healthy relationships

Swoon Podcast Episode #22 – Bad Blood: Sexual Gridlock & Conflict

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode #22 – Bad Blood: Sexual Gridlock & Conflict

Sometimes sex has gotten so complicated that couples stop talking about. What do you do when you and your partner are in a sexual stalemate? Today Gina and Julie discuss what to do when sexual gridlock happens.

This episode covers:

  • What happens when you and your partner are in a sexual stalemate?

  • What is stonewalling and how do you know it's happening?

  • The difference between sexual tension, resentment, blame, and stonewalling.

  • How people can go years without sex when they get stuck in a sexual stalemate

  • What is often underneath sexual frustration or anger.

  • The role of personal accountability when it comes to sexual gridlock.

  • How to shift out of a negative feedback loop.

Quotes from the episode

“They're not talking about it, but you can feel it, it's so intense. There isn't any talking about joy or pleasure, all they talk about is how bad it is so then they avoid talking about it. It becomes this giant, invisible mountain between them.”

“People feel real shame about their frequency of sex – it's not uncommon for people in these stalemate potions to have a very low frequency of sex and really low fulfillment when it comes to how fulfilling or pleasurable it is.”

“Blame is a flag that accountability is needed somewhere in the relationship.”

“How bad should it get before going to therapy? At some of the first signs of blame and stonewalling, that's a good time to go to therapy.”

“It's OK not to want sex – when it comes to stonewalling you might not even be checking in about if you actually want sex – you might just be mad and using withholding sex/connection as a weapon and not budging from your position.”

“It can become a negative feedback loop – you do this, so I do this, so you do this, etc – and all the things we are doing, we feel like we are protecting ourselves from pain or we are the victim, but really it's just contributing to the disconnect or the mountain of frustration between us.”

“Partner #1 If only YOU would ___________ then I would want to have sex with you. 

Partner #2 I you wanted to have sex with me then I would want to do __________.”

“If you look at how you are contributing, you can shift it. One of you has to be willing to move or soften or change the cycle.”

Resources from the Podcast

It's going to be really hard, nearly impossible, to break out of the cycle without a third party to help you shift the dynamic. Check out therapyden.com to find a therapist who will help you facilitate a new conversation.

Mating in captivity

Gottman Rapoport Conflict Blueprint

We discussed step one.


Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode #21 – My Favorite Mistake: Things Happen During Sex

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode #21 – My Favorite Mistake: Things Happen During Sex

Sex doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes bodies make funny sounds, embarrassing or weird things happen or the reality doesn't meet your expectations.

Today we are talking about sexual bloopers or disappointments. Join Julie and Gina as they share tools and practices you can use when sex goes sideways.

This episode covers:

  • The difference between intimacy and sex

  • Sexual bloopers, let downs, disappointments or disconnects

  • The truth that our sexual reality doesn’t always match our expectations.

  • How not to take it personally, go to a shame place or blame the other person when sex goes sideways

  • Tools to help you explore your expectations and desires about sex.

  • Practices to help you stay connected when weird things happen during sex.

Quotes from the episode

“We put sex on a pedestal, like it's supposed to be a certain way and when it's not, it can cut to our shame, to our vulnerability, to our doubts. And the truth is like anything in life, it's not always going to go the way we hope.”

“Bodies do weird things.”

“Sex doesn't always look a certain way. Sometimes things happen outside of your control. What you can control is how you respond to it. You can control your expectations and you can control how you respond when sex goes sideways. And you can control how you communicate about it.”

“I masturbated and didn't have an orgasm, so I never did it again.”

“The more you are having sexual connection with someone, the more likely it is that at some point, something weird is going to happen.”

Action Steps from the Podcast

Start practicing talking about sex outside of sex.

Talk about things before try them –

“What would it be like if we tried this sometime?”

“How do you feel if I call you this word?”

“What happens if I touch you here?”

“What words feel good when I talk about your body.”

When it comes to sex - What are your hopes? Best case scenario? What are your worries or concerns?

Explore your brake pedals

Create a “Pause Ritual” - Remember, the goal is connection.

**Talk about this outside of sex.**

What do you want to have happen when things go sideways so you can regroup, connect and decide what you want to do next?

Some examples -

Hold each other

Hand on heart

Eye contact

Breathe

Then when do you want to do next? Kissing? Go for a Walk? Pick up where you left off? What would feel connecting?

The next step is to request the pause ritual when you feel disconnected. 


Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode #20 - I’m Sticking With You: What You Need to Know About Codependent Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Episode #20 - I’m Sticking With You: What You Need to Know About Codependent Relationships

Gina and Julie are thrilled to be joined by Jeff Guenther, LPC to talk about codependency! Do you wonder if you or your partner might be needy or codependent?

Tune in to learn about what codependency really means.

 

This episode covers:

  • What does codependence really mean?

  • The difference between having needs, neediness and codependency.

  • The ways codependency can be similar to anxious attachment.

  • The patterns from childhood or other relationships that can influence our level of dependence in relationship.

  • Ways we can destigmatize being codependent – you might be the glue in your relationship.

  • Ways to know when your codependence might become a problem.

  • How to explore your own level of independence, interdependence or independence in relationship.

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Swoon Attachment Episode

Book - Attached

Website for Attached

Eight Dates, John and Julie Gottman

Intimacy Worksheet

Action Steps from the Podcast

Tools to explore when you feel anxious -

What behind the feeling ? Do you need to feel closer? Do you need reassurance?

If you are feeling super anxious or spun up and need to help yourself, what will you do?

Your limbic system is hijacking your brain and we need to get you into your frontal lobe– try doing hard math problems, do a puzzle, play a game you have to think about or get into your body (make a fist and then release, again).

Some questions to explore -

What does codependency mean in my relationship history or my current relationship?

What do I mean by the term “codependent” - what are the observable behaviors?

What is interdependence vs independence or autonomy vs connection or enmeshment vs differentiation

And go see a therapist– you can find one on therapyden.com

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode #19 – No Ordinary Love: Deepening Intimacy in Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode #19 – No Ordinary Love: Deepening Intimacy in Relationships

When we talk about intimacy in relationships we mean more than just sexual connection- but how do we cultivate it when we feel intimacy is lacking?

Tune in this week to gather Gina and Julie's favorite ways to build intimacy in relationships.

This episode covers:

  • The difference between intimacy and sex

  • How understanding different kinds of intimacy can improve your relationship

  • How to broaden your sexually intimate connection

  • What emotional intimacy means in partnerships and how to fuel it in friendships and other relationships

  • How common it is to have one partner want more sexual intimacy and the other need more emotional intimacy

  • How being aware of the overlaps between these types of intimacy can help you intentionally deepen intimacy

Quotes From This Episode

"People use 'intimacy' as a euphemism for sex because they're uncomfortable saying 'sex.' It feels it's less crude or obvious... But we'ew talking about a broader spectrum of intimacy."

"Specificity, presence, and meaning usually increase intimacy."

"Trust, vulnerability, and intimacy go together."

"Share your story only with people who've earned the right to hold it."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Eight Dates, John and Julie Gottman

Intimacy Worksheet

Action Steps From the Podcast

Download this worksheet and reflect on the areas of intimacy and note how either a relationship you have with someone else, or how your relationship with yourself fills your needs for different types of intimacy.

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode #18 – Feelin Myself: Masturbation is an Essential Life Skill

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode #18 – Feelin Myself: Masturbation is an Essential Life Skill

Masturbation is an important part of self-care, and being a better lover with partners. 

In today's episode, Julie and Gina dispel myths about self-pleasure and share resources to help you begin or expand your masturbation practice.

THIS EPISODE COVERS:

  • Rethinking the limiting myths our culture teaches us about masturbation

  • Things we wish everyone knew about masturbation

  • How to talk about masturbation with your partners (and without shame)

  • The many needs that can be met by masturbating

  • How to begin a masturbation practice if you haven't tried (or are out of practice)

  • How to expand your self-pleasure experience in healthy ways

RESOURCES SHARED IN THIS EPISODE

Your Body is a Wonderland - Swoon Podcast Episode 6

Betty Dodson

Becoming Cliterate - Laurie Mintz

Better Sex Through Mindfulness - Lori Brotto

Good Vibrations Videos

OMG Yes 

Make Love Not Porn

Erica Lust

ACTION STEPS FROM THE PODCAST

Start a practice or expand your self-pleasure practice by committing to it and prioritizing it. Spend regular time exploring sensation in your body and expanding your fantasy life.

YOUR SWOON HOSTS

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 17: Let's Talk About Sex: Sex Education We Wish Everyone Knew

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 17: Let's Talk About Sex: Sex Education We Wish Everyone Knew

When beginning this podcast, one of your host's greatest hopes was to dispel misinformation about sex and get some accurate sexual health and pleasure information out into the world.

Listen in and learn some of the most important facts about sexuality we wish more people knew.

This episode covers:

  • Things we wish everyone knew about sexuality, sexual health, and pleasure

  • How many people feel sex is a mystery because they had no sexual education

  • Porn is not sex ed

  • What we wish people knew about lube (and how important it is)

  • How useful it is to know your way around a vibrator and/or a clitoris

  • How extremely common erectile dysfunction is

  • How to talk about consent in order to have fulfilling sexual connections

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

"Almost no one gets quality sexual education. A lot of people get abstinence-only or no sex education. Or fear-based sex education which is all about things to avoid instead of things to enjoy... just be afraid of sex. Don't do it. And almost all the sex ed if anyone does get it is about straight intercourse and reproduction- never is it about creativity, joy, or pleasure or consent... and never is it about communication- it's all body-based. So we needed to do a podcast to undo a whole bunch of that."

"Porn has a great place for arousal and as entertainment but when we use it as education sometimes people don't realize a lot of porn is acting. It's fantasy and we can't use it as a template for a relationship in real life."

"If you're wanting to learn about pleasing a partner, porn isn't the best place to do that because porn is about pleasing the viewer."

"You can mess around with vibrators all over the place."

"You are entitled to your desires and pleasures no matter how surprising or unusual they may seem."

"Masturbation is an essential life skill."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Books:

Come As You Are - Emily Nagoski

What Makes a Baby - Cory Silverberg

Becoming Cliterate - Laurie Mintz

The Whole Lesbian Sex Book - Felice Newman

The Guide to Getting it On - Paul Joannides

She Comes First - Ian Kerner

Websites:

Planned Parenthood Sexual Health Information

Good Vibrations Videos

OMG Yes 

Workshops:

She Bop Events

Center for Sex Positive Culture

Action Steps from the Podcast

Take a class, workshop, or read one of the books or resources we've listed here. Really, invest time and energy into learning about sex- there's always something new to know!

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 16 – You Can't Hurry Love: Dating in Real Life

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 16: You Can't Hurry Love: Dating in Real Life


We've received so many questions about dating in real life we decided to start with a dating overview so you have tools to navigate the most common stressors people face in the dating world. Listen in to stay grounded while you look for connection.

This Episode Covers:

  • How to avoid making the same dating mistakes over and over again

  • How to navigate the feelings of scarcity and insecurity that come up when you're putting yourself out there

  • How to incorporate feedback from your friends and supporters while you're dating

  • How do you manage the anxiety of dating and savor the excitement at the same time

 

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

"For every person out there, there's a unique way to date, really. Right? Every one of us goes about this somewhat differently and at the same time, we're operating in a culture where there are some norms about how we meet or make invitations or what's expected that we don't always break apart... let's break down how much of this is story and how much of this is what I actually want?"

"So often we put our expectations on another person and the more we can stay connected to ourselves and what we truly want the more we can find it."

"We have to learn to sit with the disappointment of not having something that we want. And in our current culture, we get what we want relatively quickly(if we have some level of privilege)... we're so used to things happening really quickly. So if we're specific about what we want there's a smaller pool to choose from and you'll have to learn to manage your own anxiety about being alone- which doesn't mean you have to be lonely."

"Sometimes we are pulled towards things that aren't good for us because it lights up part of our brain... Sometimes what's familiar isn't necessarily what's good for us."

"More dating means more breakups or more awkward moments... thinking ahead about how to manage disappointment can give me a sense of 'I will get through this.'"

Resources Shared in This Episode

Deeper Dating - Ken Page

The Desire Map - Danielle LaPorte

Wired for Dating - Stan Tatkin

Action Steps from the Podcast

We've included a few reflection questions to ask yourself about dating:

  • How do I want to feel in this experience?

  • What do I want to learn from dating?

  • What am I looking for? (get specific)

  • What are the indicators that my life is in balance?

  • How do I know when this is working for me?

Your Dream Partner exercise from Deeper Dating


1. What is your ideal partner's appearance?
2. Where or how do you think you are most likely to meet your ideal partner?
3. What is your ideal partner's main personality traits?
4. What is your ideal partner's prior relationship history?
5. What is your ideal partner's financial status? Occupation? Hobbies? Interest?
6. How would your ideal partner treat you? Treat others?
7. How much time would it take after meeting your ideal partner for your first kiss? Sleeping together? Living together? Engagement? Marriage? Children?
8. What would your ideal partner say or do first thing in the morning?
9. What would your ideal partner give you on your next birthday?
10. How would your ideal partner react if the two of you had a disagreement?

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 15 – Start Me Up: Initiating Sex and Getting Things Going

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 15 – Start Me Up: Initiating Sex and Getting Things Going

For many couples initiating sex and foreplay is a loaded issue. We get locked into roles of initiator and receiver and can build huge resentment stories about the patterns we've fallen into over time- and it can feel impossible to break free.

In this week's episode, Gina and Julie share thoughts on how to shift those patterns and get things started with ease.

This Episode Covers:

  • Why initiating sex is so hard for so many people

  • How to understand bids for attention- and respond in ways that support connection

  • How to think about your patterns in new ways

  • How initiation clarity applies to partners who have experienced trauma

  • How to get clear about what you need and want in the bedroom

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

"In lots of relationships, we get stuck in patterns where you're always the one to initiate, I'm never the one to initiate, you're always feeling rejected, I'm never feeling wanted. No matter how we organize those roles we're polarized and disconnected."

"It is a vulnerable act to be like, 'Hey, I want to experience this. Do you want to experience it with me?"

"Having more practices around how we want to want to initiate, or can initiate, can't initiate, and how we want to be initiated with will create less room for miscommunication, missed connection or disappointment when we want to connect sexually."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Want to Improve Your Relationship? Start Paying More Attention to Bids - The Gottman Institute

Action Steps from the Podcast

Talk about what initiation looks like for you. Tell your partner your favorite ways to be seduced or invited to erotic play. Talk about your barriers to initiation.

Ask the following:

  • How would you like your partner to initiate sex with you?

  • Is there a form of initiation that would work best for you?

  • What's the easiest way for you to initiate?

  • What makes initiation hard for you?

  • How will I know the difference between initiation and flirtation in this partnership?

  • What gives you a green light or red light around initiation?

  • What are the ways you could be deliciously engaged sexually?

  • What makes you feel aroused?

  • What makes you swoon?

Then make a plan for sexual connection. Commit to a time to initiate and share sexual energy to break up your default patterns and create space for something new.

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 14 – Born This Way – What Straight People Need to Learn from Queer Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 14 – Born This Way – What Straight People Need to Learn from Queer Relationships

Happy Pride Month! In this episode Gina and Julie celebrate queer relationships! They also discuss research that highlights some of the wonderful things we can learn from gay and lesbian relationships.

This Episode Covers:

A 12-year year study of gay and lesbian relationships that highlights 4 main areas of strength in same-sex partnerships:

  • Collaboration around division of labor

  • Navigating conflict

  • Creativity and communication about sex

  • Trustworthiness and stability (especially in lesbian relationships)

Resources Shared in This Episode

Gottman Research
Gottman 12 year study

Action Steps From the Podcast

Look at the Four Areas of Strengths that we covered in this episode. Here are some questions for you to explore in your relationship.

  • How have we been intentional about our role-sharing in our relationship?

  • How could we build in more humility or humor around our conflicts and work on not taking things so personally?

  • How could we explore more creativity or more communication in our sex life?

  • Are there things we could do to build more trustworthiness or stability in our partnership?

Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 13: Freak Like Me: Working with Your Erotic Template

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 13: Freak Like Me: Working with Your Erotic Template

Embracing the full complexity of your sexual self - including desire, fantasy, and even some of the areas that can feel confusing can help you have a more fulfilling sexual life.

Join us for this week's episode with Julie and Gina focusing on understanding your own erotic template and exploring yours with a partner.

This Episode Covers:

  • What is your erotic template?

  • How it can help you to understand your turn-ons and desires with a larger perspective.

  • How you can explore your erotic template with a partner.

  • What to do when shame gets in the way of sexual exploration

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On a more holistic sexual conversation -

“Often we limit our sexual possibility because we just focus on 'I like this or I don't like this' like an on/off switch with a binary rather than an orchestra of possibilities that make us unique individual erotic people.”

"So what this is about is looking at the bigger picture of what creates willingness or openness." "Yes, and building anticipation... Sometimes thinking about it and building it up for it is way more erotic than just seeing a naked person in front of you. There are all these moving parts and everybody is a little different if you allow yourself to explore these pieces."

"Sometimes the erotic template can be really raunchy and dirty and sometimes it's really tender... It's more about exploring where I've come from, where I've been, where I am and where I want to go."

On erotic fantasy -

"Fantasy plays into this as well. And a lot of the people I work with feel nervous to talk about fantasy because sometimes the things we fantasize about are not things we want to experience in real life. They're not safe in the confines of our relationships or personal safety. But if we look at and deconstruct fantasy too, sometimes it's not about the specific act we're imagining but it's about the energy. It's about surrender, control, power. It's about taboo. It's exploring all these pieces which I might say, "if I don't want to experience it's not part of my erotic template, but it is because it's really erotic and sexy and I might explore it by myself or if I really trust the person I'm with I might as them to explore with me."

On embracing your less mainstream desires -

"Sometimes specific kinks get wired in based on something we experienced when we were young and we're trying to shift it when we grow up."

"Owning what's in your erotic template is a really important self-empowerment practice for people. We can have a lot of shame about our desires. 'There's this thing I'm interested in, am I a pervert? Is there something wrong? Am I not a feminist? Am I a sex addict?' And we have to unpack that. It is okay for you to be fantasizing about or desiring all kinds of things. All kinds of things. When things start to impact other people we want to be really careful about the boundaries about how we behave that can impact on other people. But you get to fantasize about whatever you want to. Coming to own that I have this fantasy or dream or piece of my history coming up and it doesn't mean there's something wrong with me, it just is part of me can help people feel so much more sexually empowered."

"Dwelling too much in the 'why am I this way' can sometimes stoke the fires of shame."

"There is a super common fantasy about being raped. I don't know anyone who wants to have that happen in real life. When I talk with people about this they're like "this is horrible, what's wrong with me?" And it's like no, sometimes a fantasy is something that would shock us in real life or make us feel humiliated in real life and we don't often explore the areas that can be really erotic if you're using them in a way that's really safe."

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment, by Jack Morin

Arousal, by Michael Bader

Action Steps From This Episode

Using these guided questions to open up a more complete conversation about your sexual template from Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson: Create a how-to manual for your partner about what you want sexually.

If you wrote out a Brief Guide for the Lover of ________ and inserted your name, what would you put in it? Basic directions might include answers to the following: 

  • What helps you begin to open up emotionally and physically to sex? 

  • What turns you on the most before and during lovemaking? 

  • How long do you expect pleasuring or foreplay and intercourse to last? 

  • What is your preferred position? Do you enjoy fast or slow lovemaking? 

  • What is the most stirring way for your lover to move you into, stimulate you into deepest engagement in lovemaking? 

  • Can you ask for this? 

  • What makes sex more satisfying for you? (This may not be orgasm or even intercourse.) 

  • When do you feel most unsure or uncomfortable during sex? When do you feel closest to your partner?

Your Swoon Hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

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