Ask the Sexuality Expert: The Not So Sexy Parts of Anxiety and Depression

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It’s a friday night, you’re getting cozy with your partner and zoning out while surfing the latest feeds on your smartphone. They lean in for a kiss, then a grope; you can sense the next step. Your anxiety skyrockets: heart beating fast and breath becoming more rapid. Repetitive thoughts start spiraling: What do they want from me? Why is work stress popping up now? Will I perform well in bed? What if I can’t keep an erection or climax?

We have so many strategies that allow us to zone out easily during relaxed moments, but when sex or physical affection is presented, our bodies must suddenly engage in the present moment. This presence often brings a flood of thoughts and feelings from the day, or those sparked by sex in general. For someone struggling with anxiety or depression, this flood of negativity prevents us from connecting with our partner and enjoying sex and pleasure in the ways we might like.

Fear not! We have some thoughts and tools to support you in shifting this pattern.

Continue reading Ask the Sexuality Expert: The Not So Sexy Parts of Anxiety and Depression

Why Sexual Health was an Important Topic at This Year’s Coachella Festival

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Glitter and jewels coat faces, arms, and cleavage. Outfits are perfectly paired to maximize Instagram appeal and reach. Alcohol and substances fuel the connections of strangers while rotating DJs ensure ample beats.

Despite the lineup of artists, the real show at Coachella Music Festival is the private party scene. I had the opportunity to participate in one such event, the Safe Space Party at Laguna Seca. As a licensed Talkspace sex therapist, I had the privilege of speaking and participating in this event to support the promotion of a new app, SAFE, designed to support stigma free sharing of STI test results with sexual partners. Other companies and organizations joined the event as sponsors and speakers, including Amber Rose; Julia Cheek, founder of EverlyWell, the Crave vibrator team; and Vera Papisova from Teen Vogue.

Continue reading Why Sexual Health was an Important Topic at This Year’s Coachella Festival

Sexual Self-Worth is About More Than Just Sex. Here’s Why

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We’ve all been there — finally connecting with a person we pined after for months — feeling the exhilaration, the desire, the ravaging. Regardless of the quality of the sex itself, in that moment we feel wanted, desired, and sought after.  But then what?

What happens when they ghost you, or communicate that it’s not the best fit? What if, after you date long term, they desire sex less often?

Continue reading Sexual Self-Worth is About More Than Just Sex. Here’s Why

Has Your Sex Life Simmered Down? Here’s How to Reignite The Passion

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Sparks fly and bodies meld when you’re having great sex. But what happens when it cools and morphs into a routine?

Sexual intimacy presents an opportunity for great connectivity, self discovery, pleasure and vivacity. But it can also be a source of loss, pain, fear and vulnerability. The typical reaction to these sides of sex is to withdraw and create walls.

What if instead, you chose to open up to the barriers you are hitting, including your own self-doubt or shame, fear of loss, long-term doubts about the relationship, or the jealousy and comparisons with past partners? Introspection and perpetual striving for new ways to connect and explore your essence as a sexual being, and that of your partner, is the key to increased intimacy and better sex.

Here are a few key mechanisms to maximize healthy sexuality, intimacy, connection and passion in deliberate and fun ways. Continue reading Has Your Sex Life Simmered Down? Here’s How to Reignite The Passion

Journey of A Young Therapist: Finding the Path Through the Rubble

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“To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.” – Gail Sheehy

– by Angela Gunn, LCSW / Talkspace Therapist 

The devastation from Nepal’s recent earthquake naturally stirred compassion within me, but also a strong emotional reaction of a different kind. It compelled me to share my own story of self-destruction and healing with you – a chronicling of events that ultimately led me to become a therapist. While I can’t imagine what the Nepalese people are going through right now, I would like to remind the rest of us that our personal turmoil and painful experiences are still valid and worthy of being heard. And so, I am going to share mine with you now. Continue reading Journey of A Young Therapist: Finding the Path Through the Rubble