Finding Pleasure in Unexpected Places

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Just after I arrived home from Woodhull #SFS16, I sped through Emily Nagoski’s brilliant book Come As You Are. For me, one of the most valuable takeaways was the concept of a sexual accelerator and sexual brakes.

As a rather – ahem – intense person, I was not surprised to learn that I have both a sensitive accelerator and sensitive brakes. I’m turned on by a range of things, but I also find that I turn off easily. Nagoski emphasizes that every configuration is normal, and there’s really nothing that can be done to change the basic structures. However, you can pay attention to how things affect your accelerator and your brakes in order to sort of “hack” your sexual response.

You may remember from my Woodhull posts that I was also deeply affected by #SFSConsent, which addressed pleasure in many forms. I felt so shaken by the idea of experiencing pleasure and how it relates to vulnerability. But I also knew that if I was going to get through to the other side, I would have to put in the work.

As a result, I’ve been focusing a lot on learning how to work with the equipment that I have in order to maximize pleasure and manifest the kind of sexuality that I desire.

Sensual Pleasure

I found it easiest to start with pleasure that isn’t sexual, but sensual. Part of this involves simply being in my body, which was hard because I have a history of dissociation. Hard though it may be, I decided it wasn’t impossible.

Heat, Softness, and Touch

I slowed down and stood under the shower spray so that the hot water relaxed my shoulder muscles, which are often achy from the time I spent at my computer. I took my time and patted myself dry with a fluffy towel. I relished the feeling of clean sheets and pillowcases. I asked my partner to brush my hair. (Brushing my own hair feels good, but having someone else brush my hair feels great.)

Femme-y and Feelgood

When I was home, I bought two body suits. (You know, those impractical garments with snap crotches.) Soon, I noticed that I was wearing them every chance I got. For me, they were the perfect intersection of comfortable and sexy. On days that I wanted to feel confident and capable, I donned a body suit. So, as part of my efforts to bring myself pleasure, I bought 3 more.

I also decided to stop and pay attention when I noticed myself questioning or criticizing pleasure in my head. For some reason, enjoying anything pinged my internal critic. At first, I had to deal with a lot of self-criticism, even for something as simple as taking extra time to do my nails, or for buying a pint of delicious peanut butter cup ice cream. The more I practiced acknowledging and then dismissing those thoughts, though, the less frequent they became. They haven’t disappeared, but they’ve certainly gotten weaker.

Accepting and enjoying sensual pleasure is a key part of easing off the brakes and onto the accelerator (for me). But sensual pleasure alone isn’t quite enough.

Sexual Accelerants

If you’d asked me six months ago if I considered myself kinky, I would have said no. I know about kinky things, but there aren’t many that I participate in. I like my leather in the form of couches, auto interiors, and purses. I’ve never explored D/s relationship dynamics. The only watersports I’m interested in are actual sports, in literal water.

But as James M. McGill once said, “The world is a rich tapestry, my friends.” Kinks1 aren’t limited to your garden variety BDSM staples. And once you recognize some of your own kinks, you can bring them in when you need a little inspiration.

For example, under the right conditions, I can be super into someone yelling. My hypothesis: Yelling makes me a little bit nervous, which manifests in the form of increased heart rate and a change in blood circulation. If I find the person attractive, my brain combines that information with the aforementioned physical queues and registers arousal, as long as I also know that I’m safe. It’s a kind of controlled fear, like a haunted house. For a few reasons, I’ve only really experienced this kink via media, but I’m still sort of holding out hope of being yelled at under the perfect conditions.

Something that’s a little more accessible is my proclivity for a good pair of hands. What are good hands, exactly? I don’t know how to quantify it, but I know ’em when I see ’em. And as it turns out, I’m definitely not alone! Look for pictures of great hands and you will find a veritable treasure trove.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss what might be my strangest kink: Desks. I fuckin’ love desks. A good-looking person sitting at a nice desk? Unnnff. Yes, it can be a bit impractical to get it on in the office (I happen to know a thing or two about that) but that’s part of the charm.

Beyond kinks, I’ve found some interesting turn-ons that are much more situation-dependent. One such discovery is that I absolutely love it when my partner takes the opportunity to (lightly, lovingly) roast me. He’s such a nice, gentle person that just a little reminder that he’s also witty and willing to keep me in line punches the accelerator immediately.

Since I noticed these things, I’ve been making an effort to encounter them more in my everyday life. I’ve found that doing this makes it a lot easier to activate the accelerator.

Easing off the Brakes

Accepting that I’m into some things that are, perhaps, unusual is also part of easing off the brakes. If you’re into something but you’re ashamed of it, that shame is going to make it a hell of a lot more difficult for you to get into a good sexual head space2.

Personally, I’ve found this easiest when I’m in the company of people who know what they’re into and joyfully embrace it.

The community that I’ve found among bloggers has played a big role in all of this self-discovery. But while sex bloggers are certainly a special breed, we’re not superhuman. We’re not doing anything you can’t do yourself. You can create a space where it’s totally acceptable to be into anything safe and consensual by being brave and open-minded. Or, you can take to the internet. Not much for words? No problem. You might want to take to Tumblr, where there’s a community for literally everything.


Thinking about pleasure and paying attention to my sexual accelerants has made a huge difference for me in the last couple months. I’ve definitely noticed that my baseline level of interest remains higher and steadier, so that even considering the hellish stress I’ve been under lately, I’m more likely to be up for a roll in the sheets than I was before. For me, this has been a great way to take charge of my own sexuality. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d highly recommend Come As You Are, which you can purchase directly from Emily Nagoski (you can even get it signed!) or from Amazon.

  1. For my purposes, I refer to “a kink” when I’m talking about something that I find sexually relevant that is not, by it’s nature, considered sexually relevant to most random people you could pick off the street.
  2. Unless, of course, shame turns your crank.

Showing Up and Being Seen

Hi everybody. Let’s take a deep, cathartic breath.

For about a year, I’ve been wrestling with some big things. A year ago, I made some huge changes to my life. Not just that – I became a quitter. I quit my job and I quit a medication that wasn’t working for me. What happened next was amazing: I got into therapy and grad school.

If you know anything at all about stress, you know that even positive changes can produce it. Big, positive things like marriage, moving into a new home, quitting a job that you’ve outgrown… all of these things contribute to stress. I’ve found myself under a mountain of stress in the last year, and rather than letting up, it just keeps changing. I’ve dealt with quitting my job and starting school, but now I’m planning for a field placement and waiting to see where we’re going to be living next 1.

If you know me, you know that I’m a total Type A. I have anxiety, panic disorder, and 25 years’ worth of perfectionism all sloshing around in my brain. Stress hits every single one of those buttons, hard. Feeling like I have little control over the things that stress me out makes this even more complicated. As a result, for months now I’ve been struggling with debilitating perfectionism and social anxiety.

Objectively, I’m the best I’ve ever been by so many societal measures. I’m in grad school, and I have a 4.0. I’m in the best physical shape of my life. I have a partner that I love and our relationship is the best one I’ve ever had. I recently attended an amazing conference where I felt surrounded by love and care.

And yet, I feel so personally disconnected in so many ways. I thought that I had built a safe place for myself here, but instead I feel like I’ve written myself into a corner.I’d love to write about identity, sexuality, communication, love, kinks, and personal journeys. But I’m afraid that if I write anything other than reviews, I’ll be exposed as a self-obsessed fraud.

But I’ve reached a point where I can’t continue feeding this perfectionism and feeling stifled. I want to create quality content, but creativity can only thrive with the rejection of shame. There are so many things that I want to write that end up being gagged and stifled by the perfectionist voice that says No one gives a shit.

If you don’t give a shit, that’s ok. I guess this isn’t for you. But if you’re here for it, I appreciate you so very much and I hope we can explore some exciting new things together.

  1. Please don’t ask me about this. I appreciate that you care, but I can’t talk about that particular issue of uncertainty right now.

Woodhull #SFS16: Experiences and Feels

Unbelievably, it’s already been over a month since I left Germany for Woodhull #SFS16. I’ve already written about the sessions that I was able to attend, and you can check that out here. Today I want to talk about what I experienced and, most terrifyingly, how I felt.

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Photo shows two SheVibe stickers (one logo, one Blog Squad), a Doxy Wand keychain, a dildo from Funkit Toys, two bundles of blue Twisted Monk rope, and a Tantus Rumble, all on top of a white faux sheepskin.


#SFS16: The Experiences

Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit was my first con in 3 years, so I tried to pack as much into it as possible. As a result, I kind of wore myself out, both physically and emotionally. My experiences ran the gamut from rejuvenating to deeply challenging, and some were just surreal.

I was a Little Tied Up

One of the highlights of the weekend was being tied by Mr. BLK from Black Pomegranate. A few weeks ago, it kind of just randomly popped into my head that I might enjoy being tied up. At the time, I had no rope and no experienced friend or partner to try it with. So, I put it on the back burner until I arrived at Woodhull.

On Friday afternoon, thanks to Artemisia’s recommendation, I tracked down Mr. BLK and we had a talk about rope basics, safety, and the importance of communication when setting up an experience. Immediately, I felt like I was in good hands. We made plans for a demo later that night that would be an educational and sensory experience1.

Mr. BLK started with a single cable tie on one of my wrists, making sure that I felt comfortable and that the rope was sitting correctly and not cutting off my circulation. Then, he bound my wrists together. When I confirmed that that was comfortable and that I was interested in trying another tie, he untied my wrists and started on a series of ties that bound my arms behind my back, created a chest harness, and bound my legs together.

Until he started tying, I really didn’t know how I would feel about rope bondage. It’s always possible to be cut out with safety shears, but I thought I might experience some panic. On the contrary, though, I found it super relaxing. It was a situation in which I really didn’t have to think – I only had to communicate if I was comfortable, mentally and physically.

Also – and this part is difficult to articulate – I thought it was hot. The physical sensation of being tied was super hot. The imagery of being tied was super hot. I felt comfortable and confident, much of which can be attributed to Mr. BLK’s expertise and manner.

After the demo, I hooked up with Twisted Monk, who generously gave me some of their beautiful rope to practice with. Rope posts coming soon!

Experiences in the #Blogsquad

Oh man. It is so good to be with your people.

I remember walking into the Bloggers’ Lounge (thanks, Tantus!) and recognizing only a few folks. As we introduced ourselves, we put Twitter handles and blogs to faces. It was magical, because we’d built this connection – some over months, and some over years – and finally we were in the same room.

Some parts of the experience were a little strange. First, I had to get used to being the one who was recognized; not because I think I’m a big deal, but because I’m non-anon and I like a good selfie. (Someone did get excited when I introduced myself, though. It was really surreal and very flattering.) It was also strange to be on the go all the time. If I wasn’t in a session, I was tracking someone down to chat. The weekend went by in a blur of amazing company.

On Friday night, SheVibe even threw us a Blogger pajama party, which I feel I could best describe with emoji but you’re going to have to settle for text. Imagine an open bar, a poetry slam, and a bunch of sex bloggers. A unanimous favorite of the evening: Girl On The Net threw down a fantastic limerick so dirty that it was met with an ongoing chorus of “YES!”, riotous laughter, and a few moans. Plus, we all left with some pretty sweet swag (some of which is pictured above).

#SFS16: The Feels

I’m going to talk about The Feels. I haven’t talked about Feels in forever, because there’s always a voice that says “No one wants to read that!” It may surprise you, being that I talk about my opinions about sex toys on the internet, but I have some vulnerability issues. I fucking hate vulnerability.

I did finally finish Daring Greatly, though, and I’m trying.

What happened at Woodhull was that I was confronted with a lot of vulnerability, and also a lot of caring. Part of that happened in the session I spoke about in my last post, #sfsconsent. A lot of it was outside the sessions, with my fellow bloggers or other industry folks.

Pleasure & Vulnerability Feels

As mentioned in my first Woodhull post, #sfsconsent was the most vulnerable session for me. It’s weird, because prior to being confronted with all the awesome and terrifying things Elle and Jaclyn had to say, I wouldn’t have assumed I had issues with pleasure. (I knew I had issues with vulnerability. Like, that’s totally a foregone conclusion.) After all, I write about sex toys! I write about orgasms! I take baths, drink wine, and eat all the foods! But it’s more than that. Pleasure involves vulnerability, and it’s seriously dampened when self-criticism joins the party.

This is the part of the post where I wish I could tell you how I beat my inner critic. But, I can’t. She’s still there, being a little fun-sucking bitch. Anything that I enjoy is grounds for analysis and criticism. She’s a perfectionist while I’m trying to be happy with ‘good enough’.

I can’t tell you how I got rid of her. I can only tell you how I’m muddling through. I’ve decided to identify her as a separate entity, a tactic that my therapist suggested. Sometimes I recognize what she’s saying and accept it as a thought without responding. Sometimes, I tell her to fuck off. I also try to pay attention to things that bring me pleasure but don’t catch the attention of my critic, like fresh sheets or Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

It’s a work in progress. Even folks who make pleasure their business aren’t immune to the struggles faced by much of humanity.

Anxiety Feels

The entire time that I was in the US, I had a combination of jet lag and anxiety. Jet lag makes me nauseous, nausea makes me anxious, and anxiety sometimes makes me physically ill. So, I was in a vicious circle. If you’ve never experienced anxiety or panic attacks, what you need to understand is that it can be a very, very vulnerable experience. It can be so scary to have anxiety or panic in front of people.

As much as I’ve learned in therapy and by working on myself, sometimes I don’t have the tools to stop it, and then all I can do is ask for help.

#Blogsquad Feels

And when I asked, help arrived. Swiftly and in many forms, like Lilly, Ashley MantaSugarcunt, Formidable Femme, and VivaLaSexy. I commiserated with LilithReviews and Hedonish. Plus, Caitlin had the foresight to book us a room way off in the retreat wing. In essence, I knew that #blogsquad had my back.

Someone said that finding a person that you can fall into mutual weirdness with is love. If that’s the case, then I completely understand why this group of bloggers feels like chosen family.

At the same time, it did come to my attention that some folks felt left out by the formation of #blogsquad. Those of us who had been blogging and particularly active for a long time perhaps took for granted that we’d be included. Why wouldn’t we be? We’re the bloggers. It didn’t really occur to me that anyone would assume they weren’t in the Blog Squad. I think it’ll be important to be mindful and to be actively engaging folks on the sidelines next year.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who made my trip to #SFS16 possible. This includes my wonderful sponsors, Sliquid and Holistic Wisdom. Many, many thanks to the readers, friends, and family who contributed towards my trip. It was an incredible experience and I hope to make it back next year.

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  1. “Educational” as opposed to “play”

Lube, Arousal Nonconcordance, and You

If you and I are friends, there’s a very good chance that at some point I have either given you lube or recommended lube to you. If we’re really good friends, you’ve probably received a bottle of Sliquid. Here’s why: Lube makes everything better.

sliquid lube personal lubricant come as you are emily nagoski

Pictured: Kindle screen showing the cover of Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski & bottles of Sliquid (Silk, Sassy, and Sea) laying on a faux sheepskin.

“But I don’t need lube!”

It is possible that you don’t need lube. You really may not, especially if you’re never putting anything in your anus (or someone else’s). You may go through your entire life with a well-lubricated vagina, never needing to touch a bottle of the stuff. But you are actually in the minority and your experience is not true for everyone.

Let’s talk about the rest of us, though. Maybe you’re someone who generally produces enough lubrication on your own, but sometimes you need a boost. If you’re having penis-in-vagina sex (bio dick or dildo) and it lasts longer than 10 or 15 minutes, chances are good that you’ve experienced some friction. That’s perfectly normal – you are not broken – but it isn’t really ideal, is it? Enter: Lube.

If you’re having anal sex, you are really going to need lube. The anus isn’t self-lubricating in the same way that the vagina is and it’s very susceptible to tearing. No matter what you’ve seen in porn, spit is not lubricant enough for anal sex. When I talk to anyone who’s had anal sex once and will never do it again, the #1 thing I hear is that they didn’t use good lube and they didn’t move slowly. So, unless you are specifically after some (consensual) pain and discomfort, you’re going to want to pick up some lube.

“You only need lube if you’re not aroused!”

Nope! Not true. Simply not true.

Have you ever heard of arousal nonconcordance? It’s the best kept secret that really ought to be common knowledge. It’s not even a new discovery – it just heavily contradicts our cultural understanding of arousal. But once you know, it’ll change your life.

It is neither wrong nor uncommon for your physiology to not match your mental experience of arousal, and vice versa. What does that mean? In short, it is 100% possible to be mentally aroused and for your genitals not to be responding in the way that you think they should. Likewise, genital response (erection, lubrication) are not a reliable indication of someone’s mental arousal.

Let’s say that you’re making out with someone you’re really into and things are heating up. You feel relaxed with them but also very excited about what might be happening. You’re super enthusiastic, definitely turned on… and your genitals don’t seem to agree. You’re either not getting/maintaining an erection, or you don’t feel ‘wet’. What gives? Does this mean you aren’t into them after all? Does it mean there’s something wrong with you?

Nope. Arousal nonconcordance. It just is what it is. If you’re mentally a yes and your body isn’t doing what you’ve come to expect it to do, that’s actually perfectly normal. The more you stress about it, the harder it will be to relax and enjoy yourself. And sex really should be about enjoying yourself, right? I know that performance anxiety is a big issue for a lot of people, but it’s not a performance. It’s a collaborative experience of fun.

When you understand arousal nonconcordance, you can be easier on yourself and on your partners. You don’t have to worry when someone says that they’re really into you but their body isn’t doing what you’ve come to expect. Trust them. If you’re not getting hard or not getting wet, don’t stress. Create an environment where you can relax and explore.

What does this have to do with lube? It turns out that folks with vaginas tend to experience more arousal nonconcordance than folks with penises. According to some studies, their mental arousal and the genital response may only match about 10% of the time1. If you have a vagina and you’ve often experienced not ‘getting wet’ but being totally turned on and ready for sex, then you’re 100% normal. Better still, there’s a lube out there for you.

Shopping for Lube

Lube seems deceptively simple, right? You can get it at any drugstore, superstore, and even many grocery stores. But how do you know that you got a good lube?

There are three major categories of lube – water, oil, and silicone based.

Water-based is what almost everyone’s first lube is, and it’s the category that lubes like Astroglide and KY jelly fall under. So if you think you hate lube, you probably had a bad experience with a terrible water-based lube. Luckily, we have far better options to consider! Water-based lube is a great choice for playing with silicone toys, using with condoms, or for when you just need a little bit of extra help in the wetness department. Usually, water-based lube won’t last longer than 15 or 20 minutes, so you may need to re-apply it. In general, you want to look for a water-based lube that is free of glycerin, parabens, and propylene glycol. For help choosing a water-based lubricant, check out this awesome chart from The Smitten Kitten’s lube expert Sarah Mueller.

Oil-based lubricant gets a bad rap in some circle because it generally isn’t vagina-safe and is not safe with latex condoms. However, coconut oil or another good quality plant-based organic oil, plays nicely with most vaginas but still isn’t safe with latex condoms. Oil-based lube is also great for both anal play and masturbation for folks with penises. Looking for a condom you can use with an oil-based lube? Try nitrile or polyurethane, like Trojan Supra.

Silicone-based lube is incredible for longer sex sessions and for all kinds of lube hacks. Frizzy hair? Silicone lube. Chafing thighs? Silicone lube! If you just want to have a marathon sex session with or without a condom, silicone lube is a fantastic choice. It’s also great for folks with a lot of chemical sensitivities. It’s worth noting that most of the time, you don’t want to combine silicone lube with silicone toys. There are exceptions, though, particularly when a high quality silicone lube is involved. If you want to try a silicone lube with one of your silicone toys, test it in an inconspicuous area that doesn’t come into contact with your genitals, like the base of a dildo. If it gets gummy, it’s not compatible.

If you’re interested in geeking out even further, Sarah Mueller was recently on Sex Gets Real with Dawn Serra, sharing her original research on lube, BV, and STIs.

My Favorite Lubes

Sliquid makes my all-time favorite lubes and they have a lube for every occasion. In general, I tend to reach for one of the three pictured above: Silk, Sassy, or Sea.

Sliquid Silk is a hybrid lube, meaning it contains both silicone and water. It’s safe to use with silicone toys because its silicone content is relatively low. But, because it does have some silicone in it, it’s longer lasting than your average water-based lube. I would recommend Sliquid Silk for anyone who tends to be sensitive to water-based lubes but who want the flexibility of a long-lasting lube that’s safe to use with all toys.

Sassy is a water-based gel. It was designed for anal but it’s perfect for vaginal play, too. What I like about Sassy is that it’s thick enough that it really stays where you put it, but it never does that thing where it gets clumpy or sticky (something you often see with lower-quality gels). Its thickness also makes it just a tiny bit cushy, which is particularly nice for the butt.

Sea is a water-based liquid with – you guessed it – seaweed (sort of). There are 3 kinds of seaweed/algae in Sliquid Sea: Carrageenan, Wakame, and Nori. I really find that Sea lasts longer and feels more lush than regular Sliquid H2O, so despite the similar texture, I always reach for Sea.


This post was brought to you by my Woodhull #SFS16 sponsors, Holistic Wisdom and Sliquid! All words and opinions are my own, and this post does not contain affiliate links.

  1.  Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. Great read.

Woodhull #SFS16 Recap: Part 1

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I’m back! Thank you so much to my sponsors, friends, and family for sending me to Woodhull #SFS16! It was easily one of the best experiences of my life thus far.

I tried to write one big Woodhull recap post, but it ended up being like, a million words long. Instead, I present to you the first in a series. Today, we’re talking about what I learned in some of the brilliant sessions that I attended.

Woodhull SFS16: What I Learned

If you read my first post about Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit, then you know there were plenty of talks I was excited to attend. In fact, there were so many great talks that I simply didn’t make it to all of them – I would have needed a time turner.

Unfortunately, Sex Educator Bootcamp was cancelled due to a health emergency. But, I made it to Nurturing Connection Through Healthy Touch, Navigating Social Media Practices for Adult Businesses, Sexualizing Cancer, Embodied Consent and the Cultural Lie of Sexual Desirability, Facing the Monster Under the Bed: Continuing the Conversation About Sex & Depression (read it Storified!), and Your Voice Matters: How to Start a Revolution through Podcasting.

I walked away from each of these sessions with something important, whether it was a feeling of companionship, inspiration, or pride in my community. But three sessions really stood out to me:

Sexualizing Cancer (#sfscancer)

This session opened my eyes the widest. Rebecca Hiles, Harmony Eichsteadt, and Ericka Hart talked about their experiences with cancer and its effect on their bodies, their sex lives, their emotional health, and their relationships.

I think it’s important to note right off the bat that cancer is something I know basically nothing about. It’s also something that affects so many people (and in many different ways). There’s a very good chance that at some point, I’ll have a client who has or has had cancer, or a client’s spouse will be diagnosed. Because of just how prevalent cancer is, I thought it was pretty important to attend this panel.

It was also eye-opening for me, as a person with many different kinds of privilege, to hear about how other people with different identities (particularly fat folks & people of color) experience medical care. For example, a correct diagnosis took way, way too long for Becca because her doctor was seeing only the fact that she’s fat, not the fact that she was sick.

All three panelists talked about how the caretaker dynamic ultimately took a huge toll on their relationships. They decried the trope of the wise and angelic cancer patient. While one person loves a one night stand, another feels that they’re no longer an option because they must explain their scars. Regardless, sexual pleasure and a need for sexual connection was never dimmed or destroyed by cancer.

Embodied Consent and the Cultural Lie of Sexual Desirability (#sfsconsent)

I was not prepared for how hard Embodied Consent and the Cultural Lie of Sexual Desirability would hit me. Elle Chase and Jaclyn Friedman addressed several tough, vulnerable topics like body image, consent, and pleasure. There was an interesting discussion thanks to audience participation about recognizing and accepting a No, and about ideal circumstances versus circumstances that many of us find ourselves in IRL.

But for me, the most intense part of the discussion was about pleasure. Seems weird, right? I literally write about orgasms. But here’s the thing: That doesn’t mean I’m going around experiencing amazing pleasure all the time. In fact, as a person with a lot of anxieties, I’m really prone to self-criticism, which hits my sexual brakes. And it doesn’t end with sex, either – this happens with just about every pleasure. So, I was feeling seen and vulnerable by the time that session ended. I retreated for a nap and a call with my partner.

PS: I Storified the tweets here, so you can check out what others had to say as well.

Facing the Monster Under the Bed (#sfsmonster)

Facing the Monster Under the Bed was predominantly about depression’s effect on relationships. If you’re not aware, JoEllen has been conducting research on sex & depression for some time now, which is amazing considering she’s doing it without the benefit of an academic institution’s financial backing.

What’s the #1 misconception about sex & depression? That people with depression aren’t interested in sex or aren’t having sex. After finding this theme in her research time and again, JoEllen started to focus on how depression affects the whole relationship, not just the sexual relationship. What emerged was the caregiver dynamic, the need for separate social lives, and the necessity of a complete support system for both/all partners.

As someone who has had depression – both hypothyroid-induced and otherwise – and someone who has had partners with depression, I think that JoEllen and Stephen did a fantastic job addressing things from both points of view. While I think you always leave a good presentation with more questions (because really, you should want to learn more, right?), I also left this talk with some ideas about how to enact positive change.

JoEllen Storified the tweets from #sfsmonster here and if you’re interested in more of her work, check out this interview by Caitlin Murphy.

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