The importance of talking about sex
My guest, Pam Costa, spent a decade-and-a-half at both Apple and Facebook. After having a life-changing experience with a sex therapist during a session, she realized that a transition to sex therapy was where she belonged.
Since that realization, she has founded Down To There (https://www.downtothere.com/) and has helped many couples reclaim balance in their relationship. She has done a talk at TEDx Palo Alto and is working diligently on raising awareness for female sexual health and peer support.
Very recently she has presented and garnered support at the 2018 International Society for the Study of Women’s Health conference and is continuing to do very important work in the field. And in this episode, she shares her story and everything that she has learned on peer groups and desire discrepancy through her experience. Listen along and enjoy!
The Transition from Tech to Speaking About Sex
As most transitions into the sexuality sphere tend to be, Pam’s journey into her career came about unexpectedly. After going to a sex therapist with her husband to find a solution for their sexual desire discrepancy, her eyes were opened to the utility and value the profession brought to her relationship and could bring to many others. Ultimately, it sparked a curious streak inside of Pam’s mind that led to her switching from a career in the tech realm to that of a sex therapist! Always interesting to hear how various individuals end up in the profession, either the traditional route or from completely different camps. Listen in to learn more!
Lessons She Learned from Sex Therapy
As Pam states, her husband had easy access to pleasure within his body. Because Pam had yet to cultivate a more readily accessible wellspring of pleasure to draw from within herself, she would reject her husband’s advances and then feel guilty afterward. This patterning of advance and then rejection left the couple disconnected in this facet of their relationship.
And immediately, one of the first questions that Pam was asked by her sex therapist was how she was raised to respond and internalize sex and pleasure in general. At first, the question made her scratch her head, but she soon saw the value in interrogating the way she was raised and taught to suppress sexual desire and not talk about it. Armed with the right questions to ask, Pam started unlocking the desire within herself; long before she had figured herself broken or not normal, but in reality, she was extremely normal and had ready access to pleasure and desire within herself.
The Start of Her Sex Therapy Practice
What started as her having edifying talks about her sex life with a girlfriend once a week, turned into more and more friends meeting up and talking about important issues that all women in relationships should be having. Pam said she would supply book club-type prompts for every participant, and they would work through the topics and questions. After spearheading these meetings and seeing hundreds of women discuss their sex lives, she decided to “get some numbers behind it” and really see if she could quantitatively analyze the efficacy of the sexual talks. And yes, the numbers reflected just how beneficial it is to have girlfriends get together and talk about sex.
What About the Men in This Equation?
A lot of time men don’t get the attention they deserve when desire discrepancy comes up. And yes, men are in the position of not wanting sex as often. And so, as Pam states, after she started setting up the discussion groups, even her husband expressed interest in setting up his own group to discuss sexual aspects of his relationship. This does go to show the power of discussion and how despite stereotypes of men not expressing themselves or desiring to talk about their relationships, there are plenty representatives in the male population who are actually very interesting in having these types of discussions with other men. And Pam encourages all sorts of dynamics for discussion.
For Higher Desire Partners
Not taking it personally that your partner doesn’t want sex as often as you do. That’s a very crucial component of a healthy relationship when consistent desire discrepancies are present. It’s nothing personal at all, it is just how your partner is wired. There should be no alarms blaring! As Pam shares, a good practice to have is to celebrate your partner’s spontaneous desire or usual sexual desire personality as it comes and for what it is. There should be a celebration and respect of the different aspects of each personality, and no condemnation at all!
For Lower Desire Partners
For those who are on the lower end of the spectrum for desire, the prospect of finding things that make you responsively want sex, or the experimentation for things that turn you may seem daunting, but it is achievable and worth the practice to those who are interested. Especially if your partner is suffering as a result of not being fulfilled on a sexual level, even just the effort you place can start to translate into more and more readily available desire for sex. For much more, listen in!
Key Links for Pam:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/downtothere/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/downtothere/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/downtothere
Circles: free content for women to talk to their friends about sex – https://www.downtothere.com/circles/
Blog: Why I started a blog about sex – https://www.downtothere.com/blog/2015/2/28/why-i-started-a-blog-about-sex
Books: Great books to read about sex and relationships – https://www.downtothere.com/resources/