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

Woman in flower crown at music festival

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.

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6 Things To Do When Your Partner Is Stressed

Couple holding hands on the street

Life is stressful. Work can be demanding, family life can be taxing, and so can our relationships, finances, and health-related struggles. Just turn on the news or open social media and your blood pressure is apt to rise. Really, there are so many things that can be triggers for stress, and we all experience our fair share of them on a daily basis.

Equally stressful is when we watch our partners suffer from heightened periods of stress. It can be upsetting to witness and can even create tension within our relationships. Perhaps the most difficult part is that we desperately want to help, but often feel bewildered about what the best approach might be.

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Dating as a Woman: Balancing a Desire for Intimacy with the Threat of Violence

Smiling woman and man on a bench

“Why don’t you date?”

My therapist’s comment took me aback. After a difficult relationship, why didn’t I put myself back out there? After all, meeting new people would be a healthy distraction, enrich my social life, and build up my confidence by reminding me how ridiculously charming and attractive I am.

Okay, maybe I don’t have a problem with confidence.

I have never been shy or reluctant to meet new people. But the idea of dating left me exhausted. More sexist men, more risk of sexual violence, more worrying that — Cat Person-style — a seemingly innocuous date would reveal a shock of coercion under his charm.

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What Does It Mean to Be a Sensation Seeker?

Man swinging from rope by waterfall

When spring arrives, many people can feel like they are glad to be alive, a feeling that can manifest in wanting to feel and do many new things. They chafe at the restrictions imposed by office jobs or any indoor activity, and want to get out in the world and feel the excitement of the season.

For some people, though, this feeling isn’t tied to the beginning of warm weather, or falling in love, or any discrete event. There are some people, called “sensation seekers,” that are always looking to increase their levels of stimulation, and feel bored and constricted on a regular basis.

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Don’t Get Along with Your Parents? A Therapist’s Tips for How to Manage

Young woman and man drinking coffee in cabin

There is a time in many healthy families where a child grows into adult and their relationship with their parents transforms into a more friendly, equal, relaxed relationship. However, this doesn’t happen for everyone. There are certain people who need to come to terms with the fact that their parents will never be able to be their friends, or to interact with them in a friendly, casual way. Some reasons for this include:

  • Differences in values, e.g. different religions or political views, which preclude one or both parties from being able to get along as friends.
  • Parents who have personality disorders and are mean to their children; this includes parents with narcissism or Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • Children who have experienced emotional, verbal, or physical abuse by their parent have severed or severely reduced contact.
  • Parents who dislike a child’s partner enough to not want to see the child/couple or who make comments that are hard to ignore.
  • Parents who come from a culture or ethnicity where it is not acceptable for children and parents to ever interact in a more casual, peer-like way.

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What Is Second-Hand Anxiety?

Anxious young woman being comforted by a friend

Your friend comes over after a bad day. Huffing and puffing, he brings it all to you: His boss was a jerk, he accidentally deleted his presentation, and spilled coffee on a new white shirt. Suddenly, you find yourself tense, even though you were having a relaxed day.

What gives?

There’s a name for the phenomenon of stress spreading: second-hand anxiety. Second-hand anxiety, or second-hand stress, is not a psychological diagnosis, illness, or disorder. It is, rather, a neurological phenomenon that refers to the way emotions spread.

Understanding how second-hand anxiety works not only teaches us more about the social nature of emotions, but can also help us keep our cool when other people’s negative emotions overwhelm us.

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How Successful People Handle 3 Types of Toxic Coworkers

Young African-American woman works at desk in airy office space

How Successful People Handle 3 Types of Toxic Coworkers” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women. 

Every workplace is filled interesting personalities —including frustrating ones.

If you feel like you’re surrounded by difficult people at the office — perhaps people who talk too much or a micromanaging boss — take heart, because you’re not alone. Studies have found that one in eight people leave a job due to problems with co-workers.

Since we spend more time at work than at home (and quitting tomorrow isn’t an option for most people), it’s worthwhile to figure out ways to get along.

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How Schizoaffective Disorder Has Affected My Relationships

Foggy window with heart and colored lights

I’m 30 years old, and for many years, the longest relationship I had to date was in middle school — it lasted six months.

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at age 19. Schizoaffective disorder is thought to be a unique combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder like bipolar, presenting with symptoms like difficulty communicating, episodes of depression, delusions, and even hallucinations. It presents differently from person to person, and there’s still a lot to be learned about it. Though it has negatively impacted my life in many ways, it’s been especially difficult to navigate in my social life.

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4 Signs You’re Self-Sabotaging (+ How to Stop)

Frustrated person at desk with writer's block

If you’re familiar with 1999 pop punk hit “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit, then you’re familiar with the phenomenon of self-sabotage. If you’re not, allow me to give you a modern rock lesson and an excellent example of a self-sabotaging protagonist…

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Why You Shouldn’t Check Your Partner’s Phone

Attractive man confronting bad news on his phone

As a therapist, I can’t tell you how many times clients come to me with information that they have gleaned from checking their partners’ phone. Some people will come in with screenshots of text conversations between their partner and others, hoping to dissect them to determine whether their partner was flirting or whether the conversation was just platonic.

Others come in with call records, telling me that it can’t be innocent when a partner calls a “friend” five times in a week. Some people fear that a significant other is cheating on them and comb through their partner’s email, looking for something that they can use as evidence of infidelity.

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