This is a really interesting episode because sometimes we think that we’ve tried everything to figure out what’s going on with us and our sexuality, and yet we get in our own way. And a lot of times it can be really discouraging and we can feel a lot of really negative emotions about our sexuality that actually get in the way of us creating the relationship we want. So listen to this episode, and I would love to hear what you think afterwards.
Amanda Louder: Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode eight. This is a really interesting episode because sometimes we think that we’ve tried everything to figure out what’s going on with us and our sexuality, and yet we get in our own way. And a lot of times it can be really discouraging and we can feel a lot of really negative emotions about our sexuality that actually get in the way of us creating the relationship we want. So listen to this episode, and I would love to hear what you think afterwards.
All right, everyone, we’ve got a new episode for you. Welcome to the podcast, Harper. How can I help you?
Harper: Hi. So my husband and I are pretty happily married and we’ve been married just about eight years. We have little children and we’re really happy in our marriage, except sexually, of course, that’s why I’m here. And I grew up in a very like, conservative upbringing and basically I’ve never had an orgasm and I feel very little physical pleasure ever. And I didn’t even realize that was a thing until like five years in. And I was like, oh my gosh. Like I didn’t even know I could have an orgasm. It didn’t even occur to me. But the past three years I have worked so, so hard to overcome my mental barriers and figure this out and it’s just been very depressing, very disappointing. And I’m really bitter. I’m bitter that it’s so much work for women to have this, whereas it’s effortless, practically for men. They have to struggle to not like go over the edge and orgasm, you know? Whereas I’m just trying so hard to feel anything. And I would like to figure out how to let go of that bitterness towards basically how hard it is for women. I’m not really bitter towards my parents or my religion or anything because I feel like they’re victims too. Like it wasn’t their fault. My parents didn’t know better, really. They are also victims of this purity culture. So yeah, I’m mad and upset about it, but I wanna overcome it and I want to let go of that bitterness. I also want to figure out how to develop more sexual desire and eroticism, even though I’m still like a little bit disgusted at the thought of being erotic. I want to be that kind of person, and I also would like to know if it’s even possible to enjoy sex without the physical pleasure. Like is that possible? Am I too hung up on getting an orgasm? So those are some of my questions.
Amanda: Okay, great. All right, so let’s first just address your last question because I think that’s really important. Can you enjoy sex without physical pleasure? And the answer is you can if you’re in the right mindset. Okay, so when we think that this is how it should be and we’re not experiencing that then of course we’re going to have disappointment with that and those negative emotions that we feel because of that expectation that’s not being realized is going to make it even harder. But when we can focus on sex as a way to connect with our spouse that we don’t with anyone else, even if that physical pleasure isn’t there, it can still be good for both of you. And we’re gonna work through a lot of this, but sometimes, and I’m not saying we’re there yet, but sometimes we have to move into a model of, you know, instead of trying to feel arousal and orgasm, which I’m not gonna rule out at this point. But then if we can’t get there, the next step is to get to, you know, good enough sex. So it might not be what you wanted. It might not be what you know other people have, but can you get to a place where it’s good enough and where it can be connecting between the two of you rather than just focusing on the pleasure and the orgasm? Does that make sense?
Harper: Yeah. I feel like I have accepted that in many cases, and I’ve felt just be grateful for the experience of being married, even though it’s not exciting.
Harper: So yeah, I feel like I’ve had times like that where I’m just enjoying making him happy.
Amanda: Yeah. Well, and it’s not about just enjoying making him happy. I mean, that can be part of it, but it’s really understanding what you are getting out of. And that connection piece that you are getting. So you might not be getting the physical pleasure and orgasm that he experiences, but you are still getting joy and happiness and pleasure from the experience of connecting with him in this way. A way that you don’t connect with anyone else. So we don’t wanna be, you know, the sacrificial martyr in the sexual relationship. We want it to be a place where you can actually find happiness and enjoyment, even if you don’t experience the physical pleasure. But I think we should really work on that part of it first before we get to this other part.
Okay, so tell me a little bit of your history. You mentioned that you grew up in a very conservative home, religious home. It’s helpful for me just to understand your religious background moving forward so, and like if we wanna even bring that into it.
Harper: Yeah, I mean, I was raised LDS. I still am very active LDS so that has created some hangups for me. Like it’s very hard for me to feel sexy wearing garments, but I want to wear garments because that’s important to me. So just things like that. And the modesty was very enforced in my family. There were a lot of girls in my family and that was a big deal. And I just have a lot of mental hang ups that I’ve really tried to overcome, but it’s like deep in my bones, like the cells of my body have not overcome that, even though my mind.
Amanda: Yes, which is actually pretty normal. So a lot of times we focus on the mindset piece, which is good, like mindset’s really important, but we’re missing the piece of our emotions and what’s been internalized by our body because our body interprets things, our nervous system interprets things a certain way, and we can’t always just try to think our way out of it. Okay? So what a lot of people don’t understand is, while, I mean you’ve probably heard of multiple personality disorder or something like that, like that kind of dissociative disorder. Okay? And I’m not saying that, you know, we all have that, but we all do to some degree. So we have our true self, and I like to think of it as like our spirit, right? This is who we actually are at our core, but we also have lots of different pieces of ourselves that rise up mainly during our childhood in order to protect us and keep us safely attached to our caregivers. And so what you’re describing in your home where, you know, like modesty was really enforced, I’m guessing, you know, your parents taught you certain things about sex, your religion taught you certain things about sex that influenced the way that you think and feel today based on, so these different parts of ourselves kind of rise up to keep us protected so that we can keep those attachments in place and we have to work to integrate them into us. So if we feel like, you know, if I’m not modest, then I might lose the love and respect of my parents. I might lose the love and respect with God, then this part of ourself is going to get really, really strong in order to protect us and keep us safe. And that just doesn’t go away with mindset work. Okay? I, you know, if I am sexy or I, you know, embrace my sexuality, that might disconnect me from my parents. It might disconnect me from God. So there’s another part of you that gets really, really strong trying to protect you. But again, it doesn’t just integrate with mindset work. And the way that we integrate these pieces is by actually allowing them, talking to them, becoming friendly with them, grateful for them, loving those pieces of ourselves, and then they start to calm down a little bit so that we can integrate them easier.
Amanda: Okay, when you are wanting to be sexual with your husband, what happens in your body and what happens in your mind or he, you know, initiates or something.
Harper: He’s kind of really calmed down a lot, and so he doesn’t really initiate very often. So I have been doing the initiating just because I want to be the kind of wife who has sex because I really want to, but because I want to be that kind of person. So I’m pushing myself to do that, and I have developed the ability to like, try to really get into it, but there just reaches a point where I just can’t keep forcing it and like thinking so hard about it and it’s just like a mental workout and I’m trying so hard to focus and people say like, just relax, but if I relax, I’ll just like, I’ll fall asleep or I’ll think what’s more interesting to me, or I’ll just be thinking about, you know, the most random stuff. So I can’t just totally relax. I have to really work to like think sexy thoughts and think things that are sexually meaningful to me.
Harper: And that’s just exhausting. And so eventually I kind of just give up and I’m disappointed. And I mean, not always, but so often I’m just crying with disappointment and frustration.
Amanda: Yeah. So, when you are initiating and getting into it, what happens in your body and in your mind?
Harper: Nothing happens in my body. That’s the problem.
Amanda: Okay. So there’s not, well, I’m not even talking arousal. I’m talking about like, do you feel anxiety, do you feel frustration? Do you feel any sort of emotion?
Harper: At this point, no. I think earlier on I did, but I’ve been trying so hard for so long that I don’t really feel much anxiety. Maybe a little bit of nervousness that I’ll be disappointed again, but I don’t even feel that anymore. I’ve kind of just surrendered that I can handle disappointment. I’m just gonna give it my best shot. So, yeah, in my body I just don’t really feel anything. I just wish I would feel, I sometimes do feel a little sparks, like sometimes I wonder if I do have just the tiniest orgasms because I’ll feel like some tiny buildup and then it’s just over, and then I kind of feel really satisfied and just done. But it was not anything to be excited about. It was nothing I would ever wanna work for again. Like I’ve never ever thought, wow. Never. And so in my mind, I’m just like gearing up for disappointment, I guess. I don’t know. It’s hard to really figure out what I feel in my body and in mind.
Amanda: Yeah. Well, and I would say when you’re trying to gear up for disappointment, you are creating that disappointment in your body already which means that you’re not going to experience arousal and desire and or orgasm. So when you’re, when you’re setting up for disappointment, you’re going to be disappointed and that just shuts everything down in your body.
Harper: But if I expect fireworks, I’ll be so disappointed, you know?
Amanda: So, okay. But that’s what I’m saying is don’t expect disappointment, but you don’t necessarily need to expect fireworks either. Like there’s a whole range in there. that’s between those two that you, and even like dropping an expectation at all would probably be good for you. Just like I just wanna see what’s going to happen. Not that I’m gonna experience an orgasm, not that I’m not, but I just wanna see what happens. What do I experience in my body when I just allow it to just happen rather than try to force things because you’re like, you want so much to have an orgasm, and when you don’t get it, of course it’s disappointing, but if you’re anticipating that disappointment, you might, you’re just creating that in your body ahead of time.
Harper: Yeah. I just need to drop all my expectations, have more of an attitude of freedom, that I’m just free to experience anything. I’ve heard that phrase that freedom is vital for passion, and I’ve realized that I don’t feel free a lot of the time, and I don’t know why I don’t feel free, but I don’t .
Amanda: Well, probably because you’ve had these expectations and expectations don’t create freedom. You also have the conditioning about sex and modesty and all of that that doesn’t work with freedom. So, you know, it would be really interesting to understand, like, I want you to think about what does the voice inside my head tell me about sex?
Harper: So hard to figure out because I’ve had such a journey with it. Like before or during, or now I think right now my mind tells me like that’s so desirable and you might not ever have a good experience with it.
Amanda: Okay. Is that you or is that something else? Is that a part of you that’s trying to keep you?
Harper: Yeah, that’s part of me that’s trying to keep me protected.
Amanda: Okay. And that’s what we actually have to address because that’s not you. And so rather than like, you know, taking on that persona and acting out of that persona is getting back to the root of you and the root of you, your spirit is confident and calm and collected. And compassionate, you know, like all of these really beautiful things. But instead, you’re adopting this persona that this protective persona, which it’s there for a reason, right? But it’s not actually helping you get what you want. And so when that persona comes in, we have to like, oh, there you are, old friend. I see you. I see that you’re trying to protect me. Thank you so much for doing. I love you so much and I’m so grateful, but I’m gonna set you aside right now because I really wanna focus on this other part. So just, I just need you to just stand down and, and I really appreciate what you’re doing, but I’m gonna go a different direction. What do you think would happen? Well, I mean, that sounds really lovely, right? But in that moment it might be able to calm down a little bit. and it’s not, it’s not a one and done though. It’s something that you have to do over and over and over, and hell, it finally learns. Oh wait, we actually are okay. She’s okay now because it’s so funny because you know, these parts of you developed during, you know, childhood adolescence to protect you, right? It doesn’t realize that you’re like a grown, married adult and that this is all okay now. It’s like, yeah, I see you here. I see you probably trying to protect me, but guess what? I am, you know, I’m married now. I have kids now, like I’m older. It’s 2023. It’s not, you know, back when I’m not 14 anymore, or I’m not, you know, eight anymore. Whatever it is. Like I, I know that you are doing your job and I thank you so much for that, but I’m gonna take over from here.
Harper: So I have a fear that if I do that, like if I did that really well, very perfectly for a long time and I laid down all my anxieties, they’re just, that’s kind of like putting, like taking away all the breaks. There still wouldn’t be any gas, you know? Like what if I’m just not a very sexual person? But I want to be like, I want to be the most passionate, sexy wife ever. I wanna have fun. I absolutely love fun. It’s really important to me to have fun. I want it to be fun and all I want is just for sex to be fun one time.
Amanda: And well, and it’s not fun when you have all these expectations and when these walls go up to try and protect you, it can’t be fun and instead of thinking like, I really want it to be fun and it’s just not like, how can I make this fun for myself? What would be fun? What does fun look like in this situation that I can create? And in a way that you can actually create it. Not everything’s gonna be fireworks.
Harper: Yeah, exactly. Because to me, fun is having the experience that everyone says is so amazing.
Amanda: But what if fun looks different than that?
Harper: I just don’t know how it can be fun without any physical sensation. Like isn’t that the whole point, or is that not the whole point? Am I missing something? Because it is fun to just be close, to just be relaxed together, to just know that I’m the only one who does that with him. Like there are meaningful aspects of it, but it’s not like fun fun. You know, .
Amanda: Well, based on what your definition of fun is.
Harper: I just feel like it’s kind of like settling for less if I have to have fun without any physical pleasure, you know?
Amanda: And all of these, so like, I know you’ve worked so hard on your mindset, but all of these things that you’re telling yourself, like they’re just true are actually what’s keeping you from getting what you want. So I would be interested, like if you don’t feel anything, what’s, do you know what’s happening in your body? Like do you, do you lubricate?
Harper: Yeah, sometimes.
Amanda: Okay. Do your genitals get engorged?
Harper: I don’t feel that. I don’t. I don’t really.
Amanda: Have you ever looked or has your husband told you?
Harper: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I have had that. I don’t think it’s a blood flow issue. Um, I have been pregnant or nursing almost our entire marriage, which I’m not gonna use that as an excuse because I have had a year when I wasn’t and nothing was any different. So I’m not gonna think that’s like the excuse. But, my body has just been going like on a roller coaster, like up and down, and but yeah, no matter what point I’m at, I still just don’t really feel anything. Even if I get lubricated, even if I can just tell there’s like a lot of blood flow. There’s just never anything amazing.
Amanda: Have you seen a doctor or a pelvic floor physical therapist?
Harper: I have been to pelvic floor therapy several times and I mean, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve been to regular OBGYN back at the very beginning of my journey, and all they said was use the vibrator, which I do. I’ve used, I’ve spent so much money on vibrators, on courses, on therapy, on books. I’m like, yeah, remember, I’m, I’m bitter about all that I’ve worked for and done and spent money on and yeah.
Amanda: Have you ever done sex therapy with a certified sex therapist?
Harper: I did one session with just somebody local that I could find, and I just did not feel a good, like we weren’t a good match. And so, no, I haven’t pursued that with anyone else.
Amanda: Okay. I just know like, so there’s, there’s a series of different things that we can do in coaching and talk about that mindset, talk about integrating those other pieces. But unfortunately for some it just isn’t possible, which I know is heartbreaking and I don’t, there’s different reasons for it that I mean that’s more like the sex therapy side rather than the coaching side. But I think with the amount of work that you’ve done, I think we need to work on integrating those pieces because I think conditioning has a lot to do with it. Right? Really like when you see these pieces of you trying to protect you cuz that’s what they are and really break down the conditioning that you have rather, because I think a lot of times when we try to think our way out of it, we’re almost gaslighting ourselves instead of actually getting to the root of the issue.
Harper: Mm-hmm. That makes sense.
Amanda: Okay. And getting really understanding what are my beliefs about sex? What do I really think right now? And what was I conditioned to believe through family, through culture, through religion? Like there’s lots of things that we believe, like when you go into a sexual relationship, believing you know, it’s been wrong for so long, your body and your mind most of the time don’t just make that change. And when you try to really just convince yourself that it’s good without actually working on the underlying beliefs, it doesn’t work and actually compounds the problem. And so I think you’ve done a lot of trying to convince yourself that things are different than they are instead of really looking at those underlying beliefs and conditioning that’s shaping the way you think about things.
Harper: So what does that practically look like? Like do I meditate on that? Do I just write it down? Do I just think it to myself? Like, how do I address those parts of me and how do I convince them that I don’t need to be protected?
Amanda: Yeah, so paying attention to actually how you’re feeling in your body is a big part of this. When if you’re feeling negative emotion, if you’re feeling anxiety, if you’re feeling frustration about these things, that’s probably a good indication that it’s a part of you that needs to be integrated. Because remember, if we go back to self, it’s confident, it’s calm, it’s compassionate, it’s loving, like it’s all of these really solid things and all of these other parts are not that. And so that says that that needs to be integrated.
Harper: Mm-hmm. So how do I integrate it?
Amanda: Does that make sense? Yeah. Really looking to understand it, like forming a relationship with it so that you actually get curious about it and understand it, because curiosity is another part of you that is really innate and part of like the self, the spirit, right? Let’s get curious about these things rather than judging them, rather than shoving them aside, rather than trying to resist, rather than just being frustrated and angry about them, really get curious like, why are you there? What are you trying to tell me? Where did you come from? And then listening for the answers and writing. Writing is so important. And you know, writing down like what did I learn from my mom about sex? What was explicit and what was implicit? What did I learn from my dad about? And, and even being loved, like both of mom and dad, what was explicit? What was implicit? What did I learn at church? Explicit. Implicit. What did I learn from society? Okay, what do I actually want to believe about these things? Like you said, that, you know, you don’t feel sexy wearing your garments, but you wanna wear your garments. I totally understand that. Like, I love my garments, but I don’t wear them at night because I want more skin to skin and more physical connection with my spouse. That feels true and right for me. That feels within my integrity. I often don’t wear ’em when I go out on dates with my spouse. They are a foreplay for me. Like really like not listening to the other voices that tell me that I need to wear my garments all the time, but really looking internal and like what does what does myself say? What does my spirit say? What is in alignment with me? What’s in my integrity? That doesn’t mean I don’t love my garments. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my covenants and my heavenly parents. It means my relationship with my spouse is the most important thing to me. Me feeling at home and sexy and erotic in my own body, making me want to connect with my spouse is really important to me. And there’s voices in my head that tell me like, oh no, you need to wear ’em all the time. I’m like, sh, I get it. You’re trying to protect me. I totally understand that, but this is what I really want. This is what’s important to me. Really connecting back to that self and not listening to all of those other voices, but not just shoving them aside, but really trying to understand them. What are they trying to tell me? Get really curious. Okay. What do you think about that?
Harper: Yeah, I, I feel like I have done that a little bit, but I could definitely have more of a relationship, like a compassionate one, it’s weird to have a relationship with your thoughts basically.
Amanda: You do though. You do though. And we have like, because we’re human, we have the ability to watch ourselves think, which, you know, other animals don’t have that. And it’s, and it really is like our core self versus all of these other parts of us that grows up trying to protect us and keep us safe and we love those parts. We can be curious about those parts. We can develop relationships with those parts as a way to help integrate them into ourselves. So that we can actually start living according to what we want and what’s within our integrity.
Harper: So you think as I do that I will have more sexual desire?
Amanda: Maybe because for women, desire comes usually after arousal. And so understanding your arousal, and it might not look like everybody else’s, but it’s still, I mean, if you are lubricating, if you’re getting engorged, You know, you said sometimes you feel a little bit of a twinge, a little bit of peak, and then you feel really good afterwards, they might not be as strong as you want, but they might actually be there. And so then we get to work towards like, how can we make them better? When they do come, how can we make them better? So really paying attention the more tuned in to your body and you, the sensations you’re feeling because it’s so funny cuz you know, as women we tend to want, like, we are really focused on emotions and stuff, but we don’t actually tune into what’s happening. And with sex, you really have to tune into what’s happening with your body. Have you spent time on your own?
Harper: Yeah. I had to overcome a lot of feelings about that, but I have, yeah, and I can arouse myself, but I just have no desire to do that regularly. Like it’s just not fun.
Amanda: It’s not, but sex isn’t fun for you either. So like, I don’t, it’s not even about trying to get yourself to orgasm. It’s about letting me heal this relationship with my body.
Amanda: Let me spend time with my body and understand it better. Because right now, it’s not what you wanted and not what you expected, you’ve kind of disconnected from your body a little bit.
Harper: Yeah. That’s true.
Amanda: Like you have a relationship with your body too. And what, like if you’re just bitter and angry towards yourself, that it’s not giving you what you thought you deserve and you wanted, you’re gonna disconnect from your body, which is gonna make it a lot harder to have a good relationship and to feel those feelings and get aroused cuz your body doesn’t feel safe. These are all things stored in your nervous system.
Harper: It’s so odd to me. Yeah. It’s different because I really do love my body. Like I am so thankful everyday that I am so healthy, I’m so fit. I feel like I’m beautiful. I really love my body. And so it’s just weird to me that that isn’t enough. You know?
Amanda: Well, those parts are great. Like having that kind of relationship with your body is great, but when it comes to your sexuality and like your genitals and what’s happening, I don’t think that you have as good of a relationship with that part, and that’s really what needs to be healed. Is really loving those parts, even if they don’t perform like you thought they would.
Harper: Yeah, I could work on that. I do want to be the kind of woman who is very in tune like that and is not uncomfortable to touch myself and not terrified of those sexual parts, which I have been for most of my life. I’ve just been like, yeah. It’s so weird. .
Amanda: Yes. So I love that you have such a healthy relationship with your body in so many aspects, cuz that’s far beyond what many women have that you need to develop a better relationship with your sexual self. And integrate that in. So good things and good, mindset about so many different things, but I feel like you’re trying to convince yourself of these things instead of actually believing them.
Harper: Yeah, that’s true. Do you have recommendations on how to have a stronger relationship with my sexual self?
Amanda: Like really getting curious with it, spending time with it, getting to know it, what feels good for you, like so, last year I did a certification on sex, love, and relationships. And as part of that certification, we had to spend time with our sexual self at least three times a week by ourselves, not with our spouse. You can use coconut oil or some sort of lube or whatever, and just be touching and exploring, seeing what feels good, not to get ourselves to come to orgasm. If it happened, fine, but that wasn’t the purpose. It was just like, let me just see what happens. Let me heal this relationship with myself. Let me, like, while I’m touching myself, while I’m doing these things, express gratitude for my body and love for my body, and really start to heal that relationship. Like the way that you talk to your body and your sexual self, if you had that kind of relationship with your children or with a friend, or whatever. How do you think that would go?
Harper: I’m not sure.
Amanda: Like if you’re like, I’m really bitter about this and not working the way I think it should, and I’m frustrated and I’m angry and I’m disappointed. How do you think that relationship would go with another person?
Harper: It would be terrible.
Amanda: And that’s the relationship that you have with your sexuality?
Harper: Yeah. Thanks for pointing that out. So you said spending time with yourself to see what feels good. And that phrase has kind of become triggering to me because so often I’m trying to see what feels good and nothing feels good
Amanda: Well, it’s not about like, feels good in an arousal or even an orgasm. It’s just like what feels soothing? What feels comforting? Like is it soft? Is it like, it doesn’t have to be, is this causing me lots of pleasure?
Harper: Mm-hmm. Okay.
Amanda: Like I think about when I’m applying lotion, like after my shower, you know, I try to be very mindful about that experience. Like I’m really soft and delicate with myself and I take care of myself. I’m like, oh, like when I rub the lotion in here, that feels really nice. Like it’s just I’m creating an experience with that, of nurturing my body and myself that way. And you can do that same thing, you know, in a more sexual realm as well.
Harper: Yeah. Okay, that’s helpful. I was definitely trying to figure out what causes pleasure and there’s just no pleasure, but I have been trying to be more mindful of just pleasure in general in my life, like really savoring a delicious piece of fruit or like really feeling the sun on my skin or just like all those little things. And that has helped a lot, but I guess I could try to not just be mindful of pleasure, but just sensation in general.
Harper: None of it is ever very soothing to me or comforting. I can’t use those words yet, but maybe eventually as I let my barriers down, it could be that way.
Amanda: Yes. I think that would be really, really helpful.
Harper: So, sometimes I want to become more erotic, but I’m still a little bit disgusted at the mental picture of me being erotic. And I don’t like that I’m that way. I don’t wanna be that way. But just like that.
Amanda: So what, what do you equate? What, what do you, what’s the mental picture of you being erotic?
Harper: Like wild and crazy. I don’t know, just super sexy. I just, I cringe at that even though that’s what I want to be. I want to be that way, but some of me is just a little bit disgusted still. And, um,
Amanda: Okay. Why do you cringe at it? Why are you disgusted by it?
Harper: I wish I knew. I mean, it’s because it was, it was educated and implied to be disgusting, I think, to scare me off from it.
Amanda: Mm-hmm. . Okay, so those are part of that conditioning that you received, right? Like when you start to feel disgusted by it, go, Hmm, yeah, I see you. I understand that you wanna be disgusted by this part because that feels very protective. That’s not actually what I want for myself. So thank you for trying to protect me again, but I’m gonna keep working on this because it’s important to me. And erotic doesn’t need to be wild and crazy.
Harper: I kind of want it to be.
Amanda: Well, and you can work up to that point. Absolutely. But erotic comes from the word aero, which is the energy of life. Okay? It’s our creative energy. So when we can start to think about how can I, you know, gain this creative energy to bless my life, to bless my relationship with my spouse, how can I use this energy of life? What does that look like for me? Like, it doesn’t need to be wild and crazy, although it totally can be and you might wanna work up to that, but like what might that look like for me right now? Like we actually have eroticism in lots of areas of our life if we allow it. That doesn’t necessarily mean sexual. But it’s creative and energy giving, life giving. So what lights you up? What fills you with energy? What makes you feel creative? That’s aeros. That’s erotic energy.
Harper: Okay. Yeah. I do have that in my life. I feel energetic about things and I love life. I just wish it was more sexy. .
Amanda: Well, we can start to shift it to be when we can we, and we can understand like, when I feel disgusted by it, that shuts it down. So why do I feel disgusted by it? Get really curious about that. Why are you here, disgust? What are you trying to tell me? What are you trying to keep me safe from? I want to know you and understand you. Getting really intimate with those emotions because all of your emotions are created based on the way that you’re thinking. So what are you thinking that’s creating those feelings of disgust. .
Harper: Yeah. So often I am thinking really hard to overcome my subconscious thoughts, so I’m thinking like the most sexy thoughts I can possibly think, which isn’t probably very many because I’m not very exposed to sexual stuff. I’m just all on my own. I don’t ever watch or listen to anything like, like I’ve tried reading some erotic books, but it just doesn’t really do anything for me.
Amanda: Did you find anything that does do something for you though? Like, can you read a proper romance where there’s not like sex in it, but just romance and feelings and feel something, or watching a movie?
Harper: You mean physical? I rarely feel anything physical, but
Amanda: I don’t necessarily mean physical. I mean emotional.
Harper: Oh, emotional. Yeah. I can get emotionally into things.
Amanda: That’s what you need to tap into, that’s what you need to work on feeling more of instead of expecting it to, to feel it physically. There’s actually been studies done where they hook women up to monitors. They hook their genitals up to a monitor, okay? And so they have a machine reading what’s happening in the body, and then they tell women to turn a dial based on how aroused they feel. And they show videos of different things to see what is arousing for women. Okay. And they’ve done it with men too, so they can, you know, measure blood flow and erection and all that kind of stuff. And what they’ve figured out is women have what they call arousal, non concordance. Like men, they see something sexual, they feel aroused, and they know they’re aroused and they turn up that dial. Women see something sexual and it’s actually registering in their bodies and they don’t even move the dial. They’re not even registering that they’re feeling aroused, that their body kinda is aroused.
Harper: It’s invisible to them, like it’s imperceptible to them?
Amanda: It can be, but a lot of that comes from the conditioning and the judgments we have about arousal and about what should arouse us. Women are much, much more likely to turn up that dial, even if they didn’t necessarily understand that they were aroused when they saw, like if it was a man and a woman and they’re heterosexual, then they would turn up the dial because they knew that they should be aroused by that. Or you know, if they were a lesbian, two women together, they should be aroused by that. So they’ll turn up the dial. But women were aroused by men with women, women with women, men with men, and even Bonobos, like, you know, part of the ape family. We were literally, their bodies were responding to all of it, but they didn’t register it. Because of the conditioning that they had around it. And so a lot of it is, I mean, there are things that might be happening in your mind, but there are also so much, so many blocks in your mind and trying to gaslight yourself out of them and talk yourself out of them when you actually believe those things doesn’t work and actually can make it worse. And so that’s what we have to do is really dig and understand all of those underlying things that are in your subconscious. Maybe they’re conscious, your nervous system that’s happening in your body, all of these different parts of you that have been trying to keep you protected, understand all of that so we can start to peel away the layers.
Harper: Mm-hmm. . Yeah, that’s exactly what I need to work on.
Amanda: Have you ever had your hormones tested? That was the thing I wanted to ask you.
Harper: I have. Yeah, I have, and they were just normal. But I don’t know if that’s, if it was accurate. Like I don’t, I’ve heard so many different things about hormone testing that it’s all just so inaccurate and all this stuff so I have no idea if it was like well done or not.
Amanda: So I would consider going to see a functional medicine doctor. That, or someone who specializes in hormones. A lot of urologists will do it. You know, different things, but like if your estrogen is really low, you could not be feeling things. So, a lot of times, we’ll recommend using just a low, a really low dose estrogen cream, in your vagina and around your vulva as a way to help plump up, the skin and the nerves and everything going on around there. And just bring more, bring more there. So like a low dose estrogen cream can be really helpful. But understanding where your estrogen is, where your testosterone is, because like you might not have, you might have like really low doses of it. And if you don’t have enough, then it makes sense why you’re not feeling what you wanna be feeling.
Harper: I really do believe it’s all mental for me, though, I have been to a functional medicine doctor, and this was a couple years ago, but my levels were all really good. My estrogen was good, everything was good. And so I really do feel like it’s mental, which is good news because I can change that, you know? I feel like my body is very capable and perfect in that regard. And I just, when I do think proper thoughts, I instantly do feel more like sexual sensation and then when I get discouraged or depressed, it instantly shuts off. And so to me that’s like a little bit of an indicator that my mind really is running the show and I just need to get more reins over my mind.
Amanda: I think that would be really, really helpful for you. Okay, we need to wrap up here. I always like to have my guests kind of just summarize what they got out of the session and what they wanna do moving forward. Just it helps them and it helps the audience kind of wrap things up.
Harper: Yeah. I’m going to be more curious about my thoughts instead of being so hard on them and like trying to just push them down. I’m just going to be more loving and curious like I would to another person and be curious about my bitterness, about all those, like the disappointment, all those things. I’m going to value all feelings regardless of if it’s physical pleasure or not, and just. The feelings that I have. And there’s more, but hopefully I can re-listen when I’m not being interviewed.
Amanda: So yes. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being with me today, Harper.
Harper: Thank you.
Amanda: Okay, so this was a really hard session. A lot of times people come to me and they think they’ve tried everything, but they don’t realize how their judgment of what’s happening is actually getting in the way, and the conditioning that they have had their entire life about sex and intimacy and eroticism is actually getting in the way of creating what they want. Now, there are certain instances where someone has tried everything and we still don’t get the results that we want. But in this case, I think we were just missing a key piece in that all of the judgment and setting herself up for disappointment and the bitterness is actually getting in the way of what she’s trying to achieve.
So just a little introduction, you know, these kinds of things. It’s not just a one and done, but it’s gonna take a lot of work over time to redo what we want and what we believe and what we’re thinking to actually create what we want in our sexual relationship. So thanks so much for joining me today, and we’ll see you next week.