Leah shares a coaching session with Cindy, a married mother of one, for support around a very human variety of issues: decreased libido, sex after motherhood, love languages, pandemic life, sex for connection vs. conception, miscarriage, self-care, homework, and grace.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO OPEN)

LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I am sex and intimacy coach, Leah Carey. And this is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Hey friends. Welcome to our third episode where you get to listen in on a coaching session. Today, I’ll be talking with Cindy. She’s married and the mother of one young child. She and her husband are navigating trying to get pregnant during the pandemic and they both have low libidos.

Now, there are lots of different types of coaching sessions because there are lots of different types of clients. For instance, the last couple of coaching sessions you heard with Caitlin, she’s the type of client who just wants to learn. Her sessions were kind of fact-finding missions. Cindy is the type of client who really has all of her own answers inside her. She just needs someone to listen while she unwinds them for herself. I can help by letting her talk everything out, providing lots of positive reinforcement and validation and offering a few sign posts along the way for things she might not have thought of yet.

A third type of client I love working with is someone who is figuring out how to express themselves. With those clients, I help them figure out what they want to say, how they want to say it, and then help them practice saying it until it feels familiar coming out of their own mouths. Once they have a sense memory of saying the words and the sky not falling when they do, it gets much easier to say them to a current or potential partner.

At the end of this episode, I’ll give you more information about how you can work with me doing sex and intimacy coaching. There are some mentions of the holiday season in this conversation, so you should know we recorded this session at the end of December 2020. Okay. Let’s dive in with Cindy.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Do you just want to talk a little bit about how you got here, how we know each other?

CINDY: Yeah. Sure. So, you had offered up the group coaching session. I didn’t think I was quite ready to dive into one-on-one sessions at that point, but the group sessions really appealed to me, and so that’s when we got to get to work together last year. And I loved that experience of getting to know the other women in the group and having that peer exchange, I think, added a lot of value to the conversation.

LEAH: Excellent. Yeah. I love doing group coaching. It’s one of my favorite things.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Today, we’re going to do just a one-on-one conversation, so that people can hear kind of what coaching is like because I think people hear the idea of sex coaching and think, “I have no idea what that’s going to be. Maybe she’s going to make me take my clothes off.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And first of all, no, I’m not.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: But also, I just want people to hear a little bit about what a session can sound like. So, what are you dealing with in your sex life right now? Where would you like to start today?

CINDY: Yeah. So, 2020 has been quite a year.

LEAH: Yes, it has.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I left our group coaching session with a few homework assignments and things I was going to continue working on and those didn’t disappear but I definitely think that they kind of took another backseat in 2020 just with everything going on, and so much change, and so much added stress and anxiety. It was hard to put that back in the forefront, which, I think, when I came into the group coaching session with you, I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter now. At the time, she was just over a year old. I was just like getting back into my body sort of thing after pregnancy and postpartum and breastfeeding and all that. So, it felt like a good time to kind of really focus on this. And then, yeah, 2020.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: So, it’s not something that has been on the forefront but I think this year, we’ve decided we want to try to grow our family despite the fact that there’s a pandemic and it’s kind of scary and unpredictable but we don’t want to wait forever to have another child. We both are in agreement that we want to give our daughter a sibling.

And so, this year, we did put it off a little bit but we decided we want to start trying for another baby in the summer. And so, that has been a different experience from our first time getting pregnant. It has taken a little bit longer and I think it’s added a new layer, a new dynamic to our sexual relationship because as hard as I try not to think about it and I try to put my Type A-ness aside and get off of my fertility app and stop thinking about what day it is and what cycle day I am on and all that. It’s next to impossible to completely put that aside.

And so, that’s what I’ve kind of been trying to do is trying to remember the things that we started working on last year and not let that get overcome by the wanting to get pregnant and trying to conceive thing. But yeah, it’s added a new complication.

LEAH: It strikes me that the whole tracking your cycle and the app and all of that is a little bit of control during a time when it feels like almost everything is outside our control. And so, while it’s maybe not ideal in terms of just letting yourself go and get into the mood of sex and pregnancy and all of that, I can kind of understand why your brain would sort of pick up this thing that’s like, “Oh. I can track things and I can really figure things out in a time when, dear God, everything feels like it’s just impossible.”

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Right.

LEAH: Are the two of you at home together a lot more than you used to be?

CINDY: Yes. I’ve been working from home since March but he just started working from home a month ago. But our desks sit across from each other and we are office mates all day.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It’s just too much.

CINDY: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. So, how did the stress of the pandemic affect your sex life since March? Because it does different things to different people’s libidos. Some people’s shoots way up. Other people’s depresses. Some people’s stay exactly the same. Where did each of yours fall?

CINDY: I think in the beginning, I feel like his, I don’t think really changed too much. For me, I think it plummeted. It was like I was just so tired and overwhelmed all the time. I just didn’t even have the space to think about that. I don’t know. My body was doing a lot of things.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Like trying to conserve its energy almost. It’s like just trying to get through the day, survive one day at a time. My daughter has been home. We sent her back to daycare for a couple of months over the summer but then there was a COVID outbreak, so now she’s been home with both of us trying to work and it’s been a lot. Yeah. I think for me, in the beginning, it definitely plummeted.

Some helpful background. Both of us, I think, our libidos are relatively low maybe compared to other people. We’re not the kind of couple that has sex three or four times a week or even weekly. I think we kind of settled into that and are okay with that. But yeah, it plummeted even more than that for me in the beginning of the pandemic. So, I think it makes me think about once we moved into the late summer, when we started thinking about trying to conceive again, I had to turn it back on.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Yeah. So, it was a very dramatic shift, I think.

LEAH: Yeah. And so, how did that feel to you? It sounds like you almost sort of overrode your body’s natural instinct to be like, “This is not of primary importance” to “This needs to be a primary importance in order to get the outcome.” So, how did that feel to you?

CINDY: I don’t know if I can really describe it. I think you’re right. I kind of had to overcome. But it wasn’t just, I think, in a sexual perspective that I was just kind of trying to get through one day at a time. My diet and exercise and everything have kind of fallen off too. That’s something that I used to be really great about. I used to exercise all the time. I don’t know. I’ve just been kind of muddling through it in every sense. And so, I think in a way, trying to overcome that piece of it.

We decided we want to conceive and get back into our sexual relationship a little bit more regularly kind of also kickstarted the other things that my body normally does that I was taking a break from. I think I’ve been slowly getting back into doing more yoga and just trying to pay attention to my body more and take better care of it. And that is something too that you and I talked a lot about during that group session of thinking about my sexual wellbeing and sexual health as part of my self-care routine. That has stayed at the back of my mind throughout all of this. So, I think over the last couple of months, I’ve been getting better in all of those areas.

LEAH: So, as you’re getting back into these things again, you mentioned that the need to get more involved in your sex life in order to conceive has sort of jumpstarted the other things. Has there been a positive feedback loop on that that the more you do those other things, the more interested you are in sex?

CINDY: Yes. And that happened last year too. And it also happened with feedback loop with him with my husband.

LEAH: I remember that.

CINDY: Yeah. It was like once he saw me taking better care of myself and just having a generally more positive outlook, that was attractive to him. Obviously, having a good vibe and a positive general aura that’s attractive. Yeah. I can see that happening again this time.

LEAH: Okay. Great. So, where are you in terms of trying to conceive? What is your sex like when you’re trying to conceive and not just to connect?

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Right. So, that has been really interesting because I feel now, I’m overcompensating of trying to make sure I don’t only want to have sex when I’m in my fertile window. I’m like, “We have to make sure we do it other times, so it’s not all about that.” But then, that becomes part of the, “Well. We have to do it now because I’m not fertile.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It’s like everything has more pressure on it.

CINDY: Right. It’s like there’s a time for everything to take the pressure off the other times. It’s really funny.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: There’s so many days of the month. Every time, it’s like a time when we should be doing it for one reason or another.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, in a “normal” non-pandemic, non-reproductive sexual time, how often do you usually have sex?

CINDY: Probably once a month.

LEAH: Okay. So, if you’re wanting your once a months to be also during your fertile window, are you then overwhelming your system by trying to add in more sex? Do you know what I’m asking?

CINDY: Yeah. I think it can go both ways. I think that has happened in some instances where I’ve felt like that pressure of, “We just have to because I don’t want to make it all about the fertile window, blah, blah, blah.” But then, that completely takes away the purpose of having sex outside of the fertile window.

But then, in other instances, I’ve felt like it’s been a positive feedback loop of when we do start having sex more often, we want to have sex more often. And so, it will have a spell, a month where we have more sex than normal, and then we’ll go on a dry spell again. But neither of us are necessarily upset about it. I just think our moods and emotions and our state of mind and everything is changing so much. Some days are good. Some days are bad. We just are going with the flow when it comes to that.

LEAH: Yeah. I think it’s really important to acknowledge and respect that we are living in a time of extended crisis and because the crisis has been going on for so long, it now feels like, “Oh. We should just be okay with it. This has become our new normal and so, we should just get over it and do the rest of our lives to their optimum, to our optimum.” And that is just not realistic. Our brains can only handle a certain level of stress.

So, yeah, we’re sort of dealing with this at a level of “the new normal” for however much longer it goes on but our brains are exhausted from holding us in this place of constant chaos. It’s not just the pandemic. For those of us in the U.S., it’s our political system. It’s Black Lives Matter and other racial issues. Murder hornets. I’m still stuck on murder hornets.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: We’re living in extended crisis. So, to expect ourselves to be able to function at a “normal” level is simply not realistic. But we’re still trying to push ourselves and do that anyway.

CINDY: Yeah.

LEAH: So, what would your ideal sex life look like? If you’re thinking about it simply in terms of This is what I want instead of This is what I think I should be doing?

CINDY: Yeah. I think I’m getting closer, even though we still have this other layer of the trying to conceive thing happening in the background. I think just this year has pushed me towards the going with the flow like you just described.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Like I said, I’ve always been very Type A and I like to have control in certain aspects. But I think I’ve just learned to give myself some grace and not be pressured to feel like, “Well, we haven’t had sex in two months, what’s wrong?”

I need to pay more attention to that and just be okay with the fact that as long as he’s okay with it too and it’s not causing strain on our relationship, I think I’m learning to just let that be and be okay with it. It’s great when we get into those grooves of having more sex than normal and it’s no pressure. We just are doing it because we want to. And I think a big part of that is when we feel connected outside of the bedroom. Being home with each other so much this year, given its fair share of challenges. I feel like it could have been a lot worse with us spending so much time together.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: And being isolated from so many of our friends and family I think has brought us a lot closer this year and we’ve really been each other’s support through everything. And so, I think we’ve grown our intimacy from that perspective, which has contributed to being able to be a little bit more relaxed, I think, outside of the trying to conceive part. More relaxed in the bedroom.

LEAH: But it sounds like the trying to conceive part is a huge part of your sex life right now.

CINDY: Yeah. It’s been a challenge. So, we started in late summer and then actually, about two months ago, we actually had a miscarriage.

LEAH: Oh, I’m sorry.

CINDY: Thank you. We were successful. And again, I was like, “Oh. We can stop obsessing over the calendar and all of that.”

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: And then, that has thrown a wrench in things. That was also hard getting back into our sexual activity after that because there’s a whole new other physical thing, just like postpartum. It was very similar.

LEAH: How long did you give yourself?

CINDY: So, they say you should wait an entire cycle before you try to get pregnant again. I think we had sex one time in between there but we used the pull-out method because you don’t want to get pregnant before your first period. But again, that was always in the back of my mind, this, “No. we don’t want to get pregnant right now. So, we have to pay attention to that.” I know that’s just reality. You have to think about birth control and safety and all of those things.

Since I’ve gotten my period back and my cycle seems to have regulated, things have been a lot more relaxed. I think it’s just because after that experience, I’m trying to take the when it happens, it happens approach and not try to force it and thinking that if it does take a little bit longer, it’s just more time for us to heal emotionally too and just be ready for it when it does happen. If I can get the COVID vaccine before I can get pregnant, that would also be great.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Well, so then that gives you a little bit of a buffer because it’s not going to happen.

CINDY: Buy me some time. Right.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I’ve got a few months where now, I’m like, “Maybe we should just wait.” There’s so many different variables but I think going through what we’ve been through in 2020 in general, and then having the experience of the miscarriage, I think, has brought us a lot closer. But it’s definitely been some mental gymnastics to try to tease those things out and still enjoy sex for what it is with all those things happening.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Imagine this. You’re in your comfiest, coziest pajamas drinking a glass of wine and talking about sex toys. That’s exactly what my PJ parties for grownups are all about. Fun, comfort, connection and lots of talk about all things sexy. And if the isolation of COVID has got you feeling not so sexy, we can have that conversation too. Even if you’re lucky enough to be isolating with a partner or other loved ones, finding deep connection outside your pod can be difficult and can leave life feeling a bit flat.

Every time I host a PJ party, the participants talk about how nourishing it felt to spend time talking with other women about things they don’t have the space to talk about these days. One participant said that she talks to her partner about her sex life a lot but she’d forgotten how much she misses talking to and getting support from other women. My PJ parties for grownups are a place for you to have the kind of conversations we have on this show to dish about the stuff that’s great in your sex life, commiserate about the things that you wish were better and ask questions you would never dream to ask in the light of day.

I facilitate the two-hour gathering, so it’s designed to help you feel safe, comfortable and connected. Each PJ party is limited to 7 people, so there’s plenty of room for everyone to participate. And because consent is primary, you will never be pressured into talking about anything you’re not ready for. You can participate as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. You may begin as a group of strangers but you might just meet your new best friend.

Registrations are currently open for a party on Wednesday, March 24 at 7 PM Pacific. Information and registration is at leahcarey.com/pjparty. That link is the Show Notes in the app you’re listening on now. And it’s leahcarey.com/pjparty. Spaces are limited, so register today. I hope to see you there.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: So, what would you like to get out of this conversation?

CINDY: Maybe trying to identify a homework assignment like we did last summer in the group session. If there’s something that’s jumping out at you or something that you think is a tangible thing that I could focus in on and try to work on because things for me are so just like all over the place. I really enjoyed having specific tangible homework assignments.

LEAH: Yeah. Absolutely. So, are you willing to give yourself the grace of a few months to stop thinking about getting pregnant until you get the vaccine?

CINDY: I’ve been thinking a lot about it and it’s on my list of things to-dos, to call my midwives and have a conversation with them about the vaccine and pregnancy and all of that. But yeah, I just keep going back and forth between the age gap that we want between our kids. Yes. I think you’re right. I need to just give myself some grace and realize it’s not the end of the world if they’re four years apart. Okay.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. Not only is it not the end of the world but your body may not be able to accomplish something different. Yeah, you want a certain age gap but your body and the pandemic and all of the things are creating a situation in which that may not be the ideal or just may not be possible.

CINDY: Yeah.

LEAH: So, what do you need in order to relax your grip on that idea of the kids being a certain age apart?

CINDY: Yeah. Well, I’ve talked to some friends who have kids who have those age gaps and that’s super helpful and they point out all the pros of having kids who are farther apart in age. So, that’s helpful to remember. And I’ve also just had to have some hard conversations with family members who are like, “So, when’s number two coming? You don’t want her to be 18 going off to college before you have your next one.” So, I’ve had a lot of practice in having those type of crucial conversations with people and saying, “This is a boundary. Please don’t talk about this right now.” I feel pretty accomplished that I did that and that I spoke up and said those things to those people because it just had to be said.

LEAH: Good job.

CINDY: Thanks.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: That’s some of your communication skills coming through in a completely different application, but still a lot of utility there.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I think I just need to maybe try to refocus on the things that I started last summer of focusing on my self-care and thinking about my sexual health and our sexual relationship as part of just taking care of myself as well as our relationship in its whole and completely unrelated to reproduction. It’s hard for me to even say that and separate those things because I’ve been so absorbed in that the last several months. But I think that’s what would probably serve us and just let that kind of really try to commit to the “It’ll happen when it happens” kind of attitude.

LEAH: Yeah. What I remember from that last session together was that you were sort of bewildered by this idea that you actually for a while completely let go of the need to have sex with your husband.

CINDY: That’s right.

LEAH: You entirely focused on your own whether it was yoga or other hobbies, you just really laser focused on your own self-care and in the process, your sex life seemed to reorganize itself.

CINDY: It did. Yup.

LEAH: I actually remember you because I just thought this was delightful. You were like, “What is this witchcraft?”

CINDY: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: It was.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, I wonder if that maybe is the direction to go in again is for you, it’s not just to pull yourself back from the reproduction but from focus on sex entirely, and really go back to that inner space because you now have an experience of knowing that going to that inner space helps to reorganize everything around you in a way that feels good to you.

CINDY: That’s really true. That was the biggest thing that I took away from our session last year too. It was amazing how everything was just a domino effect. That’s exactly what it was. I think, like I said, focusing on myself has been hugely helpful for that reason but I think also focusing on my relationship with my husband outside of sex. It was always like when I tried to address sex itself, it didn’t go very well. It was always really I just stumbled all over my words and we haven’t really gotten to the point where we can communicate. I know it’s a top rule to not try to communicate about sex in the bedroom.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I remember that and I used that.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: But even so, I feel like it’s a similar concept. When we focus on our relationship outside of the bedroom, it just is a domino effect. Even around the holiday season, we were so focused on creating a Christmas magic and doing all the gifts and doing the Santa thing and the elf on the shelf and we had fun together coming up where to put the elf, just silly things like that. We bonded over that so much, and then that was the domino effect. The last two months or so, we’ve had more sex than normal and it’s just been enjoyable and relaxing, and so I think you’re right that keeping an eye on that concept of almost improving it not by ignoring it but just letting it sit in the background.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: While I focus on these other things that orbit around it really helps.

LEAH: Yeah. It’s like those pictures that if you look directly at them you can’t see the picture but if you look at it sort of from the side of your eye, the image begins to appear. Yeah. And that’s not going to be true for everybody but for you, this seems to be a pattern emerging.

So, we’re recording this at the very end of 2020. You’ve had this holiday season where you’ve had some things that you could focus on together. Let’s talk about January and February. What are some things that you can focus on?

CINDY: Well, we did start our own project earlier in this year in March. We started a podcast together which has been really great and I think it improved our communication skills of just talking about different topics. I think continuing with that, continuing our commitment to that, will be helpful. Aside from that, I feel like we should probably make more of an effort to be creative about date nights and the relationship recreation piece because we haven’t been in a restaurant.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I think we did go out once for our anniversary. We did go out and dine outdoors but yeah, I think we’ve been challenged. We thought we were in a rut before the pandemic.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: We’re just parents who sit at home on the weekend and watch Netflix. Now, really, that’s all we do.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: All right. So, let’s talk about what’s a fun date night that you could organize for yourself and your husband?

CINDY: I have mentioned this to him before but it’s never happened. Maybe I’ll try again. I would like to try cooking together. It’s something that has become super monotonous for me, cooking during the pandemic, so maybe something like doing a virtual cooking class. I feel like something like that would be good for us.

LEAH: Yeah. And what I heard you say was that you’ve mentioned to him a few times but it hasn’t happened. It sounds like what just needs to happen is you just plan it and tell him when to show up.

CINDY: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: That’s probably a good strategy. Yup.

LEAH: Instead of asking him to be part of creating the experience that you want, create the experience that you want and invite him into it.

CINDY: Yeah. I think that’s a good strategy. He and I had also, I wanted to mention this to you too, started talking more about love languages recently, which we’ve never really gotten super far into it. I feel like he’s just been, “Meh. I don’t know.” He thought it was witchcraft too but not the good kind.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I feel like I finally broke the barrier around the holiday season because I really believed that his love language is gift giving and receiving both ways. So, gifts and I feel like that’s the hard one for people to admit because it seems selfish, you like receiving gifts or it comes off as materialistic or something. I’ve always been sensitive in trying to point it out to him but I’ve known for a long time that that’s his love language.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: So, I’ve tried to be better about that and recognizing that and being good about giving gifts to him in whatever form that takes. And so, getting him to recognize that, I’ve found it easier to tell him what my love language is, which I think is more of the acts of service kind of that realm. So, I feel like this would be like that.

And also, quality time. I want to spend quality time together and then you would be helping me by helping me think of new things to make for us and learning a new skill or you’re learning something so you can help me more in the kitchen kind of thing. So, we’ve just had this breakthrough about the gifts and the love languages three days ago.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Great.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: It’s a good time. I’m going to capitalize on that.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. And you are also giving him the gift of not having to try to figure you out. You’re saying, “Here’s what I want. Here’s how it’s going to happen. Are you in?” He gets to buy into it, which is in itself a gift of you saying, “Here’s the experience we’re going to have.”

CINDY: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah. I love that.

CINDY: That would be great.

LEAH: That’s fun. Now, does this all have to happen after your daughter is asleep? Do you have grandparents in the picture who can take her? How do you do that?

CINDY: So, we do have one grandparent who comes over during the week to watch her while we work during the day. But really, it’s around 4 o’clock. So, if we’re doing anything at night like a virtual cooking class or something, it would have to be either after she goes to bed or on a weekend during her nap or something. But yeah, her schedule is pretty unpredictable. It’s hard not to be able to just call the babysitter and have them come over so we could have a date night.

LEAH: Yeah. Could she go stay at the grandparent’s house for a night? Is that something that’s possible?

CINDY: Probably. We’ve never done that before. She’s never slept over someone else’s house but I think it’s something we would be willing to consider.

LEAH: Not being a parent, I can’t make any promises.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: I hesitate to make any specific suggestions but my guess is that the first time you send her to stay somewhere else for a night, it’s going to be a little bit stressful for you.

CINDY: Yeah.

LEAH: So, I would not suggest that you make your date night that night.

CINDY: Good call. You know me so well, Leah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Order in and watch Netflix and wait for the phone to ring.

CINDY: Yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And then, assuming that goes well and you feel a little bit more relaxed, you can do the date night the second time she goes away.

CINDY: That’s a really good call. Yeah.

LEAH: Okay. Great.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: I can totally see that happening. Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, terrific. We’ve got doing a virtual cooking class, and then maybe just cooking dinner together. Do you feel like it needs to be a structured activity like a class or do you also want to do some more unstructured cooking time?

CINDY: I think having it structured will be the easiest way for us to not be distracted.

LEAH: Perfect.

CINDY: I think, especially if our daughter is home, it’s chaotic at dinner time.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Let’s just get it that way.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: All right. So, it sounds like doing a cooking class is a really good idea. If it goes well, then you can do some more. If it turns out to be something the two of you really enjoy, you can do more of them because I’m sure there are lots of them, especially now.

CINDY: Right. Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: All right. So, what are you going to do when we get off this call? How are you going to move forward with this?

CINDY: I’ll research some virtual cooking classes, I think. I have seen a few pop up here and there, so I know that they’re out there. But yeah, I’m going to try to narrow it down and find one that would work at a time that we could make it work.

LEAH: Okay. Great. And reach out to a grandparent to ask if they’re willing to do an overnight?

CINDY: Yup.

LEAH: All right. Perfect. I love it. I’m excited for you.

CINDY: Yeah. Me too. I love that our conversation is about sex, we’re now talking about a virtual cooking class, how it’s all so related.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: It is. It’s completely related because I think most often when people have issues with sex, actually the sex is not the issue. It’s everything else in life around the sex and all of those issues that show up in the bedroom as the symptom but not the cause.

CINDY: Yup. I see how that’s been happening. Yup.

LEAH: I love it. All right. Excellent. So, let me know how it goes.

CINDY: I will.

LEAH: I’m super curious. And I want to know what you make.

[LAUGHTER]

CINDY: Yeah. I knew you were going to say that. Yeah. I’ll have to send you a recipe.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Okay. Great.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: All right. Anything else before we close up for today?

CINDY: I’ll just say thank you for inviting me to come in and chat with you. It’s been great to catch up and all the work we’ve done together has been really helpful. So, thank you.

LEAH: I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Cindy. Like we said, it’s not unusual that a conversation about connecting in the bedroom ends up with an assignment doing something like a cooking class. For a long-term couple, what’s happening outside the bedroom is almost always a significant factor in what’s happening inside the bedroom.

Now, I promise to give you information about working with me and if you’d like to do coaching with me, I am available for one on one and couple’s sessions. I offer weekly video sessions and/or daily coaching by text message. My favorite clients are people who are motivated to explore new realms of their sexuality. For people who are single, that might include learning how to date in person or on the apps in a way that’s upfront about your wants and needs. Giving yourself permission to have fun sexual adventures without the pressure of long-term commitments. It might even be exploring your sexuality for later in life virgins or people who haven’t had sex in a long time. And then, for other boundary pushers, whether you’re in a relationship or not, that could include dipping your toes into BDSM like we heard a couple of weeks ago with Caitlin and Chris, or exploring attractions to genders you hadn’t previously considered, exploring consensual non-monogamy. and really anything else that’s coming up for you around your sex and sexuality.

Now, if you want to dip your toe in the water before diving headfirst, the PJ parties are a great way to spend a couple hours getting a sense of whether you feel safe and comfortable with me before committing to a coaching package. All of this information and more is at leahcarey.com/coaching.

And before we leave Cindy, I have an update for you. She’s pregnant! Because of the previous miscarriage, she’s understandably nervous but she’s near the end of the first trimester and things are going well. She and her husband did a cooking class together and she sent me an email and this is what it said. “It was super fun and definitely the type of activity that I think will help increase our intimacy if we can keep doing things like that. However, we’ve only had sex a couple of times since I’ve been pregnant because I have irrational fears about miscarrying again. Even though I know sex doesn’t cause miscarriages, but it’s been getting better as the pregnancy progresses.”

So, I’d like to pipe in for a moment and say, it’s so easy to judge our fears as irrational when some part of our brain knows that logically, it doesn’t make sense. But it’s not the rational adult part of our brain that deals with our fears. It’s the scared little girl part of our brain. It’s the part of our brain that still believes there are monster under the bed. And what do we do when a child cries about monsters? Do we tongue lash them telling them their fears are irrational? No. That will only make matters worse. They’ll still be scared and they’ll have an additional upset on top of that. Instead, when a child is crying about monsters under the bed, we gentle them. We turn on the lights and show them there’s nothing under the bed. We remind them that they’re safe. Perhaps, we stay with them and hold them until they fall asleep.

So, to Cindy, I want to say, your fears about losing a much-desired pregnancy are not irrational. They’re the result of prior lived experience and your brain being exhausted from dealing with an extended period of crisis. We spoke during this session about allowing yourself grace to pause thinking about pregnancy while other things took precedence. Now, that you’re pregnant, I hope you can give yourself some grace for the fact that fears will creep in and that’s nothing you need to apologize for.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: That’s it for today. Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby. I have additional administrative support from Lara O’Connor and Maria Franco. Transcripts are produced by Jan Acielo.

And I’m incredibly grateful for the financial support from Good Girls Talk About Sex community members at Patreon. If you’d like to support me in telling these stories and answering your questions, head over to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. You can find Show Notes and Show Transcripts at www.goodgirlstalk.com. To ask a question about your sex life, your desires or anything to do with female sexuality, call and leave a message at 720-GOOD-SEX.

And before we go, I want to remind you that the things you’ve probably heard about your sexuality are not true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. I work with women just like you to reflect their true sexual nature back to them without the judgment, shame or fear that can get in the way of us seeing it for ourselves. As a coach and PJ party hostess, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours no matter what it looks like. I’m here to help you sink so deeply into your true sexuality that the version of yourself that was scared to speak up for her own needs feels like a mirage from another lifetime.

Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!

[MUSIC]

BOOKMARK MOMENTS:
  • 3:18 – Cindy talks about participating in coaching in one of Leah’s group sessions, and catches us up on what life looks like (sexually and otherwise) a year into the pandemic.
  • 7:46 – Stress can have varied effects on libido—up or down.
  • 9:35 – Can you turn your libido back “on”? Cindy talks about what she did to try, paying more attention to her body, taking better care of it.
  • 12:20 – They talk about trying to use sex to connect *as well as* conceive.
  • 15:41 – Leah helps Cindy hone in on what she wants her sex life to look life.
  • 17:47 – Cindy conceives but suffers a miscarriage; she opens up about the impact.
  • 20:25 – PJ Parties for Grownups!
  • 22:57 – Homework assignments—fun ones, of course—can be a tangible, focused way to take concrete steps towards your goal. And, sometimes the homework is giving yourself grace.
  • 30:08 – Cindy gets specific about what she wants to focus on in her relationship.
  • 32:05 – They speak on love languages: his is gifts, hers is acts of service. Leah helps Cindy navigate through ideas for activities.
  • 38:00 – Leah talks about how coaching can help in different relationship areas and for specific interests, with group and solo options.
  • 40:03 – A post-coaching update from Cindy; and a discussion about being compassionate with yourself about your fears.

THE LOWDOWN:

Don’t forget – ALL audio extras are FREE at Patreon!

PATREON:

As of July 2020, all Good Girls Talk About Sex audio extras are now FREE!  They can be accessed at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex

I’ve done this because there are people who need this material but don’t have the financial means to access it behind a paywall.

But there are many costs associated with producing this show, so if you’d like to support the work I do, I am grateful for your contributions at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

BE PART OF THE SHOW:

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WORK WITH LEAH:

Learn about coaching with Leahwww.leahcarey.com/coaching

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EPISODE CREDITS:

Host / Producer – Leah Carey (email)
Audio Editor – Gretchen Kilby
Administrative Support – Lara O’Connor, Maria Franco
Music – Nazar Rybak