When you think of sex education, your mind probably goes back to a middle school health class or awkward teen sex education talk. But the truth is, ongoing sex education is important for women at all stages of life. On today’s episode, I chatted with Ellen Barnard, MSSW, who is a sex educator, sex counselor and owner of A Woman’s Touch which is a sexuality resource center in nearby Madison, WI. Ellen is “interested in increasing the total quantity of pleasure in the world” and is so knowledgeable about all things related to sex education and issues with intercourse, desire, and sexuality. She is passionate about teaching people that sexual health and sexual pleasure can coexist. There is literally something for everyone in this episode. We talk in-depth about which types of lubricants are best, how to address common issues during intercourse, how to rejuvenate vaginal tissues, what to do about low libido, and more. In our talk, you’ll find that Ellen has helped to redefine sex education and has made it her mission to help men and women find pleasure in sex again.
- [3:15] Ellen Barnard explains her professional background, how she began her journey as a sex educator at a surprisingly young age, and how A Woman’s Touch came to be.
- [5:45] A Woman’s Touch is not your traditional sex shop, but rather a sex education resource.
- [6:27] Ellen describes a typical experience in the shop, explaining how the store appears much differently than people expect, and how the staff at the store are “sexual problem-solvers” for customers.
- [10:20] Ellen says they see people from teens all the way to elderly, and she explains the most common sexual issues.
- [11:15] We discuss pain during intercourse and how it is very common for women to experience pain with penetration, yet most women think it’s normal.
- [13:29] Ellen and I talk about the importance of sex education, along with pelvic floor therapy, when it comes to helping people understand what is and isn’t normal.
- [14:10] We talk about vibrators and whether or not vibration is a good tool to help with impaired orgasm. Ellen explains that her first step is education and making sure women understand their bodies.
- [19:04] A Woman’s Touch has a vaginal renewal program to help deal with a loss of estrogen. The program includes moisturizing the skin and using massage and vibration to rejuvenate the internal and external tissues.
- [25:14] We talk about blood flow and how increasing blood flow can solve a myriad of issues.
- [28:22] We discuss how many women are making their pelvic floors too tight by doing kegels. Dr. Brenda explains her research study that will look at overactive pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy.
- [30:58] The two of us take a deep dive into the topic of lubricants and vaginal moisturizers. We talk about common recommendations like coconut oil and how harmful they can be to the vagina.
- [43:39] We chat about postpartum libido and what factors impact postpartum sex drive.
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Links Mentioned In This Episode:
The Better Sex Event: Wednesday, March 18, 2020