The Sexual Wellness Sessions
Untangling Stress and Sex with Emily Nagoski

Untangling Stress and Sex with Emily Nagoski

May 14, 2021

 

To kick off the second series of The Sexual Wellness Sessions, we are tackling the topic of stress with the brilliant author of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, Emily Nagoski.

 

 

When it comes to our sex lives, we see that stress can impact sex, and sex can both cause and relieve stress. It's both a simple and a complicated relationship that is full of many contradictions. 

 

 

As a Psychosexual Therapist stress and anxiety are in some way woven into all the conversations that I have; and as humans one of the simultaneous wonders and challenges that we have is metacognition - thinking about thinking. So we don't only deal with the stress response and the stress cycle, but also our thinking about what it means to us and the role it's playing in our lives, which when it comes to sex can become really problematic for some people. Emily and I talk about the stress response cycle, how we can manage stress, the impact of medical interventions, the impact of society and cultural messages, and how we can understand the relationship between stress and sex better. 

 

 

Emily Nagoski is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling Come As You Are and The Come As You Are Workbook, and coauthor, with her sister, Amelia, of New York Times bestseller Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. 

 

https://www.emilynagoski.com/

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

 

 

This episode was sponsored by This Works – makers of clean, targeted skincare and wellness solutions - rooted in science and proven to work. Their Love Sleep range is designed to help you to reclaim your bedroom, and is formulated with a 100% natural Superblend of Ylang Ylang and Patchouli to help switch you off and turn you on.  After using the love sleep pillow spray 1 in 3 users had more intimate moments.

 

https://www.thisworks.com/

 

Kate Moyle is Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist and Certified Psycho-Sexologist, who is passionate about having open and normalising conversations around sex and relationships; and helping people to get to a place of sexual health, happiness and wellbeing. 

Follow Kate on Instagram at @KateMoyleTherapy

Describing Sex Positivity with Ruby Rare

Describing Sex Positivity with Ruby Rare

October 30, 2020

In this final episode of Series One of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, we're talking all about sex positivity. There was nobody better to unpack this conversation with than the queen of the sex positive space; sex educator and author of Sex Ed : A Guide for Adults, Ruby Rare . We discuss what it means to be sex positive, how to practice sex positivity both emotionally and practically; and we talk about how far we've come, and where we need to get, to create a more sex positive culture.

Essentially the theme across this first series of podcast episodes and interviews is about how to help us to be more sex positive. A negative, shame-entwined or uncomfortable relationship with sex is something that shapes so many of our experiences at some point in our lives. And so much of the work done behind the door of the psychosexual therapy room is about reframing sex, to create a a definition of sex which is more inclusive, positive, personalised and accepting.
Ruby and I talk about how education, both formal and informal plays an important role in how we understand ourselves sexually; but also how the interactions we have with the world shape our messages and understanding of sex. This was one reason that Ruby explains that she wrote her book, so that we can pull back and think critically about what messages and information we are receiving and internalising, and work out which ones influence us both positively and negatively.

Ruby Rare is a queer, non-monogamous, pink-haired sex educator on a mission to get people talking more confidently and inclusively about sex. She's an ambassador for Brook, the UK's leading sexual health charity for young people, co-founder of Body Love Sketch Club, a body positive life drawing class, and when the world is less pandemic-y she runs workshops for adults on porn, pleasure, and non-monogamy. Her debut book Sex Ed: A Guide for Adults is out now.

This conversation was brought to you by Ellen Terrie the luxury lingerie and intimate lifestyle brand designed uniquely for women to reclaim their bodies, own their sensuality and feel amazing in their skin.
Visit them at  https://ellenterrie.com and get 20% off your next order with code KATEMOYLE20VIP ( Valid until December 31st 2020 ) 

Follow Ruby Rare on Instagram at @RubyRare
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 
Follow Ellen Terrie on Instagram at @ellenterrie_official

or to find out more about Ellen Terrie head to their website https://ellenterrie.com/
Reframing Postnatal Sex Lives with Clare Bourne

Reframing Postnatal Sex Lives with Clare Bourne

October 23, 2020

In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, we're talking about post natal sex lives with pelvic health physiotherapist Clare Bourne.

Trying to conceive, pregnancy and childbirth can completely change our sex lives, not just from a physical but also a psychological perspective; and many of us have questions about what post natal sex lives should be like, what's 'normal' and what to expect; and this episode aims to answer some of those questions.

The pelvic floor muscles play an integral part in a lot of our health, but often the first time we hear about having to take care of them and really pay attention to doing our pelvic floor exercises, is in pregnancy and in preparing for childbirth. Birth, and post natal recovery can look very different for every individual, but understanding our bodies and what might be going on, and how we think and feel about where we are at, can play a big part in us venturing back into our sex lives and sexual intimacy comfortably and confidently.

Despite this, much of what we talk about in this episode is often left out of the conversation, which can leave many individuals and couples feeling confused or isolated in what they are experiencing. This conversation is about normalising the changes that you and your body have been through, remodelling our ideas about sex, and getting back to a pain-free and pleasurable sex life that works for you.

Clare Bourne is a Pelvic Health Physio who is passionate about helping women with all aspects of pelvic health, with a real interest in helping postnatal mums, and especially those with concerns around post partum sex. She knows first hand the impact of pregnancy and birth, and wants to empower mums in their postnatal journey.

This episode was sponsored by The Yes Yes Company, who are leading the revolution in ethical intimacy products. YES products are hypoallergenic and certified organic by the Soil Association, made from ethically sourced plant-based ingredients, without parabens, glycerine or hormones. This makes them ideal for pregnant and postnatal couples looking for natural relief from vaginal dryness brought on by hormonal fluctuations, and can help to restore comfortable sex. 

Discover YES products at www.yesyesyes.org/postnatalsex.
Use YESKATE15 to claim 15% off your order ( valid until 3rd December 2020 )

Follow Clare Bourne on Instagram at @clarebournephysio
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 
Follow Yes Organics on Instagram at @yes_organics

 
Understanding Asexuality with Yasmin Benoit

Understanding Asexuality with Yasmin Benoit

October 16, 2020
In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, we're talking about asexuality and aromanticism with model, writer and activist Yasmin Benoit. We cover the language we use around sexuality, common assumptions, and why Yasmin felt that it was important to open up the conversation and highlight diversity within the asexual community by creating the hashtag #thisiswhatasexuallookslike 

According to AVEN ( The Asexual Visibility And Education Network ) the definition of asexuality is someone who does not experience sexual attraction or an intrinsic desire to have sexual relationships; and aromantics are described as not being romantically attracted to or desiring of romantic relationships at all. There are a range of sexual and romantic orientations; but the point that Yasmin makes is that asexuality is often misconstrued and can be quite invisible, which leaves a gap where those wanting to explore and understand asexuality can find themselves represented.

In late 2017, Yasmin publicly came out as aromantic-asexual and has since focused on raising awareness for asexuality and aromanticism, and dispelling misconceptions about the identities with the goal of diversifying the fashion industry and became one of the UK's most prominent Black alternative models. We talk about how she understood herself as asexual and aromantic, why many people's assumptions and reality don't match up when they think of asexuality, and why we need to rethink some of our ideas about sex and intimacy; and how although the terms are often used synonymously that they are different concepts.

Follow Yasmin Benoit on Instagram at @theyasminbenoit and Twitter at @theyasminbenoit
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 

Find out more about AVEN at https://www.asexuality.org/

Undressing Disability with Jennie & Emily from Enhance The UK

Undressing Disability with Jennie & Emily from Enhance The UK

October 9, 2020
In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, we're opening up the conversation around disability and sex lives; and what the Undressing Disability campaign by charity Enhance The UK is doing to promote the sexual wellbeing of disabled people.

Enhance The UK, are a user-led charity, meaning that all of their trainers have impairments themselves. As well as training, they focus on the sexual rights and responsibilities of disabled people. As this conversation will uncover, so many of these important and educational conversations around sex lives and disability aren't happening, and absolutely aren't happening in an open forum. As Jennie and Emily will explain, there are so many barriers to not just helping those with disabilities but also carers, family members, partners and organisations to help disabled people access help and advice for their sex lives and relationships. Without education platforms and help and advice like this, the impact on self-esteem, self-confidence, relationships and wellbeing can be incredibly challenging. 

Jennie & Emily are part of the amazing Enhance The UK team who set up the 'Undressing Disability' campaign to support disabled people in having romantic lives that are both safe and fulfilling, and they do this by providing free resources, giving talks at relevant conferences and events, and running their Undressing Disability Hub, the sexy sibling of LinkedIn, and Love Lounge, a Q and A forum that encourages disabled people and their loved ones to write in (anonymously, if they wish) with any questions surrounding love, sex, dating and relationships. The Love Lounge team call themselves the 'non-expert sexperts' and if they don't know the answer, they'll find someone that does! The Undressing Disability campaign will continue until all disabled people are able to have safe, fun and fulfilling romantic relationships.

Follow Undressing Disability on Instagram at @undressingdisability
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 

Find out more about Enhance The UK on their website https://enhancetheuk.org/

Defining Mindful Sex With Dr Lori Brotto

Defining Mindful Sex With Dr Lori Brotto

October 2, 2020

Defining Mindful Sex With Dr Lori Brotto

In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, the topic of conversation is mindfulness and how it can be helpful for our sex lives. I'm talking to one of the leading experts in this area of research, Dr Lori Brotto who is the director of the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory, and author of Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire.
 
Mindfulness techniques are a common component of therapies like Psychosexual Therapy and are regularly discussed as ways of dealing with anxiety, distraction and low desire when it comes to sex; but many of us don't actually know what it means to be mindful. Arguably mindful sex isn't about physically doing anything differently, but is about changing how we engage with and interact with the sexual experiences that we are having, which can impact how we experience them physically. 
 
In this conversation we cover how mindfulness is defined, challenge some of the commonly held misconceptions, discuss how we can be more mindful, why it's a practice and not something that 'just happens', and the changes that it can create to how we think and feel, not just in sex but in a lot of our lives. Alongside her book Dr Brotto has written over 170 peer reviewed papers, is a Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a Registered Psychologist in Vancouver, Canada; and is Director of the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory where research primarily focuses on developing and testing psychological and mindfulness-based interventions for women with sexual desire and arousal difficulties and women with chronic genital pain. Her research has shown the effectiveness of mindfulness; and how this increased awareness can help the body-mind connect with the critical communication that is necessary for sexual arousal. 
 
Dr Brotto's current knowledge translation project is https://www.debunkingdesire.com/  #DebunkingDesire, which uses social media to debunk myths about sexual desire and share findings from the scientific literature on the nature of women's sexual desire.
Follow UBC Sexual Health Research on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @UBCshr
Follow Dr Lori Brotto on Twitter at @DrLoriBrotto
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 

Find out more about Dr Lori Brotto and her work head to https://www.loribrotto.com/

Considering Non-Monogamy And Other Relationship Models with Franki Cookney

Considering Non-Monogamy And Other Relationship Models with Franki Cookney

September 25, 2020
In this episode of The Sexual Wellness Sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, I'm talking to Franki Cookney about ways of being in relationships, relationship models and non-monogamy. 
Franki is in a consensually non-monogamous relationship, and also regularly writes about the topic as a freelance journalist who specialises in sex, relationships and social development.

This conversation is not about advocating or criticising a particular model of relationships, but is more about questioning what we have been taught about relationships and exploring ideas about what those different ways of being in relationships might look like for people. As with all these interviews in The Sexual Wellness Sessions series, it's about recognising the uniqueness of each situation and the people in it, and those involved determining what's right for them.

We cover communication, what it's like to talk to a partner about opening up your relationship model, managing the admin of having more than one partner, what it's like to be emotionally and/or sexually connected to more than one person, and we talk about some of the different terminologies used in the relationship space and what they mean.

This episode was brought to you by Lelo the luxury sex toy brand combining luxury, pleasure and innovation to create sex toys for both solo and couple pleasure; and I am very proud to work with Lelo as their UK Sex Expert

Follow Franki on Instagram at @frankicookneyjourno and sign up to her newsletter The Overthinker's Guide To Sex 
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 
Follow Lelo on Instagram at @lelo_official  and find their amazing range of toys and products at https://www.lelo.com/

 
 
 
 
 
 
Talking About Erectile Dysfunction with Mojo Men

Talking About Erectile Dysfunction with Mojo Men

September 18, 2020
In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, we're talking about erectile dysfunction, why and how it happens and the impact that it can have on men's mental health, sex lives, relationships and wellbeing.

My guests, Xander and Angus are cousins who started Mojo Men after a fortuitously long car journey where they opened up to each other about their personal struggles with sex, even though it was something that they had never talked about before. Encouraged by the fact that they were able to have that conversation, and both feeling like they had broken through a barrier, they wanted to create a platform to make sure that more men weren't feeling isolated and alone with their experiences of struggling with erections.

Difficulty getting or maintaining erections is a common presentation in psychosexual therapy, and there is such a strong theme to those discussions. Men can often struggle with how they feel about themselves as a man and a sexual person, but also as a partner. Challenges with sex can stop people wanting to date to avoid the risk of trying to having sex and it not going to plan, and the impact of this can have a huge knock on effect on how men and sometimes their partner's feel about themselves.

One of the biggest challenges that those struggling with any kind of sexual dysfunction fight is the invisibility of these conditions, and also the lack of mainstream education and discussion about them. The normality of struggling with erections at some point across the lifespan is more expected, than to have full uninterrupted functioning always, and across all situations; but this isn't the message that we are taught; which leaves those struggling with symptoms feeling even more stressed, anxious and confused by what they are going through.

There are numerous reasons that someone may be struggling to get or maintain an erection, some health conditions and medications are linked to an increase in occurrence; but our headspace and mental health also plays a huge part and performance anxiety about sexual functioning is a common presentation in psychosexual therapy. Mojo Men want to help change this, and have created a platform that offers expert advice and exercises, a chance to connect with experts like psychosexual therapists, psychologists and men's health physiotherapists, and a forum for men to connect and help each other.

Follow Mojo Men on Instagram at @mojo.men
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 

Find out more about Mojo Men on their website https://mojomen.com/

 

Discussing Infertility, Trying to Conceive and Sex Lives with Big Fat Negative

Discussing Infertility, Trying to Conceive and Sex Lives with Big Fat Negative

September 11, 2020
In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, I’m talking to Emma and Gabby from Big Fat Negative Podcast about how trying to conceive, IVF, infertility and miscarriage can impact sex lives and relationships.
 
After both experiencing their own struggles with infertility Emma and Gabby set up Big Fat Negative to break down the stigma, silence, and taboo around the subject of infertility; and to host conversations and offer advice and information that would help support those who are struggling, whatever their route to becoming a parent. 
 
According to the NHS website as many as 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving, but it’s uncommon to hear it discussed or see it represented; and many couples suffer in silence and struggle with feeling isolated in their experiences. This conversation is about how sex lives can change over the process of trying to conceive. How sex can move from fun to functional, and from sensual to stressful; and how our definition of sex can change impacting our sexuality, intimacy and relationships.
 
 
This episode was sponsored by Love Sleep by This Works.
This Works understand the connection between sex, sleep and well-being and as experts in the field of sleep and circadian rhythms, have introduced the Love Sleep range, a series of bedroom solutions with a 100% natural Superblend with Ylang Ylang and Patchouli, designed to enhance levels of relaxation in your evening space and promote intimacy – the antidote to digital hyper connectivity and over stimulation, paving the way for better sleep and better relationships.

After using the love sleep pillow spray 1 in 3 users had more intimate moments.

Follow Big Fat Negative on Instagram at @bigfatnegative
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 
Follow This Works on Instagram at @thisworks
or to find out more about the Love Sleep range head to the This Works website https://www.thisworks.com/search?q=Love+sleep

 

Evolving Sexual Mindset with Ben Bidwell

Evolving Sexual Mindset with Ben Bidwell

September 4, 2020
In this episode of The Sexual Wellness sessions hosted by Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist Kate Moyle, we're discussing changing our sexual mindset. For my guest this week Ben Bidwell, this change in thinking about sex came from his own experience of struggling with aspects of sex. Through his difficulties with orgasm, Ben has been through a shift in the way that he thinks about sex, breaking away from the linear model of sex that we all so often assume; and challenging how he used to think and feel about sex as a concept. This conversation is about his relationship with sex, how it's changed and how he is taking this forward into his sexual and relationship future.

Ben is a mindset coach, writer, public speaker and prominent voice in the mens mental health space encouraging men to connect with their authentic masculinity. As a part of opening up this conversation Ben has been very honest about his personal challenges with sex, and famously took this conversation to the This Morning Couch.

This conversation was brought to you by Beducated Online Courses. With expert-backed methods and easy to follow instructions, Beducated streams video classes and sexpert advice directly to your bedroom. As a part of sponsoring this episode, Beducated are offering a free Communication Tools Video Training which you can access at http://beducate.me/km202008-cot-vt 

Follow Ben Bidwell on Instagram at @thenakedprofessor
Follow Kate Moyle on Instagram at @katemoyletherapy 
Follow Beducated on Instagram at @Beducated

or to find out more about Beducated head to their website https://beducated.com/
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