#91 – Kara Haug – Fairy Tale Expectations

Happily Ever After is a Fairy Tale 

My guest today is Kara Haug. She is the creator of Grace Unbound and is a practicing sex educator with a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Theological Studies, as well as a certificate in Sexual Health Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her role mainly centers on teaching youth about shameless sexuality. She does a lot of workshops and is doing important work shifting the narrative on sexuality.  
Continue reading “#91 – Kara Haug – Fairy Tale Expectations”

#88 – Dr. Corey Allan – Desire Discrepancy Conversations

Desire Discrepancy Conversation 

My guest is Dr. Corey Allan. He is a professional counselor and host of the podcast Sexy Marriage Radio, which centers on helping couples experience amazing sex within their relationships. He hosts the podcast with his wife, Pam, and they share some pretty stellar information on the topic every week. 

Listen to “88: Dr. Corey Allan – Desire Discrepancy Conversation” on Spreaker.

Corey also has a private practice in McKinney, Texas and holds a Ph.D. in Family Therapy. And in this episode, Corey talks about desire discrepancy in particular. More specifically, he talks about productive ways for partners to navigate the high seas of fluctuating desires and the frustrations that can occur. One of the most important concepts that he shares (among so many others) is the importance of accepting desire discrepancy as natural, and not as right or wrong.  

But this is a complicated subject. And through this episode, we dissect the many nuances of a common phenomenon. Be sure to listen and learn because this affects so many of us. Enjoy! 

Framing Desire Discrepancy in a Positive Way 

As Corey states, close to two thirds of all relationships experience some sort of desire discrepancy within the dynamic of the relationship. So this is a common phenomenon that doesn’t mean there’s something inherently wrong within the relationship at all. 

Corey likes to frame it in a higher-lower spectrum rather than a right or wrong metric. This relieves some of the pressure and reframes this frequent aspect of relationships in a much more positive light. 

He points out that sometimes it’s actually the lower desire partner who brings the necessary perspective to the relationship by shedding light on areas that perhaps need more improvement: this could be manifested in more mindful, present sex and other areas to explore for more meaningful sex for both parties. Often the lower desire partner has a good reason for not wanting sex all that much, and attending to those reasons can shift the whole relationship dynamic in a positive way. 

The Harms of Pathologizing Desire 

As we discussed during the episode, a common thing that happens within couple dynamics is the ‘pathologizing’ of each other’s differing desires.  

The lower desire person will often ask what’s wrong with the higher desire individual, and vice versa, leading to a harmful interplay between each. It’s natural to get defensive, and it’s easy to assume that someone is to blame in the relationship; but mostly, desire discrepancy is a natural byproduct of being in a sexual relationship with anyone. 

More on this within the episode. 

Don’t Take Rejection Personally 

Corey highlights the productive and constructive ways to initiate sex with a lower-desire partner. This means if you are high desire, you should not pout or whine at rejection. In addition, don’t complain that you do all the initiation–that just comes with the high-desire territory. Corey reminds you to play the long game and frame your initiation in a positive way. How you respond to your lower desire partner’s reaction is important! 

Corey’s Definition for Great Sex 

Corey says that the best sex is when a partner is seeking what they want, and at the same time, trying to give their partner what they want. He calls it a “fluid dance”, which could also be described as a healthy interplay between the wide spectrum of sexual interests that two people can naturally develop in their relationship.  

He says that both partners have to show up to achieve this. Frequency has less to do with it. It has to do more with the quality of the sex itself. He says that if you can have good, quality sex, the number doesn’t really matter. In other words, there’s no quota to fulfill, but instead, there’s a standard of quality to achieve between both partners.  

The Importance of Communication for Lower-Desire Partners 

It can take courage for a lower-desire partner to speak up about their needs, or to break off an initiation, but it is extremely crucial for a healthy relationship and sexual dynamic. If the lower-desire partner can communicate their needs and be in a comfortable enough place to assert their comfort level with sex, then a lot of good can come from that. It is the responsibility of the higher-desire partner to create a space that is conducive for this type of communication to occur. 

And for much more within this episode that wasn’t touched on here, be sure to check the rest of this episode out. There’s definitely a lot to chew on and digest! 

Key Links 

Corey’s podcast: https://smrnation.com/series/sexymarriageradio/  

Website: https://smrnation.com/  

#84: Martha Kauppi – Sexual Desire Issues

Sexual Desire Issues 

My guest today is Martha Kauppi, who is a certified sex therapist and supervisor. Through her practice in Wisconsin, she focuses largely on relationships and how they can affect sex, and vice versa. In addition, she has a background in healthcare, so she brings a very useful perspective and expertise to her practice. 

Within the episode, Martha talks about how complicated desire is in particular. She describes it as multifactorial, and she also says that desire and arousal is the complex result of a cluster of systems working together.  

Continue reading “#84: Martha Kauppi – Sexual Desire Issues”

#80: [Soapbox] – Desire Discrepancy Issues and Strategies

Desire Discrepancy may or may not be a term that you've heard. This is where two different people want different amounts of sex. There's a discrepancy between your desire and your partner’s. This is universal. It happens all the time, and it is a problem for a lot of people. In this episode, I’m going to talk about Desire Discrepancy, how it occurs naturally, issues that may crop up around it, and give you some strategies to effectively navigate this common challenge. 
Continue reading “#80: [Soapbox] – Desire Discrepancy Issues and Strategies”

#55: Lisa Diamond – Female Sexual Fluidity

Today, Lisa Diamond tells us about her past and present research on sexual fluidity. Lisa M. Diamond is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on the development and dynamic expression of sexual identity and orientation over the life course, the influences of early life experiences on psychosocial and psychosexual development, and the biological mechanisms through which intimate relationships shape mental and physical health.

Continue reading “#55: Lisa Diamond – Female Sexual Fluidity”

#51: Emily Nagoski – Come As You Are

The Motivation for Come As You Are
My guest today is Emily Nagoski, the acclaimed author of the best selling book, Come as You Are. As Emily relates, the motivation to write her best-selling book has a very prominent beginning. It was the first day of the semester and Emily was beginning her usual Anatomy class. A student raised her hand and asked if Emily would walk the students through the evolutionary origin of the hymen. Never having contemplated the question, she knew the semester was going to be a challenging but rewarding one. And during the final exam, when asking a question worth 2 points, she asked students to state one thing they had learned. The answer was far from what she expected. She found herself grading the final exams with tears in her eyes. Listen in to learn what most of her students’ answers centered on.

Continue reading “#51: Emily Nagoski – Come As You Are”

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services