Erectile Issues? Read This Before You Call a Sex Therapist

Rhiannon No Comments

If you or someone you love is concerned about their erectile control and are having issues with erectile dysfunction, early or premature ejaculation, or are having trouble ejaculating, it’s never too soon to reach out to a qualified sex therapist that can help you with the issue. In fact, the sooner the better. I see way too often that penis-owners will try to apply do-it-yourself fixes to erectile issues (stop masturbating, stop porn, start masturbating, start porn, Viagara/Cialis/Levitras, going off medication, fantasizing, etc.) that just wind up furthering the problem. In fact, men who have erectile functioning concerns have some of the most dedicated attempts to solving their sexual issue on their own and would rather try everything they can find that might be a solution before reaching out to a professional for help (kind of like not asking for directions when you are clearly lost!)

If this sounds like you or someone(s) you love, then reading this blog can help point a lost ship in the ocean towards a safe harbor of erectile control and confidence. I’ll break it down in a few easy pointers that can help:

  1. Accept that there isn’t just ONE cause of your erectile concerns, even if you are convinced that it started because of X. All sexual issues are multi-causal, meaning there are many different reasons why the sexual issue is occurring. When clients come to me, I am interested in not only what you think the origin is of the issue, but also the issues that are maintaining the concern as well. There are likely a LOT of things going into this issue and part of my job is to help figure out what those things are and minimize the impact they have on your erectile control or remove them all together.
  2. Your body is not designed to be sexual if it is in a state of stress, fear, anxiety, or relationship conflict. We are mammals, and if our body is in any state of fear, we are really not designed to be sexual. So if you have underlying anxiety or anxiety related disorders (OCD, panic issues, mood issues, hoarding, body focused repetitive behavior, etc.), that is likely a big cause of the problem- where your erection is a SYMPTOM of a bigger, greater issue.
  3. Your erection might be telling you something else that is wrong. We have high expectations on an erection. It should just be ready to go, at all times, rain, snow, gloom of the night. But the erection has an opinion about things and often can be the first alarm bell that something isn’t right- physiologically, relationally, psychologically, neurologically, or other. It’s important that we listen to the erection and really make sure we are looking at anything that may be effecting it. Sex is so often a symptom to a bigger, more obvious problem and our bodies, and the erection, often speaks loudly so that we will listen to it.
  4. Partners play a huge role in the development and maintenance of erectile and ejaculation issues. If your partner gets disappointed, frustrated, sad, or questions their self-worth, attractiveness, sexual skill when your erection doesn’t do exactly what they or you expect it to do, your partner is part of the problem too. Many people just want to “send” their partner to sex therapy to “fix your issue”, but this is exactly the attitude and perspective that created and/or maintained this problem to begin with. When partners play a role in a problem, they also need to play a role in the solution and likely will be invited into sex therapy to work on how they are contributing to the issue.
  5. Certain personality characteristics are more likely to have erectile and ejaculatory issues. If you are “Type A” or a perfectionist, you might have been rewarded for these characteristics in your professional and personal life. But this type of personality or thinking is terrible for your sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction. Sex, by nature, is extremely imperfect. And your sexual self does NOT appreciate being held to any standard but acceptance and positivity. Perfectionists are chronically unhappy and need to do some therapeutic work to deconstruct their values.

If you need more information, I recommend you to a few resources:

Coping with Premature Ejaculation

Coping with Erectile Dysfunction

Hard Conversations Podcast

Can Cannabis Help Your Sex Life?

Rhiannon No Comments

As more and more states in the US decriminalize, medicalize, and legalize marijuana and THC related products, cannabis and sex comes up a lot with my clients. A few months back (2021), I virtually attended the 2021 AASECT Annual Conference and was very impressed by the panel presentation featuring Chelsea Cebara ( and Jordan Tischler, MD ( I took some notes to write this blog to help my clients and others understand how cannabis can be utilized therapeutically for sexual concerns.

To start, I want to be clear, I am not a cannabis or marijuana expert and do not have the adequate training or experience in cannabis and sex to make any formal recommendations or for you to read this blog and say that I an expert. Just merely reporting a small amount of information that I absorbed from this presentation or my own research.

What Does Cannabis Help With Related to Sex

Cannabis and Pain

Canabanoids are anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic and can help with inflammation or spasmodic pain which can contribute to sexual pain and orgasmic functioning. There is over 60-70 years of data on the use of THC and cannabis for the treatment of pain. The sexual issues that cannabis can treat around pain include:

  • The pain and spasmodic pain related symptoms of endomietroisis
  • Symptoms related to menopause such as hot flashes, insomnia, depression/anxiety, decreased libido, sexual pain
  • Vaginismus/Dyspareunia (sexual pain in females)
  • Neuropathy (which can cause sexual pain and sexual disorders)

Cannabis and Mental Health Issues related to Sexual Issues

There is a lot of evidence that having a mental health issue is a contributing factor to having sexual issues, with anxiety and depression being the most common that I see with clients. Cannabis has been shown to help with the following mental health issues (which I find in sex therapy being often comorbid with sexual issues in my clients):

  • Anxiety (a huge contributing factor in sexual issues)
  • Depression
  • Insomnia (if sleep is disturbed, usually sex is as well)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Cannabis and Sexual Issues

  • Helps with delayed orgasm
  • Increases libido and arousal
  • Remarkably helpful in increasing orgasm frequency and intensity of all groups
  • Increase vasodilation which can lead to increased arousal and vaginal lubrication which is a passive process from that peripheral vasodilation
  • Sexual Pain- cannabis can shift the perspectives of pain
  • It can address the things that are hitting the breaks so the gas can emerge (see Nagoski’s work on Sexual Accelerator and Brake Systems)
  • Increase vulnerability,
  • Enhanced embodiment,
  • Enhanced being in the moment and mindfulness

What Evidence Exists for Cannabis and Sexual Functioning

I can’t even begin to say that I’m an expert on this but I’ll offer a few references to some recent studies (last five years) on cannabis and sex. After reviewing these and more studies, it does appear that cannabis has more positive effects on women and sexuality than men (in fact, the research and anecdotal reports seem to align that cannabis actually can contribute greatly to increased sexual functioning issues in men, however, I think for certain issues I have seen it be helpful such as increase sensation, decrease anxiety, hep with pain or neuropathy).

A 2017 study says those that use marijuana have more frequent sex.

A 2017 study concluded that the majority of female marijuana users who used marijuana before sex reported a better overall sexual experience, an increase in sex drive, a more pleasurable orgasm and a decrease in pain.

A 2019 study says that marijuana improves satisfaction with orgasm in women.

A 2019 study reported that many participants in the study found that cannabis helped them relax, heightened their sensitivity to touch, and increased intensity of feelings, thus enhancing their sexual experience, while others found that cannabis interfered by making them sleepy and less focused or had no effect on their sexual experience. 

A 2019 study suggests that erectile dysfunction is twice as high in cannabis users compared to controls.

A 2020 study concluded that increased frequency of marijuana is associated with improved sexual functioning in women.

How Should One Consume Cannabis for Sexual Healing

The real key to this in finding a way to consume cannabis to minimize the intoxication (high) while maximizing the benefit of the THC says Tischler (2021). If there is really no intoxication/high its unlikely that it is going to work so the goal in treating someone with cannabis is finding a minimum effective dose. Maximize benefit, minimize that side effect (intoxication). Additionally, intoxicated sex comes with risks, requires planning, and a huge focus on consent.

According to Dr. Tischler (2021) inhaled cannibus is particularly good with sexuality and partners and he recommends vaporizers, suppositories, capsules, and THC lube. Topicals are mostly recommended for sexual issues because they can be localized. Best practices for consumption are topical, ingested, and vaporized. THC “pens” or cartridges are not recommended and Tischler recommends “straight up flower” for vaporization. Combusting the flower (smoking, joints, bowls, bongs, blunts, etc.) is not recommended due to the fact that the heat can actually damage the THC content and that transmission into the body can be very harmful.

Tischler (2021) recommends THC content to be between 15-20%. If you start using the 30% pure THC, Tischler says, that is pharmaceutical grade, its not a very effective medicine and is often a dysphoric experience. He suggests 15-25 mg of THC for the average person and dosing is very important.

A note about CBD, according to Tischler (2021), CBD is at best supportive but hasn’t been really shown much significant impact on sexual systems. Tischler also warnes about some potential interactors so doing your research and consulting with a qualified health professional is recommended.

You’ll see I recommend you consulting with a qualified healthcare provider before experimenting with any of this. There are potential complications related to cannabis use such as Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). CHS is a condition that leads to repeated and severe bouts of vomiting. It is rare and only occurs in daily long-term users of marijuana. Marijuana has several active substances. These include THC and related chemicals.

Recommended Products

There are some products that are specifically designed for sexual and intimacy and include:

Foria THC (only available in some states, cannot ship cross state lines)

Velvet Swing (only available in Washington and Oregon): This is the only THC lube that is barrier compatible. Everything else out there is going to be oil-based and not compatible with barriers (condoms, dental dams, etc.)

Best Practices around Cannabis and Sex

Tischler and Cebara (2021) shared some best practices when trying out integrating cannabis into your solo and partner sexuality. Here are some highlights:

  • Consult with a qualified health professional before trying any substances.
  • When trying something new, start with just yourself and then masturbate. If you have a positive or neutral experience a few tries, invite in a trusted partner.
  • Open up and be present to the possibilities. Try things without expectation or judgment.
  • Focus on what feels good: PLEASURE IS THE MEASURE. There is no “shoulds”.
  • Journal after the experience to reflect on it and keep track of what works for you.

All this being said, it is important that you work with a qualified health provider and a sex therapist to discuss cannabis as an option for the treatment of sexual issues or symptoms associated with sexual dysfunction. It is important that you don’t DIY your own therapy and sex therapy without thoughtful intention, especially when substances and sex are involved. If you would like to work with me on this, please feel free to reach out!

Coronavirus: Work from home, Do Therapy, and HAVE SEX! Sex Therapy during a time of Crisis

Rhiannon No Comments

Coronavirus is SCARY.  There is a lot of misinformation out there and the information that is out there is constantly changing.   One thing is certain and that all information sources agree: staying home is safer than being out and about in public and reduces your chances of contracting/spreading germs, illness, and the coronavirus.  

So if you are lucky enough to have a job that allows/wants you to stay home during this time of uncertainty, why not take advantage of the flexibility that working from home has to offer and invest in yourself, your relationship, and/or your future by getting around to that “to do” item of going to online sex therapy?  Most people talk about wishing they had time to work on their relationship, and cite busy and stressful work schedules and differing schedules as a factor that prevents them from doing so, but online sex therapy is perfect for this period of time that is uncertain and where it is safer to stay home than be out and about. 

I am writing this post kind-of tongue in cheek (although I am totally available for telehealth sessions- register as a client and see my availability by going to and am not trying to capitalize on a unpredictable, dangerous, and deadly situation.  But there is some truth to making the most of your time at home when you and your partner(s) are available to do some work on the relationship or just yourself.  And tight quarters and long hours together can have mixed results, so why not get a little extra help from yours truly.  

Even though I’m kind of kidding with my title,  while I have your attention, here are some helpful articles/media that I have found have given me some information that I found helpful and reasonable.  In a time of misinformation, it’s important that we are careful on consuming media, making sure it is accurate and reasonable.  If you feel like information is sensationalized, check your source, and always cross check with the CDC website.   (I don’t know how relevant these links are now, since the situation is constantly changing, so consume with caution)

Here is a really normal guy, who got coronavirus, and felt like junk but describes the virus: 

I love John Oliver explaining the basics, he does it engaging and doesn’t feel to fear mongering or too dismissive: 

As John Oliver explains- we need to find ACCURATE information about the disease in order to make the best decisions for ourselves.  Here are some things me and my family are doing to prepare for really the unknown, since it isn’t clear how this is all going to pan out (tolerating uncertainty is a real skill- if you lack the ability to tolerate uncertainty, working with a therapist that specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy is really helpful). 

  1. I discuss with my partner on a regular basis the current events that are going on.  
  2. I limit my consumption of media to 1-5 pieces of information a day and stay away from media that is intentionally sensationalistic or fear-mongering. 
  3. I check in with my partner about what I’m feeling and come up with a plan to address the unknown. 
  4. We have a plan for our child if/when daycares close- we’ve connected with grandma’s (one local, one out of state) if/when we need them and have all come together and decided how we would handle needing to keep him home.  Is childcare stressing you out?  How Working Parents Can Prepare for Coronavirus Quarantine 
  5. We stocked up on some essentials- mostly dried toddler milk and some of the kiddos favorite food.   We have committed to keeping our gas tanks full and making sure we don’t run out of too many things in case we do have to quarantine.   This article talks about what you need and what you don’t. 
  6. We have used our teledoc quite a bit during cold/flu season, and feel comfortable using that if we were to get sick. 
  7. We have a local pharmacy that delivers if needed.  
  8. We’ve talked about how we would help our neighbors, friends, and people who rely on us for income to keep their lives as continuous as possible.  We come from a place of privilege and recognize that not everyone is in as good of a situation as we are. 
  9. I’ve discussed with my clients about their preparedness for the unknown and encouraged them to meet online if there is concern about them being sick.  I’ve committed to doing the same. 
  10. We’ve reviewed handwashing and handsanitizing in our household, and commit to sanitizing things more frequently.  

While the situation is continuously changing- what do you and your family need to help weather this storm?  The best thing to do is talk with your friends and family and come up with a plan and answer these questions?

  1. How can I limit my interaction with the public?  Is working from home an option?  Is delivery an option?  
  2. How can I help those that might be less fortunate than me who might be in a different socio-economic place than me?  Do my neighbors have food and medicine?  How can I help my friends, family, neighbors, and those in need?  Are there kiddos that rely on food at daycare and school that might be hungry?  
  3. What resources do I have access to that can help me in a time of crisis?  
  4. What resources do I need that can help me in a time of crisis?

I’m here for y’all- at a distance if you are sick.  Take care of yourselves and your loved ones and if you are in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, or Texas, lets take advantage of this time together to get started on some work.  Nothing like a health crisis to make us focus on our (mental) health. 



Money, Sex and Relationships: What is Financial Therapy

Rhiannon No Comments

In my nearly 12 years in private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, I have found that relationships that are struggling with sex often also have some dysfunction around money.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t HAVE money, but can appear as one or more partners having a strained relationship with money or the relationship has difficulty talking about money.  Or the clients attachment to money is not conducive to their financial goals.   These clients would greatly benefit from financial therapy.

Recently, I attended the 9th Annual Financial Therapy Association Conference in Austin, TX.  Financial therapy has been an secondary interest of mine, not only because I’ve seen a strong connection between sexual issues in a relationship and financial issues, but my partner and I have also had our own journey of overcoming relationship challenges with finances and personally, as a small business owner, I held a significant amount of fear and anxiety about finances that affected my ability to enjoy my work.  So I know first hand how important working through your financial issues individually and relationally is.  Such as your sex life and your relationship is something that always needs attention, work, and growth, so does your financial self/selves.  

What is Financial Therapy?

Financial Therapy is a process informed by both therapeutic and financial competencies that helps people think, feel, and behave differently with money to improve overall well-being through evidence based practices and interventions.  

Financial therapists are equipped to help people reach their financial goals by thoughtfully addressing financial challenges while at the same time attending to the emotional, psychological, behavioral, and relational hurdles that are intertwined.

The field of financial therapy is really new, forming through a Financial Therapy Forum in 2008.  The main tenant of financial therapy is that finances, our relationships, and our emotional lives are heavily intertwined.  Financial therapy often is a collaborative process between finance, economics, and financial planning professionals and mental health professionals that help individuals and relationships work through all aspects of your financial issues. 

Financial therapists can look a variety of ways.  Financial therapy can be a collaboration between a financial and mental health professional in a two practitioner model (Goetz & Gale, 2014), can be a financial professional with a mental health background, a mental health professional with a financial background, or a financial coach or money coach.  The difference between a financial planner and a financial therapist is the training and focus on the emotional, psychological, and behavioral connection to finances. 

My role in a financial therapy partnership is absolutely the mental health profession in the two-practitioner model.  I do ever pretend to know what are good decisions financially, but I will say that I do know that having a healthy relationship with money is essential for a healthy relationship in general.  

What does Financial Therapy Treat?


financial photoAccording to the American Psychological Association Stress in America Study, the highest source of stress annually is money.  Anxiety and stress greatly impacts a persons quality of life and their relationship, and anxiety and stress about money can be an incredible source of discomfort in a relationship.  

Clients who exhibit higher levels of generalized anxiety will be more likely to engage in problematic financial behavior, regardless of their income, marital status, education, or financial knowledge.  Anxiety overrides financial knowledge often in decision making and can be very destructive.   Anxiety, low financial knowledge, and risky financial behaviors can contribute to an overall unhealthy relationship to money.  

In addition to causing financial issues, anxiety can greatly impact sexual issues (Read more here on my blog Sex and Anxiety). 

Money Disorders

The following disorders exist in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual- IV (DSM-IV):

  • Workaholism
  • Compulsive Buying (Onlomania)
  • Gambling
  • Hoarding
  • Financial Dependence

Problematic Money Behaviors

  • Financial Denial
  • Underspending
  • Overspending
  • Financial Enabling
  • Vow of Poverty
  • Financial Enmeshment
  • Squandering Sudden Windfalls
  • Poor Financial Decisions
  • Financial infidelity

Relationship Issues Related to Money

Couples fight about money but they are often not fighting about money, they are fighting about what money means to them.  Money can mean a variety of things to each of the partners.  

Attachment theory around money and caregivers also play a large part in our relationship to money AND sex (Read more on my blog Sex and Attachment).

What does Financial Therapy look like?

As mentioned above, financial therapy that I work involved a two-practitioner model where I am the mental health therapist and I work closely with a financial professional.  In our financial therapy, we will do a variety of assessments around financial health and wellness from a historical perspective and help clients set clear goals.  We aim to cultivate a trustworthy and healthy client-financial therapist relationship.  We believe that financial education and awareness is empowerment and aim to use psychoeducation and financial education to create awareness and competency in financial and relationship issues.  

Would you Benefit from Financial Therapy?

Take a moment to look at the following statements (adapted from Lown, published in the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Volume 22, Issue 2 2011)

1 = Exactly true 2 = Moderately true   3 = Hardly true 4 = Not at all true 

1. I have trouble solving difficult problems even if I try hard.

2. It is hard to stick to my spending plan when unexpected expenses arise.

3. It is challenging to make progress toward my financial goals.

4. When unexpected expenses occur I usually have to use credit.

5. I am not confident that I could deal efficiently with unexpected events.

6. When faced with a financial challenge, I have a hard time figuring out a solution.

7. I lack confidence in my ability to manage my finances.

8. I have trouble solving most problems if I invest the necessary effort. 

9. I worry about running out of money in retirement.

10. I have trouble remaining calm when facing difficulties because I cannot rely on my coping abilities. 

If you feel like some or most of these are exactly or moderately true, maybe you might want to find a financial therapist that can help you attempt to work on your financial health and wellness.  You can fill out the form below for more information.  


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:

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:

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:

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:


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, 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 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.

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.


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


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. (

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).


  • 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 `


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.


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


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


  • 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


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

  • 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:


Littles: Affects and Aesthetics in Sexual Age-Play

A Qualitative Exploration of Adult Baby/Diaper Lover Behavior From an Online Community Sample

Couples and AB/DLs, including podcast and blog: 

The Little Lounge

Dream a Little Podcast


There’s A Baby in my Bed by Rosalie Bent

Adult Babies: Psychology & Practices by Rosalie Bent


Teddy Con


Other AB/DL Conventions

A few other therapists that have expressed a skillset in working with AB/DLs:

Jennifer Rehor, LMFT, CST
Hernando Chaves MFT, DHS 

Colorado: Dr. Rhoda Lipscomp

Kentucky: Lanie Hopping, MA, LPA

Maryland: Stefani Levin, MSW, LCSW-C

North  Carolina: Krista Nabar, PsyD, LP, HSPP

Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Texas: ME!  Rhiannon Beauregard, MA, LMFT-S, CST

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 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




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!