#171 – God wants us to have pleasure – Rachel Alba

#171 – God wants us to have pleasure – Rachel Alba

Listen to “171: God Wants Us to Have Pleasure – Rachel Alba” on Spreaker.

God Wants Us To Have Pleasure 

Our topic today is about getting closer to God through pleasure. I’m talking to Rachel Alba, who is a sex coach for people raised in Christian traditions that are struggling with shame or negativity around sex, and are at a point in their lives where they’re willing to take that on and try to transform that into something positive. 

She shares her personal story of her journey around this, and a lot about the idea of faith development. And opening up to new ideas about sex and then how to explore that and reduce the kind of shame response that people can have.  

Rachel works as a sex coach specifically for people who are coming from Christian backgrounds. And she got into that specifically because she was raised Roman Catholic and was led to believe sex is a space for us to really come back to the Garden of Eden and very much experience union with each other, union with the divine, even a fuller union with ourselves at the same time. And that’s a really positive viewpoint that Rachel was exposed to in her particular parish, this sense that sex is really good and pleasure is really good. And we can experience God’s grace through those things. 

Sex, Pleasure, Shame, and Christianity 

Our discussion dives deep into the history of attitudes surrounding sex, pleasure and shame within Christianity. And how so many people come from a place of spirituality. One of the first things Rachel does, is to remind people is that shame is actually a positive thing, which can sound a bit crazy. 

But she points out that our initial shame response is actually meant to protect us. So, it’s positive in the sense where it was meant to protect us. And a lot of times what happens is we just didn’t ever actually like grow out of that shame response that we had around sexuality.  

God created your body for pleasure.  

Rachel says that God didn’t give us nerve endings simply because we need them to be able to like, feel textures on trees. She believes God gave us pleasure and the ability to experience pleasure, because God wants us to experience pleasure. 

About Rachel 

Rachel is a certified Clinical Sexologist and holds a Masters of Arts in Theology and Ministry from Boston College.  She comes to Clinical Sexology (sex coaching) with a decade of experience as a massage therapist and extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology.   Her work combines:  developmental spirituality, sexology & anatomy, sex-positive theology, and mindful sensuality to help clients from Christian backgrounds let go of any lingering sexual shame, experience more pleasure, grow in their communication and sexual skills, all while deepening their spirituality.  Other things I love are:  sangria, playing piano and singing, and the 1970’s film version of Jesus Christ Superstar. 

Links and Resources: 

Instagram – @rachel.alba.coaching 

Website  https://www.sexwithspirit.com 
[Where you can find a Free Three Keys to Releasing Sexual Shame miniclass] 

Sex-Positive Christian Feminists‬ Podcast with Rachel Alba & Lurie Kimmerle – https://podcasts.apple.com/si/podcast/sex-positive-christian-feminists/id1549622305 

More info: 

Training video – ​https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice 

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

The Course – ​https://www.intimacywitheasemethod.com 

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

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

Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: ​https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar 


#170 – Orgasmic Expansion – Serena Haines

#170 – Orgasmic Expansion – Serena Haines

Listen to “170: Orgasmic Expansion – Serena Haines” on Spreaker.

Orgasmic Expansion

Serena Haines joins me on this episode to talk about orgasmic expansion – a hybrid technique developed by fusing techniques she used working as a Somatic Sex Educator and Sexological Body Worker. The goal of orgasmic expansion is to maximize pleasure and experience. It aligns perfectly with the Intimacy With Ease method when couples reach the point of having an enjoyable sex-life but wanting to expand their pleasure. 

Define – Orgasmic Expansion 

Orgasmic expansion is a fusion of slow sex techniques, breathing, orgasmic potential, and neo tantric exercises melded into one. Serena states that, unlike what people may assume, it’s a practical and tangible approach to expand one’s potential for pleasure in a safe and connected relationship. 

Phase 1 

It starts by guiding her clients to practice a few intimacy and neo tantric exercises. These exercises involve eye gazing, touching, sitting back to back, and breathing deeply which allows a deeper connection to form between the couples. 

Phase 2 & 3 – Intimate bodywork 

Then the couples do guide intimate bodywork on each other which involves erotic massage that isn’t necessarily therapeutic or sexual. The massage is for them to relax and receive pleasure sensations from giving and receiving touch. While the partner receiving the touch focuses on breathwork, the other partner focuses on the sensation of the touch. 

Genital mapping & Genital massage 

Then they move down to genital mapping, genital massage, and end with pleasure. Genital mapping is where the partner who is receiving the touch is focused on their feelings, sensations, and erotic responses of their body, disregarding the expectation to reciprocate afterward. The giver is guided into exploring their partner’s body and focused on the sensation, feeling of the partner’s different parts of the body, even the color and visual of the vulva. While the receiver enjoys pleasure, the giver enjoys the erotic visual which is extremely important. 

Physiological changes and responses 

The next step after making sure they both feel the pleasure is to guide the partner to notice and observe the physiological changes and responses in their partner’s body. Serena gives an example of looking at how the labia swells and changes colors and the time it takes. Serena points out that for most partner’s it’s uncomfortable to let these changes happen with their partner observing. However, this process allows the other partner to explain and talk through 

the changes they’re observing. This encourages the receiver to express what feels good and tell the partner to do that. The goal of genital mapping is for the partner to understand the physiological responses happening in their partner’s body and for the other partner to relax and let the time be taken for the energy to flow through their body. 

Serena then guides the process to go up to the clitoris and apply slow sex techniques like orgasmic meditation. Orgasmic meditation is working with the clitoris to map out the pleasure points. The partner goes through these points like clockwork while receiving and giving feedback until they find the most sensitive spot. Serena explains the process to be followed to reach an orgasmic point. She guides the partner to let the orgasmic potential move through the breath and expand the heat generated in the genitals through her body instead of quick orgasm. Serena says. It’s about prolonging and expanding the pleasure potential. 

Giving and receiving feedback 

The partners are guided to speak up about their experiences throughout the session. They are encouraged to give and receive feedback and it’s prompted by Serena’s questions such as, “How does it feel, how does it look?”. It allows the conversation to flow that creates a medium where they feel comfortable to tell each other if something feels good, if it feels enjoyable, which is rare when the couple is alone. 


In case the partner orgasm soon into the process, the partner can either relax and take it up in another session or they can keep going. Serena emphasizes the whole idea of this process is not to bring them back into orgasm but to guide them to hold onto the potential as long as they can. 

For men 

For men, the stroke technique while playing with the shaft and coronal ridge is much slower than a regular handjob. It’s common for penises to lose erection if the buildup isn’t the same after a certain point. Contrary to what many people may think of it as something wrong, it allows finding the pleasure potential in a soft penis. So, Serena guides them to keep going if that’s what they decide. 

How is it different or similar to Sensate Focus? 

The orgasmic expansion focuses on a slow addition of the sexual touch to expand pleasure potential in an already satisfying sex life. Sensate focus is different in the sense, it is focused on getting them to a place of a satisfied sex-life after overcoming the challenges. 

Orgasm is not the point of sex 

While the term “Orgasmic expansion” might lead you to believe that it’s all about orgasm, it’s really about expanding your pleasure potential and physiological responses of your body. Serena urges to explore the pleasure that lies before the point of an orgasm which isn’t even necessary to reach. With her client, by taking orgasm off the table, they remain stress-free of an expectation or a disappointment to reach an orgasm which isn’t the point. The duration of this course is meant to feel the sensations of your partner’s touch, feel, and pleasure. Orgasm may or may not necessarily happen at the end. In real life, it’ll help you when you don’t feel the pressure of an orgasm when you’re having that moment with your partner and you will enjoy the pleasure potential moving across your entire body. 

Challenges in this process 

One of the challenges people face in this process is having to digest the idea of having a third person there. It could be stressful that leads a lot of people to back out which is completely fine to back out and try again next time. Also, it’s hard for the receiver to just breathe and not do anything else. Similar to how the giver is focused on being anxious about their performance. Serena says it’s hard for people to be in the present but practicing it at home without the pressure of having a third person there can help. 

Misconceptions and fears 

Some of the fears people have are for the process to be too sexual or that the third person participating in the touch. Serena points it out as not true, she has a conversation prior with the client to set boundaries of how closer or far they want her to stand. Also, before any physical touch, expectation, and consent of what exercises they are going to do are already set and there’s no going backward. It can be revisited in the conversation before the next session. 


Serena Haines, a Somatic Sex Educator Sex Coach in North Atlantic, Canada helps people navigate sexual challenges and expand intimacy as an individual or as partners. She studied Clinical Sexology and became a Certified Sex Coach. She made a fusion of all techniques learned over the time of her being a sex educator to create “Orgasmic Expansion”. She also helps couples who are not challenged sexually but want to learn and experience intimacy and new things. 

Resources and links 

Website: ​https://www.serenahaines.com/ 

Workshops: ​https://www.serenahaines.com/#offerings

Instagram: @serena_haines

More info: 

Training video – ​https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice

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

The Course – ​https://www.intimacywitheasemethod.com 

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

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

Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: ​https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar  






#169 – Out of Control Sexual Behavior in Women – Jessica Levith

#169 – Out of Control Sexual Behavior in Women – Jessica Levith

Listen to “169: Out of Control Sexual Behavior in Women – Jessica Levith” on Spreaker.

Out of Control Sexual Behavior in Women 

Today’s guest Jessica Levith, is a Licensed marriage therapist from California and is here to talk about the “Out of Control Sexual Behavior Model” which is a view of compulsive, out-of-control sexual behavior. A treatment model is developed around this, and Jessica extends it to cisgendered women with challenging and problematic sexual behaviors. She provides treatment for people who think they exhibit out-of-control behavior. The episode also discusses sexual health and its influence on our sexuality. 

Define – Out of Control Sexual Behavior (OCSB) 

Jessica defines Out Control Sexual Behavior as the client’s perception of their sexual behaviors, feelings, and urges being out of their control. What makes OCSB different from the Sex Addiction Model is that OCSB is a sexual health-focused treatment where people establish their vision of sexual health without giving up a part of their sexuality. Jessica mentions a history of conflation of non-consensual sexual behaviors in the OCSB model. She debunks a theory in the Sex Addiction Model that it is believed that when a person’s sex addiction goes untreated they fall more towards non-consensual behaviors. However, in OCSB when a patient presents a sign of non-consensual sexual behaviors, they have to be ruled out as they’re more suitable for specialized treatment from a therapist whose practice deals with non-consensual behaviors.  

In OCSB model treatment, they are on the lookout for patients with a genuine interest in changing how they view their sexuality. This treatment is not for those who may be simply motivated to escape the shame of exposure to their family or partner by labeling their behavior as a disease. This aligns with the perception in the OCSB model where sexual addiction is viewed as a behavioral problem that can be regulated in all parts of life. In contrast to that, the Sex Addiction Model views sexual addiction as a disease that allows the patient to step back from their responsibilities of change. 

How to broaden what people see as out-of-control sexual behavior. 

To broaden the view of what one would consider being an out-of-control sexual behavior, they have to process the cause behind their belief. To explain where some of these beliefs originate from, Jessica explains how women have been socially imprinted through history on how we should look, feel and act. She gives a historical context of parallels of women’s behavior being dictated in religion, art, and even science and the instance where the change started. Through Doug’s book and his model, Jessica points out the concept being based on Human Behavioral Theory which prompts for change and adaptability especially in women. 

Steps in the clinical journey of OCSB model treatment? 

Initial screening​ is the first step in the process of OCSB Model treatment where clients are screened to rule out non-consensual sex, for internal motivation, presence of any acute issue that could disrupt the treatment like being a physical threat to self or others, substance use, and abuse, mental health issues or physical health issues. In the next step, an ​assessment​ is done with a series of courses such as Adverse Child Experience (ACE), Sexual Symptom Assessment Scale (SSAS), Sexual Inhibition Scale (SIS), Sexual Excitation Scale (SES), and semi-structured assessment. During the process, the therapist learns a lot about the client as a person. In the end, the therapist helps the client to use sexual health terms instead of pathology terms, which means, they stop viewing it as a disease. Then the therapist and the client together make a ​sexual health plan​ by using this information. 

Sexual health in OCSB is upheld by ​six principles​ – consensual sexual activity, non-exploitative, honesty, shared values, protection from STIs and STDs and unwanted pregnancies, mutual pleasure, and solo pleasure. When you live within these six principles, with the help of your therapist you can come up with a sexual health plan. The sexual health plan has 3 columns. The first column is boundaries which are the behaviors when crossed resemble in breaking your agreements. The middle column is ambivalence and high-risk behaviors. It means being honest and recognizing the competing motivations within yourself. The last column is sexual health is “the ideals, goals, and aspirations for how you want to be sexually and in life”. 

What drove you to apply this specifically to women? 

After being on the side of the medical models and then reading Doug’s book, Jessica noticed how everything was geared towards cis-gendered white men. However later she realized that most of the work in Doug’s book can be translated for clinical work with women. To gain a deeper understanding, Jessica dived into the historical and current context of the source of “implicit and explicit expectations and messages projected onto women and internalized by them”. 

She discovered three ways of how women were impacted by socio-cultural value systems. First, through historic and systemic power over women’s rights and the means to control birth by pregnancy prevention and termination, through the Comstock act, making women’s access to birth control is dependent upon where she lives, her access to health insurance, her socio-economic standing, and financial status. Secondly, controlling women’s view of sexual functioning, appearance, and pleasure, and thirdly, sexual and social value. 

Intersectionality is discussed in context with the power of sexual and social values. It’s how we identify in the world in terms of class, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and more influence our social and sexual standing and values. Jessica adopted it because of its influence on women’s sexual self-concept which influences their attachment. 

How does it show up clinically? 

Understanding the historical context of the impact on women’s perception of sexuality, pleasure, and appearance helps the process of the treatment in understanding their perception of sexual health and what they perceive as out of control sexual behaviors. Jessica gives an example of a client who comes in with what she thinks is a problem of “porn addiction”. In these situations, to understand if this is a problem for the client or whether it’s stemming from a partner, Jessica asks questions to find out. These ideas of out-of-control sexual behaviors in women are internalized because women are not taught to be sexual in their vision. It is highly influenced by the media especially in children. Jessica also points out a flip side of the internet where feminist and ethical porn is being debated, where people of disability, people of all sizes and cultures are being represented accurately. This is what brings a shift in the internalization in women. 

Integration of said historical markers into the assessment 

OCSB focuses on three clinical areas of self-regulation, attachment regulation, and sexual neurotic conflict which are impacted by the historical markings researched by Jessica. With this knowledge, Jessica says, you can help bring awareness to slow it down. 

Parting message 

Jessica leaves us with a parting message to avoid making assumptions of someone’s desires and to be in the moment with your partner or with yourself to connect and understand who you are at the core. 


Jessica Levith, an Oakland CA Certified Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT specializes in treating Problematic Sexual Behavior, Infidelity, Unhealthy Attachments, Sexual Health support, Emotional Dependency, early attachment trauma, and recovery from trauma.  

She has a Sex Therapy Certificate from the California Institute of Integral Studies, training in Out of Control Sexual Behaviors from both The Society For The Advancement Of Sexual Health and The Harvey Institute, and specialized training in supporting partners of those with Out of Control Sexual Behaviors. 

Resources and links: 

Website: ​https://jessicalevith.com/ 

Jessica’s research article: ​Translating the Out of Control Sexual Behavior Treatment Model for Work with Cisgender Women 

Doug’s book: ​https://www.theharveyinstitute.com/publications/books 

More info:  

Training video – ​https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice

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

The Course – ​https://www.intimacywitheasemethod.com 

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

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

Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: ​https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar  






#168 – Moving Past Shame – Tilly Storm

#168 – Moving Past Shame – Tilly Storm

Listen to “168: Moving Past Shame – Tilly Storm” on Spreaker.

Moving Past Shame 

Today’s conversation surrounds sexual shame and negativity and how that leads to a loss of desire and pleasure in sex. Tilly Storm, a sexual coach, helps such women whose desire has been lost due to the burden of shame and negativity around pleasure. She is here today to share her knowledge on how to reclaim your sexuality, get familiar with your own body, and experience pleasure like never before. 

How did you get started? 

Tilly grew up in the suburbs of Louisiana in a conservative, religious environment with shame around her body and sexuality was hanging over her. It lasted until she gave birth at the age of 23 when she realized everything she was taught about her body, sex and pleasure was utter nonsense. She then set out to help other women rediscover their sexuality that was lost after giving birth. Some courses she offers are sexual relationship coaching, ancient tantric wisdom, and Taoist practices. Lacey started her journey as a sex coach by first working on reclaiming her sexuality and body and by losing the shame and guilt she was taught. 

Where does sex-negativity stem from? 

Sex negativity can show up in both men and women. Tilly says a lot of her clients relate to her story of developing shame around sexuality while growing up in a conservative and religious environment. She says being ridden with guilt and shame registers as trauma to which people give out a hypo-response or a hyper-response. While women respond by shutting down and losing the desire to have sex, men respond by developing an addiction to sex and porn. 

Tilly says sex-negativity can also stem out of the fear of STDs, STIs, and unwanted pregnancy. Our culture also conditions us to feel shameful and guilty of becoming pregnant young or contracting an STD or even for harboring controversial desires and eroticism. What people find desirable and erotic are so limited normalized that everything that sounds too foreign than usual is associated with shame. 

What opened up your beliefs? 

Tilly’s time of giving birth brought her closer to understanding her body’s potential and capability. She said it started with realizing that there was nothing inherently wrong with her body. After going through a stage of body image distortion, she found the right mind to look at her herself. Jade egg practice helped lift her shame and guilt around sexuality and pleasure. It’s a practice where you take an egg-shaped stone made out of jade and use it internally to do squeezes, releases, and breath work practices. Tilly says, “It’s yoga for your vagina”. It helps you to connect with your body and what’s down there. 

Is there a timeline to be rid of sexual shame? 

She points out that it takes time to get rid of all that shame and to “undo the narratives you were taught”. It also takes time to process that and get it out of your body. Sexual problems cannot be fixed just through talking because, as Tilly says, sexual problems don’t just stem from thinking. They’re deeply rooted and if you want to do things differently, along with insight you have to experience things differently by working on your body. 

How to get out of your head & away from sex-negative thoughts? 

Tilly starts by helping her clients with transformational breath work, where she uses the gentle trauma release method to release tension and trauma from their bodies. She guides them to feel unstuck and to open up. The next step is to “rewrite your sexual narrative”. She makes her clients write down scenarios of what would happen if they grew up in a sex-positive environment. They write it down, record it and listen to it for 10 days straight. While she acknowledges it’s a challenging process, she offers a solution to entangle it piece by piece. 

She talks about inner child dynamics where it’s vital to work on trauma encountered by your inner child. She warns that the inner child when left unaddressed surfaces as a triggered response to your partner in your relationship. She also shares about mother-father dynamics and presses the importance of questioning how their beliefs you adopted are affecting your sexuality. 

How to expand your pleasure? 

The first step to expand your pleasure is to get out of your head and Lacey suggests Jade egg practice to slow down your thoughts and connect with your pleasure points. She says there are more pleasure points in your pelvic floor than what we know, and we can explore them by taking our time every day by touching ourselves, through Jade egg, breath work, and self-guided self-pleasure practices. That’s how you get in the habit of making the transition and being connected with your body. 

What’s an indication that you reached your goals? 

Tilly’s clients reach their vaginal goals in 6 or under 6 months. They start out having little breakthroughs in week 6 or 7. They reach a place of empowerment by letting go of shame and guilt around weeks 8 to 10. Tilly points out that there’s always a new level of pleasure to be achieved and we truly don’t realize the pleasure capacity of our bodies. She also offers communication and connection practices for couples and partners to rebuild their intimacy. 


Tilly Storm is a holistic sex, love & relationship coach for women who want to reconnect with their bodies to feel desire and pleasure. She is also the producer of The Multiorgasmic Mama Podcast. 

She is a certified coach, Tantra, jade egg, and sexuality teacher, who uses deep transformational tools and techniques based in modern coaching modalities, and ancient tantric wisdom and Taoist practices to help women reconnect with their sensuality after becoming mothers, rebuild their intimacy with their partners and achieve ultimate pleasure! 

Resources and links: 

Website: ​https://www.tillystorm.com/ 

Podcast: ​https://www.themultiorgasmicmama.com/podcast

Facebook: ​https://www.facebook.com/laceybroussardrocks

Instagram: ​https://instagram.com/tilly.storm 

More info: 

Training video – ​https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice

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

The Course – ​https://www.intimacywitheasemethod.com 

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

Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: ​https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar  





#167 – Awakened Intimacy – Maci Daye

#167 – Awakened Intimacy – Maci Daye

Listen to “167: Awakened Intimacy – Maci Daye” on Spreaker.

Awakened Intimacy  

Maci Daye joins us today to talk about awakened intimacy and share some of the practices she uses with couples. This episode discusses awakened intimacy in the context of mindfulness, being present and attentive during sex. There’s talk of effective practices on how to use what happens to increase passion and grow in the face of challenges. 

What is Awakened Intimacy? 

Maci defines awakened intimacy as a willingness to expand your idea of sex to include aspects you haven’t tried before – pleasure, joy and even a little bit of suffering. We’re used to the assumption that sex is pleasurable, and it becomes easy to have that assumption. So when people have confusing and triggering experiences, as Maci says, it gives a window of an opportunity to learn from what happened to heal and grow. This is what awakened intimacy is – a transformational path. 

Awakened intimacy for everyone 

Awakened intimacy is not just for couples who want to overcome challenges in their relationship, but it’s also for people who want to love themselves better. Maci states awakened intimacy is  useful because you want to be more compassionate, loving and wise. And sex is an integral part of it. 

Sex & intimacy are a part of your healing process 

You don’t have to put off resolving issues of your sex-life on hold while resolving issues of other parts of life. Maci says all of these are interlinked and sex is an integral part of it. You bring yourself into every experience in your life, and sex is an experience through which you connect the most with your partner. So, if you don’t include sex, no matter how much resolve and connect with your partner, it won’t transfer into your sex life and intimacy. 

How does awakened intimacy differ from mindful sex? 

Maci defines mindfulness as a tool to be used in the process of awakening. She defines it as a practice to modify your sexual process by including a “quality of attention that is present, curious and exploratory”. She also points out that other than opening you up to an awakening journey, mindfulness also improves your sexual functioning and genital health. Mindfulness also brings out the pleasure of passionate and attentive sex in couples who’ve been together for a long time. She suggests couples connect with their conscience to explore and discover new things while they’re making love. We’re wired to repeat patterns in life and in the bedroom which go unnoticed. With mindfulness, we can recognize these patterns in the bedroom and make changes to break the pattern. Maci calls it “updating your sexual operating system”. 

Practices for couples facing a challenge in the bedroom 

For couples who reach an impasse in the bedroom, should research their experiences during sex to examine and repair the wounds. Maci shares a three-step process she does with couples where they stop and share their experience instead of getting stuck in a repeat loop of avoidance. It allows couples to pause when they identify a trigger signal and research into the experience to recognize patterns and habits. ”The only place to heal a past wound is in the present, we can only heal wounds that are visible”, says Maci. While it’s difficult to describe these patterns to your partner, when met with support, you can move onto the next step of adjustment. 

The next step is to make an adjustment by sharing your experience with your partner and together figuring out a solution to make changes. Maci also suggests rapid-fire interrogation attached with receptive curiosity and mindfully check in to make adjustments for a better outcome. Going a bit further Maci also suggests “co-designing” that went wrong in the past, with the added adjustments and mindfulness. 

Advice for people unaware of their own experiences 

Often people are not in tune with their experiences and power through their sex-life without checking in. For those couples, Maci shares an exercise where couples set a timer to pause and evaluate what’s happening in their experiences – their emotions, sensations and even thoughts. This allows a person to share what’s happening with their experience without directing the blame onto their partner. It allows a couple to really dwell on the moment and explore. 

How to invite the unchallenged partner into the process? 

In this process, it’s quick to shift all the attention into resolving the issues surrounding the person with the triggered experience. In that case, the other partner without a challenging experience could feel unheard. It’s important to note their experience in reaction to their partner’s experience. The unchallenged partner should also identify and share their needs and limits. It once again comes back to couples studying and adjusting by sharing their experiences. When couples recognize each other’s needs and emotions and start working towards them, that’s when they have a satisfying sex-life. 

What is the EROS cycle in erotic attunement? 

Couples who want to break out of having a routine or informed sex without any inside-out authentic pleasure can attain erotic attunement by following the EROS cycle. Maci describes Erotic attunement as the idea of being in the moment and in tune with your own body and your partner’s where you feel foreign impulses and you feel free to follow the to have unscripted sex. EROS cycle helps us achieve that. E stands for embody and attune, R stands for relating and relaxing our goals, O stands for opening to impulses and new directions and S stands for savoring pleasure. Maci also brings our attention to the struggles we may face in this challenging cycle such as, not connecting with your body, having a hard time trusting impulses, feeling safe to express those impulses or responding openly and even relating. 

EROS cycle in attunement is part of what couples could do as they keep encountering difficulties. Maci urges couples to have an attuned embodied experience as they go through challenges. 


Maci Daye is the Creator of Passion & Presence, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Hakomi Therapist, and Certified Sex Therapist with over 25 years experience in social service, higher education and private practice. She holds graduate degrees from Harvard and Georgia State Universities and has completed the intermediate level Somatic Experiencing trauma training. 

She operates LifeWorks Counseling & Seminars, Inc. in Atlanta, GA and co-runs Hakomi of Mallorca (in Spain) with her partner Halko Weiss. In addition to clinical practice, Maci is on the faculty of the Hakomi Institute and teaches in the southeastern United States and Europe. Maci has led sexuality retreats and training courses for helping professionals in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico and has presented at several conferences in Europe and the USA. 

Resources and links: 

More info: 






#166 – Communicating Sexual Desires and Boundaries – Yael Rosenstock Gonzalez

#166 – Communicating Sexual Desires and Boundaries – Yael Rosenstock Gonzalez

Listen to “166: Communicating Sexual Desires and Boundaries – Yael Rosenstock Gonzalez” on Spreaker.

Communicating desires and boundaries 

In this episode, Yael Rosenstock Gonzalez talks all about how to understand and communicate your own desires and boundaries to your partner. Today’s topic of discussion lines up with the four pillars of Intimacy with Ease Method to help you have the best sex of your life! We hear talks of red flags, tips on how to work with your partner around these aspects, and most importantly, real life applications. 

Is it One conversation? 

Communicating desires and boundaries are put together in a conversation because when people are engaged in making sure everyone is having the best time possible, criminalized behavior is unlikely. While sharing her views, Yael points out the stigma around the conversation of consent and sexual assault. 

Why is communication so important?  

It’s important to understand our method of communication. Yael tells people to reflect on how they communicate their sexual or non-sexual needs. While communication could mostly be verbal, it’s important to recognize the meaning of the cues you give off and to make sure people in your life are aware of it. It avoids unclear messages and conflict. 

Reasons why people struggle communicating about sex 

Yael says there are several reason why someone struggles communicating about sex. It could be revealed when you ask yourself questions of who and why. Your anxiousness could be the result of a sex taboo, shame around your own pleasure, or the expectation of knowing what’s wrong in your sexual relationship without any proper communication with your partner. For some people with insecurity, Yael advices to make communication sexy by asking what you want and by validating your partner during sex. And for someone with shame around pleasure, you should question the series of incidents like getting caught that resulted in it. You become confident in communicating about sex by undoing these patterns. 

Myths around sexual communication 

Yael breaks down some of the myths around sexual communication. People overemphasize penetration during sex. People believe sex is enjoyable only with penetration and they neglect oral sex. For a lot of people arousal happens before the penetration and it’s important to be in tune with your own arousal to effectively communicate it with your partner. Yael also breaks down myths around sexual chemistry. People assume their partner would just know what they want because of the sexual chemistry they both have. While it could be true for some people, Yael says it’s mostly communication and putting in the work that’s important. Communicating your desires doesn’t mean there’s no chemistry. Yael also talks about instances where people mistake their lack of sexual chemistry or interest as being asexual when in reality, it could mean either that they are asexual or that they didn’t find the right partner or gender. It’s important to be aware of your own sexual desires to be able to communicate effectively. 

Communication about boundaries before or during sex? 

Yael advices people who experienced sexual violence or trauma to be aware of some of the things that act as triggers, keeping in mind that triggers may change. In those instances, it’s advisable to talk about your boundaries with your partner before sex to avoid activating these triggers. She also urges people to communicate their needs and tell them how their partner can help them create a safe space. You can also have a conversation before sex about things you want to try or things you might want to try and things that you don’t want to try. 

How does respecting these boundaries look like? 

When you have a trigger or feel uncomfortable doing something, your partner should be supportive in accepting you. They should be patient to wait and listen when you’re ready to talk about it and not put blame on you. This is how respecting boundaries looks like Yael’s view. 

Reasons why people don’t respond well to boundaries 

Yael believes some people don’t respond well in these situations because of either being caught off guard or because of their surfacing insecurity and doubts. There are also instances where people take it as a “challenge to teach you,” thinking it will help you overcome what makes you uncomfortable. While Yael says shifts may occur, it’s likely to occur in a supportive environment rather than to occur by force. Yael also brings up an interesting reason where people are unsupportive because they’re missing out on something they enjoy. Yael gives a solution for this that she says could come as unpopular among people is to seek those things outside the relationship after having a clear conversation and make an ethical and consensual decision. 

Sometimes a partner could feel like an abuser when in these situations. And a lot of times people let their partner do things they’re uncomfortable with to avoid making them feel like a violator. In this situation, it’s best to take a break before deciding whether or not to have a conversation. 

What to do when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries? 

Yael shares some of the red flags to recognize when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries like putting the blame on you, pushing you and shaming you. When your boundaries are not respected, it’s time to walk away. Yael asks people to re-evaluate the value of that person in your life and re-evaluate the reasons you’re keeping them around. She points out the reality of how we’re not taught to make boundaries or talk about how a healthy relationship looks like. It’s one of the reasons why many people don’t recognize a non-physical unhealthy relationship. 

Finally, Yael leaves us with a thought provoking fact that boundaries are not always meant to be physical. Boundaries can also be made for time, space and the emotional energy you spend. She says boundaries can be set to things like letting people share their emotions to setting a time and place to send and receive nudes. 

Resources and Links:  

Website: https://sexpositiveyou.com/

Website: https://www.yaelrosenstock.com/  

Book – An Intro-Guide to a Sex Positive You: Lessons, Tales, and Tips  


Courses: https://sexpositiveyou.com/#workwithme 

Instagram: @yaelthesexgeek 

Facebook: @YaeltheSexGeek 

Twitter: @yaelthesexgeek 

More info: 

Training video – https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/video-choice

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

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

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

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

Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated: https://intimacywithease.com/free-webinar  






We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.