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What are the most common questions people ask about sex? How can you connect with your partner when the kids are always around? Do men also experience insecurities regarding personal sexual pleasure?
In this 3 part podcast episode series, Veronica Cisneros and her husband, Willie, speaks to Dr. Lanae St. John and her partner, Ragnar, about sex.
Meet Dr. Lanae St. John
Dr. Lanae St.John, known as The MamaSutra, is a board-certified sexologist, certified sex coach, and sexuality educator. She is the author of “Read Me: A Parental Primer for “The Talk”.
Lanae lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her significant other and two teen daughters.
Visit Dr. St.John’s website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Click here for a free chapter of Dr. St.John’s book and click here to grab the “Touch Lab” Freebie.
In This Podcast
- Most frequently asked questions
- Desire discrepancy
- How couples can reconnect
- Am I normal?
- Sex while the kids are around
- Three tips for couples to try right now
Most frequently asked questions
- Pleasure enhancement – how could we be doing things better and how can we get more pleasure?
- Desire discrepancy – he wants it more than I do or I want it more than he does.
- Gender roles – for heterosexual couples, what does it mean if I want it more than he does?
You just have to sit back and get curious.
Ask your partner simple questions like how they are, what’s on their mind, and what’s stressing them out. Stress has an impact on our sex drives, and it’s going to be different for everyone. Some people will retreat and not really want to have sex, but might still want to cuddle. Others might get more soothing from touch and want to have more sex. It also depends on how old your kids are – if they are younger you can put them to bed early and have some time to yourselves but if they are older it can be difficult to connect with your partner because the kids are always there. If your partner is not wanting to have sex, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they’re getting it somewhere else.
Porn is like fast food for men, and certain toys for women can be that fast food.
When my husband was in Afghanistan, he had adult magazines. Now that he’s back, is it healthy for those magazines to still exist? They bring up all sorts of insecurities for women. Magazines are just visual stimuli and Dr. Lanae doesn’t have a problem with them being around, they are fodder for fueling masturbation and appeasing desires.
It’s fair to have a constructive conversation about the images in most adult magazines being photoshopped and that they portray bodies that women cannot match up to. Real women aren’t splayed out for immediate consumption all the time so maybe that’s part of the appeal. It’s the equivalent of fast food for men and some sex toys can be that same sort of fast food for women.
When women use toys, it should be viewed as a form of foreplay to get things going. It is not a replacement. If it does become a replacement then it is a symptom of something else that is happening. it’s important to make the effort to try to reconnect when you can.
How couples can reconnect
There’s no school, sometimes both husband and wife are working from home, kids are home, there’s less freedom because the house is full. Trying to find a moment to connect with your partner seems less likely. Day to day touching can help. Because the sexual connection is absent, there needs to be some other way of connecting. Make a point in connecting with your partner to show them gratitude.
The way people receive/feel love and the way that they express it won’t necessarily match up so you might be doing something for your partner but they’re not feeling it as love because it is not their love language. If you’re feeling disconnected, it is so important to be open and honest with your partner about it. If you’re feeling it, your partner is likely feeling that same hole so if you can discuss it, it will take your relationship to a whole new level.
Am I normal?
- Is my desire normal?
- Is this particular activity normal?
- Is us not having sex normal?
With sex, there are so many misconceptions and there is so much misinformation, people will generalize it and make sweeping statements. This doesn’t help people because then they start to compare themselves. There is this fear that we have that we’re not normal if we don’t measure up. Normalcy is completely subjective and different for everyone.
Sex while the kids are around
Ragnar suggests putting a movie on for the kids and locking yourselves in the bathroom. The kids can’t go anywhere at the moment, you can’t send them to a friend or neighbor’s house so maybe enlist the help of your eldest and tell them you need some time to connect and ask them to be in charge of their siblings for a while. We say that sex is between two people who love each other so it should be okay to go love each other.
Three tips for couples to try right now
- Get curious about your partner’s body. If you have a partner with a penis and a scrotum, play with and watch their testicles. It is interesting to see how they react to warm or cold stimuli. They move like a lava lamp.
- Try starting foreplay after breakfast, an eight-hour build-up, clandestine communication, sexting your partner from inside the house.
- The gratitude gap – do or say something today to show appreciation for your partner.
Click here for a free chapter of Dr. St.John’s book and click here to grab the “Touch Lab” Freebie.
Books by Dr. Lanae St.John
Meet Veronica Cisneros
I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.
So I started Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist. Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, join the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat, you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!
Thanks for listening!
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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
[VERONICA]: Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts that changed the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Imperfect Thriving, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network. Have you ever thought, how did I manage to lose myself? Being a mom is so hard, especially when we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create this perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your marriage and your kids, without the stress perfectionism brings. I am going to teach you how to identify who you are, outside of all of the roles you play. Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I am on a mission to teach women, just like you, how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang. Hey, ladies. Welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host, Veronica Cisneros. So, we’re doing things a little different here. This is a three-part series. If you haven’t listened to part one and two, I strongly encourage you to do so, after this one. Today, I invited my husband to join in on this session and you’re probably wondering why. Well, there were so many women from my VIP membership group asking me questions about sex, especially after hearing I had a sexologist on the podcast. It sparked up so many questions of my own. Then I started to talk to my husband about it and came up with this brilliant idea. Why not ask these questions as a couple? Let’s be honest, the minute we hear the word sex, we all become giddy and uncomfortable, yet curious. We all have questions on whether or not we fit into the norm. So I’m taking one for the team and asking these questions for you, for me, well, for both of us, so please help me by welcoming Dr. Lanae St John, who is a board certified sexologist, certified sex coach, educator, and author of Read Me: A Parental Primer for The Talk. She’s been named one of the top hundred sex blogging superheroes by kinkly.com – not kinky.com – kinkly.com, every year since 2013. She has been quoted in forbes.com, Huffington Post, livestrong.com, and Women’s Health Magazines, just to name a few. Dr. Lanae, thank you again for joining us. [DR. LANAE]: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. Willie, hi. [WILLIE]: Hello. Hello, everybody. [VERONICA]: And then, why not? We decided to go ahead and include Dr. Lanae’s partner, Ragnar. Hey, Ragnar. [RAGNAR]: Hi there. [VERONICA]: So, we have her and her partner, and then myself and my partner, my husband, and we’re all on here. And the reason why all four of us are on here is because I didn’t want to, I don’t know, I didn’t want to go ahead and miss out on anything. I wanted you guys to have a full-on experience, especially answering or asking questions that maybe you had, and you thought about, but were too afraid to ask. So here we go. We’re just gonna dive in. Dr. Lanae, what questions – and I’m going to go here first, and here’s why, because I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous. And there’s that little giddy part inside of me that’s like, okay, wait a minute, what the hell are you going to share, and what are you gonna keep to yourself? I promised myself, and me and my husband both promised, no, we’re going to totally go there. And we’re going to totally be open and honest. But first, let’s go ahead and ask like a simple question that doesn’t apply to us, and then we’ll go ahead and get to the hardcore stuff later. [DR. LANAE]: Sounds good. [VERONICA]: So what questions are often asked as a sex coach? [DR. LANAE]: So yeah, I mean, when I first started as a sex coach, a lot of the questions were targeted at, like, well, what do you do or what do you think about this? And it’s really not so much about my own behavior or activities. And it’s funny because I do still kind of start to blush when I talk about my own stuff. But yeah, I mean, the kinds of questions I used to get are very different than the ones I get now and I’m not sure how much of it relates to what’s happening globally with Coronavirus or anything like that. But the questions I get now are more about pleasure enhancement, like they all boil down to, like, how could we be doing things better? How can we be getting more pleasure? There are definitely some like the desire discrepancy kinds of questions like, he wants it more than me, or I want it more than he does. And then there’s stuff that comes up for people around, you know, the gender roles, like what does it mean if I want it more than he does? You know, for the heterosexual couples. So, it’s bringing up a lot of different things, more so now than it has for clients that I’ve worked with in the past. [VERONICA]: So, what would be your answers to some of those questions? [DR. LANAE]: So, I mean, when it comes to the desire discrepancy stuff, you just have to sit back and maybe get curious, ask questions of your partner, like, just simply how are you doing? What’s on your mind these days? What kinds of things are stressing you out? Because I guarantee you, stress has an impact on our sex drives, and it’s going to be different for everyone. Some people are going to retreat and go inward, and they’re not going to really want to have sex, they might want to cuddle, but they might not want to have sex at all. And others might get more soothing from touch and, you know, some folks are having more sex. They’re feeling more connected. But it also depends on the age of the kids at home. If the kids are younger, they can put them to bed and have some time to themselves. But if the kids are older, like, I have clients who are saying, I don’t really know when to do this, like, when to connect with my partner, because the kids are always here. So, there’s a lot of questions. And like I said, get curious. If your partner is not wanting to have sex, don’t make the mistake of assuming they’re getting it somewhere else. I hear that a lot too. Like, you know, my partner doesn’t want to have sex with me, you know, does it mean that they’re having an affair? They’re watching too much porn? That they’re, you know, they’re masturbating… like, who cares if they’re masturbating by themselves? Great, that means at least they’re getting some pleasure, but they may not be up for partner interactions right now. So, there’s a lot of different layers to that. [VERONICA]: Whoo. Okay, so I’m back and forth about going here, but because I’m back and forth, I’m totally going to go here. Okay, you mentioned masturbation, right? Okay, so here we go. It’s happening. So, my husband was totally… my husband left to Afghanistan and Iraq. And so, obviously, well, I shouldn’t say obviously, but of course, there’s going to be magazines sent to him. [DR. LANAE]: Sent to him there or at the house? [VERONICA]: Sent to him over there. So… how do we even ask this question? What would you say with coming back? Is it healthy for those magazines to still exist? Because I’m not gonna lie, and I’m sure other women have the same feeling, like, if there’s magazines there it’s like, oh, well wait a minute, all the insecurities come up, right? Like, okay, wait a minute, what do you need a magazine for if I’m right here? What would you say to that? [DR. LANAE]: Well, I can say that magazines are just visual stimuli and I don’t have a problem with having magazines around. I don’t have a problem with using magazines as… the word ‘fodder’ pops into my head. Fodder for fueling masturbation or helping to appease those desires. But what I want to home in on is the word insecurity. [VERONICA]: Yes. [DR. LANAE]: So, the word that you used, insecurity, it brings up your insecurities, I mean, I think it’s fair to have a conversation, a constructive conversation about the images in most magazines that are of an adult nature. Portrayed bodies that aren’t particularly… I mean, they’re photoshopped, right? Real women cannot match up to photoshopped images and just making sure that everyone involved knows that that’s not what real women look like. And real women aren’t splayed out for immediate consumption all the time. And to be fair, that might be part of the appeal, that it is sort of like an immediate thing that okay, if I really want this thing right now, I can get it. And I don’t really have to… [VERONICA]: There’s no coercing, it’s just happening. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah. I think of that as no different than like… I mean, for me, there’s one sex toy in particular, that is a pretty immediate satisfaction for me. So, I guess it would be kind of the equivalent of fast food, like, porn is like fast food for men. And I think certain toys for women can be that same sort of fast food. You know, those air pulse technology clitoral stimulators? You know which one I’m talking about? [VERONICA]: Well, girl, you know, I’m gonna ask you the name, because the minute you said that I was like, hey, okay, let’s do this. [DR. LANAE]: So yeah, I mean, it’s kind of like fast food. There’s one toy in particular, there’s a couple of lines actually. Most sex toy companies have this version of toy available for people with clitorises. [VERONICA]: Are you talking about the rabbit? Girl, you can just say it. [DR. LANAE]: The one that I like is… Satisfier is the brand and they have pretty much – I don’t even know all the names of this particular toy. One of them is a penguin. It looks like a little penguin. And another is like a small little, I guess kind of squarish shaped to travel, clitoral stimulator. So, it, you know, tucks away inside its own case and it looks like a little compact case, I guess, like a thicker compact case. And they all sort of have a round opening that is big enough to sit over the head of the clitoris. And so that little opening has sort of an air pulse technology that’s inside it at the base of that little hole. And it sort of makes like a [noises] noise in there. [VERONICA]: She went there. [DR. LANAE]: It makes this noise but the noise that it makes produces a little suction and a little vibration that, I mean, for me it can take less than a minute. So, like, you talk about fast food for masturbation for men, like, the same exists for us. [VERONICA]: So, you bring up something right now for me. So, I mentioned insecurities with my husband when he had those magazines, and then at the same time, it’s like the minute you started talking about this penguin I was like, girl, okay, where do I get it? But that makes so much sense because I feel like, there’s so many insecurities with, wait a minute, why is he doing that? Why can’t I be involved? Or why didn’t he tell me? But I already know the answer, well, because I just told him to get away because all these kids are here, or I’m too tired. You know what I mean? We’re so not willing to go ahead and own that and rationalize it. It’s more of the insecurity comes in and we’re focused only on that. However, the minute you mentioned penguin, and rabbit, and whatever else you mentioned, and then the thumping noise. It was like, sign me up. Like all of that is okay, whatever he’s doing, fine, but like, let me get back to me. And so, I’m sure as well, like, you know, I guess I’ll ask you, honey, like, if I had that toy, like, what comes up for you? Is there like insecurities that come… I want you to be honest because I see your face right now and you’re like, well, no, don’t… pretend nobody’s listening except for us four. Like, it’s just us four. [WILLIE]: It’s a little weird. So, I would say that if it’s… I think where it takes away from the relationship and it’s just my opinion, is that when that becomes the sole producer of your intimacy and you’re resorting more to that and looking for that more than you are your own partner. [VERONICA]: Is that unfair? [WILLIE]: And I think that’s when you have insecurities, or when an individual can produce some insecurities is because they would rather have that than they would rather have the actual intimacy with their partner. I don’t foresee… I’m like, okay, go for it. Let’s start out with that. [DR. LANAE]: Warm you up. [WILLIE]: Yeah, exactly. One of the [unclear], getting things going. And I would say that that’s the way I view it, as it’s a form of foreplay. I don’t know if that’s the same way, it’s… your recommendations are for something like that, or…? [DR. LANAE]: Yeah. You’ve hit the nail right on the head. I mean, it is not a replacement. My partner here was sitting here nodding as you were talking. Yeah, you’ve nailed it. If that becomes a replacement and, you know, often, I mean, lots of times the issues that people have around sexuality, sex can be just a symptom. And if a person is seeking out masturbation more than partner interactions, like, it’s time to look at, okay, now, what’s happening here? Are we not connected at all or is it just that, you know, right now things are so stressful? Timing might be off, you know, people might not be exactly synced up, but it is important to at least make those efforts to try to reconnect when you can. [WILLIE]: What recommendations would you give for couples to reconnect? Especially in a time like today where, like you were saying initially, so now there’s no schools, so people have less freedom, adults are having less freedom, because you may have both husband and wife working from home. Kids are home. So, there’s less freedoms because the house is full. And so, trying to find a moment, to be able to connect with your partner seems less likely. And then by the time you do get a chance, there’s burnout because of so many things going on and a balance of just not only your own life, and your own work, but also the work of others, as well as just running a household and all those things. So, I think finding connection issues right now would be challenging. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah. Well, and my partner, we’re nodding to each other because we’re living through the same stuff. I’ve got two older kids at home and the two of us are both working from home. The kids are doing schoolwork, all the same stuff that you’re just describing. And where I think we’ve been doing better is sort of just the day to day touching of each other, like, we’ll pass each other in the hall and I’ll grab him and just sort of, like, squeeze him. I mean, it’s not just a sexual connection, obviously, because absent the sexual connection, there needs to be some other way that we are connecting. And so, I’ve talked about the gratitude gap a lot on… who’ve I been talking to? I’ve mentioned that a couple podcasts I’ve been on. And I’m admitting on the podcast here, I haven’t been the greatest with this gratitude gap as well, like, that is another important point to connecting with your partner, is showing them gratitude. [VERONICA]: I’m so glad you shared that. It’s safe here. It’s safe here. [DR. LANAE]: My partner’s looking at me like, huh, yeah, I haven’t told you that I appreciate you as much as I should. These days, especially. So, yeah, just the more affectionate touch, loving touch. I’m not a huge fan of the five love languages, but there is some value to the content if you kind of take away the preachy, very churchy vibe that it gives sometimes. But the way people do receive love, or like feel love, and the way they express it, like, those things can be not particularly matched up. Like if you’re a physical touch person and the other person is an acts of service person, like, you might be doing things for the other person and they’re not feeling them as love. You’re either not hearing it or feeling it, receiving it. [VERONICA]: Girl, you just described us. [WILLIE]: To a tee. [VERONICA]: To a tee. Yeah, I’m acts of service. My husband’s totally physical touch. [DR. LANAE]: Okay. Yeah. So, I mean, in that instance, you have to… I mean, you could like go onto Pinterest and find the little… what do you call them, like, you can put a screenshot on your phone of like, brainstorming different ways to show acts of service, right? And then if your partner receives love through acts of service, going into that list and saying, okay, now what’s an example I could do today? Or what is some way that I wouldn’t normally think of to show love to my partner that is a way that they would actually receive it? And like I said, physical touch is pretty high for us. And so that like, if I’m sitting at my desk and working, and Ragnar walks past me, because he has to walk past my desk to get out of the room, he’ll just touch my shoulders affectionately as he walks past, like, it’s not sexual, but it’s a connected way of reaching out to the other person absent being able to go and bone. [VERONICA]: Yeah, yeah. Go ahead, Ragnar. [DR. LANAE]: He said, sometimes that too. [VERONICA]: So something that you just said right now, like, how you were saying, you know, me and my partner do this, the minute you were saying that I can feel myself going, okay, we do that too, check. We do that too. Oh, okay, so we’re normal. We’re in the norm. You know what I mean? And then I also think about the times when we’re not doing certain things, and I don’t feel like I’m in the norm. And so, I just kind of wanted to hit on that because I feel like the emotional aspect of not feeling connected, you know, feeling as if you’re unable to go ahead and be vulnerable and intimate – that’s another component. And being open and honest, and I appreciate you saying, you know, having a discussion and communicating that because that is so important. If you’re feeling that and you take a blind eye to it and just let it happen, well, more than likely your husband or your partner’s feeling that same absence, that same hole. And so, if you’re able to go out and discuss this, well, it takes your relationship to a whole different level, so you guys are both not ignoring the elephant in the room. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah. You can’t ignore the elephant in the room. [VERONICA]: Hey, ladies. Here’s the deal: I’ve opened up a private VIP membership group. This community is hosted in a private Facebook group, where I will do a one hour weekly coaching call, I’ll help you create a goal action plan, you’ll be provided with worksheets and assigned homework to hold you accountable. In addition, you will have access to me. Have a problem? Post it and get feedback. It’s a healthy mix of coaching, accountability, and support. The VIP ladies have told me it feels like we’re all sisters. I can really be myself here. Get access to our VIP membership group only when you join. Go to empoweredandunapologetic.com/VIP-membership. Start pursuing the change you so badly desire. You deserve it. [DR. LANAE]: You know, there was something you just said, you were wondering if you’re normal or if you were the X, or not having the X, is that normal as well, and it kind of circles back to the very first question you asked about what are the kinds of questions I get. If you just scratched away things that people are trying to ask, it all essentially boils down to versions of am I normal? Is my desire normal? Is this particular activity normal? Is us not having sex normal? All the questions sort of boil down to some version of that. And sex is… there are so many misconceptions. There’s lots of misinformation. People will generalize and make sweeping statements. I had somebody yesterday on my Facebook, a man came on and talked on a post where I was talking about Masturbation May, because May is a month to celebrate masturbation, and he said, is this just for women? Because men masturbate every day. And, you know, not all men masturbate every single day. So, there’s misinformation. There’s also posturing, like, the peacocking. To be able to say, oh, I masturbate every day, like, really? I mean, okay, you might be stressed enough to want to do that. Maybe you’re not partnered and that’s how you cope. So yeah, the misinformation doesn’t help folks either because then they start to compare themselves and say, well, wait, I must not be normal because this guy said this and that must be true. Like, everybody does it and I don’t, so something’s wrong with me. It doesn’t always help folks. [RAGNAR]: Most people are normal. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Most people are normal. The desires that they have, the interests, like, it all boils down to these questions. And I would even extend it to the questions kids ask, kind of, are getting at that as well. Let me think of an example. When they’re asking, when do people get their period? They’re essentially asking, what’s normal? Like, am I normal if I don’t get it by this age? Or is there something wrong with me if I’m too early? It’s essentially trying to get at the fears that we have where we’re not comparing or measuring up? [VERONICA]: Absolutely. [WILLIE]: So, would you say that that normalcy is based off of perception? So, what you define as a person, I would say, as a person and as a couple, normalcy is going to be different for you than it is for others. Because you may be sexual for years and doing all kinds of crazy stuff and doing things, versus somebody else who is like, they’re completely fine with once a week, once a month, once every so often and for them, they’re completely fine and they don’t see anything wrong with it. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah, yeah. So, I’ll throw it back to you with a situation. I used to ask the students in my college course – I’d have them go into small groups and then I would say, I would like for you to come to some agreement around how often is a good amount to have sex, right? How often should a person be having sex? And interestingly enough, when we would come back to the big group – let’s say there were five different groups, five different small groups – they would all have a different answer. Nobody, none of them, I mean, they would come to an agreement within their little group, but amongst the five groups, they would all have a different answer. So, it’s going to be different. Same thing with like, how long should it take from stimulation to ejaculation for a person with a penis? What’s too short or what’s too fast? You get a different answer among all the different groups. So, it’s purely subjective. One person’s done in 30 seconds might be perfect for their partner. But another person who might think it should last an hour might be like, oh my god, I’m done already, like… it’s not anything different. [VERONICA]: Yeah. I’m not gonna lie, I got excited when you were throwing it back to him because I was like, oh shit, she’s gonna ask him a question. It’s gonna happen. I want to hear this. [DR. LANAE]: Was there a question you wanted me to ask? [VERONICA]: No, I don’t even know. [WILLIE]: We’ve had debates on this too, because this is like something that I think her… especially nowadays, where she’s just constantly working, working, working. And before, I was one that was solely working, and doing things, and even then I still came back and I was like, look, I know I’ve had a long day, but I need me some nooky, you know. I need a release; I need to work some of this out. And then there’s times that she says, I don’t have any energy to do this. I just want to go to sleep. And I’m like, come on, Jesus. And there’s times on the other end where she’s like… [VERONICA]: It’s going down. [WILLIE]: She’s like, let’s go, I just had a cancelled appointment, like, get your ass up here. [VERONICA]: It’s happening. I don’t even care where you’re at emotionally. I don’t care what’s going on for you, just strip. Just strip. [RAGNAR]: Yeah, just use each other. Why not? [DR. LANAE]: I mean, that is true. I mean, there are times when I’m not particularly… [RAGNAR]: Sometimes I wake up… when she was tired before, after an hour, she had a nice nap, like, at one o’clock in the morning… [unclear] more receptive. [DR. LANAE]: But it also comes back to the communication. You know, we’ve talked about how for me, that’s okay, for you to wake me up. But for other people that might not be okay. Or, let me sleep through to the morning then wake me up in the morning like… [RAGNAR]: [Unclear] you said, I don’t have to wake you up. [DR. LANAE]: That is fair. That’s something that’s okay. It’s totally fair too. [VERONICA]: My husband tells me, all you need is a heartbeat and we’re good to go. [WILLIE]: It’s not gonna happen, you’re gonna eventually go to sleep at some point. [DR. LANAE]: So, I want to circle back to that insecurity question about the adult magazines and the porn magazines. Your partner – and I don’t mean to speak for you but correct me if I’m wrong – you’re excited to have her there, right? [WILLIE]: Correct. [DR. LANAE]: The insecurities that women typically have about their bodies, like, men are just excited to have you naked. [WILLIE]: These magazines, like, we were just going through and cleaning stuff out. [VERONICA]: In the garage. [WILLIE]: And these have been put away there. They’ve been boxed for years, and haven’t been touched, like, they’re not sitting out on a table, a coffee table or anything. They’ve been put away, yet toys and things like that have not necessarily been… aren’t necessarily put away. So, like, yes, I’m definitely back home and appreciative of having my wife’s human body over here with me and being able to appreciate every bit of that. [VERONICA]: I think it goes back to you though, like, it’s that mindset that we have with… I mean, just the same thing you know, I remember when he was gone and I purchased something and he’s like, well don’t purchase something bigger or whatever than me, like, don’t get too crazy, you know? Like, wait a minute. [DR. LANAE]: Sounds like an insecurity. [RAGNAR]: Just buy two smaller ones. [VERONICA]: What did he say? [DR. LANAE]: He said, buy two smaller ones. [WILLIE]: Sponsored by Louisville Slugger. [VERONICA]: Yeah. So there are insecurities on both ends, and I think being able to go out and share that, you know, versus, I think what you and I have done is we’ve kind of just joked about it, but in reality there are insecurities there. And I’m glad that she circled back to it because it’s being open and honest about those insecurities. And my husband, he’s like, he’ll just call me and he’s like… or when I call him he’s like, I had to let the phone ring about five times before I knew it was going to go to voicemail, because whenever I call, there’s this picture that goes up – I’m not going to go into detail what that picture is, you guys can go ahead and imagine whatever, take away a mental picture, a mental picture – but he’s like, I let it ring about five times because I know after the fifth ring it’s going to go to voicemail, then I’ll pick up. Just to see that picture. And so, he says those things. There is physical touch. He and I, we’ve been married for 20 years and we flirt all the time. Like, I’m always grabbing his butt. [WILLIE]: It’s like how you were describing with your partner, how you guys, you know, there’s the touching of the shoulder or, you know, a small caress, or a grope, a grab, something like that. That constantly happens throughout not only in our marriage, but also just on a normal everyday basis. [VERONICA]: But I think in general for everybody, there… [WILLIE]: It doesn’t feel like it’s something like we’re checking a box either. [VERONICA]: No. [WILLIE]: For us, that’s what we do and that’s our normal. [VERONICA]: I think I would advise, like, women, if you’re feeling it, let it happen. There’s insecurities even though [WILLIE]: Act on it. [VERONICA]: Yeah, even though we have that I still get insecure. My husband will be like, damn, you look really sexy. And it’s like, oh my god, I look like a mom. Like, I’m in this house dress, my hair’s not even really brushed, and I don’t have any makeup on. But that’s my insecurities in not allowing that compliment to sink in. And I think if we were able to kind of let down that guard and just be, it would be totally different, right? [DR. LANAE]: Yep. Yeah, I mean, this is why I enjoy talking to you. You have these moments of realization that like, you’re checking in with yourself and realizing, hey, like… yeah, I love these conversations. [WILLIE]: What recommendations would you give for couples who are trying to not only get through this, but say, past this and just fast forwarding to after all this is done pandemic wise, and just getting out and just having a long lasting relationship, sexually as well as just a healthy relationship overall, throughout life, and growing old together. What would you… what recommendations would you say to that couple? [RAGNAR]: Do your own little photoshoot. Create your own magazine. [WILLIE]: Make your own magazine, I got it. I like that. [DR. LANAE]: Cancel the subscription and make your own. Now I know where your mind is. So, when people ask me for recommendations, you know, sometimes I wonder if they’re a little disappointed because they’re not particularly sexual. The recommendations I usually have to do with talking about stuff. And that’s the thing that can be a lot, I mean, it’s a lot of work to talk about stuff, and it’s not particularly sexy, but it is how we get to the sexy stuff. If we can expose these insecurities for what they are, and ideally, you have a partner who can hear you and receive those and help you hear what you need to hear about, you know, whatever the topic of the insecurity is. If it’s about your physical body, to be able to, well, it’s not so much validating. It’s like, what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s just that you’re heard, and that your partner can say, well, my reality is I don’t see that. I see the same person I married, or I see the person I fell in love with, or, you know, because our bodies do change over the life cycle. And we’re not always going to be the same body as a 20-year-old or… what’s that? [WILLIE]: Comfortable in our own skin. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah. So, yeah. And we both kind of hold our bellies, here. So, things are gonna change and, as we pulled our bellies here, if the body thing is something that maybe we make a plan to work out together and shift that, change that, or whatever the case may be. And I guess if I do have something that’s a little more sexual, as far as a recommendation, it’s still a communication thing. The freebie that I have on my website is right below the fold, and it’s called Touch Lab. And it’s really an exercise that can help you articulate things that feel good, maybe even discover some other places on… it’s kind of like body mapping. You’re exploring the body, you’re exploring your partner’s body, and they’re ideally giving you feedback, what feels good, what’s okay, keep moving. [VERONICA]: Willie’s winking at me right now while you’re saying this. [DR. LANAE]: Say that again? [VERONICA]: I said, Willie’s winking at me right now, while you’re saying all of this. [DR. LANAE]: There you go. So yeah, again, it’s like, initially at first glance, it’s not particularly sexy. But that exercise has a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level to it. And the advanced level is when you’re working, specifically on the genitals. And so, there’s work that you can do that’s playful and fun and exploratory and even being together 20 years, you can still find maybe a new place that you haven’t spent a lot of time on in the past that now you can explore more in depth. [RAGNAR]: What you also can do is put some movie on for the kids and then lock yourself in the bathroom in the afternoon, cuz you still have enough energy. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah, I literally made that suggestion to a couple yesterday. I mean, especially now when kids can’t go anywhere. You can’t go anywhere. They can’t go to a friend’s house or a neighbor’s house. I mean, you might have to enlist the help of your oldest to say, hey, we need some time to snuggle, we need some time to connect. Can I put you in charge of your siblings for an hour, 20 minutes, 10 minutes? For all that we say, sex is between two people who love each other, like, it should be okay that we go love each other. [VERONICA]: Yeah. Exactly. [DR. LANAE]: Go do the thing because that’s what we’re telling them is okay to do. [VERONICA]: Absolutely. So, I want to go ahead and wrap up and ask, what are three tips you would encourage couples to try right now. So, ladies, grab your man so he can hear this. [DR. LANAE]: Three things to try. The one thing is kind of a version of the Touch Lab. I always find it fascinating to watch testicles, like, to watch the scrotum. [VERONICA]: Girl, I don’t even know where you took me right now. I’m like, okay, wait, I thought she was gonna give me… and I’m like, okay, why am I watching testicles? [DR. LANAE]: When you watch the scrotum it’s like a lava lamp. [VERONICA]: Why are you nodding your head? Willie’s nodding his head. [Unclear]. [WILLIE]: [Unclear]. [DR. LANAE]: So, the one tip is to get curious. And the example that I’m going to give is the scrotum one, because you can play with… you know, if you have a partner who has a penis and a scrotum, you can play with this, if they’ll let you obviously. But it’s interesting to see how the scrotum moves if you apply a warm hand, or a cold hand, like, the skin on the scrotum is like a lava lamp. And that’s the best descriptor I can use. It’s like a shark, it’s constantly on the move because what the scrotum does, obviously, is it regulates temperature of the testicles inside. And so, it’s moving and grooving to try to keep the temperature regulated. So, get curious, like, be curious about your partner’s body. [RAGNAR]: You need to have some body heat. That’s where you observed this, right? After some exercise… [DR. LANAE]: Whatever exercise that might be. [RAGNAR]: Because the body’s hot and then the scrotum tries to cool the testicles, basically. Find the optimal position, that’s how it slightly moves. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s one. [VERONICA]: Watching testicles. [DR. LANAE]: So, let’s see, two more. I think, well, the three tips would be you know, try something that’s not sexual, try something that’s sexual. And then… do you have a third? [RAGNAR]: Start the foreplay after breakfast. Do it like an eight hour, you know, super, like clandestine, so you kind of communicate that secretly over the course of the day. [DR. LANAE]: Oh, this is… I’m hoping that this is what he’s got in mind for me today. [WILLIE]: Something that kind of builds up, huh? [DR. LANAE]: Yeah, exactly. Let it build up. That’s a… I mean, we can’t, I mean, I guess you could sext your partner from inside the house. [VERONICA]: Oh, yeah. It’s happened. Oh, come upstairs. [DR. LANAE]: Old school post it notes, yeah, post it notes are a good one too. Okay, so something sexual, something nonsexual, and then I would say the gratitude gap – remember the gratitude gap. Do something today or say something today to show appreciation for your partner. [RAGNAR]: And then hanging the clothes? [DR. LANAE]: That would be what? Acts of service? [VERONICA]: Acts of service. Acts of service. [DR. LANAE]: Oh, you would iron for me? Okay. [VERONICA]: There you go. There’s something nonsexual that could lead to sexual. I know a lot of women that, the minute their husbands iron clothes, fold laundry, and put it away, hell yeah, that’s acts of service. [DR. LANAE]: You remember seeing that little pop-up book that they would sell at the checkout counters of little boutiques where it was porn for women. [VERONICA]: I don’t remember that. [DR. LANAE]: Ever see that? [VERONICA]: No. [DR. LANAE]: It was a small little, I don’t know, probably a little bigger than your phone size book. And inside it had pictures of hunky men, shirtless men, doing household chores. [VERONICA]: Oh, all right. Insecurities, insecurities. All right, I’m gonna follow you with the camera, hunny. [DR. LANAE]: That’s the photo shoot. [VERONICA]: There you go. There we go, Ragnar. Photoshoot check. [DR. LANAE]: Get pictures of your partner doing household chores for the spank bank. [VERONICA]: Well, Dr. Lanae, thank you so much. Once again, this has been just amazing. I mean, I think our listeners, if you didn’t take notes, play this again cuz you’re definitely gonna want to go ahead and take the notes and apply everything that she just taught us. I’m still not sure about the watching the testicles, just saying. I’m gonna try it. I’m not gonna lie. I’m gonna try it and see where this goes. [WILLIE]: And see where it goes. [VERONICA]: I know where it’s gonna go. For those of you that are… [DR. LANAE]: Just use the heat of your breath, use the cool of your breath. [VERONICA]: Okay, now you’re giving us tips. Now you’re giving us the goods. [DR. LANAE]: Yeah, like, warm up your hands, and yeah, bring an ice cube. [VERONICA]: For those of you that are in our Facebook group, I’m totally gonna go ahead and let you guys know how all of this went, the warming of the hands, the watching of the testicles, and the [unclear]. And if you’re not in my Facebook group, you gotta join. It’s only for women – sorry Ragnar and Willie, you guys aren’t invited. It’s only for us women. It’s a private Facebook group. I highly recommend you join it. Because on this platform we talk about all the things. And Dr. Lanae has been on there. [DR. LANAE]: I’m gonna post a picture of a lava lamp now. Or some sharks because they’re always on the move, too. [VERONICA]: There you go. Well, thank you so much, Ragnar. It’s been a pleasure. I know so much about you now. [RAGNAR]: Thank you. Yeah, I liked it. [WILLIE]: Thank you both. [VERONICA]: Alright, until next time, you guys, I’ll see you later. [DR. LANAE]: Okay, thanks. [RAGNAR]: Thank you. Have a good weekend. [WILLIE]: You as well. [VERONICA]: You too. Bye. What’s up, ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you, guys. Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I know you’re ready for the next steps. If you want to become empowered and unapologetic, get my free course, Unapologetically Me over at empoweredandunapologetic.com/course. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.