Saturday, October 21, 2017
Authors Posts by Dr. Ava Cadell

Dr. Ava Cadell

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Dr. Ava Cadell is America’s #1 Sexpert as a Clinical Sexologist, Sex Counselor, Founder of Loveology University & President of the American College of Sexologists International. Author of 9 books including the upcoming Sexycises by Sexperts: Intimacy Through Yoga, Dr. Ava is also a sought after media therapist & global speaker; her mission is to empower people to overcome sexual guilt & shame so they can enjoy the benefits of healthy, sexual relationships.

Me Too

As I added my name to the thousands of women (and many men) responding to Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo hashtag this week, I was struck by the sheer volume of stories of sexual harassment, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. I literally cannot name one female friend or client who hasn’t been affected by sexual predatory behavior, and seeing all the people in my life come forward on social media with the simple “Me Too” declaration is an ongoing profound experience.

Hollywood actresses are breaking their silence around sexual harassment and abuse of power in the entertainment industry in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, and the accusations reveal story after story of disgusting male behavior that is truly outrageous. But sadly, most women I know are so accustomed to the systemic misogyny in almost every industry, that they’re not surprised at all. I include myself in that category.

Like Reese Witherspoon, I was raped by a director. And like her, I was taught to be silent about it and any other sexual harassment I faced, lest it ruin my career or cost me my life. Now as I teach sexual healing decades later, I am most often examining this harassment culture through a lens of recovery, helping women get on with their lives and enjoy their sexuality again. But this recent tidal wave of awareness has me hopeful again that we could begin to stop it at the source. How can we do this?

Tarana Burke, the original creator of the “Me Too” campaign ten years ago believes the solution lies with empathy, and I think she’s right. In solidarity, women have power. In great numbers, our stories do matter, and can’t be swept under the rug of, “Well, look at what she was wearing, she was asking for it,” or “Why didn’t she say something at the time?” Is it finally time to stop expecting victimized women to change the system? I am uplifted seeing all the men that are appalled at the #metoo numbers, and are vowing to ‘call out’ their fellow males when they behave inappropriately.

Harvey Weinstein defended his behavior in part by saying that he grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, when treatment of women was ‘different.’ Can the same defense be used by Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Woody Allen and Donald Trump? Is the ‘Baby Boomer Defense’ going to replace the ‘Twinkie Defense’ in the history of flawed justifications? I can’t help comparing Weinstein to my late husband of 25 years, also a Jewish American man who came of age during that period. He never raped anyone, and managed to maintain a life-long high profile career without putting women’s rights and safety in jeopardy. So why do some men bully and intimidate, while others don’t?

One scientific fact at play here is that testosterone is an intoxicating chemical. I’ve spoken with transgendered men who were surprised at the change in their own behavior when they began transitioning, taking testosterone hormone treatment. Some described feeling a narrower range of emotions, less sympathy for others in general, and increased feelings of aggression. It’s no wonder men are responsible for much more of the predatory behavior that gets reported daily. But obviously this is not an excuse for causing harm and abuse to others. Men must evolve.

Another part of the equation is that harassment takes on so many different forms that it makes it difficult to see every behavior as fitting under the same umbrella. Yet as soon as you allow a grazed breast to go unmentioned, you’re opening the door to something worse on the spectrum “from sexual harassment to murder,” as Burke describes the gamut. I was a Playboy bunny and have hosted many sex-themed radio and TV shows, so you can imagine that I’ve brushed off more harassing comments and behavior than the average woman, so my point of view of what can be “tolerated” (not that it should ever be) will be different from the next person’s. And to make things even more complicated, women have bought into the belief that a man’s sexual approval is something to be sought after. For example, I have a friend in her 50’s tell me recently that she felt so guilty about her elation at getting a catcall walking past a construction site. That’s classic unwanted behavior, yet she had a visceral positive reaction to being treated as ‘fuckable at 50,’ to quote Hollywood lingo. Are women constantly seeking approval because of cultural messaging? Yes, of course, and this is not helping us on the journey toward equality.

So, Weinstein has been ousted by the Academy of Motion Pictures and even out of his own company, and now Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, has resigned following accusations of his sexual harassment behavior. But what about the predator culture at large? Director Sarah Polly in her piece in the New York Times this weekend points out aptly that Weinstein is “just one festering pustule in a diseased industry.” So what can we do to heal as a culture?

As we raise the next generation of men, we teach them that they must treat women with respect. We stand up for ourselves and react as immediately as we can to unacceptable behavior. We help each other, women and men, define what unacceptable behavior is, we learn to recognize it without having to debate it. We call it out early and often, and loudly. We stand tall and proud as we look predators in the eye and name their behavior, indicating that we will not be silenced or pretend there is an alternative explanation. We bring lawsuits. We speak up. We forgive ourselves. We heal, and we slowly change the culture from one of prey and predators to one of consent and equality.

Forever Grateful To Playboy & Hef

Playboy has been in my life since I was a double-D when I became a Playboy bunny in London at 18 years old and did a centerfold for Oui magazine, which was owned by Playboy. It was the most money I had ever made and it gave me the confidence I needed to make my own way in the world.

I worked at the Playboy Club serving cocktails in my bunny costume doing the signature ‘Bunny Dip’ move: lean backwards, bend at the knees with the left knee lifted and tucked behind the right leg! The key was to drop off the drinks without spilling them or spilling out of my costume.

When I came to LA, I got my first Playboy TV show called Pillow Previews with producer Jeff Pill (pictured above), where I interviewed sex symbols, along with my co-host Charlie my cat! Next I hosted my own segments on Inside Playboy which was a sexy version of Entertainment Tonight, and that was followed by my third contract to be “Playboy’s Sizzling Sex Cinema Girl” introducing sexy films, like Elvira did for horror films.

I have good memories of those days, and was thrilled when Playboy ran my first feature film called, Spaced Out which was distributed by Miramax. That gave me the opportunity to meet the now-famous producers Bob & Harvey Weinstein when they flew comedian Bob Saget and myself from L.A. to promote the film in Chicago. Bob was the campy voice of the spaceship’s computer and I played the ship’s ditzy engineer.

On the movie poster beside my name it says, “As seen in Oui and Playboy.”

When I decided to get my Doctorate in Human Sexuality and evolve my career from “sex symbol” to “sexpert”, my live seminar video The Power of Seduction became a featured selection in the Playboy Catalog, which is still their online shopping brand.

The last time I was at the Playboy Studios it was for Playboy Radio where I was interviewed along with Dr. John Gray about how to keep relationships passionate.

 

I also hosted Playboy celebrity Kendra Wilkinson and her husband Hank Baskett at an intimacy retreat for WE TV’s Kendra On Top to help save their marriage. Kendra was the star of E!’s Girls Next Door about life at the Playboy mansion, living with Hef and I know that he was near and dear to her heart.

Hugh Hefner not only launched my career, but was there every step of the way as I reinvented myself again and again, maintaining that Playboy family relationship. He taught  me that “Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream,” so I am grateful and he will be missed.

“Sexy Doesn’t Have An Expiration Date” at CatalystCon with Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce

I had the pleasure of speaking with my colleague and friend Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce recently about her success with clients in bringing out their inner “sexy.” Nancy is an inspiration to her students and clients, walking the talk in her own life as a dynamic sensual yoga teacher and exotic lifestyle retreat leader.
This video is a sneak peek into what she’ll be talking about at CatalystCon this September 16th, 2017 in her lecture, “Sexy Doesn’t Have An Expiration Date.”
 
She’s also speaking at Naughty in LA which takes place Sept 30-Oct 2, and again on the Naughty cruise Oct 3-7.

Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce is a Holistic Clinical Sexologist with a Doctoral Degree in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California.

She is also a Yoga Therapist with a Structural Yoga Therapy Certification, Mukunda Stiles, Pasadena, California. She teaches partner yoga and Sexycises to couples who want to enhance their intimacy and experience growth at a deeper level. As a Radio Talk Show Host for The Conscious Living Show, she brings awareness to all her passions. Follow all of Nancy’s events here!

Sexpert Interview With Dr. Pepper Schwartz

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Pepper Schwartz about her latest passion, the importance of giving your relationship an ‘annual wellness check-up.’ Dr. Schwartz is the author of over 25 books, some of them New York Times bestsellers you may have read, like The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples. She’s is the former president of SSSS, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexualities, and her PhD in sociology truly enables her to relate her sexology work to the people it’s intended to help!

In this telephone video interview, Dr. Schwartz talks about how couples can connect in simple but vital ways, making sure they listen to each other and have their feelings heard and understood. Taking the time to listen to your partner about intimate concerns is something many couples put off endlessly, yet it’s often the only hurdle in the way of a fulfilling sex life.

She gives tips on how to keep up the physical bonds of affection by just holding hands again, being curious about each other, and adding something new to the mix.

As AARP’s www.aarp.org love and relationship expert, Dr. Schwarz makes it her mission to write about sensitive topics like painful sexual intercourse. One of her recommendations is to use Replens a vaginal moisturizer that has no estrogen in it and has been scientifically proven to plump up severely atrophied tissue.

Pepper Schwartz has devoted her life to furthering the fields of intimacy and sexuality as an acclaimed author, researcher, and TV personality. To learn more about her prolific work check out her website at: https://pepperschwartz.com/

Goddess Celebration Liberates Your Essense

Dr. Cat Meyer leading yoga at the Goddess Celebration
The Malibu mansion venue offers views of the ocean, swimming & terrace dining.

The Goddess Celebration happening this August 5, 2017 in a private Malibu estate is an all-day women-only event designed to celebrate the feminine in all its forms of love, healing, strength, passion, creativity and playfulness. Last year over two hundred women attended and were pampered and empowered through play, meditation, massage and more.

Dr. Cat Meyer and Nick Spano co-created this unique event for women to express their inner beauty however they choose, with ‘playshops’ in everything from acroyoga and hula hooping to pole dancing. I love the collaborative, loving environment hosted by sexperts and experts like Miyoko RifkinMadison Orange, Kelly Thayer and Leah Russell.

To help women on their journey to let go and truly feel like goddesses, there are volunteer masked man-servants present who lovingly and silently provide refreshments, organic tasty treats, massages and anything needed by the guests who are encouraged to receive abundance and love without having to reciprocate. Women often feel guilty about ‘taking’ without having to give back, so this atmosphere provides a safe space for them to feel honored and provided for, with no expectations from the other side.

Women can learn how to make a flower crown, discover their favorite scent at the essential oil bar, lounge by the pool or relax at the tea lounge – all the heavenly delights fit for a goddess! It’s Cat’s intention to offer a positive space filled with gratitude, love and support where women can practice self-love and play openly and authentically.

This year’s special guest speaker is Caitlin Crosby with the Giving Keys.

I’ll be giving away my Dr. Ava’s Love Coupons in the goodie bag which will also include pheromone candles from Eye of Love, massage oils from Intimate Earth, and goodies from Uberlube, Exsens, Health Warrior, Love Univ, X-pole, Hint, Navitas Organics and much more.

I encourage women to take advantage of this unique opportunity to “Nourish, Pamper, Play & Empower” themselves, but if unable to attend, you can recreate the same atmosphere with enhancements for all your senses and a partner who is willing to serve without expecting anything in return.

“Single But Dating” – Interview With Author Dr. Nikki Goldstein

It was my pleasure to interview Australia’s top sexpert Dr. Nikki Goldstein about her new book, “Single But Dating – A Field Guide to Dating in the Digital Age” I love Nikki’s authentic approach to dating – she encourages people to relax and be themselves without the game playing. But there’s something more in her advice. A wise perspective we can all use to improve our intimacy.

What inspired you to write your book on being Single but Dating?

After coming out of a long term relationship and exploring my dating options, I felt as though there was so much shame put on me for not being in a relationship. And I hated every time I had to declare that I was single either getting an offer of a set up or a look of pity when even though I was single there was no lack of men in my life. I felt that there was no label that suited the life I was living or described it in a more positive way. I was also sick of being told what to do and how to date as though there was some rule book. I wanted the freedom to work out what was right for me but didn’t always feel as though I had the tools to do so.

Can you share one of your most successful dates and one of your most disastrous dates that offer valuable lessons?

The worst date I had was with a guy I had been chatting to online. He was a bit older than me but attractive in his photos. We had been talking and texting for a short period of time before he asked me out. When I got to the bar he was very different from his picture ( and looked much older) and there was nothing really to talk about. I knew he wasn’t into me and he knew I wasn’t into him. I sat there sipping my cocktail praying for the end. When we said goodbye, there was no mention of another catch up from both of us and it was extremely awkward. But at least the feeling was mutual. Sometimes it can seem like it would work on paper or from what they tell you on the phone, but if there is no chemistry there there is no chemistry. I really think we need to use the online world as just another avenue to meet people, like an online bar. But you still need to go out and see them in person as things might not transpire.

One of the most successful dates I had was soon after I had frozen my eggs. I had been set up with a guy by mutual friends and whilst he didn’t look like my type, I didn’t think I had anything to loose to at least go and meet him. My head space was a lot more calm and relaxed and I was open to just going with the flow and exploring a connection. We had a lovely first date and he was a great person to be out with. It was the first time I wasn’t analyzing him or the situation or tying to work out if there could be a future . I was just about to be present and enjoy his company. I finally had that lightbulb moment of this is how dating should be and a healthy mind set to be dating someone with. We didn’t work out in the long run but we did date for a bit. Our decision to not continue a relationship was based on factors once we got to know each other better.

Many young women are comfortable using online dating, but what about older divorced or widowed women, what advice do you have for them?

People use online dating these days but many still have reservations about it, young and old. Some people feel as though it takes away the romance from meeting someone. But it gives us more options and we need to utilize the technology that’s there. I think a balance is good. Try dating in the physical world but also have a presence online. Choose a site or app that is right for you in terms of the people you are looking for. Where you choose to date can say a lot about what type of dates you are after. There is now a dating site for every different niche so it might take some searching to find one that is right for you. There is no group these days that has been left out of the online dating world. But when you do jump on line, make sure to use it as just a way to meet people not a forum to build online relationships. When you talk to someone for so long because you are trying to feel more comfortable with them, you can build up false expectations and also a connection with a false version that someone can portray over the phone. Have a chat and then go meet them in public. It’s important to see if the in person connection is there.

How important is sex in a successful relationship?

It’s important if it’s important to you. For some people sex is a must and for other’s it’s just not such a big deal and might not be as present as in other relationships. That’s ok if both people are on the same page and intimacy and bonding can be built in other ways. But on a personal level I do believe sex  can be such a benefit to a relationship. It’s a way to bond, to feel close to someone to feel pleasure and intimacy. It’s also a way you can feel good about yourself and your body and benefit from the hormones that are released. If you are not having sex often, it’s important to find other ways to achieve these things.

What’s your next book going to be about?

The areas I’m looking at exploring now are fertility and helping couples solve that question “how do we spice things up.” I feel as though there are a lot of couples out there who are struggling in the bedroom and I want to help that average couple who are scared about seeking sex and relationships advice or don’t know where to start. Keeping things going sexually in a long term relationship can be difficult and I think we need to be more open about the fact that most of us will and do find it a struggle at some stage. I want to help give more useful solutions instead of the fluffy usual ones.

About Dr. Nikki Goldstein

Real, poised and self-assured; she’s Australian’s modern day expert on all things relating to sex, dating, relationships and EVERYTHING in between.

She has a unique ability to normalise the subjects of sex and relationships and her fresh, balanced and candid views make her instantly relatable and approachable.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from San Francisco’s esteemed Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality; and is a highly credible authority on the topics of love, sex, dating, romance and relationships.

She appears regularly on the Seven Network, writes monthly for Maxim and Rescu and is a regular contributor to Cleo, Dolly, Cosmo, Daily Mail, Askmen.com, She Says & Latte Life. She can also be heard across Australia’s airwaves, including 2UE, 4BC, i98, Mix (now KIIS) FM, the Edge 96 and across Austereo’s national network.

Voted Australia’s Best Sex Educator for 2012 and 2013, she’s young, bright, honest and already has a credible background many peers would envy.

Prior to receiving her doctorate, Nikki worked in mediation at Relationships Australia for couples going through divorce. It was during this time she was exposed to a key reason why Australian marriages break down. “These traditional relationships were buckling due to societal pressure to conform, a lack of knowledge and education, little or no positive role models and ultimately a lack of communication.”

Pheromones Make You More Attractive, Social & Successful

Have you ever been drawn to someone whose smell was intoxicating and you just couldn’t stop thinking about them? That’s called chemical attraction, and is caused by our natural pheromones that are secreted from our glands, which send signals to trigger specific mating responses in our brain. They are sensed by an organ in the nasal passage known as VMO, then send messages to the brain to interpret signals that can include fertility, confidence, sexual attraction, trustworthiness and even success or power. Consequently, pheromones can produce overwhelming attraction, even when the physical attributes are lacking.

Studies have shown that pheromones can help others to see you as more open, attractive, charismatic, and easy to talk to. They can facilitate conversations, interest and create enhanced friendly feelings. For best results, apply just below the neckline and wrists where you have your sweat glands. For a variety of products infused with pheromones such as candles, fragrances and sunscreen, go to here.

Our natural gender specific pheromones include Androstenone associated with alpha male sexual tension, Androstenedione, a chemical found in sweat, Androstenol, the female pheromone associated with romantic interest and Copulines, the female pheromone released during ovulation that has been shown to increase male testosterone.

Pheromones are emitted from our sweat glands, pulse points and anywhere that we have hair, so you can release attraction-boosting signals by going commando, not showering right after exercising and by not wearing deodorant or fragrances that will mask your natural scent. I’m not suggesting that you don’t maintain good hygiene, but bathing with warm water while cutting down on soap will wash off fewer of your body’s pheromones. You can also enhance your pheromones by eating foods high in zinc such as oysters and other fresh seafood aphrodisiacs known to increase testosterone in men and women.

Independent studies have been conducted at leading universities worldwide, such as Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago and the Karolinska Institute, one of Sweden’s oldest medical schools have shown that pheromones do have a profound effect on human behavior.

Give A Hands-Free Massage aka Nuru Massage

There’s a reason people love to watch mud wrestling. Bodies covered from head to toe in a slippery substance is not only compelling, it’s erotic. So it’s no surprise that Nuru massage has become very popular. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a full-body massage technique where both parties (or more!) get completely covered in massage gel from head to toe, and use their bodies to caress, scratch, rub, tickle, knead, slip, slide and stroke the other person’s body. It’s the ultimate mutual massage thrill. Ladies, let your lover slide himself between your breasts, holding them together firmly but gently, pressing them around his penis for a sensual massage. Guys, touch your female partner in slow motion to heighten her sensitivity and increase her arousal, causing the clitoris to engorge.

The Japanese word “nuru nuru” means slippery, and ‘nori’ is seaweed, the key ingredient in Mr. Nori’s Magic Gel along with chamomile, grape seeds and aloe, creating a moisturizing, long-lasting gel that keeps you and your partner slipping and sliding for hours. MagicGel sent me a generous sample and I must say it’s impressively viscous and stays slippery for quite a long time without having to reapply. It feels luxuriously thick, without the friction of a thick gel. It is truly one of the most slippery substances I’ve ever felt!

To enjoy a Nuru massage, you mix the gel with water in the bowl (Mr. Nori offers a beautiful one) and then pour it over your bodies to begin massaging each other’s shoulders, back and legs. Body slide over each other and discover what feels good as you go, with peace of mind knowing that these all natural ingredients are safe for your body. I recommend beginning your “hands-free massage” with the breath, followed by using your hair. Then cover your body in massage gel and get on top of your partner using different parts of your body to massage them, such as your chin, elbows, nipples, butt. Sensually, slide up and down in slow motion, then from side to side and in circular motions, using your genitals to massage your lover to a happy ending!

Besides the bowl for mixing, other accessories you might need are a waterproof sheet (which Mr. Nori sells in all bed sizes) or an air mattress, and they also recommend Liberator sex furniture to make the experience even more dynamic.

Nuru massage offers a unique feeling of weightless freedom that is truly extraordinary. I urge couples to try it because not only is it therapeutic to share massages, it’s also something new and exciting for your sex life. Slicked-down bodies are unencumbered bodies, which makes for a whole new world of positions with your lover, igniting your imagination in new ways, such as bodies poised together in a 69 position, both partners fueling each other’s mutual orgasms.

Magic Gel comes in two types. The ‘Authentic’ gel is a dense formula that definitely needs to be mixed with water. One part gel, one part water gives you the perfect formula for regular play, and then you can use it straight out of the bottle for the bath or shower. It’s the same for their ‘Moisturizing’ formula, but this one adds aloe and chamomile for added benefit to your skin. They each come in 8.5 ounce bottles or big value-size 33.8 ounce jugs!

But what I love is that they are both stain-free, fragrance-free, stain-free and made in the USA!

Check out this Nuru massage in action at the Sexual Health Expo, hosted by Reid Mihalko:

New TV Series “Unicornland” Explores Polyamory – Interview With Creator Lucy Gillespie

I’ve just discovered Unicornland, a new show about that elusive character in adult play circles – the unicorn, which means a single woman looking to play with couples. The main character Annie is exploring her sexuality after a divorce and each episode is a different sexual adventure.

The show is created and produced by Lucy Gillespie, and shot by a mostly female crew, which I love. I also love that’s it’s very sex-positive and celebrates the social diversity of New York City including not only trans and genderqueer people, but disabled actors as well. Sex and disability is one of the most important topics for me, as I believe everyone has some form of disability or limitation when it comes to love, intimacy and sex.

Watching the show got me curious about the motivations of its creator, so I reached out to find out! Here is my interview with the talented creator, Lucy Gillespie.

Dr. Ava Cadell: What do you hope viewers will learn and take away from the series?

Lucy Gilespie: I hope people watching Unicornland will come to appreciate how many ways there are to love. That we live in a society that places strict expectations on how relationships “should” function, especially for women. That maybe these expectations and standards are no longer serving us. That maybe they’re constrictive and destructive emotionally, psychologically, and a hindrance to social progress.

Mainly, I want people to get a sense of how supple love is. That jealousy is not the be-all end-all. Jealousy is a flashlight that exposes dark places! That kink is not shameful. In fact, true love is most joyful when we share, acknowledge and fulfill one another’s deepest needs, wants and pleasures.

I hope the viewers will talk about what they want, and have maybe never asked for. I hope that viewers will be inspired to love more deeply in whatever way serves them.

AC: How can the older generation of poly people identify with the characters in the series?

LG: It’s true that most couples in the series are in their 30s. Most are childless. All live in New York (or nearby). In spite of that, I believe the fundamental principles of communication and trust are the same in all non-monogamous relationships.

Also, the series is not about polyamory. It’s about Annie realizing that sexual exploration is the journey she must take to evolve. I think that’s something everyone can identify with, whether they’re a teenager just starting to date, or a retired polyamorous couple navigating new needs and issues with long-standing rules.

AC: What are some relationship benefits and consequences of polyamory?

LG: The benefits of exploring new relationship models are a greater ability to accept and appreciate your partners, because they aren’t responsible for *all* your needs. By having more sexual experiences, it is possible to develop a greater awareness about the context of your sexuality and the skills you bring to a relationship. You see yourself more clearly; what you tolerate, what you don’t, your behavior, your patterns. With more experience comes more more awareness, more knowledge about the world, and a deeper understanding of people.

The consequences are that a commitment to personal grow means you don’t get to stay comfortable. It’s true that dysfunctional heteronormative relationships can last forever, spiraling more tightly inwards with no outside interference to break negative cycles. Dysfunctional polyamorous relationships break down fast, as they’re exposed to more criticism and more parties’ opinions. That means individuals must come face to face more frequently with their personal bullshit, and the need to address it. There are exceptions to this of course, but you can’t sit in your bullshit or rest on your laurels if you’re committed to ethical non-monogamy.

And there are also risks, which are different from consequences, but which cannot be left out of this conversation. Everything from STDs to physical, sexual and psychological abuse to hypocrisy to brainwashing to being alienated from your family and friends, to being profiled as a result of being “out”, to being spectacularly heartbroken, to getting jealous, to having to deal with brand new emotions and feeling like a teenager, to just being really really distracted a lot of the time. My partner and I are currently monogamous, partly because it takes so much time and commitment to do non-monogamy right.

AC: How does this lifestyle enhance sexual satisfaction for women?

LG: Because it encourages you to be proactive about fucking! Too many women are quiet about sex and timid about asking for what they want. I know because I was real quiet, and didn’t want to bother anyone–and I’m no shrinking violet! Even as a confident extrovert, I felt a duty to prioritize my boyfriend or husband’s sexual needs over my own.

It’s difficult to give a catch all answer to this because so many women have abuse stories. The scene is not a haven. Nowhere is truly a haven except for your own mind and the constant gardening of a willingness to commit to self-care and self-improvement. So I don’t mean to say that the scene is a place where you can heal… But for me it was healing. It allowed me to re-learn love, sex and relationships.

AC: How would you recommend that someone who wants to explore poly by bringing someone new into the relationship communicate their desires to their partner?

LG: Communication first and foremost. Talk it to death. Why, how, what, when. Be overly communicative about your fantasies. If your partner is not interested in something, point blank end-of-story, and that thing is meaningful to you, then maybe the relationship is over. More likely, your partner is (after the freak out of that initial question) interested, with reservations. Talk through those reservations and figure out what you can change in your daily life that will reinforce the strength of your relationship. Once you’ve gotten to a place where you have a strong, supple safety net of trust and an established vocabulary for how to talk through potential pitfalls, then try going to a sex party.

I recommend sex parties above unicorning for couples who are new to non-monogamy. It’s a way to “have the conversations” visually. What you see will trigger emotions – negative and positive – that you could not and did not predict. And you can go to a sex party and be tourists and voyeurs (don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can’t. They’re assholes). Providing you’re not disrespectful or creepy, it’s totally OK to be a closed couple – or even single – at a sex party. Know your boundaries and uphold them. That’s key to building trust.

Once you’ve discussed and then confirmed your feelings and interests, and maybe made a friend at a sex party or at a Munch (non-sexual gathering of poly people – usually cocktails or a brunch at a public venue), then start to experiment with your more specific desires.

Just as going from being single to being in a relationship causes all kinds of friction and issues; going from being monogamous to non-monogamous causes the same thing. And it takes just as long to get used to, if not longer.

Lucy Gillespie is an Anglo-American playwright, screenwriter and producer currently based in New York. An alum of the Obie-award winning Youngblood Playwrights Group, Lucy has held residencies at MacDowell and Byrdcliffe. She received her MFA from NYU in Dramatic Writing as a Goldberg Fellow in 2014. She is the creator and producer of “Unicornland.” Follow on Twitter @unicornwithus

Dr. Ava Interviews O Yoga Sexpert Psalm Isadora

Psalm Isadora is a Tantric Expert and sexual healer who uses her Yes Method to help women go deep with their sexuality and experience pleasure as they never have before. I had the opportunity to interview Psalm at the Sexual Health Expo in Los Angeles, and learned her trademark breathing technique that has been changing lives around the world.