I did a thing.
Recently I was a guest on The Amy Edwards Show. Amy and I talked for over an hour about sex, for life. I explain how I became a sex therapist, sex vs eroticism, and sex beyond penetration.
Trigger Alert: things get personal!
Amy Edwards is a self-described life rocking babe in Austin, Texas. She hosts The Amy Edwards Show a podcast that hits topics ranging from personal empowerment to self care to sex and sexuality. That’s where I came in.
Amy’s a classmate of mine and Laura’s from SMU – go Mustangs! Laura is my partner and personal hype man. Her PR skills put Amy and me together for a wide ranging conversation. We talk menopause, sex education, masturbation, and more! Thanks for listening.
Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-amy-edwards-show/id1543432633?i=1000552817801
Christopher Brown is a psychotherapist and licensed sex therapist with decades of experience. He teaches people at every age how to connect to their sexuality and rethink eroticism. This conversation is fantastic and will make you rethink our conditioning and sex “education”…or lack thereof. Listen for: How to find a new sexual template for every decade of your life What sex in your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and beyond can look like Explicit and implicit shame One of the causes of premature ejaculation How women can still have a full sex life after menopause Sex isn’t defined by penetration How EVERY parent is a sex educator Normalizing early negative sex messaging The difference between sexuality and eroticism Find out more about Christopher at SapientTherapy.com and follow him on Instagram @xopherbrown!
Omicron is coming! Omicron is here!
Anxiety pushes us to make decisions with incomplete information. We instinctively fill in the gaps of any scenario. Remember anxiety is driven by survival first and for most. Anxiety therefore fills in the gaps assuming in all cases that the worst case scenario is all but a certainty. Survival demands it.
The kicker is that anxiety is almost always wrong.
Our brains are wired for anxiety. It’s an inheritance from our ancestors that helped us as a species survive to 2021 and beyond. Unfortunately there’s no owners manual for living with an anxious brain so I decided to write one.
The worst case scenario is certainly possible but it isn’t likely. Catastrophe isn’t likely so it absolutely isn’t a certainty. Yet anxiety operates on the assumption of certainty. For our survival. Survival however is far from happiness. Survival is far from thriving. Survival is not your best life.
Given that we have brains wired for survival we can trust ourselves far more than we believe. We will survive. The key to a happy life isn’t about just surviving. It’s about thriving. So, living by default in our minds’ survival settings alone is a recipe for depression.
Instead of just going through life in the anxious brain base mode consider the worst case as only one option of many. Yes, plan for the worst case scenario. Don’t be naive. Once you have a disaster plan live to thrive trusting that you can handle the worst case. If it happens you can survive and rebuild.
For the worst case scenario with Omicron get vaccinated. Don’t go to large and medium sized events that you don’t really want to go to anyway. COVID’s a great excuse to set the boundaries you’ve always wanted. And do what you really want to do. Live the life that gives you the most and best chances for happiness. You can thrive even in the midst of the 151st wave of this pandemic.
Therapy on TV! Depictions of psychotherapy in pop culture are always fun to critique. We get a pretty good one on Showtime’s Yellowjackets. Check it out if you aren’t following along.
*mild spoiler alert*
Checkout episode two to see Shauna and her husband go to sex therapy. We get a pretty accurate portrayal of some (seemingly) vanilla folx trying to get fantasy out of their imaginations and into their bedroom. It feels like a risky proposition and if you stick with it the payoff is pretty good.
I’ll Be Reading My Body
Most mornings I’m up at 3 or 4 AM. I used to stay out until then and now I’m up, scrolling. I always look for stories that pique my therapeutic interests. Recently Emily Ratajkowski’s interview in the Sunday Times and that fit the bill.
It seems that Ms. Ratajkowski has been in the midst of a therapeutic journey. Existential crises don’t just come at midlife.
Life is complicated. We’re paradoxical. As observers of the world we want all things to be simple and neat. We want good and bad. We want cause and effect. We want explanations that we can easily understand. Meanwhile in our lives we’re a complex mix of history, motives, and defenses in the middle of attempts to be happy. Ms. Ratajkowski seems to bring a lot of her human complexity to her upcoming memoir.
The woman, author, actress, and model talks about her experiences of sexual assault and rape. Ms. Ratajkowski walks her audience through how she thought about herself, her experiences, and her success within a system that is built on her dehumanization. Dehumanization is inextricably linked to trauma and traumatic events.
Power seems to be another theme of My Body. Power in relationships, careers, and systems is under discussed in most therapy. Power dynamics are quite real. Money and sex are two of the most significant sources of power dynamics in relationships. I grapple them in therapy. Ms. Ratajkowski grapples with them in her new book. I’ll be reading.
My Body by Emily Ratajkowski came out this month: October 2021.
Amazon.com: My Body: 9781250817860: Ratajkowski, Emily: Books
We have William of Ockham to thank for the problem solving maxim Occam’s razor. According to William the simplest explanation is often the best. I like the idea. We all do. We crave simplicity. Complexity is hard. And that’s how we cut ourselves by oversimplifying complex situations.
Occam’s razor that gives us tacit permission to ignore complexity and jump to a conclusion has the potential to hurt as much as help. I was reading the New York Times Daily newsletter the other morning, an almost regular habit, and the lead story got me thinking about William’s razor. The topic was inflation. The author Neil Irwin tries valiantly to explain to us his audience why stuff costs more now. The answer, we’ll it’s complicated. Occam’s razor? It need not apply.
My work with relationships is similar. When a bomb goes off in our lives we instinctively want simple solutions. Who’s to blame? Can my marriage be saved? Why did he cheat? Should I stay or go? We want the simplest possible explanation. That instinct indeed that overwhelming desire for simple answers to a complex question hurts more than it helps. In crisis we tend to cut ourselves with William’s razor.
In complex systems like federal monetary policy, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, and our relationships there are many variables that come together to cause our current circumstance. It’s frustrating because we can’t simply blame our husbands or our President and hope that none alone will solve our problems. Nope. It doesn’t work. Simplicity is not effective in complex situations. So what’s the alternative?
Complex situations have many variables that all coalesce within a given context. Change just one of your variables, change your context and you’ll have a new outcome. Change just one thing and it will be different. Change many things and things will be very different. We can’t control the outcome. The difficulty of that is a story for a different day. We can’t control the outcome of our relationships but we can absolutely change them. So if you know things as they are don’t work for you. Let’s do something different and see what happens.
Running toward something is so different than running from something.
I’ve run, spun, and stairmastered from things for decades. Exercise is a fabulous antidepressant. I know from experience. I ran from sadness. I ran from SSRI weight gain. I ran from anxiety.
We humans have a long history of running from dangerous things. It’s important to do. Vital.
We can and should run from distress. We get to run from burnout. Run from heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
What about running toward though? It feels totally different!
I’ve only been running toward accomplishments for less than a year. It feels exciting and that’s completely different.
Motivation out of fear feels like pressure. Maybe running toward a finish line is motivation for something we want. Motivation out of desire? I’m not sure but I know I’m excited. Gotta geaux!