Producers note: Mature subject matter around sex is discussed in this episode.
As we’ve been learning in our Dating, Sex and Relationship series, there is no one right way to go about finding satisfaction in these areas of life. And the same is true for sex. You deserve to find joy and pleasure in your body and your sexuality just as you are, no matter what. There are so many things that culture has told us about our bodies and our sexuality that aren’t true. We’re going to walk through some of those misnomers and some healthy ways to approach sex with our very wise guest, sex educator and return visitor to our show, Emily Nagoski. Emily describes her mission as helping women live with joy and confidence inside their bodies. She wants us to know that our bodies have wisdom to share, and that our bodies can be trusted–their intuition is actually good for us and our protection. She explains what a sex drive is (actually, what it isn’t, because it’s not actually a thing–surprise!). Emily also shares key findings from couples who sustain strong sexual connection over the long term (and those two things aren’t what people most generally think they are). In this frank conversation about sex, Emily encourages us to lean into our sexual pleasure and shake off any hesitations that are usually due to cultural shame or baggage. And if you think that exploring your sexuality isn’t possible with a busy career, kids, and other responsibilities, Emily removes the myth that scheduling sex makes it less hot. When we normalize all sorts of sexual responses, we remove barriers that keep us from making space for all this pleasure that has always been ours to claim.
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“I think having curiosity about our own bodies and continually learning in a non-judgmental way is really important. Trusting the message your body is sending you more than anyone else's expressed opinion about what should be happening with your body. We can believe our bodies over and above anybody else's opinion about bodies.” - Emily Nagoski
“We actually heal ourselves when we allow uncomfortable feelings to melt through our bodies. On the other side of it, that process has healed our bodies and freed us from the lies that we were told when we were small.” - Emily Nagoski
“What is it that I want when I want sex? And what is it that I like when I like sex? And talk about those answers with your partner. And it'll help you to remember why. If there is a ‘why’ for sex in your relationship, this will help you remind you why.” - Emily Nagoski
“The person you are is a person worth being. This is the whole you're enough, but the thing is–you are enough. It is only in this like culturally constructed comparison against a fictional and often deliberately unachievable ideal that we torture ourselves about the way our sexuality works.” - Emily Nagoski
“I got taught to put on a show. I got taught that men really like it when women seemed to be having a good time. So I got taught to act like I was having a good time so that he would like it. And there's this big, deep irony that I was learning to put on the show of pleasure, without even asking whether or not I was actually experiencing pleasure.” - Emily Nagoski
“There is no quota of pleasure. There's no such thing as too little pleasure. And there's no such thing as too much pleasure. Nobody gets to judge or decide about your experience of pleasure.” - Emily Nagoski
“If you're a person who needs to like and admire your partner and you need to know that they like and admire you, that they respect you, that they are there for you, then there is no amount of lingerie or handcuffs or porn or role play is ever going to make you interested in having the sex available to you with a person whom you don't trust.” - Emily Nagoski
“Let's make a world with less body shame. Let's make a world where girls are raised to believe that they have a basic right to bodily autonomy and that pleasure is their birthright. They have the right to all the pleasure that their body is capable of experiencing without being afraid of it or ashamed of it or needing to prioritize somebody else's pleasure over theirs.” - Emily Nagoski
“Neurologically, pleasure is a practice. The more we practice paying attention to pleasure, the easier it is for our brains to notice pleasure.” - Emily Nagoski
“Have pleasure. Desire will follow.” - Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski’s Links
Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
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