Today, I’m excited to share an interview with Dr. Laura Berman – a world renowned sex and relationship expert with more than 20 years experience helping couples boost their intimacy.
This wife and mother of three boys is a busy lady – not only is she a NY Times best-selling author of books on sexual health, but she has her own television show, In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), where she helps people live their best love lives!
Dr. Berman exuded warmth across the phone. It was such a pleasure to talk with her! In just one call, I learned so much, as I hope you will too from reading her enlightening responses:
Question: One of my favorite quotes of yours is “Focus on the present, and enhance your time and life now rather than always working toward tomorrow.” With balancing a successful career and family, what do you do for yourself to help keep from getting stressed and stay in the present moment?
In order to keep stress from building and to stay in the present moment, Dr. Berman meditates two times a day. She also exercises 6 times per week with some Yoga mixed in. Meditation and yoga are the rare times during her day when she is not multi-tasking, so they help her to focus on the moment.
The other big tip Dr. Berman has for keeping stress at bay is to schedule at least 30 minutes with a girlfriend every week. Even if you are running an errand together or doing an exercise class, that woman to woman connection when you are not in Mommy mode or responsibility mode helps replenish you, which is very important to your overall health!
Question: Sex is a topic many of us feel uncomfortable talking about. How can couples begin to overcome that and learn to talk more openly about their sexual needs with their partner?
Practice! Practice is her biggest advice for overcoming the unease.
First, individuals need to do their own work on their journey to understanding that sex is not shameful, bad, or dirty, and talking about it should not be either.
In sessions, she’ll ask her clients to write down all the messages they received as children about sex. All the “shoulds” in one column, and in the other column write down where the message came from. Was it when Mom pushed their hand away, or something their aunt said? Where did these messages come from?
By doing this, you can begin to become conscious and understand where the message came from. Is it really your own voice affecting you or someone else’s. Being conscious of the messages we received as children is an important first step- it enables us to take ownership of the effect of things.
Dr. Berman remarked how important it is that we take a pro-active role in our sex lives!
Question: Does birth control impact your sex drive?
Part of enjoying sex is being relaxed and not worrying about getting pregnant (if it is something you are trying to avoid!). Knowing you are protected can help you to relax and enjoy sex.
An interesting synchronicity for myself about this interview is that in the last two months or so I have been personally thinking of switching from a birth control pill to a non-hormone IUC such as this one, because I often feel nauseous taking my birth control pill, and I don’t like the effect the hormones have on my body. I’m going to think it over more to find some clarity within about what direction I want to go, but part of me couldn’t help but wonder if it is a sign? One of my close friends uses an IUC and speaks positively of it. Plus, there have been one or two times my kids were jumping on my head early in the morning for breakfast and I forgot about taking the pill until much later in the day.
Dr. Berman stressed it is important for women to take ownership of their reproductive health!
Question: For all the busy parents out there, what tips do you have for overcoming a lack of energy in order to keep sex a priority?
Replenishing your energy stores is key! For example, doing the things she mentioned previously, such as meditation, exercise, yoga, and spending time with girlfriends. She also mentioned that sex rarely happens spontaneously and that having a sex date at least once a week can be a really fun way to keep sex a priority. It simply requires a mind shift that sex does not have to be spontaneous to be good. Dr. Berman stated that scheduled sex is better than no sex! When you know your sex date is coming couples often get playful and flirtatious with each other (maybe even shave their legs!). A sex date can be a really fun way to make intimacy a priority.
Dr. Berman talked about the importance of carving out time to talk with your spouse or partner about things other than your children, such as your life dreams and passions. Making time in your day to connect is invaluable!
Thank you, Dr. Laura Berman! (www.drlauraberman.com)
Have a wonderful day, friends!