Archive: Sexuality

May 22, 2019

May is National Masturbation Month!

Some people may shake their heads and wonder why we need a masturbation month at all.

Can’t you just masturbate when you want to? Of course! Every month can be masturbation month.

I can also tell you that there is still a lot of stigma and shame and judgment around masturbation.

In my office, even with folks who are willing to talk about partnered sex, sometimes when I ask about masturbation that feels too private or embarrassing to talk about.

There are many negative messages people receive about masturbation growing up…or there are some partners who have negative feelings about the role of masturbation in relationship…or there are some people who simply don’t know how to experience solo pleasure because so many of us are socialized to associate our pleasure with another person.

Having a month that celebrates masturbation is one way to normalize it. It’s one way to give people permission to explore it and embrace it. It’s one way to prioritize your own wants and needs and pleasure!

Read this if you want to learn more about why masturbation is good for you.

Or if you already comfortable with masturbation but want to celebrate Masturbation Month – try exploring new ways to experience solo pleasure or learn some thing new about your body.

Looking for some resources about how to masturbate? Check out –

How to Masturbate if you have a vagina

Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz

or OMGYes

Let Masturbation May inspire you to take your solo pleasure to the next level.

Filed under: Masturbation,Self-care,Self-love,Sexual Being,Sexuality — admin @ 2:53 pm

October 16, 2018

How do you tend your erotic fire?

How do you keep the romance, intimacy and passion alive in your relationship?

passionate couple

I like to call this energy your erotic fire. It’s that passionate and connecting energy between partners.

And if you know anything about a fire, it needs to be tended. It needs to be fed and cared for, because once the fire goes out completely it takes more energy to get it started again.

The erotic fire acts as a thread between sexual encounters. It can help you and your partner feel connected. If there is no erotic fire in a relationship it can take a lot of energy for one or both partner to show up sexually. Without an erotic fire it can feel like you have to go from zero to sixty when you initiate sex. With the erotic fire there is already warmth and connection there and it’s much easier to create sexual heat.

How do you tend the erotic fire in your relationship?

Do you flirt?
Send a sexy text?
Plan a romantic date or getaway?
Compliment your partner?
Take a class, read a book or go to counseling?
Make out (without the expectation of sex)?
Make time for emotional intimacy?
Communicate about sex?
Woo each other?
Set aside time for just the two of you?

And what about your own erotic fire? How do you connect to your own sexual energy?

Here are some things you might try to connect to your own erotic energy.

Reading erotica
Yoga or Dance
Get to know your body and what feels good
Dressing in a way that makes you feel sexy
Practicing Sensuality
Using Mindfulness so you feel present
Prioritize Pleasure

Sometimes when we are stuck in the routine of life, or the stress of life, it’s easy to ignore our own erotic energy or the erotic fire in our relationship. Luckily it only takes a spark to start that fire (and then a little bit of energy to lovingly tend it)!

January 19, 2018

Be Your Own Beloved: a gathering for women

be your own beloved

Nikki Weaver and I are thrilled to offer – Be Your Own Beloved!

Together we’ll explore what it means to love, honor and cherish ourselves!

One of the things we hear over and over from women is that it is so hard to prioritize yourself. Maybe you don’t have time or energy. Maybe you feel guilty or selfish. Maybe you are just too tired or depleted. Perhaps you don’t even know what it means to prioritize yourself. We get it. We know it can feel hard or even foreign to really focus on yourself (and asking you to do more than prioritize yourself, but treat yourself like you are beloved, may even feel scary!)

We also know the power of self-care, self-acceptance and self-love! We know that amazing things happen in your life when you love yourself and honor yourself. And we know the power of gathering a group of women! We know how validating and life-giving it is to sit with other women and laugh or cry or listen or share and hear, “me too!” or “You are not alone!”

Powerful things happen when we gather. Beautiful things happen when we gather. We are so excited to gather with YOU!

Together we will explore –

Self-care, self-love, self-acceptance – what do they all mean and how do you do them?

Being in your body and feeling pleasure in your body

What it means to be your own BELOVED

Light movement and exercises that will help you delight in your own body

Exercises and practices to help you honor your own wants and needs and treat yourself like the precious woman you are!

A Few Logistics –

April 21st from 11am-3pm

This event is limited to 12 women

We will have snacks and drinks

The location is NE Portland. We will send you the address after your register.

The cost is $100

Registration is closed. Subscribe to my free newsletter to receive updates about our future offerings.

What would it be like to also attend to your own wants and needs? What would it be like to prioritize yourself and your pleasure? What would it be like to be your own beloved?

June 12, 2017

Does your partner know what you want?

relationship romance

Have you told your partner how you like to be seduced?

Have you shared what makes your body sing and your lips part and your back arch?

Do you ask for what you want (in and out of the bedroom)?

I hope so.

And if not, what gets in the way?

Many of the people I talk with share that they shouldn’t have to tell their partner what they want. They say it takes the romance or excitement out of it to have to say it out loud. Or they say it makes it less special if they have to ask for it.

In some ways, I think that we’ve been condition to think that. We see it in movies or read about it in books. We dream of someone who will know our body better than we even know it.

So if our partner doesn’t know how we like to be kissed or what kind of foreplay we like or how to help us have an orgasm…we get annoyed. Or we get critical. Or we shut down. We blame them for not being skilled enough or intuitive enough.

And really it’s not fair.

If I asked you to make my favorite cake but refused to tell you what kind of a cake it was or how to make it, would that be fair?

Your partner can’t read your mind.

If there is something you would like, ask for it. There is no shame in asking.

And if you don’t know what you like or what you want, take some time and let yourself be curious. Explore on your own or with your partner.

(I  also know that some people have asked for what they want and aren’t getting it. Perhaps your partner needs some sex education. Or maybe your partner needs to work on listening or remembering what you like. It’s frustrating when you have been clear about what you want and you aren’t getting it. Check in with yourself about this. Does your partner not know what you want because they aren’t paying attention? Or is it because you haven’t asked for it?)

January 19, 2017

Awaken the Want

Turned On FINAL sans dates - lorez

Awaken the Want
and evening of exploration and storytelling
with Isabel Abbott and Julie Jeske

an evening of heeding the hunger and permission to want
and of finding the words to speak of all the things we are told to keep quiet.
of entering into the wide range of experiences in the geography of desire and arousal,
wanting and consent, giving and receiving.

There will be time to ask and enter into your questions,
reflect on your own embodied experiences and the languages of desire.
We will be listening to the space where the body and voice connect,
and what it feels like to locate our own self in our sexuality and experiences,
We will eat delicious food and sit in a safe space and begin to tell our stories.

And we would oh so love to have you there.
Thursday, May 4th

Portland, OR

Registration is closed – subscribe here if you want to be informed of future events.

August 17, 2016

Look between your legs with love

Ladies, when it the last time you looked between your legs?

self exam

For starters, when is the last time you gave yourself a self-exam? One of the ways you can love yourself and advocate for your health is by taking care of your genital health. Look at the tissue of your genitals, notice any lumps or bumps or changes. Get familiar with your body.

Here is a resource if you would like help with a vaginal exam.

Now that you know how to give yourself an “exam,” how about looking at your body with love?

I’ve spoken with so many women who don’t know what their own bodies look like.

I’ve spoken with so many women who feel “grossed out” or uncomfortable with their genitals.

I’ve spoken with so many women who have an aversion to their own bodies.

The more familiar you are with your body, the more likely you will be able to track any changes that need attention. AND the more you look at your body with love and gratitude, the more pleasure you will be able to feel.

Can you look at your body without criticism or trying to compare it to other bodies? (especially bodies that might be photoshopped or altered?)

Look at the curves and colors and beauty. Notice how things respond or change as you touch yourself. Try to interrupt your inner critic and send love to all your lady parts. Whisper, “I love you” “You are beautiful” or “Thank you” as you gaze at your body. It may feel silly at first, but it is an act of self love and kindness.

How you feel about your body affects your sex life and your capacity for pleasure. How you feel about your body affects more than that, it affects how you show up in the world.

Looking for more information about body love? Check out –

Vaginas are like snowflakes

Do you owe your body and apology?

What do you call it?

5 reasons masturbation is great!

You might also like to join my private Facebook group – Sensuous Woman. It’s a private space for women to talk about sensuality, sexuality, body love and being a woman.

Filed under: health,Self-care,Self-love,Sexual Being,Sexuality — admin @ 4:43 pm

June 21, 2016

Treat Your Partner Like Your Lover

I know things don’t feel the same as they did when you first started your relationship. As time goes on, relationships change. They change in many wonderful ways, and sometimes they feel less exciting, less intimate, less sexy.

I made a three-minute video talking about one small way you can shift your relationship.

Take a moment. Imagine you were preparing for your lover. How would you proceed? How would your routine change? How would your energy change? How would your intention or perception shift?

Our language is powerful. How you talk about your relationship or your partner, can affect how you feel. What you call your partner, lover, spouse, mate, beloved, significant other, or better half can influence how you feel about them.

Try it.

For a week, a weekend or even day, treat your partner like you would treat your lover. Notice how you feel and notice how your lover responds to you.

Valentine Couple

If you would like 6 more tips to help you prioritize your relationship (and sex) get my free 6-page guide to help you reclaim your sex life!

December 27, 2015

What Turns You On?


What turns you on?

What excites you?

What warms your body? What makes your breath change and your chest flush?

What arouses you?

We put a lot of attention on desire. I hear from many people who are experiencing low desire. People talk about wanting to feel more desire or experience desire in a different way. What about arousal?

It’s easy to focus on desire and just stop there. I don’t feel the desire to have sex so I’m going to stop thinking about sex. I’m just going to write it off.

Here’s the thing –

If you know what turns you on, you will have a greater desire for sex.

If you know what excites you, you will be more interested in sex.

If you know what arouses you, sex is more appealing.

So what turns you on?

If you aren’t sure, focus on sensuality. What excites your senses? What do you like to see, hear, smell, taste or touch?

Pleasure is also a pathway to arousal. What feels good? What makes your breath deepen or your pulse quicken? What entices you to roll your hips or arch your back? How do you want to be kissed, licked, caressed or held?

If you aren’t sure, spend some time getting to know your body. Or focus on foreplay with a partner, what warms you up and invites you to say, “Yes!”

And know that what turns you on can change. So be curious. Explore. Stay connected to your body, your pleasure and your arousal.

You can also cultivate arousal out of the bedroom. What excites you about life? What turns you on? My post – Turned On Living my interest you.

November 7, 2015

Foreplay or Boreplay?

Marriage kissing softly in bed

I hear from a surprising number of people who find foreplay boring. Sometimes they tell me it’s too predictable. Sometimes they tell me they don’t like the way their partner touches them. Sometimes they tell me they are simply going through the motions to get to the part of sex they really enjoy.

I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that there are some people who truly don’t like foreplay. And if that is the case for you, no judgement. That’s your preference.

Most of the time I’m working with people who don’t know what their capacity for foreplay is.

They are bored with it because they are checked out during it.

They aren’t sure what the point of foreplay is.

They feel insecure about who they are as a lover.

They feel lost.

They don’t like how their partner is touching them and they don’t know how to ask for something else.

They doubt what they want or like because their partner has told them “everyone else I’ve been with loves this” or “every other woman likes to be touched like this.”

They say they have lost that “passion” that drove them when they first starting making love with their partner.

Or they feel like they aren’t “doing it right.”

Occasionally I hear from people who feel too exposed or vulnerable during foreplay. They feel selfish or uncomfortable when their partner focuses on them.

Here are a few things to help bring energy and enjoyment into your foreplay.

Curiosity – Foreplay doesn’t have to be rehearsed or “perfect.” Let yourself be curious. Ask your partner how something feels. Experiment. Play. People are often afraid of looking foolish during sex or trying something new because it feels too risky. If you don’t try something new, you risk getting bored or going through the motions. Try a different kind of touch, a different pressure, a different texture. Focus on a different body part. Practice a different kind of kiss. And as you try something new, follow your partner’s response (notice her body, her breath, any sounds she makes).

Sensuality – Lead with your senses. What are you seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing? More than that, titillate you senses. What would your senses enjoy? What do you want to taste? Can you hear your partner’s breath or heartbeat. What do you want to feel with your fingertips and how does your body yearned to be touched? Open your eyes, what do you see?

Pleasure – Embrace pleasure. What would feel good? What would you enjoy? Perhaps it’s less about touch right now and more about hearing your partner’s voice whispering something in your ear. If you aren’t sure what will feel good, then let yourself be curious. Try something new and then really check in with yourself. Did I like that? What might I enjoy more? Connect with your pleasure outside of sex so that it’s easier to cultivate pleasure in the bedroom. What feels good? What satisfies you? Or practice touch and pleasure on your own and then share what you like with your partner.

Just like sex isn’t one size fits all – Foreplay is highly unique. It’s up to your to tune into your body and your pleasure. It’s up to you to get clear about what feels good. It’s up to you to know what turns you on! Your pleasure is yours. Give yourself permission to take the time and energy to make it really enjoyable!

August 28, 2015

What I learned from peddling sex toys.

Sex Toys

For four years I was welcomed in to women’s homes and talked to them about sex. When I first signed up to be a Pure Romance consultant I was interested in the presentation part of the parties. It appealed to the performer in me. I wanted to stand in front of a group of women and talk to them, educate them and hopefully laugh with them. I wanted to take this very taboo topic and make it more accessible and make it playful. I wanted to start a conversation. I had no idea that the part of the job that would most move me was what I learned from women and all of the intimate stories they shared. I had no idea that these strangers would open their hearts and tell me some of their most vulnerable and intimate secrets, fears and desires. I had no idea that this would be one of the biggest catalysts that would launch me in the direction of being a sex therapist.

At these parties I would arrive, carrying giant bins of lotions, potions and toys. I would set up in a living room or dining room. Women would gather and eat and drink and giggle and then I would start my presentation. I stood in front of the group and would tell stories and talk about products and pass them around. The women were able to hold toys in their hands and see what they felt like. I loved to read the room and use just the right amount of humor to help the partygoers relax into the evening. I was often approached by women who shared they first felt uncomfortable about coming to the event but they loved it so much that they wanted to host their own party. We would laugh and talk and some of the women would share stories with the other women about products they loved or toys they had tried. And then after I had shared all of the information about the available products I would go into another room of the house (usually an office or bedroom) and one-by-one or two-by-two the women would come and order from me (privately).

And here is where some of them cried as they told me they had never had an orgasm.

Here is where they shared they didn’t feel any desire but really want to.

Here is where they told me the kinds of sex they love or the kinds of sex they pine for.

Here is where they opened their hearts and took me into their confidence.

Here is where my life changed.

One of the things I love most about my work is helping people talk about uncomfortable things. Often that is sex, but sometimes it is grief or fear or anger. I love helping people use their voice. I love helping people communicate. I love helping people feel heard. I also love demystifying sex and bring it out of the shadows and into your living room.

Here are some of the things I learned all those years ago when I was welcomed in to strangers homes and talked with them about sex.

People want to feel normal (at least when it comes to sex). A lot of the women I saw compared themselves (their bodies, their desire, their sex lives) to other people or what they saw on TV and in the movies…and they often felt like they didn’t measure up. They viewed what they saw in the media as “normal” and they really wanted to be normal. And if they had less desire than what they saw or struggled with arousal or orgasm, they felt broken.

A lot of the women I met wanted to want sex. Even if they didn’t feel spontaneous desire, the women I met wanted to want sex with their partners. They wanted to feel more desire. They wanted to feel less inhibited. They wanted to love sex. Some of these women wanted to want sex for their partner, but some of them really wanted it for themselves.

Many of the women wanted someone else to teach them, reach them or wake them up. When we talked about masturbation or learning what they liked, they weren’t very interested. They were convinced that the right person, toy or pill would figure it out for them. I think many of us have been misinformed. We’ve been taught that the right man or woman will rush in, sweep us off our feet and make all of our pleasure areas light up. Here’s the thing. If you want to enjoy sex more, you will need to explore what YOU like. And you can absolutely invite someone to be a part of that process. You can ask your partner for help. But you also have to be an active participant. Pleasure is an inside job.

I talked with a lot of women who were afraid that using a vibrator would mean competition for their partner. Some of these women were in relationship with men who told them they were worried about becoming obsolete if there is a vibrator involved. Here’s the thing. Vibrators are GREAT! They are a wonderful tool and can really speed up the arousal and orgasm process. It’s lovely to use them on your own or with a partner. And it’s true, they do move at a faster speed than a human can. But they also can’t wrap their arms around you, press the weight of their bodies against you, kiss you or tell you they love you.

Many of the women I met were focused on pleasing their partner. They wanted products their partners would love. They wanted things that would make them more desirable or drive their lover wild in bed. What I’ve learn from my therapy work with couples is that one of the best ways to drive your lover wild is to really enjoy sex! Your pleasure is sexy!!!

I also met women who were really comfortable with sex. I met women who felt really in touch with their desire and pleasure and arousal. I met women who really love sex.

If you recognize yourself in any of the above groups, know that you are not alone. One of the reasons I do the work that I do is because I want it to be easier for us to talk about sex. If we can talk about it, we can learn and grow. If we talk about it you will also learn that you are not broken and you are not alone!

Filed under: Communication,Pleasure,Self-love,Sexual Being,Sexuality — admin @ 11:22 am

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