Sex is a natural part of the human experience yet many people sense a lot of shame and insecurity around the topic.
In this episode of Gay Men Going Deeper, we want to help you become more sexually empowered. We will be discussing things like…
- What does sexual empowerment mean to you?
- What makes you feel sexually empowered?
- What makes you feel sexually disempowered?
- What is one tip you can share with the audience to feel more sexually empowered?
By the end of this episode, you’ll be able to improve your own unique relationship with sex and sexuality so that you can enjoy the sex you want on your terms.
– Connect with us –
Welcome to gay men going deeper, a podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talked about personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Your host today are Calan Breckon, Michael DiIorio and myself, Matt Landsiedel. Collectively we have over 40 years of experience in the personal development world. And if this is your first time listening to us, we want to welcome you.
We each have our own coaching practice, but in this podcast, we’re always giving away all of our best stuff. Today. We are talking about sexual empowerment. I’m really excited to unpack this with you guys. It’s very alive in my life right now. So it’s going to be, it’s going to be exciting. We’re going to be exploring questions. Like what does sexual empowerment mean to you?
What makes you feel sexually empowered? What makes you feel sexually disempowered? And what is one tip that we can share with you guys to feel more sexually empowered? And we will continue these discussions on the last Thursday of every month in the gay men’s brotherhood zoom hangout, where you’ll have a chance to share your own experiences, Ms. Podcast and YouTube channel,
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building better relationships, as well as our healing, your shame course, and over 35 other premium coaching videos, head on over to gaming, going deeper.com to find out more so before we jump in, let’s read a review from one of our listeners. So Michael or Michael or leak, I think that’s just an, a kind of a nickname. He or she,
I’m not sure. It says shut such great discussions that aren’t normally talked about, such intriguing topics and great podcast hosts. That’s very awesome. Thank you. Okay. So sexual empowerment. So I think everybody understands what sexual means, but I do want to define empowerment because it’s such a broad term. It’s kind of like the term authenticity, right? Like it’s,
it’s a very broad thing. What does empowerment mean? So I kind of picked up a few things. One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Matt Khan describes empowerment is realizing you are the one who needs to say the things you have been waiting your whole life to hear. And when I read that, I, I, I feel empowerment is, is there’s a,
there’s a strong element of responsibility for yourself and your needs. If we wait around for the world to empower us, we might be waiting a while, right? And I think there’s this strong element of empowering ourselves. And as we, as we empower ourselves, we can empower others and then other people do the same. So it’s almost like this energy it’s,
it’s infectious, right? And it’s contagious the, the, the energy of empowerment. So, you know, I want to describe how empowerment feels for me. I use an analogy of a river because for me, empowerment is like this energy of flow when I’m controlling, I’m not feeling empowered. So there’s this element of letting things flow and letting things happen.
So I think about, you know, my life and I think about how my river has just been flowing continuously. And as I started to learn things, whether they were helpful or unhelpful more specifically the unhelpful, it’s like I’m building these little dams in my river and I’m slowing down the flow of my river. And part of my journey towards empowerment has been about recognizing these dams,
recognizing what they are and removing them. So empowerment for me has been this, this notion of clearing what no longer serves me, so I can let my river run freely and flow freely. And then, so I have a few things as far as empowerment and what they mean. So the act of empowering yourself to get your needs met. I think that’s a really big part of empowerment.
Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, encouraging a person to take control of their life and claiming their rights. And it’s important to note that we can empower ourselves and we can also be empowered by the encouragement of others. When we are empowered, we are more likely to draw on our strengths. We’re more likely to know our limits and stay within them and learn what our needs are and how we can get them met.
And I think that a really big, big part of empowerment is to live authentically and have a strong sense of self. I think when we are empowered, we’re coming from a place of knowing what we want and we’re willing to share that with the world. And I think when we, when we relate that into sex, it’s really important to, for empowerment to really know what we want and to be able to share that with other people.
So there’s a, there’s a strong element of authenticity that’s tied into this. So we, we can easily become disempowered by our conditioning, which I really want to explain what that means. So we I’ve used that term quite a bit in this podcast. And conditioning is essentially art, like a set of, of beliefs or programs or stories that we tell ourselves about who we are,
or the world has taught us about who we are. And I think that it’s really important when we’re on the journey of becoming sexually empowered, to be really mindful of the stories that we’ve been told specifically around sex. I think our culture is very shaming of sex. And so we really want to be mindful of our programming and that when we do just that,
even though the awareness of our programming alone can be really liberal, liberating, and empowering. But when we start to go through the process of deep deconditioning ourselves and moving more towards authenticity, which is the expression of our own desires, then we, we tend to step into more of an empowered place. And there’s three things that we can do to break free or decondition ourselves.
And the three things are to close development gaps. So what I mean by that is we have a, you know, a development, developmental process that we went through in our upbringing, and it’s really impossible for a human being to have all their needs met and to fully understand themselves. So we’re all, we all have shortcomings. We all have gaps in our development.
So it’s really important to know what those are and be very aware. So self-awareness is really key, a key component to empowerment, in my opinion, and then looking at developing habits in your life that can help close those gaps. So once we’re aware of them, then we need to start to form little kind of micro habits and start doing things differently,
start thinking things differently. So that way we can settle into the most empowered version of ourselves. Number two is the healing journey. So when we, when we have this conditioning process, we can easily fall into two things, two primary things. At least I’ve identified in my own life. The first one being trauma, the second one being shame, because I feel like when we have,
when we are disempowered sexually, it’s likely because we’ve we’ve, we don’t understand ourselves very well. So we put ourselves in situations where we can potentially experience sexual traumas or betraying our body, that sort of thing. And then there’s this strong element of shame and how, you know, being a sexual being almost like organically in our culture, is it attributes,
shame to that? Like if, if you see somebody who is sexually expressive, it’s, it’s, it can bring up a lot of shame for a lot of people. And, and I think that’s part of the deep, the deconditioning is really moving through the shame and being mindful of the shame of being mindful of the stories that you’ve been told or that you tell yourself about what it means to be a sexual being.
And then the, the third thing is finding community of like-minded people. So, you know, if you look at, when we start to come into our, our most empowered sexual selves, we’re we might notice that we like kinks or we like, you know, different things, maybe demisexuality whatever that is for you. So I just think it’s really important to be around people who resonate in that same energy as you.
Right. And that’s one of the best ways to becoming empowered. So I’ll leave it there. Cause I feel like we’re going to we’ll answer a lot of it in the questions. But the first question we have is what does sexual empowerment mean to you? I want to start with Michael on this one. Alrighty, thank you, Matt, for that lovely intro and a defining all that.
I think everything you said is completely part of my experience as well on, on my road from a lot of sexual shame to now I consider myself sexually empowered. So yeah. Well let me, let me, I want to talk about a couple things and then it’s gonna take me a while to get to my point, but I promise I’m getting there.
So I think I really want to reiterate that that sex on its own is completely neutral. It’s a completely neutral thing. It is not good nor bad. It is not hot and warm, not hot. It’s just neutral. It’s not until we activate it with our opinions. Or as you said, Matt, the conditioning, that’s where we get all of our subjective experience of sex,
including our thoughts about it, how we enjoy it with other people and so on. And that’s not just sex with other people. It also includes things like masturbation, porn, pleasure, all of these things, right? So I want to reiterate sex is objective. Your experience of it is subjective. A great example of this is two people could have sex together.
One person can see it as a deeply empowering and fun experience. And the other person can see that as a very dirty and shameful experience. Both of them are subjectively true. They’re both true subjectively to those individual people, one person isn’t right or wrong, but they’re also both objectively or neither of them are objectively true because sex on its own has really nothing.
It’s completely neutral. So the question then becomes is where do we get these narratives or these, these beliefs about sex? You know, we’re, we’re exposed to them in our upbringing. I talked about being, going to Catholic school and learning all my sexual education from the Catholic school system, which does not leave any room for pleasure or being gay. So yeah,
that, that was my story. But you know, we also get it from culture, parents, upbringing, or even our peers. So whatever you learn from like the kids in school, wherever you were growing up the media and then where, what happens is if it’s, if it’s something early in life, then we take that on as the truth,
right? Cause kids usually don’t have the wherewithal to start to question these things. It’s like, oh, that’s the truth. So we end up with this list of what is acceptable in the sexual realm and what is not acceptable and everyone’s is different. But I have a list here of some very common ones just to illustrate the point. So for most of the world,
acceptable sex is opposite sex, sex and not acceptable. Sex is same sex, sex acceptable for most people would be sex with two people. Yep. Makes sense. People can accept that. Not acceptable for a lot of people is sex with multiple people, acceptable for most people would say sex in your home. That’s where you’re supposed to have sex in the bedroom with the light off blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah. Right. That’s what I was taught. Anyway, it’s something you do in privacy of your own home, not acceptable having sex in an alleyway or in a park or another public space. Okay. And then also very acceptable as sexist with someone, you know, and love, but it’s not acceptable to have sex with a stranger.
So here’s the thing I want you to notice how arbitrary these rules are. I hope someone out there is screaming says who, because that’s what I would say like fucking right. I’ll do all of the above. So, and this also depends on your culture too. Right? So as I was saying, being around people who, who kind of share,
who share those beliefs and share and share those narratives can actually help you because you can feel less judged and more lines. So for me and my peers, you know, everything that I said in the, in the not acceptable columns, same-sex sex with multiple people in an alleyway and the stranger is like, yeah, that’s just a regular Tuesday. We wouldn’t bat an eye.
But for some other people who might be listening to this, they may be very like a gasp, like, oh my gosh, how could you? Right. And so just realize how arbitrary it is. I’m not saying one’s right or wrong. Just realize how arbitrary these rules are, rules, air quotes. So, you know, for, for a lot of people,
the idea of sex is steeped in water shame. And I want you to understand that this is all completely arbitrary. And one of the things about empowerment I’m getting there is that we get to make up our own rules. So when it comes to talking about sexual empowerment, I did want to acknowledge that elephant in the room that we as gay men, I’m assuming most of the people listening here are gay men.
We live in a world of norms and expectations, and we automatically cannot. We are automatically out of the sexual norm because we have same-sex sex. Even within the queer community though, if you have an inclination for doing things a little bit differently, like those kinks and those things that maybe are not even even accepted in the queer community. And then that’s also very hard,
then you become a slot that we’re going into slut-shaming and then you’re someone who, who was a pervert or whatnot. And so it’s, it’s, it’s not just about rejecting norms. So I want to say this too. I am someone who definitely, you know, we’re all in a kink spectrum. I’m I’m I like my fun, but I also like my,
what I’d call the sex within the norms. And so sometimes you do want to align with the social norms. I’m not talking about just blindly rejecting them, just like I wouldn’t talk about blindly, excepting them. It’s really about knowing what you want. And, and that authenticity, I think is key. Like Matt had said. So to finally get to the point of what sexual empowerment means to me is standing in your own authority and making choices that align with your sexual needs and desires.
Sometimes they might be very much within the norm and that’s great if that’s truly what works for you, great. There’s nothing wrong with that, but then choose it consciously. And then sometimes it’s not going to fit in. And what I’ve noticed is that for a lot of my clients who have needs and desires, sexual needs and desires that don’t fit in,
or that don’t conform with the norm, that’s where they want to reject them. And that’s where they want to try to fit in. But they don’t because they have these needs or desires that are true to them. They just don’t want to have them, or they don’t want to acknowledge them. So, you know, I say, no one can really tell you what to do.
We could sit here all three of us to give our, our opinions and our what’s true for us. But I think it’s important to, to teach people how to make sexual decisions that feel that they feel good about. So that’s what it means to me. How about you callin? Oh boy. Y’all, y’all have a lot to say today about this.
I knew you guys were going to have probably more to say than I do cause Michael, this is like right in your roundhouse of what you love to talk about. And so I came in today just kind of being really like interested in learning and being curious for myself, sexual empowerment was just the permission I give myself to explore and to be curious, that’s really what by own,
you know, sexual empowerment was, it was like, I give myself the permission to try everything once, you know, I’m like, I, I’m not going to know unless I try it. And that’s what that, that, that’s the part that kind of drives me crazy about some people that they pass judgment and they hold all these beliefs without having ever given themselves the permission to even think differently,
let alone act upon things. But to even think differently outside of the box is kind of like, you know, revolutionary to a lot of people that like, I’m allowed to think like that. And so when it comes down to his sexual empowerment, when I was, you know, exploring who I was and what I want to do and be, and experience,
I just gave myself the permission. And I think that that’s really what it comes down to is giving yourself the permission to be like, I’m kind of curious about this. I’ll try it on once. And that’s, I think how I approach life in general is it’s like, I’m an Aquarius, I’m a very fixed sign. So I don’t love change,
but I love curiosity and I love learning and exploring. And that’s the kind of hat I put on when I’m trying out new things. And so when it comes to sexuality and exploring these things, I kind of put on this hat and I went, okay, let’s just try things. Cause I didn’t know if I was going to like bottoming until I tried it more than just once it’s like,
okay, well I know that it’s like, you gotta give it a couple of tries to see what really works and then topping and everything in between all the other stuff. It’s like some people like certain things that other people don’t like other things it’s like, you gotta try them all to be able to say yes, I like, or no, I don’t like that.
And when it comes to sexual shaming, for me, it’s like, if there’s certain things you don’t like, and then you share that with people and they’re like, oh my God, how could you not like that? Like rimming I not a fan. Won’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t like having it done to me. But it’s because I’ve explored that.
And I’m like, no, that’s not, it’s not a thing I like to do. But like I get shamed on that all the time. Cause people like, oh, you must be bad at this. Or, oh, you’re awful. All I could never do that. And for me, and I’m like, that’s great for you, but you’re shaming me into something that I’ve tried and that I don’t necessarily enjoy.
And that’s what I find happens a lot in the community of this like cycle of shaming of like, oh, you need to be this and not this or, oh, you need to be that. And not this. And we just did our bottom shaming episode and it’s like, it perpetuates everything. When we talk about things like that, it’s like,
if that’s your opinion and you love it, great, you don’t need to shame somebody else for not loving it. You know, I would rather, instead of taking the thought process of like, oh my God, and attacking that person for sharing what they wanted to share, you can share what you do enjoy and focus on the positive side of that.
Instead of focusing on the negative side of what you don’t enjoy with that other person, but bringing it back to the sexual empowerment, don’t wait for somebody else to give you permission. Because like Matt said, nobody’s going to come along and just give you magical permission and be like, you’re allowed to do this. Like you’re not going to happen. And the same goes for anything you’re doing it.
You know, in business building businesses, nobody came along and said that, oh, you know what? You guys are allowed to do this. More people came along and said, oh, you shouldn’t do this. You’re not allowed to do this. How dare you do this? And that’s happens a lot when you start exploring these empowerment things, when you start empowering yourself to be what you want to be instead of what other people dictate,
because people, the crabs in the bucket will come along and they’ll start pulling you back down. Cause they go, how dare you. I’m not allowed to enjoy my life. I’m not allowed to enjoy these things. How dare you do it. And all you get to say is like, okay, well I gave myself permission and I don’t need your permission to enjoy this.
And in regards to like the sexual experience of that, you don’t need anybody’s permission to explore the things you want to explore. I mean consent. Yes, you do need that. But like you don’t need permission to go out and sleep with somebody you want to sleep with. Even if you don’t know their name, you don’t need permission to take somebody home from the bar.
If you want to take somebody home from the bar, you don’t need permission to have a long-term relationship, anything, but you don’t need permission to do whatever the fuck you want to do, but you need to give it to yourself and you need to find a way to get curious about that. So that’s kinda my fun. I bopped around all over the place in that,
but that’s, that’s where I am with. I have an idea. Why don’t we just the three of us for all the listeners, viewers, why don’t we hear by give everyone out there permission. If you’re looking for permission from somebody here, it is take it. No, you don’t, you don’t need it from us. You don’t need it,
but if you do feel you need it here, you now have it. Have fun. Run wild, go wild. Yeah. Yeah. What you’re sharing Callen reminds me so much of my journey because I think I fell into, well, I’ve said this in previous episodes before around, I feel like gay men. One of our deepest core wounds is not fitting in and fear of rejection is very,
very prevalent amongst gay men. And I think there’s this element of conformity. And I think we attribute that to sex. And I think the gay community, you know, it’s this set of beliefs that set of conditioned beliefs that we’ve inherited, that we all project onto each other. And it’s like, if you’re not fulfilling these things that you’re somehow weird.
So I think a lot of us develop our sexual sense of self based off of who we think we need to be to fit into the community. And that’s, I felt fucking hard for that trap. And I thought that the only options for me when I was young and Twinkie was to be a bottom. And then I thought my only options when I came more into my masculinity was to be a top and I bit hard I did into these roles.
And I’m like, you know, and suddenly before I knew it, my sexual self was developed so much by my ego. And it was because my ego is always concerned about how other people are perceiving me. So my sexual self was how can I be the most desirable to other people? And I completely abandoned my own authentic sexual desires, right? And that’s what I’m coming into now.
I’m 37 and I’m just coming into my, my most sexually empowered self and I’m doing it because I’m honoring my needs and I’m not giving two shifts with the people around me are thinking about it, right. It’s taken me this long to get to this point. But so, you know, and a lot of the stuff around my true authentic expressions were around bottoming.
So much shame around embracing my femininity and, and, and being a bottom. And I say those two things separately, I don’t attribute them as the same thing I see. I see, you know, me being more receptive and fluid and dancing and being in that expressive energy as one thing. And then I see bottoming being another and it wasn’t until I was able to really start to own these,
these parts of me. So I think empowerment for me, there’s a strong sense of self ownership, like really owning who you are and not being afraid of, of not going against or going against the grain, my end, doing it, doing things differently. And I really, really want to encourage, you know, other gay men to start to listen to their body,
right? Like what is it, what does your body want? What brings you pleasure? Right. And appears is, is important too. Don’t get me wrong. Like if you’re very stimulated from a pure, that’s great, but there’s also this element that your body’s constantly communicating to you. It’s like whispering to your desires, your pleasures and all this sort of stuff.
So I think for me, once I integrated those two parts of my being, you know, the mind and body, that’s when my sexual self really started to become more clear. So yeah, I love that. And I’m going to take that cause I love what you said about the fitting aspect, because I’ve experienced this recently about belonging and fitting in are two very different things.
Belonging is knowing that I deserve to be here regardless and fitting in is trying to appear something. And I had this experience because I love, like, I love the bear bars. I love like bigger guys. I love a lot of that energy, but I don’t love leather. And I don’t like, I don’t attach myself to that cake, but there’s a specific place here in Toronto that,
you know, I I’ve gone to before. And like I went in and I was wearing my t-shirt, but everybody else had their harnesses on and everybody else was fitting into the mold that this is, this is this space. This is the guys. They like this. And I have to fit into that. And yes, there’s plenty of people who probably do enjoy that.
But then I also wonder like how many of you are just playing this part that you’re trying to fit in, because this is what you find attractive. The people who come here, you find them attractive, but you don’t necessarily fit in with the leather. And I remember being at this one party and like these like multiple guys kept trying to get me to take my shirt off.
Cause it’s like, oh, it’s a, it’s a Saturday night at the Eagle. Like you take your shirt off. And I was like, I don’t, I don’t want to take my shirt off. Like I don’t enjoy that. That doesn’t make me happy. It’s not that I’m ashamed of my body. I just, I don’t care for that.
And I’m not here to fit in for you. I’m here to feel like I belong for me. And I feel, and I felt like I belonged to be there and I enjoyed myself, but I like it was so wild. How many people are trying to get me to conform, to fitting in. And I was like, I, by being myself and just by being my authentic self and having done the work that I do,
I know I belong here and I’m having a great time and that is attracting people to me. But then the idea of me not fitting in with everybody else is kind of boggling their mind to the point where they’re like, oh, but you still need to fit in so that I could, it was a weird experience. But I want to say to,
if you’re listening out there, you belong in any setting you want to be in, but you don’t have to conform to fit into that space. Like if you like leather go crazy. I don’t like leather. So I’m not going to go out and get a harness and do all these things because that doesn’t interest me. It doesn’t fulfill anything in me.
And I’ve never gotten anything from that, but it doesn’t mean you can’t, but I’m glad you brought up the fitting in aspect because I’m so curious as to how many people and how many things in our sexual world of gay men do people do just because they’re trying to fit in because they’re trying to be like Hookup culture is so is perfectly aligned to that because a lot of the work that I do with people,
it’s like getting them in alignment to all like sexual can be part of it, but it’s all in a lot of guys. They’re just, they don’t like it, but they think that’s the only option for them. Right. And it’s like Grindr, Scruff. Those are my two options. Okay, great. And they just, it’s almost like we default into that.
And I remember being like an 18 year old and like, it was almost like I was just shifted into it. Right. I didn’t really make a choice, I guess I did at the end of the day. But it was like, I kind of just was like guided by older men into being in this and that. And I really didn’t listen to what my true authentic desires were.
So it makes a lot of sense. I think what makes the, the empowering part of it is knowing when that hookup culture like Grindr and Scruff works for you and when it doesn’t. Right. So it’s aligning the, that intention with what you, what you want, what you’re truly looking for. But we’ve talked about many times if you’re wanting intimacy and connection,
what are you doing? Where are you trying to get that need met? But sometimes you just want to get off and you just want to get off real quick with someone who’s a super close by in that case, go for the grinder and have a great time I found out there, right? So it’s, it’s knowing, knowing where to match up those needs and,
and higher doing it and making sure that it is aligned because I did the hookup culture thing too. I bought into that too, but I will say I still like it and still enjoy it. Is that where I’m going to be to get my need for like, you know, a sapiosexual connection meant? No. So I think, I think there’s a bit of nuance there.
And I think that also doing the work is really important, but also the fact of like the, like the younger community comes in, they don’t know any better. So they’re looking to the older community to learn. And they’re met with all these other people who are living their shame stories and they’re projecting their beliefs onto the younger generation. So it’s perpetuating these ideas of how you’re supposed to look how you’re supposed to act,
how you’re supposed to be. And we’re a lot of it does have a facade of sexual empowerment, but a lot of me questions, how much is that? Fake it till you make it, or how much of that is genuine and how much of the actual work have you done in the internal? Yeah. Yeah. I like both of your points.
And I want to just add to what Michael said, and I think, you know what, I’ve, at least how I perceived what you said was like discernment, having good discernment. And I often think that a lot of us are discernment is black and white and it’s like, I don’t like hookup culture or I love hookup culture, but why can’t it be determined in the moment?
Right. What do I need right now? Right. Because I also have those moments where it’s like, it might be nice to go and just have a hookup. Right. It’s not often that I have that experience, but it does come. So if I were to just buy into that hardcore and say, I can’t do that because that’s not Matt,
that’s not right. And we were using our self-concept as something to kind of hide within as opposed to, right. So for me, empowerment is about fluidity and moving around the moment and saying, what would feel good for me right now, as opposed to attaching to the black and white stories of who we have to be. I think that’s, that’s a big part of it for me.
And I think that’s what I’m learning now is how to let go of the, let go of the known right. And move towards the unknown. And that happens in the moment. Right. I can be like, Hmm. Would this feel good for me right now? Okay. Well, let’s try it. Yeah. All right. So what makes you feel sexually empowered Michael?
A few things, but I think, okay, how do I want to, you know, what we’ll do, I’m going to, I’m going to say it like this. Well, it makes me feel sexually empowered is knowing what I want, My wants my desires, my needs not just wants and insiders, but also needs. Right. I have needs to.
And then the flip side of it, or the second piece of it is actively going out and expressing those, communicating that, not, I love the example you just gave. Right. So, yeah, it’s definitely the moment I have a relationship and we have, you know, our, our connection and our sex is potentially going to be going to meet some needs over here,
but maybe not, these needs over here and I’m going to make, get these needs met in an open relationship, which is the relationship I’m in. But I think what I like and what makes me feel confident and empowered is being able to a know that about myself and then share that with my partner or share that with whoever, whoever it’s going to be.
So the old Michael would say, you know, okay, well, what’s everyone else doing? And I’ll just do that, which is like the definition of fitting it. And, but that, that in some cases, like I said, that works for me. The truth is in some respects that conforming actually does work for me. There’s some things that I actually really do like about the way I was raised in about love and relationships,
some things, but also at the same time, there’s another part of me that is definitely not aligned at all when it comes to traditional sex and relationships. So I would say the new empowered me the, where the empowerment comes in as claiming that authority over my own decision making and saying, I’m not going to just do what, what I was totaled for here from my family,
but I’m also not going to do what all the other gay guys that I’m seeing are doing either. I’m going to find out what’s right, for me finding that beautiful flavor that is just Michaels and, you know, make decisions for my own body, for my own sexuality, making decisions about my own orgasms, my desires and my beliefs, right. My beliefs about,
okay, where did I pick up the stuff that sex is dirty or that this kind of sex is better or worse than there than the other owning that owning those beliefs, having authority over them, and then choosing which ones of these do I want to keep and are benefiting me and are useful to me and which ones are actually are not aligned for me.
And I will say this, it’s not easy to make a decision that other people are not going to approve of. So I’m in an open relationship. My traditional family has opinions about that. And it’s hard. It’s, it’s hard to stand in my truth of that, but because part of me like, fuck, this would be a lot easier if I just a,
was it a non open relationship, but then at the part of me would be not aligned in suffering. But then I also want to express, which is my second point expressing the truth of who I am saying. Here’s what I do. I’m very happy. My partner’s very happy. We’re very happy together. You don’t need to like it. I’d love you,
mom and dad, you don’t need to like it, but here’s what it is. And not just mom and dad, even in the gay community, there’s a lot of people that, you know, are not have a lot of judgments about what’s a real relationship. What’s real, this valuable thing. So yeah. The other thing I would say to add to this is,
is being comfortable in my own body. I think that makes me feel very sexually empowered. There was a time where I did not like my body as much and it influenced the way I showed up. It influenced the way I used it. It influenced my sex. Whereas now when I’m comfortable in my own skin, which is the definition of sexiness, sexiness is being comfortable in your own skin that just exudes naturally.
And it’s, it’s a lot of work to get there. There is a lot of work to, to feel comfortable. Again, there’s days. Trust me, I do not. There’s stays. I’m like, what the hell is this? Where did this extra stuff come from? I don’t want this, but at the end of the day, you know,
when you can know your needs and wants desires, express them authentically, live a life on your terms and then feel comfortable in your own skin. That is the magic formula for feeling sexually empowered for me. I love that. I do. I, I really loved that. And I also, when I acknowledged that it’s like, there’s a lot of opinions.
People have a lot of opinions out there. And I think our, our most popular episode is the open versus closed relationship episode, podcast episode. It’s like by far, one of the most listened to and talked about episodes and people have a lot of feelings and emotions about it. And what I want to say about that is what does it matter? And what does it change in your life?
If you want to have a completely monogamous relationship, have it. If you want to have an open relationship, have it, neither one of them like cancels out the other one, neither one. Like, and that’s the part that blows my mind. I’m like, is it personally affecting you? Like, right. Like, like I, anyways, it just blows my mind,
but people always gotta find something to hate on. And people always got to find something to make themselves feel better. Or maybe this plays into the shame aspect of what we’re talking about. It’s like they were shamed so much into their world. So they’re like, oh, well, if I can’t explore these things, you’re not explore these things in any ways.
And I’ve developed these belief systems. But to that, I want to ask, have you done your own curiosity journey around it? Cause I’ve never had an open relationship. I’ve only ever had monogamous relationships, but I still know I’m not going to say outright that I won’t, because I’ve never gone down that journey. I’ve not been in that place where I’ve had that experience yet.
And so because of that, I’m like, well, I don’t know what’s right for me yet because I’ve not experienced it yet. But I think it takes a lot of knowing who you are and personal and sexual empowerment to know who you are to get to that place, where you go. I don’t know all the answers. I don’t have all the answers and I certainly don’t have all the answers for everybody else out there.
I’m developing the ones that I have for myself and that’s through trial and error and through curiosity. And that’s what I really invite a lot of the listeners to kind of get to is get to that place where, you know, you’re doing things for yourself and you’re learning for yourself. And you’re being curious about yourself. And for me, this plays into what sexual empowerment is for me.
It’s allowing myself back to, you know, the answer for number one, allowing myself to be curious and allowing myself to do those things that sexually empowers me. And that’s what makes me feel sexually empowered is that I allow myself to do whatever the fuck I want with ever who the fuck I want, whatever the fuck I want. And that’s really what it is.
Sometimes sexual empowerment for me is I just want to really have an intimate relationship. And then other times it’s like that guy’s hot. Let’s make it happen. Like it is what it is. There’s sometimes it’s like, I just want to be by myself and maybe use some toys. And that to me is going to be very sexually empowering because I am gonna figure out or learn new things that get me excited that I’m like,
huh, that never happened before. Or ha I didn’t know that about me before, you know? So allowing yourself to be curious and kind of play because you don’t know what you don’t know until you try it. You know, that’s what I say. You don’t know what you don’t know until you try it. Yeah. I think it’s meant to be fun.
At least when I, when I started getting into that mode of fun and play with it, then I let myself off the hook a bit with expectations. I’ll let the guys that I was with off the hook, the belt with expectations. Then I just started getting into this. Exactly. As you said, curiosity, and through that, I learned a lot more.
There’s that determine, okay. Here’s the things that I’m definitely into and I want more of, and I want to go down this road and then these are definitely the things that are now, not for me, but Hey, no judgment again. Right? It’s no judgment. Let’s just all stay in our lanes and enjoy the sex we want as long as there’s consent.
Yeah. Amen. Yeah. Amen. What makes you feel sexually empowered, Matt? Well, I want to, I just want to say something about the comment that you’re making, because this is a life for me to like relationship structures. I really think we should do another episode on opening closed relationships. It’s been so long. We recorded that. Like what a year and a half ago,
it’s been a long time. So I think it would be good. I’ve learned a lot about myself, but I want to say this. I think there’s two camps, right? And there’s the people who are hardcore attached to monogamy and hardcore tach to we’ll say non-monogamy right. And I want it, first of all, to say that your attachments are yours,
right. Stay in your own lane. It’s it’s it’s it is what it is. But I think there’s people who are attached to those concepts based out of fear and there’s people who were attached to those concept based out of love and preference. And I think that’s when the people that are very vocal, it’s the people who are projecting their fears into the world.
Like people who are afraid of monogamy or, or, or who are pro monogamy tend to be from fear, I’ll say tend to be people who are afraid of being cheated on, or they don’t feel good enough and they struggle with jealousy. Right? And then on the other side, the, the, you know, the, the non-monogamy, those people are afraid of being judged as being your relationship isn’t real,
or your relationship in serious. So everybody’s got their own fear that they’re projecting into the world. And like, like Michael said, stay in your own lane, work through your own fears, stop projecting. And you’ll find yourself in a really beautiful relationship where the only measurement you need is your level of happiness. That’s it? Right. Happiness is the barometer to success in a relationship.
It doesn’t matter what the structure looks like. So I just, I’m really passionate about this. I just wanted to share that. Not too much. I want to say it because I love that you say, stay in your own lane, but I want to, I want to highlight, I’ve started thinking differently. I’ve started thinking, stay on the same highway,
but if you’re here, if you want to change lanes, that’s okay. Because if you’re going down the highway, cause this opens up that curiosity of like, oh, well I’m behind somebody going really, really slow. And I want to go faster. You don’t have to stay behind that slow person, if you want to explore and kind of, you know,
stay adjacent state in the next lane, but you’re on the same highway. It’s okay. Because then that opens the door a little bit for people to like, you know, not freak out of like, well, I’m in a, I’m only in my documents. It’s like, okay, well, stay in that lane. Have fun. Stay on that highway.
But like maybe change lanes and like be curious, why are you so passionate about this? And if you get to that place, like you said, Matt out of love. Boom, great. Because then I feel like when you’re in that place of love, you’re not, you don’t need to be so vocal about it because you’ve gotten to a place where you’re like,
I don’t care. Cause I’m happy where I am Exactly exact percent. And the signal light, like the blinker switching lanes should always be curiosity, not judgment. Right? That’s the difference between fear and love. Like when you’re curious, you’re more rooted in love, right? And you’re open to different perspectives because you know that your perspective is yours and that no one else can influence your perspective if you don’t give them consent to.
Right. So it’s just all comes back to ownership and like owning your feelings and your activations. And so, okay. So what makes me feel sexually empowered? I set it to off the top. I, this is super alive from me right now. I’m like morphing my sexual self in such a big way. And one of the biggest things for me is like relearning what my authentic arousals are.
Like, what are those things for me? Like I said, I was very governed by my ego. I was very ungoverned by how other people perceive me. And I was very governed by other people’s pleasure, not my own right. Over focusing on them. And so I think really just like learning what it is that arouses me has been such a game changer to stepping into empowerment and then allowing myself to have those things,
to have those arousals without shame, right. Without the stories of, oh, other people aren’t going to find me attractive if I’m this right. And it’s just about, can I own my pleasure without needing to, without needing, to make other people, my reference point to what my pleasure can be. Right. That’s been a big part of my journey.
And I’m also learning within the containers where I can feel empowerment sexually. I need trust. I need safety. I need respect. I need mutual vulnerability. I need these things that allow me to settle into myself and be able to share my most authentic desires because you know, that that’s one thing too, that we need to be mindful of is it’s like when we go around marching and just expressing our sexual desire is there’s opportunity to be shamed and there’s opportunity to feel unsafe and all these things.
So I think for me building a container where I can be my most expressive sexual sexually empowered self, that’s a really big, big thing for me, boundaries. This is probably one of the biggest ones for me because, but I didn’t know what my needs were for the longest time. So I had a hard time setting my boundaries because I was like,
what do I really actually enjoy? Like I felt very lost in my sexuality. And as I’m becoming more clear, it’s easier for me now to set boundaries and say, yeah, I need this right. In order to feel good in my body. And my pleasure, I need this. And, and I’m not really afraid of losing connection because of that.
If somebody is not a good fit for me, then I can let that go. Right. Because I think for the longest time I tried to fit my sexual self into everyone else. Like, cause I didn’t want to experience rejection. I didn’t want to whatever. So I tried to be versatile in like the broad sense of the word, not just like positional fucking,
but I wanted to meet everybody’s needs because I had a strong need for external validation. I needed people to validate me and tell me how, whatever I was. Right. Whatever I was looking to achieve, which is very egoic. Right. I was trapped in there for, for the longest time. And I think the last thing for me, I’ll say,
and this kind of ties into relearning what arouses me, but knowing all my options, because I think for the longest time I was getting riff, I often get reflected to me that I give off like dominant top energy. And that’s like, not really who I am. And so I was, my options were based off of how the world was reflecting to me who I was.
Right. Again, it’s a lack of sense of self, right? So as I’m coming, developing my sense of self more and more, I know all my options of, you know, my it’s almost like my menu of what really gets me going. And now I can choose off that menu and let people know and lead people into me from a place that’s going to work for me and my needs and my desires.
So yeah, yeah. Big. But this is all such big stuff from at least it feels for me like it’s so big, you know what I mean? I had so much trauma and stuff around sex growing up and it’s like, it’s unbelievable how, when you start to unpack it, like I see spirituality and sexuality as like pretty much the same,
like sexual healing is really spiritual healing. And it’s like, they it’s. Yeah. I dunno. It’s just, it’s so, so prevalent. So Yeah. It’s like freedom. It feels like freedom when you start to kind of own these parts of yourself. Yeah. Yeah. And act in alignment with them. That’s the thing. And we did spirituality last month and I’ve said many times to me,
it’s the same thing for my path. They have grown at the same level at the same time in tandem with each other. Not a coincidence. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think for me, I denied it for the longest time, so they didn’t work in tandem and now my sexuality is rapidly speeding up and it’s almost like sitting beside my spirituality now and they feel very much connected and I think that’s been such a big thing for me and yeah.
Yeah. That’s cool. Shit. I love it. I love it. Okay. Let’s, let’s start with Cal this time. I’m curious. What makes you feel sexually disempowered? Hm. I think for this, it’s not anything external. I think for me, sexual disempowerment comes from like my physical body. Just not working properly a lot of the times,
which I has been like experiencing over the last seven years. So it’s not anything outwardly like before I had like medical problems and all that other stuff. I was like, did whatever I want with whoever I want. I had no issues. I had people who would like, I’ve had the experiences that I think I shared before where somebody is like, I can’t do this with you.
Like you’re too available. And it’s freaking me out. And I’m like, well, sorry, I’m, I’m really good here in bed with you, with connecting with people. Like you should go on a journey about that so that you can get to a place where you can enjoy this because I enjoy it fully. I enjoyed emotionally, sexually and all that.
So I, I never had a lot of disempowerment, I think as a kid, like when I was younger, there was like, you know, sometimes kids play doctor and that kind of a thing. And then you get shamed for that. I think that that could have started down the road of disempowerment, but I’m such a strong headed like red head.
That’s so fiery that I was like, no, fuck. Y’all, I’m going to do what I want. And so once I started exploring that, I allowed myself to fully engage with that. And I’d never had any family hookups around it or any like religious kind of background because my family didn’t have that. So we didn’t talk about sex or sexuality or any of that kind of stuff.
But it also wasn’t shamed. It wasn’t something like you can’t talk about it. It was just something that we didn’t talk about. And so it was mostly like friends and most of my friends were pretty empowered about that kind of stuff. Like we never really shamed each other. So externally nothing really disempowered me. I don’t feel, but I think it’s a lot of like my own body,
just like not working correctly, that I’m working through that. And it really is really frustrating. And I know that if there’s other people out there who like have medical problems that stop them from doing things that it it’s so fucking frustrating because there’s like times where I’m just like, I swear to God, I’d be in a relationship right now if my body function properly,
like, cause I can’t fully enjoy my body the way that I used to. And it’s been this long journey I’ve been going on. And so I just feel very disempowered because of that. And there’s really nothing I can do other than continue going down and like hoping and like praying that eventually I’ll get to that place where things are all in balanced again.
And like, I can do whatever I want. He can. But until I get there, I’m kind of just holding space with the universe saying, okay, you are leading me down this path for a reason. And as long as it’s not the rest of my life, I can deal with that. And I will look back on this and I’ll understand it,
but it’s time for it to stop. So I mean, hopefully I’ve, you know, recently things have been moving faster in regards to like medical and all that kind of stuff. But I’d say that for me, that’s what it really comes down to is like my, my body just doesn’t work the way other people’s does right now. And that feels very disempowering to me.
It’s for sharing Collin. I feel, yeah. That’s an area that we definitely share. So, Yeah. Sorry. I was just taking that in. I think that a lot, I think, I think a lot of people can resonate with that. Not maybe just with the medical stuff, but just in general when you don’t feel comfortable in your own body,
then that, that can make a lot of people feel disempowered sexually and not just actually in many ways, but I think a lot of gay men that I’ve spoken to resonate with that. So this is actually perfect timing to have this conversation because I’m actually putting the finishing touches on a sexual confidence workshop. And part of the research I’ve been doing for that has been talking to guys to get an idea for,
okay, what are the issues? Because for me, I mean, I have, I have my very specific story, which I’ve shared, but there’s a lot of other stories out there for why people might be disempowered. So I’ll answer for me myself. It’s, it’s essentially what I said earlier. Having to conform to a narrative that does not serve me.
So ignoring my authentic desires, ignoring my needs at guard, my values, ignoring the things that give me pleasure. But I will also say for, from what I’ve seen, there’s two other things that come up in, in the guys that I’ve talked to, which is what Kalyn had said. So not feeling comfortable in your body. So that body is a huge block.
It’s an obstacle that they haven’t to feeling sexually empowered. And then the other thing was like a social anxiety. So just, just having anxiety around people in general. And so to take that and then have to add on this like ultra vulnerable layer of sex really can make people feel sexually disempowered to the point where they either don’t engage at all. They say,
Nope, forget it. This isn’t for me, I’m just not going to participate in this. Or they kind of force themselves to do it. And they use things like alcohol and substances to numb it or to kind of get themselves through it. And what happens will be a lot of people who have that will just feel like the only way they can get through sex or sexual experience is with the help of being drunk or high or something,
and that’s the only way that they can do it. So there’s, that’s a little bit different from than people who are just enjoying drinks and then having sex and it doesn’t, it’s not required. So I think those are two things that came up a lot that were actually surprising to me because it wasn’t as much my story, but I think it’s really important to talk about that.
Yeah. I think that’s, that’s where I’ll leave it there. That’s cool. Sounds like a cool workshop. Yeah. I’m really excited about it. Yeah. Kind of what I was thinking. It was the answer to this question. I was going through my whole journey and just how much I felt as empowered and not even really realizing it. Like in retrospect,
I was like, holy shit. I was very disempowered sexually. And I think one of the biggest things for me was trying to be something I wasn’t and denying myself space to connect with my authentic desires. And the reason why I did that I think is because of shame. I didn’t want to experience rejection. I didn’t want to experience judgment and I wanted to meet everybody else’s needs in same time abandoning my own needs.
Right. Which was codependency. So for me, sexual disempowerment came out of codependency. Over-focused on other less focus on self. Right. And it’s really hard to be empowered if you’re leaking your power out to other people. And I did that. I did that very well throughout my development self judgment, I think was a big one for me. So yeah,
it could have been, you know, around judging my body, judging my performance, judging my penis. If my penis was working well or not, like you have a good sexual experience and it’s really hard and erect and it’s great. And then you could have a sexual experience where it’s not right and like attaching too much to the negative experiences and applying so much judgment to myself was a really strong way of disempowering myself and comparison,
I think has been a big part of my journey too. You know, I think about porn growing up and watching porn and like what I was exposed to from a very young age, I think I started looking at pornography pornography at CS, maybe like 10, something like that. Like I was quite young and like we think about porn, like all these like big dicks and like really ripped bodies.
And like, that’s like what my brain got conditioned to was the norm. Right. And so comparing my, my body, my sexual prowess, like these sorts of things to other people, it just leaked my energy and my power out very quickly. And then, you know, getting involved in the gay community, it was even more of that. And like seeing what other people were desiring and,
you know, you didn’t, I didn’t hear very often growing up that people desired connection and cuddling and kissing and all the things that I really love. And that really arouse me like foreplay is, is way more arousing for me than, than penetration. And, and there wasn’t a strong emphasis put on that in the gay community. And so I always felt weird and different and I hid those desires and I tried to play the role of the Dom top,
like that energy. Cause that’s what I thought people wanted me to be. And yeah, my body was like, why this doesn’t feel good for you? Why are you being this? You know, so I think that not listening to my body, I think all of those things really encompass that. So I would say that would be probably the biggest thing for me that leaked out my power was just not listening to my body.
My body was trying to communicate to me for so long. And then I started to develop medical conditions. And that’s where I relate to you. Callan is just, I started to develop all these issues with my body and it was like, you know, I look at it as the, my body was trying to communicate to me for so long and then I wasn’t listening.
So it’s like the universe or some sort of power greater than me submitted me and gave me all these issues. So I could slow down and I could start listening. And, and now that I’m doing that and I’m, I’m respecting my body and I’m listening to my authentic desires, I’m healing and I’m healing through the very thing, which is, you know,
sexual energy. That was the thing that I had so much shame around. Right. And I want to just preface to, when I say that sexual energy, I don’t mean like I’m going around and having a bunch of sex with people to heal. That’s not what I view it as that’s part of it, a very small part of it, but like breath,
pleasure, like tantra, like all of these things. It’s a huge chamber of stuff that I use when I, when I use the word sex and it’s all expressive and it’s all connective and that’s kind of where a lot of my healing is taking place. So Yeah. So let’s finish off with one tip that we can share with the audience to help them feel more sexually empowered.
Let’s start with Michael Own it, own it, own it. I want a girl. You are a sexual being, whether you choose to express it or not, it’s completely up to you, but own it own that it’s yours on that. You get to do what you want with it. I would say you are a sexual being, what that looks like is the fun part.
I fun with it, explore it, you know, and that could look like a lot of different things. Sometimes I would encourage the use of porn to explore, you know, Hey, let me, let me look at this thing and see if this is something I’m into and using porn. And then from there, you can maybe try incorporating it in incorporating that with a partner,
even just touching yourself. Self-pleasure thinking about it fantasizing. I have a very wild, amazing imagination. I, I can come with just closing my eyes and thinking about something and I can get it done. So again, that’s just me, but, but have fun with that and, and playing with your sexual being, exploring what that looks like for you have fun with it.
You know, like we said, at the beginning, I think is very important. Find people that you can talk about this with too. Doesn’t necessarily people that you have to like have sex with, but at least people you can talk about it with that I think can contribute to a lot of growth and, and owning our sexual being. I will also say that it’s important to educate yourself.
We didn’t really talk too too much about it, but for me, you know, I am a, oh, Hey, look at my shirt. I’m wearing the right shirt for this episode. It’s so perfect. I was actually liberated for those of you can’t see the shirt, but yes, I consider myself to be a sexually liberated person. Not that it’s a destination,
it’s a journey. But part of that, I would say I’ve done a lot of my own work in educating myself about sexual health consent, safer sex, whatever that might look like. So I think there’s a whole, that’s a whole other discussion we can talk about. But education for me has helped me feel more empowered and owning the decisions I make,
because I know I’m making informed choices, whatever those may be. And then part of owning it is owning. Again, all those beliefs, a question, everything that you’ve been taught about sex and sexuality, pleasure, orgasms, all the things I said earlier, porn, everything that we’ve talked about, relationships, put them on a table. We’ll look at them all and say,
okay, which ones are me? Which ones are aligned with me? What do I really value and want to keep with me on this journey going forward? And if you’re unsure, if you’re like, oh, I’m not sure if this is what I wanted. This is what I want. Remember that it’s very fluid. You can change. You can change all the time.
I’ve gone through ups and downs and sometimes I’m into this and then I change it. I’m into something else. And again, that’s the fun part. That’s the beautiful part. Even actually within being in a non-monogamous relationship, it’s not like this one and done like you’re, you’re opening as open forever, or you’re closing schools forever. You can play in non-monogamy with,
okay, we’re going to be open in these situations, but not in these situations. So again, there’s a lot of fluidity here. Just have fun with it. Let yourself enjoy that experience of being a sexual being. And for people who have a hard time trying to determine or decipher what they want. I, I lost in this question. If nobody was watching you and nobody had any opinion about your sex life at all,
what would you want that helps them make things really clear? It’s like, listen, no, one’s judging you about, if you liked this kind of sex or this kind of sex, maybe it’s both. Which would you, which would you do? Or what would you have or which would you explore? So that’s, those are some of the tip side have,
but it all comes under the umbrella of owning it just own that you are this beautiful sexual energy. And what does that mean for you? What is your, I have a Michael flavor. Matt has a Matt flavor account has account flavor. You have your own flavor and you can share that or not share that with as many people or as few people as you want Also.
Yeah. I don’t think I’m going to add too much on top of that, but let’s just say try not being so judgmental, both towards other people and towards yourself, because I think that that’s where a lot of the shame lays is it’s that judgment. It’s like pointing the finger. And then because of that judgment, you’re also judging yourself. And so the,
I guess you could say the opposite or the cures, that would be curiosity, which is basically what Michael was saying. It’s like allow yourself to be curious, drop the judgements, stop pointing fingers who fucking cares and just allow yourself to get curious and enjoy the exploration and discover what you like for the reasons that you like. Not because other people have said so or anything else,
like taking it back to my story of the leather, not my thing, but I still love going to the parties. So I mean, you know, you don’t have to love it all. You don’t have to fit in. You can still belong and still hold true to yourself. So that’s what I’d say. I love that. That’s so well said too.
It’s good advice for every area of somebody’s life. So for me, I would say pace yourself because we’re, a lot of us are operating at a speed that it doesn’t allow us the space and time to really connect in and say, do I want this right now? What would feel good for me right now? Right? Like these sorts of things,
they, they, they happen in the moment and the end, if we’re so used to being governed by our mind or our conditioning of what we think other people need us to be, it takes time, right? So you really got to slow yourself down and really connect inward. And, and then once you do figure out what your authentic desires and arousals are,
share that, speak your truth because your vibe will attract your tribe, right? So you’ll end up bringing in people, energetically into your sphere that will want to explore those arousals with you. So, you know, that’s what, that’s what the three of us do, right? In our own businesses. And in, in, in this, this podcast and in this business,
we, we share our truth. We’re vulnerable. And I think for the most part, the three of us are getting our needs met, right? Because we are speaking our truth and we’re attracting people who want to stand along with us and meet those same needs. And it just feels really good. And I think that’s how we, that’s how we move through shame.
Sexual shame will be healed by more and more people coming out and sharing the story of who they are sexually. And so I’m honored that we were able to do this today and kind of share this with each other and I feel more connected to you guys. And it’s cool to learn about your, your desires and what you’re navigating in the arena of sexuality.
So any closing comments from either of you guys? I’m good. Okay, awesome. So yeah, if you guys are not part of the gay men’s brotherhood, come and join us on Facebook and you can go, you can basically find out everything about our butter business. If you just go to gay men’s brotherhood.com or gay men going deeper.com both will lead to the same website.
Yeah. And if you’re intrigued by this and you want to share, or you have questions for us, please feel free to leave the questions in, in YouTube. And we will always answer them and we will use them for our testimonials as well. And if you’re listening on your favorite podcasting platform, please leave us a review. Let us know that you love what we’re doing.
And yeah, that’s pretty much all I got so much love everybody take care.