10 May

The Importance of Being Seen in Relationships

Couples Counseling, Sex No Response

It’s a common experience to feel like you’re not fully seen for who you truly are in a relationship, and it can be incredibly frustrating and lonely. This is especially true when it comes to being seen and loved for being yourself sexually. I’d love to share some thoughts with you about the importance of being seen in relationships.

Two people with long hair lying next to each other on the hood of a truck

Being Seen in Relationships

The ability to be vulnerable and authentic with your partner is at the heart of a healthy relationship. It’s about being able to share your true thoughts, feelings, desires, and fears without fear of judgment or rejection. When you feel seen and accepted for who you are, you can build a deep and meaningful connection with your partner.

On the other hand, when you don’t feel seen for who you are in your relationship, it can lead to feelings of insecurity, resentment, and disconnection. You may find yourself hiding certain parts of yourself or putting on a mask to please your partner, but ultimately, this can be exhausting and unsustainable. And it can ruin your sex life because vulnerability is a key to intimacy.

Here are a few more reasons why to it is important to be seen in your relationship:

  1. Authenticity and Vulnerability  leads to intimacy: When you’re able to be your true self with your partner, it opens the door to true intimacy. It allows you to build a deep and meaningful connection based on honesty and vulnerability.
  2. It builds trust: When your partner sees you for who you truly are and accepts you, it builds trust in the relationship. It allows you to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that you can be yourself without fear of judgment or rejection.
  3. It promotes growth and self-awareness: Being seen for who you truly are can also help you grow and become more self-aware. When you’re able to express your thoughts, feelings, and desires, it allows you to reflect on them and gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

So, how can you foster an environment where you and your partner feel seen and understood? Here are a few tips:

  1. Practice active listening: When your partner is speaking, make a conscious effort to really listen to what they’re saying. Avoid interrupting or jumping in with your own thoughts and instead focus on understanding their perspective.
  2. Be non-judgmental: Avoid making assumptions or judgments about your partner’s thoughts, feelings, or desires. Instead, ask questions and seek to understand where they’re coming from. Be curious!
  3. Express yourself honestly: Be willing to share your own thoughts, feelings, and desires with your partner. It can be scary to be vulnerable, but it’s essential for building a deep and meaningful connection.
  4. Practice empathy: Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand their perspective. This can help you build a deeper understanding and connection with them.

Remember, being seen for who you truly are in your relationships is an essential component of a healthy and fulfilling relationship. It takes time and effort to build this kind of connection, but the rewards are immeasurable. If you’re wondering if seeing a sex therapist can help you feel more comfortable in your own skin, feel free to reach out to me here.

Read More

31 Mar

Sex Therapy for Low Libido

Couples Counseling, Sex, Therapy No Response

Low libido and low desire for sex can be a frustrating and distressing issue that affects many people at some point in their lives. It can lead to a lack of sexual satisfaction, low self-esteem and even relationship problems. Fortunately, sex therapy for low libido can be an effective way to address this issue.

What is Low Libido?

Low libido, also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, is a lack of interest in sexual activity. This can be a persistent or recurrent issue that causes distress or problems in relationships.

Low libido can affect people of all genders, and it can be caused by a variety of factors. These can include physical issues like hormonal imbalances or medications, psychological factors like stress or depression, and relationship problems. I always suggest my clients talk to their medical doctors to rule out any medical issue.

How Can Sex Therapy Help?

Sex therapy is a type of counseling that focuses on addressing sexual issues and empowering you to take control of your sex life. A sex therapist can help you identify the underlying causes of your low libido and develop strategies to address them.

During sex therapy, we work to explore your feelings about sex, identify any negative beliefs or attitudes you may have, and develop communication skills to better express your needs and desires to your partner.

I often suggest exercises to help you become more comfortable with sexual activity and work on increasing intimacy with your partner. Depending on your goals, therapy may also incorporate EMDR, drama therapy, and other embodied and creative techniques.

Low libido can be a frustrating and upsetting issue, but sex therapy can be an effective way to address it. I offer Sex Therapy in person or online in the state of Connecticut (CT) and online in the state of Florida (FL). Feel free to message me to learn more.


Want to learn more about sex therapy?

Check out  The American Association for Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists

Read More

01 Dec

When sex hurts…

Couples Counseling, Sex, Therapy No Response

For a society that seems obsessed with sex, there’s a lot we don’t know about it. If you’ve spent any time talking to me about sexuality, you’ll quickly learn my contradicting opinions about pornography. On one hand, it can be a wonderful tool to enhance fantasies, connect with a partner, and enjoy sexually explicit art. This is especially true when watching ethically-made porn. On the other hand, too many people use pornography to learn about how to have sex because of the lack of good sex education in the US. Most porn is terrible sex education. And the outcome of this is causes us to feel shame when sex doesn’t work the they we think it should. This is especially true when dealing with pain during sex.

Here are two big ways that I see this play out. People with penises get very nervous and feel shame when they have difficulty maintaining erections (see my next blog post). And people with vulvas feel shame and confusion when sex hurts.

In most mainstream pornography, you don’t see healthy conversations leading up to sex about each partner’s needs, wants, and desires. You don’t usually see much time and space given to making sure all partners are aroused enough to enjoy penetrative sex (spoiler alert: having penetrative sex before the vulva-owner is aroused is a recipe for painful intercourse).

Some people think it’s normal for sex to hurt and that’s not true.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things that can make sex hurt:

  1. Penetration (with a penis, toy, finger, etc) without arousal
  2. Penetration (with a penis, toy, finger, etc) without lubrication
  3. Penetration (with a penis, toy, finger, etc) when the recipient is feeling stress, tension, anxiety or pressure
  4. Penetration (with a penis, toy, finger, etc) too fast
  5. Penetration (with a penis, toy, finger, etc) from a bad angle
  6. Vulvadynia: pain around the opening of the vagina
  7. Vaginismus: involuntary contraction of the muscles around the vagina

While dyspareunia (pain during sex) isn’t something you need to live with, it can be common. That’s why we need to talk about it. The good news is that it is often treatable!

When dealing with dyspareunia  I always suggest my clients see their gynecologist to rule out certain conditions that might be causing the issue. I also like to work in collaboration with pelvic floor physical therapists who can bring such relief by offering manual therapy as well as exercises.

In sex therapy, we treat painful sex by:

  • discussing what might be causing the pain
  • offering education around ways to have more pleasurable sex
  • offering EMDR to treat trauma associated with sex
  • exploring how past experiences may be impacting your sex life
  • teaching communication skills to help you effectively explain what you need from your partner
  • offering suggestions of exercises and techniques to use to decrease pain
  • guiding you and your partner through tools to use at home to decrease anxiety and pain

Have questions about how a sex therapist works with someone who has painful sex? If you live in Connecticut (CT) or Florida (FL), contact me here and I’ll be happy to chat about working together.

Read More

12 Mar

This is why I love EMDR

Therapy No Response

You’re sitting in an online therapy session with your therapist who is in her home due to the COVID19 pandemic. You have headphones in and you are listening to tones going back and forth between your right and left ears. Left ear. Right ear. Left ear. Right ear. Your eyes are darting back and forth, following the light blue ball on the screen. You start to notice that the upsetting image in your mind starts to fade and you notice you are no longer feeling quite as anxious or upset. Your EMDR therapist is holding space for you while your brain engages in healing itself.

Sounds a bit strange, right? It can look strange too, but EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is an evidence-based trauma treatment that works for many people. And I love it.

No trauma treatment works for every person who tries it, but I’ve really enjoyed introducing clients to EMDR as I feel it is a gentle, body-based/somatic modality that allows the human brain to heal itself. Our bodies are so wise and when given the right space and therapeutic relationship, our bodies can also heal from trauma and adverse experiences.

This is why I love EMDR:

  • You don’t need to share details about the traumatic experience
  • Clients often come away with new realizations and understandings of past experiences
  • It’s empowering to feel your brain healing itself
  • You leave session with tons of tools and skills to use in between sessions
  • Trauma that is stored in the body can be released
  • It’s not one-size-fits-all, EMDR can be customized to work for you
  • Many feel its more gentle than CBT/Exposure Therapy

***EMDR may not be clinically appropriate for every client. Please talk to your provider about risks and benefits. Interested in trying EMDR with me? I offer in-person EMDR in Connecticut (CT) and Telehealth EMDR in Florida (FL). Contact me to learn more!

Read More

19 Dec

When Life Doesn’t Feel Sexy

Couples Counseling, Dating, Life Improvement, Self Help, Sex No Response

It’s the end of 2020 and we are still in the midst of a global pandemic.

While stress, uncertainty, and instability is a turn-on for some, it can cause a serious disinterest in sex for others. If you are finding yourself feeling less aroused (or just plan annoyed) when it comes to sex during COVID19, know that you are not alone.

The next few blog posts will be all about dealing with Sex and Worry during stressful times like the COVID19 pandemic.

Let me know what you think…

While some people can use stress or worry as a catalyst for connection or intimacy, some people have a hard time being intimate when there is a lot on their minds. This makes sense when you think about the autonomic nervous system.

This is the part of the nervous system that controls unconscious processes like breathing, digestion, heart rate, and temperature regulation. The sympathetic nervous system gets activated when we worry (we may experience fight or flight in these moments).

When we worry, our nervous system focuses on keeping us safe, which may, or may not include being intimate with another person.

Experiencing intimacy is actually a combination of two sides of the autonomic nervous system which includes the need to feel safe enough to let your guard down.If worry and stress are preventing you from engaging sexually, that is an expected and normal response to something that is unexpected and abnormal in our experience.

Remember Fight, Flight, Fawn, and Freeze from biology class?These are responses from our nervous system to keep us alive. Our nervous system constantly and unconsciously scans the environment for signs that we are safe, in danger, or that our lives are threatened.

If a threat is detected, these responses get activated. In our COVID19 world, threats might take the form of:

●  Seeing people in masks

●  Reading the news online

●  Seeing a triggering social media post

●  Worrying that a loved one is sick

●  Getting news that you’ve been furloughed

●  Finding out that you don’t qualify for unemployment

Our bodies may then respond to the threat and that response may be at odds with having wonderful sex with your partner.

You may see that your responses look like:


● Feeling irritable

● Having a short fuse or a quick temper

 ● Increasing conflict


● Wanting to leave your home

● Feeling trapped

● Avoidance

● Seeking Distraction


● Engaging in an activity that you don’t want to engage in because it pleases someone else

● Putting others needs before your own

When these mechanisms don’t work to ease the stressor, your body might feel a shut down and you might experience:


● Lethargy

● Sleeping all day

 ● Depression

● Not engaging

I hope understanding these mechanisms can help explain why sexual intimacy and enjoyment can be difficult in times of great and prolonged stress.

Check out Stephen Porges website for more in depth information about the polyvagal system:

This change in sexual desire or interest can bring up issues in your relationship because people have the tendency to take these changes personally. Sex can bring up a lot of insecurity especially if it is unclear why there has been a change.

One of my favorite ways to explain differences in sexual desire is the Dual Control Model. This model was developed by Dr. John Bancroft and Dr. Erick Janssen of the Kinsey Institute and explored beautifully by Emily Nagoski in her book, Come as You Are.

The idea is that people have sexual accelerators (things that get them interested in sex) and brakes (things that turn them off to sex). Everyone’s accelerators and brakes have different levels of sensitivity.

For example, a person with a sensitive brake might stop being interested in sex with just the slightest activation of their brakes. Or someone else might need a lot of their accelerator in order to feel open to being sexually intimate.

In Come As You Are, there is a wonderful quiz you can take to determine your specific accelerators and brakes, and to see where your sensitivities lie.

For now, make a list of the things that make you wantto have sex.

Here are some examples:

● Feeling safe

● Sexy music

● A certain smell

● Hearing certain words or phrases

● Hearing other people having sex

● Watching a sexually explicit movie scene

● A fantasy in your head

● Feeling loved

Now make a list of all of the things that make youNOT want to have sex.

Here are some examples:

● Feeling worried

● Noticing a messy home

● A certain smell

● Being upset

● Being busy

● Certain words or phrases

● Having a bad day

Share these with your partner and work together to minimize the brakes and slowly increase the accelerators.

For example, if feeling worried and having a messy house are brakes, and dancing and candles are accelerators… do some of the exercises in this book to decrease your worry and spend the day cleaning the house. At night, light some candles and enjoy dancing together which will optimize your ability to explore intimacy together!

Stay Tuned for tools and exercises you can use with a partner or alone!

Read More

16 Nov

Ask a Sex Therapist

Dating, Life Improvement, Sex No Response

I remember being in college and creating a show for campus TV station called “Ask the Sexperts!” We created a mini Love Line where students could call or email in with their questions and a panel of students would answer their questions! Looking back- none of our panelists were actually experts, they were just students who really enjoyed sex! Little did I know, but this was a major foreshadowing in my life because about 13 year later, I became a Certified Sex Therapist!

People love asking questions about this part of my work, so I thought I’d chronicle the answers for all of you!


Is it really weird to talk about sex all day long?

I actually think it’s weirder that we don’t talk about sex. People think about sex often so why should it feel so odd to talk about it? I think its because our society still feels that sex is a taboo and there is so much shame wrapped up in our sexuality. Shame, like many things, grows in darkness and isolation. So we don’t talk about sex and the shame/mystery grows…and we still don’t talk about sex. I will tell you that once you start talking about sex, it feels easier and way more natural to talk about it with partners, with your kids, or with your friends.


Isn’t sex supposed to hurt?

No. Sex is supposed to feel pleasurable. If sex hurts, please go see a medical doctor first to rule out any biological or physical issues. If there is nothing going on, go talk to a sex therapist! Telling young people that sex is supposed to hurt has done harm to people who put up with painful sex because they think it’s normal.


If you could change anything about sex education, what would you change?

I love this question. I would change so much! I would teach about pleasure! I would teach that heterosexual sex is not the only (or the optimal) type of sex so that hetero/cis-normative sex doesn’t become everyone’s definition of sex. I would over-rule the “baseball” metaphor and teach how all types of sexual touch is important without assigning a hierarchy to penetrative sex. I would teach that kink and fantasies are healthy.


Do you have a question? Let me know!!

Read More

14 Jun

The New Normal?

Entrepreneur, Life Improvement, Motivation, Self Discovery, Self Help No Response

While cleaning up some clutter, I found a post-it note that I wrote to myself months ago. Months ago! That’s how long I’ve been putting off this clean-up. The post-it said:
The Universe gives you a taste and now you have to earn it.
I knew exactly what it meant and why I wrote it a few months ago. I had experienced the trap of the new normal.I’m sure you have experienced this phenomenon. It’s the feeling you get when you have worked so hard to make a change in your life and then once you have it…it feels normal and mundane… as if you never didn’t have it before!

This happened to me a few years ago after I started my practice. When I first worked for myself part-time, it was freaking magical. I would practically dance my way to the office. That was the taste of magic the Universe gave me. And now that it’s been a few years of working for myself, it doesn’t have the same magic. The Universe gave me a taste and now it’s my responsibly to make it magic.

What a freaking inspiring idea. It is within our power to create excitement, enthusiasm, and magic. I’m beginning to think that we get stuck in the new normal as a wake-up call.

Having trouble getting out of that new normal quicksand?

Get an accountability partner to check in with weekly or monthly to make sure you are making good on new goals.

Check in with yourself every week to make sure your actions are aligned with your goals.

Remember to take stock of all the amazing work you do and practice gratitude for being able to do it!

Be spontaneous, have a dance party, hang out with a new friend, take a new class!

The Universe give you a taste and now you have to earn it!

Read More

12 Feb

Taking the Stress out of Valentines Day

Dating No Response

It’s the holiday that we all love to hate  and it brings people so much stress! On one hand- it should be stressful because it commemorates the martyrdom of a Roman priest and martyrdom is a pretty heavy topic. But that’s not why most of us feel stressed about a holiday mostly propagated by greeting card companies.

I see a lot of people freaking out about Valentines Day because of unspoken expectations and worries about letting partners down. I see stress because some people don’t have partners and this holiday is an uncomfortable reminder. I see stress because this holiday can be incredibly heteronormative (like most holidays).

Here are some ideas to lower your stress on V day:

  • COMMUNICATION. If we taught children better communication, they would grow up a lot happier and I might be out of a job. Tell your partner what you want. So many people are afraid of seeming needy or high maintenance, so they just hope that their partner knows what they expect. This just causes hurt feelings and fights. Ask for what you need, even if it feels uncomfortable. Ask your partner for what they want as well.
  • Self-Care Day. What if you spent Valentines Day focusing on compassion and love for yourself? I think this is a positive idea for people who are both  in relationships and for those who are not. Make some plans to really focus on what makes you happy and make your needs a priority.
  • Be Different. Celebrate what makes you (and partners if you have them) different and unique. Who says you need to buy flowers and chocolate? Make a tradition that is unique to you and that you look forward to.
  • Show Gratitude. Tell people in your life that you think of them, that you love them, and that you are grateful for them. Include lovers, friends, partners, family, coworkers, etc. Expressing gratitude is good for your wellness and helps people feel connected.
If you haven’t realized already, all of these ideas are things you can do everyday to promote wellness in and out of a relationship. Sometimes we need a special day to remind ourselves to feel gratitude for those in our lives because remembering to slow down and do this everyday can feel overwhelming.

Don’t play into the VDay hype and stress (unless you’re into kind of thing!)

Read More

31 Jan

How do you speak to yourself?

Life Improvement, Self Help No Response

When you are thinking about yourself, what sort of thoughts run through your mind? If you don’t know, try to notice and pay attention the next time you find yourself speaking/thinking to yourself.

Ever notice yourself saying things like this:

  • ”Ugh, that was such a stupid thing to say. You can’t ever get anything right!”
  • ”No wonder people don’t like you.”
  • ”Wow, you look awful today.”
If you do find yourself saying these sorts of things to yourself, don’t beat yourself up. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t struggle with these thoughts sometimes.

I’m writing on this topic today for two reasons:

  • I want to combat the notion that you can’t change the way you speak to yourself.
  • I want to encourage people with little ones around to be careful about how you speak about yourself in front of them, and also how you speak to them.
From my experience, a wonderful way to change the way you speak to yourself involves attention and intention.
  • Pay attention to how you speak to yourself
  • Pay attention to how you feel when you speak to yourself in that way.
    • What emotions does this talk make you feel?
    • How does it impact the way your body feels?
Paying attention helps you notice what you are saying to yourself and how it impacts your day-to-day life! Want to change the way you speak to yourself? Here are some ideas:
  • Make an intention of how you would like to speak to yourself.
    • One authentic way to change how you speak to yourself involves validation instead of blaming. Example:
      • Instead of: “Ugh, you’re so sensitive, why does everything bother you so much?”
      • Try: “It’s ok that you’re upset- what just happened was really upsetting.”
      • Instead of: “I can’t believe you made that stupid mistake.”
      • Try: “That was super embarrassing, but it’s ok that mistakes happen.
    • Another tactic is to speak to yourself as an Older Version of yourself:
      • ” Mistakes are ok to make- you are going to make tons and everything will be ok!”
    • Or to speak to a Younger Version of yourself:
      • ”That’s ok, sweetie, you can make mistakes and I will still care for you.”

These changes are not easy, but taking some time to pay attention to how you speak to yourself can truly begin to improve your self-esteem.

I’ll save my thoughts about speaking to children for another time, but I’ll leave you with this thought. Little ones hear and absorb everything. They hear you speaking negativity about yourself and that teaches them how to also think about themselves.

How beautiful would it be to teach our little ones that it’s ok to think well of themselves?

Read More

12 Jan

Relationship Tips from a Weekend Trip to IKEA

Dating, Life Improvement No Response

I spent an afternoon at my local IKEA this Saturday. I left the store feeling satisfied that I had found the products that I needed, but I also left with more knowledge than I entered with. Shopping at IKEA can certainly test your relationship with whoever you are shopping with. Shopping can be stressful ( even in a glorious place like IKEA which has plenty of chairs to sit in during breaks and even has a cafe). My shopping trip also inspired some relationship tips that I think we all can use!

Don’t Do Stressful Things when Tired or Hungry

If you can avoid it, don’t shop, have intense conversations, or make stressful plans if you are not adequately hydrated, fed, and rested. Not having basic needs met can make any stressful event so much more tedious. Your fuse will be shorter and it’s hard to have empathy for others when your own needs are not met.

Plan Ahead

At IKEA, I found it super helpful to know what I needed to buy before I walked in the store. I planned ahead so that I knew exactly how much I’d be spending and where I would be looking for my items. In relationships, it is not always possible to plan ahead, but it’s a really good practice to talk with your partner about expectations, wants, needs, worries, and plans BEFORE these issues come up!


Famous relationship therapists, John and Julie Gottman, talk about how important humor can be in a relationship. They note how humor can help repair relationship ruptures , can lower tension, and can help keep a positive tone when dealing with rough situations. The same is true when shopping at IKEA 🙂 If you can laugh at yourself for going to the wrong side of the warehouse to find your closet door, you can also laugh at yourself for relationship misunderstandings.

According to your Ability

IKEA is pretty famous for sending you home to put together your own furniture. There are countless Youtube videos of people struggling to put their new furniture together. When completing projects, it’s so helpful for every person involved to work according to their ability. You’re strong? Great- you can carry the big box into to the car. You’re detailed-oriented? Perfect! You can translate the picture instructions! You’re not feeling well? That’s ok- you can warm up some left-overs for lunch. I think this is a great metaphor to figuring out who-does-what in a relationship. Having an open and honest discussion about each person’s abilities, interests, and energy levels can help partners figure out how to get everyday things completed!

I hope my Saturday afternoon IKEA relationship insights were helpful!

Read More