needs. Basically, the preciousness – that I have a need for trust: that’s a very tender, very precious and beautiful need. And everybody has a need for trust. You do, Scott does, anybody on the planet – we all have needs for trust. I have a need for honesty and authenticity – that’s something that’s shared by everybody as well. And I have a need for respect and consideration and caring. And there isn’t one person on the planet who doesn’t have that need at some point. And it doesn’t mean that you need to have than need constantly every minute. Our needs can change – our dominant needs – every few minutes even. But it is what’s alive in us at that moment that we’re wanting, desiring, preferring.
Here’s something for all the guys out there: Do you want to have women loving you? appreciating you? more sexually attracted to you? Here’s the most important thing I can tell you, this is the most important thing I’ve learned: I have great love in my life – I’m not wealthy, I’m not particularly handsome. It’s because I’ve learned to ask the women in my life two questions: How are you feeling, and what do you need. And I really listen. That’s it! That is the most important key to having a quality relationship with a woman.
Sounds great to me!
It does! And we’re going to take a break pretty soon, but first I want to ask just one more question – and I think Lori what you were saying about the needs kind of leads to empathy. Because if we really feel that way about ourselves and we value our own needs, then I think it really brings us to a place where we see that everybody has those needs and we honor that in ourselves. And that’s where the compassion and the Compassionate Communication comes in, doesn’t it?
Yes. And I actually want to say something about that. The very care that I might put in to asking somebody what they’re feeling and what they’re needing right now, is something that I really need to do for myself, a lot of the time! We call it self-empathy. Though I can stay in touch with myself, in fact, when I’m upset about something, I will ask myself that question several times over and see what comes up. Each one of those questions: what are you feeling? And then I’ll often dwell on what am I needing? And what would really help me shift?
And again, as Scott said, it needs to be general, so that our strategies to meet those needs can work themselves out – either in a relationship with myself, or with another person.
Wow. That’s really beautiful. I think our listeners may be getting a glimpse of why Compassionate Communication really has lasted over the ‘slash-and-burn’ method of communication I was using! And so, please stay with us, we’re going to take a short break to support our sponsors. This is Dr. Patti Taylor. I’m with Lori Grace-Starr and Scott Kintamis. We will be right back. Lori is sending celebrations of love; website is w-w-w-dot-celebrations-of-love-dot-com. Marshall Rosenberg’s book is non-violent communications, who wrote the book. And we’ll provide the link for this as well as other fabulous resources; Scott made some just really great videos – you’ll be able to just watch some really really beautiful video samples. More learning stuff on this. Stay with us! We’re back, and I’m Dr. Patti Taylor. And we’re talking to Lori and Scott about Compassionate Communication For Connecting, Listening, Learning and Love-Making.
Before the break, we were talking about how we can use Compassionate Communication to get our needs met, and a little bit about what the needs are; and strategies, and just how it works. But now, we’re going to do some improvisational role-playing. So do you want to tell us a little bit about how this is going to work?
Sure. Both Lori and I have a theatrical background, so we really enjoy doing this. And in a lot of the classes we’ve been teaching, what we’ll do is we’ll take a real situation from someone in the audience – a relationship that has a real challenge – and they’ll tell us the issues, and then we’ll act it out. We’ll act it out two or three times. The first time we’ll act it out, is when both people are in what you call ‘slash and burn’ – we call it ‘jackal’. Jackal is when we are approaching the other person with blame, or our self with shame. It’s kind of the ‘Blame-Shame Game’. Which, unfortunately, is how most people are raised to interact especially when they’re fighting each other. In Non-Violent Communication, we try to be what we call ‘giraffe.’ Giraffe is compassionate; we show empathy for the other person; we take responsibility for our needs, our feelings; we observe without judgment. By the way, giraffe was chosen by the mascot because giraffes have the largest heart, of any land mammal; they are very tall, so they can see the big picture; they’re vegetarian; and yet, they’re very strong, and they’re very well respected for it. You know, they’re not ‘mamby-pambies’! A lion will almost never attack a giraffe because one kick from a giraffe can kill a lion. So, they’re strong animals, but they’re also peace-loving. That’s why we chose the giraffe.
So, Lori and I are going to take a typical situation, and since this is kind of a sexy show, we thought it might be kind of fun to take a scene that has to do with love-making.
Great! And not only that, I think it’s probably very true to life. Because first of all, a lot of people do use NVC, and they use ‘jackal’ and ‘giraffe’. Those are the terms that they use at NVC, and they do use a lot of NVC to work out love-making issues. So let’s get started!
So, let’s imagine that Scott and I are lying in bed; we’ve just finished making love
and he thought it was really good, but . .we’ll see!
And the first time we’re doing this, we’re both going to be in ‘jackal’. We’re both not going to use NVC, we’re both going to be more like a typical couple. . might be. How we might have been ten, fifteen years ago.
Ohhh, wow! That was great, wasn’t it, Lori? Mmm!! Boy! Love it!
Lori: It was okay.
Scott: It was what?! Okay?!
Lori: Yeah. Yeah, it was okay.
Scott: Okay, like mediocre??
Lori: (groan) I don’t know. It was okay, Scott.
Scott: (disbelief) Jesus, Lori. I can’t believe you’re only saying it was okay!! I thought it was unbelievable. (Here I am) Telling you how great it was, and I’m all sexy and passionate, and think it’s really wonderful; and you’re telling me it was only okay?!! What’s wrong with you!!
Lori: Scott!!! There you are criticizing me again!
Scott: You’re always like this! It’s like you always have to ruin it!
Damn right, you always have to ruin it! Here, we just had this great time, (mocking voice)‘Ahh, it’s only okay!’
Lori: (by now shouting) I can’t stand this!! I’m getting out of here!
Scott: Well, fine! Go away, that’s what you always do!!
Patti: Cut! (laughing) Okay! Is there an alternative? Please! Our listeners really want to know!
Scott: Just notice that what we did that’s just really sad, was, immediately we wanted to blame, you know. We went in to a ‘I was feeling hurt’, instead of inquiring more about what was going on with her, I attacked her. And I made her wrong. Which is what we don’t want to do.
So, this next time we’re going to do it, Lori is going to play the role of ‘giraffe’, but I’m going to stay in ‘jackal’, unless Lori can authentically touch my heart. But I’m going to stay in jackal, and she’s got to really reach me. And you’re going to see how Lori – even when I’m in jackal – by talking to herself, getting in touch with her needs, can shift the energy.
Patti: Okay. Well. Good good.
Lori: That sounds just great. We’re going to start it with the same words initially, and then I’m going to start talking to myself, when I get in touch with my feelings.
Scott: She’ll establish the difference; she’ll say it in self-talk; but when she’s ready to get back in to dialogue, she’ll say, ‘Okay, now I’m ready to get back in dialogue with Scott,’ so it’s clear for the radio-listener.
(loud sigh) Ahhh! That was great! Wasn’t it Lori? God I love how we fuck, it’s just so good! Oh!
Scott: So, how was it for you?
Lori: It was okay, Scott.
Scott: Okay?? Okay, like ‘mediocre’ okay?
Lori: (groans) I don’t know, exactly how to call it. It was alright, Scott.
Scott: Only alright?! What’s wrong with you Lori?!
Lori: It was just something.. ; Now I’m going to start talking to myself, okay?:
I’m feeling a little bit confused about how to talk to him about this. (Sigh) And I was really wanting more intimacy; I was wanting more of a heart-connect – more looking in to each other’s eyes; maybe breathing together. I wanted to hear him say, ‘I love you.’ (sighs) And so I’m really sad actually; I’ve been losing a little hope. Now I’m going to turn to talk to him:
Scott: -Just to be clear because we’re on the radio, the feelings that you felt were and the underlying needs were . .
Lori: My feelings were sadness; and my desire was for intimacy that wasn’t met. And actually, before I talk to him, I’m going to take some time to reflect on what I imagine his needs and feelings to be. So, he’s clearly upset. And I’m guessing he’d like some reassurance for what was good; for what I did like – in our sexual connection. And I’m guessing if I really empathize with his needs, he might hear mine a little better. So, I think I’m ready to talk to him now:
Scott: I don’t know what’s wrong with you Lori, why you always do this.
Lori: Scott, I’m hearing how upset you are, and I’m guessing that you might like to hear me say some of the things I did like about making love.
Scott: Well, of course! I just talked about how great it was, and I heard you say it was only mediocre. That’s a bummer!
Lori: So, I want to say that what I really enjoyed about it was I really enjoyed – always enjoy – how hard you get (!), and I enjoy how long you can stay hard. I definitely orgasmed; and it was very . . sexy in certain ways. And I really liked that part.
Scott: I’m so glad to hear that! Lori, you really turned me on! The reason I get so hard and stay so hard is because you’re just so hot!
Scott: I just want you!
Lori: I’m happy to hear that.
Scott: I’m happy to hear you liked that! I was confused!
Lori: I like that. I like that. Definitely.
Scott: So, what’s wrong?
Lori: Well, it’s not a question of wrong, it’s really just that I have a need for something. I’m actually wanting more intimacy. I’m wanting to feel a heart connection that might happen if we look in to each other’s eyes some. And I’d love to hear you share your love for me!
Scott: You know I love you. I love you very much.
Lori: Some times I just really need to hear it. It just really turns me on. Even more. Yeah. When I hear that kind of thing.
Scott: Telling you I love you turns you on more than saying God I really want to fuck you?!
Lori: Well, yeah.
Scott: That’s interesting to know!
Lori: Yeah, it is (laughing).
Scott: I didn’t know that!
Lori: Some times I like the other words, if I’m hot. But if my heart is needing some nourishment, I love hearing that you love me.
Scott: I do love you.
Lori: Thank you. I really appreciate that!
Scott: I get turned on, and it’s more that passionate male thing going on.
Lori: So, I really enjoy a lot of that. And what would help me feel more of the intimacy, would you be willing, the next time we make love, maybe look in to my eyes a bit? You know, not all the time. I would really enjoy that, or tell me perhaps that you love me or touch my heart.
Scott: Getting in to that spiritual stuff, okay, I get it! You’ve been watching Oprah again!
Lori: The fact I love you is a turn on for you, too.
Scott: I do like looking in your eyes because they’re beautiful! I’m looking right now!
Lori: I like looking at yours too.
Scott: So when I act these things out with Lori, I don’t just have in my head, ‘Okay I’m going to change,’ she tried to get through to me, and she did. Because she complimented me, she connected with what was right. She got in touch accurately. I was angry, because my need for reassurance, my need for being appreciated, was threatened for what I heard. I heard her say, ‘Okay mediocre’, I went in to my own jackal mind, of judging Oh my God I m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me,’ which is kind of typical human response. So by giving me that reassurance, it made it safe for me to genuinely be more interested in what her need was, because I was feeling less defensive.
Patti: I’m thinking our listeners might say, though, you know, What’s the difference between just pandering to somebody and just buttering up their ego, and being truly empathetic?
Scott: One word: Authentic. If you genuinely believe it, and I believe it with Lori. I happen to know that I get particularly hard with Lori. I keep my hard-on so it was real. So if you’re buttering somebody up, if you’re saying something you don’t mean, if you’re saying it to say it – that’s one thing. But, obviously if you’re really being authentic, sincerely connecting with that person, then that’s a really important thing.
Patti: Well, I thought that was a really beautiful scenario. And I have to say, I have definitely been in those situations where I have had to use NVC. In fact I would say, the more intimate the situation, and the more charged it is, the more I’ve needed to use NVC. Because the easier the wounding mis-step that can really hurt and damage somebody, the more careful I actually want to be, so that I won’t recreate those wounds. And the more likely I am to have that conversation – I’m not very skilled the way you are, Lori, I may actually want to wait and have that conversation after the love-making. I may want to pull out my white sheet if I’m new at it, and say, ‘Can we talk about this?’ and pull out the white sheet and say, ‘You know when we were talking about that, I felt..’ and go down the list. Find the right word, ‘scared’ because, and go down the list find the right word.
Because I’ve done that actually many many times.
Lori: And I would like to say that – let’s say that Scott had responded instead by saying, ‘Oh, you’re just buttering me up, to get something you want.’ I would then go in to empathy with him, and say I’m imagining that you’ll feel more trust here. And there are a few more things I’d like to share with you. I would really like to believe!’ And we could keep going with it. Part of connecting is staying with the process. And if the person doesn’t really trust, you go further.
Patti: I think that’s a good point; and probably in a longer term relationship where there’s been some history, there’s probably need often for some fence-mending or some major reassurance in certain areas, and maybe a lot of empathy and care to really give that person a lot of –
Scott: -absolute trust. Honest. In most sexual relationships, especially long-term, there’s often been times where trust has been broken. Or their perception of trust has been broken. And Lori is very skilled at giving empathy and you saw that. And what’s really important here is both things: She got in touch with her own feelings, and her underlying needs; and then she took the time to get in touch with my feelings and imagining of my feelings and underlying needs.
And as she just pointed out: If I remain in jackal, or remain agitated, then as a giraffe, her job is to know her needs and feelings are important – to put them on the back-burner until she has really connected to me again. And until that connection is established, and usually we need to establish that connection by giving empathy and getting in touch with what’s going on with the other person.
Patti: Yeah. And the practice can be amazing because, I know when I’ve just been a total bitch, and fight with someone, all of a sudden a light goes on, and ‘What am I doing?’ All of a sudden I will start doing the compassionate communication; because, ‘Do I really want to spend the next three days cleaning this up? I don’t think so!’
I am so glad I practiced this, so you can just switch in to mode. We’re going to take a break, so please stay with us. We are talking to Scott Kintamis and Lori Grace about connecting, listening, learning and love-making using compassionate communication. So we will be right back!
We’re back, and I’m Dr. Patti Taylor! And I’m with Lori Grace-Starr and Scott Kintamis.
Scott: What we want to do now is – do you remember that movie ‘What Women Really Want’? Well, this is for guys, what guys really want. And so we’re going to use a role-play, where we’re going to see how I as a guy, might have a higher chance of getting what I want – in expanded love-making. This show is all about expanded love-making.
So, let’s imagine that Lori and I are lovers; we’ve been together – maybe we’ve made love five or six times. I’ve gone down on her, had intercourse, sex is really good between us. But she hasn’t gone down on me. Hasn’t even come close on going down on me. And I want her to. That’s a fantasy that I have. So,let’s imagine a dialogue we might have – how I might approach that as a giraffe. Since we have limited time, I’m going to approach her the first time, from giraffe. So, the first thing I’m going to do is, I’m going to do self-talk and then apply that to dialogue.
So in my self-talk, I’m getting in touch with – I have a need for intimacy. My strategy or desire or preference for that is that I want her to go down on me. And – for me – I’ve noticed that I can only go down on a woman if I really love her – if I feel really strongly about her. I can’t just do it with anybody. So I associate going down on a woman with Lori, is that I really . . and I’m really feeling insecure because she hasn’t gone down on me and so I’m wondering if maybe her feelings aren’t that strong for me. (Or) as much as mine are for her. So, I’m kind of recognizing that my need is for intimacy, and my strategy is oral sex, my feeling is concern, and I’m feeling also curious.
Now I’m going to try to imagine what her feelings are. I’m imagining she might be feeling a little scared . . about going down on me. She might be feeling a little apprehensive about it. She might even feel scared about talking about it. And if that’s true, then her need for – trust might be a need. I may not be right, but those are guesses so I’m going to try and find out. So now I’m talking to Lori:
Lori: That was great love-making, Scott! You pleasured me so beautifully, oh!
Scott: So, you like that?
Lori: Oh, I love it! Ready for some intercourse too.
Scott: Good!! Good.
Lori: Feel like right now! Like ‘Come inside me!’
Scott: Would it be okay if I asked you just a couple of quick questions before I come inside you? Is that okay? I really love you. When I go down on you it’s because I love you, and going down on you feels really yummy to me! I’m imagining what you’re feeling, you’re so good about moaning. Squeals of delight are really a turn-on! I love going down on you!
I’m kind of wondering; there’s a part of me that would really enjoy you pleasuring me some time. And I want to know how you might feel about that, if it’s something that you enjoy? If you enjoy pleasuring a man, if you might enjoy pleasuring me some day? Or if it’s just something you don’t enjoy doing? Anything is okay. What’s important is I want to know where you’re at with that? It’s most important that you’re honest with me. It’s not about the right answer . .
Lori: Two issues come up in every relationship: one is, most of the guys, if I take the time to pleasure them orally, like they don’t stay hard in me? for very long? and so I don’t like to do too much of it, because they get all stimulated, and then when there inside me, they can’t stay erect for very long because they ejaculate. So that was one issue. I have another one, too.
Scott: Thank you for sharing that. Really important for me to hear.
Lori: I really love the intercourse part and I don’t want to shorten it.
Lori: And then the other part is that I had one lover who – the biggest thing that got him off was me swallowing his come? and I did it once or twice, and I didn’t like the feeling – slippery, mucousy feeling – and if I can just pleasure without thinking that either you’re going to come, or I have to swallow your come, or something like that, that would help me…
Scott: I really want to make sure I understand you correctly because this is an important conversation, and thank you so much for being honest. I feel like I been closer to you.
Scott: My understanding is that it’s really important – you like to have a man stay hard a long time – and you and I have long love-making. And I definitely don’t have a need to ejaculate in your mouth. I wouldn’t want to; I want us to be able to fuck for at least an hour. But it would be nice if you could trust me to hold my ejaculation, and hold my erection. I’m kind of excited! Maybe if you could just lick me a little bit, that would be really nice. I promise that if I thought I was even close to ejaculating, I would stop, shift it, because I do want to have intercourse.
Lori: You haven’t come quickly?
Scott: No. No, but. I’ll be honest, if you did go down on me for a long time, I probably would go soft. . . No, I might lose my erection. That does happen some times, when a woman goes down on me for a long time, if I’m not on top, I’m not in a dominant position.. I do lose my erection. But the moment I’m kind of on top of you, and looking at you, in your beautiful eyes, those incredible nipples of yours, moment I touch those nipples I’m hard as a rock! So that’s kind of the way I am.
Lori: So let me see if I understand. If you get a certain amount of oral pleasuring, you don’t have a problem with ejaculating quickly after it.
Scott: I actually think it would be kind of gross to come inside a woman’s mouth too.
Lori: So that’s not a particular turn-on to you? And that it feels like a gift of love?
Scott: I guess that’s kind of the most important thing; to know that you like me that much.
Lori: Well, I’m sure I would.
Scott: I much prefer coming in intercourse, because you know how you come together. That’s amazing how we can do that!
Lori: So amazing. I love it!
Scott: Let’s try it!
Lori: Let’s go right now!
Patti: Well, compassionate communication saves the day!
Scott: And again; something we both did – which is an important part. We both reflected our understanding. Now in this case because we had a limited amount of time, we understood each other accurately. But you’d be amazed how often there might be a misunderstanding. There might be – I heard Lori say something different. She might correct me, ‘No no Scott. I really want you to be clear. Thank you for wanting to understand me, but my true understanding is there might be additional information.’ That the more she thinks about it, the more additional information she needs from me to understand.
Patti: Well. I tell you something. I know what you’re talking about because when I talk to people and I reflect back to that, or find out what the other person is thinking, I am astonished by how much misunderstanding there is between people. Sometimes – Actually, I’m even more astonished that anyone can hear anyone else – because when I check in to hear what other people think, we are all in our own little worlds. Until we do find out what the other person truly is thinking, the odds are, until we do have that communication, we really don’t understand the other person. So I think it’s so important to have that communication. If you’re not communicating and finding out that information from that other person, then, hey! You’re probably not having all that hot juicy fabulous amazing sex. And it’s probably just because you haven’t asked, and found out that everything is possible to have. SO think of all the opportunities that are probably available; the love, the connection.
Lori: And one other thing that I didn’t – that’s so directly in the role-play: I would be relying on you Scott, to give me feedback while getting pleasured. So that I ‘m giving you just the right amount. Just what you want.
Scott: Thank you! And in oral pleasuring, at some point have to establish, ‘Let me know what you like.’ Women think that guys want for them to keep changing. And my experience is, once you have a rhythm that they like, and they let you know they like that, don’t change it! Keep that particular stroke, that particular little tongue thing around the clit, going. The way they like it, you know? And make it safe to say, ‘Harder. Softer. Stronger. Firmer.’ Whatever.
Patti: So once you open those doors to communication, who knows what other communication . .? (laughs)
We’re getting pretty imaginative now, aren’t we?
Lori: Yes. And so that communication is just so important; and hot and juicy and feeling hot right now!
Scott: We’re all pretty turned-on here! Great communication; again to you guys: I’m fifty-one, and so I been around the block. Communication is the key to intimacy. The better communication you have with a woman, the more likely you are to have your sexual needs met, the more likely she is to get her intimacy needs met. It’s not how handsome you are, it’s not how much money you have, it’s your ability to communicate.
Lori: And I as a woman in giving and receiving oral pleasuring, had to come to a point, also where I love my body, and I love receiving pleasure, it’s okay. And my genitals are beautiful.
Scott: They are! I especially love your genitals this far!
Scott: Looking forward to visiting them soon!
Patti: Well, thank you. That does bring us to the end of our show. I’m going to ask one really quick question each: How do you see having this kind of compassionate communication connects in to the work you do with healing the planet?
Lori: Well, with healing the planet – part of what I love doing is helping people feel more peace, more harmony and get more of their needs met. And also I’ve brought compassionate communication in to working with the environmental movement; and I’ve trained with Al Gore and teaching about global warming, in all areas of life. Whether it’s business, whether it’s with my son, whether it’s with my lovers; whoever I’m with – my staff – I’ve found it incredibly valuable.
Scott: Thank you for the question. Both Lori and I trained with Al Gore, as Climate Project presenters. And in the last year, we’ve both really learned the extraordinary changes that need to be made – between human kind and our relationship to the environment. And compassionate communication is a very important tool for helping people – for us to communicate about very touchy issues. We’re applying it – both – in large presentations and one-on-one – again how to connect with people’s needs, and their feelings so that we’re not coming across in a judgmental way, but in a compassionate way.
Patti: Thank you. So it starts with us, it extends to our partner, and ultimately it extends out to the entire planet. I love that Thank you so much! Lori and Scott. We do have your links up on the ‘Episode’ page. I want to say you can find more out about Lori Grace-Starr at W-W-W-dot-celebrations-of-love-dot-com. And we will have links to Scott’s incredible videos – he has videotaped Marshall Rosenberg, Robert Gonzalez an incredible person who speaks incredibly beautifully on Non-Violent Communication. And also more video tapes of Lori Grace-Starr doing incredible work; read more about the motto; those great sheets that you’ll want to use – believe me!
Lori: We run classes and workshops at Celebrations Of Love in California, and also sometimes in Hawaii, on the island of Maui.
Scott: And for anybody who has not gone to get Patti’s Expanded-Lovemaking DVD, get it, ‘cause it’s great! It works!
Patti: Well, thank you. I was going to say Lori Grace Starr has changed my life and the lives of thousands of people – she is a master teacher of teachers. This is truly an incredible woman I’m sitting next to.