If you’ve got a health issue or a consistent emotional challenge, can kinesiology help? Amelia Phillips talks to Kinesiologist Sarah Gilmore-Mayne about how this part traditional Chinese medicine, part biochemical treatment might help struggling mums, what to expect in a session and what evidence there is to support the practice.
Below is an unedited transcript of the podcast episode:
I was watching that movie Vicky, Christina Barcelona the other night, Two Insanely sexy women, Penelope Crews and Scarlet Your Hansen, and that pretty hunky Javier bottom. And it just struck me when I was watching this movie how unsexy I feel at the moment. Then I realize it’s not even sexiness I want, and I think that shit’s probably sailed, but I just wanna feel more sensual.
I wanna be like Penelope, eating the grapes with passion, diving into the ocean and feeling the coolness on my skin. But instead, I’m too busy picking up squash grapes off the floor or worrying about losing my kids at the beach to even notice the feeling of the water. But then I think, come on, my life’s barely half over.
Surely there’s some sensuality in life for me, yet
this is healthy her with Amelia Phillips after kids. Sometimes our bodies can feel more functional than spiritual. Life is full of this masculine energy, think reasoning, strength, competitiveness, and action. So how do we dial up the feminine energy and tap into our sensual. And what are the benefits? To help me unlock our sensual potential is Pamela Joy.
Pamela is a certified sex and relationship coach with a masters in counseling psychology, and over 1500 hours of additional training in the field of sexuality. Pamela left her a high tech career at Apple and Facebook to found down to there to help the world talk more openly about sex and intimacy. Her TEDx talk has over a million download.
And she has many programs, books, and resources available on her website down to their.com. Pamela, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m excited to be here. This topic is near and dear to my heart, , so. What proportion of your clients out there are moms and what would you say their main challenges are?
Yeah, so I work primarily with couples. Um, although I do have some individuals, and even though I do see the, this. Spectrum of age ranges from, you know, twenties to seventies. I would say the majority of my clients are right there in the thick of it in terms of, you know, middle aged women in a long term partnership who have young children at home.
And, um, that’s also also where I’m at personally. And so I think some of the common things that women in, in those, you know, in. Part of life come to me is exactly as you were describing, and you’re opener, right? It’s, it’s this, gosh, my life is so full right now. Um, with kids, maybe a career, um, long term relationship that.
I’m so focused on all those other people and all those other things that the idea of being available for, you know, emotional or physical intimacy on top of all those things, it’s just kind of like they’re tapped out in a way. So I’d say like a large portion of the women are, are that they’re just like, Hey, I know that intimacy maybe is something that would be good to, to be in partnership, but I, I don’t have the bandwidth for it.
I do also, Some women who are in those same situations and see emotional or physical intimacy as something that they want, but their partners are unavailable for. Yeah. And so it’s interesting to see women kind of on both sides of that, that coin. Yeah, absolutely. Because so much has changed as a mom, and I think a big challenge for a lot of us is feeling like we’ve lost ourselves.
So we look back on, you know, that youthful, carefree person with the tight skin and the great buns and the carefreeness, and we feel like we’ve lost that. And I think if sexuality or sensuality was a big part of your youth and a part that you enjoyed, to feel like you’ve lost. Leaves a bit of a gaping hole, but then on the flip side, you’re also like, Oh my goodness, I can’t be bothered to do crazy sex positions or stay up all night making love either.
So it’s this, it’s this real dichotomy. And why do you think so many moms do struggle with sex and intimacy? Is it, as you say, there’s just so much load on our lives now. Is it body image issues? What do you see? Oh, such a good question and I, I think, you know, the answer of course, varies by person. I, I think there’s, there’s kind of two primary things when it comes to intimacy for women.
Of course there’s, there’s other things as well, but having kids part is just an additional layer on top of these kind of things that are even underlying that. So the, the two things that I see underlying it is, is one we actually have not gotten. You know, very good messaging around sexuality. And, and what I mean by that is most of the messaging we get around sexuality is that, um, especially from like a young age, whether it’s like information we got in school or information we got from, you know, church or religion.
Um, but the messages are, are primarily. Negative around sexuality. So there messages, like it’s dangerous. You could get pregnant, you could get a disease. Yeah. Fear based, right? We get messages that it’s for maybe the guy, not for the woman. And so it’s not a pleasure based message. And so what’s interesting about that is sometimes we’re, that’s not even.
Something that’s in our consciousness. All of these like negative messages. And so sometimes, like at the beginning of a relationship when hormones are helping out or other things can kind of, um, override those messages. Yeah. But when you are starting to be taxed from like just how much you have to do or the relationship is, you know, long term and those hormones have kind of run their courses, they do, um, these message.
Start to actually show up a little bit more. So that’s one of the underlying things is oftentimes when I’m working with women, just kind of going back to those early messages and saying like, Wow, like what did you hear? How, How are you oriented around sexuality? Have you ever thought about it? That something could be for you and for your pleasure, and could be not just something, an obligation you have in relationship or for your partner.
So that’s one thing. The other kind of underlying thing on top of like having kids and all that that entails is that. I think most cultures around the world are really oriented towards us being in our brains, in our minds, and not in our bodies. So what I mean by that is like, let’s say I’m like in the middle of cooking dinner, right?
For my family. Yeah. I am like currently like tracking all the things I need to do to get this dinner ready and on the table I’m tracking the things that I might need to do after that. Yeah. I’m even thinking about the things tomorrow or the things I didn’t get done earlier and. Like, it’s a very, like in my It’s to-do list.
To-do list. Yeah. Um, or you know, if I’m at work, I’m prized for the things that my brain produces, um, the smart things I have to say. Right. And most cultures are not very oriented towards us being in our bodies and aware, kind of like you were saying about. Census the essential aspects of life, right?
Imagine like being there cooking in the kitchen, and instead of just being in my head, I am noticing the smell of the carrots or onions that I’m chopping or, you know, enjoying, you know, the taste of the wine that I’m drinking while I’m cooking, or. We’re not oriented that way. And so if you think about intimacy, it’s something we experience in our bodies.
And so if you paired like all these messages we heard with this like mind orientation instead of body orientation. , the idea that this would be something that’s an amazing experience for us is it’s kind of hard , and then you have the time pressures of having a kid. So yeah, these are kind of like some of the building blocks that I’ll start working on with clients.
It’s just going back to those basics. Yeah, and you’ve really hit the nail on their head. For me, particularly with this episode, because initially I was thinking about sexuality and then I realized I’m actually, it’s not that I’m missing. Feeling sexual. It was that sensual element that I was missing. And I love what you’re saying about being in your body and feeling, and I have heard you talk about sexuality and sensuality being two different things.
Can you explain what you mean by them being two different things? Sure. You know, I think it, even just going back to my own experiences around this, right? I was in a really long term relationship and I have a 13 year old, so just so your listeners can kind of place where I’m at in my own personal journey.
But you know this, this idea of. Of sensual and sexual. I’m, I’m kind of like even just reflecting my own body, what that conjures up for me. Right? Yeah. So if, if I’m thinking about, okay, what is the work that I need to do so that I’m available to have sex with my partner who wants more sex, my body. Like if I pay attention to my body, my body goes, Mm.
Doesn’t feel you. Right? Right. There’s like literally like a tension that shows up in my body. A shut down that shows up. Yeah. It gets the same as well. Yeah. Right. It’s like, no. But if I, if I go, Hey, and I think you were alluding to this before, right? Like what would it be like? So right now I’m sitting here in my office, right?
And I have my puppy by my feet and she’s warm on my feet. And I have this gorgeous blanket, um, with all sorts of beautiful colors that I’ve bought specifically because I like the way that it looks, in the way that it feels on me. And when, like there’s nothing changing about our conversation. I’m not spending any more time having this conversation with you, but I have oriented myself to be more aware of these things that are part of my sense, right?
There’s warmth, there’s visual, there’s feelings, textures, and. in that moment. I’m filling my own cup in a way, right? Like mothers, we walk around with like totally empty cups. So certainly the idea of someone saying, Can I have more of the, you know, more out of your cup, were like, that’s when our bodies say no because like, We’re like empty out
And so these things, like I always talk with my female clients and sometimes my male clients too, cuz it’s not totally gender based. But if your body is saying no to the concept of giving to someone, aka maybe sex, then really our starting point is actually filling your cup with experiences just for you.
Like let’s take sex with your partner off the table for a minute and let’s just see what you need to feel. Warm and nourished and alive and just good. And, and I recognize with moms, I’m like, This can’t take any more time out of your day. Cause I know that you don’t have 20 minutes to do this or an hour to do that.
Right. It’s gotta be somehow worked into your day. It’s just a reframing and it’s, it’s funny because. I’ve been trying to do a little bit of this recently and a little bit really goes a long way. Like the other day, just this tiny example, the lawn got mowed and I walked out and I got hit with the smell of the grass, the freshly cut grass, and normally you just sort of get a little whiff and keep going, but I actually just stopped and just inhaled, which I love that smell.
Or like when you light a candle or you draw a bubble bath and that feeling when you first get into the bath and. Ah, moment. Would different moms have more dialed up, different senses? Like for another mom it might be tasting like that first mouthful of the beautiful pasta that she cooked. Or for some people it might be reading words in a book.
Uh, different senses. More powerful for different people. Yeah, I love, I love that question and I think resoundingly. The way that I kind of like help clients figure out which one of those things is true for them, Right? It’s like we don’t need to. Invent something new, or have you learned something new?
Like if you just notice what part of your day are you already paying a little bit of attention to, right? Mm-hmm. . And then like you said, could you just enjoy it for a second more, you know, some common things that as I have clients like literally just walk through their normal day. You know, I’m like, Okay, so you’re taking a shower.
Like if, if you get a chance to take a shower, right? And like, do you like the smell of your shampoo? Could you take just a minute to smell it more, Right? Mm-hmm. . Or like you said, like maybe we walk outside at some point in the day. Do you like that feeling of the air against your skin? And so, or some people will be like, Oh, I really like music.
It just like feels really good on my body when I listen to music. And so that, I think that’s one way to kind of figure out which of the census. Matter more to you as an individual is to just notice where, Do you already, just kind of pause for a second, and if you have a client who is really able to dial up that feminine energy and that sensuality, do you see some benefits in life from that?
Absolutely. I think that’s actually the first place to start because really I, I will say there’s probably like a very small subset of women who really do. In terms of tapping into their erotic potential, they really love giving and it actually has erotic interest for them. Mm-hmm. . But for most female clients, in order for them to show up erotically, like I said, they really need to have their own cup filled.
And so getting a chance to focus on their own self first, the first benefit we always see is they’re just happier. Yeah, they’re just happier in life. I, I always joke that, you know, when you like walk into an elevator, you can sense that woman who is connected with her body, who, um, is walking through the world, you know, not just a floating head, but also like really grounded in her body.
There’s just, you know, something about her, you see it in the lightness, in her eyes, the way that she moves. I know when I. Nourish more of my sensuality. My whole body moves more fluidly versus like a little more originally. Yes. It’s so funny, I’ve, I’ve picturing a handful of my girlfriends right now and you know, Penelope Cruise or Sophia Vigar, I mean, for a modern family there.
So I’m pretty amazing examples. But for the mums listening, if you have a, think about some of your. Girlfriends that embody that sensuality. I bet. What is also quite fascinating is they will all have very different body shapes, and I think this is also another great point to those of us that have maybe struggled with bodies after birth and.
Our bodies as we age. Sensuality does not have to be size six, um, and, and double days at all. And I think that’s, that’s a really important thing to recognize that you, you can feel sensual at any age, at any size. Any way that you look? Yeah, I think there’s something that happens as we get older. It happens with body image, it happens with our orientation to pleasure is just somehow we start to get messages that, you know, either you have to work before you play and so therefore, you know if your work isn’t done, you don’t get to play and have.
Pleasure. Right? Or we get the message that you have to look a certain way in order to be, you know, worthy or whatever of pleasure to be able to get that. And I, I think there is, along with this, like reconnecting to our bodies and. All the ways that our census are available to us. There is also this like rewiring of this message that pleasure is a birthright.
It’s available to every woman, no matter age, , size, shape, whatever. Right? Um, and I think especially moms with young kids, you need look no further than your kids to get an example of what it looks like to live that way. Right? Children, Understand this birthright of pleasure. They put everything in their hands, in their mouths.
They smell it, they taste it, they move it around, and they’re. I mean, if you’ve seen a kid jump through a puddle or smoosh mud in their fingers, you can just see how much pleasure and I, and I don’t know about the other moms listening, but I know I have to rewire that with myself. Right? It’s like, Oh my gosh, no, don’t get dirty.
Or like, I’ve got the clean clothes ready to go. Exactly. Would not get in the mud with you. Right? Like, wait, like it’s such a strange thing. How. How removed from pleasure we are and how we also have like the most perfect examples in our kids to like suddenly just lay down on the floor of the kitchen and look at the ceiling and see what the spatula feels like against our face.
Like . It’s like the craziest stuff, right? Yeah, exactly. And so what would you say for the moms listening that, that wanna dial up the sensuality? What are some. Quick hacks they can do, and we’ve started with this great one about just being more body aware and going through the senses, which I think is, is fantastic.
Are there any other quick ways that we can feel more sensual buying sexy lingerie? That’s one obviously. What else have we got? Sure. Well, so I’ll offer kind of a funny thing that seems to resonate with most of the moms groups. Speak to. So I’m gonna make this invitation, and again, it’s not because I, I want you to step into the sexuality space or the erotic space, or to be focused on giving to others.
But one of the things that I notice for a lot of women is even when they step into this sensuality space, it is. Done is if there is a black hole around their genitals, , like because of all these messages we got around sexuality, that part of them is offline Shut off. Dormant and the invitation I wanna make is when you’re engaging in those sensuality things, so the, the example I give that seems to resonate with most, most mothers is like, imagine like your cup of tea or your cup of coffee that you have that is like, maybe that moment that you’re just like, Oh my gosh, this is so good for me.
I’m like, I have a latte every morning. I have a very nice coffee maker. It’s very important for me. I prop the milk. I’m just like, First sip. So what I, what I would invite the mothers to do is not just like, enjoy that first sip of coffee or tea, and the smell of it. The taste of it, but also wake up that part of your body.
And so what this looks like for a lot of women is maybe just like focusing on their genitals or like doing like a little keel exercise. Mm-hmm. that just says, All of me is welcome to enjoying this pleasure that I’m having right now. All of me can be online. It’s not for anybody else. Like, it’s so funny.
Really. I’m gonna be like totally honest. Like I’m, I’m somewhat practiced at this now cuz I really like, I like that part of me to be online. Just because then I’m a whole woman, like there’s so much creative force and aliveness that comes from that part of my body. And so even as I’m doing it, I’m like, Oh, like, ooh, I’m getting like tingly and flushed all over.
Right? It’s like this, God, But you’ll be making the barista day every time you get your takeaway, coffee barista will be like, Oh, what’s going on , Just need a sexy Brewster, and then I’m right there with you. Right? Yeah. I mean even like the, the checkout person at. Like the grocery store, I’ll just be like, Oh, okay.
I’m just gonna like my whole of my body and it’s my control, right? I’m not inviting anything. This is just for my own ability to be fully in my body, which I think we’re just not, and especially like we’re moms, right? Even our boobs are somebody else’s for a while if we’re breastfeeding, right? There’s just so many ways in which our body.
For somebody else. And so there’s this like reclamation that all of my body can experience pleasure and aliveness, and it can be nourishing to me.
And so if you’ve got a client who is. Trying to reawaken and tap into that. I imagine things like having a shower where you’re actually, you know, the coffee one’s good, but the fact that it’s a long way away from your genitals, I can imagine having a shower, for example, where you can actually get physical is probably a step even closer.
And the more central we feel, it almost edges us closer and closer to feeling like we wanna be intimate with our partner. Yeah, I mean it’s certainly, it’s an interesting thing, right? Like what I like about all these baby steps, right? Is just like, what is just the concept of just turning that part of me on, right?
Yeah. Without the need to even get aroused or even feel desire for my partner. Just like what is it like to turn on, and like you said, like. as I’m starting to baby step towards like, okay, well, yeah, water is a place that a lot of women start to actually connect a little bit more with the more central slash sexual side of themselves, right?
So maybe it’s a bath, maybe it’s a shower. There’s certainly just the sensation of water and warmth. Yeah. I mean most women actually need to be warm. Yeah. To start to tap into desire, arousal, and I think it’s just such a different space to like be able to be like, I’m in control of my access to desire an arousal.
It has nothing to do with my partner, and if I want to engage with my partner erratically Right. , it would sure be nice to be able to tap into my own feelings of turn on before. I engage with them because it’s kind of like coming in cold versus coming in Absolutely. A little warmed up. Yeah, absolutely.
And, and moms, if you need a bit more of a, a helper, can I highly recommend Outlander on Netflix. Oh my goodness. If that doesn’t kind of dial up the sensuality. Oh, Jamie. Anyway, let’s not go there. red, Jamie. I mean, we could just go on . Um, now at Pamela, I’ve heard it said that in society in general, we tend to honor and elevate the masculine energy.
So think, you know, reasoning, strength, and action while diminishing or undervaluing the feminine energy. So think emotional, nurturing, receptivity. How can we balance the two effectively? . Yeah. That’s such a great question and I think that gets back to my comment about most of us are walking through the world really in our heads, and that is like this, this masculine, right?
Let me set a goal, let me work towards a goal, let me get things done. All this checklist and to do items. And I think it’s a really wonderful energy. Like I don’t wanna shortchange both women having masculine energy as well as men. . And I do think there is something about the way that this part of our body works, you know?
Yeah. I mean, for most women, tapping into arousal takes time. It is not a on off switch. Instead it is a slow opening. Right. So like, and I’ll say this shifting from like a masculine orientation towards sexuality, right? Masculine orientation might be. Okay. Like we have a goal and an objective here, and it’s to get to orgasm, this goal oriented approach, right?
Whereas like a more feminine thing might be like, okay, like let’s see where I’m at and. Masculine would also be looking for something big, like clear signs of arousal, right? Yeah. It’s just like if we’re doing a checklist and two, I, I wanna make it very clear that I’ve done this item, right? Yep. This more feminine thing is like, Wait, let me like, listen, let me, let me look for this little glimmer or spark of turn on.
But it doesn’t need to be big yet. Like you said, we’re receptive, we’re creative. There’s this space to grow and be surprised. And I think that that orientation just in general, but certainly in the bedroom, benefits both men and women to have that kind of, just a different, I, I can’t tell you how many women that I’ll work with.
He’ll, he’ll come to me and say, I don’t have desire arousal, or I have low libido, or something’s wrong with me. And I’ll talk to them for just a minute. Maybe we’ll even just say like, Hey, you know, have you watched Outlander? Or when was the last time you watched a movie and got a little horny? And as we start to talk about it, they realize actually how much.
Connection to desire and arousal they have, but they’re looking at it through that masculine lens that it needs to be something big and obvious versus something that starts small. And if not like berated and judged, has a chance to like grow and get bigger and be brighter. I love that concept and it can be so fun when we don.
shame one of those two things, right? Yeah. Okay. And maybe just be aware as an individual, if that masculine energy or maybe the, the feminine energy is overtaking a little bit. I know personally, I definitely err on the side of masculinity. I think society has rewarded me for having all those masculine traits as far as being goal driven.
But there might be mums listening that are, that are the opposite, feel like they need a little bit more. So, so just, you know, recognizing in your own life how that ebb flows. And maybe it could even be at times of the day, like you leave for work and you put your kind of masculine energy hat on. But then as you’re coming home from work, you start to tap into those more intuitive feelings that you have.
Um, and hopefully that will. Dial up that sensuality. Yeah. And I love even blending those too, right? So let’s say I’m someone who’s, yeah, doesn’t walk around the world kind of naturally turned on. But I, I enjoy the way I feel when I am, and I enjoy what it does for my partnership. Maybe I employ a little bit of masculine energy around, well, what do I need to like, include in my day to day life so that I am more available for that?
Like, that’s a nice bringing in masculine and then like, yeah, maybe there’s the honoring of the feminine too. For myself and for my partner to say, Hey, desire and arousal doesn’t show up big for me to start. So we both like, let’s work with that instead of expecting more out of that so we both feel good instead of bad about that, you know?
So finally, for a mom who is sitting here wanting to be a little bit more Sophia Vigara than Wicked Witch of the West, what would one of your top recommendations be for her to help dial up that sensuality? So this is gonna sound like a kind of strange response to that, but one of the things I did along the way was I talked to my girlfriends about my experiences, sensuality and sexuality.
And I had never done that before. I was, you know, for 15 years, like, Hi, I struggle with this. It’s difficult. And then I finally went and saw a sex and relationship coach, and after the first session or two I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m learning so much. I have to talk to my girlfriends about it. And that really unlocked something for me.
I. Talking to other girlfriends, like suddenly normalized my experiences. I wasn’t the only one. And also talking to my girlfriends, I found some girlfriends who were having different experiences than me and kind of maybe go, Huh, like maybe I should try that. And, and so I would invite your listeners to find someone.
In their friend circle that they might be willing to say, Hey, I listened to this podcast. You wanna listen to it too, and like, talk about our experiences, or, um, reach out to me. I have basically like four different discussion prompts that you could like. Talk about with a girlfriend, like the first one is basically like, what messages did you hear about sex as a child?
I found the reason why I think this is so powerful is like I noticed in my own journey that that unlocked a lot for me around becoming a more sensual and sexual uh, being. And I did academic research on it and it found it like lowered stress about. By like 30% an increased desire and arousal by like mid 20%.
And so it’s like, it’s kind of like a proven, effective way to start to shift the needle. Oh, I love that. And I have to say that is actually something that I’m very good at doing After a few cocktails, so listeners come out to dinner and drinks with me and my girlfriends, cuz once we’ve had a couple of cocktails, that’s basically all we talk about.
And we often get kicked out of restaurants cuz we act. Cackling and laughing so hard at some of our, uh, sex stories over the years . So anyway, Pamela, that will, uh, we’ll save those stories for another episode, but thank you so much for today. I actually feel more sensu just. Having spoken to you about this now, and I can’t wait to, uh, go and eat some grapes, uh, Penelope Cruise style and really tap into that feminine energy.
Thank you. You’re welcome. It was fun to have the conversation.