24 Oct EPS 10: Reclaiming Your Sexy Body and Goddess Self with Dr. Amie Harwick
Hey lovers and warriors!
Welcome to Episode 10!
What’s your relationship with your ‘down there’? Shame? Disgust? Non-existent? Dr. Amie Harwick, sex therapist and author of The New Women’s Sex Bible, shares how to step into your sexy goddess self, knowing your own body for better foreplay and oral sex, and why sexual generosity benefits us all!
Here’s what you’ll learn from this episode:
- Why it’s important to change how we refer to our genitals for a better relationship with our sex life
- Know what you like and what you don’t like sexually and assert your desires–your partner will thank you
- Strategies you can take to step into reclaiming your self as a sexual goddess
- Sexual generosity over resentment and anger, so everyone wins!
Be sure to check back every Wednesday (#humpday – how appropriate) for a new episode, and head over to iTunes to subscribe!
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THE SKINNY ON OUR SEXY EXPERT
Dr. Amie Harwick is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Dr. Amie is the author of The New Sex Bible for Women. She has her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. She has her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. She graduated from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality with her Doctorate of Human Sexuality. Amie has worked with a variety of populations of clients in a variety of settings ranging from a private practice to community based mental health facilities. She has worked with a range of clients including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, sexually exploited teenagers, juvenile sex offenders, children with trauma, court mandated adults, divorce, sexual identity issues, chronic pain, sex addiction, Bipolar disorder, displaced adolescents, and domestic violence. You can find out more about her at DrAmieHarwick.com
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THE SHOW
Real life stories and expert interviews to help you improve your sex life, by addressing mental blocks, nourishing your body, and balancing your hormones. This podcast will feel like you’re sitting down for coffee with your two best girlfriends to chat about the most erotic and embarrassing things you’re dying to share and get advice about. The best part? They’re the experts. Sex expert, Dr. Cat Meyer with hormone and detox expert, nutritionist Diane Kazer reveal to you what works (and what doesn’t) in the most entertaining way, encompassing all things sex and sex hormones such as self-love, sex toys, bedroom play, body shame, libido, frisky food, PMS, hormone balance and anything else sex-blocking you from the sex, life and body you deserve and desire. Each episode will give you simple steps and sexy strategies you can implement NOW to leave you feeling empowered, courageous, playful and motivated. Eat Play Sex is YOUR guide to all things sexy, healthy, and fun to rock the body of your dreams and help you get back in the playground with those you love. Because…#sexmatters
ABOUT US & HOW WE CAN HELP
Dr. Cat Meyers: Diane, your hair is the brightest pink that I’ve ever seen in my life, I’m pretty sure?
Diane Kazer: Yeah?
Dr. Cat: You look—I don’t know if it’s a mermaid or if it’s a goth mermaid or if you’re like a cotton candy-turned—I don’t even know.
Diane: Don’t be fooled. I had a stomach ache, and I just rolled around in some peptobismol.
Dr. Cat: Ayeee…
Diane: No, I did it. No, I did and it’s magical. Yeah, it’s fun. It’s a bright pink. It’s like a magenta. And I didn’t even know what was going on.
Dr. Cat: Identity crisis?
Diane: Yeah! A dye-dentity crisis. Part of me died, and another part of me woke up.
Dr. Cat: You know, it’s amazing how we can go into this. When we experience a lot of stress, we were like, “I want to change something, something drastic. I need to change my whole house, change my address, change my hair, change my…”
Diane: “Get a boob job maybe, I don’t know… change my zip code?”
Yeah, I know! Someone said this a long time, and it really hit me because I’m a world traveled. I’ve traveled like 21 different countries.
Dr. Cat: Damn, girl!
Diane: Yeah, black jack.
And part of me, whenever I feel stressed, just wants to flee the country. “Oh, yeah? Well, I’m leaving.” It kind of goes back to when I was 15 and my mom was like, “Diane, you can’t wear that. You look like a slut!” and then I’ll be like, “What?!” and I’d run away. I have to run away.
Dr. Cat: You ran away. Where would you run?
Diane: I don’t know. I just ran. I just go run. I run down the street. And there were no cellphones back then, so I just run to a payphone, and call my friend, “Come pick me up!”
Dr. Cat: Wow! That’s really powerful.
Diane: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Cat: It’s amazing, the messages that we hear from not only our family, but from our friends and from society that stick with us.
Diane: Yeah. I don’t think I was running from something with this hair. I think I was running to something. And I think that “to something” is running to the real self, who I really am and not being ashamed of it anymore and not covering it up with the streaks of color that I think is acceptable. “This is me. I like pink. I think it’s fun.”
I kind of reverting back to what Dr. Amie and you and I were talking about before the show. It’s like getting back to parts of who we really are, the playfulness, who we were in high school before we started caring more about what people thought.
Dr. Cat: Actually, I felt like in high school, I cared more about what people thought.
Diane: That’s what I mean. Well, okay, 14-ish I think is when I started caring more, like 13, before the bullying began of “You’re flat-chested” or whatever.
Dr. Cat: Yeah. It’s powerful to think about all the things that we’ve experienced when we were younger, and how it imprints on our brain to influence how we behave in this world… until we decide that that’s just a story, and I don’t want it to be running my life and my behaviors and my feelings and my thoughts.
Diane: Boom! You just nailed it. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today in the show—and more. There’s a lot of these things, there’s a lot of insecurities within us that hold us back from our true self in life, at work, in friendships, in the bedroom. There are so many stories that we’ve owned about ourselves. And maybe in a moment in time, like maybe just a minute of bullying or maybe a minute of a family crisis, that we just make up about ourselves and we carry with us forever. It’s like this heavy 80 lbs. chair behind us.
So, we don’t want to feel like you guys are carrying around a coffin behind you anymore. You’re feeling like parts of you are… you know… dead. We want you to feel like the parts of you who are really your true self come alive.
And before we even get into this show and introduce our amazing guest today, I wanted to take the time, you guys, to thank you guys for listening to our show and for leaving reviews on iTunes and telling your friends and your lovers and for trying a lot of the suggestions that we recommend on the blog. We’re getting really amazing feedback on you guys trying the love tonics and the hormone harmonizers that we’re talking about on our show. We hear you! We hear you’re getting greater confidence and energy and sex drive.
And that is what we’re here for. That’s our goal. Our goal is to get you to eat, play and sex better so you can improve your sex life—and life just all around.
So Cat, anything you want to say on top of that?
Dr. Cat: Meow…
Diane: She seconds that motion.
So yeah, guys, thank you guys so much. We’re getting a lot of private messages which is okay because, sometimes, these topics are not things that we’re comfortable talking about because don’t talk about these stuff with us. Sex educators are not involved at high schools. Our parents don’t know a lot, sometimes, of what we’re doing. And there’s a lot of discomfort around it.
So, we’re going to take a lot of the shame away from you guys today. And this is going to be for both the ladies and the men.
So, let’s introduce Dr. Amie without further adieu because she’s got a lot of amazing, powerful things to say.
Dr. Cat: Hmmm… I absolutely adore this woman. I first met through—actually, it was through Sex Positive Los Angeles. It was at a luncheon, Amie, that we met you.
Dr. Amie Harwick: Yes, yes.
Dr. Cat: Yeah! Welcome to our show. I’m so excited to have you.
Dr. Amie: Was it LASA?
Dr. Cat: That’s what it was! LASA, yes, LA Sex People…
Dr. Cat: Professionals? Lots of sexy people. That’s what it was!
So, Dr. Amie Harwick is a licensed marriage and family therapist who works with a variety of populations of clients and a variety of study ranging from private practice to community-based mental health. She’s worked with all kinds of people especially with sexuality.
She’s the author of the New Sex Bible for Women. How sexy is that?
Diane: I own it!
Dr. Cat: You have it!
Diane: Dr. Amie, I don’t know if this is too much to say afterwards, but I read the book, and then afterwards, I started playing with the fun toy that we got from the show. It inspired me!
Dr. Amie: I’m glad you were inspired to be playful. Isn’t that the theme of the podcast, the play?
Diane: Yes! Yes, and to explore the depths of our soul that we might not even know that are a part of us yet. So, your book is working, girlfriend!
Dr. Cat: And Dr. Amie, you’ve been on a bunch of TV shows, haven’t you?
Dr. Amie: Yeah! I’ve done a bunch of stuff this year. I was on Braxton Family Values for I think five different episodes. It’s Tony Braxton’s family’s reality show. So I was there as a therapist.
And then, the last, the season finale, I got to educate the whole family about sexuality. So, we did kind of a girls’ education day and sat around in PJ’s and talked about love and sex. I brought things like a show-and-tell, toys and kinky stuff to play with.
It’s so funny. When the cameras went off, Tony Braxton was like, “Hey, can I ask you about those things again?” And then, her mother was there. And I think she is maybe in her seventies or eighties. She said, “Hey, Amie, can you come here? Can you tell me what you were talking about again?”
Dr. Cat: Oh, I love that so much!
Dr. Amie: So, it was a really cool experience, to be able to do that and have that forum available to me. I’ve done MTV True Life. I did a docuseries with them on body positivity. That should be out this year. That, I was really excited to work on as well.
Dr. Cat: Such an important message to get out there too—both our men and our women.
Dr. Amie: Mm-hmmm… It’s such an important message for men and women. I think that men are underestimated, what they experience, as far as body image, body positivity, acceptance.
Dr. Cat: Yeah, and how that impacts not only us in our daily lives, but also in the bedroom and with our partners and our comfort in our skin.
Dr. Amie: Absolutely! I think that with women, we do have a lot more resources. It’s a topic that we talk about. It’s on magazine covers. It’s the topic of TV shows. Of course, the clients I worked with were women in the MTV True Life episode that’s going to come out this year. But we don’t see a lot of that with men.
And with women being typically a lot more social and reaching out for social support than men, when men feel this way, what do they do? So I think that that’s something that some light should be shed on, to give that to men that struggle with those things as well.
Dr. Cat: Ah, I love that. Very, very important.
Well, welcome to the show, Dr. Amie!
Dr. Amie: Thank you. I’m so excited to talk to you guys.
Dr. Cat: Yeah! We always start our show asking our guests one of two questions. You have the power to choose which one you want to answer.
Diane: The power…
Dr. Cat: The power…
Question number one: What is your most embarrassing sex moment?
And question number two: What was one crazy diet or nutrition thing that you tried for the sake of your sex health or body?
Dr. Amie: Well, I’m going to plead the fifth on the first one even though I probably have a ton of stories for you guys. I’m going to keep that to myself.
Dr. Cat: Maybe your next book.
Dr. Amie: I don’t disclose as much about myself being a therapist. I definitely don’t in session—maybe little sprinkles of who I am here and there if it’s relevant. But putting stuff out there even on this type of forum, I don’t want a client to hear and say, “You know, I heard that really bad oral sex story on that podcast. How was that?” So, I don’t typically do that.
But I would love to talk about crazy diet and nutrition fads. Before I went back to school, to graduate school to be a therapist, I was in the fitness industry for almost close to a decade. I was a personal trainer, and then I became a fitness director. I manage and train trainers for a big gym. And then, I even did my own workout video that was very do-it-yourself.
We built our own sets. It was all punk rock, alternative girl stuff. It was a punk rock, rock-a-billy workout video.
Dr. Cat: Whoa!
Dr. Amie: In that culture, curves are definitely celebrated. But exercise, health and nutrition typically aren’t a conversation. And I wanted to make it part of the conversation because there’s no culture, subculture or counter-culture that there’s a benefit of being unhealthy.
So, I did that of course. I don’t know how many we sold, a hundred or something maybe (if we were lucky). But it was a really rewarding process.
So, through being in that industry, I learned and emphasized to others how fad diets are typically the worst thing you can do. Any type of extreme change or any black-and-white thinking with anything is unhealthy. So, I typically try to stay as balanced as possible. But I do include my most favorite food group which is ice cream on a regular basis.
Dr. Cat: Yes. Yes, queen. That’s my favorite.
Dr. Amie: I might be on an ice cream diet. But in moderation, small portions and being mindful about it, it’s fine.
Dr. Cat: If there was an ice cream cleanse, I would be on it.
Dr. Amie: Oh, you know what? I take that back. I’m on an extreme diet. I’m on an ice cream cleanse.
Diane: I can’t hear anything. I can’t hear anything.
Dr. Amie: I’m just kidding.
No, I typically will have an ice cream or frozen yoghurt, but like one scoop maybe once every week or so. And I really enjoy that small, little bit of it. And I think that that’s—that’s the worse I’m doing. I’m sober, I don’t drink, so I feel like the calories that I would be taking in with wine and champagne are now substitute with ice cream.
Diane: Yeah, good call.
Dr. Cat: And you’re giving yourself permission to be in pleasure and enjoy.
Dr. Amie: Right, as in with everything else.
Diane: Yeah! And especially when I work with a lot of women, the biggest issue we have is orthorexia which is fear of consuming certain food groups that will hinder their losses or, in some cases, gains. And so now, people are so afraid to do anything that it bleeds into all areas of their lives. So, way to go on the ice cream, girlfriend. Maybe we could bring some of that in the bedroom. Hmmm…
Dr. Amie: Thanks!
Dr. Cat: Yeah! Ice cream in the bedroom, I like it!
Diane: Cool down because you’re so hot in there.
Dr. Amie: I went on a date recently, and I was spoon feed frozen yoghurt. It was actually a dole whip (which I learned what that is). It’s like pineapple with frozen yoghurt.
Dr. Cat: Whoa!
Dr. Amie: And I was like, “Okay, this is a good date”
Dr. Cat: Oh, yeah!
Diane: He already knows what your needs and wants are.
Dr. Cat: So, he fed it to you. Did he also lick it off of you?
Diane: That’s what I want to know.
Dr. Amie: No! No, we didn’t go that far yet. It was like an initial dating experience. So, I think if he had suggested that, I’d be like, “Whoa, buddy! Hold on. Hold your houses. That’s down the line.” But it was done very sweet and gentlemanly. I thought that was nice.
Sharing food, I think, is so romantic and so bonding for couples. It’s something I enjoy to do with partners when I’m dating somebody or even with friends, ordering different entrees and sharing things. I think that’s such a bonding experience.
Diane: Bonding: Oxytocin by Ice Cream, the next book by Dr. Amie Hardwick.
Speaking of book, I got your book last night and started doing some reading. You’re the author of The New Sex Bible for Women which came out in 2014. Really great reviews on Amazon. Really great pictures. And for me, really great information.
The first thing I want to know about this, Dr. Amie—and let’s just dive right in—is when people come out with a masterpiece (like your book), there’s something behind that, one day, typically, we just go, “I got to write a book. I need to write a book about this. I have a message, I have a purpose, and I have a passion that I need to share with the world because there’s something that people aren’t getting.
So, I wonder if there was like a one thing or a one day or a one snap moment where you’re just like, “I got to write this book, and here’s the message that I want to convey.”
Dr. Amie: You know, when I was approached by the publishing company to write that book, they said, “What would you like to write about?”
I said, “I’d like to write about the history of feminism and sexuality and include all these great historical facts and how that’s relevant to women now and empower them through these stories.”
And they said, “Yeah, I don’t know how many people would want to read that but you.”
Dr. Cat: I would! I would read it.
Dr. Amie: I’m like, “What?! Who wouldn’t want to read about Cleopatra’s sex life? I do!”
Dr. Cat: Yeah… right?
Dr. Amie: But they said, “We need something more broad. So, how about this? We have a Sex Bible series. You can write the one for women. We had one in the past. It’s very outdated. So, start from scratch. This is what we want you to do. But you have free rein on anything you want to do with it. And we’ll kind of tailor it, cut things back or tell you if we want more or less or something.”
So, I was able to write a kind of 101 book with a feminist, therapeutic tone to it which was extremely rewarding, to be in a position to do that. I think that if I was left to my own devices, I probably would just want to write about strange, bizarre things and feminism, very counter-culture or subculture, fringe things which are my personal interest. Being in a position with this large publishing company where the book is very accessible to every Barnes & Noble, major bookstores, and being able to have that voice that’s accessible on their scale was so validating and rewarding to have the opportunity to do that.
So, I definitely used that. I snuck in little things here and there in the book that maybe are in every other book that you would see that’s in a similar fashion.
Dr. Amie: So, that was exciting, yeah.
Dr. Cat: Dr. Amie, super sneaky. She slides it in.
So, Dr. Amie, if you could summarize the outcome of what gets you jumping out of bed in the morning to help clients, patients—you guys call them “patients” since you say “doctor”?
Dr. Cat: I call mine “clients.”
Dr. Amie: That’s an interesting thing. I call them “clients” mostly when I engage with them about it. Sometimes, I use it interchangeably because when I call insurance companies to do payments and things like that, they’ll refer to them as patients.
But essentially, they’re a client. They’re employing your services, and you’re giving a service to them. They’re not coming in sickly. I don’t have clients that—I’m in private practice. The clients I work with are generally pretty high functioning with anxiety, depression, a stage of life changes, and sexuality either concerns or sex positive topics they want to talk about.
So, my clients aren’t walking in hobbling and ill-looking. They’re typically the average person walking down the street. So, I usually refrain from pathologizing I think by using “patient” because I think that sounds like they’re sick.
Diane: Yeah! Well said.
Dr. Amie: So, clients typically would be what I would use.
Diane: Sometimes, I get love sick and I look like a zombie walking down the street because I don’t get enough oxytocin.
Dr. Cat: And now, with her pink hair.
Dr. Amie: That’s a fun sickness you have.
Dr. Cat: Yeah!
Dr. Amie: Soak it up!
Diane: So, I want to know, Dr. Amie, what is one of the biggest challenges that you see today in your industry that you find that you’re answering the question more than anything else that maybe you’ve even answered in that book?
Dr. Amie: I think that especially when people know that I work with sex therapy and sexuality, people might be like, “Well, what’s the biggest thing people come in for with sexuality? Is it because they’re sex addicts?” I think I hear a lot of comments about sex addiction being when people know that I work around sexuality, and I try to dispel myths about that.
That’s not something I touch on too much in the book because the book is really a 101 and more positive, solution-focused stuff and education. But I get a lot of questions about sex addiction because it’s so pop culture right now.
So, I usually dispel that by talking about compulsive behavior, and it’s not something that’s really diagnosable. We have to be really careful how we label people with those types of behaviors because it’s so common on TV that we hear and see this.
So, I kind of dispel that and normalize some compulsive behaviors as compulsive, and not addictions necessarily when we’re talking about them and not in a therapeutic setting.
So, that’s what I think I hear most when I tell people what I do.
Dr. Cat: There’s a very positive spin that you put on sexuality. It sounds like you expand people’s ideas. You’re giving them permission to be sexual.
Dr. Amie: Right! And that’s what the book is. It’s normalizing sexuality. So it’s permission to be sexual, permission to be yourself—as long as you don’t hurt somebody else.
There’s a phrase that’s used a lot in the kink community, which is: “Safe, sane and consensual.” And I like to use that a lot just in normal practices with people. If what you’re doing is safe, and it’s of a sane mind, and you’re consenting with other adults, it’s fine. It’s okay to do it.
So, it’s giving that permission to people for them to be themselves, whether that’s something as major as going to a lifestyle party or trying out a whole, new lifestyle behavior or it’s something as minor as experimenting with self-love and touch and masturbation.
So, it’s just permission, permission-giving and normalizing.
Diane: I like the normalizing part. I mean, I like being weird, but I also like the fact that sex should just be like brushing your teeth. It shouldn’t be this thing. And I’ve heard a lot of shame since I was a kid too about the concept. And those kinds of traditions and values gets passed down into the next generation. I believe that—
In genetics now, there’s a really cool study. I don’t know if you guys have heard about this, but it’s a new field of science. Our trauma gets stored in our DNA cellularly from stories of our ancestors. And those just keep getting passed down.
So, we could take a lot of supplements and do a lot of talk therapy. But until we actually get to the root of all of that, we can actually inherit the same wounds of our ancestors. And it could be from anything.
So, I wanted to ask you the question too about that, around that, if someone is carrying some shame or a story potentially. One of the things that I hear a lot in my practice, Dr. Amie is—and this is so traumatizing for me to hear—“It’s dead down there.” I hear women say that. “It’s just dead down there.”
Dr. Amie: There’s a few different parts of that statement that upset me when you hear that or that make me feel concern. First of all, saying that your vagina is dead or your vulva is dead is unfortunate, and that’s a very extreme perception. And if you’re feeling that way, that’s going to make it that much worse. If you feel it’s dead, it’s killed off.
And then, the other thing is “down there” too. I feel like when we refer to our “down there” or we don’t label or name our parts a lot is when we should practice that a little bit more, being comfortable talking about body parts and everything.
So, I think that’s unfortunate that that’s an experience a lot of women are having, but I think, a lot of us, it’s due to lack of education about what it would take to revitalize or revive it.
Dr. Cat: Yeah, or even education about our bodies in general. People don’t know our bodies that we are in every single day, how it actually functions.
Dr. Amie: Mm-hmmm… so education about sleep, nutrition-based education, or anatomy, physiology, sexuality, normalizing, being in therapy, reading books, it’s allowing yourself to expose yourself to that type of knowledge and support.
It doesn’t typically die off down there. We’re not getting gangrene or…
Diane: I know! Like bring your vagina coffin over here.
Dr. Amie: I’m sure that can happen in some sense. But typically, when people are saying that, that’s not what’s going on. Usually, it’s “my sex drive is actually low” or “I’m not feeling that I’m lubricating enough” or “My desire has been affected in some way” or “I’m having pain during intercourse” or “I’m not comfortable with my body.”
So, I think the “It’s dead down there” statement actually is a disguise for other things that people maybe are afraid to say or can’t identify that are the actual issues.
Dr. Cat: Wow, yes! And when we know how our body functions, we can better attend to it. And the thing that comes to my mind is foreplay and how many people cut foreplay from their sexual play because they want to get straight to the orgasm or they want to get straight to the main event or the climax. But they forget that the whole thing is play. It’s all the same event.
Diane: Even concerts. Like I went to watch—ooh, I went to watch Snoop Dog this weekend in Palm Springs. I forgot to tell you guys.
Dr. Cat: Snoop Dog?
Diane: Snoop Dog! Snoop-a-loop.
Dr. Amie: Snoop Dog?
Diane: I went to go see Snoop Dog. He says, “Bring your green hat,” and I brought my pink hair.
So, yeah, I went to a reggae concert, a reggae festival in Indio where all the beautiful polo fields are and everything. But the reason I even brought that up was because you guys were just talking about the concept of acceptance, the concept of being dead down there, playing and getting out.
So, I was out playing myself, just running around, wearing my unicorn hat.
But foreplay, foreplay, every concert, even before Snoop was on, there were three headliners.
Dr. Cat: Yeah.
Diane: So, there’s foreplay at concerts before the headliner goes on.
Dr. Cat: So, you’re getting warmed up.
Diane: You’re getting warmed up.
Dr. Cat: You’re playing.
Diane: Yeah, you’re playing. You get excited about the headliner.
Dr. Cat: Or you can be bored, show up late, and then be not matching or congruent with everybody else who’s radiant and having a great time…
Diane: Being the vibe…
Dr. Cat: You are just sitting there, being a party pooper…
Dr. Cat: …not in it…
Diane: Nothing! No drinks, no nothing. There’s no subtling into the moment.
And so, I think that we don’t realize that most things in life have a warm-up—even before, you warm up for a soccer game or whatever sporting event. You’re warming up.
So, can we please talk about the sexual warm-up?
Some of the things you’re talking about in the book, Dr. Amie, I thought was really cool. Can we talk about nipples? Can we talk about the nipple connection to the vagina and how those two have a two-way connection to each other?
And maybe men don’t even realize—I mean, everybody loves boobs. But what can we do with these beautiful things? And here, I said “things.” What should I call them?
Dr. Cat: Boobies?
Dr. Amie: Breasts?
Dr. Amie: Our nipples…
Diane: I need to work on that.
Dr. Cat: What do you want to call them that empowers you?
Diane: Yeah, I’d like to think about that.
Dr. Amie: I think that’s something for everyone to think about… what empowers you?
I feel like I keep dropping this. I’m recently back in the dating situation…
Dr. Amie: It’s interesting because when you first meet someone new, you want to think about what language do they use, what language do you use, do you talk about language before you say it. I’m very clinical all the time. And that, sometimes, is off-putting to people, that I’ll use clinical terms for body parts rather than like—you know, I don’t know vulgar I can get on this podcast.
Diane: You can get pretty vulgar.
Dr. Amie: Okay! Instead of saying like “pussy” and “dick” and words like that, I’ll say “vagina” and “penis.” Then I feel like I’m a teacher. I’m in therapist mode. But that’s how I communicate.
Dr. Cat: Uh-huh… it’s authentic to you.
Dr. Amie: For some people, that’s odd. For me, it’s not. But everybody has their own way of addressing that. You have to figure out what works for you.
Dr. Cat: So, to help people understand the importance of foreplay—and I love this connection between the nipples and the vagina—can you talk to us more about that?
Dr. Amie: Well, the nipples and the vagina. So, we have all these areas of our body that are very hyper-sensitive. Sometimes, you can call them “erogenous zones” or we can call them just “sensitive areas.” Some people even say that they feel like they have orgasms from nipple stimulation. But all parts of the body are sensitive areas that should be paid attention to. And all of that leads to further lubrication and arousal in the genitals.
So, having touch and having stimulation especially in the nipples or other sensitive areas will help lead into that foreplay period which will help the total arousal.
Diane: So, you just put some ice cream on there? Is that…?
Dr. Amie: Hey, that sounds like a great idea. No, I don’t know if I’d want that actually.
Diane: That sounds really cold.
Dr. Amie: That’s sticky and…
Dr. Cat: Sticky… unless you’re into that.
Diane: Strawberries? Strawberries?
Dr. Amie: But I mean, think about it. There are so many things you can do with the nipples. You can play with them, pinch them, bite them, squeeze them, lick them, tease them, use hot and cold stimulation, ice cubes. There are so many kinky tools that you can use that create more of a pleasure-pain feeling. There are so many things that you can do to that area. Really, the possibilities are endless of what you can do with the nipples.
What kind of ideas do you guys have?
Dr. Cat: I was thinking of any type of different sensations like feathers or fur. I like the softer—oh, no! I like it really hard though. I like really hard sensation too.
Diane: It depends!
Dr. Cat: And it also depends on your mood and where you’re at. If you’re really stressed out, your threshold of touch needs to be a lot—typically, it needs to be a lot harder for you to feel it. Because your body is tense, it’s not as open to sensation as, say, when you’re more relaxed.
Diane: Ooh… and I’ll get clinical on this one too. I mean, I’m not a doctor, so the word “clinical” can’t apply to me yet. But I think it was episode one, Cat, when we talked about how women are in different phases of their cycle and we have got four different cycles of our cycle, four different phases. And so, if I’m in my luteal phase, I’m rocking it! That’s when we’re ovulating. And that’s when we’re looking to find our mate. And so, we’re probably a lot more aggressive, and we might like it a little harder at that point.
And you were just asking, Dr. Amie, what ideas around the breasts. And I, myself, I’m always thinking about my partner when I’m playing. And so, I like the penis in between my breasts because I know that that’s a sensation for them, and it’s a sensation for me too!
And then there’s the visual aspect of that as well.
So, that’s more luteal and maybe more—in the luteal phase of my cycle. And other women attested the same. And so there are three other cycles or three other phases of our cycle. And this is where women might feel, “I don’t have a desire right now.” And this is what men need to understand too—or our partner, I should say—that when we’re in different phases, we have different desires.
So, I might like, just like Dr. Cat said, crave more of a soft touch when I’m maybe in—maybe I’m actually menstruating and I’m bleeding (that means you’re bleeding). And so, I might want something more soft because it hurts. When we’re menstruating, there’s a lot of pain down there releasing—
See, I just said “down there.” See… see… see?
Dr. Amie: Right! Where specifically is the pain? Or where specifically is the area you’re referring to?
Diane: Yeah, when we’re shedding our uterine lining and we’re bleeding?
Dr. Cat: So, it’s more internal, you’re talking about?
Diane: Internal, yeah. “Down there,” awful!I can’t say this anymore.
Dr. Amie: Vaginal.
Dr. Amie: And it’s interesting. A lot of women don’t know the difference between vagina and vulva either. So, I try to correct them…
Which is always interesting, again, with men that I’m friends with or dating, and they’ll say something about some girl’s vagina. I’ll say, “Well, actually, you’re probably referring to the vulva with what you’re talking about.” And they’re like, “Oh, really?”
So, the more men I can push out there in the world to say “vulva” when they’re referring to a vulva rather than the vagina, that makes me very excited too to change that.
Diane: I think it’s really sad that we know more about our iPhones and our computer anatomy than we know about ourselves.
Dr. Amie: That is true. That is true. I actually don’t know that much about my iPhone and computer. I’m clueless there. I’m more well-versed in anatomy and sexuality. Maybe I can be deficient in electronics.
Dr. Cat: So, when we’re talking about foreplay, we just talked about the importance of our breasts, of our nipples and our vulva—but also, with all of these body movements that we can do.
Amie, you and I both led retreats in—you led one in China, and I led one in Thailand for the same group. And we’re teaching women how to embody their sexuality. I believe I saw a video of you teaching them how to dance, how to be in their bodies and dance. I was over there and I taught them how to striptease.
But can you tell me about your experience doing that?
Dr. Amie: Oh, yeah. It was great. I actually went to China twice. And I spoke to the same women in San Francisco prior to that trip. But when I was in China, they had me lecturing and teaching about sexuality and anatomy and safety, these types of things of course which are very relevant. And then, I mentioned that I had been a professional dancer. And then, also, I had a background in fitness. And of course, they said, “Well, can you teach dance? Can you teach some physical activity?”
We had a great workshop where I taught them some choreography that felt empowering and taught them just some basic moves that they can put together on their own. And we led a basic choreography class, and then we just did some freestyle where we just had a dance party.
Dr. Cat: Oh, I love it.
Dr. Amie: And it was—I don’t know how many women were there for that one, maybe 80.
Dr. Cat: Wow! That’s such a big dance party.
Dr. Amie: It was huge! It was a big dance party. And we played just female vocal music only. Of course, I picked like rock and roll stuff. There’s a singer named Dorothy that I really liked, kind of like a Black Keys style, but a female singer.
Dr. Cat: Yes!
Dr. Amie: And Joan Jett and just like really strong, empowered, female-driven music.
And we were all wearing little booty shorts, sweat shorts, comfy clothes, tank tops, no shoes. We’re crawling on the ground, flipping around, kind of burlesque cardio I would say.
Dr. Cat: Whoa!
Dr. Amie: They had just so much fun. And later in the evening, we had a lingerie dance party. So, I don’t know what other academic trip I would be on where there would be a lingerie dance party at night, and we’d put the lights low, we had candles lit, we’re all wearing kind of like bodysuit type lingerie with robes.
And there was a screen that they were dancing behind. So, they used some of those choreography moves to dance behind the screen that felt less intimidating. They performed for the other women. And the other women had the opportunity to validate and congratulate them on their dance moves and willingness to be open with their bodies and try something new.
And at the end, we were just all hugging each other—and high five’s and laughs. There was definitely a language barrier. But that didn’t stop the positivity and the experience at all. So, it was great!
Diane: That sounds like something that I went to on Friday night. I went to a burlesque show. They were doing the pole. They’re pole dancing there. They were smiling the whole time. And there were pin-up girls. It’s one of my friends’ friends that choreograph it. And it was super fun. And everybody in the audience looked like they were having a good time—including the women.
It’s like you see the look on the women’s eyes, and they’re like, “Yeah, I wish I had the courage to do that.” You could just feel that in the room.
Dr. Amie: Yeah, it’s so empowering. What show did you go to? What was it?
Diane: I can’t remember the name of it. It’s Pin-up—ugh, I can’t remember the name, sorry.
Dr. Cat: L.A.?
Diane: It was in Long Beach.
Dr. Cat: Oh!
Diane: Her name was Tanya.
Dr. Cat: Yeah, I used to be involved in that circle. I love them!
Diane: Tanya? Her name is Tanya.
Dr. Cat: Ah, of course you would.
Diane: Yeah, it was super fun. I was smiling the whole time and thought, “I wish I could do that.” Of course… we can!
Dr. Cat: You can!
Diane: We can! I can.
Dr. Cat: You can. And one of the things that, from my own experience in teaching the women how to strip tease, it’s getting really good music that helps you to feel sexy. Dimming down the lights helps a lot because it grounds you down—and taking deep, slow breaths before you step forward into it.
And then, also, I would say, taking on a sexy persona, thinking of a character who embodies this sexuality.
Diane: Jessica Wabbit, yeah! I want to be Jessica Wabbit!
So, I want to know because I’m a rookie at this and I know there’s a lot of women who are probably wondering like, “God! I’ve never done this stuff. What’s my first step?” What would you guys suggest?
I know there are pole dancing classes you can take. And you guys do things. So, what would someone’s first step be where they feel like they could be in the presence of others who are also beginners, and they won’t feel so threatened.
Dr. Amie: There are so many options right now all over the place. But especially in LA, there are pole classes, there’s strip tease, there are burlesque classes. Even a lot of local gyms—I go to crunch gym—there’s sexy dance type classes and pole classes at the gym itself.
Dr. Cat: Wow!
Dr. Amie: I actually really love Sheila Kelly who was an actress that was in Dancing with the Blue Iguana. It was a movie I think in the ‘90s where she played an exotic dancer. And as an actress, she realized training for this role really made her feel empowered and in shape. The dance moves she learned were so meaningful. And she’s one of the first one to start the Pole Dance Phenomenon with S-Factor.
It is very different than some of the other ones. I like the more aggressive “get in there, put your stilettos on, look in the mirror.” I like the more aggressive classes for myself. But if you’re a beginner, and you’re trying to do something that’s more intrinsically-focused and self-esteem focused, there are no mirrors in the S-Factor classes.
Half of the class is yoga and slow touch. With the exception of touching the genital area, you’re rubbing your hands on your legs and up your body. It just really teaches you to feel, to feel yourself and be present with yourself. And then, they teach you some pole moves and dance as well.
But I highly, highly suggest that women that are trying to this out, go in a direction like that that’s very calm and reassuring. It has that type of support there.
In fact, a lot of women that go to S-Factor almost describe it as a therapy group. They come to tears when they talk about their experience, learning about their body. They create a lot of close friendships through it. So, I think that one is a great choice for a beginner.
Diane: Awesome! Awesome. Thank you for the notes. I took a lot of them.
Dr. Cat: She’s over here scribbling away. She’s like, “And then… and then… and then…”
Diane: And then, I can’t read my own handwriting later on. I go, “What did I just write?”
But I did just think of something that came off what you’re saying—the tribe. I just wrote down, “Get present with your body because it’s a gift.”
Dr. Amie: I like that you just used the word “tribe.” I’m such a nerd. I love memes on Instagrams.
Diane: Me too!
Dr. Amie: Yeah. There was a meme I saw that was like “Find your tribe.” And I have an Instagram account that’s just positive chick stuff. It’s called FoxyFeminist. If you want to go follow it, it’s just all inspiring stuff. It’s just memes that make you feel good or make you think.
And there was one I saw that was “Find your tribe.” I think that’s important to not just find your tribe, and not just as an exclusive group, but be close with camaraderie with other women and try to create that environment in whatever way you can.
I try to do it every couple of months. I’ll have a woman’s lunch or I’ll have a close lot party at my house and invite everyone I know and just create that support system for other women to support each other—whether that’s through exotic dance or a charity thing or over food, whatever it might, finding that tribal experience with other women to support each other.
Diane: Operation Oxytocin is what I call that—connection, the love hormone.
So, Dr. Amie, I wanted to also—and perhaps this would be the third and final tip that we have for people who are looking to spice up their sex life or their connection to self. To pony up and piggy back on what we talked about earlier which is “It’s dead down there,” what I hear a lot of people say—either from the male side or the female side—is that when she is feeling depleted “down there” (which we need to rephrase), they also—I don’t know if it’s their energy or their willingness or their close-mindedness or a story that they tell about themselves—feel that they don’t need to pleasure the partner.
In my mind, I’m thinking, “Well, gosh! If you don’t have the sesnsations, if you don’t have the desires, then maybe you can work on pleasuring your partner. And then, that also might, in turn, pleasure you back and have a boomerang effect.”
So, can we talk about how oral sex can be stimulating for foreplay, and then, also maybe a selfish, selfless act if you’re not in the mood?
Dr. Amie: Absolutely! That’s something that a lot of men will do if they have issues with keeping an erection. They’ll focus on their partner. And in that case, the pressure leaves from them and all the focus on them to keep that erection.
We don’t think about how much pressure it is to have a body organ that’s so visibly arouse or not aroused. With women, it’s not as out there as it is for a guy. So, a lot of men find it helpful to focus on their partner and perform oral sex to get that attention off of them as they’re trying to feel more comfortable and back in their body to get an erection.
So, whether it’s a situation like that or going in either direction, I think that pleasing your partner can definitely make you feel more sexual within yourself. It brings you back to the moment. It brings you back to your body. And I think performing—performing, giving, servicing, whatever words we’d like to use—oral sex or sexual behavior on others, I think that’s something you should do for you.
I talk about that in my book. I interviewed a bunch of different people for random perspectives whether it was my mom who’s under a fake name in my book, my friends, some adult actresses—it was an adult actress I interviewed about this topic. She was so lovely. She sent me a 2 a.m. video interview after she was out for the night. And it was about an hour long. I said, “Okay, that wasn’t necessary.”
But she told me all about how separate from working in the adult industry, in her own personal relationship, she enjoyed giving her partner oral sex so much. And that was her biggest turn-on because she loves seeing him happy and just loved playing with his genitals and being involved with him in that way because that made her feel so close to him.
And it was such a great interview. I was expecting something related to this person’s career in the adult industry, and she sent me a very intimate and loving and giving interview about her and her partner.
But I think that performing or being giving to your partner is something that can give a lot of satisfaction to yourself.
And sometimes, that can be selfish too in and of itself. When we do good deeds, they’re altruistic acts, or even sexual acts to a partner that we love and care about, essentially, we’re doing it because we feel good about it. So, yeah, we’re helping them feel good, but we also feel good about it.
So, instead of thinking about it like you’re doing something for them, you’re doing something for you and for your relationship and for your interaction with your partner that ultimately feels good to you in your mouth, hands, body, skin, nerve endings. And I think we should do those things for ourselves as well. It seems like externally giving acts are actually satisfying to ourselves as well.
Dr. Cat: Yeah, absolutely. It’s keeping us generous with our partners which actually promotes more closeness versus if we have resentment or whatever else is blocking us and we pull away. We’re like, “I don’t want to give to my partner,” which causes even more distance between us.
Diane: Oh, that’s such like a childish, “No, that’s my toy. It’s not your toy.”
Dr. Cat: Yeah.
Diane: It’s like unresolved stories.
So, there’s a couple more that I wanted to talk about. So can we hang out for six more hours, Dr. Amie? Is that cool?
Dr. Amie: Well, as I’ve told you guys before, I have a very strange task that I have to go out to do. I have to go pick up a coffin now. I’m not afraid to say it. I collect strange things, and I had an impulse buy, and I have to return it to the store to sell in consignment because I just simply don’t have room for this bizarre item I thought was a good buy. So, I do have to go run off and do that.
Dr. Cat: I think you should use it as a coffee table. Or maybe you should put a memory foam inside of it and just sleep in it. I’m sure all of your dates would love it.
Diane: Ooh, that’s a good way to see if a man will accept you or not for who you are and your weirdness.
Dr. Amie: Or you can just date people that also own coffins.
Diane: Question number one on the dating profile: Do you currently own a coffin?
Dr. Amie: The dating pool is very small when you ask that question, but it’s out there.
Dr. Cat: I’m sure there’s a dating app for it.
Diane: A dating app!
Wait! Did you say coffee? Are you talking about Starbucks? Oh no, coffin. I thought I heard you wrong.
Dr. Amie: Coffin, yes, yeah.
Diane: Your modern coffin.
Dr. Amie: Sometimes, you just buy things, and they seem like a good deal. Then you realize you don’t have room for them. And sometimes, those things might be a real coffin. So, I have to go handle this impulse buy, and return it to a store to sell it in consignment for me. I simply don’t have room for it.
But it would be very expensive to fashion it into a coffee table or put the mattress. Coffins are not comfortable. You don’t want to lay in it. You don’t want to try to be intimate in it. Trust me, don’t even try it.
Dr. Cat: She’s already done it. She’s already tried.
Dr. Amie: So, I do have to take care of that task for the day. So, my day is consumed with this amazing podcast, retrieving and putting my coffin in a safer place, and then I see clients this evening. So I will be fueling up with coffee to take the day on. But I’m so glad that I was able to talk to you guys.
Diane: Awesome! There are two more, you guys, that I highly recommend. Dr. Cat and I both recommend that you go check out Dr. Amie’s website. Her book, we’re going to put the links below because there’s a couple more in there that are just so important.
The fourth one that I love about what she talks about in her book is that variety is the spice of life, and that applies to everything. As I say in nutrition, your body is going to get used to the same things over and over, and then it’s just going to start needing something different. So, #BeyondMissionary, she talks all about that in the book with pictures. So, if you’re looking for some extra spices in your life, that is definitely a great resource highly approved by Diane Kazer and Dr. Cat Meyer.
Dr. Cat: Yes, yes.
Diane: And then, the fifth one, communication. I know you talk a lot about that too. Communication is very important.
Dr. Amie: Communication is the key to anything. If you’re not talking about what you want or what you like or what you don’t like, then you’re not ever going to be happy because you won’t be able to ask for it.
So, I think as women too, we need to be assertive and ask for what we want and feel okay with that and not worry about coming across too forward or being the nice girl or being timid. It’s okay to talk about the things that you want and ask about them and educate yourself about them and tell your partner, “This is what I like. This is what I want you to do. Is that possible? Let’s figure it out.”
Diane: You know, Dr. Amie, I’ve always been a very direct person. And in the bedroom, when I say exactly what I like or how I like it, they are so appreciative. At first, when I started doing that, I thought, “Oh, my gosh! They’re going to think I’m too forward or pushy.” And they’re so grateful. So, I’m glad that we talked about that as a closing, final thought.
Dr. Amie: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for having me on. I think that every, little thing that people can expose themselves to like reading a book, listening to a podcast, taking classes or workshops, even just body knowledge and awareness, talking to girlfriends about things, every little thing you do can get you that much closer to feeling more authentic and living a more fulfilling life, whether that’s in your love life, in your sexual life, just in your every day life.
So, definitely, reach out to every form of education and support that you can just to live more authentically.
Dr. Cat: Hmmm… absolutely! And we want to thank all of you lovers who are listening in today with Dr. Amie Harwick who is our amazing, sexy guest. Leave us a review on iTunes. We want to keep this your show, so let us know what you think and what you would like to see more of.
Diane: Bye, lovers.
Dr. Cat: In the meantime, stay sexy because…
Dr. Cat & Di: Sex matters.