Nourishing Sex, Love, & Relationships With Andrea Balboni (Part 1)

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Podcasts



SPEAKER_1: You’re listening to She Grabs The Mic, and I’m your host, Cole Baker-Bagwell.

SPEAKER_1: Every week we’ll explore what it means to be happy, present and whole.

SPEAKER_1: You’ll hear from courageous women who are kicking ass in their lives, and leave with actionable tips that you can apply to reset from toxicity and live powerfully from the bedroom to the boardroom.

SPEAKER_1: Right now it’s time to grab your headphones, kick back and relax, and get ready to be inspired.

SPEAKER_1: Welcome, Amazing Ones!

SPEAKER_1: I am so excited to have you here this week.

SPEAKER_1: This conversation is necessary.

SPEAKER_1: It is exciting.

SPEAKER_1: For some of you, it might be uncomfortable.

SPEAKER_1: And I hope by the end of our conversation today, you will feel ease, you will feel empowered, and you will feel excited as hell.

SPEAKER_1: So today, I am joined by the fabulous Andrea Balboni, who is a relationships and intimacy coach and the founder of Lush Coaching.

SPEAKER_1: She’s joining me today all the way from London. SPEAKER_1: Welcome, welcome, welcome, Andrea.

SPEAKER_1: I’m so glad you’re here.
SPEAKER_2: Thank you, Cole.

SPEAKER_2: It’s great to be here.

SPEAKER_1: You’re welcome.

SPEAKER_1: Yeah, thanks for making the time.

SPEAKER_1: All right, so you offer one-on-one coaching and group coaching to help people have healthy, loving relationships.

SPEAKER_1: And as you say in your own beautiful words, nourishing pleasure-filled sex that feeds their souls.

SPEAKER_1: I love that. Tell me more.

SPEAKER_2: Well, we don’t really get that definition of sex, I don’t think from, most of us don’t anyway, or have that association with sex and pleasure growing up and throughout our lives even in fact.

SPEAKER_2: And so what I’ve learned in my own journey is that sex can be nourishing and beautiful and pleasurable, and it can look all sorts of ways.

SPEAKER_2: So how that shows up, how pleasure shows up, how nourishment shows up in intimacy can look a million different ways.

SPEAKER_2: And often that view, we only get one pretty narrow Hollywood-esque type view is something that keeps many women from really expanding into the pleasure that’s there for them, that’s available, in the way that it shows up in their own bodies, in their own soul as well.

SPEAKER_2: And so part of my work or big part of my work is reconnecting women to their bodies, but also to their hearts and their souls and pleasure along with it.

SPEAKER_2: So it is beautiful, beautiful wrapping for the journey of getting to know ourselves in new ways oftentimes, even though we’re with our bodies all the time.

SPEAKER_1: I know.
SPEAKER_1: And there is this disconnection though between body and mind.
SPEAKER_1: You know, I’ve noticed that in my work as well.
SPEAKER_1: I’m coaching women’s mindsets, but it’s all connected.
SPEAKER_1: It’s one piece.
SPEAKER_1: Body and mind are, I call them co-conspirators of our total experience.

SPEAKER_1: And the word you use, nourishment. That is so beautiful.
SPEAKER_1: I wonder as we think about and explore reframing our mindset when it comes to sex. SPEAKER_1: And that is the topic of this week.

SPEAKER_1: Where do you believe the greatest opportunity is to adopt and really embody that word, nourishment, when it comes to ourselves?

SPEAKER_2: Nourishment is something that most of us, when I say the word nourishment in relation to sex and intimacy in particular, I often get, yes, that’s it, that’s the thing.

SPEAKER_2: And it’s really, really important because we, especially today, because as we know and as stated over and over again, we do live very fast lives, most of us, and things are happening at exponential rates.

SPEAKER_2: Things are changing faster than ever.

SPEAKER_2: And there’s also a general sense of uncertainty and not knowing of what’s right around the corner.

SPEAKER_2: And also with so many big challenges, global challenges happening, a sense of a loss of control, which can be destabilizing and ungrounding.

SPEAKER_2: And so when I say the word nourishment and pleasure and intimacy is a pathway back to a nourished sense of self, it helps people reconnect with their bodies, their hearts and their minds on a very physical visceral level.

SPEAKER_2: But then it expands outward from there.

SPEAKER_2: So yeah, it’s important, I think, especially today, to know that pleasure and sex can be one pathway to reconnecting with our bodies, reconnecting with the earth even, reconnecting with nature.

SPEAKER_2: We are a part of it.
SPEAKER_2: And yeah, pleasure is a beautiful way to that.

SPEAKER_2: So when we nourish ourselves with pleasure, with intimate pleasure, erotic pleasure, and you don’t have to have a partner to do that, you can do that on your own as well, it can be, it’s a beautiful, beautiful experience of coming back to ourselves, our whole selves.

SPEAKER_1: I love that point.
SPEAKER_1: So to reframe what you’ve just shared, nourishment, ah, love the word.

SPEAKER_1: I mean, I think about, we talk about nourishing food, we talk about nourishing information, we can take in books, music, and then this idea of love and sex and intimacy being nourishing as well is just, I think that’s a huge game changer, to tell you the truth.

SPEAKER_1: I don’t know that many women have thought about sex and pleasure as nourishment for the body, but we’re going to talk about that.

SPEAKER_1: We’re going to talk about the health benefits of sex, the known ones and the unknown. SPEAKER_1: We’re going to talk about this mind, body, energy, emotional connection, because I know

that’s something that you are laser focused on.

SPEAKER_1: And then we’re going to talk about this point you made earlier, about pleasure being something you can experience with another person or with yourself.

SPEAKER_1: And I think that there are some women who have never even entertained that thought.

SPEAKER_1: So again, by the end of this episode, our shared goal, amazing ones, is for you to be empowered, for you to understand yourselves a bit better, for you to have a different mindset around sex, sexual health, sex as part of our humanity.

SPEAKER_1: And again, Andrea, I’m so stoked to have you here.

SPEAKER_1: So I would love it.

SPEAKER_1: And I think the women listening would as well.

SPEAKER_1: If you could hit us with a bit of your personal story about how you grabbed the mic in your own sex life and what’s been most meaningful about that journey for you so far.

SPEAKER_2: So I began this journey because I was single for a really long time.

SPEAKER_2: So it was in my early 40s when I first began to really explore the space of intimacy and pleasure.

SPEAKER_2: And it was because I really wanted a partner, but hadn’t been able to meet anyone.

SPEAKER_2: I couldn’t understand why.

SPEAKER_2: And I had done all the things, but still was quite stuck.

SPEAKER_2: And discovered through a bit of a fluke, stumbling upon it, the world of tantra and sacred sexuality.

SPEAKER_2: And what that did for me was help me to reframe my sense of self as a woman, as a powerful woman, as a sensual and sexual woman even in whole new ways.

SPEAKER_2: So prior to that, I was in technology.

SPEAKER_2: So I worked in tech for about 20 years and had done a lot of head-based work and was dating during that time, but found it really tricky.

SPEAKER_2: And so what happened was a simultaneous disconnection from my body and pleasure, and also really getting stuck as far as relationships and intimacy was concerned.

SPEAKER_2: So you could say my sex life was pretty inexistent.

SPEAKER_2: When I would be with someone, it would be once or twice a year maybe, and pretty unfulfilling and felt pretty awful, but like something I should do because I was feeling less human, especially also quite neutral and feel much like a woman or feel much desire.

SPEAKER_2: And wanted to really get back in touch with that because when I was much younger, I remember my first kiss being an ecstatic experience of beauty and joy and erotic bliss, even though it wasn’t a sexual experience, it was a kiss.

SPEAKER_2: It just brought me to the moon and back again and kind of showed me what was there. SPEAKER_2: And then I had a relationship after that.
SPEAKER_2: And so I did up until my late 20s, have a sexual relationship and a very beautiful one.

SPEAKER_2: It wasn’t the right thing to continue, but it opened me more in that way.

SPEAKER_2: And then I had this gap of about 10, 15 years where everything just kind of shut down.

SPEAKER_2: And so reawakening that and opening back to that, for me, the path was through sacred sexuality, redefining myself as a woman, as a powerful woman, and as a powerful woman who was also sensual, soft and sexual.

SPEAKER_2: That took quite a bit of work.

SPEAKER_2: But in the end, I moved through it.

SPEAKER_2: I reconnected with my body.

SPEAKER_2: I practiced mindful masturbation for the first time in my life.

SPEAKER_2: I had never really touched my body or worked with my body in that way, or connected with my body in that way on my own.

SPEAKER_2: And so that opened up new gateways for me to pleasure, to really owning my pleasure, to understand how it showed up in me and what was keeping me from experiencing it when I did shut down or fell shut down.

SPEAKER_2: So that’s now, that’s my own path.

SPEAKER_2: I eventually did meet someone that I fell in love with, a partner, an intimate partner, and we’re still together.

SPEAKER_2: It’s been about seven years now.
SPEAKER_2: And so I have been able to continue that exploration with my partner.

SPEAKER_2: However, it is an ongoing personal exploration at the same time.

SPEAKER_2: And fundamental and key to that opportunity to explore with another person was that opening that I had on my own first of probably a good one to three years of personal exploration.

SPEAKER_1: So let’s pause here for a minute because you have said so many important things.

SPEAKER_1: One of the things that I heard you saying was your relationship with your body was non- existent.

SPEAKER_1: That you shut that part of yourself off, that you longed for it because you remember that that just sizzle that you felt with the kiss when you were much younger.

SPEAKER_1: And you somehow got lost, right?
SPEAKER_1: You lost touch with that very human side of yourself.

SPEAKER_1: What I’d like to emphasize right here and have you emphasize is what was the most, what was the most significant thing for you during that time, Andrea, when you lost touch with your body, your sense of desire, your sense of physical pleasure.

SPEAKER_1: Reflecting now, what was really the greatest loss for you about that and how did that impact your life?

SPEAKER_2: I think this would bring us, well, for me, it brings us back to nourishment because I absolutely didn’t feel whole or fulfilled or full or nourished in my body.

SPEAKER_2: I felt quite, I used to say, like a cardboard cutout of myself, which was dry.

SPEAKER_2: And lacking three-dimensionality felt really two-dimensional and I was high functioning in my career.

SPEAKER_2: That was great.
SPEAKER_2: I had wonderful friendships, a great social life and my family’s always been there.

SPEAKER_2: So I was fortunate and had fullness in those ways, but I just felt quite flat and not very nourished as far as what I now experience as the feminine, as my womanhood, as a fuller version of myself.

SPEAKER_2: That is more, not only, it’s kind of like this dance of yin and yang almost.

SPEAKER_2: It’s not just that I can perform and that I can show up and that I’m focused and I do love efficiency.

SPEAKER_2: I do love this side of things.

SPEAKER_2: I also am available for and open to softening, to feeling, to the sensory experience, to slowing down, to pleasure.

SPEAKER_2: And it’s a continual coming back to those things.

SPEAKER_2: It’s not those things don’t show up easily in the world that we live in.

SPEAKER_2: It’s a conscious creation of space for that part of me, also to express and emerge.

SPEAKER_2: And so what was missing was all of that, really.

SPEAKER_2: That space for an end openness to and softening into and receiving a gentler, more luscious, more delicious.

SPEAKER_2: Oftentimes people use the word juicy.

SPEAKER_2: It’s not really a word I use, but a more luscious, luscious is a word that I use quite a bit, lush experience of life and living.

SPEAKER_1: The dimensions of you, all of those beautiful dimensions of you that you’ve just mentioned, the feminine, the power, the allowing, the lusciousness, the deliciousness, all of that instead of the cardboard cutout.

SPEAKER_1: Man, huge difference.
SPEAKER_1: Okay, so there are women listening right now who feel like the cardboard cutout.

SPEAKER_1: Maybe they’ve always felt like the cardboard cutout and have never had the experience of that deliciousness, that lusciousness, that sinking in, softening into that divine feminine power that they were born with because maybe they were never taught that.

SPEAKER_1: So let’s start here.

SPEAKER_1: If you could undo one thing that women are taught about their bodies, about sexuality, their bodies related to sexuality, what would it be?

SPEAKER_2: That it’s for someone else or that we’re here to serve someone else or to make sure someone else is okay and satisfied and receiving what they need before, if ever, we receive that for ourselves or have that for ourselves and that it’s dependent upon someone else, our pleasure.

SPEAKER_1: Okay, so let’s take this question to a more optimistic level here. SPEAKER_1: Now we know what we want to undo.

SPEAKER_1: What is the one thing that you would tell every single woman out there that she doesn’t or may not have been taught about sex that she needs to know?

SPEAKER_2: That it is by birthright, something that is available for you, should you desire to connect to it.

SPEAKER_2: And that there are many, many different ways to reconnect and bring you back to what is inherently yours to experience, should you desire it.

SPEAKER_1: Okay, that’s beautiful.

SPEAKER_1: So you and I know that sex is part of being human.

SPEAKER_1: It is part of our whole selves.

SPEAKER_1: In your experience of working with individuals and couples over many years, why do you think we neglect this part of our humanity?

SPEAKER_1: I mean, we sleep, we eat, some of us exercise, we have friendships, we invest in other areas of our humanity.

SPEAKER_1: So why is this one so difficult, especially for women?

SPEAKER_2: This is one that I believe is changing as more and more people step into slowing down and making different life choices and focusing on quality and being rather than productivity and doing.

SPEAKER_2: So the majority of us are probably still in, well, we know, are still in productivity and doing mode.

SPEAKER_2: And it takes quite a big shift and some courage to move to a more being and experiencing kind of mode.

SPEAKER_2: So I think it’s a product of where we’ve been in general as humans for the past how many thousands of years on this track of producing and moving quickly and moving forward.

SPEAKER_2: And so it’s kind of ironic because it’s pleasure is one of those things gets kind of pushed back, pushed back, pushed back.

SPEAKER_2: And yet when we step into a place of flow, which is a pleasurable state, that’s when things happen more easily and more quickly.

SPEAKER_2: So there’s irony in it because our predominant belief structure is based around sacrifice everything to get the thing done, including pleasure, especially pleasure.

SPEAKER_2: When the super highway and super fast track to and this is something that we’re discovering.

SPEAKER_2: Many of us are discovering now and stepping towards is okay.

SPEAKER_2: Well, what happens if we follow the flow?

SPEAKER_2: And by following the flow, I mean following what feels joyful and inspiring and beautiful to us rather than the musts, the shoulds, the needs to.

SPEAKER_2: It’s a radical shift.

SPEAKER_2: It’s not as it sounds simple and can be quite a complex kind of thing once we step towards it with all the blockers that come up.

SPEAKER_2: But yeah, that’s what I kind of feel like is shifting now. SPEAKER_1: I see you and I believe that to be true as well.

SPEAKER_1: And I also know because I experience it with my own clients when we are working, you know, all of my coaching work is around mindfulness.

SPEAKER_1: And it is one of those things that it is a monumental shift for some people, especially if they have been conditioned to doing and rewarded for doing more, for being productive, for, you know, showing up, self-sacrificing, the whole nine yards.

SPEAKER_1: I think it can be really, really difficult to shift. SPEAKER_1: So let’s give women some motivation.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about the known benefits of having a healthy sexual being, you know, state of sexuality, intimacy, pleasure.

SPEAKER_1: What are some of the known benefits?

SPEAKER_1: And then what are some of the unknown benefits for all of those folks who are motivated by self-improvement, you know, healthier being?

SPEAKER_1: Hit me, Andrea, what have you got? SPEAKER_1: Known and unknown.

SPEAKER_2: So known health benefits are, there’s quite a long list, and they are both body and mind related and emotional health as well.

SPEAKER_2: So we know that when we have sex and experience orgasm, that there are certain neurotransmitters that get released and other chemicals in our bodies that support things like better heart health, so circulation can be improved, blood pressure can go down, heart disease goes down.

SPEAKER_2: Some of the benefits are related directly to the neurotransmitters that get emitted, and others are sort of side effects, some kind of mushing it all together.

SPEAKER_2: So if you want an accurate scientific list, you can go online and find it. SPEAKER_2: But just to give a bit of a sense, your immune system can be strengthened. SPEAKER_2: Natural pain relief can occur when endorphins are released. SPEAKER_2: Your sleep can get better as well.

SPEAKER_2: Stress levels can go down thanks to oxytocin and endorphins again that promote relaxation.

SPEAKER_2: Anxiety and depression can be relieved thanks to dopamine and serotonin.

SPEAKER_2: Self-esteem and body image can also improve if you have a positive sexual experience.

SPEAKER_2: And intimacy in your relationship as in emotional intimacy and even connection on a mental level can improve by association as well.

SPEAKER_2: You can feel more in love with your partner, close to your partner if it is a positive experience.

SPEAKER_2: Some of the lesser known, on a physical level even, some of the lesser spoken to effects for women are pelvic floor health.

SPEAKER_2: So contractions in sex can help strengthen pelvic floor muscles potentially.

SPEAKER_2: But then bringing awareness to this part of your body also can really empower you as a woman.

SPEAKER_2: So if you connect to your sexuality, to your sense of self as a woman in your physical body, then you can really feel empowered in a very, very unique way as a woman.

SPEAKER_2: If we listen to what our bodies tell us, including our sex center, often we talk about mind, heart, mind, heart.

SPEAKER_2: But what about what happens below that? SPEAKER_2: Talk about the gut.

SPEAKER_2: Well, what happens below that when we tap into the signals that we’re getting from our sex center as well, and those signals align with what our heart desires and what our mind is giving us as a positive go forward, then you have an even more solid pillar of strength and power and a more solid yes in doing something, or a more full no in something that you don’t want to do.

SPEAKER_2: So it is this kind of third power center or third center of wisdom that is often ignored and that I would encourage anyone to connect with more when they’re considering heart and mind.

SPEAKER_2: Okay, well, what about desire?

SPEAKER_2: What about how turned on you feel by the thing?

SPEAKER_2: What about how sexy it seems to you?

SPEAKER_2: What about how luscious it feels?

SPEAKER_2: Can you tap into that beginning to tap into some of that as well and help you to understand, okay, what direction do I want to go in?

SPEAKER_2: What way do I want to turn?

SPEAKER_2: Who do I want to say yes to?

SPEAKER_2: Who do I want to say no to?

SPEAKER_2: And it’s a more fuller sense, again, of more of you online, more of you engaged, more of you giving you signals to move forward or move in a different direction.

SPEAKER_1: I love that.

SPEAKER_1: The third center of wisdom, amazing ones, I want you to hear that because I was never taught about the third center of wisdom.

SPEAKER_1: And yes, we talk about the mind, we talk about the heart, we talk about the body, but that was really awesome, the way that you just phrased that.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about how do we begin to develop a healthy personal mindset about sex.

SPEAKER_1: I know that I grew up in the South as a woman, and the messages that I was given about sex were things like, you don’t have sex until you get married.

SPEAKER_1: You know, masturbation was never discussed. SPEAKER_1: I grew up in an Episcopalian household.

SPEAKER_1: There was very scientific information given to us about sex, but there wasn’t information about this nourishment, this pleasure state.

SPEAKER_1: The fact that sex was part of our human, it’s such a fundamental part of being human.

SPEAKER_1: I was never raised with that.

SPEAKER_1: I had to learn that on my own, and some of the lessons were quite hard in my 20s, growing up, early 20s at that.

SPEAKER_1: So when we think about beginning to develop a healthy personal mindset about sex, you mentioned something very significant earlier, and it was how we view ourselves.

SPEAKER_1: Talk to me a little bit about that.

SPEAKER_1: Where do those two pieces connect?

SPEAKER_2: So it is a very personal journey.

SPEAKER_2: I’m not sure if that’s quite the word I’d use.

SPEAKER_2: When you develop your own personal mindset about sex or how you think about sex and pleasure, it is something that is very personal and it will be very different from person to person.

SPEAKER_2: And there’s not necessarily a right or a wrong.

SPEAKER_2: I would say there’s more of a growth-oriented and healthy way and set of beliefs, set of thoughts around your relationship to sex and sexuality that can feel supportive and helpful.

SPEAKER_2: And then there are ones that may no longer feel supportive and helpful.

SPEAKER_2: And everyone’s got a different definition of what supportive and helpful is and what not very supportive and helpful is.

SPEAKER_2: So what helps me was the reframing of sex and sexuality in my body and pleasure as something, as you said, a natural part of being human.

SPEAKER_2: It’s a natural part of our experience as humans.
SPEAKER_2: And so really beginning to define, okay, what healthy is for us is very important.

SPEAKER_2: And again, as you said, oftentimes what we get taught is what to fear about around sex and pleasure, especially as women, whether that’s from you’re going to get a disease, you’re going to get pregnant, this is going to ruin your whole entire life, you’re going to be manipulated in use and then left all of the negative messaging that society and culture feeds us is one thing.

SPEAKER_2: So it’s under…

SPEAKER_2: And those things, if you look on the light side of them that are important, it’s important to understand sexual health.

SPEAKER_2: It’s important to understand how to keep yourself safe in sex.

SPEAKER_2: It’s important to know when…

SPEAKER_2: how to keep yourself from getting pregnant if it’s not desired at that time in your life.

SPEAKER_2: These are important things to know and they’re facts.

SPEAKER_2: They’re factual things to know and to consider and boundaries that want to be set.

SPEAKER_2: So it’s really important that those things are taught in a way where someone can feel empowered when they make a choice and full of the knowledge that’s there around those things.

SPEAKER_2: And then there’s a whole entire other side of sex intimacy that is around pleasure and what happens to your emotional state when you experience sex and pleasure, the power of the energy that gets generated, of erotic energy, of desire, and beginning to understand what that is and talk about how it affects you and how it affects how you relate to people that you are attracted to or not attracted to.

SPEAKER_2: That is often the topic that gets ignored.

SPEAKER_2: So if the importance of sexual health and responsible sexual activity with another person is taught in a way where there’s a lot of fear, the other side of things, which is about the pleasure and experience of that unique and beautiful energy, is completely ignored, then that also wants to be sat with and opened up to and experienced and allowed to be felt and also to be shared.

SPEAKER_2: So what’s been very helpful for me is joining sex positive communities or finding spaces and places where there are other women who are open to talking about these kind of things, open to exploring where their boundaries lie, where their yes and no is, what feels okay for them and what feels not okay for them and how it’s okay that that’s different for someone else and for them, it looks like this.

SPEAKER_2: And that’s absolutely fine.

SPEAKER_2: No judgment and full respect.

SPEAKER_2: And so that is a process that wants to be moved through.

SPEAKER_2: It’s an exploration.

SPEAKER_2: It is highly personal, oftentimes best guided because there’s a lot that can happen in that space.

SPEAKER_2: And there are a lot of communities people can tap into, women can tap into that support those conversations in very safe and responsible ways.

SPEAKER_1: It is a vast and beautiful wonderland.

SPEAKER_1: It’s a landscape. SPEAKER_1: I love how you phrased that.

SPEAKER_1: So let’s talk about a couple of other things before we move into three tips that you can share with women today to help them reframe their mindset about sex, sexual health, sexual energy, you know, sex being a fundamental part of our human selves.

SPEAKER_1: You talked about sex positive.

SPEAKER_1: Now, I heard this term for the first time a couple of years ago, and I had no idea what it meant.

SPEAKER_1: I had to look it up.
SPEAKER_1: Can you please break that down?
SPEAKER_1: What does it mean to be sex positive as we consider mindset?

SPEAKER_2: So sex positive, and yeah, I would say in this way, is reconsidering thinking about your sexuality and your relationship to your body and erotic energy as a beautiful gift, as something that we have there that we can tap into as a source of power, as a source of pleasure, as a source of wisdom.

SPEAKER_2: And the expression of that can look a lot of different ways for you and also for others in the world.

SPEAKER_2: And that there is no one right or wrong way of that expression.
SPEAKER_2: There are many, many different ways that that energy, that experience can be expressed.

SPEAKER_2: So sex positivity is opening up to the possibility of multiple forms of expression of your sexuality, of your sensuality, of the erotic, and staying open to how others express their sexuality as well and it being unique to them.

SPEAKER_2: So as long as there’s no harm to others in the way that you express your sexuality, no physical harm, no nothing happening to others, then it’s a safe form of expression also for you, then that is a beautiful form of positive sexuality for me.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you.
SPEAKER_1: Okay, so I heard power, energy, wisdom. SPEAKER_1: I hear safety.
SPEAKER_1: And then I also heard, you know, underlying self-love.

SPEAKER_1: How do we move from a place of self-love, self-empowerment when it comes to our sex and sexuality from a place of shame, which I know, based on my experience with my clients, a lot of women have spent far too many years in that place of shame and guilt when it comes to feeling good.

SPEAKER_1: I mean, feeling good.
SPEAKER_1: I mean, Andrea, the word self-love, those two words freak people out.

SPEAKER_1: You know, I’m sure that the word sex combined with self-love, now we’re adding masturbation and mindful masturbation into the mix.

SPEAKER_1: There are people who I know are cringing right now because they’re not accustomed to thinking in this way.

SPEAKER_1: It doesn’t mean they can’t. It means they haven’t so far.

SPEAKER_1: So how do we move from that place of, you know, really not loving ourselves, and that is acceptance of all of who we are, right?

SPEAKER_1: How do we move from that place of shame into self-love that can open us up, that can help us reframe our mindset, experience more nourishment and pleasure and more of our humanity?

SPEAKER_1: And that just has those beautiful ripple effects that you were talking about earlier, all the health benefits.

SPEAKER_1: How do we begin to pivot there?
SPEAKER_2: Slowly.
SPEAKER_1: And with a great coach.

SPEAKER_2: And with a great coach, yeah.
SPEAKER_2: And community helps as well, yeah.
SPEAKER_2: Slowly, I would say, take your time one step at a time. SPEAKER_2: Say yes to what feels right.

SPEAKER_2: Say maybe later to what feels interesting, but you’re not quite ready for. SPEAKER_2: And no to anything that feels absolutely not okay.

SPEAKER_2: And respect your no.

SPEAKER_2: Respect your yes.

SPEAKER_2: And keep that maybe bubbling until a clarity comes with a yes or a no.

SPEAKER_2: But definitely slowly but surely.

SPEAKER_2: So shame is something that many, many, many, myself included, had to work through quite a lot of shame.

SPEAKER_2: To get where I am today, to have this kind of conversation with you and the world really.

SPEAKER_2: And it’s still there.
SPEAKER_2: Sometimes shame still comes up for me.
SPEAKER_2: It’s very deep.

SPEAKER_2: It’s multi-layered.

SPEAKER_2: Comes from a lot of different places.

SPEAKER_2: So also giving it time.

SPEAKER_2: And knowing that it’s okay if you move through some stuff, and then it shows up again.

SPEAKER_2: Shame really wants to be seen.

SPEAKER_2: It wants acknowledgement.

SPEAKER_2: It wants acceptance and love.

SPEAKER_2: So the healing path for shame is conversations like this, beginning to have them, or reading that first book or books for your own, that might make you a little uncomfortable to read.

SPEAKER_2: And just giving yourself a lot of ease with it.

SPEAKER_2: So as much time as you need, as much gentleness as you need, as much care as you need, and then taking breaks when you need, and coming back to it again.

SPEAKER_2: Committing to getting to know yourself fully and wholly, and having the experience of womanhood and this human life that you really desire is something for you to claim.

SPEAKER_2: And yet it doesn’t have to be a force-through or a race to the finish.

SPEAKER_2: It’s okay that it takes time.

SPEAKER_2: It’s okay that it has its own pace.

SPEAKER_2: It’s okay anyway your body doesn’t really allow you to go forward faster than it’s ready to, it’ll shut down.

SPEAKER_2: So, or let you know it’s not ready.

SPEAKER_2: And we’re working with the body as much as with the heart and the mind, especially with sex and sexuality.

SPEAKER_2: So you can trust your body’s messages as well.

SPEAKER_2: So you want to gently lean towards your edge, never push beyond.

SPEAKER_2: Yeah, and stay in the space of pleasure.

SPEAKER_1: I love that.

SPEAKER_1: That’s beautiful.

SPEAKER_1: Okay, so as we bring this home, we have mind, we have body, we have emotions, we have energy, we have the soul.

SPEAKER_1: I love how you focus on the holistic person instead of just one aspect of the person. SPEAKER_1: It’s so important.
SPEAKER_1: And I really appreciate that about you and your work.
SPEAKER_1: So thank you so much.

SPEAKER_1: You’ve mentioned moving slowly.

SPEAKER_1: You’ve mentioned being patient with oneself.

SPEAKER_1: You’ve mentioned loving yourself.

SPEAKER_1: Giving yourself permission to explore.

SPEAKER_1: If there were three tips and you said, okay, I am going to give you three things that will help you get on your way, small everyday mindful practices that will help women reframe their mindset and begin to feel more of that sense of nourishment and power as they move into the bedroom, what would be three foundational pieces that you could share?

SPEAKER_1: Three practices.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s call them practices that women could begin to adopt to reframe the mindset and begin to ease into that place of nourishment, deliciousness, lushness, all of those things that you described at the start.

SPEAKER_2: One beautiful one is daily pleasure doses, let’s say.
SPEAKER_2: Each day could be a daily practice to say yes to pleasure in any form.

SPEAKER_2: That could be taking an extra minute in a hot shower.
SPEAKER_2: It could be feeling something deliciously soft on your skin.
SPEAKER_2: I know another sex coach who keeps feathers around, kind of like ostrich feathers.

SPEAKER_2: And anytime she walks by during the day or she starts getting a bit stressed out, she’ll just take that feather and brush it across her skin for a sensual minute to remember pleasure, relaxes, takes a moment, and then puts it back right in there, and she’s reconnected to her body, she’s reconnected to her pleasure, she’s back on the ground, and moves through her day.

SPEAKER_2: So it’s pretty radical to say yes to pleasure, especially for women, because we’re trained out of it, denying ourselves this.

SPEAKER_2: So it seems simple, but it’s a pretty big one, that daily pleasure practice.

SPEAKER_2: That would be definitely one first step.

SPEAKER_2: A second step again for me would be find community if you can, find a sex-positive community.

SPEAKER_2: There are loads of groups on Facebook, lots of people doing this kind of work on Instagram.

SPEAKER_2: There actually is a lot out there, and there’s a lot of different spaces and places you can find yourself in.

SPEAKER_2: Find the one that feels safe, that feels right, and that feels good to you.

SPEAKER_2: If any of them feel not.
SPEAKER_2: Right, get out right away.
SPEAKER_2: So trust that wisdom, trust that guidance.

SPEAKER_2: And then the third would be to begin…

SPEAKER_2: So that is connected to the third one, which would be to talk about sex.

SPEAKER_2: So shame again wants seeing, it also wants sharing.

SPEAKER_2: So with a person or people that feel safest to you, with your partner, if you’ve never talked about sex before, it’s great to begin a conversation, even if you’ve been together forever.

SPEAKER_2: That’s okay.

SPEAKER_2: It’s never too early.

SPEAKER_2: It’s never too late to talk about pleasure, to talk about sex, to talk about intimacy.

SPEAKER_2: Even if it’s to say, I’ve never talked about this before, it feels really awkward and strange too.

SPEAKER_2: And yet it also feels important that we begin to communicate with each other on what feels good for us both.

SPEAKER_2: I’d like to share what I’m experiencing and I’d love to hear what you are too and to begin conversations that way.

SPEAKER_1: That’s amazing.

SPEAKER_1: So three steps.

SPEAKER_1: Number one, daily dose of pleasure practice.

SPEAKER_1: Love that.

SPEAKER_1: I love the ostrich feather.

SPEAKER_1: That’s beautiful.

SPEAKER_1: Or the extra 30 to 60 seconds in a warm shower.

SPEAKER_1: Just loving yourself in that way.

SPEAKER_1: That’s great.

SPEAKER_1: Number two, finding a sex-positive community, safe space and place for you to begin to unfold, as it would be when it comes to reframing your mindset about sex.

SPEAKER_1: And number three, talking about sex with your partner.
SPEAKER_1: I would imagine with your friends as well, just letting it out there so that you can become

comfortable with this aspect of your very human self.

SPEAKER_1: That’s great. Thank you so much.

SPEAKER_1: We’re going to be recording a part two by the way where we will dive into how to tune lean into that pleasure, that nourishment, that deliciousness beyond the simple practices of familiarizing ourselves with our sexuality and reframing our mindset.

SPEAKER_1: So stay tuned, everyone.

SPEAKER_1: In the meantime, fabulous Andrea, how can people find you if they would like to engage in a coaching relationship with you, if they would like to go on one of your retreats?

SPEAKER_1: What is the best way for women to find you?

SPEAKER_2: My website is

SPEAKER_2: That’s a great place to start.

SPEAKER_2: There’s a lot of free resources as well on there in the Learn section and the blog where I’ve written quite a bit.

SPEAKER_2: I’m also active on Instagram, so you can go on Insta.

SPEAKER_2: I post pretty regularly, so there’s some good content on there too.

SPEAKER_2: And then just say hi.

SPEAKER_2: Send me a DM, send me an email, say hi, I’m here.

SPEAKER_2: And yeah, I’ll respond.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for being here.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you for the very important work that you’re doing.

SPEAKER_1: And it’s just helping so many people in this world get more in touch with themselves, get more in touch with their humanity, enjoy life so much more.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

SPEAKER_1: Parting thoughts as we wrap up for today.  What’s on your mind?

SPEAKER_2: That every woman who wants to experience something different in pleasure, in the erotic, in intimacy with their bodies and their lives in this way, that there are pathways, that it’s available, that it’s possible and it is, it’s a beautiful, beautiful journey.

SPEAKER_2: So I would encourage anyone who feels ready or even if you’re not ready, curious, just take one small step, one small step forward because it really is so, so rewarding.

SPEAKER_1: Amazing.

SPEAKER_1: And maybe go pick up an ostrich feather today on your way home.

SPEAKER_1: Yeah.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for being here.

SPEAKER_1: Amazing ones.

SPEAKER_1: I will see you next time.

SPEAKER_1: Remember to tune in and direct all of your questions and curiosities to this lovely lady.

SPEAKER_1: Until we meet again, be well.

SPEAKER_1: And that’s the end of the show today, everybody.

SPEAKER_1: I hope it has served you well.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for tuning in.

SPEAKER_1: If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, please drop a review wherever you grab your favorite podcast.

SPEAKER_1: Please subscribe so you never miss an episode.
SPEAKER_1: And please be sure to share this podcast with another woman that you love.

SPEAKER_1: If you’d like to learn more about me or my work, check out my website,

SPEAKER_1: Until next time, remember to be super kind to yourself and do your very best to leave everyone and everything just a little bit better.

Visit Andrea’s website to learn more about her work and to reserve your spot on her coaching calendar.

Cole Baker-Bagwell

Master Certified Professional Coach

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