On the evening of November 15th, Intimate Inquiries presented a sex positive panel to the community at The Painted Primrose. It was a wonderful and interactive evening with a higher turn out than we had seats for!
Click here to read the wonderful article that Pam Martin wrote after attending the event and interviewing some of the presenters and audience members. Here is the article quoted from the Left Hand Courier's website:
Photo & Article by Pam Martin
"Talk Dirty to Me" Panel Sheds Light on a Charged Subject
A panel discussion on sexual health was held Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Painted Primrose in Cottonwood Square. Facilitated by local sex therapist Auburn Meisner, topics for the evening focused on physical and emotional barriers to intimacy within the context of healthy relationships. Practitioners on the panel discussed how treatments in their areas of expertise—including chiropractic and acupuncture care, as well as physical and talk therapies—can achieve lasting benefits in the quality of lives of their respective clientele.
Panelists talked about how stress impacts the population’s collective sympathetic nervous system, inhibiting our bodies’ ability to be open to, and experience pleasure. Chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture treatments, according to Dr. Hillary Rowenhurst and licensed acupuncturist Jeff Brew, can help rebalance the sympathetic nervous system, allowing the fight-or-flight response to relax its grip, enhancing physical and emotional wellbeing.
Rowenhurst kicked off the discussion with a case study about a 50-year-old male client who’d come to see her about lower back pain. She explained that chiropractic treatment is about keeping the nervous system healthy and functioning, and adjustments for this client, specifically to his L3 vertebrae, allowed for more blood flow to the critical area. His pain subsided and for the first time in a while he was able to maintain an erection, with beneficial results to his relationship and sense of self.
Lynn Schulte-Leech, a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health, talked about postpartum issues that can adversely affect a new mother’s pelvic area. Muscles become strained during birth, especially challenging ones—the sit bones swing out to the sides, the sacrum’s affected, she explained, or there’s scar tissue resulting from vaginal tearing or Cesarean section. The tissue in the region becomes immobilized, resulting in pain during intercourse. A very simple exam followed up with exercises for the muscles in the pelvic floor, which help tissues to relax and loosen up, can make radical improvements in reducing or eliminating pain.
Schulte-Leech added that she’s bothered by a medical establishment that examines women with these symptoms and tells them everything looks normal without checking for tissue mobility. Doctors might recommend a new mother drink some wine or use more lubrication prior to intercourse, when there’s a physiological tweak that doesn’t allow the pelvic floor muscles to relax. Clients can come to see Schulte-Leech and “it usually takes just one session,” she said, before they’re on the road to recovery.
Jessica O’Leary is a gerontologist who discussed a client in his 70s who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He’d been acting inappropriately with some of his female caregivers. “What could have been construed as a perversion,” O’Leary explained, was in fact a behavior that masked “a need for more intimacy.” When the man’s wife began to spend more quality cuddling time with him, the behaviors disappeared.
We’re human and we come wired with a need for the warmth of intimate connection. “Hug your friends,” O’Leary encouraged the audience, “get regular massages.” As regards appropriate touch, she held up her hands, “get manicures and pedicures; listen to music, dance, light candles. Think about ambience. Get naked and hold each other. Flirt. Be playful.”
There was also talk about the challenges teenagers face today, with the preponderance of girls taking and posting objectifying selfies on social media, as well as gender identity issues, sexting, and the ready availability of pornography on the web. “We don’t learn how to drive by watching ‘The Fast and the Furious,’” Meisner cautioned the audience, and similarly, “We don’t learn to have sex by watching porn.”
Studies, Meisner continued, “have proven that the more parents talk to their kids about these topics, the more delayed their sexuality is.” She holds a globalized, “name it, don’t shame it,” attitude to all discussions about sex. She also argued that technology has influenced the younger generation’s ability to read emotional cues, with people staring at screens and phones instead of looking into each other’s eyes, where the truth is easy enough to read if you know how.
Meisner hosted the panel to answer any questions the public might have about her therapy practice, Intimate Inquiries, which is located on Second Avenue in Niwot.
Members of the audience said they’d come out to hear an open discussion on an important topic. Denver resident Mark Wiegers said he and his girlfriend, Dia Kline, thought it would be fun. “Straight up bald curiosity” is what brought them out, he said.
Wiegers’ verdict on the panel: “Not so dirty, but quite human.”
Writen by Pam Martin from the Left Hand Valley Courier
Sex & Death: Why So Taboo?
On a recent hike through the beautiful Rocky Mountains, I was shaken out of my sex-positive, sex-normalized bubble and reminded that sex and death are still considered taboo, unspeakable, outrageous and scandalous topics. I met several new friends who were intrigued to learn that I am a "Sex Therapist". The response I get when I add the descriptor "sex" in front of therapist, is wildly more reactive and interesting. When I simply say that I am a "Therapist, Psychotherapist, Couples Therapist, Marriage Therapist, Counselor, or even Head Shrinker", people nod and may inquire more but it is not the eye popping, panty twisting reaction when I dare say Sex Therapist! Dun Dun Dun
After the initial "sex therapy" shock dissipated, my new friends and I openly discussed topics of sex, death, parenting, love, adventure, work, travel, nature, and ego as we huffed and puffed up the vertical mountain.
How strange it is that two of the most natural topics in life are so difficult to discuss and left in the shadows.
Sigmund Freud based much of his work on his theory of "Drives" where he hypothesized that all instincts fall into one of two major categories, the life instincts and the death instincts.
"Life Instincts (Eros): Sometimes referred to as sexual instincts, are those that deal with basic survival, pleasure, and reproduction. These instincts are essential for sustaining the life of the individual as well as the continuation of the species. While they are often called sexual instincts, these drives also include such things as thirst, hunger, and pain avoidance. The energy created by the life instincts is known as libido. Behaviors commonly associated with the life instinct include love, cooperation and other prosocial actions.
Death Instincts (Thanatos)The concept of the death instincts was initially described in Freud's book Beyond the Pleasure Principle, in which he proposed that “the goal of all life is death” (1920). He noted that after people experience a traumatic event (such as war), they often reenact the experience. He concluded that people hold an unconscious desire to die, but that the life instincts largely temper this wish."
Quoted from VeryWell
Why are sex and death so taboo?
They symbolize two of the most transformative experiences humans undergo: the beginning of life/birth (a result of heterosexual intercourse), and the final exit/death. Sandwiched between these two enormous bookends is day-to-day life, where the majority of the western world's attention comfortably resides.
Sex: a wonderful, dangerous, connecting, painful, lovely, explosive, terrifying endeavor that can cause cosmic pleasure, induce traumatic pain, and result in new life.
Death: a confusing, painful, hard to comprehend, lonely, relief, take over of entropy, final goodbye (to our scientific knowledge, not taking spirituality, religion, or other post-death beliefs into account).
Why this long blog rant on two topics that make you squirm in your seat?
Because I'm a cruel and unusual, sex-crazed, death-obsessed, psychoanalytical sadist??? No not quite.
Because these topics weave through everyones life in some fashion and I truly believe (and the science backs me up) that we can navigate these issues more effectively and with higher quality of life if we can talk openly and comfortably about them.
Learning how to bring up hard topics in a calm and compassionate way is a invaluable skill. Soul-searching and examining one's own values and experiences around sex and death and considering new ways to put meaning to these topics are essential for leading a fulfilling and aware life. If you are reading this, you were clearly born, weather sex or science made you, you are here with us today and you will surely die. No one makes it out alive. What is on the other side? Perhaps we find out, perhaps we don't. What we do know, is that in this life we will experience death and quite likely, sex.
What would it be like to die in your own bed at home?
How would sex change if your told you partner what you liked and didn't like?
I want you to have a wonderful life, full of growth and self-discovery and the ability to talk comfortably about thorny topics so that you can experience pleasure and less anxiety. Give yourself a voice. Shed light on these amazing topics. How are they unique to you? How would you like your experience of these topics to be? How do you want to teach your children about these topics? Your lover? Your parents? Yourself?
Ask. Answer. Be honest. Be curious. Take a part in how you experience your life!
Mothers Of Boys:The Birds & Bees
It was such a pleasure to collaborate with Eileen & Sandi, the creators of the company Mothers of Boys, to present a special event regarding the "how to" tactics of having more comfortable and effective conversations with boys regarding sex, porn and much much more!
Here is a review of the event and Here for Photos.
A review of the topics covered:
If you have 3 or more sons (and no daughters) visit the MOB page to check out membership to this incredible group of women and attend educational and fun events hosted by the marvelous Eileen & Sandi.
To see pictures of the event taken by the talented Mellisa Hirsch, Click Here!
If you are interested in booking a workshop with me, please contact me here.
I am thrilled to announce that our workshop is just around the corner!
Last Chance to come join our panel of sex-positive Professionals!
When: November 15th @ 6pm
Where: The Painted Primrose in Niwot 7960 Niwot Road
Who: Amazing Local Professionals who are Sex positive
What: Panelists will be presenting on how functional nutrition, an aligned nervous system, eastern medicine and continued respect of intimacy and the erotic throughout the lifespan into old age are essential components to holistic wellbeing and happiness!
We hope to see you there!
There is still time to register for this FREE event. Click Here
The Naked Truth
Sex Therapy may sound like a taboo profession but it is simply a specialized psychotherapy that focuses on helping people create healthy sexual identities, satisfying fulfilling and functioning sexual lives, and a connection to themselves and the world at large. Sex therapists, like myself, work with a variety of professionals who collaborate and address client concerns in a holistic and comprehensive way.
What is Sex Therapy?
Located in the heart of beautiful Niwot, Colorado at the lovely Painted Primrose, you will have the opportunity to talk with a variety of specialists:
Auburn Meisner, LMSW
Auburn Meisner, LMSW, is a licensed social worker and sex therapist and in Colorado. Auburn provides individual, family, couples, group, and sex therapy at Intimate Inquiries in Niwot Colorado and at The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, and leads workshops, retreats and speaks at conferences focusing on different topics on human sexuality. Auburn holds a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and holds a postgraduate certificate in Sex Therapy and Human Sexuality from the Buehler Institute. Her clinical experience and diverse training allows her to effectively address a variety of issues that range from relationships, sexuality, desire, pleasure, intimacy, gender identity, sexual orientation, communication, trauma, depression, anxiety, and major life transitions. She uses a solution-focused, strengths-based approach that integrates empirically supported methodologies such as Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness, Humanistic, Art Therapy, Emotion focused therapy and Family Systems theories with modalities that include Gina Ogden's 4 D Medicine wheel, somatic yoga, and music. She uses empathy, a sex-positive approach and a touch of humor to guide her practice and facilitate growth.
Auburn will be hosting this panel of sex-positive professionals.
Jessica O’Leary, MA, CVW
Jessica has over 12 years of experience working in elder care. Jessica is a Gerontologist, has a certification in Validation® from the Validation Training Institute, is a trained Art Therapist, as well as a speaker on Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other topics related to aging including the Savvy Caregiver. Jessica is passionate about educating the community on the need for intimacy throughout the life course, especially as people age and how cultivating and maintaining intimacy has a profound positive impact on well-being through the aging process. Jessica has worked in Nursing Homes, Assisted Livings, in Memory Care, Palliative and Hospice Care. Jessica is currently a Liaison at TRU Community Care and is available for private consultation with families and organizations in need of guidance through the aging process.
Dr. Hillary Rowenhorst
Dr. Hillary Rowenhorst comes from a family of chiropractors out of her 5 siblings, 4 are chiropractors! Dr. Hillary graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City with a Bachelors degree in Biology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. After graduation Dr. Hillary and her husband Dr. Topher Rowenhorst moved to Boulder, CO to be part of a community that understands and values the importance of an active lifestyle. Dr. Hillary and Dr. Topher have 2 chiropractic offices, HillTop Chiropractic in South Boulder and the second in Gunbarrel. Dr. Hillary cares for patients from hours old to 100 years old.
Dr. Hillary will be discussing the importance of your spine being aligned and how that connects to your bodies ability to experience pleasure.
Alyssa Neill RDN
Alyssa Neill is a Registered Dietitian, who simplifies the pathway to a balanced biochemistry through nutrition. With her whole-food-centric protocols, Alyssa promotes that nutrition is always individual; as we each have our own bio-chemical “finger print”. With nutrition counseling, personalized protocols, and an enthusiastic no-fail atmosphere, Nourishment Nutrition provides guidance for women and men throughout the US. Alyssa continually guides her clients to reach optimal health and performance, while to illuminating life through whole food, individualized nourishment.
Evolutionarily, it's all about, "survival of the fittest", or maybe, "survival of the sexiest” is more accurate. The desire to be beautiful, vibrant, and attractive is one that is deeply intertwined with our desire to survive. To be wanted, lusted after. To reproduce. Stop shaming yourself for wanting to radiate health and beauty and come to the grand realization that our sex hormones, are what give us our vitality. Lucky for us, through nutrition, we can optimize our biochemistry to balance our hormones, and reach radiance.
Jeff Brew, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.
Jeff has been in practice for nearly four years. He earned a Bachelors in Psychology and went to SWAC (Southwest Acupuncture College) in Boulder for his Masters in Acupuncture. Aside from general holistic wellness, Jeff’s main clinical focus tends to be women's health and sports medicine. Jeff has found that Sex Positivity and acupuncture collide on a variety of levels. He treats many patients for conditions such as erectile dysfunction, pelvic floor pain, low libido, and anorgasmia, but the roots actually go much deeper. Jeff acknowledges that acupuncture approaches healing through a mind / body / spirit approach and American culture tends to have peculiar attitudes toward sexual personhood, his main goal is to help people connect with, and embrace their essential selves. While psychotherapy therapy is a critical tool for many people, acupuncture acts on our ways of processing emotions that aren't based in language. By applying the principles of traditional East Asian medicine we are able to address complex spiritual and emotional issues around things like traumatic history (sexual or otherwise), body dysmorphia or other body image issues, and helping to navigate emotions surrounding gender identity to name a few. Generally speaking acupuncture helps people connect and embrace who they truly are, dissolve shame, heal trauma, and remove the blocks that are getting in the way of their delving deep into the rich, zesty, wonderful sex life they have every right to enjoy. Being able to address these issues without having to experience the vulnerability of explicitly articulating them in a clinical setting can be such a huge step for people in all stages of the therapeutic process.
Who is this workshop for?
This workshop is for anyone curious in learning about local sex-positive professionals and how they can enhance your life in and out of the bedroom.
Is this workshop age-appropriate for children?
Up to your parental discretion. There will be no sexually explicit images in this workshop. There will be information specifically addressing sexual health and pleasure for all age groups. There will also be a raffle giving away Discounted sessions from the sex-positive professionals as well as intimacy paraphernalia.
This fall, Intimate Inquiries is hosting an informative and fun event at the Painted Primrose.
Intimate Inquiries brings to you a panel of sex positive professionals who will be presenting on their expertise and provide you with excellent information relating to sexual health and happiness.
Click here to register.
Hope to see you there on Tuesday November 15th from 6pm-8pm.
Everyone is invited! Come curious with questions and ready to win some free swag.
Ever wonder if there was an ethical, functional and fun alternative to monogamy? Come join Elizabeth Wood and Mim Chapman, PhD, in exploring different relationship styles in their upcoming workshops.
For more information email me or Elizabeth.
Registration closes soon!
Come join this November in Boulder!
A Review and Reflection on the film Men Women & Children
Last night as I was winding down after seeing clients and reviewing my material for an upcoming workshop on the ways in which technology is effecting youth and their ability to develop healthy relationships and intimacy, I stumbled upon a movie that was perfectly apropos. The movie, Men, Women, and Children begins with a scene of Adam Sandler looking disappointed and disgruntled at his slow internet speed, as he is trying to access porn in a comical yet too-close-for comfort digital world way.
The movie follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they flounder and falter navigating the internet. It highlights just how imbedded and infiltrated the internet is in their every communication, lurking as they strive to build relationships, and infecting their ideas of self-image, and self-worth. This film addresses several social issues that have been consequence to the over-integration of the internet into peoples daily lives. Issues such as hours spent on video games and the violent and degrading gaming culture, perpetuation of eating disorders and anonymous chat rooms, the ease of infidelity through cyberspace, desperate attempts for internet fame and approval and the proliferation of sexual material on the internet. As the story progresses, the film highlights the struggle parents go through walking the tight rope of over-protecting their children trying to shield them from the potential dangers of the internet and over-indulging kids with devices waiving any time and spacial boundaries on the limitless information they have access to.
The common thread these parents shared despite their polarizing positions on internet access and permissions, was their lack of talking with their children. The over-bearing mother who literally tracked her daughters every move and text message never sat her daughter down and explained why she was doing what she was doing. Nor did the mother trust her daughter to navigate the inevitable. This mother was in denial about shielding her daughter. By rejecting the notion that her daughter could access the dangerous sites, she shut down any conversation that could have helped her daughter navigate and process the "dangerous" material in a healthy and supported fashion.
Parents need to talk to their kids. Have awkward conversations. Show them that you can stumble through the awkwardness and come through for them.
On the other end of the spectrum, a mother had over-indulged her daughter and felt acceptance and approval from the lewd comments strangers were giving her daughters bikini pictures. The mother was unaware of the dangers of the internet as well as the objectifying message she was sending her daughter, "your worth is not only in your looks, but how much other people approve of your looks". The internet is a mesmerizing temptress, beckoning us into its vortex of anonymous engagement and limitless information. Kids are desperate for boundaries. They will push the envelope and hope to be pushed back. Explaining why the internet is powerful and dangerous and providing kids with the tools to self-regulate is invaluable. It is impossible to shield kids from the internet (unless you live on an iceberg somewhere without wifi). So rather than pretending like they wont access of the information we wish they couldn't access, we need to accept that the internet is here to stay and start talking to our kids. Help them build a toolkit to navigate this digital age where information is limitless and instantaneous.
Like spiderman's father once said "with great power, comes great responsibility". Technology has made our lives so much more convenient and efficient, but it also has the potential to strip us of our intimacy and ability to enjoy REAL LIFE happening in REAL TIME.
Lets learn to intentionally unplug, look up from our screens, and tune into the ephemeral here and now.
I will be facilitating a 75 minute workshop on how to navigate the ever-changing landscape of Technology and its effects on the development of intimate relationships for Youths.
This workshop will provide relevant, digestible, and current statistics on the sexual activity of teens and adolescence. I will also discuss how technology has changed the way youth relate to themselves and others sexually and emotionally and what the implications of these changes are.
Finally, there will be a discussion on how parents, educators, and professionals can effectively and confidently navigate the ever changing technological landscape in order to relate, connect, and influence youth to develop healthy, fulfilling sexual identities and relationship.
I will also talk about the skills and activities to help parents and educators have age-appropriate, and comfortable conversations with youth and provide exercises to practice these skills, supplemented with resources on age appropriate books on sexual topics.
When: October 14th and 15th, 2016
Where: Magnolia Hotel Denver
An exciting event is just around the corner! This fall Colorado Youth Matter is hosting a Conference : Raising the Bar: A New Day.
I am thrilled to be apart of this special event this year. I will be be giving a 75 minute workshop and a brief "Ted Talk" like Sex talk on the controversy of Porn and how it is effecting romantic relationship in our children.
This 75 minute workshop is called "Beyond the Binary: Understanding the Gender Umbrella". This workshop addresses the ever- expanding definition of gender and how our gender identity intersects with sexual identity, and biological sex. This workshop will address the controversy of gender fluidity and the tangible differences of male and female brains. Specifically, how Michael Gurian’s research has revealed neurological differences between male and female brains and how his research validates the trans community. Learning objectives include: 1) how educators and counselors can familiarize themselves with new and different gender language, 2) the difference between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation 3) how to be sensitive and conscientious when asking or discussing gender and sexuality (i.e. asking what pronouns one uses) and, 4) understanding the importance of the transgender experience so as to be inclusive to this youth population as they are among the highest for suicide. 5) how to do a suicide risk assessment. There will be handouts and time for Q & A at the end.
A little background on yours truly:
I am a licensed social worker and sex therapist and in Colorado (License Number: LSW.0009920892 ). I provide individual, family, couples, group, and sex therapy at Intimate Inquiries in Niwot Colorado and at The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, and I lead workshops, retreats and speaks at conferences focusing on different topics on human sexuality. I hold a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and am finishing up my postgraduate work in Sex Therapy and Human Sexuality from the Buehler Institute. My clinical experience and diverse training allows me to effectively address a variety of issues that range from relationships, sexuality, desire, pleasure, intimacy, gender identity, sexual orientation, trauma, depression, anxiety, and major life transitions. I use a solution-focused, strengths-based approach that integrates empirically supported methodologies such as Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness, Humanistic, Art Therapy, Emotion focused therapy and Family Systems theories with modalities that include Gina Ogden's 4 D Medicine wheel, somatic yoga, and music. She uses empathy, a sex-positive approach and a touch of humor to guide her practice and facilitate growth.
Feel free to send me an email or drop me a line with any questions or comments!
There will also be other local and national speakers like Dr. Lindsey Doe from the YouTube channel Sexplanations, and Al Vernacchio, author of "For Goodness Sex: Changing The Way We Talk To Teens About Sex, Values and Health". You will also have an opportunity to hear from Colorado's own Amy Adele Hasinoff, author of "Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy and Consent."
I hope to see you there! Register Early before space runs out!
If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact Lorena Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please understand that scholarships are awarded on a first come first serve basis, and will be announced at the beginning of August.