podcast

Swoon Podcast Episode 10: She Drives Me Crazy: Attachment Styles in Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 10 – She Drives Me Crazy: Attachment Styles in Relationships

Are you repeating the same patterns over and over again in relationships? How you bond with your early caregivers can affect how you partner and show up in relationships.

This episode covers:

  • What “attachment style” means.

  • How your early attachment influences your relationship patterns.

  • The 4 main styles of attachment.

  • How knowing your attachment style can help you feel validated about the choices you make in relationship.

  • The different areas of your relationship that can be affected by your attachment style – intimacy, conflict, sex, communication, expectations and more!

  • Stan Tatkin's language for attachment – Anchor, Wave and Island

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

What is attachment style - 

“Attachment theory is the vitamins of couples therapy work. You want to know about it”

“There is so much about relationships I wish we learned in school!”

“There's not a hierarchy of good attachment and bad attachment, like “you're a bad person if you have this time of attachment.” This is all created when we are little. And it can shift and change over time. Our primary attachment style is imprinted from early on.”

On early attachment -

“I first learned about attachment in graduate school. It's a very big part of our education especially if you are working with families and couples. A place it really started to resonate with me was when I was becoming a mom and focusing on my kid's attachment. And wanting to be able to be a secure base for her. Sometimes when I talk about attachment with people they say they understand that it is what a parent does with a kid, but they don't realize that that creates the person who is going to grow up and attach with another person and that can affect how we show up in relationship.”

On the ways attachment style affects your partnerships-

“Our attachment style can lie dormant but it gets heightened in certain moments and it really gets heightened when we move towards one another or move away. That can be global or very specific. Leaving for work, or going to bed at the end of the day, or leaving on trips, or coming together, or moving in together.”

“How you view intimacy and how you view partnership is influenced by your attachment style. How you deal with conflict. What your attitude toward sex is – what it represents for you. How comfortable you are coming together or not – the distance you keep or the lack of space you want to have. Your ability to communicate your wanting and your needs. And the expectations you have about your relationship or about your partnership – can all be influenced by this stuff that was imprinted ages ago! It’s so wild to me! The conditioning that starts so long ago, that is a foundational building block, then becomes a foundational building block for our relationship too.”

“When we have different styles then it can be really challenging for people because the very thing I need from you to feel comfortable is something that isn't comfortable for you potentially, or the thing that feels kind of typical or normal for me is a stretch for you. How do we meet each other? How do we meet ourselves sometimes? How can I better understand what you are wanting and needing and how can you better understand what I want and need as well?”

On attachment style and dating - 

“For the folks that are single or dating – I strongly recommend they learn more about attachment because then they can not only know their attachment style, they can have a better idea about what kind of attachment style will best resonate with them or serve them depending on how they want to shift and grow in their lives.”

The Anxious and Avoidant couple - 

“Partner #1 'Why can't you tell me you love me more often?' Partner #2 'Why can't you trust that I love you?'”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love  by Amir Levine  

Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin

Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate by Stan Tatkin

Action Steps from the Podcast

Really look at your rituals of connections and separateness throughout the day.Create connecting rituals – usually morning and evening work well.

How do we greet each other in the morning? How do we say goodbye? How do we greet each other at the end of the day? And how do we say goodnight? What feels really good for both of us? 

Play with that idea of separateness and togetherness – moving towards and moving away.

Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 9: Rock the Boat - Breaking Out of a Sexual Rut

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 9 – Rock the Boat: Breaking Out of a Sexual Rut

Most long-lasting couples end up in some kind of sexual routine and lots of them ultimately find themselves in a sexual rut. They can feel uninspired, bored, disconnected or generally un-sexy and that’s where it can become a problem.

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina focus on the ways couples end up in a sexually stuck place and a few ways you can break out of routines that no longer serve you.

This episode covers:

  • How to break out of a sexual rut in your relationship.

  • Why diversifying your sexual interactions is good for your relationship.

  • How to start a conversation about what you want in bed.

  • Where to find inspiration if you need help coming up with ideas.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On why you got in a rut in the first place - 

“There’s nothing wrong with having a few go-tos… and for people who are feeling stuck or uninspired with that it’s good to have ways to expand your routine.“

“We create a routine because it works for us we find something that works and we’re like‘I want to do this again because I want to feel this way again’ so we keep repeating and keep repeating and keep repeating it.”

“We do what works because it feels safe, we know if we do it this way we’ll maintain orgasm and we fear if we change it we’ll lose everything.”

Why routine is a problem -

“It feels so stuck and people feel shame around it, like it means they’re boring or not sexy or not inspired. You can get sucked into that energy and get sucked into a hold of gloom about it.”

“Sometimes we fall into routine to protect ourselves from vulnerability… our routine instead of supporting connection protects us from that vulnerability.”

On bringing up your needs -

“There is nothing wrong with having fantasy or desire or wanting to try something new.”

“Sometimes a desire or idea lands on our partner like a request. You can run to a place of request and start implementation and problem solving and miss the opportunity to honor the vulnerability of my bringing it up.”

On finding inspiration -

“Sometimes people have ideas but they’re afraid to share what’s outside the routine. And sometimes they’re like ‘I don’t even know what we would do differently. This represents what sex is for me and I don’t know what else is out there.”

“You may not be into the most extreme ends of BDSM Play but you might want to be nibbled on or even whipped cream play could be something you’re interested in…. so this list is great to spark ideas EVEN IF BDSM isn’t something you consider part of your interest.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Sexual Communication Episode Link

Sexual Self-Reflection Journal

Consent Worksheet for Relationships

BDSM Checklist

Action Steps from the Podcast

Seduction Bowl

Have a conversation with your lover about things you want to try during sex. A full list of things you’d be interested in doing if your partner was down right now.

These things can be very simple: lights on instead of off, undressing each other, etc not the most intimidating fantasies you have. Only include things you’re both on board and ready for.

Cut the list into strips of paper and put them into a container for inspiration in the moment.

So if you find yourself lacking inspiration in the moment of trying to initiate sex with your partner you pull one of these slips of paper out and do it.

Sexy Bucket List

Any items from your seduction bowl that take more time, preparation, or learning put on a sexy bucket list so if there is a day when you have more time to prepare or plan for an act you can do it with due diligence.

Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast Episode 8: Honey, I'm Home - Division of Labor & Connected Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode #8 – Honey, I'm Home - Division of Labor & Connected Relationships

Do you and your partner fight over the roles and responsibilities in your relationship? Does the division of labor feel equitable? Are you clear about your expectations?

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina talk about one of the most common sources of conflict in relationships – Division of Labor! They'll share tips for exploring your default roles and ways you can create a system that works better for your relationship and lives!

This episode covers:

  • The division of labor in households and relationships.

  • The way our culture or family of origin influences our default roles in relationship.

  • Different types of labor or contribution in relationship – primarily emotional, physical and financial.

  • The conflict or resentment that can arise around division of labor or relationship contribution.

  • Examples of how you and your partner can “weigh” different tasks in your relationship to help things feel more equitable.

  • The importance of checking in about roles and expectations to make sure your division of labor is still working for your lives and your relationship.

On division of labor -

“For a long time the main way I saw it come up with people was specifically talking about chores around the house and the things that keep the household running...in the last year or two it's come up more about “the big picture of the relationship” - the hopes and the dreams and the goals. Who's keeping the relationship moving forward.”

“Sometimes the work that goes into creating a family or a life or a team, some of it's really tangible. What’s the financial investment? What are the hours invested? Who's doing physical labor? And some of it isn't necessarily tangible - the management functions of tracking, coordinating or overseeing or planning...it's harder to name these things. So sometimes folks I see get in conflict over this because they are striving for an equal balance, that feels really important to them, they want that, but one of them tends to have greater strengths in one area and one has other skills. We each monitor our contribution and try to measure our partner's contribution to whatever our defaults are.”

“When we think of that big picture thing or the emotional labor, I think of the computer tabs you have open in your brain. And sometimes your partner doesn't even know that they are there. But somebody's got to have them. And I talk to people who are so beside themselves - 'How do you think this household runs? How do you not know this?'”

“In my partnership, my partner loves to do the dishes and I hate it. I hate it! I would rather throw out the dishes than do the dishes honestly. So it's been beautiful! I haven't done dishes in 10 years.”

On our default roles and expectations -

“The reason this comes up all the time in sessions is that it's usually something that we set up on default without a lot of talking about it or without a lot of intention and almost never do we have a system in place to check in with each other about how's it going.”

“We often create this system out of default. Like what our family taught us. Or what culture teaches us....Or what used to work for us but not longer fits with our lives.”

“You'll end up in defaults, potentially with resentment, if you don't have a way to talk about the ways the contributions sit right now and if you don't have a way to check in as they change.”

On division of labor equality -

“I like to tell the couples I work with, If you are aiming for an equal split, If you don't feel like you are doing more than your fair share, you are not doing your fair share. There is just so much to do!”

“Our culture hasn't done a great job of teaching half the people in it to take care of their home or their belongings. I've worked with a lot of men who are like, “I would like to help out, no one really taught me how to do this well and I feel like I'm letting down my partner all the time when I try...”

“There are some things that we sometimes just have to do to manage a life or a household or a team that neither of us are good at and neither of us want to do. Nobody wants to clean the cat box. Nobody wants to wrap the gifts for Christmas and still sometimes those things have to get done. So how do we do it in a way that feels like it honors not not our strengths but also honors the things we are avoiding or hate doing?”

On the importance of having a process to talk about your roles, responsibilities and resources -

“We need space to have these conversations. Yes, focused space. I think about how often in long term relationship or couples who are doing lots of coordinating and managing, you can read their tests and the beginning stage texts are 'La la la you're so cute. Tell me about the things you like' and the longer they are together the texts are like 'Can you pick up cat food? Did you remember the _____ I'm running late ______.' It's just not very cute.”

“In an ideal world we can sit down and have this beautiful conversation about who's going to take on what and how we got there, but there is all this pain wrapped up in this stuff too.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

How to Share the "Mental Load" of Chores With Your Partner

You should’ve asked

Women Aren't Nags—We're Just Fed Up

Action Steps from the Podcast

Have a regular management meeting 

Check in about Resources, Roles and Responsibilities

What are the resources you are contributing? What are your shared resources?

What are your roles (give updates about what is falling under your role or ask for input)?

How are you feeling about your responsibilities?

Household Management Meeting Template for Couples

Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast: Light My Fire - Erotic Fire in Long-Term Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week: Episode 7 – Light My Fire - Erotic Fire in Long-Term Relationships

Do you feel disconnected from your partner? Does it feel like it takes a lot energy to initiate sex (or show up for sex)? 

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina talk about tending the erotic fire in your relationship. As away to keep the romance, intimacy and passion alive in your relationship

This episode covers:

  • What it means tend your erotic fire 

  • Things you can do to connect to your own sexual fire.

  • Ways you can keep the erotic connection going in your relationship. 

  • How touch, flirting, seduction, and active engagement can help you feel connected between and during sex.

  • Finding small ways to have sex or sensuality or pleasure on your radar in between sexual encounters.

LISTEN IN

 

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On tending your erotic fire - 

“People can have a sexual encounter and then if there isn't a thread or erotic fire in between encounters, the next time it's time to have sex you kind of have to gear up for it...to get into the sexual realm can feel like it takes a lot of energy.”

“If you've ever built a fire, it takes a lot of energy to get it started from scratch. And if it goes out, it takes a lot of energy to build it up again. But if you have a fire and it dies down a bit, it's easier to build it back up again.”

“Different people have different erotic templates or different things that get them in the mood to have sex and help them feel ready...for some people, that includes things that are not sexual, feeling connected outside of sex. I talk to a lot of people who say, 'I feel disconnected, I can't have sex and their parter is like 'well I feel disconnected so we need to have sex, that's how I feel connected” Thinking about the erotic fire or thread allows us to do things that help us feel engaged so that when we are ready to have sex we're not going from 0-60, the engine is already a little big warm.”

On compartmentalization -

“We often compartmentalize sex from other parts of our life and it feels like it's over there and I have to get in the mindset or prep for it.”

“Some people pack their sexuality away...especially people who have careers or jobs where it feels inappropriate to be sexy. They pack that part of themselves away and they keep it packed away until it's time to have sex...and then what do you have to do? You have to unpack it and put it back on.”

On Foreplay -

“Foreplay begins as soon as sex ends or as soon as the last orgasm is had. If you are viewing your relationship and your sexual connection through that lens, the way you interact on a daily basis is going to be different. You may be more mindful with your words. You may be more attentive to your partner. You may prioritize different things. Because all of it...it becomes this entire dance about eroticism and connection.”

On putting energy into your relationship - 

“Are you showing up for date night the way that you showed up for your third date? Or are you showing up for it, kind of half-assed without a lot of excitement?”

“Relationships and sexual relationships require energy...and some people don't like that. There is still this pervasive idea that sex should be spontaneous and easy, our connection should be spontaneous, it shouldn't require any work or effort or planning or attention. I very much disagree with that idea. I see a lot of people who hope that's true and then end up not having any sex.”

“Do small things regularly and get a huge payoff.”

On tending your own erotic fire - 

“Whether or not you are in a relationship, it's important to explore your own erotic fire. What are the things that keep you connected to who you are as a sexual being?”

“Sometimes the things that make our heart beat really fast, those are the things that make us feel a little bit alive.”


Resources Shared in This Episode

BDSM Checklist Worksheet


Action Steps from the Podcast

Make a list of 10 ways you can tend your own erotic fire.

Then start doing the things on your list.

**Bonus homework - If you are in a relationship – 

Make a list of 10 ways your partner can attend the erotic fire between you.Each person does this and then you share your lists. Where is the overlap? What is different? Start doing the things that stoke your partner's fire and they will start doing things off your list.


Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast: Your Body is a Wonderland - Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

Episode 6 – Your Body is a Wonderland - Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Do you have a hard time staying present during sex? Are you distracted? Worried about performance? Or focusing on your to do list?

In today’s podcast Gina and Julie share tools and practices to help you stay present and experience more pleasure in and out of the bedroom.

This episode covers:

  • Sign the petition asking Psychology Today, the largest online therapist directory, to add a third gender option to their search filters. 

  • What it means to get out of your head and into your body.

  • Different ways anxiety, distraction, multitasking or focusing on performance creates more stress and pressure during sex.

  • The ways embodiment can make sex more enjoyable and connecting.

  • Tools or rituals to get in your body – Sensual walk.

  • A practice you can use when you feel distracted (or your mind is busy) during sex.

  • How presence can lead to more pleasure.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On being in your brain vs. being in your body -

“I often work with people who are operating from the neck up. They are not connected to their body. Sometimes they can't feel sensation in their body. Sometimes they are so wrapped up in the swirls and whirls and rollercoaster that is going on in their brain that they can't feel if they are turned on, they can't feel desire, they can't feel pleasure, because they are so in their brain. “

“I think our brains are really important. I don’t want you doing math with your vagina. There are things we really need our brains for. However, there are times our brain get in the way – distraction, multitasking, anxiety, making a to do list while your partner is kissing your neck - there are times that being in our brains keep us from the full spectrum of pleasure.”

On the times if doesn't feel OK to be in your body -

“It's unsafe for some people to be in their body. I get migraines and when I do, I don't want to be in my body. It's so painful and if I just sat there and felt my pain, that's not going to be helpful for me. What I always have to do afterward is come back into my body the next day. And I have a ritual around that.”

“It's not a problem to not be in your body. Sometimes it's too painful to be in your body. We also need to know how to get back in our body.”

On pleasure and presence -

“What is your goal for sexual connection? Is your goal something that is actually serving you? If the goal is connection, orgasm or erection might not matter. If the goal is joy, or pleasure, there are a lot of pathways to achieve those goals that aren’t always as specific as 'I have to have this kind of sex', and 'it has to look this way' and 'it has to take this much time.'”

“Our minds work like a tribe of playful monkeys. If you are going to train them, yelling at them isn't going to help much. But if you are gentle or playful with them you are far more likely to have success and far more likely not to stress yourself out.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Action Steps from the Podcast

Focus on Sensuality -

Connect with your senses in a nonsexual way.

What are you seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling?

Practice this with food or in the shower.

Bonus Action Step - Shift to a mindful kiss

Notice, did you actually connect with your partner during your kiss. Were you present?

Your Swoon hosts

Dr Gina Senarighi, PhD, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast: I Want You to Want Me: Higher Desire Partners in Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

I WANT YOU TO WANT ME: Higher Desire Partners in Relationships

Being the high desire partner can seem like a simple problem form the outside, but people living this experience will tell you it's not that easy. You want to connect, share passion, and get your needs met, but you need to be careful to do it in ways that don't add pressure to what can often be a tense situation.

Let Gina and Julie help you understand how to handle high desire in mismatched desire relationships, in loving consensual ways.

This episode covers:

  • They ways “higher desire” can affect an individual and a relationship

  • Many of the factors that can influence how much desire someone experiences

  • The difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire 

  • Practical tools you can use in your relationship or with yourself to explore willingness, pleasure and desire

Memorable Quotes in This Episode

On the inner experience of the high desire partner -

“High desire partners often experience an intense inner struggle, where on one hand they know they are entitled to have desire, and they know there's nothing wrong with asking for what I want, but at the same time I'm tired of always being the one to gets things started... so I either feel like I am pressuring someone all the time, or I take it personally.”

On our culture and sex -

“Sometimes we have a tendency to talk about sex like it's not important or it's base. We tell people to focus on love more. There's something wrong with you if you have a lot of desire. You're not enlightened if you have a lot of desire. So there can be shame around this.”

On knowing when high desire is a problem -

“There are a small number people on one extreme end of the spectrum where their desire, boundaries about sex or impulse control about sex are interruptive in their life, they can't make it work, they betray relationships, they don't respect the boundaries of others because they can't manage their sexual impulsivity BUT that is one small end of the spectrum.”

"Is it causing you emotional strife or relationship problems?"

"Is it negatively impacting your life?"

On sex and love -

“For some people, sex and love go together and that's really important. But for some people, it doesn't and that's okay. ”

On exploring desire -

"If I believe the only way for me to get my sexual needs met is to have sex with a partner that can put a lot of pressure on a relationship... When we focus in on only one pathway to pleasure and stop playing around."

"It's okay to like other stuff."

"One of the most important ingredients for a great sex life is curiosity and a willingness to explore."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity TED Talk, Esther Perel

Action Steps from the Podcast

Explore different ways of being in your body and connecting sexually with yourself and/or with your partner.

Esther Perel Reflection Activity

Take a piece of paper (or use your computer) and draw a line down the middle (creating two columns).

Write "Love" at the top of the left column and write down your first responses to the following questions.

"Love is..."

"When I think of love, I think of..."

"When I love, I feel..."

"When I am loved I feel..."

"In love, I look for..."

"I wish I experienced love as..."

On the top of the right column write "Sex" and write your immediate associations to the following prompts.

"Sex is..."

"When I think of sex, I think of..."

"When I desire, I feel..."

"When I am desired I feel..."

"In sex, I look for..."

"I wish I experienced sex as..."


Now take a few minutes to look at your responses. Notice any similarities? Notice any differences? How do you feel after looking at your lists? Do you wish you had different responses?

Your Swoon hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

BONUS EPISODE: Swoon Podcast Questions from our Listeners

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


BONUS EPISODE

We’ve truly enjoyed sharing what we think everyone should know about sex and intimacy in relationships- but now it’s time to hear from some of you. Julie and Gina gathered questions on instagram and their erbsides from the hundreds of listeners who’ve already tuned in to create this bonus episode answering three listener questions.

Listen here:


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Swoon Podcast: Let's Get It On: Keeping Desire Alive in Long-term Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

LET’S GET IT ON: Sexual Communication for Couples

Most long-term couples experience something called desire fatigue (the slow decline of sexual connection and/or activity the longer you’re together) but most couples don’t want to accept low desire as an inevitability.

In today’s podcast Gina and Julie explore the common contributors to desire fatigue in relationships and the understanding you need to overcome this very common issue.

This episode covers:

  • How to create lasting desire in long term relationship

  • What happens when passion seems to fade in your relationship?

  • While it's very common for desire to shift over time, there are things you can do to keep the desire and passion alive in your relationship

  • How desire, fascination and autonomy can go hand in hand

  • The ways we shift as we cohabitate or spend more time together

  • The importance of being really clear about your expectations for time spent together

Memorable quotes in the podcast

On being in a relationship:

“In the beginning you'll stay up all night long having sex even though you have to work in the morning and then go to work without taking a shower and smelling like sex because you don't care. And then over time you say, “Are you kidding me? It's 9:00, I have to go to bed! I have to work in the morning.”

“The emotional intimacy can parallel the sexual intimacy. I know some folks who will stay up all night talking - “Oh you love broccoli, I love broccoli! We have so much in common. This is so exciting!” And then a few years down the road, broccoli isn't as exciting any more”

“Earlier in a relationship we are more invested in our individuality...we are more autonomous and that both fuels me personally, makes me feel confident and alive...and over the course of a relationship I might start stripping away some of those things to spend more time with my partner.”

On the honeymoon stage:

“In the beginning there are also the chemicals going off in our body, which are hard to replicate. The brain scan of someone on heroin can look the same as the brain scan of someone who is in love. Love is a drug for a lot of people. And if you know anything about drugs, you need more of a substance to get the same high. How do I get more of you? Eventually, I'm not going to feel as high. And that's a bummer for a lot of folks.”

On the ways desire fades:

“Comfort and stability are very good things for a relationship and many of the practices that build those up, also eat away at the heat portion of the relationship – the mystery, fascination, intrigue.”

“Think about the other areas of your life – your dream job or dream home or dream city or a shiny new car or new toy or cell phone, something that you've been pining for - and you get it and it's awesome, but it's not as awesome for the rest of your life. Part of our nature does that. Something is shiny and new and exciting and over time, it's not that we don't value it any more, we just aren't as lit up by it any more. Those chemicals aren't going off.”

“Some of it is the newness and uncertainty and some of it is that new phone has started wearing sweatpants and watching Netflix every night. Part of it is that we also put more energy into showing up and being present for each other in the beginning.”

On relationships taking work:

“Life requires energy. Anything that I want to have in my life long term requires energy and intention.”

“We have this idea that relationships should be easy without work, that causes a lot of us to think we can not invest much energy there, which can then lead to our partner feeling neglected”

RESOURCES SHARED IN THIS EPISODE

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

Esther Perel TED Talk - The secret to desire in a long-term relationship

Reminisce about one your favorite erotic shared experiences.

Set up a time you can be fully present. And share a story about a time you felt connected and erotic.It doesn’t have to be about sex. Paint a picture with your words. Share the details. What did it feel, smell, sound, look or taste like? This can remind you of a time there was a lot of heat and desire. And it can give you ideas about things you can reinvigorate or bring back from earlier times in your relationship. Take turns. And as the listener, hear your partner with warmth and engagement.

Your Swoon hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

SWOON: Tell Me Somethin' Good: Sexual Communication for Couples

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

TELL ME SOMETHIN’ GOOD: Sexual Communication for Couples

We can't keep talking about sex without talking about how we talk about sex."

This week Gina and Julie, two Portland, Oregon-based sexperts break down everything you need to know about sexual communication in relationships.

This episode covers:

  • Most people struggle to talk about sex without conflict in relationships

  • How to ask for what you want

  • When, where and how to talk about sex in a way that works best for connection

  • How to flip the story you're telling about sex in your relationship from "this is hard" to "we still got it"

  • What's the best way to start a conversation about sex that doesn't leave you feeling rejected

Memorable quotes in the podcast

On why we don't talk about sex:

"Very few people get great sex ed in the first place... very limited info on the facts of how bodies work... and then how to communicate what you like or don't like- that kind of vulnerability - very few of us have any skills training in."

"The vulnerability of asking for something that is meaningful to me is vulnerable. And the more meaningful it is the riskier it feels to ask."

"Often people don't come at the first sign of challenge. By the time they come to me, talking about sex is a problem. Every time they talk about it it's a fight... The only time they talk about it is when they fight and what happens then, in order to avoid a fight is people don't talk about it anymore."

One baseline recommendation from the podcast:

"Everybody needs to talk more about sex. And talk more with better boundaries. Like where or when is the best time to bring this up?"

On reading each other's minds:

"There's a romanticizing that happens around being able to read each other's minds and someone just knowing what we want without even saying it. That seems to be the gold standard. And that is why we don't have sexual communication."

On trust and sexual communication:

"There are very few things in a relationship more reinforcing of trust than me being vulnerable and it being received with warmth."

Resources Shared in This Episode

Action Steps from the Podcast

Create a before, during, and after communication practice for your sexual connection.

First try integrating conversations about your dreams, desires, fantasies, and positive sexual memories with your partner, without making an immediate request.

Then work on talking during your sexual activity by asking lots of questions requesting permission and consent so you get input on what works for your partner- and to heighten the experience of connection and intimacy for you.

Try to incorporate a yes-and approach to help sexual energy keep flowing between you and your partner. Instead of just saying no, try to re-direct the energy to what you want more of.

Finally, start practicing sharing a "highlights reel" with your partner soon after you are sexual or have sex where you share the things you liked that you just shared. The more specific, the better.

Your Swoon hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

SWOON: I Would Do Anything For Love But I Won't Do That: Low Desire Partners in Relationships

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

sex therapy madison | wisconsin sex therapist

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


This week:

I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE BUT I WON’T DO THAT: Low Desire Partners in Relationships

A lot has been said about low desire partners in relationships. It’s one of the most challenging and misunderstood dynamics in intimate partnership. So knowing how to sort the junk form quality information is critical.

Let Gina and Julie help you understand why low desire occurs even in healthy loving relationships, and what you can do to address it.

This Episode Covers

  • They ways “lower desire” can affect an individual and a relationship

  • Many of the factors that can influence how much desire someone experiences

  • The difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire 

  • Information about the Human Sexual Response Cycle and a new way to look at arousal and desire

  • How “practicing willingness” instead of “waiting for desire” can change your sexual experience

  • Practical tools you can use in your relationship or with yourself to explore willingness, pleasure and desire

Memorable Quotes From This Episode:

On low desire - 

“It's easy to go to that place of 'I have low desire and something is wrong with me', rather than 'my life is super full and complicated right now and I'm not able to access my desire because so much is going on.'” 

“Our whole culture reinforces this - if one of us has lower desire that means I'm broken, you're broken or we're broken – that's just not really true, there are so many factors that affect our desire”

On spontaneous desire - 

“Spontaneous desire is how most of the people I talk to expect desire to show up – it's typically what we experience in the beginning of relationships or see in the movies.”

On responsive desire -

“One of the questions I'll often ask folks is, “If you do have a sexual experience together – what happens afterwards?” The person who identifies as having lower desire will often say, 'That was so much fun, remind me how much I love that!'”

“Responsive desire is when our bodies or brains are feeling something that feels good, desire kicks in in response to that.”

On exploring willingness - 

“Sometimes if you can really show up and not be stressed about what it is supposed to look like or what is going to happen next and just engage and tune into your body and your pleasure and the present moment it will potentially lead to something else because the arousal has kicked in, your body is starting to warm up, your brain is starting to warm up, you're feeling really connected and then that desire kicks and you want more – not all the time, but often, that's what happens for folks.”

“It's important for us to know our “nos” so we can truly know our “yeses”.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

 Nothing is Wrong with your Sex Drive

Basson Model

Action Steps

Make Out!

First define what counts as making out so you and your partner have similar expectations.

Set a timer and make out for 5 minutes every night – if kissing for 5 minutes is a struggle, find a way to connect for the remainder of the 5 minutes.

This exercise helps cultivate a willingness to show up and be affectionate.

You can also have a solo practice for exploring willingness.

Touch yourself in a way that doesn't focus on orgasm. If you typically focus on your genitals what's it like to focus on other parts of your body? Can you experience new pathways of pleasure that don't involved the parts of your body you typically focus on?

If you have a vagina and would like more ideas about how you might explore your body, OMGYes is a good resource.


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels: