Podcast Season 2 Episode 17
Host: Karen Yates Running Time: 44:51 min
Has your porn use ever felt like a problem? Where’s the line between “often” and “addiction”?
Learn to differentiate between the two in this ep as Karen speaks with a sex therapist and a somatic sex educator. They talk about shame, pathologized behaviors, and compassion toward ourselves when we feel out of control.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S2E17 | How Much Porn Is Too Much?
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Corinne Diachuk: For so many people, even just talking about masturbation, or their self pleasuring, or their habits is something that they never do. Even with partners.
Helen Wyatt: Even though we're hardwired for connection.
Corinne Diachuk: Yeah, many people will never talk about their masturbation. So there's that secrecy, there's privacy. And then there's the layers of shame that you're talking about.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversation, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator Karen Yates.
Well, porn. Kind of a neutral subject... Not! Most everyone has an opinion about pornography, whether you're pro- or anti whatever. And it can be wildly contentious. I thought we would jump in today because we have not had an episode dedicated to porn yet. And it was time and I'm sure there will be more in the future. Now if you're a person for whom porn sits slightly uneasily in your mind, if your relationship with it stirs up conflicting thoughts and emotions, this episode might be just for you. Because I will be talking today with two knowledgeable folks who will hash out a lot about the potential nuances in play in how we relate to pornography, and how to look at your own porn use more objectively. And some things you can do if you feel it's impacting your life unfavorably. I'll be talking with sex and relationship therapist Helen Wyatt, and one of my teachers at the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, yoga therapist and somatic sex educator Corrine Diachuk, who as you might recall, was on our popular "Erotic Creativity" episode a few months back. Enjoy.
Welcome, Corinne Diachuk and Helen Wyatt. It's so nice to have you here today, both of you, as we discuss how much porn is too much. Both of you come from differing backgrounds and differing treatments. But I think we all will have a lot to say on the subject. And the first thing I just sort of want to get out of the way is that this is not going to be a chat about demonizing porn. Porn has its uses and its big pluses. And so, in my book, porn is -- not always but usually -- it's a neutral thing that we then put a lot of stuff onto, like money. So that's where I'm coming from. But I also, of course, want to hear where you all are coming from. So to kick us off, let us talk about the differences between addiction -- you know, because I think a lot of people say, 'I'm addicted to porn,' or they're accused of being addicted to porn, but then there's also the phrase or the idea of "out of control sexual behavior," therapeutically. And then there's also this idea of -- especially you, Corinne, put forth in your piece you wrote for the book "Healers on the Edge," "Porn Addiction Is Real -- about sex ethos, and how we're all complex, erotic beings, with varying levels of interests and desires. Let's just jump in and talk about all of these terms before we just start talking about porn.
Helen Wyatt: Well, I think it's interesting to start talking about language. I hoped we could actually talk about language as we dig into this discussion, because it is so important. I think it's interesting to note that the Center for Disease Control doesn't actually have definitions for disease or addiction anywhere.
Karen Yates: Oh, no, that is very interesting, Helen. Very interesting. All right, keep going.
Helen Wyatt: And, you know, I wanted to read sort of the definition I have of addiction from the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which is that "addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences."
Karen Yates: Wow, I can barely make sense of that. But...
Helen Wyatt: Right.
Karen Yates: Is that the point?
Helen Wyatt: That's the point, because there is the definition of it. And then there is the feeling we get from it. Right? So I think a lot of this word "addiction" depends on who you're talking to. Of course, it depends on our context, it depends on the meaning a person makes of it. For some people, when you talk to them about the feeling of addiction, right, people like to use it colloquially, and say that they're addicted to Netflix, they're addicted to Oreos, and people can also be addicted to serious substances. And so there's a whole lot of breadth in between, right, and we have to really take care to have people investigate further their meaning of a thing.
Karen Yates: I love it.
Helen Wyatt: I think, all across the board.
Corinne Diachuk: Yes, Corinne.
Yeah, thank you for that definition, Helen. In my practice as a somatic sex educator, it was so fascinating to me to notice how many people would come to me with this claim, that "I am addicted to porn." And it's interesting, because I titled my essay "Porn Addiction Is Real." And yet, it's not, except for in the minds and the bodies and the lived experiences of the people who are compulsively, habitually, unhappily returning, again and again and again, to a pattern that is actually harmful, and they know that it's harmful. And so, as a somatic sex educator, I would never, in my practice, diagnose anybody with this. But how many people would come to me with this self-diagnosis, I have to acknowledge that it is real for some people. And that's why I titled my essay as such.
Karen Yates: I mean, it's interesting, because I label myself as an addict, in terms of alcohol and drugs, and other varying behaviors. And it's interesting, because even myself, I can see differences in the patterning, or how I respond to certain things. Because certain things I don't, you know, do anymore, I haven't done for decades, and they're no longer really triggers. But I'm aware it's there, you know, and then there's behaviors that you basically do every day, or... I don't know, what I'm trying to get at is, I can see even within myself, as someone who does think of myself as an addict, an addictive personality, that it's different, how I relate to each one of the things that trigger me, if you will. That said, let's next talk about the differences between addiction and what is termed "out of control sexual behavior." And correct me if I'm wrong, it's a newer phrase that sort of lifts us out of addiction.
Helen Wyatt: Yeah. Again, this nuance of language -- "out of control sexual behavior" is a model that is coined by Douglas Brown Harvey, who is an LMFT, a certified sex therapist, and it came out of his work, I believe, in San Diego, working with men who had substance use addictions in groups. And what Doug noticed was when the substance use was tended to, the sexual behaviors that were paired with the substance use remained. And so it seemed to be a different type of problem. And I wonder if people listening can even feel the difference in their body of someone saying, "I'm a sex addict," or someone saying, "I feel out of control of my sexual behavior." I'm actually curious what each of you felt in your bodies as you heard the difference.
Karen Yates: Personally, I feel there's a harder edge to "I'm a sex addict." And there's also a shield. It feels like a pronouncement. Whereas "I feel out of control with my behavior," I can feel kind of a softness developing in me, like a vulnerable... I don't know, a tenderness. There's something more fluid, as a person is expressing that. Corinne, what did you notice for yourself?
Corinne Diachuk: Yeah, I had a very similar embodied sensation. The term "sex addict" feels a little bit like a heaviness or a doom-iness, like a heaviness in my chest, whereas "out of control sexual behavior" felt a little bit more wide and possible, there's more possibility here for expansion.
Karen Yates: Is that how we look at out of control sexual behavior -- it's more fluid?
Helen Wyatt: Yeah, I actually look at it as more person-centered, I think is the difference. The sex addiction model seems to be an umbrella sort of model that does not distinguish between paraphilic or non-paraphilic disorder.
Karen Yates: What's paraphilic?
Helen Wyatt: So this means non consensual sexual behavior, that is in violation of consent of another person.
Karen Yates: Okay.
Helen Wyatt: And this is the nuance between whether a sexual behavior is out of control -- is it consensual? Is it not consensual? If it's not consensual, it's a different type of problem.
Karen Yates: Got it. Got it. And so part of this also is really digging into, if I understand this correctly, if it is consensual, right, if the person is staying within consent, it's about how the person views themself, and like, how they're feeling within their life around the behavior they have. It's like the inner life, and how it also plays out, and the level of contentment or non-contentment that we have, correct?
Helen Wyatt: That is correct. Another thing I would add to this that you're getting at is that the out of control sexual behavior model and the sexual health model is built on value systems. Is built on six principles of sexual health, which are consent, non-exploitation, protection from STIs, HIV, and unwanted, unplanned, unintended pregnancy, honesty, shared values, and mutual pleasure. And the model, and the philosophy behind it, is that if one aligns themselves with these values, which are very person-centered, again, rather than act-centered, one can live within what it means to have a pleasurable life and sexual experience.
Karen Yates: Right. So Corinne, talk a little bit about what you were getting at when you were talking about the sex ethos, and the complexities of -- the uniqueness, I should say, that we all have in how we regard sexuality.
Corinne Diachuk: I think that sex addiction and porn addiction are two different conversations, although there are absolutely some parallels here. And I think the possibility of being diagnosed as somebody with a sex addiction is more likely to happen when there is a partner who has a different set of values and preferences. And so, a counselor, or a pastor, or a partner might say, "Oh, well, you want to have sex seven days a week? You know, that's too much. You're addicted." And in my experience, I have spent so much time just giving people permission to enjoy their bodies, to enjoy pleasure, to make sex central value. And if that involves a partner, or if that involves self pleasuring, I think the ethos is something that's totally different from a differing value from that of a partner. And as Helen was explaining, within these six principles of sexual health model, like there's only two really hard, fast rules forming here. It's consent and adults. And as long as you're consensual, and as long as we're adults, then it doesn't matter, really, if you want to spend every 12 hours of your day that you're not at work engaging in sexual activity, and it's consensual and everybody's adult, then I think that that can be really beautiful.
On the other hand, when I'm working with a 22-year-old who can't leave the house on the weekends, because he is compulsively watching porn, to the point where he can't even start a conversation with a person in real life, and is not doing his studies and is failing at university, and has lost his part-time job, and he comes to me. And he realizes that spending 12 hours a day on this compulsive viewing of pornography is actually incredibly detrimental to his health and his well being and his life goals, well then, I think it's important to honor the fact that he is self-identifying as having an addiction. And to really honor that and support him or her, them, in being able to make different choices. But without shaming, the fact that they are accessible to incredible amounts of pleasure, and they want to express themselves sexually. So that's how in my mind, there is a very clear difference between sex addict and porn addict.
Karen Yates: As I hear you talk, there is the -- you know, working with the client to help them slowly -- that's my word -- slowly move from that mindset or that behavior pattern, to something opening up to a different channel, if you will. There's also working with the underpinnings of shame. Because of course, a person could be looking at porn three minutes a week, and consider themselves like, a goner. Right? So these are in some ways, they might be the same. Like, I'm watching porn, I don't know, like four hours a day, and it's impacting my life unfavorably. In my estimation, I feel out of control, and I'm deeply conflicted inside, they can be the same person. But there's also this spectrum of how we diagnose ourselves and the shame that arises, correct?
Helen Wyatt: I wanted to also point out that this nuance between shame and guilt, we might get into a little bit of this later.
Karen Yates: No, let's do it now. Let's go for it. Yeah.
Helen Wyatt: I think it's important to talk about the conversation between "I am an addict," and "I have a behavior problem." Because I look at shame versus guilt. Guilt is "I did something bad." Shame is "I am bad." And I think the recipe for shame, I see it as secrecy, silence, judgment, isolation. Shame is something we keep to ourselves. Shame is something that we end up embodying, and part of our work is to move people from a shame place to a guilt place, where the thing can be discussed. And it's separating out. So in the example of the person who can't make it to their classes, because they're compulsively masturbating all day, I would be very curious about shame versus guilt. And what else is in there? Anxiety, self esteem issues? How did they learn about sexuality? Because shame is kind of woven into the fabric of who we are, from the moment a child sticks their hand down their diaper, and learns that genital touch feels good, and a parent slaps away their hand and says, "Don't do that." That becomes woven into the fabric of who you are. That's very powerful.
Corinne Diachuk: Yeah, thinking about shame, and how for so many people, even just talking about masturbation, or their self pleasuring, or their habits, is something that they never do, even with partners.
Helen Wyatt: Even though we're hard-wired for connection.
Corinne Diachuk: Yeah, many people will never talk about their masturbation. And so there's that secrecy, there's privacy. And then there's the layers of shame that you're talking about. And I think it's a Brene Brown quote: "Shame dies when stories are told in safe places." And so simply by inviting people to talk about their masturbation habits in a way that's kind of like permission giving, and celebratory, and all the juicy details, it's amazing to notice how the stories might reveal. In themselves, people already know what they want to do a little bit different, what they would like to try next time, what they would like to maybe move away from. So as an educator and as a therapist, as a yoga therapist and somatic sex educator, it would never be my place to add more shame to anything that anybody is doing. Like, there's enough shame in the world that's hardwired into us, and then all the many layers that we receive as adults, and from systems, and from partners. And so it's amazing how much can shift, just by giving people permission and celebrating what is working.
Karen Yates: I love that. As you were talking, I was thinking, yeah, so often one prescription with couples is, oh, masturbate in front of each other, so you can see what turns you on. Well, my God, there's so much shame around masturbation. I mean, I'm thinking about my own experience earlier in life, of like, the idea of masturbating in front of a partner was like, Oh my god, I can't even imagine that, you know. And so I'm just thinking about, you know, moving into that place of just talking about it, just giving voice to, "I masturbate. I masturbate to porn." And then Corinne, your point just now about like, we are aware, we're aware creatures, and we're aware of the choices, and maybe the next choice after what we maybe want to try,or want to try differently.
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Let's start talking about: is it a problem if a person thinks it's a problem? Is that the basic bottom line? Does a person have a porn problem simply if they think they have a porn problem? Is it that simple? Where do we go with this? Because I'll be transparent. What I'm looking for is -- I mean, the title of this episode is "How Much Porn Is Too Much?" So it's a little clickbaity, but it is about, how do we determine for ourselves where we are with our porn use? Is it where we would rather be?
Helen Wyatt: I think that when we're considering problematic porn use, how much porn is a problem, I always had the question, is it negatively affecting your real life relationships? Is it moving you toward or away from the things you value? And our values -- again, I'm going to talk a lot probably about values and language. Because our values are made up of the things our families teach us. They're made up of the people that are in power over us or that we love. So I think it is important to mention that a lot of the correlation between problems with porn use tend to have religious shame tied to it. So how does your use of the thing sit with your value system? How does it affect your real-life relationships? And these are relationships, by the way, with yourself, with your partner, with your work, with your children, with your culture. I mean, we have to consider all of our systems. It's super easy to click a button. Right? It's harder to explore the nuances. We don't have a lot of tolerance for gray area in our culture. We have this either-or thinking, and it is ingrained again into the fabric of who we are. And I really encourage for myself, my friends, anyone I work with, what happens when you consider other perspectives in addition to your own? And can multiple things be true? These are the things that I think about when I'm considering, is this a problem?
Karen Yates: I'm also thinking that like, a lot of times when I bring up the impact of religion on sexual perspective, a lot of people say, well, I wasn't raised in a religious household. And I'm like, Yes... but. Our country, doesn't matter if it's Canada or America, there's culture, which is based on religious morals and mores. And there's a lot of religion. It's in the air and it's in the water.
Corinne Diachuk: Yeah, a lot of our systems were established through the lens of the Catholic Church, whether we come from that in our own family lineage or not. And the words that were coming up for me as you were asking this question, like how much porn is too much porn, is it as simple as somebody self-identifying? And I would say, if it's not a problem, then it's not a problem. Like, if we want to make it really simple. But if there's any ounce within you, whether it's after three minutes or three hours of porn watching, if it doesn't sit right, and you're feeling that flood of shame, feeling that flood of guilt, sometimes just giving people permission is all they need to hear for it to all of a sudden, or to slowly unwind, and not be a problem anymore. Like, actually giving somebody permission, your pleasure is important. And you have found a way to access your pleasure. This is great. And maybe there's going to be some ways that you want to evolve and continue to expand. But if it's not a problem, then it's not a problem.
Karen Yates: Yeah, yeah. I'm laughing because one thing that I'm thinking here is back to the addiction model. It's like, this thought of, if you're wondering, if you have a problem, you probably do have a problem. It's the same idea, of obviously, there's a nail that's hooking onto something, and that demands to be addressed, for your own happiness and contentment. Right? Do you always want that nail hooking on your clothing as you're walking by? No! Let's discuss, what next? A person thinks, All right. Okay. I've got an issue. Based on what they just said, I've got an issue. What next? Do I go into talk therapy? Do I examine it by myself? When do I know if I need support? You know, what's next.
Helen Wyatt: So as a family therapist, which is the basis from which I practice -- I'm a couple and family therapist first -- I think that our problems come from, when we put something out into the ether, when we speak the words and say, I have this problem, which is the first step, the way it is meant by the people that we care about, the people that we attach to, is going to determine a lot. And for some people, it might be enough to just have a conversation with the people around you. For other people, it might take some more support around that. And it might take the support of someone that doesn't know you, which is where a therapist or an educator comes into it. And there are all sorts of things that I like to work through when people come and see me. But I actually wonder, even googling and preparing for conversations like these, you type in "benefits of porn." I was curious, what would happen if I typed in "benefits of porn" to YouTube? There were two videos that popped up, as to the benefits of porn. The rest--
Karen Yates: Two?!
Helen Wyatt: Two. And maybe it's my YouTube cookies, but I'm like, googling sex positivity all day. So I don't know if really that has anything to do with it. The rest were the benefits of quitting porn, the benefits of abstaining from porn, the harm porn causes. I mean, being able to figure out where do you seek science-backed sex education, I think it's a really important skill. And knowing who to talk to about this stuff is also really important. If there's no one immediately in your vicinity of the people that you love, or there's no one that feels comfortable for you to divulge this information to, that's where the rest of our community comes into play.
Karen Yates: Wonderful. Corinne?
Corinne Diachuk: So what was coming up for me is thinking about the delicious Forbidden Zone. And how sometimes when you make something taboo -- oh, I'm not allowed to look at porn, oh, I shouldn't be looking at porn -- it makes it that much more erotically charged. And so, in my experience, giving people access and outlet to explore their dodgy fantasies and the things that they get the most erotic charge out of, it's so fascinating that it actually loses its power, when it's just given full permission. And so, I've noticed in myself that my dodgy fantasies, land my erotic design keeps changing, because I'll go deeply into this, and then after a while, it loses its charge. And so I get to get creative and find something else that's exciting to me. And so when I'm thinking about for somebody who might want to change their relationship to their porn addiction, like telling them that they have a problem or making it something that they're not allowed to do is probably not going to help at all. Because in the dark hours of the night, when everybody else is asleep. That's probably what's gonna be calling them, and the fact that it's taboo is gonna make it that much more exciting. So I agree with what Helen said, like having these conversations, outing yourself, sharing it with your partner, sharing it with your friends, it's actually quite amazing to have that conversation with a group of friends, or a friend that you don't usually talk about sex with, to hear about other people's experiences, because you might not feel so alone in yours. And to learn that other folks might have similar struggles, or other people might have similar enjoyments, that can be so affirming, and in itself might lift that burden of feeling like you have a problem. And the guidance that I would offer is, whatever your habits are, whether it's sitting in your desk chair in front of your computer, or whether it's lying in bed, or dancing in your living room, whatever your habits are, is to just try one new thing. Every time you sit down to masturbate, just try one new thing. And that in itself might start to create some different possibilities.
Karen Yates: Yeah, you know, when you were talking just now, I was thinking about our last episode on -- I think it was our last episode...
Corinne Diachuk: Erotic creativity?
Karen Yates: Yes, that one. Yes, that juicy, juicy episode that you were on, Corinne, about erotic creativity. Such a great episode, and folks,we'll link that one in the show notes. I'm also thinking, we just did an episode on eroticism, and we talked a lot about Jack Morin's book. And he talks about obstacle is erotic. And so when you were just saying, 'I'm not allowed to look at porn' makes it more erotic. Like, mmm, porn... So I totally get what you're saying. And let's talk for a second about Joseph Kramer's porn yoga. And Corinne, if you want to talk about that,
Corinne Diachuk: Yeah, it's a brilliant, brilliant idea. I'm a big fan of Joseph Kramer's work. I have a few little prickly sensations around the use of "yoga," the term yoga, but in my understanding of the word yoga, it's a union, it's a bringing together. And if we imagine the external stimulation of visual pornography, and then the internal world of sensation, like, bringing these together, or pendulating between the two. So I love how Joseph Kramer suggests, turn on your favorite videos, and then allow your body to access all that creative juice, and then turn it off, and go do something else for a little while. Maybe it's a movement practice, or maybe it's a yoga practice. Or maybe you're a boxer, or you do Tai Chi. So you're getting up out of your chair, and you're moving into your body, incorporating the genital touch, incorporating arousal into your already established embodiment practice. And then as soon as the arousal starts to wane, you go back to your porn, you turn it back on, you watch, you let the creative sexual energy build, and then you turn it off. Go back and forth, and finish in whatever way you need to finish. Or don't, don't finish. And just this practice of moving between, you're redesigning, you're creating a new neural pathway for pleasure in your body, in your experience.
Karen Yates: Wonderful. Helen, what are your thoughts?
Helen Wyatt: I'm so struck by this language around movement between. It's very far from either-or. Very much about both-and. It's very much about adding perspective, rather than taking away. This is the old notion of, "Don't think about a pink elephant." Right? Our brains are not very good at not doing things. What our brains like to do is grow and add perspective. And I think some of what I see in clinical practice, what I've experienced, is, "I don't want to stop my porn use, but my partner wants me to stop my porn use, because it's hurtful to our relationship." Right? And this becomes, of course, a conversation not of either-or, but of both. And I often talk about how the goal is not to change. Change, it's facilitated by adding perspective. The more you add perspective, by the way, which is the way humans learn, this is not a total novel thing. We learn through play and adding perspective, the moment we come out of the womb, righ?, But we lose our sense of play as adults, and we lose our sense of of tolerance to slowdown. And to say,"This thing is true, and I know this thing is also true. I wonder what else is in the middle of all of this?" These are the things that sort of facilitate change.
Another thing I see that I was reminded of, as you were speaking, Corinne, is when I will get clients that say, "Well, I can't have partnered sex, the only time I get an erection is with porn." And I see this, and think about this as -- humans, again, we're hardwired to be relational, we're hardwired for connection. And we're hardwired for pleasure. And this comes back to isolation. Porn-watching, if we're not doing it with anyone, and if it is a problem for someone, or creating problems in their relationship, it comes down to they're doing it alone. And so I wonder what happens if they do it together? And I wonder what happens if they think about the contexts in their certain rituals of viewing adult sexual imagery, or being in chat rooms, or whatever your medium is. I wonder, if you take those contextual factors, how can they translate into a place of connection?
Corinne Diachuk: I think that's really beautiful. And if that is in alignment with intentions, then that's a really beautiful perspective. And I also am aware that some people are solo-sexual. And some people are internet-sexual. And that is their sexual identity, and the only way that they want, and they don't necessarily want to have a partner, or to have sex with people in real life. And according to the society, or the religions, or the systems and structures that are in place, it would be so easy to judge that as being deviant. But actually, if somebody is very happy with that identity, then good for them. Yay. If it's not a problem, it's not a problem.
Karen Yates: Yeah, I'm just thinking about -- you just caught me out. Because I'm like, yeah, moving toward connection, moving towards sexual connection! And I was like, right, that is the right and true way! And then you're just like, "Neener!" Like, ugh, ugh! Yes. "She's right. It's true." You know, I'm just I'm thinking about people who are asexual, or the gradations of asexuality -- and that is a spectrum, of course. So yeah, like, not bringing my own ideas of what wholeness looks like. Wow. I mean, it's big. Because it's subtle. It's easy to say, talk about compulsions and addictions, and the hollow-eyed person, it's 5am, getting in their seventh hour of porn before -- okay, wholeness, let's work toward wholeness! Whatever. But like when you're talking about someone who's relatively satisfied with their life, by themselves watching porn, and they don't really have an issue, or it's a minor thing... Yeah, it's good to air that out right now. I'm glad we're talking about that.
As we wind up here, any additional thoughts you have, things that maybe haven't been said yet? You feel it's good to get out in the open?
Corinne Diachuk: I think that as soon as there is some sort of top-down governance around what is the right way to do sex and sexuality, we start to create problems as a society. Really, there's only two hard rules: consent, and adults. And a shared value. And I think that this would actually relieve so much tension in the world, if we could teach this. My only problem with pornography, my only personal problem with pornography, is that it's oftentimes the only sex education that young adults are getting. That's my problem with porn. When it is a part of a healthy ecosystem of open conversations at home, meaningful, relevant sex education within the schools or in the family, and then there's the erotic inspiration of a little bit of visual stimulation as adults, when we can discern, and we have impulse control, it's a wonderful addition. Porn can be a wonderful addition to a lifestyle. My problem with it is when it's the only education that the young people are getting,
Karen Yates: I so agree. Helen, what are your final thoughts?
Helen Wyatt: I mean, I love this idea of when there is top-down governance of what is the right way to be. And I wonder what it is that people would find themselves talking about and putting language to openly if they were to go off of pangs of vulnerability, or things that might take courage to bring up. When we talk about sexuality, people are often surprised, and not surprised, to find out that the things that create concerns for themselves in the bedroom are the things outside the bedroom, and vice versa. It's all systemic, sort of chicken-and-egg circular, never either-or. And so I'm restating this both-and idea, because I think it is so important, and it keeps showing up in our conversation here. And the absence of it, socioculturally, all the way down to family systems, whether it's myself, my friends, either-or is the foundation from where we start. And I think being able to explore different perspectives is a really important thing, and being able to synthesize and critique, think critically about things, and about what constitutes a problem for yourself, what constitutes pleasure for yourself.
Karen Yates: Awesome. And as we're winding up, I'd love to hear about your projects. Corinne, I think you've got a very tasty yoga project.
Corinne Diachuk: I have a brand new offering! Thanks for asking, Karen. I just last week released my online Yoga for Sexual Happiness course. And it is a self-directed program that has a ton of content. There's 16 different practices, with professionally shot videos, and [ ] suggestions. And so, that's something that you can find on my website, which is sacredcenteryoga.com. And my ongoing project, of course, is running the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, where I spend most of my days mentoring students in a practice.
Karen Yates: Yes, yes, yes. Wonderful. We'll link to your yoga project in the show notes. And Helen, you are involved in a research project?
Helen Wyatt: Yes. My research partner Karen Washington and I noticed a prevalence in our practices of sexual pain in ova-having people, and prevalence of autoimmune disorders along with that. And so we are now embarking on the second leg of this project, which is, I think, very close to home, very important to me to appear in the research so much more, is the client voices of their experience of what it is like to go to the doctor and say, "I have sexual pain," and be told all of the slew of things they are told.
Karen Yates: Oh, looking forward to that. Yeah, there's a big big article in The Atlantic... Actually, we are going to be doing a piece, I think, an episode as well, on the bias in the medical establishment, which is such a thing, such a thing.
Helen Wyatt: It is such a thing.
Corinne Diachuk: It really is.
Karen Yates: Well, Helen Wyatt, Corinne Diachuk, thank you so much for coming on and chatting about this. So deeply appreciative.
Helen Wyatt: Yes. Thank you, Karen, so much for having me.
Corinne Diachuk: Thank you for the invitation, Karen. It was a pleasure. As always,
Karen Yates: For more info on Helen and Corinne, go to the show notes. And as I mentioned before, here is the cool April bonus for our Afterglow members on Patreon. All new or established members in April will receive a 25% discount off of Corinne's "Yoga for Sexual Happiness" course. This is a truly exciting video series. I am enrolled in this program myself, and love the erotic gems Corinne is offering. I want folks to experience some of the liberation that can happen when we commit to our pleasure through integrating body, breath, and spirit. To take advantage of this generous discount, all you need to do is sign up on Patreon for as little as $5 a month. Basically the discount on the course pays for the Afterglow membership, which is flexible. So this is a great opportunity to take advantage of. More info is in the show notes.
Well, that's it for today, folks. Send any comments my way through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or our website. Have a pleasurable week.
Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
Want to rev up your relationship and bust out of limiting patterns?
Host Karen Yates is an intimacy coach and somatic sex educator who works with couples online and in person in Chicago to help improve their intimate communication and expand pleasure in a process that can be embodied, meaningful, and fun.
Go to karen-yates.com and set up a free Zoom consultation and to download her free guide: Say It Better in Bed! 3 Practival Ways to Improve Intimate Communication.
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- Corinne Diachuk – Yoga therapist & somatic sex educator
- Helen Wyatt – Relationship & sex therapist
- Erotic Creativity podcast episode
- Joseph Kramer’s Porn Yoga
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