Emotional Flooding

One of the biggest relationship challenges that people struggle with is emotional flooding. It’s something that happens to everyone sometimes, and if you don’t know how to respond to it, it can escalate conflict and create disconnection. Fortunately, many of the steps you can take to resolve it are pretty simple. Not necessarily easy, but

Support Exhale and Pro-Voice!

1 in 3 cisgender women in the US will have an abortion at some point in their lifetime. For such a widely-shared experience, the stigma associated with it keeps most people silent about it. Instead, we get polarized political fights that don’t leave much room for individual stories. That comes from both sides of the

An Amazing Tool To Make Emotions Easier To Talk About

Let’s start by acknowledging one thing. Talking about emotions can be hard. It takes practice to be able to tune into them, to describe them in ways that other people can understand, to listen to them and figure out what they need, and to hold onto the complexity of multiple simultaneous (and sometimes, contradictory) feelings.

Dealing with a Shameover

Have you ever woken up the morning after an amazing night and just felt terrible? Maybe you felt emotionally tender or raw. Maybe it seemed like everything was just a little bit off. Or maybe you were irritable, cranky, or withdrawn. However it showed up for you, there’s a chance that you were dealing with

Threesomes, Feelings, and Triggers

Here’s a question I got in my inbox: I am a guy in a polyamorous relationship with a woman who is rather more experienced than I am in the poly world, and in terms of threesomes, group sex, etc. We’re planning on having a threesome soon, and potentially a foursome with another couple. I know

The Difference Between Compassion and Codependency

All relationships are going to have friction and conflict. There’s no way to avoid that. But one of the ways that relationships get stuck is when we try to avoid the disagreements and conflicts. It happens all the time: “I don’t want to say anything and make my partner angry.” “It’s not a big deal.

Hold Tight Gently

The title of this post comes from the book Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS. One of the tricky skills you need to create satisfying romantic/sexual relationships is being able to balance the need for connection and the need for individuality. Each of them is essential, though every person

Somatic Sexual Healing: A Workshop for Clinicians

One of the things I’ve learned as a sexuality educator and coach is that it’s really easy to spend a lot of time talking about sex, pleasure, consent, and communication without actually changing anything. You can say something like, “It’s important to tell your partner when they do something you don’t enjoy,” but let’s be

Calling In

I have something I need to admit to you. I make mistakes. Yes, I know that’s hardly a revelation. After all, everyone does. But it’s something I need to start with because when I make mistakes, I want you to be called in. Defining Calling In You’re probably familiar with the concept of being “called

Compliance, Consent, and Sexual Empowerment

Do you want to know the key to sexual empowerment? It’s learning to step out of compliance and into consent. The Roots of Sexual Compliance The reason that sexual compliance is such a challenge for almost everyone is that compliance is woven into us from our very beginnings. When we’re infants, people need to do

Consent Accidents and Consent Violations

I was at a discussion group recently and someone shared a term that I hadn’t heard before: consent accidents. This is a really valuable nuance in the ongoing conversations about consent and nurturance culture because it recognizes that there’s a difference between a consent violation and a consent accident. A consent violation happens when someone

How to Get Freaky Without Being Creepy

One of the most common questions I hear is: how do I tell someone I’m into them without coming across as creepy. It’s a real big fear for a lot of people, especially men. Expressing desire without being pushy seems like an impossible task. What is Creepy? One thing that makes this difficult is that