Amanda: Welcome everyone to the Embracing You Podcast. I am so excited to be able to introduce this podcast to you. So this first episode is with Beth, and we are going to be looking at a few different modalities that I use in coaching as we move through her different requests for this session and desires for this session.
So let’s go ahead and get started.
Welcome, Beth. How can I help you today?
Beth: I’ve got a couple different things that I’ve been thinking about. One is my knee jerk reaction to a lot of sex acts is just yuck.
I also was going through the modules about desire and realizing a big reason why I want an increased sex drive and that part to be better is I think I’m kind of using it to manage our relationship rather than from a place of desire in myself. Does that make sense?
Amanda: Yes. Yes. Anything else?
Beth: I tend to feel like guilty or dirty when I think about or talk about sex very much.
Amanda: Okay. So let’s talk about this first one first. Your knee jerk reaction is yuck. Tell me more about that.
Beth: Not sex in general, but with oral sex or anything that’s outside of vanilla basically is off putting. Like I would say that the thought that comes to my head is yuck.
Amanda: Okay, so tell me more about that. Why do you think that you feel like anything outside of vanilla sex is yucky?
Beth: It just seems gross to me.
Amanda: Why is it gross?
Beth: Um, that’s where I’ve been stuck because I’m like, well obviously this is a thought, but it just feels true. Like when you don’t like a particular food that’s, and it’s just like, I don’t like that food. It’s gross to me. Even though I know that’s a thought, it feels facty because I have tried it over and over and don’t like it.
Amanda: Yes. Okay. Well, and it’s totally fine that you do, we just want to understand it a little bit better because we can’t change it if you decide you want to change it unless we understand it. Does that make sense?
Amanda: Okay. So I want you to really think about, let’s just take oral sex, for example. When you think about oral sex, I know that the knee jerk reaction is yuck, but I really want you to think about why it seems gross or yucky to you.
Beth: I mean, probably sanitary wise, you know, because those parts are also used for going to the bathroom.
Hair is gross to me. The smells and tastes, all of that. It just isn’t nice. But then at the same time, I’m like, well, yeah, it’s a body part. It’s not supposed to be like cotton candy.
I understand that logically.
Amanda: Logically. Yes. Yes. Okay. And that’s really where our brain and our body do different things. While logically we can say, well, of course it’s not gross. That makes sense. Inside of our bodies, it tells us a different story.
And so much of that comes from the conditioning that we received. Like you weren’t born thinking that body parts were unsanitary, that hair is gross and that smells and tastes are gross. Does that make sense to you?
Beth: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Amanda: Okay. So can you think of maybe some conditioning that you’ve had in those areas that has played into this?
Beth: I can’t think of anything specific where someone told me that that’s gross or, I mean, growing up in the church, I would say learning that oral sex is not okay and then later like, well, it is okay if you’re married and you’re both okay with it, but maybe it isn’t. I think that’s part of it.
Amanda: Yeah. What did you learn in church about oral sex?
Beth: I don’t know that I learned anything in church, but I know like reading The Miracle of Forgiveness a couple times in college. That probably is where a lot of my fears and hesitations came from, which is funny because it’s not like I remember any specifics now. It’s just like the feeling.
Amanda: The feeling. Right. It’s like that saying, we’ll remember so much more about how we feel than actually what we experienced. It’s those feelings that stay in our body, which is why we can’t just think our way out of things a lot of times.
Amanda: Okay. So what I want you to think about is, what do you actually desire when it comes to maybe oral sex or things outside of vanilla? Right now your knee jerk reaction is yuck. What do you actually want it to be?
Beth: Uh, I want it to be fun and easy.
Amanda: Okay. All right. We’re going to do an exercise and you may have heard me do it on other calls or, you know, seen it on some of our coaching calls, but we’re going to go actually into the body to address this. Do you feel safe enough in this call to go into your body and close your eyes and do that?
Amanda: Okay. So I want you to close your eyes and let’s just take a minute to ground ourselves. So I want you to take a couple of good deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth.
Okay. I want you to describe to me how you’re feeling in your body right now. Do you feel safe? Do you feel relaxed? Do you feel anxious? What are you feeling?
Beth: Uh, safe. Probably a little amped up just from being on a call, it’s exciting.
Amanda: Okay. That’s all right. Okay, so what I want want you to do is I want you to go into your mind and imagine yourself in a place where sex and maybe oral sex is fun and easy.
Okay, and I want you to really play this out using all of your senses of what that would look like. So I want you to describe to me if oral sex and maybe just even sex in general is fun and easy, what would that look like? What would you see?
Beth: I see us smiling and laughing and having fun in the bedroom.
Amanda: Okay. Anything else? The more you can describe your surroundings, the better. Not just the two of you, but everything that’s going on around you.
Beth: It would be low light and warm, but not hot, though that’s not visual. And we would be dressed in cute lingerie type clothes.
Amanda: Okay. Where are you at?
Beth: In our room.
Amanda: Okay. Describe your bedroom for me.
Beth: Um, a king size bed with a nightstands and two windows and two dressers.
Amanda: Okay. Tell me more about that. What kind of feelings does your bedroom create for you?
Beth: It’s cozy and warm and relaxing.
Amanda: Okay, so you’re in your cozy, warm, relaxing bedroom in your king size bed. There’s low light, it’s warm, but not too hot. You’re wearing lingerie. You see the two of you smiling and laughing at each other. What do you hear?
Beth: We usually have white noise on. So white noise. Maybe low music.
Amanda: Okay. What else?
Beth: Us talking and kissing sounds, you know.
Amanda: Okay. Now I really want you to immerse yourself in that experience and see yourself there. Is there anything else that you’re hearing?
Beth: That sound when your hands go over skin.
Amanda: So you can hear the sound of touching each other. Okay.
So you’re in this bedroom where you feel safe and you’re smiling and laughing. You can hear the white noise and the music, talking, kissing sounds, touching each other. What do you smell?
Beth: Candles. We usually have some candles on.
Amanda: Okay. What do your candles smell like?
Beth: Um, just like flowery. And usually his is like Old Spice. I like that smell.
Amanda: What else do you smell?
Beth: Clean sheets. Usually he’s just shaved, so his face lotion.
Amanda: Okay. Anything else?
Beth: It’s often in the evening, right after he showered, so it has clean hair too.
Amanda: Okay. Now remember you’re picturing the ideal here, right? Where you’re having fun and it’s just easy, right? So you can smell the flowery candles. You can smell Old Spice, the clean sheets, his face lotion, since he just shaved, clean hair. What do you taste?
Beth: I guess just his mouth. We don’t usually do anything like mints or anything like that, so just him.
Amanda: Him. Okay. So you’re kissing his mouth and tasting his mouth. Anywhere else? Anything else you’re tasting?
Beth: Usually like his neck and ear, and his skin.
Amanda: Okay. Now if we’re thinking about oral sex here, is there something else you’re tasting?
Beth: I forgot. Weird. Yeah. Um, I don’t even know how to describe that taste. Usually, I mean, he’s clean, so he is fresh out of the shower, so it’s mostly clean and it’s like musty. I don’t know how to describe that taste.
Amanda: So are you tasting his penis in your mouth or tasting come, pre-cum?
Beth: I don’t even feel comfortable saying that.
Amanda: Okay. Am I describing what you actually would be tasting though?
Amanda: Okay. All right. And I want you to think about what you’re touching, what you’re feeling, and it can be like actual tactile, but also what you’re feeling in your body.
Beth: If I were comfortable?
Amanda: Yes. But fun and easy.
Beth: I don’t even, I’m not sure because I haven’t experienced that. That’s hard for me to access.
Amanda: I want you to just imagine what it might be like. What you’re touching, tacitly, and then what you’re feeling in your body when everything is just fun and easy. This is just using your imagination.
Beth: I’d be touching him and feeling, I don’t know, excited and loving and happy to make him happy.
Amanda: Do you think if it was fun and easy, it would be about just making him happy?
Beth: Uh, I mean, I know the answer is no. I don’t see how I would feel. Well, I guess what I’d like to feel is aroused making him aroused.
Amanda: Yes. Okay. Now, I want you to go into your body right now and tell me where the resistance is, where you’re feeling uncomfortable with this whole scenario.
Beth: Uh, even just thinking like my body language has totally changed. My arms and my legs are crossed. I’m like clenching my eyes closed.
Amanda: Where do you feel it the most in your body? This resistance and tense feelings?
Beth: Probably in my chest or shoulder. No, more my chest.
Amanda: Okay. Tell me what that feels like for you.
Beth: Really tight, like clenched forward, you know, like in on myself.
Amanda: Tell me more what it feels like. If you could describe it to someone who really had no idea what you were feeling.
Beth: Kind of like bees buzzing, like at that cloud inside, yeah, kind of, uh, stormy.
Amanda: Okay. So you’re feeling this tight resistance in your chest where you’re clenched in on yourself, buzzing. There’s a cloud inside that’s really stormy. Does that sound right?
Amanda: Okay. Now I want you to go into that space and I want you to tell me why that resistance is there. I want you to give it a voice and let it tell us why it’s there.
Beth: Because part of me still believes that it’s wrong and bad and not okay.
Amanda: And why do you think that your body is resisting this so much? Why do you think it wants to hold onto it being wrong and bad and not okay?
Beth: Maybe because then I’d be less, what’s the word? like righteous, valuable, it’s not quite the right word, but that’s where I am.
Amanda: So you’re holding onto these things so that you can be more righteous and valuable.
Beth: Valuable is not right, but yeah…
Beth: Yes, worthy, that’s the word. Yes.
Amanda: Okay. So your body wants to hold onto these because it’s afraid that if you were to let go, it would be less righteous and less worthy.
Beth: Yeah. More like the Eternal ramifications of what we do here on Earth.
Amanda: Okay. Do you believe it?
Beth: I don’t believe that it’s wrong to have oral sex? No.
Amanda: Okay. I want you to just go inside and understand why this part is there. That it’s there to protect you and keep you safe because your body says that if we let go of this, then you would be unsafe because you would be less worthy and there’s Eternal ramifications for it.
Do you see that?
Amanda: Okay, so now I want you to actually talk to that tightness in your chest. That buzzing and that stormy cloud and express gratitude that it’s there for keeping you safe.
Beth: So … thank you for being with me and keeping me safe and trying to keep me in whatever circumstance.
Amanda: We really want to hold this part and be loving and kind and express gratitude for it because it’s there for a reason and a purpose, right?
Amanda: Okay, so is there anything else you want to say to that tightness and that buzzing, stormy cloud in you?
Beth: That this isn’t something that I need to be kept safe or separate from.
Amanda: Okay? Now I want you to go into your body and tell me where you feel strong and powerful.
Beth: I always feel strong in my legs.
Amanda: Okay, so tell me what feels strong and powerful about your legs.
Beth: I have big muscle groups that can do everything I ask of them.
Amanda: So can these muscle groups that are strong and can do what you ask, be supportive of this part of you that maybe you don’t feel as strong in.
Beth: Yeah. Hmmm…
Amanda: Okay, so now I want you to go into your legs and give them a voice and speak to that tightness in your chest from your legs where you feel strong and powerful, and how supportive they can be for that.
Beth: Hmm. Uh, like I’ve got this and can keep us strong even when things are out of the usual or new or we haven’t thought about them before.
Amanda: Okay, now I want you to pay attention to what’s happening in your chest right now. Has anything changed?
Beth: Yeah, it’s not there anymore.
Amanda: At all?
Beth: It feels all calm now.
Amanda: Okay. All right. I want you to take a couple of deep breaths and when you’re ready, you can open your eyes.
Amanda: How do you feel?
Beth: Um, Relief.
Amanda: Okay. Anything else?
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. So I want you to just see that we have these parts in our bodies that kind of stay stuck and keep resisting these things that we actually want for ourselves, but we also have really strong parts that can be supportive and loving and help us when we’re in those weak moments. Do you see that?
Amanda: And so when we get into those situations where we actually want this for ourselves, I mean, you said, I do want it to be fun and easy and have this relationship with my spouse and then we have that resistance come up and instead of listening to that resistance, go into where you feel strong and powerful and talk yourself through it rather than giving into the resistance.
Beth: Yeah. I think I’ve been resisting the resistance. You can’t feel that way.
Amanda: Yes. And we don’t want to resist the resistance. We want to actually listen to that resistance and give it a voice and understand it and love it. And I mean, almost like hold it like a baby, like I’m so grateful for you because it’s actually the part of you that’s doing its job trying to keep you safe and alive.
Beth: Yeah. It reminds me of talking a kid through getting on a roller coaster where they’re scared and they don’t wanna do it, but you say, it’s totally normal that you’re scared, but you’re actually safer there than in a car.
Amanda: Yes. Yes. And so you’re being that supportive person for a kid who’s wanting to go on the rollercoaster, and you can be that for yourself as well when you pull in your strengths and where you do feel strong to support those weaker parts rather than trying to resist them. Does that make sense?
Amanda: Now, this is going to take practice when you actually get in the moment, but I want you to remember this when you get into those things, that this is actually something that you want and that can be really good for you and that you can support yourself through it.
Amanda: And while our body thinks, if I do this, it makes me unworthy, logically, we know that that’s not true. And so that’s why we go into the body to work on this and not just try and think our way out of it.
Let’s talk a little bit about why you feel like you’re trying to manage your relationship rather than actually wanting this for yourself.
Beth: Well, I was realizing that I say I do want a greater sex drive, but I’m was thinking, but why? I mean, yes, sex being more enjoyable and more fun sounds wonderful, but I think that the primary reason so far has been so that our relationship is smoother and my husband is happier.
Amanda: Yeah. So let’s delve in a little bit more about why you actually want this for yourself.
Beth: Um, mostly because it feels good when I’m able to be there completely, you know? And because it’s fun and when I’m authentically present, it does bring us closer, not just for him, but for me too.
Amanda: Yeah. And do you want that?
Amanda: Yeah. And so that’s what we have to remember is that while your brain’s like, no, we need to do this to make him happy and to make our relationship smoother, we always need to go back into the true ‘why’s’.
Why you want this for you, because it does feel good and it’s fun, and you deserve that. That’s part of experiencing this life, right? It’s not just all about work, work, work and other people, but really about you experiencing the fullness of what this life has to offer and what can be experienced in your body. And I love that you said when I’m authentically present, it actually does bring us closer, which is what you want.
Amanda: So what resistance comes up that keeps you from being authentically present?
Beth: Um, I think it’s the same kind of feeling of fear of worthiness and I guess a lot of times too, I feel like I need to be, not totally aroused, but more interested even going into the situation than I am. And if I’m not, then it’s sometimes hard to get there because I’m in my head like, you’re not already feeling this way, and spinning in my head instead of physically and mentally being there.
Amanda: Okay. So I want to make sure that I’m understanding this correctly. So you’ve kind of had this resistance that you feel like you need to be interested going in and already there before you even start to engage and when you’re not, then you’re too in your head thinking you should have been there already. Does that sound right?
Beth: Yeah, I mean, it seems like he’s almost always like ready to go and I’m definitely responsive except for I’m not even that responsive is how I feel. Where it’s not like I don’t sit around and feel interested. It’s more like, oh yeah, we could do that. Sure. That’s like as excited as I get ahead of time.
Amanda: Okay. So I think a little bit more education would be important here. So when we say responsive desire, oftentimes that means getting our mind in the right place, but it also includes touch. A lot of times we have to start getting aroused before that desire even kicks in.
Amanda: So if you can be willing to work on getting aroused, which means you have to be willing to be touched, then that desire often kicks in after that point.
Beth: Yeah. And that has been a lot better since the last time I got coached. But yeah, it’s definitely still a work in progress.
Amanda: Always a work in progress.
Okay. So, and when I say touched, we also have to make sure that you’re being touched in ways that you like being touched and that work for you, not just what husbands tend to do.
Beth: Yes. And that’s also a work in progress, both him touching well and me receiving well.
Amanda: So do you know how you like to be touched?
Beth: No, I would say in general I don’t. Well, and that’s weird too because it’s not that I’m not a touchy person. Hugging and holding hands, like even I’m a snuggler. I don’t have physical boundaries like that. But like with more sexual touch, it’s the same as with oral sex, I clamp up at first, usually. So it’s hard for me…
Amanda: So affectionate touch is great, and then we start to move more into like playful touch and then erotic touch. So have you listened to the Sex for Saints podcast episode on the Five Gears of Touch?
Beth: I don’t think so, or if I have, it was a long time ago.
Amanda: Okay. So that would be a really great one for you to listen to. Let me see if I can pull up the number for that really fast. That’s episode 137.
So I would listen to that one again and just work on building touch up in ways that you like. And that’s going to take some work figuring out. Also, it should be included in your workbook, the Roadmap to Pleasure. Have you done that with your husband?
Amanda: Okay. So I would consider working on that.
That can kind of give you some direction on, once you can move into the more erotic touch, what kind of touch and where you like to be touched.
So as women, we have just as much, if not more erotic potential than men, but we also have a lot of, the clitoral network is vast, meaning that when you get aroused, there’s erectile tissue that engorges and fills with blood. Okay? So we have that throughout our vulva in different spots, but we also have erectile tissue in our ears, in our nose, in our mouth, our throat, we have it all over our body. And so the more that we’re willing to be touched in those areas, like most women don’t to be touched on their breasts and their vulva right off the bat because they’re not aroused yet and they tend to be more sensitive and it can even be painful if you go directly there.
But if you can work on being touched in other areas that feel good and you start to get aroused and those areas start to get engorged, then like your clitoris will also get engorged and you also have a erectile tissue in your breasts and in your nipples, that’s why they stand up.
So that way, all of those start to come online and that’s when you start to move into arousal. And then you want to be touched on your breasts and your vulva, and then you can really start to move into a higher aroused state where that desire kicks in and you actually do want to go further.
So it’s a matter of being willing to be a good receiver and be willing to be touched in all of those different places as a way to warm your body up so that you are ready to engage sexually.
Beth: That makes sense.
Amanda: So I would work on that and figuring out how and where you like to be touched. And all women are different.
Some women are like, I don’t ever want him to touch my ears.
Other women are like, oh my gosh, when he nibbles on my ears or kisses my ears or whatever, like, it just sends me over the edge.
Beth: That’s how my husband is with his ears.
Amanda: But like my husband hates his ears to be touched.
Beth: It doesn’t sound good to me either.
Amanda: Yeah, we’re all so different. So really finding how you like to be touched is going to be a really crucial piece. And the more aroused you get, it’s been shown that then the desire kicks in, but your disgust levels also go down and your inhibitions go down, and you’re more willing to engage in behaviors that you wouldn’t otherwise, when you’re highly aroused.
Beth: Yeah, that makes sense.
Amanda: So, if you’re wanting to try to be engaged in like oral sex more, I would work on getting into a highly aroused state first, and then that disgust factor and the inhibitions are a lot lower and it’s easier to work through that.
Beth: Yeah, I would say, and I’m almost never like highly aroused, it’s just like, Yeah, this is enough and we can go forward.
Amanda: Okay. So I would keep working on getting more and more aroused rather than jumping to like intercourse.
Beth: Yeah. The pattern that we have at least is where we’ll get to a certain point, and if we keep going, then instead of it increasing, I’m just like, he’ll accidentally hurt me or I’ll get turned off, so I guess now I’m just scared. We’re both probably scared to go farther than good enough because we don’t want to…
Amanda: Tell me about him hurting you.
Beth: Oh, just like, literally on accident.
Amanda: Yeah, I don’t think he’s hurting you on purpose, but like, what happening?
Beth: Like biting my lip on accident too hard or rolling around and pinching skin, you know, just things like that where it’s a shock.
Amanda: Okay. So the more aroused you can get, even if those happen, then it’ll be easier for you to move through them. So rather than that being like a hard stop, it’s like, oh, that didn’t work, it’s more like, Okay, let’s try something else.
Beth: Yeah, that makes sense. And it has been more like that recently than it used to be.
Amanda: And a lot of that’s just also a mindset piece too, where so many times we’re like, well, if anything bad happens, then I’m done.
Amanda: Where if we can get into more of a fun and playful tone, that even when you know things happen, we’re able to move through them easier.
Beth: That makes sense. Yeah.
Amanda: Let’s just think about bowling for example. If we’re bowling and we’re having fun, and it’s playful, if we throw a gutter ball, it’s not the end of the world, right? But when we’re like, oh, this is serious, and we have to get through this, if we throw a gutter ball, we’re like, well, now I’m less likely to win and it’s not going to be as fun.
It just is so much easier when we can just have a fun and playful attitude about everything.
Beth: That makes sense.
Amanda: So I really just want you to employ what we’ve learned today as far as like when that resistance comes up, being really kind and gentle with yourself and walking yourself through that rather than giving into that resistance.
And be willing to be highly aroused and touched and not like trying to move through it too quickly.
So another good thing to do since you’re in the membership is have you gone through Spark?
Beth: I don’t remember.
Amanda: It’s one of the courses. So it was a five day workshop that I did.
Beth: Oh wait, I remember. No, I didn’t go through that.
Amanda: Okay. So, I would recommend going through all of those, but specifically, the day on arousal would be really, really helpful for you.
Beth: Okay. Writing that down.
Amanda: Is there anything else you wanted to discuss today?
Beth: I think that it’s a good place to start.
Amanda: Okay. So as we close, I just want you to reflect on our session today and tell me, and this is for your benefit too, just to help you kind of integrate into what’s happening, what do you feel like was the most helpful for you? What was an aha moment for you? What worked best for you?
Beth: Um, I think the somatic work, like going into my body and thinking about that buzzing in my chest and seeing that as a not necessary safety mechanism.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. I love that. Anything else?
Beth: Uh, and real realizing I need to figure out how I want to be touched because like, I can’t even tell you.
Amanda: Yeah. Really, really important. Right? I mean, it’s not going to work well for you if you’re not being touched in the right way.
Beth: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s got to be frustrating for him too. He’s trying so hard, but I can’t give him guideposts.
Amanda: Yeah. And if you don’t know, how is he gonna know? Right? He’s not a mind reader and he doesn’t know your body better than you do.
Okay, Beth. Well thank you so much for coaching with me today. I really appreciate it. And, let’s just take a little minute to ground ourselves back before we’re done today.
So if you want to close your eyes, put a hand on your chest, a hand on your stomach. We’ll just take a couple of deep breaths.
And open your eyes when you’re ready.
Beautiful. Thank you so much.
Beth: Thank you, Amanda.
Amanda: Okay. That was a really great session with Beth where we were able to work on a few different things, both in the body and in the mind. And it just shows that sometimes those education pieces are a big part of what’s happening in our sexual relationships. That we don’t quite have the knowledge that we need to have in order to be successful.
And so getting that knowledge in different ways is really, really important so that we can move forward. I think a lot of times with coaching, we address things in the mind, but many times we know things logically and it’s still not happening because we need to address what’s going on in the body.
So I’m really grateful that we could do that today with Beth. Thank you so much for joining with me today, and we’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.