April 22, 2017 Office Hour Recording

Sexuality Topics

This first audio segment is from the beginning of the April office hours, and relates to both the Relationship and Sexuality office hours.  A copy of the same segment appears at the start of both recording pages.

Full recording of the questions from the April 22 office hours for themes related to the course content of The Art of Desire and Enhancing Sexual Intimacy.

If you want to listen to the April 22 Sexuality Office Hour from start to finish, play the above recording.

For listeners who prefer to browse -- to read the questions and selectively listen to their responses -- the individual questions in the above recording have also been extracted into separate segments below for easier browsing.

Note that there is no question in the above full recording that is not also found below, and vice versa. They are recordings of the same office hour.

I have no problem receiving sexually from my husband, and no problems orgasming. But I have major problems giving sexually to my husband. Trying to give him oral, or a hand job, or even be on top paralyzes me with fear of failure. I bought all this beautiful lingerie when I was single to save for marriage, and I never wear any of it because I feel like I don't know how to act when I wear it. This makes me really sad as this is NOT how I thought I would be sexually once I got married.

How do I start learning how to belong to  myself sexually so that I can feel confident and excited to give sexually to my husband, and to wear lingerie and be playful and seductive? Where do I begin? Because right now it feels so unattainable. 

My husband travels frequently for work, often Mon- Thursday, 3 weeks out of the month. Our struggle is when he comes home. He is supercharged with desire and I am just the opposite- exhausted and worn out from managing the kids and working. Essentially when he leaves, my desires shut down and I focus on surviving. We try to talk and stay connected while he is traveling but it doesn't often work out because our schedules conflict. He is staying true to me while traveling and I want to honor that but my emotional and physical tank are completely depleted while he is away. Our struggle is finding a way to honor both of us. We would appreciate some suggestions.

I have been married almost 8 years and I have struggled with the "good girl" syndrome. I can have sex and I can even orgasm, but I feel very guilty and ashamed about it the next day. I can barely look my husband in the eye afterwards. It takes me a few days to finally move on from the guilt and shame. So it's easier for me to just avoid sex or just not do it very often so I can avoid those negative feelings. But, of course, that's not so great for my husband. How can I overcome that and feel like sex is sacred and holy? I'd really love to know some specifics on what people do to make sex feel sacred and holy like it's supposed to be. It sure doesn't feel that way to me. I feel like it's bad every single time. So frustrating!!!

I am the lower desire partner but have noticed something about myself. My desire peaks at the most inoppurtune times. It's as if I want it when I know I cannot have it! For example, if my husband drops by the house for a quick minute during the day, I wish he had enough time for a quickie- which sometimes he has time for but most often he does not. Or I want him when we are away from each other for a period of time.

It's almost as if I want to do it when we cannot do it! Can you help me understand where this feeling comes from and how I might channel that desire to more opportune moments?

Overall, my desire ebbs and flows months at a time. For a few months I feel like a cold dead fish- I'd be fine not to do it at all. Then for a few months my desire peaks and I'm happy to initiate and enjoy intimacy.

Is this more hormonal or perhaps due to life circumstances, i.e., more stress, busier schedule, less sleep? I've never consciencely noticed a correlation between the two, but maybe I am missing something.

Everything in regards to my relationship with my husband is the best it has ever been--communication, emotional connection, overall enjoyment and satisfaction, even our sexual intimacy has never been better. However, I still struggle to reach orgasm. I've taken the courses and completed the exercises, etc. and get very close, but can't quite get there. My husband is incredibly kind and supportive and has been willing to do anything--in other words, the problem is me, not him. It can be incredibly disheartening for both of us and it is a roadblock in initiating sex sometimes because we both know it hasn't yet ended the way we both want it to end. Most of the time we can be upbeat and positive as we discuss the topic and keep on trying. But sometimes I cry; sometimes I swear in frustration. We are unsure of how to proceed, but both of us are still committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet this relation goal. Any ideas for us? 

My husband and I have been married almost six years and in that time I've been unable to achieve orgasm, except once (by myself). In the beginning I thought maybe I was incapable of orgasm, so we didn't do anything about it, and just sort of accepted that fact. Sex was and has always been enjoyable, regardless. However, then I found your class and signed up for The Art of Desire course.

In short, I was able to achieve an orgasm, and was excited about that fact, but with future attempts I wasn't successful, and this made me both frustrated and less interested in sex.  My overall interest in sex has gone down. What should I do?

I have realized that I have a lot of guilt for my desires whether they be sexual or not. I feel bad wanting something for myself. I feel like my whole life I have been taught to serve others and to consider their wants and desires above my own. How can I still help others and allow myself to want and desire after the things that I want?

When is masturbation a good thing and when is it a bad thing.

From my earliest memories until now, I've experienced extremely limited arousal.  As a child, I remember being interested in bondage-type situations, however, that's incredibly embarrassing to even type anonymously, so you can imagine the meaning I associate with it :/  While I would occasionally indulge and feel some arousal, I always considered it shameful.  And to this day, the thought of getting anywhere remotely close to something like that with my husband is inconceivable....  I have that childlike response to both genders' reproductive organs: total disgust....   Do you think there's a way to leverage my limited arousal in a way that I won't feel exposed and shameful?


  1. How to overcome sexual trauma in order to have a positive and nurturing sexual relationship
  2. How to navigate pleasing a partner without feeling that you are engaging in practices that are misogynistic, demeaning or compromise your agency

A summary of my response to the second question above for her husband.

In talking over our assignment the other day with one another we started talking about what 'holds us back'. My husband is very sensitive to my feelings and very thoughtful and I could tell he was very hesitant to share what holds him back. He said he didn't want to hurt my feelings and was really coming from a place of honesty and love when he told me he holds back when he isn't 'overly attracted' to me. For example, hair and make up not done. (Which if I'm honest happens a few times a week)


I totally understand this and think it is very natural and reasonable for anyone to hold back if they are not attracted to someone. It didn't hurt my feelings in the moment although it wasn't a pleasant thing to hear. I have always had a lot of confidence in my abilities, and felt like I can do whatever I put my mind to, but ever since I was a pre-teen I can remember having major low confidence with body issues, no matter my size, whether super fit or softer with a little extra. I have never really inwardly felt that desirable, so when the one person I have felt that desires me tells me they aren't overly attracted to me, somewhere down deep that hurts.

For the last five or so years I have been struggling with anxiety and depression.  I've been to therapy and have worked closely with my physician to find the right combination of medications to keep my mental health stable.  The medications have side effects, mainly it affects my ability to become aroused and reach orgasm.  I have experienced the side effects of a lower desire in association with the types of Zoloft anti-depressants that seem to work best for me, i've tried other types but they've left me feeling more depressed than ever.  My inability to respond when my husband and I become intimate has been very disheartening.  I feel bad because my husband feels like he has failed me when I can't reach orgasm no matter what we try.  This only exacerbates the problem.

I'm not as concerned about my inability to reach orgasm so much as I'm concerned that my husband feels bad when I can't.  One unusual thing as well, is my husband has told me that occasionally I become hyper-sexual when I take Ambien, although due to the nature of this medication I often don't  retain a clear recollection of everything.

How do I get past this, so that we can together more fully enjoy our sex life?  Advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


I have three children, one that is 8 months and nurses 6 times per day. My sexual desire is low. I know a lot of it can be attributed to just the flat out exhaustion of having 3 children under the age of 5 but I also know with breastfeeding my hormones are different. My OB tells me that it is totally normal and expected that my libido would be so low. Any tips or thoughts to share on this matter.