In this episode, I am going to be talking to Grace about a few different things that are just kind of basics when it comes to sex. So many of us were missing a comprehensive sexual education. So we need to have some of that basic foundation.
The primary thing that I’m going to be talking to her about is her anxiety. So many women come to me with anxiety in general, and then definitely anxiety about sex. So we’re going to walk through some ways to work through some of that anxiety, and I hope it’s helpful for you.
Amanda Louder: Hello everyone. Welcome to episode seven. In this episode, I am going to be talking to Grace about a few different things that are just kind of basics when it comes to sex. So many of us were missing a comprehensive sexual education. So we need to have some of that basic foundation. And then the primary thing that I’m going to be talking to her about is her anxiety. And so many women come to me with anxiety in general, and then definitely anxiety about sex. And so we’re going to walk through some ways to work through some of that anxiety, and I hope it’s helpful for you. So let’s take a listen.
Amanda: Hi, Grace, welcome to the podcast. What can I help you with today?
Grace: Hi. My husband and I have been married for about eight years. We have two kids and I guess I’m eight months pregnant now, so we have a lot going on in our lives and we just feel like we are not on the same page in our sexual life, I guess. I think there’s the kind of two big things that we’ve kind of discussed at length and I think one of the main ones is that he is the higher desire partner and I feel like I’m the lower desire partner and a lot of times I feel like I struggle to know what the difference is between I’m in the mood, like I’m just not in the mood to have sex versus I am making excuses to not have sex. And then also I feel like I kind of am more traditional as far as what I prefer in the bedroom and he’s a little bit more adventurous per se. And so he kind of sometimes feels like it’s hard for him to call the shots or he feels like I’m kind of calling the shots a lot. And I feel like I am often not enough, like I’m not doing things enough or I’m not meeting his needs like he would prefer to. So that’s kind of where we’re at.
Amanda: Okay. All right. So let’s talk about this “not in the mood”. Tell me what that means.
Grace: Not in the mood is not being able to get out of my head. I’ve dealt with anxiety for a lot of my life and I think just not being able to push aside the thoughts that are in my head and not being able to focus on the moment is the biggest thing.
Amanda: So would you qualify not in the mood as like, not feeling this huge desire or it’s just, I’m willing to try but I can’t get outta my head.
Grace: I guess a little bit of both. Sometimes I do try and I don’t feel like I’m all there emotionally or mentally, and so I think that kind of results in me not having the best experience. Which then makes me not as excited to do it again.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. How often do you feel like this is happening?
Grace: I’d say probably more often than not.
Grace: More often than not, at least, I don’t know. Probably like half the time, maybe more. Three out of four times.
Amanda: Okay. And how often, like would you, and maybe, I mean I think it’s more you, but , because your husband would probably want to engage more often than you do. How often do you want to engage?
Grace: Not very often.
Amanda: Okay. What does that mean? Like once a month, once a week?
Grace: I would probably say like every other month I’m like, I’m ready for this. Let’s do this.
Amanda: Okay. When you do try and you can stay in that place, do you enjoy it?
Grace: I do a lot.
Amanda: Okay. So what do you think the biggest hurdle is in not being able to calm your mind?
Grace: I think there’s just so many things going through my head that it’s just hard to focus on being in the moment. I mean, as a mom, there’s just always something to be done and it’s hard to just push all of that aside. Just the day-to-day things.
Amanda: What have you tried so far?
Grace: We’ve tried kind of blocking out larger portions of time and so that we can kind of have a greater introduction, so to speak, where we just kind of sit and talk and kind of try and focus on each other. So we’ve tried that.
Amanda: Does that work?
Grace: Sometimes. Not usually, but sometimes.
Grace: What else have we tried? I dunno. I guess just trying to set the mood. My husband’s a lot more spontaneous than I am and so I feel like it sometimes helps if he’s like, “Hey, I’m kind of in the mood.” And so then it gives me like a day or two to kind of get in the right headspace. And sometimes having a little bit of warning so to speak, kind of helps me.
Grace: Which I think kinda takes a lot, a little bit of the fun out of it for him. The spontaneity.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Anything else?
Grace: Not that I can think of off the top of my head.
Amanda: Okay. What do you normally do for your anxiety?
Grace: Typically I take medication to help manage it. While we’ve been pregnant, and trying to get pregnant, I stopped taking my anxiety medication, which probably plays a big part in a lot of the anxious feelings that I’ve been having.
Amanda: Okay, do you feel like this has been a bigger problem since you’ve been pregnant than normal?
Grace: Yeah, and I think before we were, you know, before we got pregnant, we also experienced two miscarriages in a row, and so I think it’s just been kind a lot of, there’s been a lot of difficult emotions associated with intimacy and I think all of those kind of have compounded plus the anxiety to kind of just create this, I don’t know, for me, a really pressure-filled experience to have good sex, honestly.
Amanda: I’m sorry about the miscarriages. That’s really hard, especially two in a row.
Grace: It is hard. Yeah. But we’re really grateful to be pregnant now, so, yeah.
Amanda: Yes. Good, good. Okay. So I think I want to focus a little bit on the anxiety and how we can help maybe manage that a little bit and then I think it’ll be easier to connect and move through this, like if, if you can actually do it and enjoy it, we just need to get you to the point where you are willing to engage so that you can enjoy it. And sometimes that anxiety is a huge piece of it that keeps us from even wanting to try. right? Okay. So, you know, when you’re on medication that can help, but there’s also some different things that maybe you’ve, you know, talked with someone about, a doctor or therapist about, that can help manage your anxiety. But I think journaling is a really good piece for managing anxiety. Anxiety has a lot to do with the future, so, really, you know, worrying about the future and the fears that come up and yeah, that’s not to say that there isn’t, you know, just like generalized anxiety that’s not about that. I having experienced lots of anxiety myself, I understand quite a bit about it from my own perspective and I mean, it’s different for everyone, but you know, sometimes it’s just there whether you’re actually like, you know, thinking about things or not. It’s just there and feelings in your body.
Amanda: So I was wondering if you would feel safe enough and comfortable enough to do some somatic work with me for your anxiety.
Grace: Yeah, I’d be happy to.
Amanda: Okay. So the best way for this to happen is for you to close your eyes so that you can really focus on my voice and on the sensations that are happening in your body. Do you feel safe enough to close your eyes?
Amanda: Okay, great. Okay, so if you want to close your eyes, and I want you to think about having sex with your husband. And the anxiety that you feel about that. Do you experience it in your body right now when you think about it?
Amanda: Okay. I want you to describe it for me. Where is it in your body? What does it feel like?
Grace: It’s, it’s in my chest. My heart is racing a little bit. My mind is going a little bit blank because I feel overwhelmed by just, even just by thinking about it.
Amanda: Okay, so you said it’s in your chest. And I want you to just really tune into that feeling and describe it for me. Is it hot? Is it cold? Is it fast? Is it slow? Is it pulsing? Is it beating? Is it buzzing? Like really tune into that feeling and describe it. Like if you had to describe it to someone who had no idea what anxiety felt like, how would you describe it to them?
Grace: It feels fast and it feels almost like a buzzing, like a warm buzzing, a fast warm buzzing that is kind of drawing all of my energy right to my chest where I can’t focus on the rest of my body. All of my attention feels drawn there.
Amanda: Okay. That’s really, really good, Grace. Okay, so I want you to just go into that space where that fast, warm buzzing is happening, and I want you to just think about it and breathe and take some really good breaths if you can, in through your nose and out through your mouth, focusing on putting those breaths into that space. And we want to just create space for that anxiety to exist. So many times when we feel these kinds of emotions, we want to push them away because we don’t want to feel them. And I really want you to lean into actually feeling what’s happening in your body. You said you felt overwhelmed. Is there any other feelings that come up with that anxiety?
Grace: A lot of guilt for feeling anxious about something that I should love. .
Amanda: Okay. Anything else?
Grace: Guilt pressure to perform.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. Are that guilt and that pressure in the same place?
Amanda: Okay. Do they feel different or is it that same fast buzzing, warm?
Grace: I guess they do come from a different place.
Amanda: Okay. Tell me about that.
Grace: I guess those feelings are coming from my brain telling me to, kind of talking me down.
Amanda: Okay. So I really want you to just, let’s just put those out of your mind for a minute and really focus on what’s happening in your body, okay?
Amanda: Now, instead of feeling guilty or feeling like you shouldn’t be feeling this anxiety, what I want you to do is give that anxiety a voice. Embody that anxiety and talk from that place. Why is that anxiety there? What purpose does it serve? What does it want you to know?
Grace: I think it’s, I’m feeling it. Hang on.
Amanda: Yeah, that’s okay. Just keep breathing.
Grace: It’s just very repetitious. It’s very overwhelming that there’s something, it’s like my body is telling me like something urgent needs to happen, or not happen, and it’s like my anxiety doesn’t know what needs to happen, but that something should be happening is how it feels.
Amanda: What might it be telling you what might need to happen
Grace: That I should let go of this anxiety, try and work through it.
Amanda: I think that’s your head talking. I don’t think that’s the anxiety talking . What’s the anxiety telling you? Do you think it’s trying to protect you?
Grace: I think so. The first probably four or five years of our marriage I struggled to climax at all, and I think we finally figured it out after several years, and I have this fear in the back of my head that if we don’t achieve that, that climax for me or that I don’t feel an emotional connection every time we are intimate that I, that I’ve failed, that I’m not a good enough partner.
Amanda: Okay. So there’s that fear there. And that anxiety’s trying to protect you. And feeling that fear and feeling maybe like you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing or getting what you need.
Amanda: So rather than trying and failing to just not try at all. Does that sound right?
Amanda: Okay. So when I want you to continue breathing into that space, and I want you to talk out loud and express gratitude and love for this anxiety. Now that sounds really counterintuitive, because we like, no, I don’t love my anxiety No, I’m not grateful for it. I wish it didn’t exist, but it’s that resistance to it that keeps it so present and when we can just know that it’s trying to protect us and it’s doing its best that it can and express gratitude and love for it, it’ll help release it. So I want you to talk out loud and just talk to it like maybe it was your child or something and express gratitude and love that it’s there trying to protect you. Can you do that?
Grace: Yeah. Anxiety, even though sometimes it’s hard to have you here, I am grateful that I. have you because you are a part of who I am and you are what makes me who I am. I appreciate that you keep me on my toes and that you are trying to protect me, and I recognize that, anxiety, you are there trying to protect me, not trying to prohibit me from achieving things or doing things.
Amanda: How does that feel?
Grace: Kind of nice to acknowledge it instead of pushing it away.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. I want you to keep breathing and I want you to imagine a bubble that you’re kind of blowing up a bubble around you and creating space for that anxiety to just exist. But it doesn’t need to be quite so concentrated in your body. Okay? And if it changes at all, I want you to tell me what changes you’re feeling in your body as you do this. So breathe nice and deep.
Grace: I’m just imagining it kind of floating around me instead of within me. Like, it knows it’s there. I know it’s there, but it’s kind of next door instead of within.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. I want you to think about, is there a part of you that you feel like is really strong? And supportive and loving. And where does that exist?
Grace: I guess my heart.
Amanda: Okay. So now that you’re creating a little bit more space for that anxiety to exist, I want you to go into your heart, and I want your heart, because it’s strong and powerful and can know and can support you through this. I want your heart to talk to your anxiety and tell your anxiety that it can support you and help you through this, and so that the anxiety doesn’t need to be there. So the heart is talking to the anxiety.
Grace: Okay, so, Anxiety, I am the heart and I am strong and capable. And I can take things. I can take things on. And I appreciate your help. I can shoulder a lot of the burden that you seem to want to carry, and I am strong and I can do this.
Amanda: How are you feeling?
Grace: Kind of emotional.
AmandaL Yeah, that’s okay. Yeah. How’s that anxiety feeling?
Grace: For the moment? It’s dispelled a little bit which is kind of nice.
Amanda: Okay. So take a couple of deep breaths and when you’re ready, you can open your eyes. Tell me the emotions you’re feeling right now.
Grace: I’ve never addressed my anxiety. I’ve never done an exercise like that. And it feels empowering to know that I don’t have to like run from it because I feel like I do kind of turn away from it, well try and turn away from it and I think that probably makes it worse. So yeah, kind of facing it head on in my mind makes me feel like I have a little bit more of a grasp on things.
Amanda: Yeah. So this is an exercise and like this is not a one and done. Okay. So this is an exercise that you can practice yourself when that anxiety comes up.
Amanda: So that you can give it some, you can give yourself some techniques to help get a better grasp on it so that you can engage when you want to. Right? Because what we know about the body is that our brain’s primary function is to keep you safe and alive. Okay? And it doesn’t know the difference between physical danger and emotional danger. And so if it thinks that you could possibly be in emotional danger by opening yourself up sexually to your spouse, it will do everything it can to try and keep you safe. And so we have to learn how to recognize what it’s actually doing for us and calm it down . Does that make sense?
Grace: Yeah. Yeah, it does. And it’s interesting cause I’ve dealt with this for so many years and I’ve never thought about it like that. .
Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. Well that’s the beauty of coaching is you get to see some different perspectives.
Grace: Right. I like it.
Amanda: And so, you know, you’ve had a lot going on, you know, five years where you weren’t able to climax two miscarriages, feeling pressure to perform. Feeling a guilt about experiencing the anxiety and not feeling, you know, in the mood all the time and, and wanting that connection with your spouse. And so all of that, your brain is interpreting as it’s not safe. And so we just have to learn how to calm that down. And, and start to see, oh, I see you there, brain . I see your, I see you,anxiety. I see that you’re there trying to protect me and I get it. And thank you so much for doing that. And I’m okay, and I’ve got this.
Amanda: And that’s not to say that the anxiety won’t still be there, but most of the time it will lessen. So, I think it was Carl Jung that said, “What we resist persists”. So when you resist that anxiety, like, no, it shouldn’t be there. I don’t want it to be there. Rather than inviting it in and seeing what it’s there for and loving it and being grateful for it, then it’s going to just continue to get bigger. I liken it to holding a ball underwater. Like you can push it down for a little bit, but eventually it’s going to explode.
Amanda: And that’s kind of what our anxiety does. So the more we resist it, the bigger it gets. And that happens with a lot of emotions too, when, when you’re resisting the fear, when you’re resisting the guilt or the pressure, it creates anxiety in its place from that resistance. And so the more that you can be willing to feel your emotions, talk to them, create that space, like blowing up the bubbles so that they can exist. Rather than trying to push them away or avoid them, then they’re not so bad. So, so many times it’s those sensations that we feel in our body that we interpret as emotions or anxiety and we’re like, this doesn’t feel good to me, so I need to just push it away. And what we really need to do is understand that this is a signal in our body. It’s not a problem, but it’s our body and our brain trying to tell us different things. So really getting curious about it and trying to understand like, what is it trying to tell me? So your anxiety’s like, yeah, we don’t want to engage sexually because that’s scary . And yeah, you might, you know, get hurt emotionally. So we need to protect you at all costs. Like your body and your brain are doing exactly what they were designed to do, even though it’s not.
Grace: Which is crazy
Amanda: Right? But when you can open yourself up to feeling it, and then moving through it so that you can start to engage sexually, it can be a really beautiful experience.
Grace: Yeah, I really like that. It’s a lot. Thank you.
Amanda: You’re welcome. Okay, so I want you to tell me a little bit more about this guilt and pressure you feel around sex.
Grace: Yeah. I feel, I think kind of back to one of the first things I said, I feel a lot of guilt because I feel like I’m not enough. Like I’m not wanting it frequently enough. I’m not as open to trying new things. And like my husband’s really amazing. Like he does not put, you know, put any pressure on or anything. But I just feel like I put the pressure on myself to try and be more than sometimes I’m either comfortable with or don’t want to do.
Amanda: Okay. So let’s talk about those two different things. So you said that you don’t feel, you know, like you want it enough.
Amanda: Tell me about that.
Grace: I feel like my libido, is that the right word? Libido? I feel like my libido is just very low. Like I just, I either don’t think about it or if I do think about it, it becomes this big production in my head. Like, okay, like we have to do this. Like, I know this is coming up, but here it comes, like it’s almost, you know, been however many days, like it’s probably time to do it again, you know? I just, I, I work it up in my head a lot.
Amanda: Okay. Have you ever heard of responsive desire?
Amanda: Okay. So this is from the work of Emily Nagoski in the book, Come As You Are, and she talks about the difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire. So I would say the majority of men have a spontaneous desire. Okay. They just feel desire for sex spontaneously. And a lot of that has to do with testosterone. Testosterone is the physiological driver for sex, and men have a lot of it. Okay? Now women have testosterone as well, and you know, a lot of women feel a little bit more desire like around ovulation, which is when testosterone peaks in our body. But compared to a man, we have very little. Like the average man has about a thousand nanograms per deciliter. So keep that in mind. I mean, anywhere from like usually 600 to 1400 is considered normal, but a thousand is about average. Okay.
Grace: That’s a lot.
Amanda: Women at the age of 18 have 76.
Grace: Oh my goodness.
Amanda: And by the time we’re 40, it’s half that.
Amanda: So there is a reason why you don’t feel desire like a man. You don’t have that physiological drive. Okay. But what most women experience iis what we call responsive desire. So a lot of times we think, okay, we need to feel the desire and then we’re going to get aroused and we’re going to have sex and you know, hopefully have an orgasm. Okay. And that’s how it pretty much works for men. Desire, arousal, orgasm, resolution, that’s the sexual response cycle. Okay. For men. For most women, it’s flipped. Arousal, then desire, then orgasm. Okay. So we think desire is supposed to just be there and we want, and we’re like, there’s something wrong with me.
Grace: I think that’s where a lot of the guilt stems from, that I don’t feel this desire when he feels it so frequently. Like, I love my husband, but I just, I don’t feel that same desire.
Amanda: RIght, and nor should you, because that’s not how you were designed. We tend to look at things through the lens of male sexuality. The whole world does pretty much. You know, and that’s to nobody’s fault. Like it just is. I mean, hello. Patriarchy. Right. And, and you know, this is not your husband’s fault either. This is just like how our bodies were created and made. And so if we can be willing to engage sexually and work on getting aroused, then often that desire kicks in. And if it doesn’t, it’s okay to stop things. But for most of us, we need to be creating an environment where when our brain is scanning, because our brain is constantly scanning for sexual cues. So it looks like what we’re seeing, what we’re smelling, what we’re tasting, what we’re touching, what we’re feeling, okay. And so when we can start to get aroused, it can start to see that. Now, if you can start thinking about sex ahead of time, imagining, fantasizing about being with your husband, right? Then it can also, it also scans your imagination, so that can help in starting to feel that. But often we also need to be touched in order for that desire to kick in. And so the key to a lot of this is willingness. So even when you’re maybe not feeling in the mood, can you be willing to start engaging knowing that if you try, most of the time you enjoy it, and your body will kick in. How do you feel about that?
Grace: I feel like I just need to be more willing, I guess , I need to just,
Amanda: Yeah. And yes, that’s true myself and be like, yes, let’s do this . And sometimes we kinda have to work ourselves up to that point, right? And remind ourselves like, I usually actually enjoy it when it happens. And you know, once that arousal kicks in, my body will, you know, start to follow and it’s okay. And if it doesn’t, it’s okay for me to stop things. And give yourself permission. And that might mean that your husband’s disappointed and that’s okay. Like we can understand his disappointment. Yeah. And just because he’s disappointed doesn’t mean you have to do something that you’re not ready for.
Grace: Mm-hmm. We’d rather have a willing partner than to have sex, I guess.
Amanda: Right. Well, like, and I mean, I’m sure there’s, you know, going on in his mind like, well, you know, she’s really struggling and while I’m disappointed, I understand. Like, that’s how most, you know, good men are.
Amanda: It’s, yeah, it sounds like your husband’s a really great guy. He’s not a jerk that’s like, no, you have to do this anyway, right?
Grace: Definitely not.
Amanda: But, we can also be empathetic towards this disappointment, but it’s also not your job to solve for it. Okay. So if you can like, work yourself, you know, calm down those anxieties and get yourself to the point where you can be willing to, knowing that that desire will kick in after.
Grace: Yeah. I think that goes hand in hand with the, what did you call it? The systemic approach? Is that what you said earlier? Yeah.
Amanda: Oh, the somatic approach. Somatic approach in your body. Yes, yes.
Grace: Yes. And so, you know, those work well together.
Amanda: Pressure is a desire killer, but the reason, but you can take the pressure off in the way that you talk to yourself. Like, I’m going to be willing to try to engage because it’s important to me to connect with him, right? And if my body doesn’t kick in, I can stop and it’s okay.
Grace: Yeah. I think it’s telling myself like, it’s okay to not, it’s okay to stop if things are not, if you’re not into it, but I need to be willing to try.
Amanda: Yeah. And, and talking to your husband about this ahead of time I think can be really helpful. Like, okay, this is what I’m trying to do, this is what I’m working on in myself, but if my body doesn’t follow, I might ask to stop. And I understand if you’re disappointed in that, but it needs to be okay. And it sounds like your husband’s pretty willing to go along with things like which is always good.
Grace: Definitely. Yes.
Amanda: Okay. So let’s see if there’s anything else we want to address here. One other thing that I think was really important to think about is you talked about not meeting his needs.
Amanda: What are his needs?
Grace: I guess I would say frequency, which we’ve kind of addressed. I need to be more willing and then say no when I’m not feeling it. But also I feel like just by nature, like he’s a lot more spontaneous and a lot more adventurous with things. And I feel like I’m a lot more traditional with things that we’ve tried.
Amanda: Yeah. Okay. So why do you feel like, what do you feel when he wants to do something adventurous and you’re a little bit more hesitant? Like, what’s the emotion you’re feeling?
Grace: I would say I feel, I mean, maybe a lot of it is kind of the same. I feel pressure to try something new, but I also feel a little bit of guilt because I think just the culture and way that I was raised was, you know? There’s a lot of fun things you can do in the bedroom. And, I think just through the lens of the church, a lot of those have been not even discouraged, but just not talked about, not .
Amanda: Did you expect, I don’t know the church to tell you what is okay. Not okay in the bedroom?
Grace: No, I don’t, I guess I just have this lens of like, if it’s, if it doesn’t look a certain way, it’s not sex .
Amanda: It is sex because sex act isn’t an, isn’t about intercourse. There’s so many things. Sex is about connection. Sex is about intimacy. Sex is about, you know, touching and willing to be touched in ways that you don’t with anyone else.
Grace: Yeah. And you know, a lot of people, and I’m not saying this is you, but a lot of people are like, well, you know, I just like vanilla sex, like missionary position. That’s the only righteous thing. And there’s a lot of unrighteous things that happen in the missionary position. It’s not about positions, it’s not about any of that. It’s like, as long as it’s consensual between the two of you, it’s okay. It really is. And so that’s one of the things I want you to think about. But when you think about meeting his needs, okay, meeting someone’s needs is also a desire killer.
Amanda: And sex is not a need in the same way that food, water, sleep, those kinds of things. Okay. We do like, especially men have, do have that physiological drive, but what that physiological drive is actually about, isn’t about sex, it’s about connection.
Amanda: And a lot of times, especially as women, we like to equate it like, you know, he just needs sex. That’s actually not what he needs. What he really wants, and you alluded to this a little bit before, is when it’s not connecting, it doesn’t work for either one of you. And so he’s wanting to connect with you. That’s really what he wants, which is a need of yours as well, right? Because connection is a need for humans, a need to thrive, maybe not to survive, although, I mean like infants have been shown in studies, like they need that connection in order to survive, right? Like they have a failure to thrive if they don’t have that. So what we actually need is connection. So when your brain is wanting to tell you, oh, he just needs sex right now, I want you to rewrite that, like no, but he actually needs this connection. And for men connecting with their wife physically, because men tend to connect through their physicality. They don’t often don’t have the language for emotions because they haven’t been cultured that way. But like when he’s saying, you know, let’s have sex. He’s saying, I want to connect with you and I want to connect with you in a way that I can’t with anyone else because I love you. And this is the best way for me to show you how much I love you. That takes it from meeting his needs to yes, of course. I want to connect with him. He’s my husband. I love him.
Amanda: And connecting with each other in a way. I mean, you can connect with girlfriends and sisters and stuff like talking and all that, and that’s great. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but you can’t, or you know, if you’re living within your values and integrity, you don’t connect with anyone else in this way.
Grace: Yeah. I guess, do you have any tips or ideas on how maybe to-Sometimes I feel like if we’re doing something other than kind of more traditional things, like I, I don’t feel as emotionally connected and maybe that stems back, like that goes back to my anxiety.
Amanda: It goes back to the way you were thinking. And so when you’re in those moments where you’re maybe not feeling, because it’s not the act that’s making you feel disconnected from him, it’s the way you’re thinking about it that’s making you feel disconnected.
Grace: You’re right. That is, yeah. Yeah.
Amanda: And so you need to pay attention to what those thoughts are, and start to shift them and think differently.
Amanda: Okay. So I know that you are not in the Embrace you Elite society. I’m going to invite you to join because that is what it’s all about. Is learning. I mean, what we’ve done here today is just a small portion of what you would learn in the membership. But what I teach in the membership is how to shift that thinking in a way that actually works because a lot of times, especially like, we’ll come up with like, you know, affirmations or mantras or whatever, but if your brain doesn’t believe it, it will completely reject it. And so we have to shift our thinking in a very systematic way. And that’s the process that I teach in the membership, is how to shift that thinking in a way that’s actually going to get you what you want so that you can believe it.
Amanda: So I’m going to invite you to join.
Grace: Thank you.
Amanda: I think it would be very helpful for you based on, you know, our conversation here today. I think you would learn a lot of things that could really change things for your marriage and for your relationship.
Grace: Yeah. I already feel a sense of positivity towards trying some of these strategies and I don’t know, just towards everything really.
Amanda: Awesome. Okay, so as we wrap up today, I think it’s always really helpful for the client to kind of just think about what they got out of this session. What was the important pieces for them that they want to take forward?
Grace: Yeah, I think, I think one of the biggest things is just the knowing that I have the ability to face my anxiety and that there will be a space for it. That I’m creating that space for it and that it’s trying to protect me and keep me safe. And so looking at it and through that lens will help me to recognize it’s just trying to keep me safe and that I need, that I still can make myself emotionally available. I think also just what you said at the very end about, it’s not the act that is the problem, it is my thinking about the act for things. And so just shifting that perspective on how I look at what we are doing. There was one more thing we talked about, but my mind is going blank. Can you remind me what was the other thing we talked about?
Amanda: We talked about responsive desire and feeling desire after arousal.
Grace: Yes. So thank you. So being willing to say yes and willing to listen to myself when I need to say no after trying, but I need to put forth that effort and try first before saying no because the response, my desire is more likely to come after.
Amanda: Yeah, and that’s not to say that you always have to be willing. Sometimes it’s just a no and that’s okay. But I think in so many times we shut it down before really evaluating because I never want women to say yes when they really want to say no. And what I mean by that, because I mean, you can come up with a million excuses, right? Like we always, we can, right? But sometimes we need to tune into ourselves and be like, you know what, it really is a no for me tonight. And that’s okay too. But I think we say no a lot more often than we need to. And so really looking inside and saying, you know, is this something that I really want for myself? Am I making excuses, you know, if I look, you know, down the road, am I going to be happy that I engaged tonight or am I going to be upset with myself if I engage tonight? And I think that’s, you know, we can kinda look at like, you know, 30 minutes from now, am I going to be happy or upset at my decision? Tomorrow, am I going to be happy or upset with my decision? Two weeks from now am I going to be happy or upset with my decision? You know, and when we can start to look at things in that perspective, I think it shifts the way that we look at the decisions that we’re making.
Amanda: We definitely want to make decisions that are within our integrity. So if it really is within your integrity to say no, please say no. But if you’re just making excuses, which I mean, you’re not alone in that like so many of, so many of the women do. I think that we can start to shift things so that we can make different choices.
Grace: Yeah. Thank you.
Amanda: Thank you so much for being here with me today, Grace. It was a pleasure to work with you.
Grace: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time today.
Amanda: Okay. So in this episode we talked about a few different things that I hope you found helpful. How to maybe deal with some anxiety around engaging in sex, responsive desire and maybe being more willing to engage. These are things that I find very basic when it comes to working with clients. We really need to focus on education a lot first because so many of us did not receive a comprehensive sexual education, and so some of these education pieces are really important. But as I said in the intro, anxiety is one of the things that brings many women to me to work with me because it is so prevalent when it comes to our sexuality. And so this is a really great way to help work yourself through it and to be able to identify the anxiety and where it’s coming from, why it’s there, and actually not repressing it and not pushing it down and not trying to escape it, but dealing with it head on so that it can resolve itself and you can move forward.
Thanks for joining me today, and we’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.