Listen to “161: Menopause – Dr. Michelle Gordon” on Spreaker.
After having gone through menopause and being surprised by the event, Michelle discusses her journey to finding out more about it and how to make it easier for other women. She shares her experience after taking the pill, then finding out that she had a mass in her uterus thus leading her to undergo an Endometrial Biopsy. Michelle was unhappy with her body and realized that other women were probably going through the same horrific experience.
Common Problems in Menopause
She discusses how disruptive menopause can be especially since we are not prepared like we are for other age milestones in our lives. From her experience, externally women report weight gain and on internal issues women struggle with their ability to make decisions and encounter an identity crisis.
Michelle notes that doctors don’t know enough to help patients and this can leave women in a worse position. She also discusses loss of libido that comes up as a very common symptom of menopause and bleeding into our relationships. Michelle explains vaginal atrophy and urethral atrophy that can come with menopause.
The Four Pillars of Thriving in Menopause
The key to understanding menopause is to understand hormones. Dr. Gordon discusses 4 pillars which include science, supporting ourselves with diet, movement and the brain.
In terms of dealing with menopause, Michelle says there is no single answer for every woman. She encourages reflection and reinvention during our menopause journeys as each one is unique.
Links and Resources
Dr Gordon is a Board-Certified General Surgeon and founder of Gordon Surgical Group, a multi-specialty group practice in 2005. GSG serves the lower Hudson Valley of New York.
She is also the author of Managing Menopause which you can find on her website.
Listen to “160: Sizzling Sex Across the Lifespan – Michael Castleman” on Spreaker.
Sizzling Sex Across the Lifespan
Michael Castleman is a journalist that has been writing specifically about sexuality since 2005. He is also the author of Sizzling Sex across the Lifespan, covering the good bad and ugly bits about the subject. His book contains 25 actual medical studies and is based on facts.
Common Sexual Issues
Poor ejaculatory control is one of his best-selling subjects and you can find his e-book ‘ The Cure for Premature Ejaculation’ on his website. He discusses how differently men and women think about sex and provides advice for men to help improve the statistic that only 20% of women reach orgasm.
We learn that desire difference is also a main difference with couples which is not often reported. Michael talks about sexual pain and the high number of women that suffer with it even to the extent of not knowing the medical term for it and accepting it as ‘normal.’
If you are experiencing tension or stress around desire discrepancy, check out my free webinar – How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressure or obligation at https://www.intimacywithease.com/training
The Effects of Porn
Michael refers to masturbation and how kids are deterred from this behavior instead of being taught to understand it and enjoy it into adulthood. He mentions statistics that reveal 25% of the porn audience is female and despite popular belief, porn does not increase incidence of rape or disrespect of women, while teens have become more sexually responsible since pornography on the internet.
Michael agrees that porn results in masturbation and sexual miseducation. Debunking myths, he affirms that porn does not affect men’s ability to become aroused. He mentions the refractory period and shares how this should be understood in order to manage our bodies. He discusses arousal and how it changes across one’s lifetime.
Links and Resources
Michael Castleman is a journalist and sex counselor. Writing since 1974, he is the world’s most popular sex writer, covering sexuality, sex research, and sex therapy, helping people everywhere enjoy great sex.
Blocks to Orgasm
Kim joins me on this episode to discuss blocks to orgasm. Her aim is to work with the subconscious mind to transform women.
Listen to “151: Blocks to Orgasm – Kim Akrigg” on Spreaker.
What Blocks Orgasm?
She delves into the root of the problem being control over women even at an intimate level and shares what these blocks actually look like. She touches on society’s reaction to kids unknowingly exploring their bodies and being shamed for their behaviour as opposed to them being guided to understand when it’s appropriate.
Other blocks include sexual trauma and religion which frowns upon individuals seeking physical pleasure.
Our Minds Can Create Blocks
Kim talks about the role our minds play when reacting to sex or orgasm. She mentions how our subconscious feeds our responses by recalling its very first sexual experience and the feelings it brought with it. This of course manifests in our daily lives and sexual encounters.
Being aware of our personal stories around sex is key to understanding our blocks and how to fix them. This helps to distinguish between those who have blocks and those who just haven’t discovered how to reach orgasm yet.
Rapid Transformational Therapy
Kim tells us about a method called Rapid Transformational Therapy. The technique uses hypnosis, cognitive behavioural therapy and NLP, and it uncovers memories from the subconscious to help her clients. Dealing with the mind is crucial to helping clients as Kim emphasises.
What to do on your own
Kim suggests once you are open to reaching and enjoying intimacy, that you spend time on your own figuring out what you like and what works for you sexually. If you are unsure of what an orgasm feels like, Kim suggests going with whatever makes you feel good.
If you want to work on your obstacles on your own, Kim suggests that you confront your thoughts around sex and tuning into your mind in order to figure out what is attached to your obstacle. She shares affirmations we can use and techniques that work. She reveals that repetition is the key to unlocking your pleasure.
Kim Akrigg is the host of Kim Akrigg The Podcast and an RTT practitioner who studied under Marissa Peer. Her work focuses around using your subconscious mind to unlock your orgasm!
Resources and Links
IG : @kim.akrigg
Listen to “146: What We Can Learn From People With Spinal Cord Injury – Dr. Mitchell Tepper” on Spreaker.
Sex After Spinal Cord Injury
On this episode, Mitchell joins us to discuss the impact of a spinal injury on sexual function. Having experienced this type of injury personally, he shares his journey to teaching people about sexual health being one of the first people to have a sexual health domain registered in 1996. The website was intended to help people with disabilities with their sexual health but soon became a central source of sexual health information for all kinds of people.
The Importance of Trust
Setting myths aside, Mitchell explains that people with disabilities can experience sexual pleasure, erections, etc but some have difficulty expressing themselves. After research into this, he found that people need a partner they can trust to reach the point of sexual pleasure and comfort.
A critical part of this is relearning the truth about sex, departing from the limiting physical definition to experiencing trust, safety, and connectedness. Mitchell is a testament to breaking physical boundaries with this combination. He has found that even those with disabilities below their injury region have experienced an orgasm with the proper context and approach.
Sexual Self Esteem
In other areas of his research, Mitchell tells us about the effect of how much time has passed post-injury and sexual self-esteem on sexual health. His findings also point to people having higher sexual self-esteem if they were born with their disability as opposed to people who acquired their injury. This is based on the latter group constantly comparing their past sexual performance with their current ability.
These Ideas Apply to Everyone
In his process of helping people, Mitchell explains that he helps his clients understand how their new bodies work, as this is usually overlooked or taken for granted. In addition to this, he encourages people to make use of touch, sound, and sensation to help people reach sexual pleasure.
For people that aren’t struggling with a disability but want to explore a deeper and meaningful sexual experience, Mitchell advocates sensate focus. He further explains that this builds sexual communication and advocates touching for your own sexual satisfaction, allowing your partner to provide feedback. Mitchell also finds that Tantra a meaningful technique to deeper sexual experiences. The technique has three main factors: Stop, focus, and connect, which he digs deeper into.
Mitchell’s techniques are beneficial to able-bodied and disabled people, revealing that penetration is not at all the only means to orgasm. With dozens of examples of non-penetrative orgasms amongst his findings, he shares real cases with us that shed light on this experience.
Undoing learned habits is just as huge a part of the difficult journey to experiencing sexual liberation. Incorporating play into sex is also a great way to make it less serious.
Dr. Mitchell Tepper, author of Regain That Feeling: Secrets to Sexual Self-Discovery, brings a lifetime of first-hand experience with chronic conditions and disability to his work as a Sexuality Researcher, AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator and Counselor, Coach, and self-proclaimed Prophet of Pleasure. He has a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Public Health from Yale. Dr. Tepper worked on ground-breaking research on orgasm in women with spinal cord injuries with world-renowned orgasm researchers Drs. Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk. Over the last 14 years, Dr. Tepper has turned his attention to helping wounded veterans and their partners navigate intimate relationships. His forthcoming documentary, Love After War, tells the stories of intimate partners who have won the battle for love.
Links and Resources
Surrogate Partner Therapy
Listen to “143: Surrogate Partner Therapy – Brian Gibney” on Spreaker.
What is Surrogate Partner Therapy
Surrogate Partner Therapy offers a unique, tailored space in which to safely explore trust, communication, emotional intimacy, sensuality, and sexuality. Each of these pieces is important in their own right and essential in how they interconnect to influence healthy relationships.
It facilitates the therapeutic process and focuses on physical limitations, personal history, poor self-image, communication and other broad areas in relationships. Unlike a therapist, a surrogate partner is in the relationship with you and shows you what something would feel like, lending itself to people not currently in relationships.
Surrogate Partner Therapy is a Process
Just like any type of work required on a relationship, the process may take some time. Early on in the process, Brian ensures that his clients are aware of what can be expected during the sessions. The session involves the client, the therapist and the surrogate partner working parallel with each other.
Initially, Brian assesses his clients to see if they are a good fit for the sessions. He discusses mental disorders and active abuse as an example of clients that would not be a good fit for the therapy.
Consent is Crucial
Brian opens up the consent conversation and how critical it is to measure if his clients understand consent. He takes us through the exercise he uses throughout his sessions, to ensure that his clients understand consent and know how to identify it.
Specialized Training is Important
While this type of therapy is not offered by therapists, Brian discusses the process of involving his clients’ therapists and ensuring that they too are not overstepping personal or professional comfort boundaries.
To ensure you are getting a certified surrogate partner, Brian suggests getting recommendations and getting a feel for how your therapist works. The typical way a surrogate partner works is within a triad. Communication is usually a main area of discussion while sexual focus comes in as a client requires it.
Brian mentions the certifying organizations available that you can use to check if your surrogate partner is certified.
Over the course of his adult life, Brian has worn many hats: research scientist (BA, Molecular biology; Masters, Microbiology), teacher, professional artist, performer, and parent. The common thread that has run through all of those vocations has been the joy of learning, discovery, and improvement.In parallel with his professional life, he has also been keenly interested in interpersonal interactions, intimacy, and authenticity. These two facets have merged in his practice as a Surrogate Partner.
Brian received his training in Surrogate Partner Therapy from IPSA (the International Professional Surrogates Association) in 2016. In addition to being a member of IPSA, he is also a surrogate partner member of IMBT (Institute for Mind-Body Therapy), AIHG (Ananda Integrative Health Group), and AASECT(American Association of Sex Educators Counsellors and Therapists).
Brian is a founding member of the surrogate Partner Collective and Chair of AASECT’s Somatic Sexuality Professionals Special InterestGroup.In his practice, Brian seeks to help clients create foundational self-knowledge that enables them to effectively navigate healthy and fulfilling intimate relationships. Motivating this is the core belief that sharing intimacy with others is an essential part of the human experience. While it is important for everyone to have the option to feel connected with others, many find it difficult (or impossible) to make this connection.
In helping clients achieve their goals, Brian strives to maintain high professional and ethical standards and promote accessibility of Surrogate Partner Therapy to ensure those in need may receive the most successful treatment. In addition to his work with clients, Brian has been advocating for his profession by education therapeutic professionals and the broader public.
Drawing from his experience as an educator, he has presented at a range of professional conferences, workshops, therapeutic practices, and professional groups. In discussing his work, he hopes to encourage dialogue about a variety of topics–intimacy, sensual awareness and embodiment, and communication–that is so desperately needed in our society.
Resources and Links