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Better Sex

Jessa Zimmerman, who interviews experts and highli

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Better Sex
Better Sex

Better Sex

Jessa Zimmerman, who interviews experts and highli

22
Followers
7
Plays
0
Raised
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About Us

Better Sex is a podcast focused on helping all couples create and enjoy their best possible sex life. Jessa Zimmerman is a couples’ counselor and nationally certified sex therapist. She and her expert guests share their insights, strategies, and ways of thinking about sex that will help you improve your intimate relationship, whether you have sexual struggles or are just looking to make your sex life even better. Each episode will dive into one topic related to sex. Some will be devoted to addressing sexual concerns like sexual dysfunction, differences in sexual desire, and intimacy problems. Some will help you develop realistic and helpful expectations. And some will offer information and approaches that can just make your sex life better.The information and discussion on the podcast should not be taken as medical advice or as therapy. Please seek out qualified professionals for medical and therapeutic advice.

Latest Episodes

73: Jim Fleckenstein – Consensual Non-Monogamy

My guest is Jim Fleckenstein. He is a coach and educator on sexuality. He is also a researcher who focuses predominantly on non-exclusive relationships and how they affect the individuals involved. He is an expert in consensual non-monogamy and a wellspring of knowledge and insight, which he graciously shares in this episode. Jim shares stats and information on consensual non-monogamy, how those who practice it are reporting an overwhelming amount of satisfaction and happiness, how emotional needs have a lot to do with those who are drawn towards it, and how these relationship structures are actually much more common than you may have realized. This is just the tip of the iceberg of this discussion though. Listen along and learn a lot about this interesting topic! The Three Main Divisions of Consensual Non-Monogamy To start the interview, Jim breaks down consensual non-monogamy into polyamory, swinging, and open relationships. Polyamory is separate from the others because there is a chance for a deep emotional connection to be reinforced. While the others are more reserved for sexual acts, polyamory is can delve into the emotional as well as the sexual components of a relationship. Jim says that swinging is probably the oldest of the trio. And for those who don’t know, it’s a couple-centric act where couples work hard to establish an emotional wall to prevent emotional developments. They also don’t have sex independently of one another. And in open relationships, partners are free to seek sexual liaisons outside of the primary relationship. Emotional connection is not established, and unlike swingers, they don’t participate in sexual acts together but do their own thing instead. Jim says much more within the episode. Listen along! The Reasons Why Certain People Prefer Consensual Non-Monogamy For the reasons why people go the non-monogamous route, Jim says it has a lot to do with the emotional needs of the person. He says the question of “what is it that I am trying to attain here?” is a great question to ask to evaluate your emotional needs. Your needs will determine which version of consensual non-monogamy that you gravitate towards and want to eventually practice–if you do end up deciding that your emotional needs warrant the lifestyle, of course. Jim also talks about the boundaries that are established and how respecting those boundaries is important for the healthy functioning of any consensual non-monogamous relationship. Tune in! How Many People are Practicing? Jim says that it’s difficult to have an accurate number or statistic for those who practice non-monogamous relationships. This is due to the fact that individuals can lose their jobs and their kids because of it, and in addition, it is still highly stigmatized in our country. This leads to a lot of people practicing in clandestine ways. So, because of these factors, it’s hard to trust the surveys and numbers out there. But according to the stats, Jim says that somewhere between 2-7% of all relationships are practiced through one of the three divisions of consensual non-monogamy. The Importance of Education Jim shares a lot of important information on how people learn about polyamory or swinging by attending educational events where people discuss consensual non-monogamy in a non-sexual environment. Often the trepidations that occur can be alleviated through more understanding. And as is brought up during the episode, some of the concerns of being pressured by a partner into swinging or an open relationship can be addressed once more information is processed. He also makes it clear this needs to be a mutual decision. Who knows, maybe all it takes is a couple of events and you will comfortable enough with shifting your relationship dynamic! Maybe it will confirm your anxiety. Becoming educated is key! It destigmatizes and demystifies. Go-To Resources for Jim He says that his favorite go-to book is Opening Up...

41 MIN3 days ago
Comments
73: Jim Fleckenstein – Consensual Non-Monogamy

72: Amy Lang – Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children

Signs of sexual trauma in children My guest for this episode is Amy Lang: she has been teaching sex for over 25 years now with an emphasis on teaching kids about sexuality in an effective, healthy way. Amy has a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science. She started her foray into sexual education as a hobby, but she soon made her own company once she realized how uncomfortable she was with talking to her son about sex. Amy’s company is Birds and Bees and Kids. Currently, she educates parents to properly communicate and teach their own children about sex. In this episode, we talk about educating children about sex. Specifically, we give a lot of attention to sexual abuse topics, noticing red flags in your child’s sexual development or behavior, and what to do if your child comes forward as a victim (or a perpetrator) of sexual abuse. These are heavy topics, but they are far too important to ignore. Normal Sexual Behaviors and When to be Concerned Amy says that typical sexual behavior includes what she calls ‘penis meetings’ and ‘vulva conventions’–or other types of behaviors that are based on natural anatomical curiosity between other children. This type of experimentation is normal for all kids. Ages 9-12 is when the experimentation ramps up and can get a little more serious, as porn is typical first viewed within this age range. And then as kids hit the 13-16 age range, Amy says that “all bets are off. They are pretty much doing everything.” Amy says that a way to assess if your child’s sexual behavior is something to be concerned about is just to listen to what they’re saying. If the language sounds adult-like and too established for their age, that is a red flag. And when it comes to self-stimulation, any age for children is normal to start. But it is a red flag if the child is self-stimulating in public on a consistent basis. She goes into much more detail and expands upon this topic within the talk, including a few anecdotes that clarify some of these red-flag behaviors. Our Compulsion to Report Sexual Abuse in Children As Amy points out, adults have a tendency to report any sexualized behaviors in children as a result of sexual abuse when that’s often not the case. Children commonly experiment and discover their bodies in very demonstrative ways, and this is natural. So, shaming kids that exhibit these natural behaviors can be very harmful. Yes, in a public setting, there are boundaries that should be upheld. But corrections that are made shouldn’t be done in a way that shames the natural expression of a child’s sexuality. Communicating in a clear, kind, and simple way is the best way. Of course, though, there are instances where sexual abuse does happen. Some of the red flags for sexual abuse are if the behavior is adult-like, if the behavior is repeated despite multiple corrections, and if the behavior is not between two kids of similar age–say a discrepancy of 3 or more years. For more on this, including red flags between siblings, listen along. Advice for Parents if a Child Discloses Abuse Your natural response would be to react emotionally and get angry if your child came forth and disclosed any sexual abuse that they experienced. Amy advises parents in this situation to stay as calm as possible after your initial reaction. And then ask the important questions in a calm manner: the who, what, when, and where of the abuse. Being gentle is key in this time. She gives some very valuable tips and advice within this section of the interview that everyone should check out, including information on therapy, what to do after sexual abuse, and the complications and confusions that can occur during an abuse. Handle Concerns Calmly There are aberrant sexual behaviors, and there is normal sexual experimentation between children. As a parent, it is important to educate yourself on the difference and to not victimize another child if they exhibit abnormal sexual behaviors....

49 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
72: Amy Lang – Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children

71: Dr. Sheila Addison - When Your Partner is Transgender

This episode is a wealth of information. It is delivered by the expert guidance of guest Dr. Sheila Addison and covers many important elements of transgender and cisgender relationships, the transgender community in general, post-surgery sex, sex between cisgender and transgender partners, how identities are designated at birth, the psychology and complexities of gender identity, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Dr. Sheila has a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has a private practice where her client base is about as diverse as it gets, ranging from LBGTQ to Poly Friendly and more. She has an amazing mind and qualified to boot, and her message is absolutely, overwhelmingly important when considering the challenges that the transgender community face and what cisgender people can do to help! Transgender Versus Cisgender To start, Dr. Sheila reminds listeners that we have all been designated as a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ at birth. This excludes a small number of people who are born as “intersex”, which means their genitals are ambiguous and thus difficult to determine definitively (Gender isn’t binary in any sense – whether you’re talking about genitals or chromosomes; maybe another episode on this later). But for the majority of people, the gender they are assigned at birth fits with their gender identity as they develop throughout life. If you fall into the category, you are cisgender. The ‘cis’ prefix corresponds to mean ‘same’. On the other end of the spectrum, if you haven’t positively identified with the gender that was assigned to you at birth, you are transgender. For those who are born without a clear designation of male or female, the gender identity process can be much more complex than the binary ‘boy or girl’ designations that normally occur at birth. Dr. Sheila eloquently explains the nuances during the talk. Listen in! The Importance of Furthering Education on Gender Identity Dr. Sheila stresses the importance of seeing cisgender and transgender as identities and not conditions. As the nomenclature has shifted and the identities have garnered more societal understanding, Sheila still wishes we that we all had more comprehensive learning opportunities for the cisgender/transgender relationship dynamic and everything the identity entails. Sheila states that an important place to start is being educated enough on the topic to know which questions to ask. And because it’s inevitable that transgender and cisgender individuals will become romantically and sexually involved, the sooner efforts are taken for a balanced understanding, the better. On a Cisgender and Transgender Relationship Providing comfort for a transgender individual is an important role for a cisgender person. This means that the cisgender person is not trying to process the challenges of being transgender so much, but just communicating and giving comfort. She talks about the importance of getting the guidance of a good couple’s therapist–one who can spearhead and direct the processing of certain emotions and feelings. In addition to this very important component, Sheila also devotes some time to discuss the importance of the social aspect of gender identity. She also talks about making sure you understand what your transgender partner is envisioning when they talk about transitioning, and so forth. Really, really important information within. Transgender Surgery and Sexual Expectations This is a rich part of the interview. There’s a lot of ground that is covered and listening along is a must. But to summarize a few important elements: communicating about physical expectations after surgery is very important for sex. There are many variations and options for each individual, so having discussions about expectations is crucial. And because genitalia will function the same after surgery, during a transition from cisgender to transgender, the individual going through that transformation needs support first and...

52 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
71: Dr. Sheila Addison - When Your Partner is Transgender

Latest Episodes

73: Jim Fleckenstein – Consensual Non-Monogamy

My guest is Jim Fleckenstein. He is a coach and educator on sexuality. He is also a researcher who focuses predominantly on non-exclusive relationships and how they affect the individuals involved. He is an expert in consensual non-monogamy and a wellspring of knowledge and insight, which he graciously shares in this episode. Jim shares stats and information on consensual non-monogamy, how those who practice it are reporting an overwhelming amount of satisfaction and happiness, how emotional needs have a lot to do with those who are drawn towards it, and how these relationship structures are actually much more common than you may have realized. This is just the tip of the iceberg of this discussion though. Listen along and learn a lot about this interesting topic! The Three Main Divisions of Consensual Non-Monogamy To start the interview, Jim breaks down consensual non-monogamy into polyamory, swinging, and open relationships. Polyamory is separate from the others because there is a chance for a deep emotional connection to be reinforced. While the others are more reserved for sexual acts, polyamory is can delve into the emotional as well as the sexual components of a relationship. Jim says that swinging is probably the oldest of the trio. And for those who don’t know, it’s a couple-centric act where couples work hard to establish an emotional wall to prevent emotional developments. They also don’t have sex independently of one another. And in open relationships, partners are free to seek sexual liaisons outside of the primary relationship. Emotional connection is not established, and unlike swingers, they don’t participate in sexual acts together but do their own thing instead. Jim says much more within the episode. Listen along! The Reasons Why Certain People Prefer Consensual Non-Monogamy For the reasons why people go the non-monogamous route, Jim says it has a lot to do with the emotional needs of the person. He says the question of “what is it that I am trying to attain here?” is a great question to ask to evaluate your emotional needs. Your needs will determine which version of consensual non-monogamy that you gravitate towards and want to eventually practice–if you do end up deciding that your emotional needs warrant the lifestyle, of course. Jim also talks about the boundaries that are established and how respecting those boundaries is important for the healthy functioning of any consensual non-monogamous relationship. Tune in! How Many People are Practicing? Jim says that it’s difficult to have an accurate number or statistic for those who practice non-monogamous relationships. This is due to the fact that individuals can lose their jobs and their kids because of it, and in addition, it is still highly stigmatized in our country. This leads to a lot of people practicing in clandestine ways. So, because of these factors, it’s hard to trust the surveys and numbers out there. But according to the stats, Jim says that somewhere between 2-7% of all relationships are practiced through one of the three divisions of consensual non-monogamy. The Importance of Education Jim shares a lot of important information on how people learn about polyamory or swinging by attending educational events where people discuss consensual non-monogamy in a non-sexual environment. Often the trepidations that occur can be alleviated through more understanding. And as is brought up during the episode, some of the concerns of being pressured by a partner into swinging or an open relationship can be addressed once more information is processed. He also makes it clear this needs to be a mutual decision. Who knows, maybe all it takes is a couple of events and you will comfortable enough with shifting your relationship dynamic! Maybe it will confirm your anxiety. Becoming educated is key! It destigmatizes and demystifies. Go-To Resources for Jim He says that his favorite go-to book is Opening Up...

41 MIN3 days ago
Comments
73: Jim Fleckenstein – Consensual Non-Monogamy

72: Amy Lang – Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children

Signs of sexual trauma in children My guest for this episode is Amy Lang: she has been teaching sex for over 25 years now with an emphasis on teaching kids about sexuality in an effective, healthy way. Amy has a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science. She started her foray into sexual education as a hobby, but she soon made her own company once she realized how uncomfortable she was with talking to her son about sex. Amy’s company is Birds and Bees and Kids. Currently, she educates parents to properly communicate and teach their own children about sex. In this episode, we talk about educating children about sex. Specifically, we give a lot of attention to sexual abuse topics, noticing red flags in your child’s sexual development or behavior, and what to do if your child comes forward as a victim (or a perpetrator) of sexual abuse. These are heavy topics, but they are far too important to ignore. Normal Sexual Behaviors and When to be Concerned Amy says that typical sexual behavior includes what she calls ‘penis meetings’ and ‘vulva conventions’–or other types of behaviors that are based on natural anatomical curiosity between other children. This type of experimentation is normal for all kids. Ages 9-12 is when the experimentation ramps up and can get a little more serious, as porn is typical first viewed within this age range. And then as kids hit the 13-16 age range, Amy says that “all bets are off. They are pretty much doing everything.” Amy says that a way to assess if your child’s sexual behavior is something to be concerned about is just to listen to what they’re saying. If the language sounds adult-like and too established for their age, that is a red flag. And when it comes to self-stimulation, any age for children is normal to start. But it is a red flag if the child is self-stimulating in public on a consistent basis. She goes into much more detail and expands upon this topic within the talk, including a few anecdotes that clarify some of these red-flag behaviors. Our Compulsion to Report Sexual Abuse in Children As Amy points out, adults have a tendency to report any sexualized behaviors in children as a result of sexual abuse when that’s often not the case. Children commonly experiment and discover their bodies in very demonstrative ways, and this is natural. So, shaming kids that exhibit these natural behaviors can be very harmful. Yes, in a public setting, there are boundaries that should be upheld. But corrections that are made shouldn’t be done in a way that shames the natural expression of a child’s sexuality. Communicating in a clear, kind, and simple way is the best way. Of course, though, there are instances where sexual abuse does happen. Some of the red flags for sexual abuse are if the behavior is adult-like, if the behavior is repeated despite multiple corrections, and if the behavior is not between two kids of similar age–say a discrepancy of 3 or more years. For more on this, including red flags between siblings, listen along. Advice for Parents if a Child Discloses Abuse Your natural response would be to react emotionally and get angry if your child came forth and disclosed any sexual abuse that they experienced. Amy advises parents in this situation to stay as calm as possible after your initial reaction. And then ask the important questions in a calm manner: the who, what, when, and where of the abuse. Being gentle is key in this time. She gives some very valuable tips and advice within this section of the interview that everyone should check out, including information on therapy, what to do after sexual abuse, and the complications and confusions that can occur during an abuse. Handle Concerns Calmly There are aberrant sexual behaviors, and there is normal sexual experimentation between children. As a parent, it is important to educate yourself on the difference and to not victimize another child if they exhibit abnormal sexual behaviors....

49 MIN1 weeks ago
Comments
72: Amy Lang – Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children

71: Dr. Sheila Addison - When Your Partner is Transgender

This episode is a wealth of information. It is delivered by the expert guidance of guest Dr. Sheila Addison and covers many important elements of transgender and cisgender relationships, the transgender community in general, post-surgery sex, sex between cisgender and transgender partners, how identities are designated at birth, the psychology and complexities of gender identity, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Dr. Sheila has a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has a private practice where her client base is about as diverse as it gets, ranging from LBGTQ to Poly Friendly and more. She has an amazing mind and qualified to boot, and her message is absolutely, overwhelmingly important when considering the challenges that the transgender community face and what cisgender people can do to help! Transgender Versus Cisgender To start, Dr. Sheila reminds listeners that we have all been designated as a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ at birth. This excludes a small number of people who are born as “intersex”, which means their genitals are ambiguous and thus difficult to determine definitively (Gender isn’t binary in any sense – whether you’re talking about genitals or chromosomes; maybe another episode on this later). But for the majority of people, the gender they are assigned at birth fits with their gender identity as they develop throughout life. If you fall into the category, you are cisgender. The ‘cis’ prefix corresponds to mean ‘same’. On the other end of the spectrum, if you haven’t positively identified with the gender that was assigned to you at birth, you are transgender. For those who are born without a clear designation of male or female, the gender identity process can be much more complex than the binary ‘boy or girl’ designations that normally occur at birth. Dr. Sheila eloquently explains the nuances during the talk. Listen in! The Importance of Furthering Education on Gender Identity Dr. Sheila stresses the importance of seeing cisgender and transgender as identities and not conditions. As the nomenclature has shifted and the identities have garnered more societal understanding, Sheila still wishes we that we all had more comprehensive learning opportunities for the cisgender/transgender relationship dynamic and everything the identity entails. Sheila states that an important place to start is being educated enough on the topic to know which questions to ask. And because it’s inevitable that transgender and cisgender individuals will become romantically and sexually involved, the sooner efforts are taken for a balanced understanding, the better. On a Cisgender and Transgender Relationship Providing comfort for a transgender individual is an important role for a cisgender person. This means that the cisgender person is not trying to process the challenges of being transgender so much, but just communicating and giving comfort. She talks about the importance of getting the guidance of a good couple’s therapist–one who can spearhead and direct the processing of certain emotions and feelings. In addition to this very important component, Sheila also devotes some time to discuss the importance of the social aspect of gender identity. She also talks about making sure you understand what your transgender partner is envisioning when they talk about transitioning, and so forth. Really, really important information within. Transgender Surgery and Sexual Expectations This is a rich part of the interview. There’s a lot of ground that is covered and listening along is a must. But to summarize a few important elements: communicating about physical expectations after surgery is very important for sex. There are many variations and options for each individual, so having discussions about expectations is crucial. And because genitalia will function the same after surgery, during a transition from cisgender to transgender, the individual going through that transformation needs support first and...

52 MIN2 weeks ago
Comments
71: Dr. Sheila Addison - When Your Partner is Transgender
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