Embracing You! Is Amanda Louder’s new podcast that lets you listen in as she coaches women on their sexual relationship.
I really love this episode because we talk about some really basic concepts that everyone can apply to themselves and their relationships. Many of us don’t feel confident in ourselves, and that holds us back from creating the sexual relationship we want so listen in on my coaching session with Danielle to hear how we can work on that.
Amanda Louder: Welcome to the podcast for Episode 3: Coaching Danielle. I really love this episode because we talk about some really basic concepts that everyone can apply to themselves and their relationships. Many of us don’t feel confident in ourselves, and that holds us back from creating the sexual relationship we want so listen in on my coaching session with Danielle to hear how we can work on that.
Welcome to the podcast, Danielle. Thanks so much for joining me.
Danielle: Thank you.
Amanda: Okay, so what would you like help with today?
Danielle: I would just like to be more confident in bed. I just feel like I’m being silly if I try to send any kind of text. I’ve sent a few, like a picture of myself, and then I sit there and think about how silly I look or overweight I look and he doesn’t want to see that. He’d rather see some pin up girl, not that. And then I’m also timid about talking about sex and I’m 47 and I feel like I should have a little bit more confidence talking to him about that and things to try and instead I feel silly. In the past, I’ve purchased a few things to spice things up and it kind of fell flat.
And he just doesn’t initiate much. He said it’s because there have been times I’ve turned him down, so now it’s kind of left up to me to initiate. And I think that sometimes he lacks confidence.
Because of a first marriage and she stepped out quite a few times. And so I think he lacks confidence as well.
So I was just looking to you for some advice on how to get that confidence in the bedroom and to be more empowered and bold and initiating and trying things.
Amanda: Okay, so let me just make sure that I am hearing you correctly so that we are on the same page. So you want to feel more confident, empowered, bold in bed, and not feel so silly and timid when you’re doing sexual things, whether it’s texting or sending pictures, or just even initiating. Does that sound right to you?
Amanda: Okay. Now tell me what you think that this would bring for you.
Danielle: I think just more pleasure and joy and maybe and maybe a little less anxiety. Getting in bed thinking, oh this is not exciting. Or we may be doing something of different, or I guess maybe just more pleasure overall.
Amanda: Okay, great. So we want to feel more pleasure and joy in the bedroom. Right. And definitely want to bring down those anxiety levels because anxiety just totally kills pleasure and joy. Talk to me about the last time you sent a text or pictures and you felt really silly afterwards.
Danielle: I mean, it was probably about, maybe six months ago. And I just sent a picture. It wasn’t anything too crazy, just maybe in kind of a racy pair of underwear, but it just, I sent it and then I was like, oh, I wish I could have that back. Oh, that doesn’t look good. You know, it was, I mean, I think he received it well, but it, I don’t know, almost kind of left me feeling almost bad for sending it. I don’t know.
Amanda: Okay. So you sent the picture and you thought like, oh, I wish I could take that back. I don’t look good. Is that why you wanted to take it back, is because you thought you didn’t look good?
Amanda: Okay. And then you said you felt bad. Tell me more about that.
Danielle: There’s a little bit of history with him looking at things, him looking at porn when we were dating and I didn’t really find out until right before we got married.
Danielle: And then also, like my dad used to look at that and I would find his magazines around. I always felt bad for my mom. Always felt like it was disrespectful to her, so I guess I probably have a hard time sending pictures of myself just because of the negative connotation attached to porn.
Amanda: Okay, so first let’s try to separate out those two different things. Can you see that there’s a difference between looking at your wife versus looking at someone who’s not your wife.
Danielle: Right. I understand that. It should be you know, it’s okay. It should be, it’s not the same, but I guess in my mind, I still have an issue with it or shame about sending something like that.
Amanda: Okay, so let’s deal with that shame first, because I think that’s a big part of all of this is that you have some shame about sexuality. You have some shame about your body. You indicated that you know when you send a picture that you don’t feel like you look good or that you look overweight. So let’s really go inside and into your body and tell me what shame feels like in your body.
Danielle: Gosh, I don’t know how to verbalize that.
Amanda: Okay. Tell me where it is. Where does it sit in your body? Is it in your neck? Is it in your chest? Is it in your stomach?
Danielle: Maybe my gut.
Amanda: Okay. And what does it feel like? Is there a sensation there?
Danielle: Maybe a tightening.
Amanda: Okay. If it was a color, what color would it be?
Danielle: Black. Kind of dark, just that drawing in tight.
Amanda: Does it have a temperature?
Danielle Probably hot.
Amanda: Okay. Does it feel hot just in the gut where it’s tight or does that hot radiate out?
Danielle: Maybe radiates out a little bit.
Amanda: Okay. Does it have a texture?
Amanda: Is it buzzing or pulsing or is it just like solid and there?
Danielle: I think just solid in there.
Amanda: Okay, so I really want you to go, I want you to close your eyes and put your hands over that place, and I want you to just feel it for a minute and feel the discomfort that you have with that shame that’s in your gut, and it’s tight and black and dark. It’s hot and radiating outwards. Do you feel it?
Amanda: Okay, now I want you to let it talk to you. Why is it there? What is its purpose?
Danielle: I’m not sure what the purpose would be.
Amanda: Okay. I want you to get out of your head, trying to come up with a purpose, and I really want you to get into that shame. Like if the shame could talk, why would it tell you it’s there?
Danielle: The thing that comes to mind is just past experiences.
Amanda: Okay. Those past experiences that you’ve had, what purpose do you think it serves for you to feel shame?
Danielle: Is it, would it be protection somehow? But I don’t understand how that’s serving me well.
Amanda: Right. Okay. So let’s go back into your childhood experiences. Where you knew that your dad looked at porn and you felt bad for your mom. So could that shame be there to protect you against having that same experience?
Danielle: I could see that.
Amanda: Okay. So it’s protective. One of the things that our brains and our bodies do is try to protect us at all costs, because it sees certain things as a danger to ourselves, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and so it brings these things into our awareness. It offers us thoughts and feelings to help keep us safe and to protect us. So could this shame be a protective mechanism to help keep you safe from experiences that might be difficult.
Amanda: Okay. Now that’s a really good thing, right? Our brain and our body are doing their job to keep you safe and to keep you alive. They don’t quite understand that the mechanisms that were put into place to physically keep people alive are not as necessary when it comes to emotional safety. Okay? They kind of see it all as one thing, and so they’re actually doing exactly what they were created to do to help keep you safe. But what you’re noticing is that shame is keeping you disconnected from your spouse and even disconnected from yourself and your sexuality. So while it is a protective mechanism, it’s actually not serving the purpose that you would like it to. Can you see that?
Amanda: Okay. So what we want to do is really hold this shame and really go into that body, into that gut where it feels tight and hot and is just solid, going into that space and expressing gratitude and love for that, which sounds contrary to what we actually want. We actually want to get rid of it, right? We’re like, I wish it didn’t be there. But when we can express love and gratitude for it, it creates safety in that experience and helps us release it. So, out loud I would like you to talk to that shame and express love and gratitude for it for protecting you.
Danielle: Thank you for your protection. Thank you for keeping me safe and trying to protect me from just past experiences. Thank you.
Amanda: And I want you to give it permission to release.
Danielle: You can release these feelings of shame. I’m okay. And I have freedom with my husband in the bedroom.
Amanda: Beautiful. Okay. That was beautiful.
So now that you have given it permission to leave, I want you to create the space for it to dissipate. So putting your hands again over that space, I want you to breathe into that space in your hands, some really good deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. And tell me. So take a few breaths and then I want you to tell me what you’re feeling in that space after. Okay, so let’s breathe.
Danielle: It’s a feeling of peace and relaxation.
Amanda: So the tightening is kind of gone?
Amanda: Great. Okay. So now that that tightening is gone and you have released that shame, I want you to talk to me about feeling silly. Do you think that silliness will still feel, you’ll still feel that silliness even though the shame is gone?
Danielle: Maybe not. I’m going to just try to remember that if I do feel silly, just tell myself that it’s not silly to tell him about my desires.
Amanda: Ooh, I love that. That’s great, right? Like so many times we feel silly because it’s something just out of our comfort zone, right?
Amanda: I mean, it’s not like we’re used to sending sexy texts or pictures to just anyone. So it’s not something that we’re used to doing, so of course it’s going to feel silly at first. That’s actually fairly normal, and so just reminding yourself that it’s okay if it feels a little silly, it’s still something that you want to do to help express your love to your spouse.
Danielle: I even had a fear before if I started sending sexy pictures or messages, would that prompt him to get back into porn? It was a fear of mine.
Amanda: Yeah. Do you think that’s true?
Danielle: Probably not. Probably not. He’s been doing really well with that since we got married, and so no, that’s my fear. That’s not on him. I need to take responsibility for that.
Amanda: Yes. And even if you were to send lots of sexy pictures and he looked at porn, the two are not necessarily correlated. It’s always a choice that he has. And he could be looking at porn whether you’re sending him sexy pictures or not.
Danielle: That’s true. That’s true. I can’t prevent him from doing anything.
Amanda: No. Nope. Unfortunately, we can’t control our spouse. I always tell people like, if you figure out how to control your spouse, please tell me. Because I think everybody would love to learn how to actually do that, but the truth is we don’t actually, we can’t actually control our spouse, and so the things that they do are always because of their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. It’s always their choice. So do you remember the model that we talk about?
Amanda: Circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, and results, right? You sending sexy pictures to your spouse is their circumstance, so then they get to choose how they want to think about it and feel about it, and then act. They could choose a million different things. And so you aren’t responsible for their thoughts, feelings, and actions because of your actions. They’re always responsible for their own actions.
So what is most important is that you live according to your integrity and what feels good and right for you, and if it feels good and right for you to send your husband sexy pictures and texts, do that. Because that’s what’s in your integrity.
What do you hope to accomplish by sending him these?
Danielle: Maybe to try something new, spice things up, gives you something to look forward to because we tend to get a little stuck in a rut.
Danielle: You know, it comes, our conversations oftentimes are just, I call transactional. Are you picking up the kids? I’m picking up the kids. Did you pay the bill? I paid the bill. Where we going to eat? I don’t know where you want to eat.
Amanda: So creating that novelty, that excitement, that anticipation is a really important part of our sexual relationship. So what you’re doing is actually helping create the sexual relationship that you actually want. Which is a good thing. And so those are the things that I want you to remember when those feelings of silliness or feeling timid come up is the result that comes from those kinds of things, is actually what you want to create. The deeper connection, the greater intimacy, the novelty, the anticipation. Those are the things that you actually want to create. So even though you’re feeling silly or maybe feeling a little shy or timid, you’re actually creating what you want by doing those things.
Amanda: Okay. How do we actually feel confident? Do you remember what we’ve talked about?
Danielle: I think it’s just having better thoughts about yourself. It’s like what you think about yourself.
Amanda: So much of it is about what you think about yourself. Absolutely. That relationship with that you have with yourself is so, so crucial. Confidence, so much of it is also about being willing to feel any emotion and knowing that no matter what you feel, you will be okay and that you can walk yourself through it.
Danielle: I do feel like I’ve made some small strides with that. I caught myself a few days ago, I knocked something over on the counter and I seriously caught myself thinking, you are so stupid and clutzy. And I just caught myself and was like, no, people can knock over something and it doesn’t make them stupid or clutzy.
Amanda: Yes. That is what we call having your own back. That you are being compassionate and loving and kind to yourself no matter what. And that really helps that relationship with yourself so that you can feel more confident. So let’s say that you sent your husband some sexy pictures or texts and it was not well received. How do you think you would feel?
Danielle: I would probably honestly take that pretty hard because I’m putting myself out there and making myself vulnerable. And then to get kind of a lackluster response or like, oh yeah. What? Oh, I’m sorry. I was too busy to check those today. That would probably, definitely, that it would definitely hurt my feelings.
Amanda: Okay, so that would be hard for you.
Amanda: If you were someone who had a lot of confidence, how do you think that person would respond?
Danielle: They could easily shake it off and just be like, I know I’m hot. I’ve got lots of confidence. I don’t care. Like, I’m hot and I don’t really need your approval.
Amanda: Okay, so those are the thoughts that you actually want to practice. Okay. What would a confident person say and do in that instance? And then live into that. Become her by practicing those thoughts ahead of time, and when your brain wants to say, you know, things to yourself that aren’t great, that are maybe hurtful and painful, I want you to acknowledge that that’s how you feel because we don’t want to ever just switch our thoughts to make ourselves feel better. So we always want to feel what we need to feel, but then also remind yourself that there are other ways of thinking. And if you choose to, you can think other ways. But when we practice these new thoughts, we kind of act our way into becoming that person. Does that make sense to you?
Amanda: So that’s what we want to really move towards is practicing these thoughts that someone who’s really confident would think instead of listening to the thoughts that automatically come to our mind and putting weight and power behind those. Because remember those again, come from that place inside you that’s trying to keep you safe and protect you and that wall or that shield of armor comes up as self protection, but the way to actually protect yourself is to be confident in your desires and what you’re putting forward so that no matter what someone says, you know that you’re going to get your own back and you’re going to be okay.
So let’s practice that. Okay? So you send a sexy picture or text to your husband and what we say, like a lackluster response. Like he doesn’t even bother to look or he doesn’t say anything. Or he is like, why did you send these to me? What would the confident person say? What would the confident Danielle say?
Danielle: I know I look good, I look sexy. And even if you don’t reciprocate that, I’m going to have a good day and I’m going to feel good about myself.
Amanda: Yeah. Now, if there’s still a small part of you that is a little hurt by it, that’s okay and we want to acknowledge that part, but I want you to practice acting into that confidence space rather than listening to all of the talk and chatter that your brain will give you. It’s there to keep you safe and protect you, but it doesn’t actually help create confidence.
Danielle: Okay. That’s great. Thank you.
Amanda: Okay. Is there anything else that you want to talk about today?
Danielle: No. I think you’ve given me a lot to think about and you know, I just need to practice.
Amanda: It always takes practice, right?
Danielle The biggest thing is the awareness. Just really coming into awareness of the thoughts in my head because there’s just so much and a lot of times I’m not even aware. And like that example a couple days ago, I mean I caught myself and I was like, oh my gosh, I would never talk to a husband or kids like that.
Amanda: Right. Exactly.
Danielle: And it was over something so silly. So it’s the awareness. So that’s definitely what I’m trying to become is more aware of the thoughts.
Amanda: Great. So, and remember the best way to become aware is to write them down. And really be able to look at them through and see, is this even true? Because our brain comes up with some pretty crazy stuff sometimes, and really looking at it like, do I want to believe this?
Do I want to put power behind these thoughts? Or is there something else that I would like to think and believe on purpose instead? And that’s how we start to make these shifts.
Danielle: I’m definitely going to practice that. Thank you.
Amanda: Awesome. Okay, so before we end today, I want you to think about what was most impactful for you out of this experience.
Danielle: You know, I’ve never really tried the settling into your body experience. So it was really hard for me to even vocalize, like how it feels and where. That’s something I would like to maybe try to explore a little bit more. Like how is that feeling in my body? And then just what you said about practice, you know, acting confident and what would a confident person think in this situation. And so those were definitely some takeaways.
Amanda: Awesome. That is great, Danielle. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Danielle: Thank you.
Amanda: So that was a really great session with Danielle where we were able to really get into her body and work through some of the shame that she was feeling and talk about confidence and how we can be more confident in our sexual relationships.
I hope everyone found that helpful. And remember, there are three episodes a month, so this is the end of our December episodes, and the next episode will air in January. Have a Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year.