Remember, dreams allow us to experiment, try new things, learn, all in a safe way, and then transofrm ourselves in our waking lives. Next time you dream a dream, don’t be too quick to dismiss it– it will often give you the answer to looming questions you’ve been sitting on the fence about in your life.
Welcome back to the second season of the Erica Diamond Podcast! WARNING: if you’re prudish, you might want to sit this episode out. However, if you’re not, and if you come to realize that women’s pleasure and sexuality are a part of everyday life, I think it’s definitely worth tuning in.
I grew up with Erika Kawalek and was pretty blown away by her career path since we lost touch after high school.
If you’re a follower of my work, you know that I don’t shy away from hard topics. I actually welcome them! And because this topic has become so mainstream – thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix Show The GOOP LAB, and specifically “THAT episode,” that’s why this conversation is taking place. Betty Dodson and her famous Bodysex circles exist to decrease shame around our bodies and heal ourselves from previous trauma, allowing women to experience pleasure in and out of the bedroom.
By Dr. Laurie Betito
People often ask me what is love, what is intimacy? You would think the answer was simple, but there are many myths we buy into that actually hurt us.
Many of us think that love in a relationship should be unconditional—but this is not so. The only love that is unconditional is the one you have for your children. When we talk about love in the romantic sense, we are basically trying to embody something that is pure and perfect within two individuals who are neither perfect nor pure themselves.
We often look to love as the answer– the solution to all of our problems. It’s as if because we think love is perfect, we feel that once we have it, everything in our lives becomes perfect. This is the story that we were told growing up. This is the story that we continuously see portrayed in books, movies and TV shows. Our culture feeds us an ideal and urges us to find it for ourselves.
The problem is that such an ideal doesn’t exist.
Nervous twitching preceded silence the day my fifth grade class participated in its first sex education class. Ovary, uterus, fallopian tube and cervix labels hovered below a title that read “Female Reproductive System” in bold letters. Once I graduated into middle and high school, the importance of protection was added to the list, and we were shown how to use a condom.
It wasn’t until several years later that I discovered a missing component to these sex-scientific lessons — pleasure. Now, as a grown woman, I’m left wondering why the cover up of the pleasure piece of female sexuality? Is there something imbedded in our society that’s fearful of women enjoying sex too much?
Research shows that denial of female sexuality starts in early sex education instruction. Whereas boys are openly told how their puberty is marked by erections, ejaculations and masturbation, females are left to ponder a hidden anatomy structured for periods and pregnancy. Peggy Ornstein in Girls and Sex describes the illustrations used as, “The classic diagrams of a woman’s reproductive systems, [that] blur into a gray Y between the legs as if the vulva and the labia, let alone the clitoris, don’t exist.”
“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens.. you will ALWAYS be with yourself.” – Dianne Von Furstenberg
I’ve gotta admit it- I become a sappy, cheesy human on Valentine’s Day. I do. I’m a sucker for love. Heck, I even wore red on this morning’s Valentine’s Day segment on Global TV!
But for today’s V Day blog post, I am not taking about love of your spouse, or partner, or kids. I am talking about love and acceptance of… yourself.
I see it a lot in my coaching practice and in women around me. Women who occupy their time frenetically cooking for their kids, runnings for their partners, accomplishing in their jobs, doing, going, organizing chaos, loving and nurturing everyone around them. But at the core, I can see there is something missing. Something they are TRULY neglecting – themselves. And no amount of roses or surprise gifts from your partner on Valentine’s day are going to rectify the issue.
Today’s post was going to be something else. After all, I just experienced a career milestone this past Friday— appearing on The Today Show. And I will come back to that this week. It’s sitting in our ‘drafts’ folder on the backend of this blog.
But for today, running a women’s empowerment blog, I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t not support it. I couldn’t not address it.
You’ve probably seen in by now.
Happy almost Valentine’s Day!
I like how relationship expert Colleen Long uses the “chocolate/broccoli” analogy. Our long term, loving, secure relationships are the “broccoli.” They are the things that, if we stay committed to, consistently over time grow us up. They make us healthier, more evolved, more balanced, well-rounded individuals. However, chocolate comes along in life (just like opportunities for affairs) and tempts us with ideas like “How wonderful would life be if I could just eat chocolate all the time?” or “This must be the thing I was meant to eat all my life.”
When you reach a certain point of comfortability in your relationship, it sure is nice. You don’t have to worry about impressing each other anymore, you’ve seen each other at your worst and still love each other, and you just really “know” each other on a deeper level.
But there is another side to this level of love. It means things tend to become less exciting. That’s normal of course, but just like your car needs tuning up to run at its best, so does your relationship. Always add a little spice to keep things interesting, and keep boredom at bay.