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Question: In tonight’s coaching call you discussed how you have the option to tell yourself “this feels good”… that I can choose to believe that ____ is pleasurable. But what if it’s not? Is it more that if I feel it’s a lie than I need to change the circumstance? I just remembered thinking (on the call) that I don’t want to lie if it doesn’t feel good.

Answer: I don’t think it’s a good idea to lie to yourself, ever.  And if you don’t believe the thought then trying to go there won’t work.  Your brain will reject it.  But I think there is a difference between trying to tell yourself that something that is painful is pleasurable (a complete lie) versus something that feels “neutral” actually feels good.  Sometimes our brain just doesn’t recognize it because we aren’t used to allowing ourselves to feel pleasure.  You can ask yourself “what feels pleasurable about this?” or “how could the way I am being touched be pleasurable” and see if your brain comes up with anything.  Get really curious and see if you can expand your definition of pleasure.  The thought worked for the person being coached because she felt like she could believe that thought easily.  


Hi Amanda,

I’m just struggling a lot right now. My marriage is on the rocks. I feel like I made so much progress only to now feel like I’m going backwards. And my husband is making sure to tell me that. I feel like I’m in a dark place and my husband is starting to give up on me. I continue to listen to coaching calls but I just don’t know what to do.


I am so sorry you are struggling. What you are going through is actually very normal. Many times we make a lot of progress and then slip back into old patterns. Have you watched the class on the Cycle of Transformation? I would start there. Are you doing daily thought downloads and models? Are you setting intentions each day? Maybe sign up for a coaching call so that we can talk specifically on what is happening for you right now and get you back in the right track. Also, did you see my emails for private coaching sessions? That might be a good option for you too. And you can bring your husband on anytime as well so we can all work on it together.

Question: I am working on desire and my husband is so supportive. We recently got a vibrator. It is a simple vibrator for beginners. I charged it and let it just sit. I was unsure how to use it or when. He suggested I try on my own but I just didn’t know what that might look like. he helped my try once but I was so nervous I felt like I was in a doctors office worried about the instruments that would be used. I would like to know how to use a vibrator, how to use it as a couple, and some thoughts that would help me be more comfortable with the whole process. I realize there is not a step by step process to success but it might be helpful to understand some possible scenarios or suggestions.

Answer: Have you listened to episode 139 of the podcast? It talks about using them for the first time and how to incorporate them into using them on your own and with your spouse.  Take a listen and let me know if you have more questions.

Question: I am working my way through the modules, and have finished module 8.

I have been pondering whether I am Demi-sexual (only sexually attracted to those after forming a close bond) or just have deep purity culture issues. As a teen, I never had a desire to kiss anyone, even when friends were making a big deal out of having “hot lips’ or “virgin lips”. I did want someone to like me back in high school, but it wanted it for security, rather than sexual energy. I’ve only ever kissed one other man besides my husband. During a bridal shower, I was asked what my favorite physical characteristic of my future spouse was. I couldn’t come up with an answer. I still really don’t have one. The things I like about him have more to do with security than physicality.
I struggled for two years to orgasm after we were married. (I did like making out before we were married, and my body did orgasm during those sessions, although I didn’t know that’s what an orgasm was). I felt like I was searching for answers and unfortunately none of those answers presented themselves in Deseret Book, the only place I knew to look for info. I remember crying in my closet while getting ready for sex during the first year of marriage. Crying that it was hard. Crying that it didn’t come more naturally. Crying that I felt like something was wrong with me. My husband was patient, but didn’t know where to look for answers either. And sex was fine for him.
We eventually created a pattern where he would ask for sex every few days and I would give in. Things were at their best for me seven years into our marriage, during my first pregnancy (meaning I could orgasm regularly), and I felt like we had finally figured things out. But my husband was not fond of my growing pregnant belly and wouldn’t touch it to feel the baby move. He was excited to resume sex after the baby. I was not due to tearing and pain and exhaustion. He tried to be sensitive of my feelings, but I don’t thing he could truly comprehend my pain. At that time giving him a hand job was not on the list of ok things to do.
After all thee kids were born, two years apart, it had been a rough few years, my husband came up with the plan to have sex every three days. His reasoning was that I could plan ahead and gear up for it. I remember sobbing (in the closet again) because I didn’t want to agree to that, but I knew that I could have two days in-between where I didn’t have to think about sex. So that was the pattern. I would have to watch an erotic movie or read a book in order to “get in the mood” on those third nights.
Both of us see now that we have created patterns that are not sexually healthy. We simply didn’t know and had bad information. Part of me is mad at the church and purity culture because our 24 years of marriage has been pretty good, other than in the bedroom.
Now we are at a point where he has agreed to not have sex unless I’m in the mood, which is very rare, as in twice in the last 6 months. I’m usually feeling open to sex after we’ve have a deep conversation and I feel safe. Then I can watch a movie and get in the mood.
One of my teenagers said, “Sometimes you just feel horny.”. Nope, I really don’t and never have. I saw in an online forum many years ago, someone said: “I woke up feeling horny”. My thought was, “Is waking up horny a thing?”. ONE time in our 24 year marriage, I had a weird dream and did wake up feeling amorous and we had morning sex. ONCE.

So here is the big question: How do I differentiate between really deep purity culture and demi-sexuality? Even if I heal from purity culture, am I ever going to want sex? I don’t know if I even want sex. I’m ok with self pleasure, and the vibrator (a newer thing). But honestly, I really don’t crave it. I can take it or leave it. There is not much that excites my body. And often the thought of sex with my husband is repulsive, likely to the poor patterns we’ve set up.

Answer: I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to give labels with this type of thing.  It could be that you are Demi-sexual or its could be purity culture, or it could be both.  But what is really important here is understanding the belief systems at play and understanding the dynamics you have created so that you can change things if you want better results.  

You also need to stop comparing your sexuality to others.  Women’s sexuality is very different from men’s sexuality and also what is portrayed in the media.  You most likely have responsive desire (you’ll learn about this is later modules) which means you need arousal BEFORE the desire comes.  So much of women’s sexuality depends on the context of what is happening.  So much depends on how you are THINKING about what is happening.

People who just feel “horny” tend to be more spontaneous desire, or have more hormones (like a teenager) driving it.  Most women don’t have hormones driving their desire.

So, you distinguish what you want by working your way through your belief systems and CHOOSING to believe certain things on purpose, rather than believing what you have believed from purity culture.  Sex is a mindset, not a drive.  If you get your mind in a better place, your relationship in a better place, most likely the sex will get better.

Feel free to bring more of this to coaching. 🙂 

Question: I would love some therapist and coach suggestions that use the differentiation method. I am ok with either gender but I think my husband will do best with a male.


These are some male therapists near you that have been recommended.  I don’t know if they specialize in differentiation

Mike Cox

Steve Eastmond

Dr. Jeremy Boyle

This website has therapists that have extra training in Bowen Theory (differentiation) but none are male in your area.

American Bowen Academy

If you want a coach, I don’t know any males that coach couples but I would recommend Crystal Hansen, who is a marriage coach who coaches couples or Aimee Gianni, who is not only a master coach but also a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Question: During our whole marriage, we have never been able to have a healthy relationship with how we view other people outside of our marriage and celebrities.

If I ever mention that I think a celebrity is attractive, my husband gets protective and weird about it. He asked me many questions and feels defensive. I feel like he has a very fragile ego. I try mentioning that to him and he gets even more defensive.

I don’t feel like I do anything wrong. I just mentioned that I think a person attractive but I am very good about expressing how much I love him and think he is the most attractive to me. Honestly looks amazing! Used to be a personal trainer and works out so much every day. So I know that part of his problem is he has a negative body image.

With his belief system he tells me, he feels like if you think anyone else is more attractive or if you think they are attractive, you should go after them instead.

This goes if any other people that we know personally. I don’t go into it too much really and my mind doesn’t either. I feel like I am pretty wholesome with my thoughts and I just noticed that other people might be a beautiful or attractive too. And especially if we ever do need to get remarried someday, I feel like this is a healthy part of a person to realize who you think is attractive or not. Plus, I think bantering about celebrities is fun sometimes. It is part of our culture.

As I did some of my own coaching, I came to the relization that is it OK to own it! But to also reassure him of my love. However I feel like it is a small battle I have never been able to figure out through our marriage that I am just so curious why he freaks out so much about it. It’s frustrating.

Answer: I think you already know the answer about why he freaks out.  You said it.  His ego is fragile.  He is insecure about it.  He makes you thinking someone is attractive me something about him.  It is 100% okay for you to think other people are attractive. It sounds like you keep things within the bounds that are appropriate, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s totally normal.  But where I think you can do some more self-coaching is why it bothers you when he gets upset about it.  As you know, you can’t change him.  I don’t think pointing out his insecurities is helpful.  But what can you do about things, how do you want to show up knowing that he is going to respond that way? That’s where your work is.

Question: I found it once but I can’t anymore. Where do I find the workbook?

Answer: It’s on the Embrace You! Video Course Page.  I just made it a button, so now it stands out more.

Question: I am having a hard time prioritizing the initial lessons. I read that I should do the first 12 lessons before jumping into calls and classes etc. I have done the first two but have been struggling wanting to make time for it. It seems everything else in my life is more important. By the time I have time for me this doesn’t appeal to me to be what I want to do with my time. But that frustrates me more because I want to want to. I know that doing this will help me and my marriage. I have felt that in just the first two lessons. I love your podcasts and I know I will love what you have to teach. I am frustrated with myself and do not understand my lack of motivation.

Answer: You don’t need to do all of the lessons before coming onto calls and classes.  If you can get through the first two or three, that is best and then you will have a basic understanding of the model and feelings.  The more you can listen to and do, the more you will understand.

I know this is more work, but consider doing a thought download with the question “Why am I procrastinating?” at the top.  Just write what your brain comes up with.  No judgement.  Spend maybe 5-10 minutes and see what your brain says and then bring that back here or to a coaching call.  Another questions to ask yourself is “Why is everything else in my life more important?”  I don’t know the answers to these questions (although I have some guesses based on my years of experience,) but YOU DO!  

C: Embrace You Elite Society
T: I have no motivation
F: Frustrated
A: Don’t do anything
R: Still no motivation

Motivation is a FEELING, which comes from the way you are thinking.  It doesn’t come from nowhere.  So if we can figure out what you are thinking that causes the lack of motivation, then we can work to change it.  I would guess it’s that you are afraid of something.  Fear is usually a big driver of NOT doing something.  What are you afraid of? What are you afraid of getting if you do the work? What would you have to give up? What would have to change? But what would you gain?  Your “WHY” from lesson 1 homework is important.  With the right WHY you will stay motivated to create change, even when it’s hard.

Question: Would you give me a referral for a grief coach please?

Answer: Stephanie Pickle

Question: Do I need to need to be in coaching to go to your retreat?

Answer: No, anyone can come to my retreats.

Question: How do I access the Private Community? I’ve tried many times, and still can’t access it correctly. Please help. Thanks!

Answer: You should have received an invitation to join the private community when you joined EYES.  I have resent an invitation to you.

Note to all: If you need a new invitation, please email me (coaching AT The private community has not been utilized, so if it doesn’t start getting utilized, I will shut it down.  Thanks!

Question:  On a lot of your calls you mention that you tell your spouse things like, “I’m sorry. I love you but that’s something you need to figure out on your own.” “I know that hurts your feelings but it’s not my job to take care of you.” (I’m paraphrasing).
If I said something like that I think my husband would find it belittling and get angry. I know I can’t control his reaction. What do you actually say to your husband and how does he respond?

Answer: It actually doesn’t matter what I say to my husband or how he responds because we as a couple are not the same as YOU and your husband.

If you said something similar and your husband felt belittled and got angry, why is that a problem for you?  I’m guessing because you don’t like the discomfort of HIS negative emotions.  But this is where the dis-entangling happens.  You need to get comfortable with the discomfort of HIS negative emotions.  We are so used to fixing things so everyone can stay happy and comfortable and it actually ends up causing more problems.  The more comfortable you can with discomfort, the better off you will be.  When you stop taking responsibility for others emotions, it will be hard for a little while, but it is also so freeing!  You can hold space for whatever he needs to feel.  You can of course be kind and compassionate.  Of course you don’t want him to feel belittled or angry.  But when you are coming from a genuine place, from the best in you, and not TRYING to make him feel that way, you can just let him feel whatever he needs to feel.  But this also means you need to get to that clean place first.  “I’m so sorry you feel that way, that was not my intention. But I totally understand that you do feel that way if you think it was my intention to hurt you.  I assure you it was not.”

Feel free to post again if you need more clarification.

Question: If your spouse repeatedly betrays your trust by saying one thing to you and a different thing to friends and family in order to people please, how can you trust them? When I don’t feel my heart has been seen or heard, the last thing I want to do is spread my legs for him to have pleasure off my body.

Answer: Sometimes its good judgment not to trust him.  But what is more important is that you trust yourself.  Trust your own judgement.

Question: hi Amanda
I am curious if that other gal (Danelle?) did take her baby home after all? Did she adopt it and did it have any problems? So curious after that coaching session she did with you what ever happened!

Answer: I spoke with her before writing because I wanted to get her permission before answering.  She said that unfortunately, it didn’t pan out.  Prayers for her and her family.  And the baby girl. If you feel inclined to support her family and their adoption (because it is sooooo expensive) you can donate directly through Venmo @beckstrandadoption

Question: I was feeling really excited about General conference this weekend. I studied a talk this morning from last October’s conference and several things in it triggered some anxious feelings and now I’m going into this weekend feeling anxious. I’m trying to let my body work through the feeling without fighting it. I see how my attitude shifted from being patient with my kids to being short and impatient with them as I’ve felt this anxiety stir around in my chest. How can I allow this feeling/triggers from this particular talk sit on a shelf without letting it get in the way for the rest of the weekend?

Answer: It would be helpful to understand what triggered you in the first place.  But just know that it is ok to NOT watch conference.  It is ok to walk away or turn it off if something is triggering for you.  It’s also ok to feel whatever you need to feel.  Give yourself permission to do whatever you need to do.

Question: What if you don’t find your partner attractive anymore? Whether it’s aging, weight gain, or realizing you never really were in the first place? Sex feels repulsive.

Answer: Have you listened to episode 72 of the podcast?  Attraction is about so much more than physical.  As we age, we all change.  If we base our attraction strictly on the physical we are all going to be sorely disappointed eventually.  While it’s true the a part of attraction is instinctual and biological, the majority of it is the way we choose to think about our partner.  If you choose to focus on what you don’t like, your brain will continue to find evidence that it is true.  If you purposely focus on what you do find attractive, your brain will work on finding those.  Have you done the 100 things I love about my spouse in the workbook?  Start there.  Decide what you DO find attractive and focus on that.

The thought that “sex is repulsive” is different than attraction.  Do a thought download on that thought and upload it here and then we can dissect it separately.

Question: I’ve been married for almost 12 years. My husband has been viewing pornography and chatting with people in chatrooms since he was a young teen. I only realized the extent of all this about 3 years ago. We started with the LDS church’s 12 step program (didn’t work out), psychology books, lectures, workbooks, podcasts, you name it we’ve done it. I found you, Amanda, about a year and a half ago, and I feel like I’ve done a TON of growing! I’ve started exploring my own sexuality, I did coaching, etc. I’m by no means perfect and know I could still do lots of work, but I feel like I’ve made TONS of progress in the sexual realm compared to when we started.
Lately, my husband has not been initiating at all, until it’s been a week or more. I’ve been trying to ask him about what’s’ bothering him and he just clams up and says “nothing in particular”. It’s been this way for a month or so. Last night, my husband explained to me that he’s turned on while I’m still at work, like in the late afternoon/early evening time, but once we go to bed after the kids are down, he just shuts down any desire for intimacy on purpose because although some things have changed, and I’ve tried new things that he’s wanted to do, it’s ‘still basically the same as it always was and probably won’t ever change’ so he should just teach himself to not want sex. Because reality won’t live up to his fantasies, it would be easier to just not want it altogether.
I’m getting blamed for ‘things not being any better’. He thinks things aren’t the same? To me, everything has changed!! I feel exhausted from the emotional overhaul I’ve gone through to try and desire sex more, be open to trying new things, initiating more, etc. I feel like I’ve done so much work to adapt, change, grow. I’ve done the work sheets, I’ve done the thought downloads, listened to the podcasts, talked out my thoughts to him, etc. And he’s done some of those things too, but not to the extent that I have. When I have tried to encourage him to journal, talk to me, etc. he just shuts down, brushes it off, etc. When I call him out on destructive thought patterns, he gets defensive “That’s just how my brain works, I can’t change it.” He’s done group things over zoom too, tried a few different online programs, but never finishes. He tries one time, and if it’s not ‘life-changing & amazing’ it’s not good enough, not helpful, nothing will change, etc.
I’m so frustrated! I understand that before I knew about his porn & chat room use, I just didn’t want sex that much and wished and wished that he would change. My life would be easier if he just desired sex the same amount that I did, which wasn’t a lot. And now, the roles have reversed. I’m trying to change and feel like I have, a LOT, but it’s still not good enough. He hasn’t changed things. He still looks at porn, still uses chat rooms, hides his phone from me, won’t talk to me, etc. but even with all the changes I made, I’m not up to par with his fantasies. I don’t want sex ALL. THE. TIME. I’m still “not as interested in it as much as he is”; therefore he’s giving up, and killing his own desire whenever we do have the chance to have sex, because if it’s not the way he wants it, it’s not worth it, and there’s other important things in life so he should just give up on this.
I know I can’t change him, I’m not responsible for him, but how do I answer back to that? That conversation completely killed my desire. Why am I doing all of this, if it’s never going to be good enough? If he’s not going to put in the work to change his thought patterns? If he’s not going to try to stop looking at porn and chatting to random people in chat rooms? If he won’t trust me around his phone? If it’s not a good sex life unless I like sex as much as him, do the things that he fantasizes, then we just shouldn’t have a sex life at all? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say to encourage instead of belittle. And I don’t want to belittle, or blame because it’ll just shut him down more. How can I approach this in a way that will facilitate understanding and growth? I’m at a loss…

Answer: Why are you doing this? Are you doing this for him or are you doing it for you?  He may never put the work in to change himself, so that’s when you have to decide what you want for yourself and for the marriage going forward.  Can you be happy as things are now, knowing that you have done the work on you for a reason, or not? Only you know that answer.  You can’t force him to change or grow, you can only do that for yourself.

Question: I listened to your class from Feb ’21 on Love. I wondered what are some thoughts to use to develop the feelings of unconditional love for myself, my husband, and those around me? “I love you” doesn’t always produce those feelings.

Answer: Each of us is going to have different thoughts that produce those feelings for us, so I can’t tell you what thoughts are going to create those feelings in you.  It also depends on the circumstance.  I would begin, instead, by asking myself the question…”What would look like love in this situation?” and go from there.

Question: I really struggle with manuals. I feel like I was able to let some of them go during the 12-weeks but lately I’ve discovered I have some pretty rigid manuals for my kids. Especially with Christmas traditions, I “expect” everyone to be engaged and participating and I know with a 4 & 2 year old that isn’t realistic. But then I take it personally, “why am I even doing this if no one cares?” I think I know the answer-just let you of your manual. But how can I do that? I need to go back and redo that week with my children as my focus, but any quick answers?

Answer: I think you need to ask yourself some questions here.  Why does everyone need to be engaged and participating? Why ARE you doing it? What are you making it mean when they don’t? What do make it mean when they do? 

Question: I keep hearing from friends and family about how “Everything changes” physically and sexually when women go through menopause. I’m not at that point yet, but I would love to know what I can do now to prepare physically and mentally so that this can be a time when my husband and I are still connecting intimately. So many people I talk to say their sex lives went downhill when they got to that point. Do you have any suggestions? I’m not even sure what to expect because I can’t find anyone willing to talk about it.

Answer: I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about it at this point.  But, I have reached out to a friend who knows much more about this subject and invited her to come on my podcast to talk about it.  That should be happening in June.
In the meantime, I do know that the main issues are thinning vaginal tissue, decreased lubrication, irritability, hormone shifting, and physical discomfort like hot flashes, etc.  Desire can often decrease from these issues.  But if you can address and solve them, then things shouldn’t be too bad.

Category: Sex
Tag: Menopause

Question: I’m having a hard time finding pleasure. I don’t know if it’s an actual physical problem or if it’s a mental thing that I’m somehow not allowing myself to feel pleasure. My husband wants so badly for me to find something that is pleasurable because we both know exactly how he feels pleasure but are stumped when it comes to me. It’s disheartening, and last night he even said that I was broken. It made me feel even worse than I already feel. He knew that wasn’t the best thing to say and apologized later, but it’s just been hard. I do feel pleasure sometimes, but it’s not very often and not enough to make me actually crave it. Last week we bought an expensive sex toy (the WeVibe Chorus) to try something else, but it didn’t do much for me unfortunately, which is what kind of confirmed in his mind that I am broken. I have gotten some enjoyment out of a rabbit vibrator that we have, but that’s the only thing I’ve found that works. Even then, though, it’s not something that I crave. The times that I do enjoy sex have been more about my connection to him and our closeness than my own actual pleasure. I want to be able to feel pleasure more and have this be something that I actually want. What can I do mentally to help me with pleasure?

Answer: Well thinking you are broken isn’t helping anything!  Figuring out how you personally feel pleasure is a process.  Try working on the Roadmap to Personal Pleasure in your workbook.  You can also try a different kind of vibrator. Some people have more luck with one that does an air pulse.  The Satisfyer Pro, The Womanizer, or the Lelo Sona Cruise (it does a sonic pulse) are all good options.  Spending some time by yourself with may help too.  Making sure you are getting time to connect to you.

Connection is an important piece, so don’t discount that.  But you are NEVER going to be a man and probably not crave it like he does.  Women just don’t have the testosterone, which is what drives me to want it.  But finding what works for you is a process that is well worth your time.

Question: Ever since I have had my 1st son, I feel this ticking time bomb where I have to have my kids a certain age apart, or that I have to be thinking when I’m going to have another child. I know I am not excited about having another child because of postpartum depression/anxiety, and generally not liking the baby stage. Even though I tell myself I won’t even address having another baby until the end of the year, I have this constant thought like a virus, that always reminds me of planning for another baby. I don’t know how to manage these pressures I feel from others & myself, so I can enjoy the present moment of just having one child.

Answer: You can’t feel pressures from others, it’s only from you.  You need to figure out the thought causing the pressure and figure out a different thought, that you can believe, instead.  Even just “I’ll make this decision later, but now I’m focusing on my son.”

The ticking time bomb is also coming from a thought.  What is that one?

Question: Sorry for this being a little long. I shockingly found out a couple days ago that I am pregnant, and we didn’t plan for this at all. I don’t even know how far along I am because I haven’t even had a period since before I got pregnant with my son, who I am still nursing and who just barely turned one. I have been in denial and have been super stressed. It’s kid number three, which means changing a LOT, including needing a new car and many other things. I told my husband, and he is not handling it well at all. He wanted to be done at two kids, and this is shaking his world. I’m not prepped for it either and have my fears, but I’m handling it better than he is. I’m trying to get excited even though I know this is going to be really hard. He’s been gone for work, so I haven’t seen him in person since this news, and we’ve been having a lot of arguments over the phone. He’s seeming to blame me for things (which is dumb) and is so negative. I’m trying to be positive but also allow him the space to feel how he needs to feel. We’re just having a lot of tension. We have a lot of plans and changes coming this year already with potentially moving, job changes, business startups, and we don’t know how to navigate everything now. How can we get through the tension as well as figure out how to deal with all the uncertainty? I know that’s a lot, but any advice or help you have would be super appreciated!

Answer: Well, first off, Congratulations!  While it is unexpected, I personally believe a baby is always a good thing 😉

While we *think* we know what is going to happen the future, we make plans, etc. the future is ALWAYS unknown.  There is always uncertainty, even if we don’t think about it that way.

Right now, your brain is offering you (and your husband) a lot of thoughts that create fear and uncertainty and you are just listening to it and believing it.  Probably not helpful.  But what you CAN be certain about is how you will choose to show up for yourself and your marriage despite your circumstances.

Here’s your current model

C: Pregnant, potentially moving, job changes, business startups.
T: We don’t know how to navigate things
F: Uncertain
A: Worry about everything that might change. Think about all the different options.
R: Still don’t know how to navigate things

And here is a possible intentional model

C: Pregnant, potentially moving, job changes, business startups.
T: We will figure things out as we go because we always do
F: Certain, Confident
A: Make decisions when they come. Trust myself.
R: We figure things out

Try listening to this podcast:
Episode 107 – Uncertainty and Unmet Expectations

Feel free to write again or come onto a call.  Hugs!

Question: I am so frustrated. This morning was what “should have been” a great set up for sex. HE initiated (yay) romantically out of the shower, we had no interruptions from the kids, we had plenty of time and felt relaxed and no distractions.. and still NO excitement/arousal/passion from me or my body, even when I kept redirecting my thoughts to the moment, my body, and my positive mantra of “I can create meaningful sex” I am so tired of this crap and trying without getting any positive results.

Answer: I am so sorry! You’ve been in this pattern for a long time, so it might take more than one encounter for things to change.  But if he is finally pursuing you and initiating, then hopefully that is leading you in the right direction!

Question: You answered a question today about pain during sex, and part of it was to make sure to be fully aroused before insertion. Does that mean orgasm before? I usually do with a vibrator before he comes in, but I’m not necessarily fully aroused anymore once I’ve orgasmed (maybe I’m weird! 🙂 ) I have pain during sex sometimes because of babies and have done some pelvic floor physical therapy, but I’m wondering if we should insert before I orgasm so that I’m aroused.

Answer: Your vaginal canal should still be open and lubricated after you orgasm so that it intercourse isn’t painful.  So if it is, you can definitely try insertion beforehand or try using more lube.  You might need to experiment and see what works best.

Question: Sometimes when I notice that I want to make changes in any aspect of coaching or life, I suddenly feel like “I’m always the problem” or “why do I have to be the one always making changes” or I’m feeling broken or “why can’t I feel this way”. It’s difficult for me to overcome these thoughts about feeling broken or less than perfect, or just straight up invalidated by what I’m feeling. How do I get over that gut response that gets in the way of actually doing anything to make the changes I want to? I feel like there’s a few things about perfection, control, and invalidation that just seems to be tied to every struggle I have.

Answer: The thoughts aren’t the problem, it’s what you are making them mean.  What if you just noticed that they were there and didn’t judge yourself for having them or didn’t let them stop you.  Just notice them, allow them, and move on.  “Ah, there’s that thought again.  Silly brain.”

Our brain’s job is to keep us alive.  When we want to do anything new or different, it’s thinks it is keeping us safe by telling us these things so that we don’t get hurt later.  Your brain is actually working perfectly.

Question: I’ve noticed lately that during intimacy with my husband I actually sometimes like more than a soft touch – hard to describe but maybe a little bit rough without any pain? I would describe it as wanting to feel more passion. How do you keep intimacy sacred and safe but yet bring in a little more passion without crossing the line into becoming aggressive?

Answer: Why can’t aggressive be sacred and safe?  As long as both partners want it and are ok with it, aggressive and passionate lovemaking can be fun and bring you closer together.  It’s all about creating goodness between the two of you and there is no “right or wrong” when it comes to sex.  Sacred doesn’t just mean soft and gentle.  It means that is brings the two of you closer together.

Category: Sex

Question: You mentioned someone who has an FHE lesson around thought work. Can you please share the link for that? Thank you!

Answer: Yes! Jody Moore.  Family Home Evening Lessons

Categories: Children, Church Stuff
Tags: FHE, Thoughtwork

Question: Hi Amanda, My husband and I are doing great. Our relationship has never been better or stronger. I apologize for this off-topic, that is non-relational, challenge, but it is the biggest struggle I’ve been trying to figure out how to handle. My issue is the loss of freedoms from unconstitutional government mandates. In trying to run the model, I am struggling to find an intentional model that will bring peace. The unintentional model: Circumstance: The governor has no constitutional authority to make law, yet keeps shutting things down and is threatening fines and arrests for even having more than six people in a home for Thanksgiving. I have five children, so we have a family of seven. The only reason that the mandate works this year is that one of my children is serving a mission for six more weeks. Thought: Freedom of choice is being taken away and is not expected to be given back. Feeling: Helplessness Actions: Civil disobedience when I feel I can. Otherwise, following the mandates, which is not living with integrity because I feel I should be fighting back, not cowering. Results: I allow the governor to take my choices away by living with the declared guidelines.. What does an intentional model look like? I want to feel peace, but it’s hard to figure out how to do that. I can’t change the circumstances coming from the government, but I don’t know how to change the thought in a way that will bring peace. Pretending that freedom will be restored before the millennium is like living in denial, and although it could bring peace, denial doesn’t seem like the right answer either. How do I get an intentional model that brings peace and helps me live within my integrity and understanding of the signs of the times? I really could use some help sorting this out, if you are willing. If it is better via email, I totally understand.

Answer: Hi! You can ask me ANYTHING here.  Doesn’t need to be relational 🙂

So here’s your problem – your circumstance in your unintentional model is your thoughts…not facts.  They feel VERY true for you.  They feel like facts.  But they aren’t.  You also have other thoughts spread throughout your model. We need to be very factual in the C line and keep your thoughts to the T line.

So your model actually looks like this.

C: The governor doesn’t have constitutional authority. He has shut things down and says words about fines and arrests.  The mandate says no more than 6 people in a home at Thanksgiving.  I have 6 people in my home this year.

And then you have a lot of thoughts about it
– He is threatening us
– This wouldn’t work for my family if my son was home from his mission
– Freedom of choice is being taken away
– It might not be given back
– If I follow the mandates I am not in integrity with myself
– I should fight back, now cower
– He’s taking my choices away with his declared guidelines

F: Helplessness (which though is this coming from?)
A: (What do you do when you feel helpless? Civil disobedience doesn’t come from helplessness).
R: (would depends on the T, F, and A)

So, for your intentional model we need to figure out what is going to work best for you so that you can feel like you have integrity.

C: The governor doesn’t have constitutional authority. He has shut things down and says words about fines and arrests.  The mandate says no more than 6 people in a home at Thanksgiving.  I have 6 people in my home this year.

T: ???

F: Integrity

A: (What would you do in the circumstance to be in integrity with yourself?)


Feel free to post your response and we will add to this discussion.

Categories: Politics, Self

Question: How do we stay calm and focus on peace when all of those we conversate with want to discuss the state of the world and how horrible it is? I always bring gratitude into the conversation but I”m getting exhausted listening to the voices of despair! I can’t cut these people out of my life. One of them is my mother and she’s 80 and very worried and sad for our country. I feel bad for her and it is bringing me down.

Answer: How do we stay calm? By thinking thoughts that create the feeling of calm.  Watch your thoughts….

T: They think the state of the world is horrible
T: They are the voices of despair
T: It’s exhausting listening to them
T: She’s worried and sad for our country and I feel bad for her
T: She brings me down

Do these thoughts bring you peace and calm?  I’m guessing no.  What could bring you peace and calm?

T: She can think whatever she wants and it’s ok.
T: I can stay peaceful no matter what others think

Category: Relationships

Question:  Lately I have had problems being able to orgasm. My spouse is very attentive and determined which does put a little pressure on me. I appreciate his determination but I get sooooo close and I will stay close but just can’t let go. We have talked about it and I’m perplexed. I don’t feel a huge amount of pressure but could this be the problem?

Answer: The problem is almost always what is going on in your brain.  Sometimes we don’t orgasm, even when we get close.  But worrying about if you are going to or not usually just makes it worse.  I would go back to basics.  Focus on pleasure and connection and not orgasm.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  The pressure you feel is from the way YOU are thinking, not what he is DOING.  Remember to stay relaxed and also let him know that while an orgasm would be nice, you just want to focus on connecting and pleasure.

Category: Sex
Tag: Orgasm

Question: Hey Amanda! So i’ve noticed that when my husband and I have sex two days in a row it seems almost impossible for me to orgasm both times. I’m wondering if this is normal or if there is anything I can do to help with it. Thanks!

Answer: Just like men have a refractory period  (the time between an orgasm and when you feel ready to be sexually aroused again), so do women.  It varies for each individual.  For some it’s short, and some it’s longer.  It can be minutes to days.

There are three key factors affecting refractory period length that you may be able to control: arousal, sexual function, and overall health.

To boost arousal:

  • Switch up how often you have sex. A different sex schedule may result in a different refractory period.
  • Try a new position. Different positions mean different sensations. For example, you may find that you’re more in control of your arousal if you’re on top of your partner or if they’re on top of you.
  • Experiment with erogenous zones. Have your partner pull, twist, or pinch your ears, neck, nipples, lips, and other sensitive, nerve-dense areas.
  • Fantasize or role-play. Think about situations that turn you on and share them with your partner.

For sexual function, make sure you are doing your kegals. And overall health, the usual; diet and exercise.

Category: Sex
Tag: Orgasm