#212 – Performance Anxiety – David Khalili

#212 – Performance Anxiety – David Khalili

Listen to “212: Performance Anxiety – David Khalili” on Spreaker.

David Khalili 

Performance Anxiety 

Feeling anxious before sex is normal. But how about feeling nervous that you cannot have or enjoy sex for fear that you will be unable to “perform” during sexual activities? Sex therapist David Khalili talks about sexual performance anxiety, predominantly among men, and what can be done to overcome that fear or condition. 

“Men don’t ask for help” 

David shares from personal experience how men would come in looking for certain toys, prostate massagers, cock rings, lubricants and the like – shrouded by shame and anxiety. Mostly men are affected by sexual performance anxiety because of society’s expectations of what they should be doing during sex. Because of the men-don’t-ask-for-help narrative, they are afraid to come into sex shops to look for things that could amplify pleasure or to seek intervention from professional sex therapists and admit that they are having trouble in sex. 

There’s a whole body to explore, not just the penis 

The pressure that men are under usually focuses on the “performance” of their penis – to get hard fast, stay hard for a long time, etc. As David puts it, penises are wonderful, and they’ve got lots of purpose and pleasure. But you are whole as a human and there’s also the rest of your body to play with and that could give you pleasure. The body is a whole map and we need to learn how to explore that map. There might be lots of nerve endings in the genitalia, but there are lots of nerve endings all over the body. So, relieving that penis-centric pressure on men really opens up their repertoire and their definition of intimacy and connection and pleasure. 

How to cope with performance anxiety 

The first step to coping with performance anxiety is recognizing and normalizing that the penis, just like any other body part, cannot always perform as expected. Also important is removing any shame you might be feeling about not having an optimal sex life. David also underlines the fact that men who do not hit one or all the criteria/markers associated with “expected sex performance” should not feel like it’s their failure as a man. Men should build that self-compassion and accept that it’s not going to be perfect all the time and that good is enough. 

Be creative in getting sexual 

The truth is you can be sexual without needing an erection. David explains the circular model of sex versus the linear model that most people know about. With or without penetration, learn how to spice up that sex life and how to potentially help in relieving performance anxiety. 

Get help and communicate your anxiety 

Sexual performance anxiety is a valid concern but should not be a reason to avoid having sex altogether. Figure out a way to communicate it to a partner or potential partner in a way that it’s normal and that it’s okay to go slow to soften expectations. If you feel safe enough with the other person, it is important to talk about the anxiety and explore it together. It is a normal ebb and flow of human function and getting sex therapy intervention is perfectly normal. Learn more about different treatments or interventions you can use to help with performance anxiety. 

Biography: 

David F Khalili, LMFT is a sex and relationship therapist licensed in California. He works with individuals, relationships and also runs groups for men who experience anxiety around sex and dating. His main areas of focus are sex and anxiety, kink and open relationships, multiheritage couples, and first-generation American-born individuals. David recently released a workbook called “Sex Worriers: A Mindfully Queer Guide to Men’s Anxiety Around Sex and Dating.” 

Links: 

https://linktr.ee/worriertherapy  

More info: 

Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com  

The Course – https://www.intimacywithease.com  

The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com  

Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com 

Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore: https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass 

 

#211 – Juicing up Your Sex Life – Alicia Davon

#211 – Juicing up Your Sex Life – Alicia Davon

Listen to “211: Juicing up Your Sex Life – Alicia Davon” on Spreaker.

Alicia Davon 

Juicing Up Your Sex Life 

A fun topic today. This one’s about juicing up your relationship, enlivening it again. Or if you’re single, preparing for when you are in a relationship. My guest is Alicia Davon. She and her husband have an organization that does training with people around increasing presence, awareness, communication, pleasure, and energy in people’s sex lives. 

We talk about what that looks like, how people practice it, and what its first step might be. I think a lot of it really revolves around getting out of autopilot, which we can do when we’re with the same person. We’re busy with stuff and we can just sort of not pay attention and go through the motions. Or we could get really present and have a sense of newness. Even with a partner that we’ve been with for decades.  

What does “Juice” look like over time?  

Generally, Alicia feels that the chemistry and the passion decreases in a relationship by default, and everybody knows that, but not everybody knows what to do about it. Or even knows that something can be done about it outside of just becoming complacent, maybe complaining about it, or splitting up or having affairs. 

She thinks that there’s a very natural wanting to have things be fun and turned on with our partners over time. But then the longer it goes without that – when certain forces come in, like longevity, or kids and growing up and more responsibilities – it can get harder and harder to reconnect. 

How to go about juicing it back up. 

Alicia believes there’s a newness that can be brought into the relationship. When the novelty wears off, it’s just not as exciting. But there’s a lot of inherent chemistry in everybody’s bodies. She has never in her 20 years of working with singles and couples found that somebody’s body was the source of no passion or no chemistry.  

She says it’s often a mindset thing. We get distracted with technology at our fingertips. Or distracted by work and solving problems and managing day-to-day stuff. And also, there are certain skills that are necessary that sort of come easily, or maybe even naturally when we’re first in a relationship. 

So, the path, first of all, is presence into the relationship again. Sometimes we find we’ve been on autopilot for months and years and maybe decades. Bringing that presence could look like just simply like bringing awareness to the fact that we the couple would like more excitement in the relationship. 

Communication is key 

Alicia and her husband Erwan have daily practices that they teach their students. One of them is meditation, which is a great pathway to being in the present and noticing what’s going on. Then there’s what they call psychological inquiry, which a way of connecting with your partner, sharing what’s going on with you and going on in your heart and going on in your mind. 

A full spectrum 

Alicia and Erwan have touching practices that range from close non-sexual touching physical connection all the way down the spectrum to sexual touching and technique.  

She mentions the touching skills are important with couples that want to get back connected. Erwan and Alicia have a set of 12 touching practices that introduce skills like going really slowly, and certain communication skills. 

There’s much more to this fascinating conversation, including how this concept could be utilized by singles as well. Alicia recommends carving out some time to practice and implement “juicing” into your sex life, it’s well worth it!  

About Alicia Davon 

Over the past 25 years, Erwan and Alicia Davon have successfully taught over 12,000 singles and couples how to have exceptional relationships. Erwan and Alicia have become the go-to experts for those seeking a higher level of relationship support. Erwan is the founder, senior teacher and president of San Francisco based Erwan Davon Teachings. Together with Alicia, they specialize in supporting singles in getting into passionate and successful relationships, and helping couples take their relationships to new heights of romance and intimacy. Being based in the Bay Area, Erwan and Alicia provide a high-end boutique service that gives their clients an effective way to enhance their relationships. They also offer all their coaching and classes online and support students all over the world. 

Resources and links: 

Free Love Life Consultation:  

Website: http://www.pleasurecourse.com 

More info: 

The Desire Spa – https://thedesirespa.com 

Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com 

The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com 

Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com 

Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore:  https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass 

 

#210 – Colonization and its Impact on Modern Sexuality – Anne Mauro

#210 – Colonization and its Impact on Modern Sexuality – Anne Mauro

Listen to “210: Colonization and its Impact on Modern Sexuality – Anne Mauro” on Spreaker.

Colonization and Its Impact on Modern Sexuality 

We tend to think of colonization as something that happened and is over and is done, without realizing that it set up processes and expectations, beliefs, and systems of thought that we are still living with in this current day. This has created historical trauma that remains today. 

There is a legacy of shame and of limitations that came with settlers in North America. Anne Mauro has been studying this, and we talk about this whole concept of the sexuality that the settlers brought in and what this has come to mean for all of us. We discuss the ways in which it could be manifesting and limiting us, and how it is certainly impacting how people of color, women of color are treated still in this culture. 

What is settler sexuality? 

We know that when the settlers arrived in North America, some were coming for a better life and to avoid persecution for their own religious beliefs. And when they arrived, they had their own ideas of what sexuality was, and a lot of that was a belief that it was solely for procreation.  

But with indigenous people, they saw two spirit people, or a matrilineal model, instead of a patriarchal model. They saw homosexuality, and they saw indigenous people engaging in sexual play outside of marriage. They were completely appalled by this. Their idea of sexuality was no sex before marriage, you are property of your father until you’re married, and then you are property of your husband. 

“We don’t want you masturbating, or talking about menstruation, that is bad. You’re not supposed to be nude. You’re not supposed to have inordinate affection, or too much desire or affection.” 

Also, women are supposed to dress a certain way. They’re supposed to be homemakers and don’t work outside of the house. You’re supposed to stay a virgin, not just for the religious reasons, but there was economic value in virginity if you were seen as pure. 

The shame came across with the settlers 

If you didn’t fall within the settler sexuality model, you could be publicly shamed, whipped, or tortured. People were burned for masturbation and for homosexuality. They were shamed for anything that was falling outside of this model. If you got caught, you could get in trouble. When the settlers came, they brought with them their own historical sexual trauma. 

Still impacting today 

Anne believes that with the sexual script that’s inherited in American sexuality, there is a maltreatment especially of women of color, but of people of color in general. This legacy of the settler sexuality construct has dramatic impacts today, leaving people feeling like there is something wrong with themselves if they don’t fit into it, and very few people do. 

Biography: 

Anne Mauro is a Licensed Couples and Family therapist, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, and AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator. She has earned her M.A from Antioch University Seattle (AUS) and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her private practice, Mending Connections, in Tacoma, Washington, specializes in couples counseling and sex therapy. Anne serves as adjunct faculty at AUS, where she created and taught a course titled Colonization and Sex for the Sexuality Certificate Program.  

Additionally, Anne works in the Couples and Family Therapy program providing clinical supervision to graduate student interns. In partnership with a colleague, Anne is an American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) continuing education (CEU) provider. Through this venture, Anne co-created the Beyond Settler Sex Sexually Attitude Reassessment (SAR).  

Her first Routledge publication, More Than Ebony and Ivory: Complexities of sex therapy with interracial couples, can be found in An Intersectional Approach to Sex Therapy: Centering the lives of indigenous, racialized, and people of color. Anne is working on her second publication, The Colonization of Black Sexuality: A clinician’s guide to relearning and healing.  

Anne has served on the AASECT Awards Committee since 2018 and the AASECT Ethics Committee since 2021. Anne is an active WOCSHN member and one of the original members included on the WOCSHN Membership Directory, the first of its kind directory featuring Black, Indigenous, women of color in the sexuality field. In service of the profession, Anne is a member of AASECT Awards Committee and AASECT Ethics Committee. 

Resources and links: 

More info: 

 

#209 – Pleasure beyond your comfort zone – Court Vox

#209 – Pleasure beyond your comfort zone – Court Vox

Listen to “209: Right Outside Your Comfort Zone – Court Vox” on Spreaker.

Pleasure beyond your comfort zone 

Somatic sex educator and sex coach Court Vox helps his clients to find the ‘sweet spot’ in their sex lives, and life in general. The sweet spot is a place that can be uncomfortable, but also exciting. This episode is all about pushing yourself to the limit, and calibrating the body in order to allow itself to reach the next level of experience.  

What is calibration? 

Calibration is developing an awareness of touch from the lowest point of sensation all the way to your threshold. It’s finding that sweet spot, also called a yellow place, that can get you to the next level of pleasure. In life, it’s always about going a little bit further than you otherwise would as our lives change.  

Is there value from being slightly outside of your comfort zone? 

Court elaborates how one can benefit from being in a yellow place, whether in sensation or actual pursuit of something that’s not in the body. Being in a place that’s a bit uncomfortable offers a lot of growth for people. If one is calibrating with a partner, then communication is key, because at the end of the day it’s a very personal approach and all of us will have our own unique yellow spot. 

Is calibration better with a partner or solo? 

One can do both. Doing it with a partner can be valuable not just from a sensation perspective but from a communication perspective too.  

Beyond the Circuit Workshop 

Court Vox will hold a 3-day workshop in March 2022 with the intention to create new and alternative spaces for queer men. It is about finding a deeper sense of community not centered around drugs and alcohol and dark spaces. Aptly called Beyond the Circuit, it is a space where queer men can be vulnerable and be in a more intimate space.  

Biography: 

Court Vox provides personal guidance and expertise in the unique and often ignored areas of sex. Vox is a trained Sex and Intimacy Consultant, Surrogate Partner Intern and Sacred Intimate. His approach is personal and necessary. As the founder of his own practice, The Body Vox, he brings professional opportunities to his clients and teaches them to embrace their bodies, as well as the bodies of others. Vox is a sex educator who is experienced in working with clients of all sexualities and genders. He continues to collaborate with fellow sex educator Pamela Madsen for workshops around the country.  

Resources and links: 

Website: thebodyvox.com 

Instagram: @courtvox 

More info: 

Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com 

The Course – https://www.thedesirespa.com 

The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com 

Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com 

Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore:  https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass 

#208 – Endometriosis – Dr. Allyson Shrikhande 

#208 – Endometriosis – Dr. Allyson Shrikhande 

Listen to “208: Endometriosis – Dr. Allyson Shrikhande” on Spreaker.

Endometriosis 

Dr. Allyson Shrikhande, a rehabilitation doctor who specializes in pelvic rehabilitation medicine, gives us an in-depth discussion about endometriosis. What is endometriosis, the disorder affecting one out of ten women? How does it show up and what are the treatment options? 

What is endometriosis? 

Endometriosis is a disorder wherein cells that are similar to the cells lining the inside of the uterus (endometrium) grow outside of the uterus. These cells can settle basically anywhere in the body but most commonly in the pelvic cavity and can cause pain and infertility.  

How common is endometriosis? 

Depending on the study, one out of ten, or one out of nine women can have endometriosis. It is as common as breast cancer with a strong genetic predisposition. 

What are the symptoms of endometriosis? 

The challenge is that it is a silent disease, making it hard to diagnose. The way it presents itself is as a person being infertile and/or having pelvic pain. Pain during intercourse, tampon use and the like as well as GI problems (constipation, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain), and a UTI that will not go away are very common symptoms. 

Treatment options for endometriosis

The major challenge in the medical community is that there is no proper diagnostic other than surgery right now. The gold standard for a proper diagnosis is laparoscopic surgery, then some pathology. Because of the complexity and systemic nature of endometriosis, Dr. Shrikhande also takes on a holistic approach to treatment, discussing additional things like nutrition and even medication with patients. 

Endometriosis awareness 

Dr. Shrikhande underlines the need for more research and studies to help in diagnosing endometriosis in its early stages. Unfortunately, it is a very complex disease with strong genetic disposition making it even harder to prevent. Awareness is key as there is still nothing conclusive as to what is causing endo. It’s important that women are diagnosed in an efficient manner and have access to skilled medical and rehab providers who can help them with proficient treatment. 

Biography: 

Dr. Allyson Shrikhande, a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist, is the Chief Medical Officer of Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine. She is also the Chair of the Medical Education Committee for the International Pelvic Pain Society. She is working with other experts in the field of chronic pelvic pain to develop training modules for residents and physicians interested in learning about the diagnosis, treatment, and management of chronic pelvic pain. A leading expert on pelvic health and a respected researcher, author and lecturer, Dr. Shrikhande is a recognized authority on male and female pelvic pain diagnosis and treatment. 

Resources and links: 

Website: pelvicrehabilitation.com 

Instagram: @pelvicrehabilitation, @doctor.allyson 

Twitter: @PelvicRehab 

More info: 

Sex Health Quiz – https://www.sexhealthquiz.com  

The Book – https://www.sexwithoutstress.com  

Get daily conversation starters texted to your phone: Text “topics” to https://my.community.com/jessaatintimacywithease 

Podcast Website – https://www.intimacywithease.com 

Access the Free webinar: How to want more sex without it feeling like a chore:  https://intimacywithease.com/masterclass 

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