Blog

Pantyhose Fetish

Rhiannon No Comments

Recently, I published a #FetishFriday episode on pantyhose fetish and what ensued really was quite impressive (See my full channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RhiannonBeauregard)

My two most popular videos were on the site for 11 and 10 months and grossed over 10,000 and 7,800 views respectively (those were on #AdultBabyDiaperLovers and #Ballbusting).  My Pantyhose Fetish #FetishFriday video was on YouTube for just ONE WEEK and grossed over 6,200 views… making me think that perhaps folks who are into pantyhose fetish are really looking for information and there are a LOT of people out there that like it.  So I figured I would write a blog on some of the questions that people brought up about Pantyhose Fetishes and provide more information on this pleasurable and popular fetish.

 

Who is into Pantyhose Fetish?

There aren’t many statistics about what genders likes pantyhose fetishes or how each gender participates.  Generally, more men than women like to see women in pantyhose and eroticize women wearing pantyhose.  Men also like to wear pantyhose.   Women often like wearing pantyhose and enjoy how it feels and looks, but also like turning their partner(s) on.  Non-binary/trans/queer folks also love pantyhose and I would suspect that this fetish is high up on the list for folks who are transgender as well as those that like trans/non-binary and queer.  So in short, I’d say its probably a pretty popular fetish amongst all genders and probably an equal amount of people like to wear as like to see others wear.  Unfortunately, there isn’t any good data about people who like pantyhose so I’m just giving you my best estimates.

Some reports say that more men than women enjoy this fetish, but I don’t really think we have the data to back that up (Kinkly, 2018).  One blogger described pantyhose fetish as “male-dominated” but again I think actual data is limited: https://drmarkgriffiths.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/getting-a-leg-up-a-brief-look-at-pantyhose-fetishism/?fbclid=IwAR0UwV_m2VA6QqV8wo1Cvd598UFVTe-mFOmAhKlDAx0rvYnALvzgfoWjhQQ

How do pantyhose fetishists like to participate with pantyhose?

pantyhose photoThis is largely variant, some like to wear it, some like to touch it, some like to see others wear it, some like to sniff it, some like to watch someone put it on or take it off, some like to be tied up with it, some like to be choked by it, some people like to be gagged by it, some like to be forced to wear it, some like to buy it, and on and on it goes.  Pantyhose is such a versatile tool sexually that it can be used for just about anything!

Below are some ways that people get sexually and sensually aroused with pantyhose through their pantyhose fetish (can be one, multiple, or all!):

  • Wearing pantyhose
  • Watching others wear pantyhose
  • Buying pantyhose
  • Watching others put on/take off pantyhose
  • Using pantyhose as bondage restraints and gags
  • Putting on and off pantyhose
  • Being forced to wear pantyhose

What are some theories on why people are into pantyhose?

There appears to be three main reasons why people like pantyhose:

  1. They like the way it looks
  2. They like the way it feels
  3. They like the idea of it

One blogger described her love of pantyhose in this way:
“Pantyhose possess enormous power, yet, by design, they are extremely delicate and feminine, causing an irresistible vulnerability for the wearer.” (ActSensuous Blog, 2008)

My thoughts are that pantyhose are a very sensual material, and activate a lot of different senses:

    • Visual: the look of pantyhose, either the way you look in it or the way that someone else looks in them
    • Tactile: the feel of the pantyhose- this is a predominant reason why, people love the way pantyhose feels on them or when they touch them or how it feels to have their legs rub together in them.  The tactile sense is highly activated with pantyhose.  Also, people report how sliding pantyhose into a show is also very smooth and pleasurable, so how a pantyhosed person interacts with other objects, like clothes, shoes, etc.
    • Olfactory: the smell of pantyhose, specifically how pantyhose makes genitals and feet smell.  Traditionally, pantyhose aren’t a very “breathable” material and often cause feet and genitals/groin to sweat/perspire more, which creates more odor and a special type of odor- which many people report as being very pleasurable.  Foot smelling is a fetish in and of itself, and is often accentuated by pantyhose.  Here is my #FetishFriday video on #Footsmelling:

  • Taste: I am not sure if pantyhose has a particular taste, but it relates to the above odor/perspiration that pantyhose inspires that relates to taste with oral sex and feet licking.  From the increased perspiration, increase the odor (not always bad, just different and specific) that people find very pleasurable.
  • Auditory: I think this sense is very subtle and can either be no sound at all, or just a subtle rubbing/sliding sound when they are worn.  But also can be very activating of sexual arousal.

 Are there any thoughts to why this fetish is created?

This is an interesting question.  Many people point to this fetish being created in an older generation of sexually active adults, specifically those that might have had female teachers, babysitters, caregivers, even their parents secretaries when they were little sort of always following a dress code of “women wear hose and heels” and so their eroticization of womens’ legs and pantyhose stemmed (no pun intended 🙂 from these early experiences.

I think also the sensual nature of pantyhose contributes to why people like it and why it is eroticized.

Across the board, most experts agree that a pantyhose fetish often begins in childhood, but that isn’t to say that some people develop pantyhose fetishes in young adulthood and adulthood.

Here are some thoughts by pantyhose users on how their fetish developed:

“I think mine developed over time as my Grandma would raise her skirt and adjust her stockings quite frequently. She had great legs for her age and overtime I would watch for her to adjust. I even found myself looking for women getting in or out of car doors as we all now Leg shots occur. As a Truck Driver I found myself gazing into passing cars on the highway. I also wore them at every chance I got at the homes of my Aunts and of course my own mom’s. until I could purchase them on my own. Internet buying made it even easier. Earliest time I can remember is around ten years old and I still war them off and on at 67.” (DB, 2018)

“What drives my passion for pantyhose on women? Like many other comments on this post, it started during childhood. My mother was…and still is a very elegant woman. My 4th grade teacher wore dresses, pantyhose and heels all the time. In middle school the passion really kicked up a few nothces. That’s when I really started liking girls, and girls back then in the 80’s wore them all the time. Yes. In middle school. With dresses and high heels. So did some of the teachers. My stepmother also was, and still is very elegant and wore them all the time. So I assume my father liked them too, we have never discussed this, but it is evident that my taste for women who wear them followed along with his. Pantyhose legs always got my attention, even before puberty. Then there was the TV commercials, Daisy Duke, and the Solid Gold Dancers. My junior year I lost my virginity to my step-sister. She wasn’t my step-sister yet at the time. It was when my Dad was dating my step-mother. She was six years older than me, and we got along great. For some reason she was comfortable to be around….and like her mom….wore pantyhose all the time. They even looked more like sisters rather than mom and daughter. Anyways, my first sexual experience was with a lady in pantyhose. It was quite a sensation, and from that moment on I was locked in, and began to rapidly climb out of my shell.” (AxelX10, 2017)

“I didn’t know about my fetish at the time but a few years ago my mom told me when I was a young child around three or four years old I would sit under the dining room table after church or whatever and feel on women’s legs that were in pantyhose like my aunts, my mom’s friends or whoever was wearing them. Not In a sexual way of course but she guessed that I just like the feel of them or something … My mom doesn’t know about my fetish with pantyhose, legs and feet as an adult, but when she told me that story at random I knew then … That’s where it first began for me. My fetish for legs, pantyhose and feet has only grown.” (Ink, 2017)

What are some other fetishes that might go along with a pantyhose fetish?

From my research and comments made by my viewers, people who are into pantyhose can also be into a variety of other kinks and fetishes out there including:

    • Foot smelling fetish (pantyhose often creates a sweaty, odorous foot which many foot smelling kinky folk just love)
    • Foot fetish (with pantyhose)
    • Being into legs (shapely, long, strong, etc.)
    • School girl fetish (as they wear pantyhose)
    • High heel fetish (with pantyhose)

If you want more information about pantyhose as a fetish, this blog post and then the HUNDREDS of comments on it provides a really rich source of education and experience from all different types of folks that enjoy pantyhose- I highly recommend the read: https://actsensuous.blog/2010/04/11/what-drives-our-fetish-for-pantyhose/?fbclid=IwAR0t79sFh9MyJWcexluDfgJ9LheJm7hQI0kek7z9MwPo6uGLxVCjtSpox1I

 

And if you are located in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas, and are looking for a sex therapist, please feel free to submit this form below and I’ll get in touch with you about starting sex therapy.

 

Introduction to Ballbusting and Cuntbusting: How to Do it Safely!

Rhiannon No Comments

My #fetishfriday episodes are very popular on YouTube, with subscribers and viewers from all over the world!  My second most popular video is on #Ballbusting and from that video, viewers have requested me to do another couple videos: one on #cuntbusting and one of how to do ballbusting and cuntbusting safely.  In doing my research on the safety factors in ballbusting and cuntbusting, I couldn’t find very much accessible information besides pornography, which prompted me to write this blog on how to do ballbusting and cuntbusting safely!

In case you haven’t seen my two videos, here they are, explaining what ballbusting and cuntbusting is:

Ballbusting

What is ballbusting and why do people like it?

Ballbusting is the general colloquial term for any type of cock and ball torture directly involving the testicles.  Ballbusting is the squeezing, tight binding, slapping, spanking, hitting, punching, kicking, or striking of the testicles, scrotum, or perineum using hands, feet, or torture aids such as whips, chains, paddles, floggers, humblers, or other manmade devices.

kick photo

ballbuster is the person who administers these activities and can be any orientation or gender.  (Kinkly, 2018)

Neuro-chemically, endorphins can be released during the pain of ball busting that can create a sexual high or enhance sexual pleasure, especially if the man is already sexually aroused.  In some cases, a man will ejaculate during ball busting.

Ballbusting and BDSM

Ballbusting is a CONSENSUAL act performed by adults who understand their roles and the purpose of what they are doing.  Ballbusting touches upon all of the BDSM subcategories: Bondage (tying/binding of the testicles), Dominance/Submission (dominant usually is the ballbuster, submissive is usually the ballbustee), Discipline (ballbusting is a form of humiliation and punishment), and Sadism/Masochism.  Many people who enjoy being ballbusters have a sadistic side (like causing pain in others) and many who enjoy ballbusting are masochistic in that they experience pleasure through pain.  Men who are ballbusted often have a fetish for shoes, boots, feet, or legs.  Ballbustees (men who are being ballbusted) report feeling pleasure from the vulnerability that they feel when being ball busted.  The dominant/submissive power dynamic creates a lot of pleasure and can become aroused at the thought of their master busting their balls (Kinkly, 2018).

People like ballbusting for a variety of reasons and the testicles are a common target on a submissive’s body for a dominant as the testes are often seen to represent a man’s sexuality.  People report finding ballbusting erotic because the testicles are important for sex and reproduction and the thought of nullifying these organs can be very arousing for a dominant partner (Kinkly, 2018).

shock photoBallbusters report enjoying the power they feel when they bring a submissive man to his knees in shock and pain.  There doesn’t need to be much stimulation or force behind ball busting as it is such a sensitive area, and it can bring dominants a great deal of pleasure and entertainment.

Other Variations of Ballbusting

Ballbusting is also known as tamakeri, a Japenese term that means “testicle kicking”.  Tamakeri tends to put an emphasis on martial arts and self-defense by showing women attacking mens testicles.  It mostly focuses on attacks by women and often involves sexual intercourse after the attack.

Other variations of ballbusting or cock-and-ball torture can be:

Ball stretching

Cock cages

Needles/Nails through Scrotum and Penis

Injecting Penis

A way less popular known fetish is the fetish of cuntbusting- read and watch more about this curious fetish:

Cuntbusting


Cuntbusting, as a parallel to ballbusting, is a masochistic/power activity in which a female is struck in the groin. This may involve kneeing, kicking, punching, clawing and squeezing, using the knees, or any other object to inflict pain upon the sensitive Bartholin’s Glands within the female’s vulva or upon the clitoris itself. This can be performed by any gender or orientation but is also performed on a woman, by another woman.

Cuntbusting in terms of a fetish, is a consensual, sexual act aimed to create pleasure from the pain of being struck, hit, kicked, stomped, or otherwise impacted in the vulva or vaginal area.

For the same reasons as ballbusting, cuntbusting can also engage all of the BDSM dynamics.  Many cuntbustees are tied up during a cunt busting session, or restricted (bondage) and are being disciplined or punished by their mistresses/masters/tops/dominant.  Most report either one side and/or the other side enjoying their role (the sadistic/masochistic dynamic) and all parties often report it is a fun activity (even if it is painful, because for some, that is the fun).

Interestingly enough, however, that while men often enjoy watching or fantasizing about cuntbusting, there is often more acceptability for female-to-female cuntbusting rather than male-to-female cuntbusting.  I have some theories of why that is, but can’t validate it with anything online or immediately accessible so I’ll keep them to myself right now.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of valid information out there (when googling cuntbusting, you really only get pornography, youtube videos of cuntbusting in movies and on clips [mostly funny], and one guy who wrote two books of poetry on cuntbusting).

Poem 3
May your cunt be busted
So it will sting
Then when you’ve recovered
Search for cuntbusting on Bing

-Andrew Bushard, Let’s Cherish Cuntbusting, 2015

Poem 2
This world needs ballbusting
Never forget it
Just not now
Instead, it’s cuntbusting time
More and more cuntbusting
A fetish we need to spread

– Andrew Bushard, Let’s Use Free Speech to Exalt Cuntbusting, 2015

Also known as twat busting, pussy kicks, cunt splitting, taco shots, and cunt punt (are there others?) a simple search won’t result in very much, hence why I wrote this blog to help folks who are interested in ballbusting-cuntbusting

How to “bust” safely

The biggest concern about ball- or cuntbusting is doing it safely as not to cause permanent damage or extreme pain.  These areas are extremely sensitive and need to be handled and interacted with with care.

Whenever we engage in any type of impact play we have to take special care to make sure that our PLAY does not permanently or even temporarily cause us physical, psychological, or emotional harm.

Whats also important is that we don’t sacrifice safety for the pleasure/pain dynamic and that we are aware when we are in subspace, we can often tolerate very high levels of pain but that doesn’t necessarily mean our tolerance equates to safety.  Pain is a good indicator of going too far- but how do we reconcile the fact in ballbusting-cuntbusting that the POINT is often pain?

In cunt busting, the point of contact aims to be the clitoris, vulva, and pelvis and a full on impact kick or punch can actually compress the clitoris and vulva against the pelvis and pelvic bones causing extreme pain and possibly lead to chronic pain issues like bruising on the vulva and clitoris, bruising to the pelvic bone, and vulvodynia.

This pain can negatively affect other sexual experiences, in the short term and the long term.  A bruised pelvis can make other sexual and non-sexual experiences painful, and long term pain and impact on the vulva/vagina/clitoris can reduce sensitivity or create longterm pain (some cyclists and horseback riders report repeated impact can create pain and reduce sensitivity during sexual stimulation).  A straddle injury is an injury when there is impact to the pelvis and cuntbusting and ballbusting can often result in this.

In ball busting, the point of contact actually aims to be the balls, and pain can be accomplished without direct impact to the pelvis, which may reduce pain, compression, and damage to internal organs, but still is risky to the testes and general reproductive system.  This brings up the point of ballbusting affecting fertility.  Some research studies have reported “evidence of subfertility” with research participants with testicular trauma  (Kukadia et al., 1996).

There have been some reports of people being afraid of a “ruptured testicle” but no one reporting that that has happened.  Some report that testosterone can decrease with impact but I found no research studies confirming this.

With ballbusting, there is concern about damage to other parts of the “plumbing”.  Looking at the graphic below, you can see how sensitive and close other important parts of the reproductive system are to the testes:

It’s important that we make sure that what we are doing doesn’t damage any of these other essential reproductive AND urinary functions.

Other risks in ball busting:

Penile Fracture

Testicular Trauma

To learn more about testes and why they are so important to take care of, read 9 Ballbusting Things You Should Know About Testicles 

Here are some safety tips

  1. Discuss long before you do anything with ballbusting-cuntbusting with your partner(s) about why you are interested in it and what about it turns you on or interests you.  Listen to your partners view with an open mind and without judgment.  It took a lot for your partner to bring this up to you- most people are very ashamed about their desire to play with this.
  2. If you do decide to pursue this with a partner, make sure you have some safe words to go along with the play.  I like the Stoplight Format for safewords, as it allows you to give feedback to your partner(s) about where you are at.
  3. Begin to categorize what you want to try in a few different ways:
    1. Figure out what are Mild/Moderate/Severe Activities and what you want to be doing:
      1. Mild Ballbusting-Cuntbusting: slaps/pinches
      2. Moderate: kicks, knees, punches
      3. Severe: getting tied up and and a bat being taken full force to the genitals
    2. Levels of Force
      1. On a scale of 1-100% force, figure out what that looks like.
      2. Practice on a pillow or a punching bag at the gym- figure out a common language with your partner so they don’t come at it at 100% force your first go around.
      3. Some folks recommend staying at 50% force for safety and pleasure reasons.
  4. Contract with your partner around this type of play and put it into writing.  This is important to have in case a healthcare provider or law enforcement gets involved and doesn’t understand that this type of play is consensual.  Read more from the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom about this issue (and if you haven’t considered it you should since abuse vs. consensual play is often a little gray in the eyes of the law):
    1. Consensual SM Activities: A Field Guide for Law Enforcement
    2. SM Issues for Healthcare Providers
    3. Police Interactions ? What to do when you deal with police
  5. Take precautions to engage in this safely
    1. Wear a cup, jockstrap, or jillstrap with severe impact play.  I know it might not be as sexy as just doing it (but you can find sexy-ish ones out there that might fulfill other fantasies), but if you want to be able to play for a while, you need to keep yourself healthy.
    2. Have the buster wear soft/padded shoes to absorb some of the impact.  If using fists, use boxing gloves for padding.  If using the foot, use kickboxing foam boots for more padding.  Take care of both the buster and the bustee as both can get injured.
    3. Have a mentor that is also into this who might more experience in it to give you tips and tricks of the trade and be a place you can ask questions.  Having a community around this type of impact play is really important for checks and balances to make sure you have someone to check in with about whether what you are doing is SAFE, SANE and consensual (sometimes subjectively we can’t always be the person to know what is “safe” and “sane” if we derive pleasure from pain.
  6. Know when to seek medical attention.  Here are some suggestions on when to seek medical attention:
    1. Severe pain in the region
    2. Any penetrating injury to the scrotum/vulva
    3. Bruising and/or swelling of the scrotum/vulva
    4. Trouble peeing or blood in the urine
    5. Fevers after testicular injury or vulval injury
  7. Know your limits- just because it feels good doesn’t mean you should go harder.  There is real risk to this type of impact play so don’t push yourself.  See if you can find a sweet spot where pleasure is maximized and damage/risk in minimized.

I hope those practicing this out there have found this article helpful and that it filled in some gaps for folks who are practicing ballbusting-cuntbusting.  As a disclaimer, I want to be clear that I am not a sex worker, professional dominatrix, or someone who will or does engage in this practice.  I am a sex therapist who is trying to make a difference in the field and help people engage their kinky side in a safe and consensual way.

If you are seeking a sex therapist and reside in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas, please fill out the form below.  If you are seeking a therapist in another state, I suggest going to www.aasect.org and seeking out a therapist in your state.  Happy busting!

 

 

 

Learning More About an Adult Baby and Diaper Lover

Rhiannon No Comments

One of my most popular #FetishFridays segments is on Adult Baby Diaper Lovers as a “fetish” (remember, we use that term loosely around just fun, fetish-y, fantasy, and fantastic sex play”).  With over 10,000 views and counting, its the most viewed YouTube video I have on my channel- which begged me to write a blog around Adult Babies and Diaper Lovers.

i
Some of the information I have written here is from a presentation from the 2018 AASECT Annual Conference entitled.  “Talk about Taboo! Interpreting the World of Age Play: Adult Babies, Diaper Fetishes, Littles and Middles” by Rhoda Lipscomb, PhD, CST.

You can read more about her study on AD/DL’s here with her doctoral dissertation here.

There is a lot more information out there for Adult Babies/Diaper Lovers but here is just a general overview around AB/DL.  My aim is to allow AB/DLs to be able to find an affirming and non-judgmental sex therapist to help them when they feel like they need therapy!  AB/DLs often report not feeling comfortable sharing with their therapist their enjoyment of AB/DL for fear of judgment or fear that they might be linked in with a sex offender category.  This isolates AB/DLs even more, and encourages shame and secrecy.

DEFINITIONS

Clinical Definitions (according to DSM- highly pathological and I don’t diagnose any of my clients with these diagnosis nor agree with how they apply, these terms might be something to be aware of.

  • Paraphilic infantilism (needs to be significant distress or impairment around
  • Autonepiophilia (fetishistic side)

Common Terms

Adult Baby or AB:
“An adult baby is a mature person who likes pretending to be an infant. An adult baby may play the role of a baby full-time or only some of the time. The lifestyle adult babies practice is known as infantilism.Being an adult baby can be a way for some people to enjoy a sexual fetish known as paraphilic infantilism or adult baby syndrome. However, some adult babies have no sexual motivation for their role and enjoy engaging in playing activities. Most adult babies play infants of their own gender. However, some adult babies, known as sissy babies, play infants of the opposite gender (Kinkly, 2018).  Adult babies can be sexually fetishistic, yet also possible to be non-sexual.  More of an ego state or identity.”

(Please note: the videos in this blog helpful but I don’t always agree with the language or representation in the video, but I think it does do a decent job of sharing these particular ABDLs experiences).

Diaper Lover or DL:

“Diaper fetishism is a sexual fetish where an individual derives sexual pleasure from either wearing a diaper, seeing others wear diapers, or both.

Diaper fetishism is associated with infantilism and child-like fantasies. For some individuals it is only the thought of wearing a diaper, or the thought of someone else wearing a diaper that causes sexual arousal, while for others it is the infant/caretaker role-play that stimulates excitation. For some individuals it is messing (urinating or defecating) in a diaper that is the source of arousal.

Diaper fetishism can also be used within the context of BDSM activity, where the diaper is used as a source of humiliation” (Kinkly 2018).  Diaper lovers are a sexual fetish by classic definition.diapers photoAB/DL– both a little bit of diapers and a little bit of adult babies

Littles/Bigs/Middles-

Little refers to a submissive person who role plays a younger age. The little is the little girl or little boy in a daddy-dom BDSM role playing act. This person is dominated by a daddy. In rarer instances, the dominant person may be a mommy. The little dresses for the part. They also alter their voice to seem younger.

A middle is an adult who roleplays as an older child during age play scenarios. A middle is known as a type of age player.

Typically, a middle pretends to be someone aged from 11 to 17. Middles roleplay being older than adult babies and littles, but younger than bigs.

A big can also be called a Caregiver/Babysitter/Big/Mommy/Daddy: These terms are usually used to describe the one in charge. Feel free to identify with whatever term makes you feel most comfortable. (Kinkly.com)

Age Play

Ageplay is the idea of role playing someone of a different age than you biologically are. Many ageplayers prefer picking a role in the younger ages such as an infant, a toddler, a younger child, or a teenager. The specific age someone prefers will be unique to the person themselves.  (This video is helpful but I don’t always agree with the language or representation in the video, but I think it does do a decent job of sharing these particular ABDLs experiences).

 

WHAT THIS IS AND WHAT THIS IS NOT

  • This is not pedophilia.  This is erotic play and erotic theater, where consenting adults use their imaginations
  • There is a HUGE difference between coercive vs. non-coercive behavior:
    • When you don’t have the consent of others to be a part of your scene (public place) or when you participate with children/ACTUAL similar aged peers (playing on the playground with other three year olds when you are an age player).
  • ABDL Continuum
    • A survey that Lipscomb (2018) cited says that more people on the diaper lover side (sexualized) than the Adult Baby side
  • Sexual vs. Anxiety Reduction
  • Regression vs. Roleplay
    • Regression: the person thinks as a child of that age would think and act.  Even in deep regression the individual essentially is stil an adult with access to adult ab

Why am I an adult baby `

WHO ARE AB/DLs?

GENDER: 86% Male, 8% Female* (this was reported as being a very low statistic and that a lot more women involved), 6% transgender continuum

DEVELOPMENT: First interest is similar for males and females with peaks at approximately ages 3-6 and pre-puberty 10-12.  Women are more likely to develop an interest after the age of 20.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM: Cause is unknown.  Most likely many possible causes.
– Trauma: research shows only 2-3% relate to trauma
– 54% surveyed thought it might be stumbling across AB/DL reference or being introduced by friend/lover
– 30% believe they may have been born with desire to wear diapers
Lot more research needs to be done.

COMMON ISSUES SEEN IN THERAPY

Most AB/DLs come to therapy for a lot of reasons that many other people come to therapy for and don’t have hugely different issues from other populations.  Here is a list of common issues that clients who identify as AB/DL present with in therapy:

  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Embarassment
  • Fear of being judged or thought to be a pedophile
  • Learning self-acceptance
  • Explaining to partner/family

BENEFITS OF THERAPY

AB/DL’s benefit a lot from therapy

  • Self-acceptance
  • Stress/anxiety reduction
  • Improve depression
  • Anger reduction
  • Sleep
  • Acceptance of partner/family
  • Balance between Big and Little Side

WHY ARE MORE AB/DLs NOT IN THERAPY?

  • Fear of psychiatric community
  • Most advise others to seek therapy; won’t go themselves
  • 53% have seen a therapist, 21% have gone, never mentioned AB/DL, 13% mentioned it while there for other issues, 7% did therapy because of pressure from family/partner, only 5% went because they wanted help with their AB/DL interests

DOING THERAPY WITH AB/DL

As a therapist who specializes in working with AB/DL, I aim to do a lot o

  • Co-occurring disorders: anxiety, depression, OCD, sleep difficulty, alcohol/drug abuse
  • Using interest in diapers to help treat some of these disorders
  • Bring balance between Big and little side

More Resources to learn more about AB/DLs:

Younger generation- access to the internet- more than twice as likely to report positive views of their AB/DL intersts than earlier generations.

AB/DL as a sexual orientation

 

No confirmed cases of people being able to change this.  Binge/purge cycles.

Books:

There’s A Baby in my Bed by Rosalie Bent

Adult Babies: Psychology & Practices by Rosalie Bent

Conventions:

Teddy Con

CAPCon

Other AB/DL Conventions

Discernment Counseling and Sex Therapy

Rhiannon No Comments

An area of interest of mine that I’d like to write a little about is a model of couples work called discernment counseling.  Discernment counseling is a short term counseling model that aims to help couples who might be on the brink of ending their relationship gain clarity and confidence about the decisions they make in regards to the future of their relationship.  Discernment counseling was based on a model of counseling initially introduced by Betty Carter at a conference in the 1980’s and then revamped and revived by Bill Doherty (2017) after working with a family law judge who was noticing that many couples were in the process of divorcing that seemed ambivalent or unsure that divorce was the right choice for them.  It seemed like some couples get on the divorce train and don’t feel like they can get off it once the train starts moving.

divorce photoDiscernment counseling aims to help couples on the brink of ending their relationship gain clarity and confidence in the next steps of their relationship.  I first became interested in helping couples make decisions about their relationships when I obtained an Advanced Certificate in Divorce Mediation from Hofstra University in 2007.  While we weren’t trained specifically in discernment counseling (it wasn’t really a “thing” back then), we were trained in the therapists role in a divorce mediation process.  Essentially, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist on a divorce mediation team, my role would be to assist the couples in making the best decisions for their relationship, children, family, etc. as they moved through the divorce process.  While the attorneys on the team advocated for the law and in the best interest of the client(s), my presence would lend the attention to the relational factors that needed to be considered in order for the clients to feel empowered in their divorce process and in order for the clients to make the decisions they needed to make that were in the best interest of their families.

I often find couples proceed with divorce because “that’s what you do” when something goes wrong in the relationship (betrayal, cheating, domestic violence, sex addiction, etc.) and aren’t really aware or encouraged to look at all the options that might be out there for them: couples therapy, discernment therapy, planned separation, and/or just taking some time, taking a deep breath, and putting decision making on hold until everyone is in a better place.

Discernment Counseling and Sex Therapy

You might be wondering how a SEX THERAPIST gets involved with helping couples decide what the appropriate path is for their relationship when facing discernment concerns.  Well, often times, my clients come see me for sex therapy but the situation has gotten so dire, usually around sex AND other issues, that there is a leaning out partner (someone who is thinking they might not want the relationship/marriage any more).  While I begin most couple and relationship work with the intention of working on the couple/relationship, some times for a variety of circumstances, the relationship moves into a place where couples therapy doesn’t have a chance of being successful unless the mixed agenda couple (one partner leaning in/one partner leaning out) has a clear path to work on their relationship.  Sometimes a sexual issue is enough to push a couple into a place of discernment- “do I stay or do I go?”.  Often times it is a sexual issue that got the couple into the room, but other issues that contribute to the overall general concerns, are in need of a discernment process.

Do any of these situations sound like you or your situation?

  • If we don’t fix our sex life, I don’t think I can go on in this relationship/marriage.
  • I don’t want to get divorced or break up but I’m getting to a point in our relationship that I think that is what has to be done in order for me to have a sexually satisfying relationship.
  • My partner has said that divorce is inevitable if we don’t get more on the same page sexually.
  • My partner had an affair and is thinking about divorce.  I want to work on the marriage, my partner doesn’t think it can be saved.  I’d do anything to save this marriage.
  • We’ve both been sexually unhappy for a while.  We’ve tried different things swinging, non-monogamy, etc. but I just want to be sexually satisfied in my primary relationship.  I’m thinking about ending things so I can start over with someone else.
  • Our sex life has never been okay and I think that divorce is the only answer for me getting a happy sex life.

Provided there is a leaning in (read more for definitions) partner in each of these scenarios, discernment counseling could be a good option for couples in this situation.


Discernment is a valuable process for many couples and relationships, because working with a relationship where one partner is leaning out and one partner is leaning in a couples therapy doesn’t always prove to be successful. Unless we have a commitment to work on the marriage and work in therapy, results from couples therapy aren’t often successful.

phone call photoHere I’ll go over the basics of discernment counseling.  I often go over these points in the first phone call to each partner(s) in efforts to orient each partner to what it is that we are going to be doing in the discernment process.

Goal of Discernment Counseling:

The goal of discernment is to help couples arrive at greater clarity and confidence in their decision making about the future of their marriage based on a deeper understanding of the problems in the marriage and each person’s contribution to them.

  • Greater clarity and confidence in their decision making about divorcing.
  • Better equipped to understand their prospects for reconciliation.

Discernment Counseling focuses on getting the clients solidly on one of three paths:

Path 1: Status Quo Path- Marriage goes on as it is.

Path 2: Separation or Divorce Path- Proceed with Separation/Divorce

Path 3: Possible Reconciliation Path- Both partners agree to a 6-month all-out effort to make the marriage healthy without divorce on the table, to see if they can get the relationship to commit.   A PROVISIONAL commitment.

Discernment Counseling

  • Is not therapy, we don’t problem solve but if problems come up, we can note them as problems that need to be addressed if Path 3 (Intensive Therapy) is chosen.
  • The goal is to help you decided whether to try to solve your problems or choose a different path.
  • No change should be expected in the relationship during the discernment process as this isn’t therapy.
  • We are going to ASSESS the situation, not TREAT the situation. You won’t get assignments as couples, but may get separate assignments based on where you stand.
  • The point of discernment counseling is to prevent half-hearted couples therapy attempts and failures in couples work.

Who is Discernment Counseling Good For:

When one is leaning in, and one is leaning out (mixed agenda couples)

Leaning In Partner- partner who is leaning towards maintaining the relationship and reconciliation and are motivated to fix the relationship

Leaning Out Partner– partner who is leaning towards ending the relationship or wants out, but has not made any final decision

Mixed Agenda Couple– when one partner is leaning out and the other leaning in

When is Discernment Counseling Not Recommended:

  • When both partners are leaning out.
  • When divorce is 100% inevitable and everyone is out the door.
  • When you just want a safe place to announce to your partner that you want a divorce
  • When someone(s) not sure if I want to stay in this marriage, but they are SURE they want to work on it and give it a try and they aren’t a mixed agenda couple. They want to roll up their sleeves and try couples therapy.

What it looks like:

Length of treatment: 1-5 sessions, no need to commit to all sessions, we will only commit to one session at at time

Session Time: Generally each session is 100 minutes, with one-to-one conversations, and conjoined conversations

 

Does this sound like something that would be helpful to you or your clients?  If so, please feel free to reach out using the form below!

 

 

 

Furries, Therians, Pets and Pups

Rhiannon No Comments

#Furries #Therians #Pets and #Pups

My #FetishFriday segments touch upon furries and pony play but I wanted to dive a little deeper into the topic of furries, therians, pets, and pups as well as pony play in order to reach out to a large group of folks that might be seeking out sex therapy services but don’t know where to find an affirming and furry-friendy and pet-aware therapist.

For those of you who don’t know what all this means, that’s okay!  I ask that you read this blog with an open mind AND to be open to perhaps one of these topics is exactly what you might be missing in your own sex and fantasy life (and that many of these personas/identities have little to nothing to do with sex).

For those of you who DO know what this all means, I am hoping by writing this blog, you’ll have more hope on finding an affirming and knowledgeable therapist who won’t pathologize or judge your play/identity.  If you are located in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, or Texas, I can work with you online or in person in Austin, TX.  If you live beyond those states, I would recommend checking out www.aasect.org to help you find an affirming therapist to work with- after all, furries have therapy needs too right?

A lot of the information I am presenting in this blog come from my own clinical experience and training as well as drawn from the presentation “Furries and Pets and Therians, Oh my! Exploring Humanimal Intersubjectivities” presented by Carly Goodkin at the 2018 AASECT Conference.

 

furries photo

So let’s get going!  Let’s start with some definitions so we know what we are talking about here (and if it isn’t clear with what we are talking about, feel free to do some of your own research on what it is that we are talking about!):

Furries: someone with an interest in anthropomorphic animals.

Anthropomorphism: the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.

Fursonas: an avatar or alter ego that someone role-plays or identifies as when interacting with other members of the community of furries, also known as the Furry Fandom

Furries is not zoophilia or beastiality.  The majority of furries do not cite sexual gratification as their main motivator (International Anthropomorphic Research Project, 2016)

Pet Play: form of role-play in which one of the multiple participants adopt the role of domesticated, wild, livestock, or mythical animal.  What one might do as a pet:

  • Eating
  • Resting
  • Training
  • The pet may exhibit traditionally animalistic characteristics, such as extensive non-verbal communication featuring animal noises, biting, and nuzzling
  • Pets may interact with each other at conventions

Often associated with the kink community and power exchange.  There might be packs associated with pets, that might have a hierarchy.  There is a lot of gear and the gear/toys generally fall into two categories (gear that help you channel that animal identity- tails, ears, clothes or gear that you would have to play with a pet- leashes, bowls, pet toys).  Pet play can be a scene pet (playing as a pet only in a scene) or a lifestyle pet (playing as a pet as a greater identity in their own lifestyle- home, public, school, work?).

Human Pets: Some individuals engage in human-pet play, a form of role-play in which an individual is treated as a pet without taking on animal characteristics.            Below is a great online petplay class by a youtuber that will walk you through her experience of petplay and being a human pet.

Therian/Therianthrope: People who believe that they are, in whole or in part, a non-human animal and this is part of their core being spiritually or mentally

There is sometimes an Awakening: realizing and accepting that you are a therian and some therians identify as transpecies and draw parallels with transgender narratives.   There can also be mental and/or physical shifting: perceived changes in one’ mental state or aura from human to animal.

Otherkin: People who identify, in whole, or in part, of something non-human:
– Divine
– Monsterkin
– Aviankin
– Godkin
– Spacekin
– Alienkin
– Angelkin

There is a great YouTube Channel: Therian Nation that can explain these concepts more in detail than I do here.  Here is their intro video:

Working with Furries, Pets, Pups, and Therians in the Therapeutic Context

As an affirming therapist and aware and friendly of the furry, pet, pup, therian and kink communities, I want to make sure that my clients who identify in these populations at the very least feel comfortable with not only sharing with their therapist how they identify/play but also feel comfortable that their therapist will not judge or pathologize them for being a part of these communities.

Many furries report not feeling comfortable either going to therapy or sharing with their therapist they participate in this community because of fear of judgment and lack of understanding and the fear of being stereotyped into a category of people that only participates sexually in this identity.  As mentioned before, most furries do not participate for the main reason of sexual gratification.

Why do People Participate/Identify as these Identities?

So why do people participate in these identities? A lot report that it feels more natural (therians) and that this is a fundamental part of their identity.  Some share that it is a social and emotional outlet for them and that they built a strong community within the communities around participate (furries).  Many enjoy the erotic, imaginative, and playful nature of the play (pups, pets, and ponies).  Almost all report a change in their headspace.

Headspace: a basic mindset permission to go away from executive functioning and going primal.

“Great psychological and emotional release to be able to come home and let loos the restrictions of humanity and what humans are ‘supposed to be like'”.  – Skylerpet

People often report that getting into their character or playing in these scenes allows them to let go of human stressors, expectations, anxieties and just be more primal and basic in their play.

Others report that this is the only time they find that allows them to explore their identity and sense of self.

Identity and self-exploration: People share that taking on animal forms allow them to express or explore an innate part of self, and gives them the opportunity to explore different characteristics culturally associated with animals (pups are playful, foxes are mischievous, mules are stubborn, bunnies are timid).  This augments their inner strengths and allows them to create an identity that is an idealized version of self.

Gender and Sexual Orientation Exploration: It allows people to the opportunity to play with fantasy around gender and sexual orientation.

Provides expanded social experiences: People cite this as one of the main reasons for playing and exploring these areas.  Playing/being in these spaces allow stronger nonverbal forms of interaction and broadened forms of physical affection.  Movement beyond normative forms of social interaction to experience altered communication and physical contact could be enjoyable for people.  Many are seeking novelty and often participants report having higher levels of skin hunger.  These communities can easily accommodate and welcome those who have language barriers, who might typically struggle with socializing, and who are differently abled physically or mentally.  Where people may have not felt that they belonged in other social experiences, these communities are very inclusive.

Community Inclusivity: These communities have an emphasis on acceptance and inclusivity, including people who are marginalized on basis of gender identity and sexual orientation and disability status.

Escape from Oppressive Structures: These spaces allow participants to escape from oppressive structures and experience a freedom from the ways they SHOULD be.

With a combination of headspace, inclusivity, and expanded ways of interacting can mean an escape from: capitalist/materialistic concerns and oppression, homophobia, transphobia, racism, body shaming, ableism, and other issues of the world… where else can someone get this?

Expanded BDSM Experiences: human-animal intersubjectivity may offer different experiences of subjugation, humiliation, or degradation; dependence or caregiving especially in a pet/owner dynamic.

Sex as a Motivator: For some people sexual gratification is a primary or partial motivator.  This can be through watching content, in-person interactions, and online chatting or roleplaying.  There is a common interest to meet partners who participate and are accepting of the lifestyle.  But as I mentioned several times, most do not participate for sex or sexual interactions as a main, primary motivator.

A subset of furry pornography is called “Yiff” which is defined as furry content porn.

Yiffing: is the act of having sex when you are this furry mindset.  Most people are not having sex in their fur suits: expensive, hard to clean, and really hot.

 More Research on Anthropomorphism

International Anthropomorphic Research Project

Conventions

Anthrocon

FurFest

Furry Fiesta

Hopefully, this piece has helped to explain these often misunderstood but very delightful sexual subcultures.  If you are a furry, therian, pet, pup, pony and any way you are and are looking for a therapist, feel free to reach out at the number or email below.

 

EMDR and Sex Therapy

Rhiannon No Comments

A new technique I am happy to begin to introduce and to integrate into some clients’ sex therapy treatment plan is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy.  My landing on EMDR has been a curious one- as a client myself I have had some experience with EMDR, but never with EMDR and sex therapy and I’ve also had many clients have successful experiences with EMDR therapy to work with trauma and intrusive thoughts and memories.

But recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to start my own EMDR Training through the first weekend of EMDR Basic Training on June 29-July 1, 2018 in Austin, TX.  My entire EMDR training will be two, 20-hour training weekends plus 10 additional hours of small group and one-on-one consultation and training sessions for a total of 50-hours of training in the EMDR Basic Training.  My second weekend will be in October, 2018 in Austin, TX so by January, 2019, I will have completed the EMDR Basic Training.  Until then, I will be following the practice guidelines in between training and will only begin integrating some EMDR with clients who I have an established relationship who meet the qualifications to begin the work with me.

My intention is ultimately to integrate EMDR with sex therapy clients and to specifically to start working with victims of sexual assault in Austin, TX.  A unique training and volunteer opportunity presented itself recently that I applied for and out of hundreds of applications, I was one of 57 therapists, social workers, and counselors selected to participate in a program that aims to assist survivors of sexual assault in Austin TX.  Through a partnership with Austin Police Department, Victim Services Division and the Austin/Travis County Sexual Assault Response and Resource Team (SARRT), an innovative program was funded that will provide complete EMDR training to therapists in the private and not-for-profit sectors in Travis County in order to provide free therapy for survivors of sexual assault in the City of Austin and Travis County.

lab photoIf you aren’t from Austin, TX or Texas and/or don’t know what has been happening with rape kits from sexual assault survivors, in the short of it, we had a huge and unacceptable backlog of rape kits that had not been processed, with over 2,200-3,000 kits waiting to be tested dated as far back to the 1990’s just in Austin alone, with nearly 10,000-20,000 kits backlogged in other counties and the state as a whole.  I won’t get into WHY this was happening (it’s complicated and involves a lot of factors, not just negligence and long wait times and lab contracts, but victim cooperation and a variety of other issues), but it is totally unacceptable (you can find out more information online from various news sources about this).  As of April 10, 2018, all kits from Austin’s backlogs are in process or have been sent out, but now what?  It was becoming painfully clear that these survivors needed services as their kits came back and their cases began the long and arduous journey of being considered and processed.  APD Victim Services and SARRT realized that these survivors need services with trained trauma professionals, and got funding to train local professionals to provide evidence-based trauma treatment.  Each trained professional is required to provide at least 50 pro-bono sessions to survivors of sexual assault in the three years after training.  Through this program, over 3,000 pro-bono sessions will be provided to the survivors of sexual assault in the Austin and Travis County area.

I am very proud to be selected for this program, help victims of sexual assault in my community, and to develop my skills to begin integrating EMDR and sex therapy.  Specifically, my goal in helping my clients and survivors of sexual assault is to not only address the trauma but specifically work with sexual functioning concerns and post-assault/trauma sexuality.  Because I am a sex therapist, I am a more specialized therapist than many of the therapists, social workers, and counselors in the training in that my training is sex, sexuality, relationships, and gender specific.  I have a more specified knowledge of treatment of sexual issues related to sexual trauma and assault as well as relational and gender issues.  I am greatly looking forward to not only providing quality sex therapy services to existing clients but also welcome survivors of sexual assault into my practice and integrate EMDR and sex therapy.

So I wanted to take a little time to inform my clients, new and existing, a little bit about what EMDR is, what it treats, why we think it works, and what its about.  This is by no means an extensive explanation, and there is so much research out there on EMDR that you can find a ton of other information about it in books, articles, webinars, etc.

To get started, here is a video from Bessel van der Kolk, a leading theorist, therapist and author of a pivotal work on trauma and the body entitled The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain, and Body in the Transformation of Trauma

 

Here is a popular short video that explains a little bit about what to expect with EMDR and how it is believed to work:

 

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an evidence-based therapy model that has been empirically proven and validated with more research conducted and published on the treatment of trauma than any other therapy model.  This model works and has been PROVEN to work.  That is pretty cool!  EMDR is a distinct, comprehensive treatment approach and includes 8 phases of treatment:

  1.  History Taking and Treatment Planning
  2. Preparation
  3. Assessment (Setting Up Target)
  4. Desensitization (Reprocessing of Memory)
  5. Installation (of Positive Cognition)
  6. Body Scan
  7. Closure
  8. Re-Evaluation

It is important to note that EMDR Therapy has these 8 phases of treatment, most which do not involve any eye movement/reprocessing.  Often times, clients will be eager to get to the eye movement interventions but sometimes Steps 1-3 take quite a bit of time to get to.  It’s important to understand that EMDR is a treatment and therapeutic program, not just a one and done technique.

What does EMDR treat?

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)
  • Disorders of Extreme Stress (DESNOS)
  • Depression
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Complicated Grief
  • Addictions
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Performance anxiety or enhancement
  • Treatment of Children
  • Couples Therapy
  • Chronic Illness and Somatic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders

What SEXUAL ISSUES does EMDR help with/treat?

  • PTSD and C-PTSD from sexual trauma/abuse/assault
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sexual anxiety
  • Dissociation during sex
  • Fear of Sex
  • Aversion to sex, sexual aversion
  • Grief and loss related to and unrelated to but affecting sexual functioning
  • Sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity, problematic sexual behavior
  • Sexual performance anxiety
  • Couples and relationship sexual therapy
  • Chronic sexual pain and chronic sexual illness
  • Chronic illness that has sexual effects
  • Somatic processing issues around sexual functioning
  • And many others!

How does EMDR work?

This question can be answered in many different ways, from simple answers to complex answers.  Here is a sample explanation of EMDR that might give you some insight to how it works:

“Often when something traumatic happens, it seems to get locked in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and so on.  Since the experience is locked there, it continues to be triggered whenever a reminder comes up.  It can the basis for a lot of discomfort and sometimes a lot of negative emotions, such as fear and helplessness that we can’t seem to control.  These are really the emotions connected with the old experience that are being triggered.  The eye movements we use in EMDR seem to unlock the nervous system and allow your brain to process the experience.  That may be what is happening in REM, or dream, sleep: The eye movements may be involved in processing the unconscious material.  The important thing to remember is that it is your own brain that will be the healing and that you are the one in control”

– Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Basic principles, protocols, and procedures.  New York: The Guilford Press. pg. 123-124.

That may seem like a vague answer, but there are a lot of theories on how and why EMDR works and I don’t want to spend a ton of time explaining why (if you want to know, I suggest doing a little more research) but it gives you an idea of a few of the theories on WHY and HOW EMDR works.

So what is EMDR all about?

EMDR Therapy is a treatment program and therapeutic model that aims to help you change your relationship, neurologically, emotionally, cognitively, and physiologically with memories, trauma, disturbing cognitions, or disturbing emotions.  In using EMDR and sex therapy, I hope to use it as a therapy in and of itself with my clients, existing and new, as well as an adjunct model with clients that may have other complicated therapeutic needs but a component of the work would be appropriately addressed by EMDR.  Like I mentioned above, many clients believe that we will get right into eye movements if we are doing EMDR, but in fact, EMDR is a treatment protocol that is a lot more than just eye movements and takes time and multiple sessions to assess, prepare, and conduct.

What EMDR can do though, is incredible- it can unlock and allow you to reprocess cognitions, emotions, and sensations that you may have previously felt that there was nothing you can do about.  Trauma is everywhere, but you don’t have to suffer or struggle with trauma- you can heal and reprocess your experience of trauma.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

If you aren’t located in Austin, TX and want to find an EMDR professional, the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) is a great place to start:  FIND AN EMDR THERAPIST


If you are in a dangerous situation or need help now: please call 911.

You can also call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 1-800.656.HOPE (4673)

You can also call the Austin, TX Crisis Helpline: 512-472-HELP(4357)

If you are in Austin, TX (and beyond) and have been a survivor of sexual assault or trauma, here are some resources for you.

Austin, TX Victim Services Resources

The SAFE Alliance

If you are interested in FREE therapy in Austin, TX and are a survivor of sexual assault, the following organizations offer free therapy to survivors of sexual assault:

YWCA Greater Austin

SAFE Place Counseling 

  • SAFE Place offers a mens survivor support group as well as individual and relationship counseling.

If you are interested in working with me, please fill out this form below and I’ll contact you within 24-48 hours to see I can be most helpful!

 

What is Vaginal Rejuvenation and Can it Help my Sexual Issues?

Rhiannon No Comments

Have you ever heard of vaginal rejuvenation?

Recently, at the 2018 AASECT Conference, I attended a presentation entitled “Vaginal Rejuvenation: A New Technology for Vaginal Health and Improved Intimacy” presented by my fellow online sex therapist colleague Lisa Thomas, LCSW, LMFT, CST-S and Susan Schroeder, M.D.

This technology has been around for several years but about two years ago, we started using it in the vaginal area and have been finding impressive results.  While more short and long-studies need to be done, this might be a helpful option for some women as long as they consult their health care professional and do the research necessary to understand all the risks, benefits, and unknowns.

What is vaginal rejuvenation?

Vaginal Rejuvenation consists of interventions (surgical and nonsurgical) aimed at improving vaginal laxity, stress urinary incontinence, vaginal lubrication, erotic sensation and/or external appearance.

The field of non-surgical female genital rejuvenation is growing as the changes women experience with age are receiving greater attention.

This is a newer technology that can be LIFE CHANGING for women and many people aren’t aware of this technology.

Three Reasons Why Women Choose Vaginal Rejuvenation

  1. It’s not just about better sex.  There are numerous reasons women choose to undergo vaginal rejuvenation which can include loose tampons, scar tissue in the vaginal, experience a “popping’ sound during yoga class or when walking, urinary stress incontinence and problems passing bowel movements.
  2. But the sex will be better.  Because surgical vaginal rejuvenation results in vaginal tightening, friction during intercourse is increased which means greater stimulation and pleasure during sex.  Studies report that 83% – 90% of vaginal rejuvenation patients experience successful results and an improved sex life following surgery.  It has been reported to increase sensation and the patient sex life is enhanced by resulting self confidence and increasing libido.
  3. It’s a long lasting investment.  Thought it’s normal that all parts of the body relax slightly as we age, the vaginal areas should never return to the degree of relaxation experienced after the intervention.

What Causes Vaginal Change?

  • Aging (Atrophy, decreased lubrication, vaginal laxity)
  • Childbearing (urinary stress incontinence, decreased sensation, laxity, and trauma)
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Chronic Inflammatory Disease (Vulvar Lichen Planus)

Do you have any of the above related concerns?  Here are some of the options:

What are some Behavioral Options if I have some of the above issues?

  • Kegel Exercises- minimally effective but often recommended
  • Pelvic Floor Therapy- Ben Wa Balls or working with Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
  • Biofeedback- a treatment to help patients learn to strengthen or relax their muscles in order to improve bowel or bladder function

What are some of the short-term fixes if I have some of the above issues?

  • Vaginal Tighteners (topical): V-Tight Gel, Acano Essential Oil (non prescription)
  • Lubricants and Moisturizers (topical): Replens or KY Liquid Beads (non prescription)
  • Topical hormones- estrogen (prescription)

What are some of the Surgical Procedures if I have some of the above issues?
Vaginoplasty, Labiaplasty, Perineoplasty

  • Vaginoplasty- any surgical procedure that results in the construction or reconstruction of the vagina
  • Labiaplasty- a plastic surgery procedure designed to alter the appearance of the labia
  • Perineoplasty- a plastic surgery procedure used to correct clinical conditions to the perineum

What are some Emerging Options if I have some of the above issues?

Lasers

  • not new technology, just new applications
  • Definition of a laser: single wavelength of light absorbed by a specific target or chromophore (color).  Laser energy is converted to heat energy when absorbed by the target
  • Mechanism of Action: Tissue Remodeling
  • Three types of laser Technology: Radiofrequency, noablative lasers (Erb: YAG), Ablativ Lasers (Fractional COS)

Some Current Lasers on the Market

According to Dr. Schroeder, the average patient will do 3 treatments, one to start, then the second one month after the first, then 6 weeks after that.  She states that the companies often advise an annual treatment but Dr. Schroeder doesn’t see evidence for the need for this.  Down time varies on the laser technology that is used, but Dr. Schroeder says that the laser she uses frequently (CO2) is 3-days without intercourse with minimal pain or discomfort.

External Treatments using Lasers

Medical Indication: Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus (inflammatory condition that causes tissue paper like quality of the skin)
Labia Minora Remodeling: Shrinkage
Hyperpigmentation (Dyschromia)

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

A different procedure but something to note and learn more about that can be an effective treatment for:
Women with decreased libido.
Women who are anorgasmic or struggle to orgasm.
women who desire a heightened sexual experience.

Where to go for treatment: 

Board Certified: Dermatologist, Gynecologists, and Urologists.  Do your research, this is a new technology and doesn’t have a lot of information about the long-term effects over.

Costs

If you are doing it in a package of 3, depending on the part of the country that you are in, it can cost between $2000-$4000.  Insurance does not cover the treatment at this time.

A few caveats:

There aren’t long-term studies on the effects of this procedure so we don’t know EXACTLY the long term effects of this so do your research and speak to your doctor(s) and sexual health team.  We DO know the long term effects of this technology on other areas of the body which may inform your decision.

When this was presented, it activated some of the members in the audience, showing that there might be some controversy around the technology.  But as a sex therapist, it is important that I have as much information as possible about possible treatment options for clients that come to me for a myriad of issues.

If you are struggling with this issue, or other sexual issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and we can set up a time to meet to discuss this in further.

 

Sex and Attachment

Rhiannon No Comments

There are two common issues I see in my sex therapy practice: sex and anxiety issues and sex and attachment issues.  Generally all clients that I see come to me with one or both of these issues, and often times they are the core and fundamental route of other sexual and relationship issues that I see in my work.

I recently attended a training presented by David S. Elliot, PhD on “Healing Adult Attachment: The Three Pillars of Integrative Treatment”.  He is one of the authors of Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair which details in depth a lot of the concepts presented here around attachment issues in adults.   A lot of this blog comes from the information in his book as well as the presentation and information along the way of being at sex therapist for over 10 years.   I will specifically attend to the issue of how I am seeing SEX and attachment present itself in my therapy practice.  Attachment concerns aren’t a DIY fix- it requires a skilled and trained therapist to take clients to a depth of repair that needs care, nurturance and support.  This book is a big one, thick and cerebral, and something that presents as an invaluable amount of information and resources for the type of therapy that I do.

What is adult attachment?

Watch this brief video on modern adult attachment to learn more about adult attachment.

Attachment affects everything that we do.  Attachment insecurities underlie a lot of mental health problems.  If we treat the attachment issue, we can treat the underlying issue for a lot of mental health issues.

Characteristics of Adult Attachment Patterns

Here are a list based on Elliot’s (2018) presentation handouts of the four main types of attachment styles.  Read through the description and see where you fall.

Secure Attachment

Seeks emotional closeness with others
Able to establish emotional intimacy
Comfortable with mutual dependence
Comfortable being alone
Positive self-image and other image
Warm and open with others
Accepts criticism without significant distress
Strong sense of self
Self-esteem
Self-observational skills
Self-reflective skills
Able to trust in relationship
Relationships tend to be stable, lasting
Open with others about feelings
Positive feelings about relationships
Balanced experience of emotions – neither too little nor too much Values attachment

Dismissing Attachment

Avoidance of getting close or being intimate
Discomfort with closeness
Ambivalence
Dismissing behaviors
Aloofness and contempt
Mistrust about depending on others
Difficulty getting close
Preference for remaining distant
Fearful of closeness
Unemotional or minimizing emotional expression
Uncomfortable opening up, especially private thoughts
False self
Pulls away if someone gets close
Illusion of self-sufficiency

Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment

Excessive worry about relationships
Worry that one’s partner won’t care as much as s/he does
Obsessive preoccupation and rumination about relationship
Excessive need for approval
Ignoring signs of trouble in the relationship
Fear of scaring people away
Fear of abandonment/rejection/criticism
Resentment when partner spends time away from the relationship
Angry withdrawal
Frustration if partner not available
Feels extremely upset/depressed when receives disapproval
Easily upset, with intensified displays of distress or anger
Jealousy
Fear of being alone
Compulsive caretaking
Submissive, acquiescent, suggestible
Seeks attachment at the expense of autonomy
Work, school, or friends get less attention than relationship partner
Compulsive care-seeking
Partner describes self as ‘smothered’ or ‘suffocated’
Eager to be with partner all the time
Needs excessive reassurance
Clinging, demanding, nagging, sulking
Desire to merge
Attempts to win favor or impress
Forces responses from partner
Self-centeredness, showing off, center of attention.

Disorganized Attachment

Combinations of behaviors from the two insecure types above
Disorganized internal world
Dysregulated psycho-physiological state
Affect dysregulation (too much or too little)
Lapses in self-observation or monitoring
Discontinuous self-states and affect states
Cognitive distortion, confusion, and drive-dominated thinking
Disorganized behavior
Impaired self-agency and goal directed behavior Inhibition of exploration and play
Disorganized attachment behavior
Activation of contradictory attachment strategies Controlling behaviors
Submissive or excessive care-taking behaviors ‘Stable instability’ in relationships
Defensive aggression and helplessness
Inability to elicit desired responses from others

Individual Treatment for Adult Attachment Issues

My clients often ask- how can you help me?  What will treatment look like?  Especially with attachment issues, my clients often feel like there is nothing that can be done to change me and/or my partner.  Using a specified attachment treatment model, there are three components in attachment-based treatment (this might be above a lot of heads, but it gives you an idea that there is actually a method to our madness as therapists):

  1. Creating new positive attachment representations (Internal Working Models- IWMs) with the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF) Protocol
  2. Enhancing metacognitive ability and functioning
  3. Cultivating collaborative skill and behavior
    1. Treatment frame behavior
    2. Nonverbal collaborative behavior
    3. Verbal collaborative behavior

In therapy with me, we will attempt to resolve many of the attachment issues by building a securely attached relationship with the therapist as a spring board to developing healthy attachment with others.  I have the principle that therapist is a good attachment figure that can co-collaborate with the client to create a healthy attachment.  I create the condition for the client to feel safe, to bring to me what you may never have told anyone before, and we want to create that fertile ground for a client to be able to develop health attachments to us as the therapist and beyond.

Relationship Treatment for Attachment

I see a lot of couples that have mismatched attachment systems.  It’s estimated that approximately 50% of the population has secure attachment, approximately 25% each have anxious/preoccupied and dismissive/avoidant respectively, and somewhere in that approximation, 3% have the disorganized style.  Where I see this the most challenging in couples and relationships is when one person(s) has an “insecure” type (anxious/preoccupied, dismissive/avoidant, and disorganized) and one person(s) is secure.  More challenging and with more inflammation within the relationship is the anxious/preoccupied is paired up with a dismissive/avoidant.  These relationships tend to feel super stuck and completely unresolvable, but they are improvable as we work towards moving both partners towards a more secure relationship attachment style through some individual and relationship work mentioned above.   The first step is awareness of your own attachment insecurities and style and then of your partners, recognizing that it isn’t your partner intentionally doing things that stress or activate your attachment systems, but rather them acting within their own attachment style based on their development of attachment long before you ever came into the picture.

Sex and Attachment

How do our attachment styles, challenges and strengths, affect us sexually.  This is an interesting question, and to answer it, I’m going to reference a 2013 study on “The Associations Among Adult Attachment, Relationship Functioning, and Sexual Functioning”“The Associations Among Adult Attachment, Relationship Functioning, and Sexual Functioning”, a blog entitled “Personality in the Bedroom” by Susan Krauss Whitbourne and a 2002  study on adult attachment and sexual behavior.

I’m also going to share some personal experiences with 10+ years in practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist and AASECT certified sex therapist.  Since this issue is one of the most common issues I confront in my practice, I see a lot of individuals and relationships where their attachment styles negatively and positively impact the sexual part of their relationship.

Anxious/Preoccupied: Sex and Attachment

Based on the research and my own findings, I find that people with anxious/preoccupied attachment styles often value sex more as a barometer of how their relationship is going and how valued they are in a relationship.  And if sex isn’t happening, it can highly activate an anxious/preoccupied attachment disturbances because they don’t feel loved, secure, or valued without that measure of their “okay”-ness.  Anxious/preoccupied seek out sex to connect with their partner, and depending on the reaction of the partner, this can often work in the exact opposite way the anxious/preoccupied wants: it actually pushes the avoidant/dismissive partner away.

Avoidant/Dismissive: Sex and Attachment

People with an avoidant attachment style tend to avoid intimacy, be emotionally withdrawn, and try to be more self-reliant, including in sexual matters.  They report lower sexual satisfaction and often move away from sex more, especially if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.  If sex and their sexual value is tied to their self worth, avoidants will often feel very strongly when sex doesn’t go the way it “has in the past” or the way they expect it to go.  This can lead to avoidance of sex and intimacy, or blaming of their partner.  Here are some more “Sexual Symptoms of Avoidant Attachment“.

If you want to read more about attachment style and how it relates to sexual satisfaction, Psychology Today published an article entitled “How Attachment Style Affects Sexual Desire and Satisfaction“.

While there is a lot more to say about sex and attachment, these are just a few of my thoughts, much better explained in   I’d highly recommend this book Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller.

And if you are struggling with sex and attachment issues and are looking for a therapist to help you, feel free to contact me using the form below:

 

Consensual Non-Monogamy: A Relationship and Sexual Orientation

Rhiannon No Comments

Have you ever thought about consensual non-monogamy as an option for yourself and/or your relationship(s)?  When we say consensual “non-monogamy”, what do you know or think of?  What do you feel?  Are their strong feelings for or against?  Have you ever considered what your relationship orientation is in terms of monogamy and non-monogamy?  Have you ever thought about having a CHOICE in whether you identify as monogamous or non-monogamous or some different shades instead of just black or white? Further, can you consider that monogamy/non-monogamy isn’t necessarily a CHOICE but rather an orientation and identity factor of fundamentally who you are?

This blog aims to help explain some basic information on consensual non-monogamy.  Much of this information comes from a recent presentation of the Southwest Sexual Health Alliance where Dr. Elisabeth Sheff and Dr. David Ley presented on “Flexible Relationships: Monogamish to Poly” but also includes a lot of information from my own experience as a sex therapist that has worked with non-monogamous individuals, relationships, and couples for many years.

We will get our conversation started by just discussing some basic terms you may or may not know.  We begin with:

Compulsory monogamy is the cultural construct that presents monogamy as the the assumed path for everyone rather than simply one relationship option. Compulsory monogamy as an ideology tends to hold up the heterosexual, married couple as the ideal.  Compulsory monogamy can be marginalizing for not only the non-monogamous but also for people of different sexual orientations (Kinkly, 2018).

Consensual non-monogamy, also called ethical non-monogamy or responsible non-monogamy, is an umbrella term describing relationships in which all parties choose, with full communication and consent, to have the option of engaging in sexual and/or romantic connections with multiple people. This can mean swinging, multi-person relationships, a “monogamish” open relationship in which two people are still each other’s primary partners, or infinite other variations (Baurer, 2016).

Types of Consensual Non-Monogamy

There are a variety of different types of consensual non-monogamy and many variances within these categories.  I will try to offer just a general overview of each of these types of consensual non-monogamy so we have an idea of what we are talking about and possibly give you some ideas for your own life?

Polygamy– Literally means marriage of multiples.  Polygamy is marriage of multiple spouses.  Polygyny is one husband with multiple wives.  Polyandry is one wife with multiple husbands.

Open– Open relationships tend to be the broadest category and is a broad umbrella category for non-monogamy in relationships.  Open relationships simply implies non-monogamy without much detail.

swinging photoSwinging– Swinging is the most widespread form of CNM.  It is heterosexually focused and used to be called wife swapping and some people call it spouse swapping.  People engage in swinging behavior and “the lifestyle”online, in clubs, at conventions, on cruises, at resorts, and at parties.  Peoples participation in swinging activities can be affected by age, social class, race, and locale and is focused on cis-gender people.  Swinging is usually a dydadic focus (usually two people) and can be sexist (focuses on women participating, and single men often are not allowed unless accompanied by a woman or a couple).  Swinging allows sexual diversity and exploration with no strings from others.   There is not a lot of openness to transgender or queer sexuality in swinging culture and lifestyle.

Polyamory– Polyamory allows/encourages love among more than two people.  Polyamory varies tremendously by relationship, from group sex with others at same time (less common) to independent relationships (more common).  It’s the Double Black Diamond of the consensual non-monogamy community because of the emotional demand that occurs in polyamorous relationships.

  • Polyfidelity is a closed/sexually exclusive relationship among more than two people.
  • Polyaffectivity is the emotional relationship among people who are connected via a polyamourous relationship but do not have a sexual relationship themselves

Monogamish– More common among younger people.  “Monogamish” tends to be a couple who has a connection to each other, and there is flexibility and “wiggle room” in the relationship: sexually, emotionally, or both.  It varies tremendously by relationship, from group sex with others at the same time to independent flings with others when out of town or with an ex. When monogamish, activities are often embedded in social life and is less event-oriented than swinging.

Relationship Anarchy– Relationship anarchy is the rejection of hierarchy in relationship.  There is a refusal to prioritize sexual monogamy over other forms of relationships.  This is highly specific to each person.  Relationship anarchy can be difficult to define.  This often includes refusal to make, apply, or live by rules or norms and instead relationship anarchists guide life by ethics.

Why is cheating or infidelity NOT consensual non-monogamy?

Infidelity, or cheating, or “having an affair” is not the same as consensual non-monogamy.  The key is that with infidelity, there is generally NOT consent between all parties and some times the act of it being illicit, secretive, and not honest is part of the behavior and the pleasure associated with the behavior.  There is also usually an implicit inequality within the power dynamics of the relationship, a hierarchy, in cheating where one person has a lower level of social and relationship power because that person is being “duped” or is not in the “know” about the affair.  Lack of communication and dishonesty are essential components of cheating, affairs, and infidelity.  In consensual non-monogamy, honesty and communication are essential components.

Therapy with Non-Monogamous Clients

Therapy with clients who are non-monogamous looks very similar to therapy with clients who do not identify as non-monogamous and often deal with issues like finances, sex, parenting, logistics, and COMMUNICATION.   While there are tremendous benefits for individuals, relationships, couples, and families in non-monogamous relationships, in therapy, we often don’t see the clients who say “this is great and working SO WELL for us” but rather we see the clients that are distress over their relationships and these issues.  I want to be clear my clients know that the benefits in non-monogamy often outweigh any risks or discomforts and that clients who are non-monogamous live rich and fulfilled and satisfied lives and that it is a lifestyle and an orientation I strongly support.  BUT it does have some unique challenges in therapy which will be the main focus of this blog.

According to Sheff (2018) the most common issues that non-monogamous clients present with in therapy are as follows:

  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Time-sharing
  • Types of jealousy
  • Indiviualization
  • Customizability
  • Children, friends, relatives

While non-monogamous couples might have unique presentations of many of these issues, take a look at the list. Does it look much different than issues that most couples struggle with?  Another factor in presentation depends on developmental issues within a non-monogamous relationship.  Often times, I see clients who are struggling with non-monogamy after they have hastily gone into some sort of non-monogamous relationship and it wasn’t going well or had aspects of infidelity or the boundaries weren’t sorted out properly.  Or I’ll see clients that have been in long-term poly- or non-monogamous relationships and new developments around polyaffectivity and emotionality in the relationships have emerged.  I often support relationships as they move through the exciting and pleasurable world of non-monogamy and navigate all the twists and turns this fantastic orientation can provide.  Another way I can support non-monogamous individuals and relationships is by discussing how we might propose the idea of non-monogamy to a partner in a supportive and loving way in efforts to reach our maximum identity integration and minimize feelings of insecurity or fear.

Special Considerations around Communication, Negotiations, and Boundaries

Communication and negotiations are key in consensual non-monogamous relationships and fundamental in healthy relationships.  If your relationship struggles with communication, it is likely a good indicator that your communication skills need work in order to be successful in any relationship, monogamous or non-monogamous.

While there are many popular communication techniques for couples out there to assist with developing good communication skills (IMAGO Couples Dialogue, Gottman Communication, etc.).  One communication technique that is increasingly becoming more popular is Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication.  Some basic tenets of nonviolent communication include:

  • Emphasis “I” Statements and Self-Responsibilitiy
  • Listening with compassion instead of preparing rebuttal
  • Four Parts
    • Observations: What I observe (see/hear/remember)
    • Feelings: How I feel
    • Needs: What I need or value
    • Requests: What concrete activities I would like

Here is a 3 hour YouTube video that can help provide you with the basic training in Non-Violent Communication and is worth a watch if you are interested in this communication model.

If you want to learn more about nonviolent communication, we suggest seeking out a workshop or training in the method in your area or feel free to reach out to Rhiannon C. Beauregard, MA, LMFT-S, CST, S-PSB using the form below to set up an appointment to learn the model and gain the skills to practice healthier and more productive non-violent communication.

Communication and Consent

Communication is important in order to ESTABLISH CONSENT FOR CONSENSUAL NON-MONOGAMY.  Consent is an ongoing and living agreement and is renegotiable over time or not truly consensual.  Coercion fouls consent and creates future problems or booby traps.  Consensual non-monogamy is often challenging even when all want to do it and if someone has been coerced it will inevitably explode in everyones face.  And while consent is ongoing, it is important that consent is confused with boundary settings or reassurance seeking.  I help couples establish initial consent and rituals for ongoing consent in non-monogamous relationships.

Communication and Boundaries

Communication is important in SETTING BOUNDARIES IN CONSENSUAL NON-MONOGAMY.  When you are setting boundaries, it’s also important to be flexible- are your boundaries more like a brick wall (no flexibility), a wire fence (boundary but lots of porosity), or elastic (flexible).  Boundaries come from the inside and grow outward into the world.  Rules are imposed on others.  It can be challenging to set boundaries in consensual non-monogamous relationships, especially since many non-monogamous relationships report not having a lot of resources or roadmaps on what boundaries to set and how to set them.  There are different types of boundaries: physical, intellectual, emotional, material, time, communication, sexual, relationship, and other boundaries and those boundaries might vary depending on the setting in which you are establishing your boundaries- work, family, friends, romantic partners, and members of the public.  When setting personal boundaries, its important to consider your individual boundaries, not in relationship to a specific relationship or other person, but just in relationship to oneself.  You can only make boundaries for yourself.

 

Consensual non-monogamy is a rich and beautiful experience for those that identify with some version of this orientation.  If you’d like to learn more and work with me, feel free to fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch with you to start exploring and healing within the context of consensual non-monogamy.

Desire, Sex, and Esther Perel

Rhiannon No Comments

Desire and sex is one of the most common issues that people present with in my sex therapy practice.  Issues or concerns about desire and sex, “mismatched” desire, low desire, and lack of desire, are some of the most common concerns that clients are coming to me with and seeking out sex therapy for.

Recently, at the 2018 Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (TAMFT) Conference in Irving, TX, I had the pleasure of hearing Esther Perel speak about fidelity, desire, sexuality, and relationships.  She is such an eloquent speaker, I wanted to bring home a few of her “one liners” and points around sex and desire that really impacted the audience and hopefully will impact you and contribute to your sexual desire.

If you like what you read, you should check out some of her books.  She is a leading expert on desire, intimacy, relationships and infidelity and is an incredible speaker and mind.

 

FOUR WAYS PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO THEIR PARTNER AND
SEX AND DESIRE BUILDS

People are drawn to their partners when their partner is doing something in their element. 

Esther says that people are most turned on and drawn to their partners when their partners are in their elements.  If you don’t need me, I can want you.  If you need me, I can take care of you.  That will be deeply loving, but not necessarily exciting.  Love and desire are related, but not the same.  When I see you do something when you are in your element, I see the otherness of you.  For a moment I am looking at you, in this space between you and me, this is where the erotic lies.  For a moment, someone I know very well is different, mysterious, and unknown.

People are drawn to their partners when their partner surprises them. 

This is the unknown and the mysterious- being surprised can improve sex and build desire.

People are drawn to their partners when they see their partner talking to other people.

Seeing your partner interact with other people builds desire- it is that otherness that is unknown, mysterious, and connects to sex and desire.

People are drawn to their partners when they are apart: when they are away from each other and when they reunite.  Desire is present in absences and longing. 

Desire can be built when your partner spends time away, is not available, and is absence and there is longing.


HOW CARING, LOVE, AND NURTURING CAN DISCONNECT DESIRE

If you need me to take care of you, that is loving and meaningful, but the woman leaves and the mother appears.  The mother in me, is not a sexual being.  The woman goes backstage and is not at the forefront. 

mother photoIt’s hard to expect a woman to be mothering and be sexual, especially if she is mothering her children AND her partner.

As a sex therapist, I often hear “At the end of the day, I have nothing left to give” when it comes to desire, especially for mothers with children.    Esther offers a reframe, “that at the end of the day, there is nothing more I need.  I am satiated.”

I don’t want to nurture the little boy, and then have sex with him.


Men often say it’s a turn on to see women turned on.  Women rarely ever say that it is a turn on to see a man turned on.  It is irrelevant to her.  But nothing turns a woman on more than to BE the turn on.  

I’m not sure everyone would agree with the last statement. I have found that some women actually say they don’t want to be objectified, but objectification is sometimes strongly connected to the erotic.


When women say “All he wants is sex” what he really wants is what he has access to when he has sex.

Sex is the door in which he needs to pass to access vulnerability and the aspects of his own masculinity he cannot access unless through sex.  Sexuality is the place where he can go to feel these feelings.  When men are able to access those feelings sexually, they don’t have to worry about feeling like little boys, they can feel it and be a man at the same time.


There is no greater power than voluntary surrender.  It is the reclaiming of the power that has been robbed from us.  For people who have experienced trauma, abuse, and rape, this is actually how the erotic mind takes back control of the imagination. 


When we find someone who emotionally meets their needs, they don’t always meet their sexual needs.  

Esther Perel is the FUTURE of the way we think about monogamy, infidelity, desire in long-term relationships, love, and lust.  In 2018, she was the KEYNOTE speaker at South by Southwest, an annual festival that integrates technology, music, film, and current issues and is the most progressive and interesting festivals in the country.  The fact that ESTHER was the keynote shows the interest that our country and our culture has in this topic and she is a force.   Join me in celebrating her work and contributions on sexual desire

If desire is a concern for you, or if anything I wrote seems interesting and you think I might be a good fit for you in a therapeutic setting, please feel free to contact me using the form below and we can set up an appointment.