Sex Positivity

Your sexuality is yours, and how you express it is the fun of life. But for so many of us, sex is wrapped up in shame. In this episode, Michael has a candid conversation with special guest, Mike Iamele, about sex positivity and sexual confidence. Together, they explore:

  • What is sex positivity?
  • The link between shame and sexual desire
  • How to be more sexually confident

Michael also volunteers to have his sensitivities mapped to illustrate how your sensitivities and desires are linked. By the end of this episode, you’ll feel more empowered to be authentically you- both in and out of the bedroom.  

Mike Iamele: mikeiamele.com/map / @mikeiamele

Michael DiIorio: www.wellismo.com / @wellismo_coach

Sexual Empowerment

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Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of gay men going deeper. This is a podcast about personal development of mental health and sexuality today. I’m your host. My name is Michael Diorio and I have a very special guest with us today. Mike yam LA, and he is here to join me in having a conversation about sex positivity and sexual confidence. This topic gets me so riled up in all the right ways.

Then I’m super excited about today’s conversation. So Mike and I today are going to talk about a bunch of things, and I’m sure we’re gonna have a great conversation, but really we want to get to what is sex positivity and what isn’t it. We’re going to talk a lot about the links between sexual desire and shame. And then we’re going to talk and give you some tips about how to be more sexually confident.

And like I said, we’re have a lot of twists along the way. Mike is a great guy and we’re going to have a really fun conversation here. So, Mike, thank you for joining us today. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited about this Conversation. All right, me too. So I am going to give the listeners and viewers a little bit of a,

a recap of why I chose Mike two to join me for this particular conversation. So I follow Mike on Instagram and he fills me in that stream as well. And I love his content and it speaks to me in a lot of really great ways. It resonates very deeply with me. And so he gets it. So Mike and I am going to speak for you,

Mike, Mike, and I both believe, or that people deserve to have the kind of sex they want. This is, this is an absolute must. And we both help people, not only accept, but also embrace and celebrate their sexuality in our work. And we do this in different ways. We both empower people to be who they are both in and out of the bedroom.

This is very important. And not to mention, we both have lived this journey from shame to authenticity in our personal lives. So we know the path well. And in fact, I would say, I would even argue we’re totally still on the path. So Mike, this is great. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself a little bit. Tell the listeners who you are and a bit about what you do.

Yeah, sure. So Mike I’m Ellie, I live here in Boston and what I do for work is I help people to map their lived experiences and figure out what they subconsciously do. Every time they’re successful. Now, that could be when they’re having the best sex of their lives, when they feel super confident when they love their bodies, when their business is doing well.

Any of that stuff. And specifically with queer men, I really work a lot on issues around masculinity, around shame and desires around body image, around meeting and attracting and partners that you really like and just kind of understanding why is it that over here, it’s so easy to hang out with my best friend and I’m laughing and time flies by, and we’re having a great conversation,

but the second I go on a date or I’m in sex, suddenly it’s hard to talk about what I need and all this shame comes up, what’s going on over there. And so my job is really to just map those emotional patterns and understand so that you have the tools to feel empowered. And I fucking love that. I think it’s so important.

I wish I had that. I really wish I had that when I was maybe I don’t know, 10 years ago, even as I was coming out, you know, I’ll talk a little bit about my journey, but later, so today’s conversation is about sex positivity and sexual confidence. So they go hand in hand and I know you, and I know that,

but I think what I want to do today is help explain a bit of this to the listener. So let me set the scene by talking about sex positivity. And this is something I’m very, very passionate about, and I know you are too so many of our beliefs about sex, at least for me, and a lot of gay men that I know or inherited from a very outdated,

patriarchal, sexist, homophobic culture. So for people who fall outside of that, norm I E gay people, queer people in general, these beliefs don’t often work. And in fact they feel oppressive. I mean, think about it even just recently, even just within the last few decades, the sex before marriage has become accepted in Western culture. Oh,

that’s, that’s recent. So today even sex outside of vanilla monogamous male, female vaginal sex is still considered taboo. And many people even say it would be unhealthy now for people in the gay bubble. They might not believe that, but overall in the world at large, that is still very much the case, the kind of sex that we have is considered unhealthy or type of.

So I call bullshit and a lot of people out there are now calling bullshit on this. There is a growing body of evidence, pun fully intended, by the way, that says there’s more than one right way to enjoy and have sex. And that is exactly where sex positivity comes in. So for someone out there listening, this might be very controversial and unfamiliar territory for you.

And it just goes to show how much learning we have to do. So some of that learning for example, would be rejecting traditional gender norms. It’s about not policing and shaming other people’s sexual activity. It’s about accepting masturbation and porn as a very healthy parts of sexuality. It’s also accepting alternative relationship structures, such as consensual non-monogamy and polyamory as valid. I actually did two episodes of this podcast with Craig Cassie on this topic.

So please go back and check those out. If you’re interested in the topic of non-monogamy, it’s also about accepting all body types, shapes and sizes as valid, and it’s about accepting all ages, races and sexual identities as valid. I want to be clear about something here and listen, very, very carefully listener viewer. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about sex positivity.

I hear sex positivity is not about how much sex you have. It is not about how many partners you have, and it is not about being kinky or having fetishes. You could have a lot of sex and be sex negative. You could have no sex at all and the sex positive. I really want you guys to understand these things are not related.

Untangled them from your brain sex. Positivity is a practice. It’s not a label. You don’t just say, oh well, I’m sex positive today. That’s it. It’s over. It’s a practice for me. I’m still, I’m still getting over a lot of my own shame. And a lot of my own understanding, especially around things like gender norms,

sex positivity is about owning the fact that you are a sexual being and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is about embracing your sexual desires and then asking for the type of sex you want. This took me a very long time to come to terms with that sex. Positivity is about expressing not for pressing your sexuality and it is about, and this is a key point about reducing your shame around sex and not allowing others to shame you for it.

Either. That means not shaming yourself for others, for having multiple sex partners. It means not shaming yourself for others, for having no sex partners. It means not shaming others for being in an open relationship or being in a monogamous relationship. Both are equally valid and beautiful. It means not shaming others for having kinks or even exploring their kinks and fetishes.

It’s not shaming or judging others when they have an STI. And so on. At the end of the day, the goal here is to remove shame and judgment around the topic of sex altogether. Now, this is really hard, right? Because shame and sex, at least for me, and in many of the clients I’ve worked with go hand in hand for so many of us.

So Mike, this is where I think you have a lot of insight. And I want you to talk to us a little bit about the link between sexual sexual desires and shame. Oh yeah. This is a topic, right? So I mean, how many, every one of us can raise our hands right now that we have had shame around some of our desires,

right? We have had even, you know, some desires, we don’t even admit to ourselves because we have so much shame. So there are these latent desires hiding within us. And the thing that I want to say to every queer, every gay man listening to this podcast is that you are right. Everything about you is right. Everything you feel is right.

And even I’m going to say something controversial, even the shame you feel. And what I mean by that is not that you deserve to feel ashamed, but what you feel ashamed around is always specific because it’s related to something that you’re very sensitive to. And so I say this to everybody intentionally, because when I do work, I map everything you feel.

And I tell you, you’re right. If you had these beliefs and these sensitivities, you would feel that shame. Yeah. That makes total sense. And if you have these desires over here, yes, you would feel these turn-ons and fetishes. That makes sense. Everything you feel is right. And I really want to lead with that because coming from that place,

like there’s, you know, we can get into this place of feeling shame about the shame, right? Like, oh my God, Mike, I’ve done all this self work. How do I still feel shame around this? And we fall into that spiral. And so for all of us listening, we have spent our whole lives feeling that what we feel and what we desire is wrong.

And I want to break that up from the get, go that you are right. Just like Michael said, any sex drive is right. And you know, whether it’s vanilla sex, super kinky sex is right. Whether it’s polyamorous, monogamous, anything you have is right. You are right now coming from that place. We’ve got a lot of deconditioning and unpacking on learning to do because we have been taught over and over again that there were rules for good sex.

So my first and only rule of good sex is good. Sex feels good for all people involved. That’s it? That is literally the only rule for good sex. I don’t care the size of anything. I don’t care if the shape of anything, I don’t care how long it lasts. I don’t care how kinky it is. If it feels good for all the people involved,

it’s good sex. And what I want to say to that is we’ve all been there, right? Where we were maybe with a hot, attractive partner, they were doing all the right things, but maybe we felt unsafe or maybe we felt disconnected. Did we have the best sex of our life? Of course not. Nobody gives us good sex. We experienced good sex.

And what that means is we have to learn to trust our desires and our bodies and know ourselves. And now as queer manual, I want to tell you a story and give you an example, because I think this is really important. I was working with a client recently and he came in and he was not having a lot of sex with his partner.

Their marriage was really kind of going downward. He was watching a lot of porn at the time and he was very snippy to his partner. And so we came in and said, Mike, I need you to help me stop watching porn, stopping bratty. And I’m going to have better sex like that. That was his METCO. I said, absolutely not.

That’s not what we’re doing. So w w what do you mean by like the, you know, these are the problems. This is in the way. So listen here, everything that you are doing is fulfilling a need. And until you can prove to me that you’re getting that need fulfilled a better way. I’m not taking anything away from you. Why I have no idea if porn is good or bad for you.

I mean, you’re coming in here telling that I want to make sure that your goal is to have better sex with your husband. So what I’m going to have you do, cause we know porn is a great place for you to start, is lean into that. And what we’re going to do is not watching the porn that you would like to have with your husband and writing erotic stories about having that sex with your husband or somebody else.

And we’re accurate retroactively putting your husband’s name into it. Then we’re going to take that brattiness, that’s snippy ness, and that’s going to be your sexual superpower. And from now on, whenever you are out somewhere, you don’t want to be. I want you to give your husband inconvenient, boners. I want you to have a second. You know,

you’re going to this holiday party. You don’t want to be there. The host is about to open the door and you just say, well, I’d rather be getting rammed by you than going here. Oh, hello. And you walk in that’s all the time. I want you to be doing that and building, learning how your brattiness is a sexual language,

because nothing about you is wrong. And that part of you what’s happening there. It’s the part of you. That’s looking for authority and safety. And so you’re being a brat pulling in the Dom. That’s beautiful. That’s sexy. And that’s going to give you the best sex of your life. I can tell you, this is one of my few one-on-one clients I’ve been working with from about three or four months.

Now they are having by far the best sex of their life, their relationship is so much better. And it’s all based on porn and brattiness. And I say that story, because again, I hear this daily from people where they tell me I’m fucked up, I’m broken, I’m wrong. What I desire is wrong. One more story. And I promise you I’ll shut up,

but I just gotta tell you this one, because I’m excited about it. So I had another client come in, who is a black gay man. And he was investing a lot of money in only fans, specifically custom videos. So he was hiring men, specifically white muscle bound men to show their whole to him. And he was putting like how ISANS of dollars into this.

And so he was going into credit card debt and he came to me and he said, Mike, I’m fucked up. Something is wrong with me. You know, my desires are wrong. I have so much shame. I said, okay, first of all, I’ve been doing this work long enough to tell you you’re not fucked up. There’s nothing wrong with you,

but there’s a reason you’re doing this. So what I want to know is understand your reason. And this is an important point. I want to say to everyone, desires are a strategy to get needs met. You know, this a common saying out there, right? Like, you know, w we’ll say one of my friends is pregnant. I’m thinking about this.

She’ll say, oh, I’m craving chips because I think I need, you know, magnesium or something. And so we’ll crave the fastest thing we know to get that need met, but we can only desire what’s within our realm of possibilities, right? So there are infinite ways to get needs met, but we tend to go towards similar ones that we’ve seen or that we understand.

And I say that as a preamble to this. So anyway, this client comes in, we map his sensitivities and remember three things we found you with sensitive to we’re powerful, calm, and intimate. And I said to him, okay, so you have a lot of anxiety. So how do you know that you’re sensitive to feeling calm. I know you have anxiety,

so where’s your anxiety worse than life. And he said to me, Mike, honestly, it’s worst at work. And I said, oh, is it because you’re on a big team? You feel like you’re just a number. And he said, well, how would you know that? I said intimate. If it was intimate, you would not.

You would feel calm. You don’t. So you’re in a big team. So that’s right. And I said, okay, now you come home from work. You watch porn to the stress. What else do you do? When he said, well, I play video games. That’s okay. And you always pick a dominant avatar. And he said,

how would you know that? I said, because powerful, you are always picking the way that you help to handle this calmness or the anxiety is to feel powerful. I said, now let’s take this further. You are watching a lot of porn because you’re looking at, especially you book at dominant and muscly people whom you consider powerful. So you’re looking at people powerful in act of intimacy.

Now let’s take this a step further. You’re black and you’re gay. How often do you feel powerful all the time in life. And he said, Mike, I don’t feel powerful at often. I said, okay, this is something that we want to look at here because you don’t feel powerful all the time. You just told me that you consider these people because of,

you know, are incredibly racist society. The most powerful man in the gay community. And with the click of a button, you can make them vulnerable to you. You have power over them. That helps you feel calm and intimate positions. Do you think that would be appealing to you? And he said, holy shit, I’m not fucked up. So right.

You are not fucked up. There was nothing wrong with you. Every desire, every fetish, every kink can be explained. There is nothing wrong with you. Now, of course, you know, we don’t want to harm anybody. So we are in, by the way, if we have kinks and fetishes, I work with people on these all the time,

whether they are about non-consent 99% of the time, doesn’t want it to be physically acted out. But if they are, that’s something that we can get support around. But regardless these desires, there’s nothing wrong with them. There’s nothing shamed about them and who you are is right. Yeah. As I love those examples. And thank you so much for sharing like real life examples.

I think it’s very, very helpful to, to share that with the audience out there, because it totally helps create and understand that link between shame or secret desires and your, your sexuality. So there’s a big difference. And you probably see this all the time between what we say we want and what we actually secretly desire. You know, I always think we come out of the closet.

At least I came out of the closet about my sexuality when I was 19, but my sexual desires stayed in the closet. I came out as gay, but I kept all that other stuff in there and we’re not going to buy with that. So that has been my personal work with, with, in my personal relationship with sex has been bringing these things that I’ve always wanted and always been turned on by it and aroused by it,

into the light. So when I think about my relationship with sex and what I like, it actually triggers a lot of these coming out wounds, right? So you don’t feeling, feeling wrong, you know, like, like your, like your clients and your examples feeling like something’s wrong with me, I’m broken. I shouldn’t want this, this isn’t normal.

You know, like, doesn’t that sound familiar? It sounds like exactly what I used to say to myself when I was a teenager being gay thinking, I shouldn’t be this way. It’s the same thing. So for me, it wasn’t until my late twenties, early thirties say when I really started to embrace the sexual side of me, that’s, you know,

the side of me that I thought was a deviant, but it really isn’t. And it turns out that I actually enjoyed sex outside of relationships. Because up until then, I pretty much been in monogamous relationship after monogamous relationship with like zero, zero singleness in between. But eventually I had some time, I think was a two, three years where I was just single living in Toronto,

which is a very big gay, urban metropolis. And I tried all kinds of things and I turns out I actually enjoyed sex and I did not need an emotional connection to have it. In fact, I didn’t even need to know their name completely irrelevant to my enjoyment of sex was knowing who this person was. Now. I know for a lot of people who’ve listened to this podcast in particular might think that this is an unpopular opinion,

but I’m going to say it anyway, casual sex for me. And for a lot of people can be very, very valuable. It has allowed me to explore my own desires. It taught me what I liked. You know, it exposed me to things I’m like, oh my God, this is such a fucking turn on things that I wouldn’t be able to necessarily explore in a relationship for lots of reasons.

And it actually helped me figure out what I don’t like, like, oh, this is terrible. I never want to do this again. I’m not into this. Get me out of here quickly by, and I did this all on my own terms in a way that felt safe for me and was always fully, fully consensual. So, you know,

the case for casual sex is what I’m, if this is what I’m calling, it is again, a very unpopular cause we talk a lot about how it can be unhealthy. And in some ways it can be like, I also talk about how I was in some cases using casual sex as a way to fill a void that was never going to be filled through sex.

However, for the topic of my sexual nature and sexual relationships, you know, I find even today, you know, that it’s not at all uncommon, that guys will explore these secret desires intentionally with anonymous or casual partners so that they feel more safe so that they feel they won’t be judged. Right. And for me, it’s often been with a lot of straight guys,

a lot of guys who were in the closet and a lot of couples. Right. So does this mean that they can’t be in a long-term relationship? No, not at all. Does this mean there’s something wrong with them? Fuck. No. And do I judge them for it? Absolutely not. Never. Would I do that? My opinion is that when you’re able to express your,

your sexual desires with consenting partners, it can help heal your shame around sexuality. Now yes. You can do this in a committed relationship. If you have a partner who is willing to do that. Absolutely. But it is not a requirement, as I said, my sexual growth and my understanding of my relationship with sex completely exploded during those single years when I was having multiple partners doing lots of different things and just going wild with it.

Was it messy? Yes. Did it hurt sometimes? Yes. Did I learn a lot? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely. So, you know, now, now I’m in a relationship by the way. And I’m able to be very open and honest with my partner about what I like and what I don’t like instead of what I used to do,

which is keep all these things hidden in the closet or wrapped up in shame. I was in relationships before where I felt like, oh, I don’t want to tell him this because he’s gonna judge me. He’s, you know, he’s gonna think I’m whatever. And that, that’s just another word for shame. So, you know, I want to take this moment to thank all of my casual hookups I’ve had.

And there’s been quite a few, all the couples I’ve had lots of fun with and all the group sex I’ve enjoyed on my journey without them. I would not be where I am today with respect to my, my sexuality. So there’s a lot of people out there who are listening to this or thinking, oh my God, he’s so shameless. He’s such a slot.

I’ve heard this for so long. And I will say this to you all. I would rather be shameless than shameful. And if you want to use the word slut to define me, that’s fine. I would say, I’m not slutty. I’m just sexually confident I have the sex. I want how I want it, where I want it. And as often as I want it,

I am not afraid to talk about it clearly. And I’m not afraid to ask for what I want. I believe that my sexuality is, is an expression of my authentic self. This is who I am, and I’m not apologizing for it. I’ve apologized for being me or for being gay for so much of my life. And I’m done I’m over it.

My shirt says sexually liberated for those of you who are listening and not watching. And it is very, very, very accurate, you know, and this doesn’t mean that your authentic sexual expression needs to be the same as mine. It doesn’t need to be the same as mine at all. Mine is, mine is uniquely. Me and yours is uniquely you.

I think what, what Mike and I would advocate for is sexual exploration so that you can discover your own unique needs and desires. As Mike mentioned with his, with his two clients, and those might be very different than mine and that’s okay at the end of the day, we believe that you deserve to enjoy the sex you want. And it’s possible for you.

Anyone listening to this podcast or anyone to watch this episode, this is fully, fully possible for you. You have your own unique flavor of sexual expression and we are here to help you find it. So Mike, talk to us about that. What tips do you have? Well, I just want to clap that one out for everybody. I mean,

yes. I love hearing, hearing all of that, Michael. You know, I think this idea, I just want to comment on, you know, casual versus committed. I think the bigger thing for me is just empowered sex, empowered, conscious acts, and that can look anyway be anything. I think that casual sex can be some of the most healing sex as you’ve just described.

Committed can be a combination of it. It doesn’t really matter. And I think that’s the idea is having sexual agency feeling full agents of our own sexuality in our own lives, where sexuality is a gift to the world. I mean, you know, I was on a podcast recently and somebody said, you know, Mike, I want you to comment on this phrase,

that sex gives life because that’s been used to, you know, demean, queer people. That’s been used to justify homophobia. And I said, well, you know what? You’re absolutely right. It does give life, not in the way that they mean it does, but it gives life. Like when I am sexually excited, blood flows to my penis,

my heart begins to pump, right? Like I am alive. I can go from lifeless to energized within seconds. Sex literally gives life. It turns me on to life, right? Like my body is more sensitive. I’m more alive. I’m more engaged with life. I want that feeling everywhere. I want that in the bedroom. I want that hanging out with my husband.

I want that when I’m working, I want that on this podcast, I want to be alive. I want to be sensitive to life. And so what sex is, is life force, right? It’s just us being a full expression of ourselves. And that is a gift to the world. If you get nothing else from what I say today, pleased here,

this, your sexuality is a gift to the world. It’s a unique gift. Nobody else has the exact same sexuality as you, nobody has the same desires and sensitivities and sexual superpowers that you do. And so even if you’re just walking down the street or you’re listening to Michael here, and you might never have sex with him, but you’re listening. You’re like,

damn, that guy is confident. And I feel good and I feel sexually excited. That’s a gift to the freaking world. I think we all just received a gift from you, Michael. And I’m so grateful that you said all of that. Yeah. Well, it’s, it’s been a long time coming and I hear this a lot from, from people just like,

there’s so much shame, like slut-shaming right. We there’s so much slut-shaming out there. And like I said, like, I’m okay with that word. If you wanna call me a slut. So be it like fine. If that’s the way you define sexually confident, that’s your choice of words. But I think there’s, it’s funny with gay men because we have,

there are a lot of people who, yes, and I was one of them who used sex in a way that maybe it was not meeting the need. Now you talked about needs. I was using it to meet a need that it was just never going to meet. And that was potentially like wanting to get a deep connection, like an emotional connection with people who are basically the casual sex offenders.

It’s not meeting that need. You have to kind of know what you’re using it for. So what kind of tips would you have to that regard? Like whether someone’s questioning, oh, you know, am I perhaps addicted to porn or am I doing this too much or something wrong? Like, should I not be doing these things? How do you tell the difference?

Yeah. So First of all, again, nothing is wrong with you. And the underlying reason, or quote unquote, compulsion driving you towards any behavior is right. But the strategy may not be getting it met. And so I want to give you one more story. Cause I love stories. And this one is, it was a client recently in one of my groups.

He said, Mike, I am addicted to meaningless Grindr hookups, meaning I have these Grindr hookups and they leave and I feel empty. And he said, but I can’t stop doing it. And so I keep thinking, the next one is going to be meaningful for me, but it’s not, why am I doing this? Can you help me here?

So I said, okay. So I remember we mapped. I remember three sensitivities were alive, intimate again, interestingly and dedicated. And I said, oh, this is easy. I already, I already know the answer, but okay. So I asked him to list out under each one, some things he associates with that. And so for life,

he talked about adventures and hiking and new experiences. I said, okay, ding, ding, ding, under intimate. There were a few different things like physical activity and body contact. And I said, okay, you have just told me that ways that you get these needs met our new experiences with body contact. Very clear to me why you, this is something that’s appealing to you.

I said, but dedicated what is under that? And he said, well, long-term commitments. All of the stuff I said, okay, you’ve explained to me why you’re doing it and why it’s not fulfilling for you. It’s right there in the answers. So I said, let’s go look at some other words you wrote down. And so we circled hiking and we circled long-term commitment and we circled spirituality.

And I said, okay, is there? And he said, well, you know, there’s a local queer hiking group around here, so, okay. Do you want to go join that? Meet some really cool new guys. You can go have sex in the woods if you want to. But this may be a much better way. That’s actually meeting all of these needs because this is like a long-term program you’re signing up for.

It’s dedicated. And I share that story because if you want to be sexually confident start mapping what you’re already doing, you’re already trying to fulfill needs. So if you are about to grab your phone and shop on Grindr, just ask yourself, why am I looking to feel connected right now? Am I looking to feel validated? And there’s no wrong answer,

by the way, booking the validation is not a bad thing. Like we talk about that all the time. It’s okay to do that, but we can get validate a million ways. We can have a friend validate us. We can journal about how great we are or we can tell ourselves, like there are a million ways. It’s okay. You know,

I have many clients who validated the sensitivity and they think I’m just shallow. No, no, no. Every human needs to be validated, but how we choose to may or may not actually be meeting the need. So the next time you’re going on a date or you’re going on grinder, or you’re holding back a desire and you’re not saying it out loud or,

and this is a great one for a lot of gay men watching porn, just pause and question. What do I like here? What’s getting turned on for me. What am I trying to feel here? You know, I talk about this a lot on Instagram because we’re scrolling Instagram and there are a lot of thirst traps, right? That’s the term,

there are a lot of these photos that can be very attractive and turn us on. And the first thing I see a lot of gay men do is they give all the power away to that person. And they think this person is so hot. They have a better body than I do. I’m never going to look like that. I’m like, whoa,

slow down. First of all, you’re never going to likely meet this person. So who gives a shit about them? The more interesting is that they turn to you on, why did they turn you on? Because that’s the thing that’s actually going to empower your life and make you confident. So did they turn you on because that post was vulnerable. Was it dominant?

Was it, you know, super open? Was it liberated? Like what was that? Start to use the language for what you’re feeling, because now we know that’s a turn on for you vulnerable as a turn-on for you. I go back to that client who wanted all those men to new exposed their whole to him. He likes feeling powerful over people.

Great. Bring that into the bedroom. Start talking about that. Start playing with that. That’s beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with you. And so to go back to if you’re watching porn, or if you’re about to jump on grinder, just pause and ask yourself, what am I feeling? What am I turned on by? What am I looking for here?

And then if it’s not fulfilling to you, if you’ve been around this game and you’ve tried it a few times, ask yourself, can I just give myself a few hours to try to find a different way to feel this? And then after those few hours, if you still want to jump on Grindr or you, whatever you’re doing, go for it,

totally go for it. That might be the best choice. I can’t say what’s right or wrong for you, but I can say that you’re trying to fulfill a need. And my job is to make sure you understand that what you need and what you feel is right. And so get curious about that. Yes, Mike, I think we’ve talked about that intentionality and self-awareness about dating apps and sex in general.

I think it’s super, super important at the end of the day, that awareness is a must. I’m curious and I’m sure listeners are curious as well. You talked about mapping sensitivities. Can we, can you give us an example perhaps using, using me us? Yeah. I’d love to yes. And adjust to tell you, Michael, you be as vulnerable or not vulnerable as you want here.

So we don’t have to go anywhere. You don’t want to go, but I’m happy to explore any fetishes of yours and help to explain them. If that’s something you’re interested in. And so to everybody listening, I take two and a half hours to map sensitivities. We are not going to keep your hair for two and a half hours. So I’ve had to learn how to do this in five to 10 minutes.

So this is my sh super short shoddy way. Just to give us an idea. It’s obviously not the full process, but it’s going to give us a close enough of an idea. Okay. So I have a few questions for you, Michael. So my first question is can you think back to every job you’ve ever had? So this could be back since high school.

This could be a recent job. This could be your current coaching. And I just want you to pick one of those jobs and tell me three things you made people feel. And before you do that, I’m going to give you an example. So let’s say that you were a teacher and maybe you made people feel, you made students feel safe to learn.

Maybe you made them feel really engaged with the material and empowered to learn. So just pick one of those jobs and three things you made people feel Okay. Both on the spot. Okay. I would say definitely there’s an element of safety in terms of non-judgment like very open very Open-minded. Is it you’re talking about your current job right now In general? Both.

I mean, Ju just for my own specificity, maybe I’m being a little anal Herr pun intended, you know, just pick one job right now because we’re going to do a few. So just one job that you have and then three things, do you make people think, okay. I took my current job, so, so definitely safety and powered and motivated or yeah,

motivated, beautiful, safe, Empowered, excited, motivated. I love that energy. Beautiful. Okay. So now pick another job you’ve had and three things you made people feel A different job, Different jobs Capable. Can I say the same things? You can say, whatever you like, but which job is this? Just A, this is my previous job.

When I was in, in corporate, I was in wealth management, Wealth management. Okay. So you make people feel capable. You can say whatever. You’d like safe as well in terms of, but in a different way, sort of in a, in a safe container to like learn and make mistakes needed. Wanted belonging, sense of belonging. Yeah.

Beautiful. I love that. So capable, safe belonging. Okay. Give me one more job that you’ve had, and it could also be a role. So it could be being like a dog, daddy being a partner, being a friend. It doesn’t have to be something you’re paid for, but one more job, a role and three things you made people feel There’s a trend here.

I said, I wonder if that’s what the point a safe again, again, the sense of people I can use my role as a, as a friend. Okay. I think people always, always tell me their, their deepest, darkest secrets because they know it’s not going anywhere with me. And there’s no judgment heard, heard and seen. How do I make people feel?

This is a good question. And again, belonging. I love it. I love that sense of belonging heard, seen, and safe again. Okay. Now we’re going to switch gears and I want you to think of one of the most challenging moments of your life. Not something that’s re-traumatizing to think about, but something that you think, oh, shit,

Mike, that was a tough one. And you don’t have to tell us what it is, but just tell me three things you felt in that moment. I’m going to talk about the decision to start my own business as a coach and sort of create my own trail from a, from a very cushy corporate life. That was fear first and foremost, doubt,

doubt in my own ability, you know, self doubt. And what was the question again? What would it make me feel? What did you Feel in that moment? Did I feel in those moments? Fear, doubt, and excitement. I love it. Okay. So fear, doubt, and excitement. Even though this was a challenging moment. Beautiful.

So if you had a magic wand and you could kind of change the whole situation around and given yourself any gift you could give yourself, what do you think you would have rather have felt in that moment? Then fear, doubt, and excitement. Three things. Self-assurance like the sense of, like, I know I can do this. There’s nothing to be scared of.

Kind of like reassurance motivation to actually do it faster because the doubt just slowed me the fuck down and emotional support. Mm. I love it. So feeling, you know, reassured feeling, you know, supported, feeling motivated. Beautiful. Okay. Final question here. And then we’re gonna do some mapping. I want you to think one of the happiest moments of your life,

like a really successful, proud, happy moment. And you can tell us what it is. If you’d like, you don’t have to. And then tell me three things you felt in that moment. Yeah. I, I spent six months after my bid between these jobs. So between my corporate life and starting my own business, I spent six months traveling around the world and I loved it.

So that was definitely one of the highlights of my life. And I would say freedom, like the most beautiful kind of freedom, number one sense of connection, connection to self. Like I really got to know myself in ways that I had never done before. Cause I got to spend time with myself. I was doing this alone by the way and freedom connection agency,

like authority agency over my own life. And I got to just kind of decide what I wanted and I just did it like, what do I want to do? Do it done. Awesome. Freedom, connection agency. I love this. Okay. So now all we’re going to do is map. And of course Michael’s already onto what we’re doing here.

We’re just going to notice patterns that we’ve seen. And this is a very quick shoddy version here, but what we’re doing is we’re learning to trust your feelings and what you feel in any given moment. And for as queer man, we really want to start trusting, trusting our own feelings. So we start to see how many times did you say the word safe?

ALR. So we’re going to note that we’re going to say safe is one thing you’re very sensitive to. When we talk about that, we say, how many times did you say I heard, you know, heard, seen connected. I’m going to put that somewhere in call it connected for right now. So we’ve got, okay. That’s another thing we,

Claire, you’re very sensitive to hear. What else did we hear? My memory is really shaking me today. You talked about feeling supported. You talked about motivated, motivated. You said a number of times and energized. So let’s motivate. So we’ve got safe. We’ve got connected. We’ve got motivated. Let’s try to do one more. Just for the sake of it.

Help me out. Michael was A big one and freedom. Yes. You talked about agency. Talk about freedom. I was going to say, even though you didn’t use it, a number of examples, it was hell lot of energy around it. Okay. So let’s just for the sake of it here. Let’s say safe, free, connected, and motivated.

Okay. Now we can predict a whole bunch of things about your life. I know that sounds really simple, but let’s start doing it. So I’m not going to ask you any questions about fetishes yet, but first I’m going to say, you know, in some of the most challenging moments of your life moments, that didn’t feel great. Did you feel the opposite of these words?

Did you feel incredibly unsafe, maybe unmotivated or stuck in a situation maybe not free, not able to take action, not feeling connected or close maybe or lonely. Is that Accurate? Yeah. And even as you say that, I, I feel it in my body, like, yeah. It’s like the worst feeling. Yes. I have felt that.

Right. That is the worst feeling for him. We know that because he’s sensitive to it. Now on the opposite end, when you think of the happiest moments of your life moments, I feel really good. Did you feel free and safe and motivated and deeply connected and part of a community? Fuck. Yes. Fuck. Yes. Okay. What is reliable in the past is predictable in the future.

So we now have a formula where we understand what success and fulfillment feels like for you. If work and Sachs and relationships and all of these things could feel that that would be the best case scenario because you’re sensitive to it. So now we understand what needs are the core and you get, you’re always trying to fulfill on any given moment. So is there any situation you want to talk about?

This could be sacks. This could be fetishes. This could be something else, but I know the topic is sex today, but you want to look at through this lens or you want to understand better. Oh, I mean, I, I, I feel like I understand my, my needs fairly well. All right. So we don’t, well then that start with this,

I’m looking at your shirt sexually liberated immediately. My mind goes to free, well, doc, you have so much interest and this is, you know, if we role reversed here, if I was asking you a question and I said, okay, Michael, what advice do you have to gay men to feel, you know, more sexually liberated or more sexually confident?

And you said, okay, that’s a big question. I don’t know what the fuck to say, but I know that what’s important to me. I know all I have to do is make people feel safe and free and connected and motivated and say, well, you know, I want like pause and connect with you for a moment because this has been my journey.

I’ve been on this long journey to free myself from the chains of conditioning and what I had to learn. And, you know, for a long time, I really suppressed part of my sexuality. And I didn’t feel like that surge of excitement and allowing myself to express. I felt I was to hold it in and suppress it. And you know, I didn’t feel safe to come out and share this.

And so my work, everything I believe in is creating that safety, that your right to express and free yourself from everything and find that energy and that motivation to go out and try and play new things and connect with yourself because who you are is right now. I just made that up on the spot. And granted, we’ve had a little conversation here using four words with a few ans and bots,

but I’m going to guess it’s not so far off from something that you might say. And that’s because we know what you’re sensitive to. We know that if I had to pay guesses about your life, for sure sexual liberation, if I had your heaven scroll up in heaven and I looked at your sensitivities, I’d say, oh wow, this person’s going to feel really trapped at certain points in their life.

And part of the path is going to want to free themselves. And they’re going to feel very disconnected or different from other people. And so they’re going to create communities and help other people to feel like they belong and create connection. And you know, if I had to guess this as a person that might really like freedom and exploring all types of sacks,

but also sex that really helps them connect deeper with themselves and really intimate sex might feel really exciting for this person. They might really like positions that look close in the eye or hold each other closely because that’s going to help them feel that connected. And they might like to kind of play games or excite their partner or bring in motivation. It might feel really sexy for this person to actually kind of excite their partner or make them horny because they love motivating other people,

certainly in coaching, but also over here in this situation. And this Sachs is where the partner’s free to say anything. And he canc any fetish is able to come up because there’s so much safety here. That’s the type of sex that’s going to feel good. And I’m going to guess in your life, if you’ve ever had sex, even if it was with the hottest guy in the world,

and there was quote unquote, doing all the right things, but you didn’t feel incredibly safe to be yourself or express what you wanted and you didn’t feel that you could totally connect and you didn’t feel that you could kind of be free and play. It’s not going to be great sex for you because I now know exactly what you crave or what you do.

And so what starts to happen is you can literally use these words. I do it all the time. I have sex where you can start to say, you know what? I don’t feel free enough in this position. Can I get a different position here or I don’t feel as connected to you. Let me try this because what you can do is pause when you’re not feeling great Sachs and go through four words.

I mean, maybe sex. If we do the full process before words and ask yourself, do I feel this? Oh, this is the problem. Okay. Let me ask for that. And that starts to change it because it gives us the tools to ask for what we really need in that moment. Yeah. You nailed it. You got me on alcohol accounts.

That’s, it’s very much the case. And I’d say what I’ve learned in my relationship now is that before used to have this understanding, this belief that either I’m single and I’m having the kind of sex that I enjoy and really enjoy, or I’m in a relationship and I’m having this kind of sex, which, you know, I get the benefit of being in a relationship.

And I love, I love being in a relationship. There’s so much that that brings me, but I have to give up this other side. And so the relationship that I’m in now, I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We’re not doing that anymore. Michael, if I’m going to be in a relationship,

it’s, it’s, I’m bringing all this with me within the container of a relationship. And that’s been, that’s been my work and our work as a, in a relationship is navigating all these things. Cause I don’t want to hide that shit anymore. It goes against my freedom. That’s And you’ve already because you’re obviously so intelligent. You’ve picked up on this,

but any resistance we have in life, anytime we’re not getting what we want, it means that two parts of ourselves are competing, right? So this is part of you. That’s like, I want connection. This probably it’s like, I want freedom. And you think that fighting. And if you think that fighting, then the relationship is the connection,

but you don’t get the freedom. And you’ve talked before about how some, you know, some of the hookups are really amazing, but some, maybe you didn’t have the connection you wanted over there. You have the freedom, but maybe not the connection. And so these things feel like they’re fighting all of us have this, but we know they’re two core parts of you.

And we know in your best moments, you feel both of them. So what we can start to do is say, okay, what two things feel like they’re competing here and how do I bring them together? Cause they seem like paradoxes connection and freedom seem opposite, right? That seems, and we’ve all got those in our lives, but that’s where you can start to maybe ask your partner,

how do we connect deeper through freedom? What does that look like for us is that, you know, non-monogamy, is that going to be trying new things? Is that going to be, and that’s where each of these things, these desires or strategies, they’re just different ways to try to get that mat. And we could try a whole bunch of millions of them.

But when we start with the underlying need, it’s a lot easier to figure out what strategies are going to meet that need. I love that. So I think everybody should do this. It’s been a very good, a very good way to do. And I think it, sorry you say this is two and a half hours. You probably go a lot deeper into,

Oh yes. I mean, we go into it. It feels like a conversation. So I will tell you the first hour and a half feels like we’re just talking and what I’m doing is just listening to stories about your trauma with sex felt good, where it felt bad. Like I’m just listening to stories and I’m mapping emotional patterns. I see. And then we play,

we come out with three visualizations that make you feel the height of the most confidence, the most purpose, the best sex in your life. You tell me this is the height of it. So we know for sure that that’s in your body valid. And then what I do is I just spit back the words to you to make sure that what you feel is the same thing that you said.

Because a lot of times we learn to say things that we don’t actually feel and vice versa. And so we end up with about a hundred words that describe everything you feel. And then my job is to understand how your mind connects those words. So we pack them into the five or six umbrella terms and that will describe everything of you, everything you’ve ever experienced.

And then that’s how we start to map and understand your sexuality, your fetishes, your shame, your body image, whatever. Yeah. And there’s probably helps find them. I’ll probably shortly helps people who are in relationships already and those who maybe want to be in a relationship and there, and it helps set the tone for what you’re looking for. You get to know yourself a bit better and that surely helps someone who is out there,

you know, dating or looking for a partner. Right? Oh, abs I mentioned that story before of my client who was, you know, going on grinder a lot and then ended up joining the choir hiking club because, because we know what our values are, the needs are and the needs we’re looking for in a partner, it’s easy to figure out where to meet these people.

It’s like, oh, I want someone who’s really active and really conscious and can commit to a longterm hiking club. That’s going to be somebody who’s going to be able to fulfill me a little bit better. So it actually, it’s kind of strange how quickly we can start to understand things. And one more, cause I can’t shut up one tiny story here.

I had a client who was healing his relationship after infidelity and he was having trouble. He finds himself to be more of a submissive person. I’m having trouble being submissive with his husband after this incident. And so he said, okay, how do I be more submissive? And so we went through and did these associations where we discovered, you know, maybe being held was being high.

You know, I think tightly and beautiful was related to, you know, body paint and submissive tied up. And so all we do is we go through and circle them and we created the prescription for him, which is allowing himself to be tied up and allow other than body paint while his husband worships him before having sex with them overnight, overnight, he was able to submit immediately because that’s the thing,

it’s what we’re sensitive to. So it’s what a body’s actually asking for. And I share that because whether you’re in a relationship or not, it doesn’t really matter. Your sexuality is yours. This could be used a hundred percent for masturbation. And I work with people all the time, use it a hundred percent for masturbation. Your sexuality is yours and how you choose to express.

It is the fun of life. That’s how we get to this For ourselves a hundred percent. And this is really, really important. Like the importance of sex and sexuality is not to be diminished. Like this is not trivial stuff out there and it’s not morally superior to, to look down on sex as some sinful tawdry topic that has no importance like your,

your sexuality, your desires and your relationships, your relationship to sex is very, very important to your own personal wellbeing. There’s so much power in sexual energy. It’s, it’s the seat of our creative energy as well. Right. And when you do this work, when you start asking these questions when you work with someone like Mike or any kind of person who is sex positive and open to this,

is it not only makes her sex life harder, which is great in and of itself, but it also improves your relationships. Overall for me, it has been some of my deepest and most profound work, which is probably why I’m so passionate about it, but it’s, it’s not easy, right? There’s a lot of, lot of shame to go through.

You know, I talk a lot about being born and raised in a Catholic school Catholic kind of society. And that comes with a lot of shame on it. So, you know, for me, it’s been, it’s been, the height of my personal transformation has actually been totally within the realm of sex. And, and even my spiritual awakening is directly tied to my relationship with sex and sexuality.

And there’s so many people out there who are like, oh no, no sex is very far off from spirituality. And I completely disagree. I think they are in fact one and the same and deeply connected because when you, when you can go into your, your sex life and when you can go into your relationship with sex and honor that part of you,

you have a deeper connection with yourself, you feel more confident in your body. So absolutely. Please guys, listen to your sex and sexuality. I, everything, you said everything you said, you know, for me, I can say the exact same, you know, sex has been the most empowering thing for me. It’s been the most spiritual work I’ve done.

I can tell you an incredible story about the most spiritual moment of my life, which included a blow job. I mean, there is just like, so I really felt like I was connecting with God. I mean, there are so many things that we can talk about. I have one client who has now meditates with about plugin because of some of this work and has connected to his most spiritual self because he wants to physically open up to things.

What better way to open up than to physically open up. And there you go, right? You know, sexual energy is everywhere and it’s everything right now, creative energy, this conversation, right? Moving energy, it’s all sexual. I said before, you know, turn ons. They turned me on to life. I’m turning, I’m sensitive to vulnerable.

Yes. In bed. I love feeling vulnerable. I love saying vulnerable things. I love hearing vulnerable things for my husband. If you start telling me a vulnerable conversation, it’s like crack for me. I am just there. And I’m in, I can’t stop myself. I have stayed up way too late way too many times because a friend started telling me a vulnerable story.

So it gives me life. And when I understand what literally turns me onto life, not just gives me a boner. I mean, literally turns me on to life. Now I know how to engage with the world because I know who I am So beautifully said. So beautifully said. So. So Mike, I know there’s probably lots of listeners and viewers who are like wanting to get in contact with you,

where can they find you? Sure. So you are welcome to go to my [email protected] slash map map and everything I just did with Michael today, we have a free worksheet and little training to show you exactly how to do it. So you can start to map your own sensitivities yourself, totally free. It is just our shoddy version, but we’ll get you started.

If you do want to go a little bit deeper into it next month. So in January we are running a GBTQ plus men’s group, where we will be as a group mapping those sensitivities and actually making those plans to, you know, work on your shame or understand your fetishes or improve your relationship, find better men, body image, whatever it is you’re working on.

Amazing group. We ran one in September and it was just absolutely life-changing so super, super fun. And I do a few, a one-on-one those two and a half hour mappings a month. So you can always email me and see if this availability Awesome. Okay. And if he’s not, then Mike does a lot of the mapping of like, does,

this is what he does specifically. He’s an expert at the mapping sensitivities. I work one-on-one so it’s a beautiful compliment that we have. Yes. I, I don’t do a lot of long-term. So I love people like Michael, who I really trust who can take those sensitivities and completely changed your life. And you were such a brilliant coach that it is just such a beautiful partnership,

Grateful for your work. Well, thank you so, so much, Kenny parting words, before we close up today, I love to end interviews with this because it’s meaningful to me. You never have to try to be yourself. If you’re trying, it means you’re beating somebody else. And I think, you know, so often we feel like, oh,

that’s wrong. I got to suppress that desire. I got to pretend I like this. Or I got to do this, or I secretly want to, you know, have multiple partners, but that’s shameful of sloppy. Like we have all these beliefs and conditionings and we try so hard and we queer people know more than anyone in the world that we’re not saying like,

life is just effortless once you come out of the closet, but it’s more authentic. It’s less trying. And that’s what we’re talking about here. I’m not saying that everything’s going to be peachy and beautiful because you know your sensitivities, but I’m saying that you know who you are, right. And you, it, and you know how to remove shame,

knowing who you are, is the fastest way to know who you aren’t and to start, pull out the pieces of you that you aren’t, and you can’t do that. Deconditioning work that unlearning work. If you don’t know who you are. And that’s exactly where confidence comes from. Confidence comes from knowing who you are. It doesn’t come from having the perfect body or the perfect relationship or a lot of money.

It comes from knowing who you are and then living that in a way that feels good and authentic to you. So that’s a great way to end it. Okay. Well, thank you, Mike so much for joining us today. I hope for the listeners and viewers out there that this episode was very informative, made you feel a bit horny and empowers you and excited you to embrace your sexuality.

So if you need support on any of this, you know, or have questions about what we’ve talked about here today, you can find myself where you can find Mike, I’m going to put all of our information in the show notes. You can also find us on Instagram. I’ll put that in the show notes as well. And if you’re watching this on YouTube,

go ahead and leave us some comments. I will be checking those comments and Mike will as well, we’ll be reading and replying to them. Okay. Finally, if you guys are not yet in the gay men’s brotherhood, free Facebook community, please join us there. It’s free. There’s a community of over 4,000 men at this point. And we talk about personal development and mental health and sexuality.

A reminder for you guys listening. This podcast is a listener and viewer supported. So if you enjoy what we’re creating here, please support us by heading over to our Patrion page, I’ll put that link in the show notes as well, and that helps to support the show and it helps us continue making amazing content for you and supporting the community. And also the gay men going deeper membership is actually now open.

Our doors are open. So if you’ve been waiting to join, we have zoom calls each and every week there’s like-minded men. And we go deeper on your personal development and all the topics we talk about here in the podcast. So please join us in the membership. We’ve got some awesome programming for you ahead in 2022. So go to gay men, going deeper.com

to join us. Okay, guys, thank you so much for joining and have a great rest of the day.

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