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 Or maybe you were irritable, cranky, or withdrawn.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

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 to be called in. Defining Calling In You’re probably familiar with the concept of being “called out.”

Disappointment Avoidance Ruins Relationships

When therapists, relationship coaches, and sex educators talk about the things that get in the way of creating positive connection and intimacy, we often include things like shame, anger, resentment, and unspoken expectations. But there’s one more that doesn’t get as much attention, even though it has a huge impact on our relationships: disappointment avoidance.

It’s Good To Be Self-Centered

I once read an article by a meditation teacher from Thailand. One of the practices he taught was meditating on compassion, in which you learn to sit with compassion for yourself, then your partner, then your family, your friends, your community, and eventually, the world. The idea is that you start in the center and

What Are You Afraid To Feel?

I have a question for you and I want you to take a moment to sit with it before you answer. Are you ready? What are you afraid to feel? I’m not asking you what physical sensations you dislike. I’m asking you which of your emotions you avoid noticing. What feelings do you find uncomfortable,

Embodied Consent

How do you know what you really want in bed? When you’re in a sexual situation, what tells you what you want to do, from moment to moment? This is a really important question to think about because that internal sense of your own wants and attractions is where it all begins. It’s the first

Shame Is A Powerful Medicine

I spend a lot of time thinking about and talking about the connections between sex & shame. To be honest, I think it’s a real problem that we have so little language for thinking about and exploring shame because it’s part of everyone’s life. And it’s especially part of almost everyone’s sex life. One of

Unavailability Isn’t the Same as Rejection

There are a lot of reasons our sexual desires and interests don’t always match up with those of our partners. Changing tastes, medical or mental health challenges, busy work schedules, stress and juggling different demands, and simply having different libidos can make it hard to find a common ground. In both my personal life and

If You Want To Understand Relationships, You Need To Understand Shame

When I first became a sex educator, I figured I’d be learning a lot about relationships. Over time, I discovered that helping people explore sexuality also meant that I learned a lot about shame. So much so, in fact, that I went back to school and started learning about the interplay between sex & shame.

The Pain of Rejection and Shame

I recently ran across a fascinating article: Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physical and social pain. According to the authors, physical pain and social pain (which happens when social relationships are threatened, damaged or lost) are both processed in the same part of the brain. It seems that the anterior cingulate