How to Have Intimacy With Ease

Oct. 30, 2020

Jessa Zimmerman, MA is a licensed couples counsellor and nationally certified sex therapist based in Seattle, Washington. She specializes in helping couples who find that sex has become stressful, negative, disappointing, or pressured. In her practice, she counsels and supports couples through an experiential process that allows them real-world practice in changing their relationship and their sex life. She is also the author of the book, Sex without stress; a couple’s guide to overcoming disappointment, avoidance, and pressure, and hosts The Better Sex Podcast.

On this podcast, Jessa and I discuss the all-too-common struggles encountered by couples in long-term relationships who are experiencing a disconnect in sexual desire. She debunks some of the myths about sexual desire that often leave people feeling broken and confused once the initial flame of a relationship dies down. Jessa also shares one of her most powerful exercises for couples to start reconnecting if they’ve been avoiding sex.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Jessa Zimmerman:

[00:00:44] Kelly Casperson; Class: You Are Not Broken.

[00:01:13] Jessa's background.

[00:02:46] Sex positivity.

[00:04:40] The Better Sex Podcast.

[00:05:17] Book: Sex Without Stress: A couple's guide to overcoming disappointment, avoidance and pressure, by Jessa Zimmerman.

[00:06:29] The WEIRD perspective - Westernized, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic; Podcast: The Postmenopausal Longevity Paradox and the Evolutionary Advantage of Our Grandmothering Life History, with Kristen Hawkes, PhD.

[00:07:54] Monogamy; Anthropologist Helen Fisher; The neurological effects of being in love: Fisher, Helen E., Arthur Aron, and Lucy L. Brown. "Romantic love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 361.1476 (2006): 2173-2186.

[00:09:48] Podcast: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex and Pornography, with Megan Maas, PhD.

[00:10:01] The role of pornography.

[00:12:21] Defining sex.

[00:13:38] Brad Stulberg; Book: The Passion Paradox; Podcast: How to Harness Productive Passion and Avoid Burnout

[00:17:20] The giver/receiver exercise.

[00:21:39] Spontaneous vs reactive sexual desire.

[00:22:00] Rosemary Basson on the sexual response cycle; Basson, Rosemary. "The female sexual response: A different model." Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy 26.1 (2000): 51-65.

[00:22:11] Emily Nagoski.

[00:26:22] Only 6% of women lack both spontaneous and responsive desire; Study: Hendrickx, Lies, Luk Gijs, and Paul Enzlin. "Prevalence rates of sexual difficulties and associated distress in heterosexual men and women: Results from an Internet survey in Flanders." Journal of sex research 51.1 (2014): 1-12.

[00:27:11] Growth mindset; Book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck; Podcast: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes - But Some Do, with Simon Marshall, PhD.

[00:30:11] Beverly Whipple, PhD; Book: The G Spot: And Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality.

[00:33:10] Measuring sexual excitability and inhibition. Emily Nagoski’s assessment tools.

[00:35:43] You are responsible for your pleasure.

[00:37:34] Vulnerability vs openness.

[00:38:57] Podcast: The Neurophysiology of Safety and How to Feel Safe, with Stephen Porges, PhD.

[00:40:36] Books: Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, by Karyl McBride, PhD. and Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, by Tara Brach, PhD.

[00:40:51] Chimp purge exercise; Article: Lieberman, Matthew D., et al. "Putting feelings into words." Psychological science 18.5 (2007): 421-428.

[00:43:05] Book: The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness, by Steve Peters.

[00:43:23]  The Elephant and the Rider, an analogy introduced by Psychologist Jonathan Haidt.

[00:45:54] Jessa’s online course: Intimacy with Ease.

[00:46:35] Webinar - How to Help Your Partner Want More Sex.

[00:48:55] Facebook, Instagram.

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