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Reclaiming Female Sexual Desire | Pamela Joy | TEDxPaloAlto

May 29, 2021
Hi, I'm Pam Costa and I'm struggling with that zyre now that it sounded a bit like starting a meeting and in many ways it's because I struggle with

sexual

desire

and I guess a lot of you do well too. I'm a researcher, so I'm going to hypothesize that if I share my experiences with you, you'll feel less alone in your experiences and maybe empowered to do something about it now, it might help to step back again because believe it or not. I didn't always feel so comfortable talking about sex in a room full of strangers. I grew up in the Midwest.
reclaiming female sexual desire pamela joy tedxpaloalto
This is my family. corner with glasses and a bow on my head in a very uncharacteristic move for me when i left for college i flirted with this guy and we started dating my hormones and i was so excited about how things were going with this guy that despite the abstinence promise i had made in church about six months Shortly into our relationship i had sex for the first time it was great we finally got married moved to california and started our careers in tech it was my own personal fairy tale , the years went by, however, I began to notice a trend every 6 to 12 months, my husband would touch my shoulder and say We need to talk, we would sit and he would look at me with a feeling of rejection on his face and say: I want to more sex.
reclaiming female sexual desire pamela joy tedxpaloalto

More Interesting Facts About,

reclaiming female sexual desire pamela joy tedxpaloalto...

He looked back with this feeling of guilt. I look at my face and say no and I don't know why but we are engineers so we put our thinking heads together and found solutions, maybe you are familiar with some of these. the solution of going on vacation was that it's probably hormonal. I'll just switch to the birth control solution and of course the ever popular weekly date night solution. We were good engineers and all these solutions worked for a while. Fast forward 15 years and this was my life pretty stereotypical married with child scene That's right, I was a busy professional and sex was at the bottom of my to-do list, so the next time my husband came to me and he told me that we had to talk, something felt different, this time he felt more serious, like it was our fairy tale. falling apart i decided to get checked out and went to my gynecologist and explained i am really struggling with

sexual

desire

she laughed and replied yes you and all the other women in my practice she really said you and all the other hyperbolic women can Definitely a relief, but then he looked at my chart and said there's nothing wrong with you hormonal II, the medical community really has nothing to offer you, but then he reached into his drawer and pulled out the business card of his own personal therapist. handing it over to me saying this woman helped me maybe she can help you well I ran to my car and emailed her and she responded right away saying sorry I am completely busy and not accepting new clients she gave me however I reached out to half a dozen other sex therapists and I went up to them and can't you imagine it was completely packed?
reclaiming female sexual desire pamela joy tedxpaloalto
He was not accepting new clients. Now the business side of me was like wow. my personal side was getting a little frustrated so i came home hopping online with my husband and we found the website of someone who calls herself a sex and relationship coach now i don't know about you but i wasn't quite sure what i she did a sex coach so i called her and she assured me that we don't take our clothes off during the session so we book an appointment a few days later we are sitting in her office and start explaining to her what is going on and some breakthroughs in the story . he paused and asked me the first of a series of very important questions he said what messages you received about sex as a child now i pause because i had never thought about it before and as i searched my memory files i remember this time when i i was six years old in a friend's basement and she told me if you put your hands here and move them it would feel good oh i tried and it actually felt pretty good but as i was telling that story i realized that that was the last positive message I have been talking about sex for a long time.
reclaiming female sexual desire pamela joy tedxpaloalto
A few years later, in third grade, I was in a mall and I looked down the hall and saw this man touching himself and looking at me, the message I got was that sex was for someone else's pleasure and it made me feel a little disgusting. Cass Ward a few years later and you remember that sex ed talk you got in fifth grade, well the message I heard there was that sex was dirty and dangerous and if I did it I would probably end up pregnant or sick my coach told me he stopped at that point in the story and said wow pam if those were the messages he got no wonder you don't want to have sex this great wave of relief washed over me i had been feeling broken like t something was wrong with me but it was starting to hit me Realizing that all those fairy tale princess messages she had received since she was two years old ending with a kiss and nothing else were really hurting us, how could she suppress the sexual side? of myself for so long getting all these messages and then just SPECT to turn it back on my trainer felt it was the perfect time for a lifesaver because I was sitting there wondering how come any woman anywhere is having a healthy sex life Given This culture, she told me that it's okay to stay exactly as you are, that there's no right way to live a sex life, but I'm curious, would you like to read with that part of you that you've been disconnected from for so long?
I said yes and over the next few months I learned to connect with my body by focusing on little things throughout the day that bring me physical pleasure, for example, like a hot shower, a soft sweater, the feeling of sun on my face, I learned to connect. I didn't mix feelings of pleasure with those feelings of pleasure and in doing so I realized that my path to arousal desire looks very different from my husband's it is slower to build but can often reach higher heights well this was really Exciting for me I started to wonder what would happen if I shared my story with other women so even though it scared the hell out of me to even think about this with anyone else I got out my phone texted a few friends and moments later they texted back oh OMG.
I'm having the same experience or oh yeah but it's my partner who is having that experience and then one of them wrote me and said a very bold statement that changed the collective trajectory of our lives and said let's come together and talk about this so we can the next sunday we meet at the park we all arrived in yoga clothes because we couldn't tell our classmates where we were going no joke that meeting was filled with laughter it was filled with tears it felt so profound we decided to meet monthly we continue to meet in the same Park and we realized that no topic was off limits first we talked about the social messages we had heard we talked about the messages we would have liked to hear instead we talked about masturbation how we learned it whether we do it we talked about fantasy, about what we fantasize about and, if not, what stops us at the end of the year.
I looked around at least one group of women and was very surprised by what I saw. their lives had changed many were experiencing better sex and better relationships just by talking about sex with their girlfriends this was fascinating to me i started attending mental health and medical conferences to learn more you know its like a hobby a part time thing because my Today my job was that of a data scientist. I decided to look at the numbers and learned that over 40% of women at some point are struggling with some aspect of sexual function. I also learned that there are new pharmaceuticals. all the options on the market that have debatable effectiveness and lots of side effects of course i learned about sex therapy and sex training and then if you had financial means and geographical access to someone well trained that was an option for you, but I was wondering what is going on with this group of friends who are sitting around talking about sex?
In fact, I got so excited that I came home to my husband one day and told him that's it. I'll quit my day job and come back. school to investigate what effect FEMA peer support groups have on

female

sexual health. I am delighted to be here a few years later to share with you what happens when hundreds of women ages 25-65 gather in living rooms across the globe to discuss their sexual experiences, overall sexual function increases by 20% when broken down by subcategories desire arousal orgasm increases range from 16 to 26 26% sexual distress decreases by almost 30% and these women did not meet for a year met for four weeks these changes are in line with any other medical intervention and mental health on the market and you don't need a therapist you don't need a facilitator you don't need meditation or medication all it takes is for women to be brave enough to sit together and talk about sex, there's really only One guideline for the group is that we are not allowed to share advice since women really like to share advice, but these groups are about The qualitative part of my study showed that when women come together and share their experiences, they not only feel normalized in their own personal experiences, but also feel inspired and empowered to explore more about their own sexuality, for Of course I'm talking to their girlfriends. about sex, they gain communication skills that translate into being able to talk to their partners about sex, but the most exciting thing I found in my research was that women with children reported being able to talk to their children about sex for the first time these groups were having a multi-generational impact what started as a personal journey has led me to talk to an increasing number of people about my sexual experiences first my gynecologist then my training my research participant friends and now i know things are changing for me those with whom I have spoken, which makes me wonder what would happen if thousands or millions had the chance to talk to a trusted friend about their sexual experiences.
What if you went up to a woman you know and asked her about her experiences, particularly those that bring her pleasure and joy, thank you

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