Help! We’re not sexually compatible

Sex therapist Dr. Donna Oriowo joins us to answer your questions about sex and relationships.

  • How do you manage sexual incompatibility?
  • What do you do when one of you wants sex all the time and the other has trouble getting in the mood?
  • And how do you get yourself in the mood to be a “giver” when it doesn’t come naturally?

Dr. Donna Oriowo (oreo-whoa!) LICSW, CST, is an award-winning DEI advocate, international speaker and certified sex and relationship therapist in the Washington D.C. metro area. Dr. Donna is the owner of private practice, AnnodRight, which specializes in working with Black women on issues related to colorism and texturism and its impacts on mental and sexual health. Dr. Donna specializes in working with Black women to feel Free, Fabulous, and F*cked! She is the author of Cocoa Butter & Hair Grease: A Self Love Journey Through Hair and Skin and the host of a weekly community space for Black women called In My Black Feelings. Dr.

Donna collects inspiring quotes, eats donuts, loves pasta, travels to learn, and gives COVID-safe handshakes, warm hugs, and (figurative) knocks on the head.

Dr. Oriowo served as DEI Co-chair and Communications Steering Committee Chair for AASECT. She is a member of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN). She can be found on social media @Dr.DonnaOriowo (Instagram and Twitter). OR you can visit her on the interwebs at OR interact with her by joining the Free, Fabulous, & F*cked Community on Facebook. Be sure to check out Dr. Oriowo’s 5-Day Pleasure Challenge

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Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

Help! We’re not sexually compatible

Speaker 2 00:00:05 You’re listening to The Sex with Dr. Jess podcast, sex and Relationship Advice you can use Tonight.
Speaker 0 00:00:14 Welcome
Speaker 3 00:00:14 To the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. I’m your co-host Brandon Weir, here with my lovely other half, Dr. Jess.
Speaker 1 00:00:20 Hello from Washington DC
Speaker 3 00:00:23 Is there a more enthusiastic way to say that?
Speaker 1 00:00:25 Good morning, Washington DC Good morning. This is our second stop here in the last couple of weeks. Yeah,
Speaker 3 00:00:31 It
Speaker 1 00:00:31 Is. We are here for the Sexology Summit in inaugural conference hosted by the folks from Sexpert Consultants and they’re doing a great job. It’s, it’s so nice to be back with colleagues and surrounded by non civilian sex people.
Speaker 3 00:00:46 Yeah, I mean, I’m having a great time. I haven’t been to a lot of sex conferences. I’ve been to Sex down South. I’ve been here. I’m trying to think where else I’ve been. And definitely meeting people that I’ve met online and through the podcast. And it’s interesting because now I’m actually seeing them, but I feel like I already know them. Like we met Courtney, we saw Courtney Bra the other day. Hang
Speaker 1 00:01:05 On though. Courtney Bra is a lot taller than I expected. Yes. He, he’s a tall man.
Speaker 3 00:01:09 He’s, he’s a muscular, tall gentleman
Speaker 1 00:01:11 In a soft cashmere sweater. My favorite convo, my favorite I you wear He’s cashmere. He’s a really nice guy. If you let me, I’m gonna touch you. <laugh>, like, people should really be wearing cashmere pants. <laugh>. If you want a butt rub, say for,
Speaker 3 00:01:24 For the holidays, I, I get cashmere underwear. It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s
Speaker 1 00:01:27 A good idea. It’s a good idea. <laugh>. Yeah, it is funny to meet people in person. One of the things I run into is that I cannot remember if I’ve met someone in person or if I just know them online. Even folks who, you know, I chat with regularly on IG who aren’t in the field sometimes I can’t remember if we’ve connected in the flesh or not. Welcome
Speaker 3 00:01:44 To digital friendships.
Speaker 1 00:01:45 I love it. No, I, I think it’s, no, it’s great. It’s really cool. Now, you were at a session this morning?
Speaker 3 00:01:50 I was, I was at, I was at a couple of sessions this morning. Uh, one, an interred couple was really interesting, Chris and Cali talking about their experience. And then I also went to Reba and Dr. Hebert’s presentation on, um, on race, referring in, referring out. And there was some really interesting points. One in particular I thought was interesting was the idea of are you a pillow or are you a mirror? Which was a, I’m
Speaker 1 00:02:15 A pillow princess. <laugh>.
Speaker 3 00:02:17 Yes, you are. But the, the idea was don’t brag. Are you somebody who provides a soft landing for those around you? Or are you somebody who holds up a mirror to, to show people who they really are? And I thought that was a really interesting point. Something I took away from that.
Speaker 1 00:02:31 And I guess we need a balance of both of those in our lives.
Speaker 3 00:02:34 Yeah, I I mean they made reference to just thinking about who are the people that you have around you and are you, I think I took it, are you willing to challenge that? Are you willing to incorporate other people into your circle to help you have a better understanding of who you are? Yes. You want to be supported. Of course, you want somebody to give you that soft landing when you need it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But it’s also nice to get that mirror thrown up every now and then, so you can reflect and you’re like, oh yes, I am doing that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, you know, I I found that a really poignant point.
Speaker 1 00:03:04 Yeah. You know, I, I was in another session on, on the shop floor, so folks who are working in selling adult products. So it was Dirty Lola, it was Jessica, it was Cecilia. I’m a fan of all of their brands, all of their work. And I was really, really, first of all, they’re just really lovely speakers and I love listening to them. I could listen to Lola <laugh> talk all day long.
Speaker 3 00:03:24 I, I thought Lola was great and I loved her <laugh>. Okay,
Speaker 1 00:03:27 So just a little context, folks. Dirty Lola won Sexpert of the Year at the Ex BS Awards and she’s got the sash to prove it. And I’m super happy for her cuz she, shit a long won, a long, long time ago, <laugh>, so she’s sporting that sash. But they were talking about the work that they do in the sex shops and how, how much support they offer to people. Like they were telling their stories of somebody coming in and this guy who had been putting like a shaver, an electric shaver. Yeah,
Speaker 3 00:03:54 It was an electric shaver
Speaker 1 00:03:55 Up his butt because it was vibrating and he’d never had a real toy. And she was there to just kind of walk him through the process. And he’d been, you know, it sounded like there was some trauma involved. And I don’t think, we always think of the work that people in retail are doing, or maybe it’s just my own ignorance, but they’re really doing kind of god’s work in there, making sure that people feel supported regardless of interest, regardless of gender, regardless of age, regardless of body, all of the super important things. So that was a session that really resonated with
Speaker 3 00:04:22 Me. I was surprised when Lola said, I’m a therapist, I’m an educator, I’m a salesperson, I’m a friend. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I thought about that story she told about that person that came in, who’d been using the electric shaver in his butt, <laugh>. It was just like, wow. Yeah, you’re all of these things wrapped up into one and yeah, kudos
Speaker 1 00:04:42 And underappreciated and probably, you know, folks need to be paid more to do this super important work. Yeah. Wow.
Speaker 3 00:04:47 Yeah. Great, great. Incredible work. Incredible stories.
Speaker 1 00:04:49 Yeah. And now we have another one of the esteemed presenters with us to help answer some sex therapy questions. Dr. Donna Oreo is an award-winning d e I advocate an international speaker, a certified sex and relationship therapist here in the DC area. Their private practice, A Nod Wright specializes working in, working with black women on his shoes related to colorism, textism, and the impacts on mental and sexual health. Dr. Oreo served as d e i co-chair and communications steering committee chair for asec, which is the American Association of Sex Educators, counselors and Therapists. You can find them on social media at Doctor dot Donna Oreo. So I’m enough to put that in the show notes so that you can grab that and you can visit them on the interwebs website, donna They have a Facebook group that you can join free, fabulous, and fucked community on Facebook. So we’ll stick those all in the show notes. And Dr. Donna joins us now. Thank you for being here, Dr. Donna. It’s good to see you again. It’s
Speaker 4 00:05:52 Great to see you too. I, I’m like really excited. We’re in the same space and
Speaker 1 00:05:56 Everything. You know, it’s funny, I was checking in and I had to give them my email address and I’m like, oh, I’m actually here for a sex conference, so I won’t be the only guest with sex in their email. And there’s something really relieving about being in those spaces. So Dr. Donna and I are in DC along with Brandon. I
Speaker 4 00:06:13 Am here,
Speaker 1 00:06:13 Brandon is also here. I am here with a ton of our colleagues for the Pleasure Professional Sexology Summit. And it’s, it’s an exciting weekend. We’ll tell you how it goes after, but I wanna get to the good stuff because you’re a therapist, you’ve got all the credentials, all the letters, all the expertise, and we wanna have you answer some questions if that works for you.
Speaker 4 00:06:32 I’m game. Let’s go.
Speaker 1 00:06:33 Okay, first one. It’s fairly succinct, but I’ve gotta read the whole thing. How do I know if we’re just not compatible? I’m really into sex. My partner really isn’t. We’re open, we talk, she tries to get in the mood often, but just doesn’t feel it. I try to take care of myself and I try to get her in the mood, but we’re so far apart. We did your frequency exercise that you suggested. We’ve talked about our numbers, but we again, we’re so far apart. She wants it once a month for connection. I want it almost every day. And I, I don’t wanna pressure her, she doesn’t wanna let me down. We laugh, we play, we spend time, we nurture, we express affection. What do we do when the relationship is really nourishing, but we’re not sexually compatible?
Speaker 4 00:07:16 Ooh, I love this question. It comes up a lot in therapy. A lot of people are in this space where they’re just simply disc concordant and most couples are and don’t know how to navigate it. And usually I say you can be compatible on various levels and miss on some other ones. In which case I would say, have you considered an open relationship? And specifically to meet a sexual need if you’re not okay with doing a romantic opening of the relationship, right? So you can do a more sexual, on the more sexual side. So swinging, whatever you wanna call it on that end, versus trying to be more romantic and being more polyamorous in that way. But basically, ethical non-monogamy might be the way to make sure that you’re getting sexual needs met while still being able to maintain the nourishing deliciousness of the relationship that you already have.
Speaker 1 00:08:15 And it sounds like they have the foundation for that, right? Oh yes. They
Speaker 4 00:08:18 Talk. It sounds like they’ve got talk, they talk, they have trust, they laugh, they love, they kiss, they all that I think works really well toward opening a relationship because they already have those pieces. That doesn’t mean that they’re not gonna be a lot more talking. It doesn’t mean that there’s not gonna be a lot more work on things like jealousy and all that. Most people think that jealousy means that you should stop that. That means that you can’t open a relationship. And I’m like, no, that’s not what that means. Just like when you get angry or when you’re sad, it doesn’t mean that you stop the things that make you angry or that make you sad. It means that your emotions are simply trying to communicate something extra with you. Pay attention. What is it communicating with you? Because sometimes the jealousy is, you know, it’s very hard for me to see you giving somebody X when you haven’t given me X and I’ve been asking mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So then jealousy starts making a little bit more sense. Jealousy does not mean stop. It means pause and evaluate.
Speaker 1 00:09:18 Absolutely. And it can be telling, it can be normative. It can help you to better understand what you’re feeling, what your partner’s feeling, what the relationship needs. You know what’s so telling to me about this question is that at no point does this person blame their partner or highlight their partner’s deficits because listen, we get these questions all the time. All
Speaker 4 00:09:39 The time. Oh
Speaker 1 00:09:40 My gosh. And it’s so, and actually both of the people who have written in today are both just really focused on themselves and as a team as opposed to, well, he, he, you know, this person is not pathologizing their partner. There’s no judgment here at all. Not like you’re
Speaker 4 00:09:54 Broken, none of that language. All of that tells me that you already see each other as you are. Right? Like I and I love it when couples, they see their partner and are able to accept their partner as they are, as opposed to making their partner bend to their will or bend to who they believe that their partner should be. That like, well, if you were like this, you would be better. This is not, this is not a home improvement project. <laugh>, we’re not fixing up partners. We’re either accepting them as they are or deciding that we need to leave, right? Because ultimately it gets into a space of are you getting most of what you want and need out of this relationship? Because it is our monogamous culture. And I like to believe that white supremacy, uh, capitalism, all of these, all the supremacy culture also likes to find its way in. That says that you are supposed to possess your partner, that they are your belonging and thus they should give things to you. But what I’m not hearing is that, and the way that this was even written, it sounds like I just wanna figure out how to navigate this for myself. How do I make sure that my needs are met while not pressuring my partner to do more than what feels comfortable, good and great for them.
Speaker 1 00:11:08 Right? This is the type of client that, that you wanna work with. <laugh>? Oh yeah.
Speaker 4 00:11:12 I mean, this is the type of client that has three therapy sessions and I’m like, all right, <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:11:16 Bye. You graduate here, here’s your scroll. Throw the cap. Yeah. Now. So I love that because so much pressure in relationships comes from this idea that they’re gonna be our life partner, our co-parent, our roommate, our spiritual partner, and then on top of it all the sexual partner.
Speaker 4 00:11:32 Yeah. The end all be all.
Speaker 1 00:11:33 And so, which is
Speaker 4 00:11:34 Unreasonable.
Speaker 1 00:11:34 It, it really is. Now the opening up is, I think, a great option. It’s the first place my head went for this couple because they just sound like they’re on sturdy ground and you’re gonna run into issues. But guess what? If you don’t open it up, you’re also gonna run into issues. And I’m not saying opening is the only option. So how about if that just doesn’t align with their values? What can they, what can they try? What would you try with them in session?
Speaker 4 00:11:59 I would talk to them about other ways to have pleasure that do not require the partner to be giving in ways that don’t feel comfortable for them. Right? So exploring how we are defining sex, what sex looks like, and what other things we can do that also bring pleasure, sexual pleasure without having a specific type of participation from your partner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? So what are some of the things that you can do on your own? And what are some things that your partner could give you a hand with
Speaker 1 00:12:29 Or
Speaker 4 00:12:30 Maybe they don’t want nothing else, you know, a hand, a mouth, a, you know, a little some something. Um, what kind of toys and things can you also introduce to still get that stuff going and to help you meet the need without taking everything so far, left field?
Speaker 1 00:12:46 Right? And the other thing we we see here is that this is where they’re at today. In two years, those roles could be flipped. If anybody has ever worked with a couples, we know that oftentimes the way that discordance shows up early on is not the way it shows up 10 years down the line, five years down the line. So I think it’s, I think it’s amazing that they’re talking. I’m so glad they wrote in, I love both options that you offered. And I think that it definitely merits a conversation around opening up in this case because sometimes there’s too many red flags for me where I’m like, okay, there’s so much instability that adding anything new or any transition could just further intensify that instability. But these guys seem like they’re on the right track already.
Speaker 4 00:13:24 I love it.
Speaker 1 00:13:25 I love it. It’s like, go
Speaker 4 00:13:26 For it, figure it out. You got it. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:13:30 Oh, so Dr. Donna is allowed to sing, but I’m not allowed to sing.
Speaker 3 00:13:33 I know. I don’t get this. I’m like, I want to bust out into song as well, <laugh>. I just don’t, I just don’t have any amazing bits of advice <laugh>. So, you know, but you’re here. But I, yeah, but I have a microphone. What’s
Speaker 1 00:13:43 The bare minimum? Okay, so we’ve got another question a a little bit longer I’ll read to you as well. So, I’m a woman in a hetero relationship. I have some pain issues with sex and while usually quite fun, sometimes intercourse with my boyfriend just doesn’t feel good on a given day. Of course, there’s a million other fun, sexy things we can do. We’re also kinky. Love it. But I’m struggling with the fact that I typically, typically don’t love giving blowjobs or hand jobb. But if intercourse isn’t feeling good that day, then there’s not that many other options where I can give him an orgasm. So often we end up fooling around. I often have an orgasm, and then I feel torn on what to do next. I love him. I want him to feel good too. But when I’ve tried to psych myself up to give a blowjob or a hand job, it doesn’t feel super great.
Speaker 1 00:14:29 And I don’t think I’m great at pretending that I’m turned on and loving it. But if I don’t do anything, I feel like a selfish jerk for not offering to do anything for him. So my question is, do most people not love giving pleasure like this, but they just do it anyway because they care about their partner? Or do most people genuinely get turned on by giving their partners pleasure, even if there’s no physical pleasure for themselves from it? And they, they add, I would also love any tips on if there are ways for me to approach this differently and actually find more pleasure in giving him pleasure.
Speaker 4 00:15:04 This is easy. <laugh>. This is e like, to answer that last question, like do people enjoy it or not enjoy it? Am I just doing it wrong? Some people enjoy giving their partners pleasure. I believe they call it conversion. Don’t get me, don’t get me, uh, <laugh> don’t get me stuck on the vocabulary word. But, um, some people simply receive pleasure by giving pleasure. Other people have to work a little harder to make sure that when they’re giving, they’re also receiving pleasure. So where it comes to this, um, my good friend Goodie Howard has said that if you have not had an orgasm while you are giving hid, you’re doing it wrong. Well, maybe she didn’t say you’re doing it wrong, but certainly you could be doing it better. <laugh>. <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:15:45 Absolutely. I mean, there’s, there is so much pleasure to be had giving someone else a pleasure. But I think what’s so important is that it varies from person to person. I think about how I love cooking a meal and I love making food and kind of watching people eat my food. It gives me,
Speaker 4 00:16:02 I could, I could come to your house. Cause I love to eat not cooking, not my thing.
Speaker 3 00:16:07 That’s why this relationship works so well. I’ll, I’ll feed you both. I, I eat and I do not enjoy cooking.
Speaker 1 00:16:13 Listen at back home in Toronto, I just, you know, when I, when I was around more, I would just put food out in the laneway and the neighbors all just come out like, I’d make a fried rice or I’d make new fried noodles or something. And I love that feeling. Brandon really couldn’t care less. Like, you would never wanna make someone, you wanna eat your own food, not that you cook, but
Speaker 3 00:16:31 No, I don’t, I don’t take pleasure out of cooking. It’s not, and I don’t, but you know what, we digress.
Speaker 1 00:16:36 No, but I’m just saying that if we sometimes look at sex in a non intenses way, like food, right? There’s just the human variation. So I, I don’t think, um, it’s a matter of most people not loving, giving pleasure like this. I think some people love it, some people don’t. I do wonder if the more variety, the more skills, the more confidence you have in this arena, the more exciting it might be. And they mention they’re kinky.
Speaker 4 00:17:02 I literally put that on here. I’m like, is it a skill issue? Because sometimes we don’t enjoy the thing that we don’t feel that we’re that good at.
Speaker 1 00:17:11 Like me and billiards
Speaker 3 00:17:12 Wasn’t I just talking about this today over lunch, over
Speaker 1 00:17:15 Over your
Speaker 3 00:17:16 Work o over my work it, when I’m doing something that I’m confident in, that I, I feel comfortable do like talking about. I feel great and I feel confident and I want to keep doing it. And it, and it’s just, it’s, it’s more fun when I don’t, when I’m doing something I’m not comfortable with. No, I mean, I don’t want to do it. It’s awkward. I’m, I’m fearful at times. Do you know what I mean? Like, all these emotions start creeping up and it creates this negative connotation, this negative association with that event. And then I want, I don’t want to do it again. So then I have to continue pushing forward or finding you, you know, finding a reason to want it.
Speaker 4 00:17:52 Oh my goodness. Like this, it reminds me of something. Go ahead.
Speaker 3 00:17:56 No, please, please analyze me. <laugh>, please tell me what’s wrong. Tell me what’s right.
Speaker 4 00:18:01 Nothing is wrong. Everything is so right. It’s something that, um, I uh, I’ve been in this, this group and well, I’m actually in two groups and they do think they approach business in very different ways. So one group is like, oh, you just need discipline. But then on the other hand, this woman was like, you don’t actually need discipline. And I agree. Discipline is not necessarily what you need. Discipline is what you need when you’re doing things that you do not want to do that are not your strength. But when you are working in your zone of genius, not your zone of competence, not your zone of okayness, when you are in your zone of genius, the way you show up is completely different. You don’t need discipline to shine. You do it naturally and you want to do it more. I feel like it feeds on itself. And I think the same thing with skills in the bedroom. When we do not have the type of skills that we really wish we had, we have to discipline ourselves to make it happen. Or as she said, psych yourself up.
Speaker 1 00:19:01 Yes. Okay.
Speaker 4 00:19:03 But when you’re good at it already and when you’re just like, oh no throat game on like 10, like, oh no, I got this, it turn you, you engage a lot differently,
Speaker 1 00:19:15 Right? Because it’s a neurochemical response when you know you’re good at something mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? And it makes you wanna do it more. So, I mean, I wanna be clear, it’s not that you’re not good at it, but if it is a confidence issue, well, we’ve got our mind blowing oral [email protected] and if they’re for this person, I’m, I can’t give it to everybody. Okay. But for this person who’s written in, if there’s any financial need, let me know. I’ll help you out. But you’re gonna have to email me and tell me this is you. I only want one email people, not all, not allall <laugh>. Uh, but you know, the thing with, with hand jobs and blowjobs, I know you’re gonna tell us those aren’t the only things you can do to get a penis off.
Speaker 4 00:19:49 Nope. Not the only things you can do. And even if that is what your partner is desiring, but not something that you have been very desirous of, I would say grab a toy, a hands free toy that allows you to get your pleasure while you’re giving them their pleasure. So that way, hey, everybody is being pleased in that moment.
Speaker 1 00:20:10 Absolutely.
Speaker 3 00:20:11 That’s exactly. I I love that. I just like, there’s so many toys out there now. I’ve had the, the luxury of, of trying a few of them out lately. How the,
Speaker 1 00:20:20 The You’ve tried the arc wave?
Speaker 3 00:20:21 I have.
Speaker 1 00:20:22 So that’s one that, that they could play with or the blow motion
Speaker 3 00:20:25 Was, was nice. <laugh> tw tw. Nice.
Speaker 4 00:20:28 I like a good tw tw
Speaker 3 00:20:30 Tw a cat. No cat.
Speaker 1 00:20:33 If you can name that reference message me.
Speaker 3 00:20:37 But yeah, no, I love, I love that idea too.
Speaker 1 00:20:38 Fake Pekinese
Speaker 4 00:20:39 <laugh>.
Speaker 3 00:20:41 We just, we could just go off on our own thing here.
Speaker 1 00:20:43 If you can recognize that Doug Judy reference catch, make sure you send me a message. So yeah, there are a bunch of products on the market that can help you too. And I always tell people that, but shouldn’t even
Speaker 4 00:20:51 Have to use your own mouth. Yeah. Like they’re pussy pockets and
Speaker 1 00:20:55 Strokers
Speaker 4 00:20:56 Flesh flashlights and all kinds of things. Go buy something.
Speaker 1 00:21:00 Yes. Okay. Love com. What’s the [email protected]? Uh,
Speaker 3 00:21:04 It’s Dr. Jess. You’re putting me on the spot, doctor. Just 15 I believe.
Speaker 1 00:21:08 Yeah. They have the blow motion, they have the arc wave, they have all the strokers have, they have the eggs, they’ve got all that jazz. I think that it could be. And you know what gives me the most hope? You
Speaker 4 00:21:16 Need to tell them to send me some things. <laugh>. I’m willing to try.
Speaker 1 00:21:19 You tell me what you need, you tell me what you need, you know,
Speaker 4 00:21:22 A little bit of this, a little bit of
Speaker 1 00:21:23 That. So I am most excited that they said they’re kinky because I think that oral play, manual play deprivation, emotional kink could make this a lot more fun. Oh yeah. And then, you know what I’m also thinking maybe it’s a timing thing. Maybe you shouldn’t get off first <laugh>, because I know this is a hetero relationship and it’s always like, oh, she has to come first. Listen, some of us are just like the dudes or we don’t, like Brennan knows I don’t care about you once I’ve got mine.
Speaker 3 00:21:53 No. You know how it is. Oh yeah, I’m totally, yeah. I’m, I’m want to get, I want to get you to get yours too. Yeah. And then somebody gets theirs and they’re like, I’m done. I’m
Speaker 1 00:22:02 Like, I need a break.
Speaker 5 00:22:02 Get away from I need a break. I need a break. My no, no breaks. You get, you get five seconds.
Speaker 1 00:22:08 So I wonder if, if you’re like me, if this person is like me, maybe they need to slow down their O so that they’re waiting for their, oh. And again, that can be, and
Speaker 4 00:22:17 Then that can,
Speaker 1 00:22:19 Okay, we’ve got this, we’re
Speaker 4 00:22:20 On the same place.
Speaker 1 00:22:21 It’s so funny. You know, when I read these questions, they always feel so layered and mm-hmm. <affirmative> nuanced. And as much information as people give me, it’s never enough. But with you in the room, I feel so much more confident. I’m like, I know what Dr. Donna’s gonna, how she’s gonna help us. And you come up with all these new ideas. So you mentioned wearing a toy, yourself, using a toy on your partner,
Speaker 4 00:22:39 All kinds of toys. I mean, there’s so many. Playing, pick a
Speaker 1 00:22:42 Toy, playing, playing with fantasy, role play, kink, all that stuff. And maybe changing the timing a little and please feel reassured that you don’t have to love doing everything because other people love doing it. Right. So maybe you could learn a few new skills and you’ll like it more, but maybe, maybe blowjobs just aren’t your thing and maybe there are other things that you can try. Right? Absolutely. And I always say that the three key ingredients to an effective blowjob is lube. Obviously using your hands because those hands are incredible bees. And then the third is enthusiasm. And the way to get enthusiastic is to get turned on. Cuz when you get turned on that oxytocin flows, the adrenaline flows. So this is really good. I feel like you’ve set them on the right path.
Speaker 4 00:23:24 I feel like you set them on the right path.
Speaker 1 00:23:26 No, I only have confidence with you here, <laugh>. I’m like, okay, I can do this with Dart Donna. Um, tell me, so in your practice, what are some of the common issues that are coming up specifically for couples?
Speaker 4 00:23:38 So thinking about some of the things that are coming up for couples right now, nobody likes each other, but they’re telling me about how crappy the sex life is. And I’m just like, well, could it be because you don’t like each other?
Speaker 3 00:23:55 Are are people, when they say they don’t like each other, are they, they’re not liking who they’ve become, they don’t like the conversations that they’re having. Like what does it mean when they say that they don’t like each other? Did something change?
Speaker 1 00:24:05 Are they building a, a
Speaker 4 00:24:06 Resentment and lots of things have changed, right? So I often end up with um, couples who <laugh> have, um, one half of the couple has been in therapy. So they’re learning this stuff about themselves. They’re learning, they’re growing, they’re understanding how trauma has made their choices in life, including their partner.
Speaker 3 00:24:27 Oh, that’s gonna be tough.
Speaker 4 00:24:28 Uhhuh <affirmative> and the partner hasn’t been in therapy. So the partner is where the partner has always been. So the person that changed here is the one that was in therapy. And you know, this is the disclaimer that no therapist really gives. I mean, I give it because you should know. But when you get into therapy sometimes what it means is that all relationships change and some of them do not remain.
Speaker 1 00:24:50 Ooh. So what do you do when you’re doing work to grow? And it doesn’t have to be specifically therapy, but you’re doing therapeutic things. It could be like communing with, with people in, in your community. It could be connecting with sources of support. It could be, I don’t know, whatever people are doing that is therapeutic and they’re growing. What do you do when I, I don’t know, like you feel like you’re leaving your partner behind. Maybe
Speaker 4 00:25:12 You invite your partner, you talk to them about some of the things that you’re learning and doing and try to find that spot between I, my individual work and our joint work together so that you are continuing to grow the relationship too. Because what you don’t wanna do is be so outpaced in your work that you, that your relationship gets left in the dust, but also knowing that sometimes it’s also okay that you have grown so much and learned so much about yourself that your relationship is not the relationship of where you are now. It was the relationship of where you were then. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So being able to have that conversation. So when you asked me what’s going on in the therapy room, I’m like, ah, most of the people, most folk they come, they’re like, oh yeah, we need sex therapy. I’m like, Ooh, are you the person that needs sex therapy because the sex life is bad.
Speaker 4 00:26:02 So like, we’re starting with a sex life and that will resolve any tensions that may be coming up. Or are you a person who has relationship problems that are impacting the sex? And everybody swears they are the, the former, not the latter. They’re almost always, always relationship problems impacting sex. Almost never the other way around. So I have a lot of people that are just trying to hold it together. I think part of it is also the opening up, right? Um, so the panini is not over, right? The pandemic is not over. Covid is not gone. People are still dying and, but you know, we’re over it. So people are going out again, they’re, they’re reengaging in some of the activities that they were doing before. Jobs are expecting you to perform at the same level and with the same UA div as you may have had pre pandemic.
Speaker 4 00:26:58 So a lot of people have been thrown into an identity crisis. A lot of people also feel like they’re being gaslit because they are paying attention to the numbers and the thing. And they’re still wearing the mask and limiting contact and all that. But the world around them is saying, no, we’re open. What happens when one of those people is your partner? That’s part of what I’m dealing with. Where it’s like, well they believe that the world is open and I don’t believe the world is open during this pandemic. People got married, people had kids for the first time and they lost their identity. So then it’s also a, well who am I outside of being your partner and being their mother and trying to find my way again through the weeds so that I can find myself again.
Speaker 1 00:27:43 That’s so tough. I mean, the not liking is so sad to me. And I, I mean imagine, I imagine, cuz I see this all the time and you can tell me if you see the same thing cuz of course we all have our biases. So maybe I’m reading it this way. There are so many couples who stay together cuz they’re either dependent or they love each other, which is, you know, kind of subjective, but they really don’t like each other. Oh yeah. They’re so mad at each other. There’s so much anger, there’s so much resentment. Mm.
Speaker 4 00:28:10 They’re do, they’re used to being together, right. So they don’t leave.
Speaker 1 00:28:14 And they’re especially not used to being alone.
Speaker 4 00:28:16 That part too,
Speaker 1 00:28:17 There is a huge fear of starting over. You know, you see people who have been together since they were young, feel as though, well how can we break up after all these years? You know? But my question is, how can you stay together? I’m, I’m, if you don’t like each other,
Speaker 3 00:28:29 I’m sitting here listening to all of this. Great, you know, all this great information. And it can be, it can probably feel very overwhelming to start to come to some of these realizations too, right? Like, how do you begin to move forward when you know you’re in one place and your partner’s in another when you need to start reflecting on your relationship or who you are, how you wanna move forward. And I mean, I think for me, I, I always think like you need therapy, right? But it’s gotta be a hard thing to even just start. Like, just to have that acknowledgement or have that kind of realization. I mean, is that something that you see in your practice too? People coming to you maybe like not know, I mean, not knowing where to go, not knowing how to start not knowing how to initiate these conversations.
Speaker 4 00:29:10 I find that someone has already started to stonewall mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they’re like not, they’re not interested in the conversation. They’ve already started to check out. They’ve got one foot out the the door. Um, and it’s, it’s almost like classic pursuer Distancer. The person that pursued therapy is pursuing their partner and the other one is just sort of distancing themselves. What’s fun is when <laugh> fun, what’s fun is when it’s reversed, where the person that’s already distancing themselves is the one that brought us to therapy. And sometimes I have to ask them about their motivations. Did you bring to therapy to break up? Because sometimes that is what’s happening. They need help breaking up with their partner because they’re not in the place to do it by themselves.
Speaker 1 00:29:54 Huh. That’s interesting. You know, and they
Speaker 4 00:29:56 Like halfway have hope, right? That things can change and things can get better and they kind of wanna stay, but they don’t know how
Speaker 1 00:30:03 To stay and they don’t, they don’t know. I think sometimes we want tell people to tell us, we want a professional to tell us what to do. Like is this word saving? Yeah.
Speaker 4 00:30:09 I don’t do that. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:30:10 Well how do you, because people
Speaker 4 00:30:12 Ask me, they’re like, oh, is this salvageable? I’m just like, I don’t know. I’m not in your relationship, is it?
Speaker 1 00:30:16 Right. I just got here <laugh>.
Speaker 4 00:30:19 Yeah. I’m like, I’ve been here all of two hours and I can’t tell you whether or not your relationship is salvageable. What I can tell you is that the people who want to salvage it do and the people who don’t. Mm.
Speaker 1 00:30:30 Don’t you know, I have a question. I know you have to go, but that pursuer distancer dynamic, if you were the pursuer and you’ve gone to therapy and you’ve grown, cuz this is a pattern I’m seeing and I mentioned, you know, what, what do you do to get your partner, I don’t wanna say up to speed, but so that you don’t, they don’t fall behind. Even that language, I think is that I’m using is very biased because it’s not like one is more evolved. It’s that you’ve evolved for yourself. It’s not a continuum, you know, where we’re all located at the same place and you can be farther along than another. How do you approach your partner about this without being preachy, without being, you know, proselytizing, without making it out. Like, I’m more evolved than you. I’ve done the work. Um, now, now it’s sort of your turn. How do you do that in a way that is loving and care, caring and maybe not so judgmental, and I’ll quickly apologize j for the noise, but we are where we are <laugh>, there’s a little banging going around. How
Speaker 4 00:31:22 Do you approach a partner? I think that part of it is that number one, hopefully you would’ve already been telling them about the things that you’re doing that is helping you to change and evolve. Right? If you’re deciding that it might be the end of your time together reminding yourself that it, this doesn’t mean that your relationship failed, it just means that the person that you were is no longer the person you are and that who you are doesn’t fit with who they are. And it’s not about someone being broken or more having, you know, this isn’t, you’re not a Pokemon Right. You didn’t reach the highest level of what evolution. Right.
Speaker 1 00:31:56 Because people will be like, oh, my ex was this or my ex was that, or my ex, you know? Yeah.
Speaker 4 00:32:00 Don’t do that. Like, please don’t indulge in that. Um, but I like where you started with the I statements, right? Like, I am feeling like I am in this place and I’m feeling that we are not in the same place. I would like to talk to you about how we can make our relationship feel more fulfilling for us, both given that I have changed and that you have changed, right? So acknowledging that there has been mutual change and that sometimes we start off on the same path, at the same place at the same time and then we diverge. I know that for me, you know, put my little business out there. I’ve been doing so much work. I’ve been in therapy, um, very, very actively since, um, sometime in the pandemic I had something like a 12 hour panic attack, didn’t know what to do with myself.
Speaker 4 00:32:51 I just, I was in this loop of crying and just like, oh, I, I feel like I’m losing my mind. Right? I’m not gonna tell you that there was something else involved with that, but there was something else involved with that. So. Hmm. But it had lingering lasting effects. And so I’ve been in therapy and in being in therapy and in doing that work and then being in both of these business programs where I’m learning so much, not just about business, but also about myself and how I show up in business and watching my life sort of do this rapid change as, as I get more in alignment, things move quicker. Um, which is kind of fun and scary at the same time, I found that I was being resistant to the change because I was worried about my partner. What if I change so much that they don’t like me?
Speaker 4 00:33:39 What if I change so much that I don’t like me? What if I don’t like this person that I become and our relationship can’t work like this? So we had that conversation and we have that conversation often, as often as I feel it, I don’t fake it. I don’t hide it. I’m not faking the funk, I’m not doing any of that. I’m showing up 100% as me because if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, it’s okay. But what I won’t set myself up to do is not have had the conversation because I’m worried that having the conversation will be the end because then I already know I’m at the end. If I had to keep it to myself to protect
Speaker 1 00:34:19 This is deep <laugh>. Well, and, and not having the conversation is more likely to be the end than having the conversation
Speaker 4 00:34:26 For me, knowing that I can’t have a conversation tells me that we are not where I thought we were.
Speaker 1 00:34:33 Those are things
Speaker 4 00:34:34 I don’t trust mm-hmm. <affirmative> the way that I thought. And yes, that the intimacy must already be lacking in some way, shape or form in a way that I have not acknowledged. So when I say we’ve had this conversation, I mean several roll times at as I get to new revelations or new thoughts or whatever, I come back to this conversation and we do relationship check-ins every week.
Speaker 1 00:34:59 Can I ask you, I I know we actually do have to let you go. What does your check-in look like?
Speaker 4 00:35:04 Um, Rosebud Thorn for the most part. Oh, okay. Like what’s good, what’s not so good? And we usually do it while we’re on a Sunday walk. We walk for a mile and 1.85 miles. That’s how it’s the same distance every single time. 1.85 miles. And during that walk, we’re having not discussions about the week because I think that it’s very easy to do that catch up crap. Um, and never get to the part where you are being actually in, you’re engaged in an intimacy with your partner. So I try, we try not to keep it surface level conversation. We wanna go deeper than that.
Speaker 1 00:35:41 The 5%, that last 5% mm-hmm. <affirmative> that we never share with anyone.
Speaker 4 00:35:45 Exactly. And having those conversations while we’re on the walk, because I know that if I stop or that if he stops that we are not on the same page. Because you naturally, when you’re on the same page, you walk together mm-hmm. <affirmative> interesting. And when you’re not, somebody stops. Hmm. And it’s like, wait, what are you trying to say? So you <laugh> me, you get into a conversation and you’ve stopped dead in the track. So
Speaker 1 00:36:07 That’s true, isn’t it? Yeah,
Speaker 3 00:36:09 It is true.
Speaker 1 00:36:10 Yeah. Because I’m like, look at me and hear what I’m saying, <laugh>.
Speaker 4 00:36:13 Exactly.
Speaker 3 00:36:14 When you’re emotional, like, or when I’m emotional, I do the same thing. Right? It’s like I need to stop and we need to, yeah.
Speaker 1 00:36:20 I like that you’re talking about your process in therapy, but you’re also a therapist, uh, and a very, very good one, a brilliant one from whom I learn on Instagram and beyond. You’ve talked about a couple of business groups. What do you want people to know about you? Where can they find you?
Speaker 4 00:36:34 I want you to know that, uh, pleasure is your birthright and that you should be pursuing it on purpose with purpose. So none of that accidental pleasure on the weekends. Only thing Monday through Friday too. So I do have a five day pleasure challenge. I do it pretty often now. Next one is starting soon. I mean, I don’t know when we are right now when you’re listening to this, but I know that there is going to be one coming up. He can always check donna and of course follow me on Instagram because Insta gets the news. They don’t get it first <laugh>, they don’t even get it second. Like, it’s funny, my, my group free, fabulous and fucked on Facebook. They get it first. Okay. My email list gets it second. Everyone else you fo you get in where you fit in <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:37:21 Okay? So I’m gonna get all of your links, put them in the show notes and people are gonna follow along. Thank you so much for sharing both your professional knowledge and also some of your personal story, which is sometimes rare for therapists. Really, really appreciate that.
Speaker 4 00:37:33 Thank you.
Speaker 1 00:37:34 And thank you as always for listening. Quick reminder that if you are in the mood to learn because you’re not here at the summit with us necessarily, head on over to happier Check out some of our courses there on oral Sex, on Lasting, longer On my favorite one, mindful Sex. Slowing Down Being in the Moment. And use Code podcast to save.
Speaker 2 00:37:56 You’re listening to The Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. Improve your sex life, improve your life.

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