How Can I Get Over My Shame Around Sex? With Jasmonae Joyriel

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In her work as a clinical therapist, Jasmonae Joyriel helps both individuals and couples process the shame and anxiety they carry when it comes to sex and eroticism. Jasmonae joins Claire to discuss how people can unpack their shame around sex and how partners can build trust and communication. Jasmonae also shares advice on how parents can talk to children about their bodies and consent.

When we recorded this interview, Dr. Joyriel went by a different name, so you’ll hear Claire use that name in the audio.

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Jasmonae Blodgett, Claire Bidwell-Smith

Claire Bidwell-Smith  00:24

Hi, I’m Claire Bidwell Smith. Welcome to NEW DAY. Sex and Sexuality can be some of the most thrilling and creative experiences in our lives. Sex and our connection with the erotic can be wonderous. And also more and more revealing as our desires and needs develop over time. Today, we’re talking about how shame factors into our sexual and erotic lives. Shame can come from so many places, how we feel about our body, our sexuality, our trauma. We can also feel shame about the things we desire, which can inhibit us from asking our partners for what we need. There’s also the deeply contradictory paradigm in our society, where people are blasted with hyper sexualized media. But at the same time, given all this respectability politics bullshit about what’s moral or decent or clean. My guest today is Jasmonae Blodgett. She’s a clinical psychologist and therapist who helps individuals and couples work through issues that come up with sex and eroticism. She says shame is something that comes up a lot. Partners have this block when it comes to sex and may not have the tools to work through it. This episode is our last in a series this month, where we look at how shame impacts our lives. We’ve explored how it shows up in our relationship with our body, in our financial decisions, and in our connection to trauma. Jasmine, she joins me today to talk about how people can understand their shame around sex, and then build trust with their partners, which will hopefully lead to more fulfilling sexual and erotic lives for all of us. She also has advice for parents who are wondering how and when to talk to children about their bodies and consent. Here’s our conversation. Hi, Nice to meet you. I’m so excited to have you on the show today. I start every episode by asking my guests. How are you doing today? But how are you really doing?

Jasmonae Blodgett  04:20

Whoo, I love that question. I am feeling really good. I am like, Yeah, I’m in this place of like feeling just good. Happy.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  04:33

That’s like 15% to 20% of the answers I get for that question. Otherwise, it’s usually like, Ooh, well. But then every once in a while there’s a person who’s like, you know what, I’m great. And that makes me happy.

Jasmonae Blodgett  04:45

Yeah. You know, it’s definitely been a process. It wasn’t always that answer. So but it’s been something that I would say I experienced more these days.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  04:54

That’s very nice to be able to say, Well, today we’re going to talk about shame and sex which I’m really excited to dive into I was telling my producers right before we got on that, even though I’m a grief therapist, you know, just being a therapist, you end up going into all kinds of territory, right? People come in for grief, but we’re also talking about their lives at large. And I’ve gone into places that I never really imagined going into. And sex is always one of them. Shame is always one of them money. But shame seems to seep its way into everything, even grief, you know. So I’m excited to talk about it today and open up that box, I would love to start by asking you to tell us a little bit about yourself and your work and how you got into this field.

Jasmonae Blodgett  05:41

The way I would say I got into it was a little bit sort of, you know, windy path where I studied psychology and kind of knew I had my own work to do, I really needed to heal some balloons and just kind of come into who I was as a person. After I’d done that came back and was like, you know, I still think I want to do this work that I kind of found these threads that put my life together. And psychology was definitely the one that fit for me. And so went back to school. And while I was in school, I was already in this process of I think, like deconstructing shame around sex and eroticism, for my own life, that I had grown up in a really religious background, and there was just so many experiences that were disempowering, and isolating, and, you know, I know that there was something that didn’t fit. And so I was already in that from a personal standpoint. And when I was in school, we only had one class, one class and human sexuality. And it was a very small, very quick class. And I’m like, wait, hold on, I work a lot with couples. How do we not talk about this? You know, and I was just like, I think there’s a really important piece to this that we’re missing. And this is also around the same time as the me to movement was coming out. And it just kind of clicked for me that like, if we can’t talk about sex, if we can’t talk about eroticism, how do we talk about any of the rest of these topics? Right? How do we talk about consent? How do we talk about boundaries? How do we get into pleasure, and especially in working with couples alike, it comes up all the time. And I think shame just circles around all of it. And so for me, it just kind of fit in and excites me. And I always tell people, I’m like, I love talking about sex. I think they’re always a little surprise, though, in the direction that I go with it, that, I think it’s just, it’s so much deeper, and there’s so much more value to being able to have the words to find a sense of empowerment and a sense of just authority and in your life, especially in relationships.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  08:01

Yeah, it must be really healing work for the people that you’re working with. So why do we have shame around sex?

Jasmonae Blodgett  08:11

You know, it’s different for everyone. But I would say we live in a culture that definitely leaves most of us confused that it is blasts across media. And at the same time, that there’s these rules that are both spoken and unspoken, that we are getting fed to us from the time that we’re kids. For those of us who have grown up in spiritual religious households, there’s always a lot of different messages from you know, what it means to be unfaithful on infidelity adultery, to also what does it mean to be wholesome and pure, right, be desirable. And then once we get into it, it’s kind of, you know, we get into this world where you know, it exists, you feel the edges of it. But everywhere you’re going, there’s no place that actually embraces that conversation. And so the more that you’re isolated, and the more that you’re confused, and you’re getting these very conflicting messages, it just runs amok internally. And it’s really hard to know like, what is normal, right? Is there a normal, and then the only thing I have is, what it is that I’m feeling inside, which is, which is very disjointed and very dysregulated. I’m not really sure how you could do anything but experience shame, with that type of embodied experience.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  09:36

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s these topics and these realms that we just don’t talk about enough. They’re so taboo, they’re so hidden. You know, the way that we raise our kids, we don’t leave a lot of room to ask questions. And this goes for money. It goes for sex. It goes for, you know, body image, it goes for so many different places. And I think you know, so much of it starts so early. Leon just the messages were passing down to our children. But then you’re right, then there’s this collision of media that comes in. That gives us also a lot of mixed messages. But one of the things I was thinking as you were talking to was shame around pleasure and not just sexual pleasure. But even going back to the way that you open how you’re feeling right now, this week, or today. I think some people answer more complicated feelings, because they feel guilty saying that they’re happy or that they’re doing well, right? We put that on people.

Jasmonae Blodgett  10:30

Oh, yeah. I think like, there’s this there’s this idea that, you know, am I bragging and my boasting? If I say, I feel good, if I say I’m happy, like, is there something that I’m taking away from someone else? Versus I’m just taking up my own space, like my own, like, deserved human space that I get to have? I think, yeah, it transcends way beyond just even sex, but the idea of what does it mean to actually be able to exist in pleasure and happiness and thriving? And that’s not something a lot of us have learned.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  11:09

That breaks my heart, I hope it’s changing in our rising generations. You know, I hope it is, I think it is a little bit, but we still have a long way to go. What are some of the most common things that people feel ashamed about when it comes to sex?

Jasmonae Blodgett  11:25

I would say that, especially in the work that I get, I really do you get it all, from what it is that people actually enjoy, to the inability to have a conversation? Because what are they going to they’re going to think of me that I’m talking about sex? Are they going to think that maybe I am, you know, one of those big words, right? The slot the whore, easy, dirty, any of it. If I just if I even just say I’m interested in this topic, around infidelity, you know, relationship structures, boundaries, consent, all of those things, I think, have shame locked into them. And they come out in various ways. And so it really is one of those words, like, it’s not just one place, I was having this conversation before where the person I was talking to wants to engage in the conversation, and wants engaged in the conversation, because one of their values, one of the things that they really care about is having a very healthy sexual relationship that is both equitable, but also that is respectful of boundaries and, and what it means to actually show up for the other. And yet, shame came up in that conversation, because it’s like, again, can I even talk about sex, it’s really interesting to just see how it sort of weaves its way into our relationships and into our experience.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  13:03

I imagine you’re seeing both individuals and couples, individuals coming in to work through shame, and probably their relationships or sexual experiences that they have in their lives. And then couples who are working through maybe blocks or stuff they need to get over. Is there a big difference between the two types of work?

Jasmonae Blodgett  13:22

I think when you’re talking about sex and eroticism, it’s not just simply how I’m experienced. And it’s also how my partner experiences it. So with couples, I would say that would be the big difference is that as we start to explore this, and talk about this, we get out of the talk that we have an inside our head, right? That the self-talk about, this is what they think, or this is what they believe, or this is how they see me. And now you can actually check that out. It’s just half of the puzzle, right? And there’s only so much I think, especially when it comes to self-talk, that can be like this is absolutely correct or incorrect, where with partners, you get in a real time, and I love it when a partner is like, yeah, that’s not at all where I was at.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  14:13

Yeah, it’s got to be really fun work. How do you go about making someone or an individual or a couple, you know, how do you open this up for them? How do you go about making them feel comfortable, to start really talking about the things that they need to talk about?

Jasmonae Blodgett  14:27

So the first thing I would say is that you absolutely have to start this work with yourself. If you are not doing any of this work with yourself. It’s really hard to get the words and to get the voice to actually start doing that with someone else. So that’s always my first step is start figuring out what are the questions that you want to know? What are the parts of like sex and eroticism that are really important for you in your life? And then you can start thinking about how that ties into someone else. Once you get to that point, I always think that like sex should be as entry level of a conversation as when you are talking about values or parenting, or finances, that it’s not the talk, right? We’re not about to have the sex talk, we’re about to have a talk. And this time, the talk we’re having is surrounding sex and eroticism. So it stops being this really sort of, on a pedestal, it’s no longer being put on a pedestal. But now it becomes one of a lot of talks that we really need to have a strong, and again, equitable and very full relationship with our partner, that without it, that we’re missing something, some part of a relationship is now weakened. And once you start looking at it that way, then it’s patience. Recognizing that one or both of you are going to have moments where that shame comes up, that blocks you that’s preventing you from moving forward. And so being able to remember that this is really about practicing empathy, and compassion. This is a place where you get to start learning how to set boundaries, to really learn what enthusiastic consent really means versus implied consent, right or assumed consent when couples start having conversations like that, and there’s a lot of patience, cadences, the other one, right? This is this is not about like, rushing into this, but really exploring, evolving and growing into this.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  17:59

So what’s the work look like? When you have a couple and one of the partners really wants to explore more eroticism and more maybe adventurous realms then their partner does.

Jasmonae Blodgett  19:25

I first start with what is it that this is really about the oftentimes we can get stuck on this is uncomfortable or this is unfamiliar. Or this is something I told I was not supposed to be into. And we don’t slow down enough to actually know like, what is this really about? I recently did an article that was on consensual, non-consensual play. One of the things about it that some of the people who have this fantasy is that it is a way for them to get their power back after being assaulted. And rather than them being the victim and it happening to them, they get to now be the director of this performance, right, they get to decide how it’s going to be done. And it’s a way for them to feel really empowered for something that happened where they felt really disempowered. So that’s the first part is actually figuring out what is this about. The next part is also figuring out is what is the block is the block because it’s really not something I’m into, it’s really not something that that that makes me feel pleasure me feel fulfilled, or do I have some shame around that. And, and if I have shame, that might be a very different experience, if that shame is removed. After that you get into the place of negotiation, like everything else in a relationship, it is a compromise, there might be a place where once I understand what I really want out of this, there may be a lot of other ways to get that thing. Or once we remove the shame, I might find that I’m actually more excited about doing it than you were, and I might enjoy it more. And, and that is the part that’s really, really amazing is that it really comes down to communication, and learning and giving your partner space to actually be human in this process. And holding them in that and supporting them in that. And when we do it, it’s no longer about you want to do this, and I don’t. But here’s this experience, here are our needs. And here’s where we can meet them. And here’s where we might need to find other ways to satisfy them.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  21:50

That makes a lot of sense. But I can also imagine it’s very scary and delicate territory for people, you know, to just kind of open up to that.

Jasmonae Blodgett  21:58

Absolutely. I think the big one again, is patience, and cadence. And it always starts with safety and trust. So one of the things I tell couples, if there’s not safety, if there’s not trust, and there’s not communication, nothing’s going to happen. And if it does, it’s not going to be empowered, which means it’s not going to be a great experience. And I think when I think about sex and eroticism is we want to feel this sense of vitality, this sense of freedom, this sense of being really all of who we are and connected in this like primal way. That’s very powerful. And so if you can’t create that before you go there, it really takes away from the experience it takes away from what I think is ultimately the goal of sex and eroticism.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  22:54

How do you define eroticism?

Jasmonae Blodgett  22:56

Wanting sex oftentimes is very heteronormative. And we think about penetrative sex, and then that’s, that’s where we stay. And that’s very limiting. Because not everybody can have penetrative sex, not everybody wants to, once we get beyond sex is like now we get into this place of pleasure. And this place of experience and how we connect, it doesn’t always need to involve our genitals. But I think in this way, when I think about the experience is that same power, that same vitality that we’re experiences, we want to experience that. And that’s where eroticism comes for me. It doesn’t need to be around sex, it doesn’t need to be around in Italia. But it’s this place where we get to play and feel this power and feel this connection, and really experienced this pleasure.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  23:48

Can we talk about trauma, sexual trauma and shame? How does that come into play in your work? I imagined in lots of different ways. And there’s so much again, that’s a giant topic, right?

Jasmonae Blodgett  24:01

Trauma is extremely difficult and complex work. But the way that it shows up I think in my work is one that we pause rate being very, very sensitive to what it is and what it looks like. And this is such a vast place from childhood sexual trauma. There’s this this language that I don’t know how often it’s really getting out the spectrum between what is violation and what is assault. I started reflecting on some of my own experiences, remembering that like, I couldn’t I couldn’t speak I couldn’t speak because of shame. I couldn’t speak because I didn’t know I couldn’t speak because maybe I was interested in curious and then then shame showed up or I realized I was no longer interested in curious. And so there’s this huge gray space that often gets overlooked and leaves people feeling either overlooked or dismissed, or forgotten, because it doesn’t lead to this level of assault. But it’s also not consent. It’s also not pleasurable, it’s also not empowering. And so there’s this trauma of what do I do with this? Where does this belong? And when that hasn’t been healed, that’s one of those big blocks that come out.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  25:31

It sounds like it’s some kind of form of like, disenfranchised shame, right? Like it hasn’t been named in an obvious way. So you don’t know how to associate yourself with it or internalize it. I think about there’s, there’s realms of grief like that as well, like people will go through certain kinds of losses, but they’re not widely recognized. So then you don’t know how to even recognize it for yourself, and, and then you don’t know how to let yourself feel it if you’re not recognizing it or giving yourself permission.

Jasmonae Blodgett  26:00

Absolutely. You don’t even have the language for it.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  26:03

What does it look like when someone is hiding their shame in a sexual relationship? How does that play out?

Jasmonae Blodgett  26:09

So this can play out in a number of ways? I think one is just avoiding the conversation. If you’re in a sexual relationship, and you can’t even ask him about being tested, you can ask about what are your boundaries? How do you like to give and receive consent? What actually is pleasure? Those to me, there’s always some sort of insecurity, at the very least, if not shame, wrapped up in in the lack of communication. Another way this can play out is it can play out in infidelity, right, that I can’t actually say the things that I want, or I need. And this may not be specifically wrapped around eroticism, but maybe it’s what I want or need in a relationship. Another way that I think it shows up is porn and sex work. And the way that people oftentimes use it comes from a place of shame. And rather than actually exploring that, and really figuring out and feeling empowered, and their wants and their desires and their pleasures, there’s this, I need to hide it with my partner, say if they knew this about me. But I

Claire Bidwell-Smith  27:31

imagined that’s got to be so damaging both on the relationship, but also on your sense of self. And just your ability to integrate your whole self into your life and into your relationships, if you are kind of piecing yourself off in these different ways. But I understand why it happens, for sure. But it’s got to be really hard.

Jasmonae Blodgett  27:50

Absolutely, I think you’ll see a lot of splitting, right? A lot of compartmentalizing. And this version of me lives here. And this version of me lives here. And neither version feels fully embodied to live as one and it’s just a lot of anxiety, a lot of depression, a lot of substance use. And until you get to a place where it’s like I can bring these two parts together. One of me is always hiding. And one of me is always being punished by the other or for the other.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  28:29

Yeah, that breaks my heart. But I think it’s something that a lot of people probably go through.

Jasmonae Blodgett  28:34

Absolutely. The last one is the difference between performance and pleasure. And so being able to have a conversation, right, so if I am a man, and maybe I struggle with erections, can I have that conversation with my partner? Are there options that really, it’s about pleasure versus me needing to perform and same if I’m a woman, right, if I am using very heteronormative terms, but I understand that it’s more expansive than that. And so all bodies, you know, maybe this isn’t, maybe I don’t orgasm, or this isn’t how I orgasm, but I have so much shame that I should be able to or that I’ve been told, or this is the messaging I receive. And so I think that is probably the way that I hear for a lot of clients that join up is can I say this? And could I talk about this? And would this be okay, and what does that say about me? As you know, whatever my identity is, I just wanted to like point that one out because I think it comes up so much within relationship.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  29:42

I’m glad you did. I was gonna ask you specifically about male performance and shame around that because, you know, as a therapist, it’s something I hear about a fair amount as just you know, a woman I’ll have my friends talk to me about their husbands or partners and yet I feel like men I don’t realize how common it is, you know, because they don’t talk about it together, or sometimes at all with anyone. But in my mind, it’s something that a lot of men go through. And but yet there’s so much shame around it.

Jasmonae Blodgett  30:17

And I think that’s just a small piece. That’s just one, the way that men enjoy sex and eroticism, there’s a lot of shame around that of like, of what it means to be, you know, inhabiting a man’s body in the bedroom. If you are not a person who is very dominant, or, you know, if you are you want something softer and more sensual, or maybe you’re the person who’s not very adventurous, and you have a partner who is like, but no, I’m not supposed to be the person who’s afraid of this. And so I think, the way that men and body shame, it’s really, really interesting, and it’s so much more complex that I think often gets spoken about.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  31:01

Yeah, I was gonna ask you about differences in gender and shame and what you see in that realm.

Jasmonae Blodgett  31:08

So gender is a really interesting one, because I think it goes beyond just cis gender individuals, there’s a show called as Sex Education, and I really loved it, where it was one of the characters is a cisgender male, and he identifies as heterosexual and he gets into this relationship with a non-binary character. And the character is asking him about what it’s like to be in a queer relationship, like you’re in a queer relationship now. And he really struggles with it, because the character is, you know, assigned female at birth, but identifies as non-binary, and really teases out this nuance of like, what does that mean when you identify, but then you get in this relationship that doesn’t fit? How society as one told you to identify or in all the boxes that we live in? And what does that mean when we start finding ourselves in relationships, or building relationships with other genders and trying to figure out how that could change our entire identity, our entire sexuality? It’s a place that I always like to open up and say like, these questions are welcome. Let’s see. And let’s figure out what does sexuality mean to you? What does gender mean to you? What importance and value does it hold? What shame do you hold around gender and sexuality. What strengths does it give you to have these identities? Right? How are these? How are these serving you?

Claire Bidwell-Smith  32:44

Yeah, those are great questions. What are ways we can be talking to our kids about, you know, even at early ages, before they’ve even gone through puberty, what are messages we can be giving them in ways we can be speaking to them that are sex positive.

Jasmonae Blodgett  35:34

The first thing is finding your own comfort with like, the human body, giving like the actual scientific terminology that’s like this is because these are parts of our body, you say arm just fine, you say shoulder just fine. And if you’re having a child, they’re going to be curious about their body, it’s attached to them. And so to be able to demystify that, and already saying like, this is another part. That’s the first thing. The second one is something I learned a little while ago, which is like, learning about good touch, bad touch secret patch. This is around consent and boundaries. A lot around, you know, when we talk about sexual abuse, especially child sexual abuse, is that not all touches feel bad. And so the way you know the difference between a bad touch and a good church, is if somebody also tells you if it’s a secret touch, that I may have something touch that feels physiologically good. But maybe somebody told me it’s a secret, or that the feeling that’s bad is actually the emotional feeling that like Something about this doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t hurt like a punch. And so that I think starts to open up because you’re already starting to get into like, oh, parts of my body can feel things that do feel good, right, which goes later on to the pleasure conversation. But right now I’m learning about boundaries and consent. And the more that you aren’t shaming your kid and telling them no, this is wrong, or this is bad, but actually trying to figure out like, why are you curious? What is making you ask this question? Is it because something happened outside the house that I should know about? Is it something that you notice on your body, it did this thing and you’re confused about but the more that I am able to maybe sit in my own discomfort and shame and insecurities. And then learn in this process with you. Esther Perel, she’s a phenomenal, she’s just amazing woman. And she talks a lot about, you know, in other cultures, where there’s less STIs, there’s less teen pregnancies, and it really comes from education. If I’m not ready to give consent, if I don’t know how to say, my boundaries, maybe I’m not ready to have sex. You know, if, if I can’t ask somebody about STIs. And this is one thing I tell like my teens is like, if you if you can’t ask somebody about being tested, then this is probably something you’re not ready for, that you are not ready to get closer to that. And so there’s all these other places that they need to build for themselves, before they can have a healthy relationship that is sexual or erotic. And by having those conversations, I don’t need to say don’t go have sex. Now I get to say, this is what you need to have before you think about having sex.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  38:37

I think it’s really interesting to, you know, look at this and how we’re talking to kids about sex, because I think there’s a lot of foundational shame that comes in that area. There’s lots of other reasons where and why shame comes into our lives, around sex. But a lot of it’s these messages that we get, you know, being curious having things happen, not knowing who we can ask or feeling like we shouldn’t talk about it. How early, you know, should we start talking about sex with kids?

Jasmonae Blodgett  39:06

When you start talking about body parts, that’s when you should start, like at least acknowledging what the body parts are. Because right after that, especially like three and four, I think that’s where that good touch, bad touch, secret touch. And that’s the reason why it’s in that language too. Because it’s for a younger audience. That’s important to know if your kid is going into daycare, they should know you know, if they’re going into places where we’re you may not be with them. So just knowing that one starts to give them the ability to understand boundaries and understand consent, and know to come to you when something happens. So if you’re not even if they don’t know about their body parts, there could be something that happens that they don’t know to bring back to you to have these conversations. I don’t think one size fits all. There are kids who learn to masturbate when they’re toddlers and they don’t really realize they don’t recognize its masturbation. All they recognize is that they touch something one day, and it relieved anxiety. And so they’re touching themselves without ever putting a sexual connotation with it. All they know is I touch this, and it did something. Oh, and I feel good. And that’s it. And so when you’re able to talk to your kids, then they’re able to start asking a question. We live in a digital age, where I know people who give their kids cell phones at five and six, if your kids have cell phones at five, and six, and they can touch YouTube, or the internet, you definitely should be talking about like, these are things you can find these are things you need to come ask mommy or daddy about. It really depends. I always say context matters. And it depends on the child. It depends on their curiosity; it depends on their experiences. It depends on how much they’re being exposed to.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  40:55

Gosh, I could talk to you for like two more hours, we could just keep unpacking so many things. And I have so many more questions. What are some like basic things we can check in with ourselves about our own shame around sex just for anyone listening out there who maybe hasn’t even like let themselves go there? Yeah.

Jasmonae Blodgett  41:12

So just even saying, how do I define sex? What does eroticism mean? Do I do I know what pleasure is? Do I have sex to just get pregnant? Am I having sex? Because it’s a duty? Is it? Because I’m actually wanting to experience connection? Is it for love? There’s a lot of reasons why we have sex. I think when you start just asking those basic questions, so much comes up. And then that’s where you can get into the messages you’ve learned? Or how does it feel on my body? You know, when I’m with my partner, do I feel excited? Do I feel scared? When I think about talking to my partner about sex? What does that feel like? If I look at myself, what does that feel like? If I touch different parts of my body? What does that feel like? I think it’s very complex for different, different individuals. But I think if you start asking any of those questions, the answers you get can lead you in a million directions.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  42:26

So good. Thank you so much, Jasmine, a this is again, I wish we could go for hours on this. Maybe we will another time.

Jasmonae Blodgett  42:34

Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I’ve had a blast.

Claire Bidwell-Smith  42:44

Think the questions Jasmonae leaves us with, how do you define sex and eroticism? What does pleasure look like for you? What does an authentic sexual experience look like for you are all things we can ponder and revisit throughout our lives. Jasmine also says there’s body language and behavior that can signal to our partners or reveal to ourselves that we’re holding shame around sex. Once we acknowledge it, we can start to unpack that shame and we don’t have to hold it by ourselves. I hope everyone has found valuable lessons in this episode. And from all of our guests this month. Shame is an incredibly complex emotion that we’ve shared what are hopefully valuable tips on how to process it. That’s it for today. Make sure you subscribe to the show so that you never miss an episode. Because there are three episodes every week. Have a great weekend and see you Monday.

CREDITS  43:36

NEW DAY is a Lemonada Media Original. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease and Erianna Jiles. Kat Yore is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. Our VP of weekly content is Steve Nelson. And our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and me, Claire Bidwell Smith. NEW DAY is produced in partnership with the Well Being Trust, The Jed Foundation and Education Development Center. Help others find our show by leaving us a rating and writing a review. Follow us at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms, or find me at Join our Facebook group to connect with me and fellow NEW DAY listeners at You can also get bonus content and behind the scenes material by subscribing to Lemonada Premium on Apple podcasts.  Thanks for listening. See you next week.

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