Apr 212014

By Dr. Amy Marsh

This is going to be a tough post to write. It’s not a comfortable topic. And I may have to use a bit of academic jargon, which I usually don’t enjoy. However, sexology and erotology’s need for intersectionality awareness has been much on my mind this month, thanks to examples of cultural appropriation like these:

  • An STD alert app for iPhones, given the brand name of “Hula”…even though hundreds of thousands of Native Hawaiian ancestors died from foreign borne diseases, starting with syphilis and gonorrhea. (Hawaiians are actively protesting this brand name, which also appropriates their most sacred and valued cultural tradition.)
  • Nicole Daedone (of One Taste) recently publicizing herself as “the Jimi Hendrix of orgasm…”
  • Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie, The Doors, which I’d never seen and have just watched on Netflix. Stone included many gratuitous scenes of supposedly shamanic hallucinations of Indians who were stuck in the script—I guess—to somehow bless the Jim Morrison character as he behaved so very badly on drugs.

But before tackling this convoluted topic, I’d like to share the “Johari Window” below. It’s a way we can think about the difficulties we encounter as we struggle to understand various intersections of oppression and privilege, particularly our own. The Johari Window was created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1969, as “a model of different sorts of knowledge that affect self-development” and I found it in Julia Wood’s excellent book, Interpersonal Communication—Everyday Encounters (6th ed., 2010, p. 57). When we’re asked to recognize our own privileges (especially the ones that contribute in some way to other people’s oppression), I think it can be difficult not only because we may feel put on the spot, but also because entrenched privilege resides in the blind area. We may have a tough time seeing these sorts of privileges, because we’re so used to having them, but others can spot them from a mile away.


Known to Self

Unknown to Self

Known to Others

Open/Public Area

Information about ourselves that is known to us and to others.

Blind Area

Information others know about us but we don’t know about ourselves.

Unknown to Others

Hidden Area

Information we know about ourselves but don’t reveal to others.

Unknown Area

Information that we don’t know, and others don’t know. Untapped talents & resources, unknown reactions to situations that haven’t occurred.

However, just because privilege resides in the “blind area” (a poor choice of words, actually, and reflective of a certain kind of privilege!), this doesn’t let us off the hook. Once these things are pointed out to us, it’s open information. Still, I bring up this model so we can all be a little kinder to each other (and to ourselves) as we consider the rest of this blog.

According to Wikipedia, “intersectionality” is a feminist theory named as such by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. It is an attempt to chart and analyze the relationships between all the oppressive mechanisms, categories, and identities that can be used to create injustice and inequality: race, sex, class, gender, species, ability, sexual orientation, and so on. The “matrix of domination” (a term credited to Patricia Hill Collins) refers to the various operations and assumptions of privilege and forms of discrimination which may be operating upon us—sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, and so on. The matrix, indeed!

Intersectionality is complicated, and this is a superficial introduction. It’s too vast a topic for this simple blog. So, please just read about intersectionality, and think about how these complexities operate in your life and in the lives of those around you. My intention is to swing us back now to a more practical, and more focused, discussion which might actually have some use for erotic writers!

The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality is one of the few places in the world which offers courses in erotology. When I studied there, Dr. Jerry Zientara offered us the following criteria for formal and content analysis of erotic art (similar to art history analysis):

  • Title/Name
  • Medium/Format
  • Artist(s) (this includes visual artists, writers, directors, etc.)
  • Models(s) (represented in visual art)
  • Source/Provenance
  • Formal description of the work
  • Content description

I’ve also tried to understand erotica in the context of Dr. Loretta Haroian’s concepts of sexually permissive, sexually supportive, sexually repressive, and sexually restrictive societies. In other words, I try to find out if the artist created the erotic work in alignment with or in opposition to the values and assumptions of his/her/hir society and historical period.

However, I also see a need to incorporate awareness of intersectionalities into analysis of existing erotic work. Last year Claire Litton, a sexologist who had attended the 2013 IASHS Summer SAR (an 8-day “sexual attitude reassessment” program), wrote several critical blogs about her experiences. She particularly expressed a desire for more awareness of issues pertaining to intersectionality. Litton was particularly horrified by one of the explicit posters hanging in the IASHS corridor. This poster depicts a cartoon cowboy with a lasso-long penis, twirling it toward a horrified Indian woman who was running away. I know this poster. It’s been on the IASHS walls for a long time, and while the artist might have intended it as an ironic, x-rated commentary on settler colonialism, native genocide, and rape of native women (and then again, maybe not), I agree that this is an image that many people will find offensive beyond its sexual content. Litton was troubled by this poster, and questioned IASHS staff about it. Unfortunately, she did not get the kind of response from IASHS that she was seeking.

So this brings up the stickiest part of this discussion: it’s one thing to include intersectionalities in our critiques of existing erotica, including awareness of the histories of the matrix of domination: oppression, genocide, social injustice, sexual trauma and other forms of violence. It’s another to ask ourselves to refrain from producing erotic work which feeds into and perpetuates that matrix.

In the United States (and many other places), people who create erotic work—art, film, literature—are generally not given much social approbation or recognition. This kind of creativity is considered deviant by many. Erotic artists, writers, and filmmakers become artistic “outlaws.” Part of the allure of creating erotica includes the artistic freedom to deal with taboo content and imagery. Our sexual fantasies are seldom tidy, sometimes problematic (even to other parts of our own minds), and not always actionable in real life without causing harm. What’s more, we might find joy in pushing limits, or even exploding them. However, sometimes the characters or images we create are described in ways which are offensive to people who have suffered from generations of imposed and brutal trauma. So I wonder, how much of this kind of portrayal—like the cowboy and Indian poster—comes from people who are so entrenched in the privileges inherited from settler-colonialism that they can’t understand how these characterizations affect others? (There’s that Johari Box problem again!).

Anti-porn feminists (and, perhaps needless to say, I’m not one of them) have been talking about sexism, violence,  and misogyny in porn for years. And, I’ve gotta say, with regard to certain films or books, they’re often right. However, while this doesn’t mean that making erotica or porn is wrong in and of itself, it does mean that erotica and the people who make it are not exempt from intersectional analysis.

So for those who consider such matters, the question quickly becomes one of personal responsibility, like deciding to NOT dress your latest erotic heroine like a “Pocahottie” or NOT using people of color as plot or movie props.

In the U.S., we are slowly beginning to understand that certain stereotypes and behaviors cause harm and perpetuate various forms of oppression—and are, therefore, simply not acceptable. Sports teams, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and governor’s daughters are now catching hell for actions which range from entrenched racism (parodies of Native Americans as sports mascots) to spoiled entitlement (wearing a lipstick-coordinated “warbonnet” as a fashion statement) to blatant commodification (the “hula” app). As erotica becomes increasingly accessible and even more mainstream, I expect that many artists, writers, and filmmakers will also find that their work has come to the attention of activists and academics, and that some producers of erotica will find that they being held accountable for elements which have nothing to do with the kind of sexual actions they’ve portrayed.

Ideally, this issue should be less about censorship (self or social) and more about raising awareness, including our own. While I realize this post is hardly the last word on a very complex topic, generally I like to think that eros flourishes in the least oppressive circumstances for everyone involved.


Blogs and Sources:

Haroian, Loretta. Child Sexual Development. Feb. 1, 2000. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. http://www.ejhs.org/volume3/Haroian/body.htm

Harris, Tamara Winfrey. Five of Cultural Appropriation’s Greatest Hits. Sept. 3, 2013. http://www.racialicious.com/tag/cultural-appropriation/

K., Adrienne. Open Letter to the Pocahotties: The Annotated Version. Oct. 9, 2013. http://nativeappropriations.com/2013/10/open-letter-to-the-pocahotties-the-annotated-version.html

K. Adrienne. Dear Christina Fallon. March 7, 2014. http://nativeappropriations.com/2014/03/dear-christina-fallin.html#more-1888

Uwujaren, Jarune. What’s the Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation? Oct. 8, 2013. http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/hesaid-whats-the-difference-between-cultural-exchange-and-cultural-appropriation/


Amy Marsh, EdD, DHS, CH, CI, is a clinical sexologist and AASECT certified sex counselor, certified hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, and an associate professor of human sexuality at the world’s most radical sex school. She is a former Carnal Nation columnist and author of the recently published first volume of the Love’s Outer Limits series, Sex Squicks & 100 Other Things You Didn’t Know About Sex. Learn more at dramymarshsexologist.com or follow @AmyMarshSexDr on Twitter.


Feb 132014

By Dr. Amy Marsh

As a writer and in my career as a sexologist, the situations I find most personally challenging are the “hurry up and wait” experiences. These are usually the times when I’ve found myself courted (often out of the blue), urged to produce something which will be published or presented in what appears to be a desirable forum, and then once I meet the deadline—nothing. Time and again I’ve experienced a flurry of communication designed to elicit my favorable responses—plus a solid piece of work—and then, somehow, there are no longer any reciprocal exchanges from the person or persons who so avidly sought my acquaintance and professional expertise. Even brief, patient emails a month or two later may go unanswered. Phone calls are not returned. The publication dates, or other matters which have an impact on me and my ability to strategize, bootstrap, and promote, are simply left dangling. And I am left to twist in the wind.

Have I been dumped after putting out? Am I just another notch on an interviewer’s belt or a social media website? Or has a cascade of life crises interrupted the process and the reporter, publisher, or agency representative really will get back to me as soon as the carnage clears?

Sure, “sh*t happens,” but why does it so often happen after I’ve turned in a piece of work?

It’s very hard to know what to do in this case. Do I “squeaky wheel” it, become annoying and persistent in a way that is frankly foreign to my socialization and inclination? Or do I assume a Zen-like exterior of uber-professionalism while patching up my slightly shredded self esteem in private? Or is it just that people have lost the art and etiquette of following up?

Writers need aftercare and check-ins, too! It’s not just for BDSM anymore!

Perhaps there should be a self-help book titled Writers who Write Too Much… and the People who Exploit Them. If there were such a book, I’d be most interested in learning how to keep my sense of plucky optimism while still waiting for all those blogs, books, and other promised projects to come to fruition. I’d like to learn how to professionally and constructively convey my desire to know publication dates and other key pieces of information, and to be informed about delays in a timely manner, so that I can—you know—twitter and blog and facebook about it. In other words, do my share of promoting the whatever-it-is, which usually also includes promoting and boosting the company, website, or whoever is hosting the whatever-it-is…

Did I mention that much of what I’m talking about are writing projects almost entirely done on spec? Sometimes with a promise of a modest bit of change coming along later (always welcome in my pre-divorce world)? Did I mention that it’s awfully hard to know just how to separate the truly wonderful opportunities, chances to collaborate with people who have struck my fancy as creative, marvelous individuals, from those who are simply out for as much free content as they can get? And instead of choosing me for my expertise, do some people see me as a reliable fallback because they think I’ve got nothing much else going on?

I have been operating on the assumption that acting professionally would elicit professionalism in return. Sometimes it does. A couple of writers interviewing me for books actually do send me a copies when they are published. On the other hand, that New York writer who wanted a free session in order to write about it has yet to communicate clearly about when his article is appearing in that hip, happening fashion site. And there are other matters left hanging out there, ones which baffle me in strange, painful sort of way.

To redeem this blog post as something other than my own personal lamentations and frustrations, here are a few cautionary words:

1) Don’t count on, or wait for, the publication of an interview to handily coincide with your self-promotional efforts. Occasionally an interview will come out just at the right time, and you can use it to promote your classes or create more buzz about your book—the operative word here is “occasionally”; even if the interviewing party has promised its publication by a certain date, don’t build your marketing or other schedules around that interview ahead of time. Create several different promotion strategies for your projects so that when the promised article fails to appear, you won’t be crushed or left without options.

2) Remember that everyone is far too involved in pushing their own agenda and advancing their careers to focus too keenly, or sometimes even care, about yours. Even people working in good faith will often have so much on their plate that memory lapses and communication gaps are an inevitable part of the process. Find a way to accept that gracefully, and again, create a few different strategies for dealing with situations on a case-by-case basis.

3) If you are able, try to find out as many details as possible before committing to create content, especially for people and organizations you don’t yet know and trust. Not every opportunity is a good opportunity; if someone wants a large chunk of your time for free, you may be better off investing that time elsewhere.

4) If you haven’t seen a response two weeks after emailing or phoning the person who courted you, you’ve probably been dumped or the project has been shelved. Pick yourself up and move on. Be civil if they actually do get back in touch at a later date. Any delays may not have been their fault. Maybe there really were extenuating circumstances.

5) Don’t become obsessive about checking the places where you think your interview or work may still be published. Just do it every now and then, and then forget about it (or try your best to forget about it).

There are probably harsh industry realities which exacerbate these problems for writers and other creators of content. And we—being on the outside—may never know what they are. All we can do is carry on, stay fresh and frosty, and above all, never become excited about something that looks like a big break. It’s probably no such thing, and you may be better off looking for the little breaks to be found with trusted professionals.


—Amy Marsh


Amy Marsh, EdD, DHS, CH, CI, is a clinical sexologist and AASECT certified sex counselor, certified hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, and an associate professor of human sexuality at the world’s most radical sex school. She is a former Carnal Nation columnist. Learn more at dramymarshsexologist.com or follow @AmyMarshSexDr on Twitter.

Jan 142014

By Dr. Amy Marsh

If your writing feels stuck or you’re out of ideas, reactivate your curiosity and your creative juices by conducting a brief sex survey.

These can give you so much more than numbers—but only if you make sure every question includes an “other” section for open-ended comments. By inviting qualitative data, you’re sure to garner insights, feelings, and surprising facts about sexual practices and lifestyles. Choose a topic that’s unfamiliar or enticingly new to you, and you’ll be surprised by how much you can learn from a quick, ten-question survey. You might also be surprised by how much fun it is to collect data that no one else has ever seen!

I’ve used Survey Monkey to research everything from the sex lives of people with Aspergers Syndrome to objectum sexuals (people who form intimate relationships with objects). I’ve also studied people’s concerns about semen taste, beliefs about female orgasm, and most recently, the practices and attitudes of erotic hypnotists and their subjects. Some of these surveys have provided me with material for non-fiction sex columns, blogs, and journal articles.

This type of informal research can be a key part of my work as a sexologist—but it also has the potential to be an enormous creative boost to writers. There have been many times when just one sentence in the “other” box has revealed a key conflict or aspect of a sexual relationship, behavior or orientation; any one of these provocative comments could provide a story or character idea.

Let me show you what I mean. Here are a few examples of open-ended comments taken from my survey of objectum sexuals, later published in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality:

“My least successful relationship was one with a soundboard at a church. I was kicked out of the church for being OS because they claimed that I ‘had the soundboard in my heart, and not Jesus.’”

“We are very intimate in the bedroom, we spend a lot of time in bed together, but my pants usually stay on. Our intimacy is very above-the-waist, i.e. kissing, hugging, licking, etc.”

“I’m fascinated by steam locomotives since my earliest memories in different ways. So I can say, this is my oldest love…. I was fascinated by the machinists they are working together with the engines like a perfect team. Railroad is a world full of dreams and fantasy, I have identity with. It is a very complex and perfect world of different emotions.”

Objectum sexuality may not be your thing, but the above comments could certainly suggest many different kinds of erotic scenarios and stories!

When I conducted my semen taste survey, I was surprised to get responses from not just one, but three! people who identified as zoophiles. There certainly could have been a story or two there, however possibly not one that would be published or sold unproblematically on, say, Amazon!

Instead, consider the story trajectory suggested by this comment: “Good taste at beginning of relationship; bad taste now.”
Or just imagine using an evocative, specific detail like a “Dr. Natasha Terry sex shake recipe” sipped by two or more lovers. (I’m sure a good internet search will reveal the ingredients.)

It’s entirely possible, of course, to make up things like this—but what a bonus to find them just handed to you by an anonymous survey respondent!

A free account on Survey Monkey, with a ten-question format, can provide you with more than enough information to get your creative wheels spinning again. Survey Monkey has many question formats, so it is possible to ask several questions within a question, and to include the comment boxes.

On your first page, describe the survey and be honest about why you are conducting the it (e.g. “writer’s curiosity”). Be sure to add “you must be 18 or over” and warn respondents about sexually explicit questions or content. Make sure you also have a question that indicates consent (or not). Be sure to keep your survey completely anonymous and confidential, and let would-be respondents know this. Do not collect names or information that could be used for personal identification.

I recommend taking advantage of Survey Monkey’s design tutorials. You might also want to create a few practice surveys that you can take yourself, just to see how they work. If you feel comfortable about this, ask friends to take the practice surveys too, and get their feedback before beginning actual data collection. Tell them to create bogus responses—not real ones—because what you’re looking for here are design glitches. Later, delete the practice surveys and bogus responses. If friends want to take the real survey, ask them to NOT tell you about it. You want to preserve their confidentiality, too.

Once you’re ready to launch your survey, think about how long you want to keep it open for responses. You’ll also want to consider how to let people know about your survey (social media and internet networks are generally great for this).

Finally, once you collect your data and close your survey to data collection, read all of the individual surveys as well as the summary of responses. See what emerges for you by way of story ideas and character or setting details. If you like numbers, using filters and “compare” features can give you cross tabulations that might also suggest something of interest. Even demographics can be revealing and surprising when combined with other data.

I’ve only used Survey Monkey, but you might want to look at a few other online survey companies to get a feel for what is right for you with regard to price (pick “free” plans) and ease of use. If you chose a plan with a price, make sure you can cancel it after a month or after your data collection and analysis ends.

Have fun!


—Amy Marsh


Amy Marsh, EdD, DHS, CH, CI, is a clinical sexologist and AASECT certified sex counselor, certified hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, and an associate professor of human sexuality at the world’s most radical sex school. She is a former Carnal Nation columnist. Learn more at dramymarshsexologist.com or follow @AmyMarshSexDr on Twitter.

Nov 232013

Finding the time to write can be a tremendous challenge, even if you love doing it more than anything else in the world. The problem is, life happens—and if you’ve ever gone through one of those annoying periods where clusters of life bombs detonate your schedule, you know exactly what I mean. It becomes increasingly difficult to make time, or even think about making time. (Some people have the same problem with sex.)

Therefore, I suggest that first of all that you drop everything—I mean everything!—and take time to have an orgasm now for the literary benefit of all sentient beings. Get back into your body, now, in the deepest, most pleasurable way, and everything else will fall into perspective after that. Though I’m being a little flippant, I’m not kidding about the value of this. Restore your sense of pleasure and embodiment, and you’ll be able to reorder your priorities.

Secondly, there’s an old behavioral technique called “thought stopping.” It’s meant to keep people from spiraling into endless unproductive loops. The method has been somewhat discredited, so I’d like to suggest a variation called “task stopping.” When crises erupt in chaotic clusters, they often include meaningless, trivial, but somehow urgent and necessary tasks which get sucked into the vortex of this chaos with you. Often these are tasks foisted upon you by people eager to offload their own chaos. They take advantage of your confusion and stress, and before you know it, you’re picking up their dry cleaning for no good reason. Or copy editing their blog, while yours sits neglected in the computer.

Just stop. Say no. Don’t do these things. Don’t even wash your own dishes for a while if you haven’t been writing. Cultivate a benign and slightly fuzzy flakiness when it comes to trivial tasks—your own or other people’s. Become quaintly unreliable. It’s not exactly passive aggression, it’s passive resistance! Do this so you may focus on what is pleasurable, rewarding, and necessary. If you’re a writer, I am willing to bet that writing is, at least most of the time, one of the most pleasurable, rewarding, and necessary things you do.

I’ve found the world doesn’t end if you procrastinate about the small things. Eventually some of them may just dissolve entirely away. And when clusters of chaos pay you a call, you’ll have less stress about your to-do list as you deal with the larger issues—and your regular writing schedule.

Of course, roommates, lovers, and others close at hand may not understand why you are suddenly so unreliable or even sloppy. Just let them know you’re dedicating more of your life and time for your writing and then stay firm in your resolve.

Finally, say yes to writing every chance you get. Five minutes are better than zero. Half an hour is better still. Write in small chunks when you can’t carve out a longer stretch. Find ways to note and track writing ideas that come to you on the fly. Make creative use of your technological devices. Keep your writing momentum going. Make it a game if you have to. Keep it fun. And if you need another orgasm or two as a convincer, go for it!

—Amy Marsh


Amy Marsh, EdD, DHS, CH, CI, is a clinical sexologist and AASECT certified sex counselor, certified hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, and an associate professor of human sexuality at the world’s most radical sex school. She is a former Carnal Nation columnist. Learn more at dramymarshsexologist.com or follow @AmyMarshSexDr on Twitter.

Oct 102013

By Amy Marsh, EdD, DHS

Let’s say it’s a weekend morning and you’re hungry. Your lover is hungry, too. The refrigerator is bare, and you’ve only got a box of stale granola in the cupboard. A lavish romantic breakfast sounds great, and you’ve more than a few pennies to spend. So—where to go? Usually you have no problem recalling and listing off the better local eateries, but…there…are…no sounds…coming out of your mouth. The sheets suddenly feel clammy. Your lover sits up and blinks at you. Someone’s stomach growls. Your mind is utterly blank. The more you try to think of a place to eat, the more flummoxed you feel. Maybe stale granola won’t be so bad after all…

Writer’s block can feel like that. You have an urgent desire to write, and you know you have a slew of ideas and resources somewhere about. Trouble is—you can’t access them because something (a deadline) or someone (possibly you yourself) has put you on the spot and your autonomic nervous system has flipped you over to the sympathetic response of “fight, fright, or freeze.” And so all you’ve got left is the literary equivalent of stale granola.

Writer’s block is an extreme example of the effects of stress on creativity—but every day we all face some impediment to creative or professional expression. The effects might stop us in our tracks for for an hour, or a day, or even longer. If it’s too long, our nimble confidence can erode as a result. And then we worry, and the worry then makes it worse.

I’m a clinical sexologist and a hypnotist. I’m also a writer. In the first two roles, I help clients who are too stuck, worried, embarrassed, or shamed to access their libido, enjoy themselves, or even function adequately. Sometimes there isn’t even the sexological equivalent of stale granola in their psychic cupboard. With others, there might be a hoarder’s hell of old “stuff” in the way. Usually the first thing I need to provide for my clients is a way to self-calm their worry and fright. After that, we can get on to the good stuff.

As a writer, I’m aware of similar perils to creative juice and inspiration. I know about “performance anxiety” and I know what it is to go blank. I’ve learned to become aware of my own signs of stress, so I can remember to do something about them. I use the same stuff that I teach to my clients.

The following techniques can help you cut through the effects of stress and flip your nervous system back to the parasympathetic mode, sometimes called “rest and digest” or “feed and breed.” If your goal is literary inspiration and production rather than sexual arousal, you can refer to the parasympathetic as “write, not flight.”

1) Basic Calming Breath

Sit with your feet flat on the ground and your arms hanging loosely by your side.
Breathe in slowly and deeply, noticing the rise of your abdomen rather than your chest, for the count of three.
When your lungs are full, breathe out slowly but not forcibly. Exhale as much air as possible, pushing it out of your lungs—almost like rolling up a tube of toothpaste from the bottom. Count to four while doing this.
Repeat this exercise five times, you should not hold your breath. It should be a slow smooth process. Use the counts to keep the rhythm.

2) Affirmation Breath

Take a nice, deep, slow belly breath. On the inhale, say your full name to yourself.
On the exhale, say a phrase that describes your desired feeling, positive change, personality trait, writing goals, etc.
Repeat often, as needed.

3) Four Count Breath

Inhale, 4 counts. Hold, 4 counts. Exhale, 4 counts. This simple technique is rapid and effective as a calming breath. Flips the switch back to “write, not flight.”

4) Power Posing

This technique is based on research by Amy Cuddy. Google her and listen to her TED Talk video. It’s phenomenal. “Power Posing” is a simple way to reduce stress in two minutes. Stand with your legs apart, hands on hips or above your head, back straight, chin up, chest out—like a superhero! Or sit with your arms behind your head, and your legs on a desk or table. Take up as much space as you can, like a powerful executive or a superhero. Do this for two minutes. Do it before, during, and after sitting down to write.
According to Amy Cuddy’s research, in two minutes your cortisol (stress hormone) levels will drop and, whether or not you have testicles, your testosterone levels will increase. For the purposes of getting your creative energy flowing again, this is a good thing!

5) Emotional Freedom Technique, or “Tapping”

This technique consists of light taps on certain key acupressure points on the body. You can use EFT to calm yourself, energize yourself, or transform feelings of sadness. You can even use it to boost your immune response when you’re coming down with a cold. Go to emofree.com and access their instructions. While I don’t think EFT is a “cure-all,” I do consider it a “cool tool.” I’ve seen it used to quickly calm a person in the middle of a severe post-traumatic stress reaction. This was enough to convince me to give it a try.

These techniques are easy to learn and do. The hardest part is remembering to use them, especially during a stress reaction, or when you have simply gone blank. However if you practice with them and use them several times a day, they will come more easily or more often to your mind during when you’re under duress.

I’m a big fan of breathing through the perineum too, but let’s leave that for a future blog.


—Amy Marsh

Amy Marsh, EdD, DHS, CH, CI, is a clinical sexologist and AASECT certified sex counselor, certified hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, and an associate professor of human sexuality at the world’s most radical sex school. She is a former Carnal Nation columnist. Learn more at dramymarshsexologist.com or follow @AmyMarshSexDr on Twitter.