#201 – Barriers to Female Sexual Pleasure – Kristine D’Angelo

#201 – Barriers to Female Sexual Pleasure – Kristine D’Angelo

Listen to “201: Barriers to Female Sexual Pleasure – Kristine D’Angelo” on Spreaker.

Barriers to Female Sexual Pleasure 

Certified sex coach Kristine D’Angelo talks about pleasure and feeling empowered when it comes to sexespecially 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: 

More info: 

 

#196 – Bodyfullness – Dr. Rachel Allyn

#196 – Bodyfullness – Dr. Rachel Allyn

Listen to “196: Bodyfullness – Dr. Rachel Allyn” on Spreaker.

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: 

More info: 

 

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

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

Listen to “193: Pleasure as a Means of Healing Trauma – Kathy Slaughter” on Spreaker.

Pleasure as a Means to Healing Trauma 

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.  

Biography: 

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. 

Resorces and links: 

More info: 

 

 

 

#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. 

Orgasm 

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. 

Biography 

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  

 

 

             

 

 

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