Better Sex podcast

193: Pleasure as a Means of Healing Trauma – Kathy Slaughter

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Kathy Slaughter introduces an interesting way of integrating pleasure, in both sexual and everyday activities, as a way to heal from trauma. She talks about what trauma does to our body and mind, how to regain the connection between the two, navigate healing in intimate relationships, recognize triggers, and how to trust and feel safe.

Slaughter’s Interest in Healing from Trauma

Kathy’s interest in this field of work stems from her decades of experience working with situations like domestic violence, substance abuse, and gender and sexuality struggles. Evolving from her own experience as well, Kathy embraced the idea of pleasure becoming a step in healing trauma.

Integrating Sexual Pleasure in Trauma Healing & Its Relevance

While it’s harder to incorporate pleasure in the initial stages of trauma survival, it can be experienced through soothing activities, like a hot bath. When you’re in the thriving stage, embracing pleasure can unlock a pool of resources of soothing strategies. Trauma disconnects people from themselves and the process to get the connection back varies for every trauma, but it’s also fundamentally the same and comes out of the need to feel safe and trust.

Role of Physical Pleasure

Kathy identifies behaviors her clients enjoy and reinforces those behaviors in everyday life which couples can transition into the bedroom. Once they start integrating pleasure into their daily life, they learn to be mindful of things around them that bring them pleasure, help with anxiety, pressure release, and sleep.

Partner Pleasure in Healing from Trauma

While healthy relationships can restore your connection with yourself, relationships that have trouble with intimacy through sex can experience pleasure in everyday things like holding hands or cuddling. Kathy suggests trauma survivors take individual or couples therapy to recognize triggers and learn how to not let them get in the way of intimacy.

Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn Response & Sharing Responsibility

A partner who tends to respond by fighting can snap in the bedroom when triggered, a partner with a risk of fleeing might respond by pulling away. Someone with a tendency to fawn might be prone to please, while someone whose response is to freeze might dissociate in the bedroom. Kathy suggests looking out for these responses to check in when it shows up.

She believes that the partner initiating the activity has the primary responsibility to look out for triggers, while the other person as an adult has the responsibility to look out for themselves at all times. It’s about balancing, supporting, and being there for each other.


Understanding how abuse happens, how to recover from it, and how communities can prevent abuse and respond to harm in life-affirming ways forms the basis of Kathy’s passion. Grounded in Social Work values and paradigms, Kathy has spent 15 years working on healing trauma and uncovering pleasure, agency, and safety in the consulting room. Currently, she leads a team of five at Soaring Heart Counseling, a sex-positive, queer-affirming, trauma-informed therapy practice in Indianapolis, Indiana.

To connect with pleasure, Kathy enjoys practicing yoga and meditation, dancing, hiking, and planning outdoor adventures with friends at regional Burning Man festivals.

Resources and links:

Twitter & Instagram: @SoaringHeartIndy
Conference about polyamory:
TEDx talk:

More info:

Sex Health Quiz –
The Course –
The Book –
Podcast Website –
Access the Free webinar: How to want sex again so it never feels like a chore:

Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman


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    205: Sex as a Widow – Krista St-Germain


    Master Certified Life Coach, Krista St-Germain, gives advice on how to deal with grief after losing a life partner. In this episode, we will talk about sex after loss and how it fits into the grieving process. How do you discern your needs and wants after being widowed? How do you decide when you’d like to have sex or when you don’t? How do you make those kinds of decisions in a way that is empowering and not fall prey to the myths that exist? Dealing with grief and healing. Grief is the response to any perceived loss. Krista, who works mostly with widows, says that the main issue she sees is the problematic idea that there is a certain way to go through grief. It is an experience unique to every person who goes through it. We are not well informed when it comes to grief, so layering sex on top of the strict timeline of healing people subject themselves to makes things go from bad to worse. The intersection of sex and grief A typical myth concerning the loss of a spouse is that what the bereaved wants is not really sex, but just the physical connection to another human. In reality, only that individual can know what they want and need at any moment in time. Often, people will try to fill an emotional void with sex. If sex is something one wants, it’s because they want it, not because they’re incomplete without it. 8 myths about sex and grief As people we will always have a response to grief, and over time we can change our response and adapt to life such that it becomes integrated and no longer an obstacle. Not only are there no stages or timeline, but there is also no end to grief. It just becomes part of our life experience. Krista reveals the truth about the eight myths that she usually encounters about sex and grief that could help people figure out how to live their lives again and love sex again without feeling judged or guilty. How do you talk to people so that they know whether they’re ready or not to have sex again? This is an individual decision. One must decide to believe in themselves and trust that they know when they’re ready. This doesn’t negate feelings of nervousness or worry, but just shows that one is open to the idea. Krista’s vision is to get people to a place where they know they can be kind to themselves on the other side of whatever decision they’ve made, because that’s the most empowering place to be. Biography: Krista St-Germain is a Master Certified Life Coach, grief expert, widow, mom and host of The Widowed Mom Podcast. When her husband was killed by a drunk driver in 2016, Krista’s life was completely and unexpectedly flipped upside down. After therapy helped her unfurl from the fetal position, Krista discovered Life Coaching, Post Traumatic Growth and learned the tools she needed to move forward and create a future she could get excited about. Now she coaches and teaches other widows so they can love life again, too. Resources and links: Website: Instagram: More info: How Healthy is Your Sex Life –  The Course –  The Book –  Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    204: Healing Your Sex Life Through the Unconscious Mind – Dr. Tonia Winchester


    Healing Your Sex Life Through the Unconscious Mind Dr. Tonia Winchester has been a naturopathic doctor for 15 years. This episode will explore brain-based coaching, and how people can really achieve breakthroughs and get out of patterns that haven’t been working for them. Dr Winchester talks about accessing the unconscious mind in order to achieve a healthy sex lifestyle. The power of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) Through practice, Dr Tonia Winchester found that the best way to help is by tapping into the unconscious mind of her patients. NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is a tool that allows us to bypass our conscious mind and access the place in our minds where change happens. What is the unconscious mind and what does it do for us? The unconscious mind is responsible for our emotions, triggers, responses and reactions. Dr. Winchester believes that if one wants effective change to happen, they need to dig into the unconscious mind to do so. How does the unconscious mind relate to a healthy sex life? The unconscious mind controls factors that are essential for a healthy sex life, ie. safety, trust, risk-taking and vulnerability. Our desires, or lack thereof, are based on our past experiences in life. The unconscious mind is always looking to keep us safe, so avoiding sex or doing it because we have to, is fulfilling a purpose. How does a breakthrough process work and what should people expect from it? When working with the unconscious mind, one has to deal with negative experiences from their past. With a process called timeline therapy, the charge is gently taken out of these negative emotions and swapped with positive learnings, allowing the patient to have the appropriate and warranted emotions. Reconnecting to positive things can prime people to experience pleasure in their lives and help them draw out things that they are wanting. Who needs this? Anyone who has been stuck in the same pattern for years, and knows that they should be taking care of themselves, but aren’t, would be a good candidate for this treatment. Going through unconscious reprogramming is recognizing that one wants more in their life, but that what they’re doing is not and hasn’t been working for a long time. Biography: Dr Tonia Winchester has been in practice as a Naturopathic Doctor since 2007. Now, as a brain-based transformation coach, she uses contemporary neurological reprogramming techniques to help women break through burnout, stress, anxiety, and fatigue and find joy and energy again so that they can create exceptional lives for themselves, their families and communities. She guides her clients through a “Breakthrough” process where they easily and gently clear the past and recode their unconscious minds so that they are primed to make and sustain positive changes in how they take care of themselves. The results are a strengthened connection to self – more self-love, worth, and value, ultimately allowing them to build happy, meaningful relationships and compelling futures. Tonia has been featured on CTV, the Costco Connection, The Elephant Journal, Conscious Nutrition, The Autoimmune Simplified Podcast, and the New Generation Entrepreneur Podcast. To learn more about her brain-based coaching breakthroughs, head over to More info: Sex Health Quiz –  The Course –  The Book –  Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    203: Why Selfish is Good for Sex – Dr. Laura Dabney


    In this episode, Dr Laura Dabney explains the importance of selfishness in a relationship. Despite its negative connotation, being selfish can actually make you a better person and partner. Learn why being in tuned to what you want and how you feel is critical and how you can create a balance of giving and selfishness in a relationship. What does selfishness mean in a relationship? Simply put, being selfish is taking care of yourself first before others like your partner. Being selfish has always been frowned upon because of its bad connotation but it just means you take responsibility for getting your personal, emotional, and physical needs met, and that’s an important part of becoming an adult. You can’t build a deep, meaningful, and authentic connection when you have little or no concern for yourself in the first place. What are the consequences of selfless giving and not putting yourself first? When you put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, there’s resentment that’s taken but not talked about because of the assumption that your needs weren’t as important. Constantly meeting others’ needs could also lead you to believe that it’s the way of keeping the relationship alive. You’re giving in to the point where it’s hurting you and so the other person could start pulling away emotionally, sexually, physically. The best person to know you is you One reason why people tend to not say or advocate for their wants is this fairy tale idea that we expect that the other person should know what we want and we don’t need to tell them that. In reality, this happens because the person is not in touch with themselves, particularly sexually, so they hope the other person will take over. Being selfish in a healthy way Taking care of ourselves is our job as an adult – that’s the definition of being an adult. It is not a negative quality. Take time to reflect, carve out some alone time, name a feeling and practice feeling it. If you have a well-developed sense of who you are and the ability to communicate it to others or your partner, you’ll be a happier person. The balance of being selfish and giving In a relationship, you have to set boundaries to know where you end and the other person begins. Know what you need and present it to your partner. Hear what the other person has to say and then figure out a unique formula on how you can make things work for both of you. The best relationship happens when two adults show up and enjoy each other. Biography: Dr. Laura Dabney has been a psychiatrist in Virginia Beach, VA for twenty-plus years. She has treated patients in more than a dozen cities across Virginia, including more recently Richmond, VA. Her psychiatric expertise has been featured on radio, podcasts, websites, and in print media. She consults for a number of large institutions, including the Virginia Veterans Administration Medical Center. She received her MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School and has been Board Certified in Psychiatry. Resources and links: Website: info: Sex Health Quiz –  The Course –  The Book –  Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    202: Dates & Mates – Damona Hoffman


    In this episode, we take a closer look at the exciting world of dating – from using different dating apps to tackling difficult conversations and navigating the dating scene amid a pandemic. Life and dating coach Damona Hoffman shares tips on how to progress relationships and how to deepen them by cultivating curiosity. For people looking for a relationship, what do they need to know in order to be successful in dating? Damona said that dating is a pretty and repeatable process. If you are already getting frustrated with dating, learn about these five areas to know what you could have been doing wrong. How do you handle sexual concerns as well as various loaded topics during dating? Sex is a part of any relationship, but COVID changed the dating scenario such that there are added health concerns that needed to be addressed first before you even begin to see each other in person. For example, instead of talking about STI testing and the like, you now talk about getting tested for COVID and quarantining. But COVID aside, having a difficult conversation such as sex, politics, or race in the early phases of dating ultimately boils down to listening and understanding. There should be a time when we set aside our beliefs and focus on what really matters like communication, conflict resolution, values, and goals. Interracial dating and racial bias in dating Damona talks about the hot topic of race and how it comes into play in dating. Does excluding a particular race from your dating preferences just simply a matter of preference or racial bias? Learn how to ask the five “why’s” to unpack biases and beliefs and how to turn your differences from your partner into a very rich and positive aspect of the relationship. How important is sexual compatibility during dating? Can this still change over time? People toss away a perfectly good relationship because in the early phase, the sex isn’t as fulfilling as prior relationships that they compare it to. But Damona believes that sex, along with whatever is in our checklist of what we’re looking for in a partner, should be disregarded in the early phases. During this stage, curiosity should fuel the relationship and not the chemistry or any other arbitrary reason. Biography: Damona is the Dating Expert of  The Drew Barrymore Show  and NPR, a dating coach & TV personality who starred in the A+E Networks’ (FYI TV) series #BlackLove and A Question of Love.  She’s a contributor for CNN Headline News (HLN),, The Washington Post, LA Times, Match dating app and more. Her advice has been featured in hundreds of publications, podcasts, and TV shows and she was the subject of an Oprah O Magazine cover story in 2019. She hosts The Dates & Mates Show as well as the I Make A Living podcast.  Resources and links: Website: Instagram: @damonahoffman Twitter: @DamonaHoffman Podcast: Dates and Mates and Make a Living – info: Sex Health Quiz –  The Course –  The Book –  Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    201: Barriers to Female Sexual Pleasure – Kristine D’Angelo


    Certified sex coach Kristine D’Angelo talks about pleasure and feeling empowered when it comes to sex, especially for vagina owners. Conversationally, she tackles the most common barriers for vagina owners in achieving sexual pleasure and the kinds of expectations that they’re up against based on societal standards. The differences and similarities between sex coaches and sex therapist are also discussed so people can make the best choice when seeking help. What’s the difference between sex coaching and sex therapy? Sex coaching is very much about behavioral changes and practicing those changes in order to feel confident and more connected to your body in order to achieve pleasure. Sex therapy is forming a strong relationship first, and where sex coaching can be built off of. Why specialize in coaching women? Kristine wants to watch women step back into their sexuality and become confident and comfortable and advocate for their pleasure. She has been in a position where she has lost her power during a sexual encounter, and she knows how helpless that can make a person feel. What are the different pressures that make it even more difficult for vagina owners to achieve sexual fulfillment? One of the biggest obstacles is constant comparison – from comparing themselves to other vagina owners, to comparing their body to the idol standards of what society thinks is beautiful. This behavior tends to work inwards rather than outwards, where women start to think that there is something wrong with them and that they are below societal standards. Also, women are not explicitly given permission to explore their sexuality in our society as opposed to men. What would people expect working with you or somebody like you? Through holistic coaching, different questions are asked, like, “Where do you want your sex life to be six months from now without worrying what could get in the way or what could go wrong?” By describing your ideal sex life, a sex coach would then ask you to do home assignments based on a customized action plan. Biography: Kristine D’Angelo is a Certified Sex Coach who works with women and couples, coaching her clients towards sexual fulfillment. Kristine has worked hard creating a safe and comfortable space for her clients to explore and embrace their sexuality. She’s always exposing herself to learning in depth about human sexuality, relationships, being an ally to the LGBTQ community and volunteering for organizations that promote a sex-positive society. Kristine holds a degree in Sociology and Community Health and certification through Sex Coach U. She has always been drawn to human interactions and has focused on human sexuality as her main passion in life and path in education. The hard work her clients experience encourages her to change the world through sexually enlightening and empowering people through her sex coaching. “Watching my clients become sexually empowered is the highlight of my life’s work, I want the world to experience this level of self-awareness.” Resources and links: Website: Kristine D’Angelo, Certified Sex Coach Podcast: So I Married a Sexologist More info: Sex Health Quiz –  The Course –  The Book –  Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    200: Sex and Veterans – Asya Brodsky


    In this episode, Asya Brodsky gives insight into sexual issues and concerns with veterans. From injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or military sexual trauma (MST), Brodsky explains how these experiences can create all kinds of ramifications in the life of a veteran and how these can affect sexual function and intimacy with a partner.What are the kinds of concerns that are prevalent among veterans?PTSD is still the most common issue among veterans, as well as PTSD due to MST. According to Brodsky, veterans in combat who come back physically whole carry great psychological and emotional repercussions. However, the recovery and rehabilitation process for them are focused on basic means and sexuality is often neglected.What are some of the steps around PTSD and MST? Is this something that the military is taking on?There are multiple campaigns for MST for veterans. These campaigns let them know that there is support out there and that actions are being taken to address their mental health and really look into this seriously.What kinds of things get in the way of veterans seeking help in sexual issues?Brodsky said it’s still primarily military culture where soldiers are taught to be tough and disconnected from their emotions to survive. The contradiction is, what helps them in the service, hurts them in civilian life. It’s a big deterrent for vets seeking out services also because of the stigma about seeking help for mental issues.What are these people facing coming back from war wounded?If you were injured in combat, likely you have a combination of physical and psychological injury affecting someone’s identity and self-concept. Physical injuries have an effect on sexuality and sexual expression. Brodsky is positive, however, that in no time, authorities will recognize sexual issues to be part of the rehabilitation process.What should spouses do?Brodsky gives suggestions on what veteran couples can do, such as therapy. She also underlines the importance of being patient and recognizing that sexuality can change overtime. Military partners should also make themselves aware of PTSD and follow the lead of their partner on whether they feel comfortable talking about their experience.In the end, Brodsky advises veterans to seek help as soon as possible.Biography:Asya Brodsky, LCSW, CADC, CST is a licensed clinical social worker, certified alcohol and drug counselor and certified sex therapist through AASECT. She holds positions as the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and maintains her own private sex therapy practice, Speak Chicago Psychotherapy LLC. Asya is a relational psychodynamically-informed psychotherapist, specializing in the areas of sexual functioning and expression and their impact on individual and relational identities and lives. Asya is affiliated with psychoanalytic communities in Chicago and is the co-founder and co-leader of the Chicago Sex Therapist Network.More info:Sex Health Quiz – The Course – The Book – Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.comAccess the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    199: Cross Dressing – Dr. Carol Clark


    In this fascinating episode, board certified sex therapist and addictions counselor Dr. Carol Clark helps us demystify the concept of cross dressing and take away the stigma and shame commonly associated with it. If you or someone you know is a cross dresser, the insights from this episode will surely help in getting accurate information out there and prepare people to receive somebody who might reveal that they’re crossdresser and validate that.Is there an intersection of cross dressing and gender and how do we define it?In general, cross dressing is defined as wearing the clothes that are normally associated with the other sex or gender. It has gender implications as far as how we present it such as when a person identifies with one gender but presents as another and, in so doing, feeling like another gender. All of that is separate from sexual orientation, which is who you are attracted to.Is cross dressing the beginning of somebody identifying as transgender?It may or may not be. Dr. Clark emphasizes that cross dressing is a form of expression for various reasons. It is important to distinguish different reasons, particularly in therapy, to know what brought the person to therapy. We have to ask the cross dressers what’s the allure of that, what’s their motivation, etc.How much are cross dresser suspected of being gay?Generally, cross dressers are heterosexual men wearing women clothing for various reasons. It is always important to ask and not jump to any conclusions. We have to fix society to have a better understanding of cross dressing so a person can just dress up however way they want without the judgment.What should a partner do?It is important to reassure partners of cross dressers that it is not about them, and it is not their fault. Partners should have a deeper communication and try to get to know each other again. Just like in any marriage or partnership, it will come down to some compromises and making some adjustments in the relationship to make it work.When should a cross dresser tell their partner and/or their children?There are no “shoulds” but ideally you want your partner to know before starting the relationship. As in any case, revealing a big secret can be very traumatic to the other person and can be felt as betrayal. Keeping it a secret will not make it stop or go away.Understanding cross dressingThese days where there are so many different ways of identifying your gender, cross dressers aren’t calling themselves as such and try to avoid calling themselves anything. For them, it is a way of life. For therapists, and for our friends and family, it all boils down to asking questions like, “Why are you showing up in my office? What’s your issue? How is cross dressing a problem for you? What is the meaning of this for you”Biography:Dr. Carol Clark is a board certified in sex therapy and addictions and is the president, founder, and senior instructor for the International Institute of Clinical Sexology and the Therapist Certification Association.From prisoners to celebrities, businessmen to artists, Dr. Clark’s work has helped individuals from a multitude of backgrounds to find a better life. She employs a variety of interventions to effectively assist those seeking personal growth and an improved sense of well-being in their lives. By using the concepts in her book, Addict America: The Lost Connection and My Pocket Therapist: 12 Tools for Living in Connection, she facilitates the healing that allows full intimacy and Connection.In conjunction with her educational and professional development, her spiritual journey has evolved to an emotional and intellectual awareness of addiction as a condition that permeates all aspects of people’s lives.Find her on Facebook & Instagram @DrCarolClark.You can also check out The International Institute of Clinical Sexology on Facebook @sextherapyphd and on Instagram info:Sex Health Quiz – The Course – The Book – Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.comAccess the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    198 – Racism and Sexual Health – Kristian Holmes


    In this episode we talk to Kristian Holmes, a therapist who is a person of color. We dive deep into racism and emotional and mental health, especially for people of color and/or disadvantaged people in general. We’ll discuss what these groups of people are up against in terms of seeking care, the kind of experiences they have and what they can do to potentially advocate for themselves and find resources to support them. We will also talk about what therapists can do to make sure that they are providing a safe space for them. How does racism impact people’s sexual health and wellbeing in general? Sexual health involves physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. With systemic racism, biases are inherent in a lot of medical practices, and trying to seek quality care or resources in terms of sexual health becomes difficult for people of color. The stress brought about by racism on a day-to-day basis impacts people’s relationships and sex life. How do you advise people of color to seek out help that will be responsive? Communication is key. Do not hesitate to seek information in a community amongst people who are struggling or dealing with similar issues, regardless of whether it’s medical or therapy. It is important to ask questions and be transparent and open to people about what you’re seeking for in a doctor or a therapist. Kristian Holmes also recommends some groups that she considers to be safe spaces where black people can go to explore their sexuality and discuss issues that they may be having. How can therapists create a safe space for people of color? Therapists have to make sure that they are aware of their inherent biases or stereotypes. It is necessary to educate yourselves outside the office and self-reflect to know who you are comfortable dealing with and the different issues that you are comfortable talking about. If you are struggling in dealing with clients who are of color, seek supervision and consultation. Holmes also goes into dismantling specific stereotypes associated with black people in general. How can therapists make it clear that they are offering a safe space for people of color? There are a number of factors that can help convey this message. It could be the training that you are attending, what you are posting on social media, and just really showing that black lives and black people’s mental health matters. Biography: Kristian A. Holmes is the founder of Stepping Stones Counseling & Wellness Center. She is a licensed mental health counselor, National Certified Counselor, qualified supervisor for registered mental health interns and certified Florida School Guidance Counselor with experience working with adults, children, adolescents and families in various settings such as schools, day treatment programs, the criminal justice system, and as a private psychotherapist. Kristian obtained her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialist degrees from the University of Florida. A holistic, strength-based, and sexological approach that is tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual is utilized in therapy along with other techniques and approaches that are complementary to the client’s presenting concerns. Kristian is fully dedicated to helping her clients realize their potential through support and empowerment. Resources and links: Website: Instagram: @stepstowardswellness More info: Sex Health Quiz –  The Course –  The Book – Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.comAccess the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    197: Guided by Glow – Sayra Player


    Actress Sayra Player takes us into a different level of meditation. We discuss tapping into our imagination to inspire creativity with masturbation and getting in touch with our body and sensations. Along with a team of writers, actors, creators, and producers, she founded the app Guided by Glow, a guided meditation app designed to increase women’s sexual wellness through erotic audio experiences. What is the story behind the business and why did Player start Guided by Glow? Meditation is a magical and healing space and much needed by everybody. But the idea of bringing someone into this mindful state to have imaginary sexual play hasn’t been explored yet. Pooling her network of actors and producers, Sayra Player tried to fill in that gap. From a big closet that she turned into a makeshift studio, her team created erotic stories that are now helping many to own their sexuality and bring awareness to the senses and imagination. Why is it powerful to connect to the imagination of the senses? Masturbation puts one in an imaginative and creative state. Every guide on the app has the intention to create a meaningful, intimate experience with the listener. Imagination and creativity can lead us to a truthful state, and can allow us to enjoy sexuality. What else can you do to enhance your experience? Sayra Player would want to empower people to write their own fantasies. She talks about how her team is now encouraging people to play with their imagination and really embrace all the parts of themselves where they hold shame and fear. How can Guided by Glow improve somebody’s sex life with their partner? These recordings can help relationships, especially long-term relationships, stay fresh. A lot can happen to our mind and body when we do a 10-20 erotic meditation before sleeping with our partners. Sayra also said that this app was created for her younger, single self, so she could get that glow and energy from being sexually satisfied even without having a partner. How do these ideas about creativity or imagination show up in an actual sexual encounter with a partner? Sayra believes that just like meditation, listening to the Guided by Glow sessions will help you tune in more to your body. It also helps to bring in energy, presence and sensuality as well as creating a space to accommodate your partner. Biography: Sayra Player is founder of Guided By Glow, the guided audio app designed to help users unlock their sexual power through meditative erotic stories. An artist and actress, Sayra is dedicated to creating playful, inspiring experiences and deeply believes in spiritual transformation through fine art. Sayra has written, produced, cast, starred in, and directed many films and theatrical productions throughout her career. Sayra previously served as Artistic Director of The Collective NY, where she nurtured over 60 artists, produced benefits, fundraisers, and 10 plays, and developed scripts for television and film. Sayra believes that sex is emotional, spiritual, and can be key to nurturing a deeper relationship with oneself. Through Guided by Glow, Sayra aims to contribute to a culture that fosters healthy sex lives by combining mindfulness with sensuality to honor the body’s needs without shame. Resources and links: Guided by Glow’s website – More info: Sex Health Quiz –  The Course –  The Book –  Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Sex with Jessa Zimmerman
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    196: Bodyfullness – Dr. Rachel Allyn


    In this episode, Dr. Rachel Allyn, a holistic psychologist, and pleasure expert, walks me through the concept of “bodyfullness.” Sharing some personal experiences, she talks about how embodied mindfulness can help us heal our traumas, reclaim our right to healthy pleasures, and inspire heartfelt human connection. What is bodyfullness? Bodyfullness is the ability to use connection and movement and physical awareness, in addition to paying attention to our thoughts and feelings, to really open up to pleasure. It also recognizes the ways that trauma lives in our body but goes to the next step of owning our rights to life’s pleasures and giving ourselves mental permission to enjoy, especially in a world where pleasure has been labelled a dirty word. How does the practice of bodyfullness tap into our capacity for healing and connection? Bodyfullness is moving away from the notion that feeling good in our body is bad and should be repressed. In fact, reverence for our body is the portal to opening up to different types of pleasure. When we open up to pleasure just within our own self, we connect more to others, and it helps us to open up to intimacy and relationships, be it sexual or platonic. How do we overcome some barriers to bodyfullness such as self-acceptance and body image issues? Dr. Allyn believes that part of the system we’ve been raised in is the epidemic of disembodiment, and that we should start an inner revolution about our bodies. bodyfullness is not just loving our body, but also embracing pain and discomfort especially when we override our body’s messages. We should all take time to listen to the language of the body and put it into balance. Four essential and overlooked types of pleasure Dr. Allyn discusses the four types of pleasure, underscoring the need to embrace all of life’s pleasures, because we all deserve to experience every single one. She talks about sensual pleasure, playful and creative pleasure, flow states, and erotic and sexual pleasure. Embracing pleasures does not mean running away from pain. Rather, it helps us tolerate and regulate pain, and keeps us grounded and honest about ourselves in dealing with emotions. How do people expand their pleasure and how do they share it with others? Dr. Allyn suggests slowing down and giving the body permission to rest. We need to start with ourselves before moving into engaging with others and bringing in somebody else to share in our pleasures. We need to own our right to pleasures first to effectively share and open up to what others might want for pleasures. Ultimately, it is a process of give and take. The Pleasure Is All Yours: Reclaim Your Body’s Bliss and Reignite Your Passion for Life In her book, Dr. Allyn gives light to people feeling stagnant coming out of the pandemic. She hopes that her book can reignite the power of inner connection to our bodies in order to connect to others on a deeper level. The negative feelings that we experience during these trying times are all part of a natural reaction to our collective trauma. Self-compassion, patience and support from others is key. Biography: RACHEL ALLYN, PHD is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified yoga instructor, public speaker, and relationship columnist. She is the founder of YogaPsych, PLLC, a psychotherapy practice for adults that blends Western medicine with Eastern philosophy and connects the mind with the body. She has been in private practice for almost fifteen years working with individuals and couples dealing with sexuality, intimacy, and relationship problems as well as trauma, depression, anxiety, and loss. She’s been quoted in books and magazines including Yoga Journal, Women’s Health, Outside, Good Housekeeping, and Cosmopolitan. Resources and links: Website: Instagram: @drrachelallyn More info: Sex Health Quiz – The Course – The Book – Podcast Website – Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: Better Sex with Jessa Zimmerman

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