Relationships Podcast Post

Let’s Talk About Sex with Dr. Holly Richmond

George Grombacher June 9, 2022

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Let's Talk About Sex with Dr. Holly Richmond

LifeBlood: We talked about how to say to your partner “Let’s talk about sex,” the three keys to healthy relationships, the right language to use, and how to get started with Dr. Holly Richmond, Certified Sex Therapist, SexTech Consultant and creator or Reclaiming Your Pleasure.  

Listen to learn why you need to give yourself the same grace you extend to others!

You can learn more about Holly at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Dr. Holly Richmond

Episode Transcript

Come on

Unknown Speaker 0:12
life with this is George G. And the time is right, aka today’s guest strong, powerful Dr. Holly Richmond. Dr. Holly, are you ready to do this? I am. Thank you so much for having me back. George. I’m excited to have you back on. And Dr. Holly is a certified sex therapist, sex tech consultant. She’s the author and creator of reclaiming pleasure. Dr. Holly, tell us a little about your personal life smart about your work and why you do what you do. Oh my gosh, I love doing what I do. And I feel like it’s a constant evolution. So I started out in this profession working with sexual trauma specifically. So I started my career at a rape crisis center, and quickly learned that I was taught well how to treat trauma, but I didn’t know how to treat the what comes next. And that what comes next is great sex and healthy relationships. So my reclaiming pleasure platform is really building off all of the pleasure connection, and control based aspects that people need to feel like their best, most erotic selves. Got it? I appreciate that. It’s a

Dr. Holly Richmond 1:20
really difficult to figure out how to help somebody through one phase, but then you recognize Okay, that’s great. We did this. But now what, right? This isn’t the end, because now there’s an opportunity to maybe the term is be proactive, right? Yeah, absolutely. Check it out. They’re in practice and in the therapy space in the therapy room. We we go through all of the skills and of course, they’re practicing them with me, and they’re modeling them with me, but for people to really be happy, obviously, that has to happen in life. So I feel like the biggest part of my job that I get excited about is, again, finding pleasure finding connection, finding eroticism for each person. And when I use the word erotic, that really means lifeforce or vitality, vivacity, creativity. It’s not necessarily sexual. It can be but it doesn’t have to be. But it’s really like, where’s that fire coming from? And how do we apply that to ourselves and to our relationships? Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker 2:20
are there certain elements that you look to that really go into a healthy relationship? Absolutely. There’s three that I talk about with every client, almost every individual and I think whether you’re in a relationship or not, these are three great concepts to think about.

Unknown Speaker 2:40
But for couples, especially long term couples, I feel like these three can can kind of taper off a little bit. So I’m excited to talk to you today about how we can help couples refocus. Yeah. And I think that’s, so my wife, and I’ve been married for 10 years. And we have two kids. And so we’re probably a pretty common case study where we were talking before we started about school and getting kids from place to place and work and everything else. So

Unknown Speaker 3:10
if you’re not intentional about things, if you’re not paying attention, then I think maybe things just atrophy or they get pushed to the the whatever just isn’t, doesn’t become a priority. And unless you make it a priority, so like this is going to be helpful for for lots of people. So tell us what these three things are. Yeah, let’s so let’s dive into number one. And I loved your words, intention and priority.

Unknown Speaker 3:38
I’m sure when you and your wife first started dating, you were very intentional about those dates, and they were a priority. So my first tip for healthy couples is to kind of harness that energy. And it’s this give each other active appreciations daily.

Unknown Speaker 3:54
It sounds so simple. And George, I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve sat down with and I’m like, Are you appreciating each other daily? Are you saying thank you, and get this? Are you saying good morning and good night, and the blank stares I get

Unknown Speaker 4:11
just a good morning and a good night. Just the kind of book and our day and love and family and partnership and in an appreciation. So act of appreciation that can literally be Hey, I appreciate that you picked up the kids from school today. That was such a huge help for me. Or I appreciate how kind you are to my Aunt Betty. She’s a pain in the butt. I know you go out of your way to do that. Or just Hey, George, thanks like I totally felt like you had my back there. But these are the little things that that couples long term couple stocks stop doing and when they’re not there, then we start feeling taken for granted. And if that goes on for long enough it leads to resentment. Resentment is one of the key killers of happy relationships. If a couple comes to me and I

Unknown Speaker 5:00
I’m just seeing resentment coming from everywhere. That’s I, I’m in a really tough place because diminishing resentment when it’s been there for five years, 10 years, 15 years, 50 years, you’ve got a whole mountain of stuff to dig through. So the antidote to resentment is appreciation.

Unknown Speaker 5:18
I think that we’ve all experienced that in some form, or fashion with some relationship, either we’ve seen, like, as we’re listening, we can picture either in ourselves, or we picture relationships that we’ve seen, and they’re just, you know, like, wow, those people are just at each other’s throats, and they just really don’t seem to really like each other. And

Unknown Speaker 5:38
the antidote to that is, I was thinking it’s, you know, death by 1000 cuts, but it’s it’s successful relationship by 1000.

Unknown Speaker 5:47
appreciations, right. It’s these little things. That’s a beautiful way to say it. Almost every couple that I’m working with, it’s in trouble. It’s a death by 1000 paper cuts. There’s only there’s rarely some egregious, you know, thing that’s happened, that that’s breaking this couple of part. It’s the little things it’s a little things, we don’t hear me anymore. I’m not seeing I don’t have my voice. We’re not having sex. I’m not appreciated all these little pieces.

Unknown Speaker 6:17

Unknown Speaker 6:19
does. I remember reading this book, The however many love languages, and my wife and I talking about how, how they like to be how each of us likes to be or has preferences on if it’s like, do nice things for me or say nice things to me, things like that. How important is that? Is it important at all? Your thoughts on that? Yeah, it’s very important. I appreciate the love languages. Now, this is not like they’re not clinical findings. I’m not typically going to prescribe a love language, I think it’s really important for each person to know how they receive love and how they give love and mostly how their partner wants to receive love and give love. Because if those cues are being missed, if one person’s language is gift giving, and one person’s language is acts of service. So this acts of service just keeps doing the dishes, doing the laundry, things like that the person who’s like, oh my gosh, I would love it. If you bring me flowers, she’s going to completely miss the dishes and the laundry. And, and if he’s needing acts of service, right, we usually like to receive how we give, and she keeps buying him. Oh, I got you this new shirt. Hey, check out these cool sneakers I just picked up for you. He’s gonna be like, great, but I don’t really like gifts.

Unknown Speaker 7:39
Yeah, yeah. So that makes a ton of sense. I also love the idea of of the book ending, because find that those are the times that you had a little bit more control over.

Unknown Speaker 7:53
Is Is there something that it depends for everybody?

Unknown Speaker 7:59
Do you encourage people to try to do an act of appreciation a certain number of times, like throughout the day or

Unknown Speaker 8:08
in the beginning, if they’re really struggling, I’m going to say 3x three acts of appreciation daily, but always with those bookends. In Georgia, I want to say for couples that travel and I feel like the world’s opening back up and couples are traveling more. This book and idea is critical for those people. So when we wake up in the morning, there’s a good morning text or literally a one minute phone call, how was your night? How did you sleep. And then at the end of the day, the same thing. And if people are in different time zones, this text should still be there. So they see it when they wake up, or they see it when they go to sleep or again, they just have that quick check in from you. It just it really holds the container of love and appreciation and I’m thinking about you. I love it holds the container of love and appreciation. All right. So active appreciation daily. What is the next one?

Unknown Speaker 9:02
The next one is give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Unknown Speaker 9:07
Okay, so let’s talk about that. What does that mean? It means when we are in long term partnerships, most of the time when our partners irritate us hurt our feelings. It’s because of Miss attunement not because of malice. So they’re not trying to irritate us they’re just not attuned to us in that moment.

Unknown Speaker 9:30
So what happens is if someone’s not giving their partner the benefit of the doubt every one of those Miss attunements becomes a big effing deal and the relationship just gets chipped away at chipped away at chipped away at and I hear things like we fight all the time. We’re arguing we’re always arguing he doesn’t get it. He just I asked him not to do something and he does it again. That’s Miss attunement. And usually, again, these couples I sit with them and like wow, you guys really like each other and you really love each other

Unknown Speaker 10:00
What is happening here?

Unknown Speaker 10:03
I think that that is such a powerful and important thing. Another spin on that that I’ve heard

Unknown Speaker 10:09
people talking about, I think it’s really from assuming that the government is when you’re not happy about something, assume that it’s incompetence and not malice. So with a relationship and your significant other, let’s assume that they’re not wanting to make you irritated, or do you harm. They’re just it’s just miss attuned. What a great word that is. Great term. Yeah, yeah. And this, I mean, you can give the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes this is not always because the opposite of giving the benefit of the doubt is, George, I always give you the benefit of the doubt, but then I continually throw myself under the bus. Now we’re right back into that lane of resentment. Right. So I give you the benefit of the doubt to three times and then you do it again. I’m like, George, oh, my gosh, how are you? Not? How are you not hearing me right now? I asked for this and you keep missing the mark. So then we talk about it. Right. And that’s really I’m hoping in that place of communication, each person saying what they need, maybe you who was Miss attune saying, Oh, my gosh, I haven’t shared this with you. But I just had a huge crisis at work. And I’m so in my head about work. And I have not paying attention to what’s going on here with you and our family right now. I apologize.

Unknown Speaker 11:27
Your partner is going to need? Yeah, it is a and I’m certainly guilty of that. And usually happens when I’m tired. And my wife will want to that the scenario you just described, have a conversation about our day and vent a little bit and just articulate what’s on our mind. And I catch myself being impatient and wanting to move on and not listen or have a conversation.

Unknown Speaker 11:53
So I’m sure that that’s a big part of it is just becoming more mindful of how I’m responding. Yeah, absolutely. And you being tired. That’s valid. Anybody with two full time jobs and kids it we all get it? I have a feeling your wife, like might be more relational. Many women are they just need to talk through things. That’s probably she probably finds a lot of deep connection when she gets to share with you. At the end of the day. Maybe you don’t need it as much, but she does need it. So George, that’s what you need to hear. She needs it. You need to give her four or five minutes. Yeah. When I say it like that, you’re like, Jesus, it’s not that much I can.

Unknown Speaker 12:31
I can listen, I can handle that. Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 12:37
Indeed, give each other the benefit of the doubt Miss attunement, not malice, that is powerful. All right, what is our third? Our third one, the healthiest couples talk about sex. Now, you know, because I’m a sex therapist, I was gonna get sex in here somehow. So

Unknown Speaker 12:55
this, I mean, this is one of the most powerful tips, it sounds so easy, yet so few couples do it. Now our younger generations are 20 and 30. Somethings, they’re doing a much better job than our generation has done. But we have to talk about sex. How do we expect that something that we’re not talking about, we think is supposed to be natural, and I’m using air quotes there is supposed to be great. There’s nothing we do in our lives that we don’t talk about or put intention towards that we think is going to be great. I have couples who have spent more hours picking out a new refrigerator or washing dryer than they have talking about their sex life. For sure.

Unknown Speaker 13:36
Right. And it just it sounds crazy when you say it about that when you say it like that. But of course couples come to me because they’re like, oh, we have a desire discrepancy. So one partner wants more sex than the other or sex life isn’t good. Or my partner never wants to have sex? What’s going on? And I always start with how much are you talking about this? What’s the language around sexuality? Because we’re really talking about a language of connection to and for some people, many men physical touch is a love language. So physical touch for them kind of goes to sex. That’s where they’re feeling love. And so helping their partner understand that and this could obviously be for her as well. But just really having this conversation. How do you feel loved? What role does sex have in that? What does sex mean to me? What does it mean to you?

Unknown Speaker 14:29
Well, that makes sense. And

Unknown Speaker 14:34
is is one of the problems or challenges opportunities, just not having those words and not wanting to use the wrong words. I think so say more though, like what words would you what words are you thinking would be?

Unknown Speaker 14:50
Yeah, I think it’s a it’s an like you were saying, What does sex mean to you or or what is love me? I’m kind of going to screw it up.

Unknown Speaker 15:00

Unknown Speaker 15:01
just because

Unknown Speaker 15:03
I think the more I have the words to describe or to start a conversation,

Unknown Speaker 15:10
it’s like, I don’t have the right tool for this job. So I’m not going to be able to do it properly. If I don’t, if I’m not able to articulate or even start the conversation about it, then I probably won’t met all them, but then I’ll avoid it. Gotcha. That’s a really good question. And it is a good point. So maybe you start with what’s working. So you can go back to our tip number one, hey, I really appreciate this about how we communicate or I love this about our sex life, or could it even be I have been reminiscing about our sex life from a couple years ago? Do you miss that? Because I do.

Unknown Speaker 15:48
Okay, yeah, I think that that makes a lot of sense. Yeah. But you don’t want to say, hey, our sex life sucks.

Unknown Speaker 15:56
That’s not a good lead. Right now. So I think that that, that, that makes a ton of sense. Yeah. Okay. And that, that is sort of the gateway into, okay, we’re, we’re now having this conversation, instead of working around working our way around each other, and not knowing how to even enter into it. You know, hey, I was just reminiscing, I was thinking about, you know, when we were just, you know, dating and how awesome that was, and how much fun we had. What do you think about that? Or?

Unknown Speaker 16:30
Yeah, I’m curious, what do you think of our sex life right now? Because I love having sex with you. And I just, I wish we could be doing it more. Where are you with this? There it is. Yeah, yeah, we’re talking about it. I love it. Yeah. It’s, it’ll, it’ll go slow. And you know, once you kind of get through that initial phase, from there, and the weeks that are following, you can talk more specifically about experiences or acts that you’re missing. Again, it’s just amazing, like that limerence phase at the beginning of relationships. So limerence is the clinical term for the honeymoon phase, all of the fire and energy and creativity that happens in that phase, that phase is typically six months to 18 months, maybe two years where you just get that real fire, you can’t keep your hands off of each other. That, of course, is going to shift and change as the relationship goes more into deep attachment. But it doesn’t have to be gone. It just takes a little bit more work. And talking about the elements you will love from that phase, I think is a great place to start. That makes a ton of sense. Yeah. Well, Dr. Holly, that people are ready for that difference making tip even though you’ve already given us three, what do you have for them?

Unknown Speaker 17:42
Wow, that difference making tip for today. I think I’d like to piggyback on my number two, I’ve just been feeling it’s so it’s giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt, or it’s letting ourselves off the hook is the word that I’ve really been working with over the last couple of weeks. I am a therapist, but I am also a human. Just making mistakes, even at work even in in my family with my partnerships, I just am trying to be a little bit kinder compassionate. So giving myself the benefit of the doubt. I’m not being malicious, letting myself off the hook. So I’m not continually walking around and guilt or shame, which doesn’t serve anyone. So kind of really for me right now just stepping up to the plate making the apologies I might need to make learning doing things different. Yeah, I don’t know, I feel like we all go through these phases where we’re, like, just plunged into the depths of the human experience. And that’s kind of what I’ve been wrestling with the last few weeks. Um, yeah, we’re really complex creatures, and we make mistakes. And it doesn’t mean we’re bad people. Well, I think that is great stuff that definitely gets come up. Yeah, we we have to extend ourselves the same grace that we extend others. So I think that that’s well said. Thank you. Well, Dr. Holly, thank you so much for coming back on where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you? Thank you for having me again. So Instagram is a great place I’m at at Dr. Holly Richmond, Dr. H O ll y r i c h m o n D. My website is Dr. Holly My courses, online courses, books group coaching is at reclaiming your and the book is called reclaiming pleasure.

Unknown Speaker 19:31
Excellent. Well if you enjoyed this as much as I did, show Dr. Hall your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas find her at Dr. Holly and on Instagram at Dr. Holly Richmond and find more information about

Unknown Speaker 19:47
about the courses and coaching at reclaiming your set. Right doctor? You got it. You got it. Excellent.

Unknown Speaker 19:56
Well, thank you again. Dr. Holly.

Unknown Speaker 20:00
Thank you so much for being with you George Have a great day you as well and until next time keep fighting the good fight we’re all in this together you

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