I'm amazed by this absolutely beautiful Entertainment Weekly cover. I'm thrilled by it actually but possibly not for the same reasons as many. I'm a life coach and my mantra is " Do you want to fall madly in love with your life?" My niche is love, lifestyle and passionate sexy marriage and here we have an amazing image of an married couple that's pretty much out of the closet as just that. A committed married couple that are totally hot for each other. She's not totally naked, he's not totally clothed. They've been very careful to avoid the power over factor that's usually present in a photograph like that. You can see that they're complete equals. They want each other and badly. They connect physically and it allows them to walk through the world together and separately, especially when life throws them quite the curve ball.
If you've not read the Outlander series then you might look at the picture and think, wow that's sexy. If you have read the series then you already know that Jamie and Claire Fraser totally adore each other, both emotionally and in the biblical sense as much as possible. Outlander was the first series that I ever read that made me feel absolutely wonderful about my own marriage and not like a dinosaur. I can't tell you how many times strangers will ask us if we're newlyweds. After thirty five years he still can weaken my knees with a glance. You don't hear as much about couples like us as you do about the ones that don't like each other or don't want to have sex anymore. I make a very good living helping men, women and committed couples achieve the kind of easy intimacy and passion that's obviously on display in the photograph above. It's a lot easier than you think. Great married sex has to do with everything between your ears. I get lots of clients because couples often forget that love is a verb.
That being said, it surprises me when I hear this photograph referred to as soft porn, or too over the top. To me it's just gorgeous, it's a portrait that tells the tale. Outlander the TV show is full of sex and that being said, it's also full of emotion, love, drama and passion. It's an 18th century marriage, a period of time where there wasn't much else to distract us besides war, surviving and housework. When the candles burned down and the fires went out, there was one very good way to stay warm. Survival in a time like that was passionate and often deadly work.
As far as Outlander is concerned, you couldn't remove the sex and the bodice ripping without utterly destroying the context of the story and the context of the story at its core is 8 books full of a committed and incredible love affair/marriage. I don't know about you but I always wanted my marriage to be a grand amour, full of lust, love, passion, adventure AND commitment. I believed that it was possible and that's exactly what I ended up with. Sex without any of that is just friction and I got over that pretty early on in the 70's.
That being said, I'm kind of wondering if the objections to the photograph aren't because it pushes a hot button or two. I've never met anyone who didn't want to have a steamy, passionate AND loving relationship with their spouse. I know a lot of people who want that and either think that they can't ever have it because they're too old, or too married...you actually can't believe some of the reasons that I've heard that couples won't get naked together anymore. You wouldn't believe the calls I get from men who are heartbroken and confused because they just want to know how to create a passionate relationship with their wives that is mutually sexually satisfying. Like I said before, sex is so easy, but we make it so very difficult. Great sex has everything to do with vulnerability and communication. Great sex has everything to do with finding the time to forget about everything but your partner. Great sex has everything to doing with how generous you're willing to be and how well you know how to listen, take and give directions.
Lots of couples think that sex is unseemly, (If I'm going to be honest about it, in my practice I find that it's mostly the women who find really explicit sexuality hard to deal with and often their confused husbands call me begging for help) yet when I scratch the surface I can almost always find a guilty fantasy that they're having about someone else , or that they had (and felt really guilty about). Sometimes people are just afraid of the loss of control that really great sex brings. Some people are just lonely in their marriages because they haven't learned to ask for what they really want and they feel guilty about it. In the end we are responsible for our own pleasure and that's what makes Claire such a wonderful heroine. Here we have a woman who is sexually unrestrained. She isn't ashamed to ask for what she wants in and out of bed and she demands that Jamie does the same. No wonder they stay passionate for each other for an entire lifetime. Without guilt and fear, there's so much more room for pleasure.
In this society, women are conditioned by marketing to feel really uncomfortable with a body or face that doesn't fit the ideal. We don't need to look like Cait and our lovers don't expect us to. If you knew how many times my male clients told me, "She won't let me see her naked or let me touch her", you'd be astounded. They don't expect perfection. We do, to our detriment and it's keeping us from having the hot , lusty marriages that we want. One of the first pieces of homework I give out is just to get naked with your lover and eat dinner. Don't worry about the sex..just get comfortable with each other naked. Hold hands. Just breathe. Then talk about what you might enjoy. No expectations...just a fun conversation about pleasure.
We DO look ridiculous having sex, especially really great sex. We scream, we moan, we sweat, but most of all we get bare to the bone. Great married sex lets the beloved look deep into the other and get lost. Getting lost is scary sometimes but it's also exciting. Getting lost in the sexual wilderness with someone we really trust and love allows us to find the way home again, stronger and even more self aware , fully expressed and in love.
Jamie and Claire throughout the entire Outlander series remain committed and thoroughly and passionately engaged with one another. It's really something to celebrate, especially in this era of ruptured connections, divorce and easy betrayal. Yes, their blistering chemistry is a huge part of the story, but why shouldn't it be? In the end we are primal creatures. Our needs are simple. Food, Shelter, Family, Love. Jamie and Claire are a wonderful example of what it means to learn to be committed AND lusty for better or for worse.
Yes, it may seem sensationalized to some, but is it really? To the Outlander virgin, yes...it's using sex to make the sale, but if we want 8 more seasons we're going to need all of the help we can get. Yes, they're physically gorgeous but us true believers know that's not the point. Besides...we know how it turns out. Let's celebrate that we've finally got an made for tv example of what a marriage can really be, that our favorite couple is being elevated to a level of stature that they deserve, because they're married and they can't keep their hands off each other.
For an entire lifetime. Until death do them part.
To me that seems like progress.