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Becoming an Authentic Man with David Chambers Part 2

Welcome back to Laid OPEN, this week we’re continuing our conversation with David Chambers, a relationship coach and host of the podcast, The Authentic Man.  We finish our conversation by talking about a variety of interesting topics relevant to men looking to lead authentic lives. This includes, the nature of women to ask for and then recoil at when experiencing a man’s vulnerability, sexual shame as it affects men and of course, we speak about sexual freedom and what it means to David.

He also speaks to his experience in the ISTA training, which he calls, “incredible.” You won’t want to miss the helpful breathing exercise I use to end this episode. There’s so much to be learned from the conversation I have with David, and I can’t wait for you to experience it.

Show Notes Welcome back to late open podcast. I'm your host Charna Cassell, I've launched a Patreon for my podcast if you feel you receive value from these episodes, you can also get additional bonus exclusive content, such as meditations, in depth exercises, and behind the scenes info about the interviews and my personal life. All of that and more is TREON dot c o m, backslash la IDOPENPO de cas T. By supporting us on Patreon you're not only contributing to the creation of this podcast, you will also provide the support needed for me to work on my book, workshops, online courses and additional free content. This is a continuation of last week's episode with David Chambers. David is a coach and the host of the authentic man podcast He empowers men to create the deeply connected dating lives sex lives and relationships they longed for by developing their authentic selves. Welcome back David life is about to start dealing with trauma and tension is a great honor decide. Like often, my partner works with women and we kind of joke sometimes it's like this. And this is not all women, just as some that we've come across as like women are like, I want a vulnerable man, I want someone to really share his heart with me. And then when they when he does, they react. They don't know they've never had this experience of a man actually doing it. So their reaction actually doesn't create safety for him to continue to do so. Yeah. Oh God, the point the bind the bind that men are in and, you know, there's even this piece around masculinity. Somehow it came up last night my my boyfriend did something really corny on the phone. And it was really sweet. And I told him I was like, sometimes you do these things that are super corny that because I dated women until I was almost 30. And so I have a very, like, sometimes I have this observer that I'm judging straight people, myself or whatever. And I'm like, oh my god, that was so straight. And so with him. I'm saying, like, you're like, I remember the first time I went on a date after with a man after being in a relationship with a woman and we played we were playing pool and he came up behind me and was like doing that thing. And I was like, oh my god, coffee right now, this man is roping me by playing pool. Like, every I was analyzing everything. You know, I was like, a feminist film theory brain was like, chronically judging my behavior, you know? But so my boyfriend will do these things. And even though they're like, very straight, or corny and romance, he's super sweet and romantic. I, I love it all. Like, there's that voice and I'm like, yeah, just just Hush now. Hush now con still turned on, just leave it be. What he was expressing was like you do these things. And I while I think they're really corny, I'm still turned on, or I still enjoy them. You know? And he goes, Yeah, he's like, Well, I think they're the I even think they're corny. But you've created the safety for me to do that stuff. And it's so sweet. You know, it's this permission to have all of yourself be accepted. Right? There was a man that I started dating, I'd met him traveling in Spain, a black man from America. And there was conditioning like we were talking about, like, he had a very, like, flat effect, like tough expression on his face all the time. Like we take these photos together and he'd never be smiling. Do you know the expression cheesing? No. Okay. It's it's an American slang term for like, being too too Smiley. Like you want to look, you know, you want to look tough, like, I'm not gonna be cheap. I'm gonna be cheesy, you know, like, you're there. So anyways, I remember having this conversation with him and he was like, I've worked really hard to cultivate this tough guy thing. You know, it was like this. It was this I awakening at that time, but really seeing not just as a man But as a black man, right, like the cultural conditioning, this is another question I wanted to ask you. Because, you know, you're, you're in England or not, you're not anymore. But you know, being in the UK, there's a stereotype of emotional repression. Right? And then you have, so you have that layer of culture. And then you have the layer of culture of being a black man, and also the gender conditioning of being a man. Bands. Right, right. So all of that. So it's like, I'm not supposed to be I don't, because of racism, like I can't be threatening. Right? And so like, I have to what, what can I express? What can I show? How do I have to present out in the world? And there was a piece that you shared about always saying, yes, like one of your episodes, you were talking about the tendency to be a people pleaser? And so I had the question for you, with the tendency to people please and override what may feel good to you and say yes, despite what you may want. Do you feel like that comes from familial conditioning, cultural conditioning? What's that about for you? One of the things is definitely comes from my family. My mom is a big nurturer. people pleaser. So, I always saw her saying yes to everything. Like someone asked our Can we come to your house for dinner? Yes. And then you've you know, she got off the phone. I'm like, what were you doing? Mom sounds I was coming for dinner. But there's no food mum, doesn't matter. I said yes. You know, she would just say yes to everything all the time, right. And she would always give all of herself. So I kind of grew up in a household where, you know, my mom's saying yes to everything. So she does this. Yes, yes, yes. And the downside of that is that she often is, again, overriding what she would want or, and can sometimes feel taken advantage of. But the other side of that was there was always a lot of love and care. And people around in our homes, there's always a lot of people. So where, for me, it kind of comes from there. This kind of saying yes, and wanting to seem nice and friendly. And obviously there's that kind of part of being a black man. And not wanting to be aggressive or rude. Like my mum was very big on that. Like, don't be rude. Say, Please say thank you be nice, be kind. That was a big thing from her. Like, Be nice. Be kind. And you know, grew up in the 90s in the UK, where I kind of attribute to, to, you know, it's I remember the video of Rodney King. I remember seeing that video. Yes. As a as a teenage as a kind of, you know, probably, I probably would have only been like, 12 or so years old when I saw that. Oh, okay, because I was 16 when it happened. And I think it was at 94. No, it was nine, it was actually 90, I believe it was it was it was 89 or 90. It was 90, I think 90. I believe it was 90, because I remember where I was like, where I was when it happened. But go ahead. So yeah, so I remember consciously kind of seeing that when I was like, maybe 1012 years old. And then there was you know, we had a young boy who was murdered on the streets by a gang of white use for just sitting with a white Bell. So there was this always this thing of like, you know, as a black man, a Don't be dangerous, right? Because black people are dead black men are dangerous. So you need to be kind, you need to smile you just look happy. But then I also had this part for my mum was like, you know, saying yes, everything and not necessarily checking in wanting to please everybody and have people feel happy. I want people to feel happy around me. And good. So is that a lot of saying yes to things I don't necessarily want to say yes to. And no being this word that's almost difficult to say. It's easier to say? It's like yes, comes naturally first before the word no. So it kind of slips out. Someone asked me for something. And it's like a part of my brain goes, Can I do this? Not do I want to do this? Can I do this? Yes. And then I just say yes, because I can do this. And then I have to stop and think about do I want to do this right? So it's kind of it's got me in it's got me had me do things I didn't really want to do and felt resentment. Right. But yeah, I can say it also sometimes saying yes to things there's also put me in positions where I've done things that I enjoy that I wouldn't normally have done so if I just kind of listened to my pre existing conditioning. So it's a very interesting mix because like you said in the UK, there's this emotional suppression you know, don't talk about anything that's gonna upset anybody. Don't tell them anything that can be personal. God forbid you talk about sex like oh my god, people will giggle and laugh in the corner. Don't talk about you know the issues of men or issues of Women, it's like God, you know, why are you getting so serious? And then, you know, I've had the whole being black thing. And then you know, black men have, I would say, have this kind of hyper masculinity that they have to adhere to this super tough person, right? Because you having to go through tough times, and the world's tough for you and but actually, it that often gets received as aggression actually says defense mechanism from a world where that we are experienced, the world is about to attack them anyway. So they need to be ready. So I guess I've kind of tempered that myself with this. I don't believe the world is I believe the world is a very safe and beautiful place. Right. And so my experiences, I feel very blessed. Like, I traveled through Russia when I was 2223 years old, I took a Trans Siberian train all the way from St. Petersburg, Moscow, all the way into Beijing. So I traveled for a country was I was taught to hate black people, and that I was gonna be in danger. But before I left, my mom kept sending me. She kept like, email me these articles of like, violence after for games and stuff. Yeah. And I went to Russia, and Russians were beautiful. They were lovely. They just wanted to be like, where are you from? Why are you here? You know, that was the consistent question. Where are you from? Right here? Can we have a photograph? With you, which was something that become normal? And I was like, Well, you know, if, if I saw someone, if, if I lived in a black country, and I'd never seen a white person in the in the flesh, I wouldn't be staring at them too. And I'd be wanting to know who they were. Right. So I just took it like that. I was like, Yeah, cool. Take photos of people. So I think that that kind of gives you a lot of compassion and disarm me, in many ways. So this to kind of toughen this dissolve the way to curiosity for me, so I guess that's my, my very long answer. Yeah, no, it's those a beautiful answer there, you know, this, this piece that if we come back to the, you know, the cultural conditioning around, because there's definitely there's always all these layers, right? So there's the familial piece, then there's the cultural piece. And as a black man feeling like, I mean, as men in general aren't supposed to say, No, during sex, right? It's like, that's that you're always ready, you're always ready to go, you always want it. Why? You would say no, what does that even mean? You know that there I've talked to men who didn't realize they could have boundaries in their in their 40s. Right. And so then you take it and you relate it to, as you were saying, like, being a black man and having to present a certain way so that other people there, whatever they're projecting on to you, like, Oh, I'm going to switch that I'm going to make sure you feel safe. And so the focus is always like, your safety versus your permission to own your own body, and to do what feels good inside your own skin gets taken away. Yeah. Is that you're, you're nodding. So yeah, if you want to say any more about that, I mean, it's just like, I think it's important for people to get that I think there are things that we like I was saying the emotional the freedom for women to emote and be goofy and to be lovey, and to express in this range is taken for granted by women. And I think this is also a piece like boundaries are not just about consent around sex. It's like moving through the world all the time. feeling like you have to please or accommodate. The other. Yeah. And it's interesting. Someone I've talked to recently a man and he was explaining how he was this, he was saying to me, we're talking about sex. And he really opening up, you know, for what he said was the first time he had in his life when he talked to someone about sex. said to me, he was like, and David, I didn't realize I could say no, like I just been having. And he found himself in situations. And this is quite common for men where they're out with friends, and there's a woman is interested in them. And then through the concoction of all those guys, there's an expectation of like, well, you have to sleep with her. She's interested in you, you have to sleep with her and not feeling that they could say no, because they they would be ridiculed, embarrassed by the men that they're with and then it would be viewed that they are less of a man because they didn't do so. Yeah. So there's that one really big element of the kind of masculinity, the kind of culture of I like to refer to the man box because I think it's a really good structure because toxic masculinity is a vague term that can be misused. Whereas when I when you explain the rules of the man box, the clarity of it is indisputable. Right? And obviously, one of those those things is that you need to be kind of a sexually Virol man, right? Or you need to dominate women and Do talk about sex cars and sport most of the time, right? So under those sorts of rules, and then the fact that all those rules are bullied into men, there's more rules within the man box. And it's worth looking at. Yeah, but so one of those is that suddenly the man's like, Okay, I'm out with my friends, I have to sleep with this woman, I don't really want to, but if I don't, my manhood is on the line. And for many men, their manhood is always on the line, because masculinity often is performed is a performed thing. So it's always binary. And it's always on the line in every moment of moving forward. So he was saying to me is that you know, I slept with so many women that I didn't really want to, but I thought I had to, because A, my friends would have ridiculed me shame me and cost me from the tribe. Be when I was with the women? What would she think if I said no. So I couldn't say no. And I've spoke to a lot of men about this. And I've had this exactly this conversation with quite a few men. And they're like, I didn't realize I could say no, and I was the same, right? I didn't really think like, Oh, I could say no, when, you know, she's come back to my place. And I'm thinking, Oh, I'm not really into it. But like, I have to be the man and I have to prove I have to provide for her like, I have to, like, give her what she needs. And it was it took me almost the first time I ever said no. was the first time I ever said no to woman that wasn't my girlfriend listing because I think I was got to the point I was okay with saying no to girlfriends at a certain point. But probably the first person I ever said no to having sex with that wasn't my girlfriend. When we were kind of back, you know, in bed. I probably was about 32 years old. Wow. Yeah. And I said, Hey, like, Yeah, we don't I don't, let's not do this. Like we call we can just tell when we can talk and lie here. And I always remember the look on her face, because it was like sheer shock. She'd never experienced a man say no. And I remember then feeling that oh, God, I need to explain this. I hope she doesn't thinks about her. Because that's also a lens of Man sits with us. While I was like, Well, if I say no to her, what is she going to think about herself? And is she going to start internalizing my nose not being good enough not being attractive, and blah, blah, blah. So there's this kind of binary load of men find themselves in so that they can't say no. And then when you can put this out into into their lives, like, I would say at least 50 to 70% of my my clients, I have to work on boundaries with them. Like just saying no to simple things like, okay, so your boss asked you to work late. And you said yes. Why did you say yes? Oh, I didn't think I had a choice. Why didn't you think you had a choice? Was it a question? Or was it a demand? Is a question. So if there's a question mark, can you say yes or no? Well, yeah, but if I don't say yes, he will fire me. Can he fire you for saying no, no. Have other people said no. Yes. They've said no, but you can't say no. Or even with their partners. You know, like, Oh, your partners asked you to do something. Oh, you just said yes. Well, can you can say no, oh, but What will she think if I say no, she'll think I don't care? I'm not applying and go Well, actually, by always saying yes, you've created a dynamic where she expects you to say yes, all the time. And when you do say no, for the first time, she might be angry, because she now has an expectation that you're always gonna do what she wants. But actually, you were by creating boundaries, you create actually a line of who you are, right? Because there's also a part of this boundary that I see with a lot of men in dating is that they don't have any boundaries. And they struggle to create any form of attraction, or connection or Spark, because they don't have any boundaries or edges to who they are. They're like agreeable. They say yes to everything. And it means I think boundaries are very important for attraction. I don't really like talking about attraction, but it is a really important component because it's like, I know who you are, I can put my hand forward. Yeah. And I can touch your edge. And I'm like, all this is where they are. Whereas when you have no boundaries, you're just like a cloud. Like no one knows where you begin or where you stop. And that actually, to a certain degree, it feels unsafe. Apps among about ban boundaries is unsafe. It's so funny, that last bit that you brought up, it's like extending out and touching the other person. Part of my training is in embodied leadership with Richard Strozzi, Heckler and at the Strozzi Institute and what he created, we're using Aikido based exercises to practice embodied boundaries. And and so one of the things that I do with people, right it's I do a lot of boundary exercises. And, and what's amazing is someone could even think that they are they have boundaries and then I do an exercise with them. So one of the one of the exercises would literally be someone walking up and putting their hand on your chest right, saying stop when they get close enough that you get a signal on your body and you're like, No, I don't I don't want you to come any close. Sir, right, and lots of lots of different kinds of boundary exercises. But what will be amazing? Is someone be like, oh, yeah, no, I have no problem with boundaries, and then I do an exercise with them. And they're unable to verbally or physically say no. Right? And then seeing the value of that. Right, as you illustrated completely across the board. It's not just in one arena, it usually shows up in all these other places, right? Yeah, so important to be able to have like, when you have that ability for them to say no, then you know that when you're saying yes, it's so genuine, and it means so much more to the other person. Right? Like they can really trust you. Yes, yeah. It's what's remarkable is that we're all walking around with a lot of the same, you know, false belief systems, and perceptions, and how so much more safety would be created? If we were all more more honest, you know, with each other, right? Yeah, yeah. It's, it's, it is really funny. One of the things I get to observe as working predominantly men, but I do work with with some women, and what I'm starting to see more and more, and you probably have the same experiences, like, we often think men and women are completely different. They think differently, they act differently, blah, blah, blah. And they don't, they're not, we have the same core wounding problems, fears and worries, the only thing that differs slightly, sometimes is that it shows up in our actions slightly differently, because of the conditioning that we receive as men and women, right. But ultimately, the core of fears and worries are exactly the same. Yeah. And if we were just able to spend time with each other a bit more, and be able to express those fears and worries and concerns, we would have so much more compassion for each other, which means that the honesty would come through, and we'd receive each other very differently. Right. And then also, being able to be curious about the, like, the core wounds might not be different. But the conditioning around being a person of color, or being a woman or being a gay parent, you know, like all those pieces, if there could be more compassion versus defensiveness around like I'm more wounded than you are, or you're just telling me I'm bad. It's like, no, look, what if we were all what if we just go nobody's bad? We're all a product of our conditioning. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And it's one of the things I've started to see more and more is like, we create competition in these weird areas, really unnecessarily, like, inside of relationship is so interesting, as I started to work with couples is, you see how they create competition and arguments, though people think they're arguing about the dishwasher, or I don't know, the washing up whatever it may be, what they're actually doing is just trying to be right, or trying to win. And I see the same thing, you know, where we're trying to be more wounded than someone else. It's like, we've learned somewhere with it, maybe it's through schooling or work, but the only way to get attention is to win. So then we fight for attention. It's such a shame, because we realize what we absolutely are, what's really going on is we're on the same page, we just want to be seen and acknowledged for what's going on with us. And it doesn't have to be a competition inside a relationship or between men and women and people of color. And gay people or transgender people there is doesn't have to be a competition for attention. We can all get attention for our problems, and all we do. Well, and that's just this piece of like this, like scarcity, there's not enough. Right? And that just gets encouraged. Right? It's just, it's just like on a systemic level. There's a lot of support for that. Right? In terms of resources, and not enough resources for everybody, but on a personal individual level. If we can go like Okay, so we're in a relationship and proving that I have it worse than you or you did me wrong, and I'm right. Like, what's my ultimate objective? Do I want to be more connected to or do I want to be right? You know, and that's the thing if you just keep going, it's like, okay, we love each other. We want to be more connected. What's gonna get us there? Is it being right? I don't think so. Yeah, exactly. Like being bi is not the That's the route to connection. So there's all of this, I can tell how much work that you've done. And it's such a, it's such a joy to be in this conversation with you. And you know, you've a really balanced, rich perspective on so many things. And so I just imagine what you're offering these men in your eight week group? And is this up? Can you say a little bit about that? Is this an ongoing? Group? Or do you do it? Or is it self run, like people can buy it and do it on their own? Or are you in relationship with them for eight weeks, in relation with them for eight weeks, so I do it live the next the next time I'm gonna be doing this is probably going to start in the beginning of March, and it's all live. It's all the sessions that Live me, I show up. And we do various practice. There's also some some learning and teaching as well from me around some of the kind of core parts of what I see being a loving and connected man being a man that stands for themselves and something they believe in, but also connecting to sexuality to leadership as well, and love and practices like weekly practices and around that. But one of the kind of most magical parts of the group is the group itself is the communication in the group. You don't like I've done a lot of one to one work, and it's amazing. But when I ran, the I finished on the group's probably gonna say a few months ago, but it's probably about four months ago, is how some of these men's lives change. And it was, they came in with their intentions. And you've probably seen the camera and intentions. And I was like, Oh, well, there's nothing we specifically touched on in that in that. But their way they relate to themselves, their thinking, their confidence, how they're able to communicate, how they were to show up intimately with the partners, all those things shifted to whatever it is that they came in for. That shifted because of those are the kind of underlying parts of a lot of the things that we want in our life. If we had more confidence, how will we be in our dating? Like, if we were more sexually connected to ourselves and felt more comfortable sexually? How would we date how would we be of our partner? So it was really amazing to see how them sharing with each other and seeing the fact that they're not alone in their struggles. And it's okay to talk about it. And actually, I feel better for talking. Or Wow, I feel better about talking about this thing. And I've heard other men, and now we're laughing about that thing, because we realize that we're all worried about it. And actually, it's really stupid. And it's like, it's, it almost feels like healing in the moment. And you see, and you know, oh, wow, you've never been in a group quite a few men said one thing is I've never been in a group of men where I felt safe to talk. Yeah, I just all I feel I'm so happy that you're doing the work that you're doing. Because I feel I and I work with a lot of men. And but I really feel they're missing out when they haven't had the experience of being in a group of men, where they get to have exactly that, like the vulnerability of the stereotypical group of men gathering as you were describing, like, okay, yeah, you gotta fuck her, rather than let's talk about our feelings. Let's, let's, you know, and knowing you're not alone, in your experience, and being seen by others, and realizing the universality of so many experiences is so important. That's beautiful. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I want to talk about this. Even though I feel like we need to wrap this interview up sexual shame is such a, you know, you we've touched on it earlier, a little bit around, when men are dealing with not being able to last as long as they would like, or not getting an erection when their mind may want them to, but their bodies wanting something else to occur. And not ready maybe to not emotionally connected enough, whatever the reason may be, right? And then so I'm curious if you could speak to what you've seen around and encountered around sexual shame, you can speak personally, as well as professionally. Yeah, I see it for myself. And my own experience is a given example actually come up about probably about two months ago with my partner, we were having sex, and then we were kind of shifting position or something. And then as I Oh, it's not hard. Okay, we'll come back in a moment. You know, normal thing goes off sometimes. Big shock horror people. If you're listening to this, sometimes you're gonna go hard sometimes when you're soft, and that's totally fine. And then it didn't come back. And I was soft, and I was like, ah, and then I observed myself, it was very fascinating because my partner really so absorbed myself. Like, getting flustered trying to explain and being like, oh, no, give me two minutes. It's gonna be alright, like, and I saw her and she was like, It's okay. It's cool. I am You know, it's not the isn't the first time it's happened to give a bit. She was like, No, it's fine. It's okay. And it was it took her to say that a few times for me to go. Oh shit. Yeah, nervous system is actually okay, warning signs can go off you can pull this okay. And then I was like oh yeah, oh yes, yes it's okay. Because even I had internalized some of this idea right even though I speak to men all the time there's some of this was still hanging around to me. So what I see with guys is I've known men to avoid having sex because of their fear around their erections and, and lasting long enough like avoiding it, they might date someone for a while they go on a few dates, and ghost a woman there with because they would rather ghost her than put themselves in a situation where they couldn't get it up or they come too quickly because they have so much shame for them. There's guys I've spoken to who are convinced that no woman is going to want to be with them. Right? If they cannot have an erection on demand. Yeah. And the shame shows up in so many ways because it also that from a Dane point of view, it leaks into the Dane because we all know the word dating kind of goes right dating kind of gets there. So it arose at their competence of dating, and they don't want to date they feel a lack of confidence when they are dating, when they're talking, they might struggle with flying because there's this uncomfortability with their own sexuality. So and then there's obviously things like around body shame and stuff like that happens for men's penis shame, which is is is a big thing for a lot of guys. I think probably the most common sexual concern for men is around the size of the penis. That is that is the biggest thing. And I think I had a very interesting window into this world way before I did my work because as being a black man and me being six foot one, from the age of about 12 or 13. Other men would comment about the size of my penis without seeing the size of my penis. And it kind of taught me how and how uncomfortable men were about penis size from a young age. But I've seen it firsthand in my work with men is like actually starting to have love for their penises like most men don't, don't look at themselves and look at their penis and can't say anything kind or loving. So, like some of the practices that I I talk to men about is actually simply that, like, paying attention to your penis, reconnecting with it, like feeling the sensations, ob instead of just observe the judgment, it becomes almost like a kind of like, I don't know, becomes a self coaching tool, because it's like, you can look at your penis, and what are the thoughts I have are, it's not big enough, it's not good enough, it doesn't last long enough and blah, blah, blah, and then be like, Okay, how can I now send this love instead of just projecting judgment and anger and upset? Like, how can I shift that into something else. So, you know, men struggle with their sexual shame. And then if you add in men who are bisexual, there's a lot of shame for men who are bisexual because from the man box, you know that one of the man box rules is to be heterosexual or homosexual. So if they're attracted to men in every way, anyway, there's a shame they carry around that they don't want to two other men that they know and friends with. Because often men can be very uncomfortable with with other men who are into men, they struggle with this idea of like, he's my friend, and he's not going to try and fuck me randomly at some point, because that's how a lot of men see women, let's be honest, is a reflection of how they see women. Right? So there's gonna be a lot of shame for men around that. So, you know, I see it firsthand. And it is really heartbreaking a lot of the time, because a lot of men will carry this, and they will never have the opportunity to talk to anyone they can trust at all. I've quite a few men I've worked with in the bay come to me, and they've listened to hours and hours of my podcast, and then they come and they're like, I think I'm going to be able to talk to you and listen, you listen to me. And then I just have a safe space for them to talk. And they told me about everything they've been through. And I'm like, yeah, yeah, like, you didn't react in any way. I'm like, as if I'm honest with you, dude, half the things you said, I've experienced myself. Most of all the other things you said I've spoke to clients about, I was like, what you're experiencing is a normal male experience of being on this planet. And like, like, I've seen men on hearing that just burst into tears, because they've never had anyone accept them as that anymore. And that will mean the thing is, is that's one of the things in like, in a circle in a in a group of men. I wonder how much of this gets shared? Or if it's like, no way I have to share it individually, because there's so much shame. You know, it's intense. And I know you did this to training and so I wondered how much they covered around this particular topic. And because, yeah, very there was there's a few activities, which I think are incredible, right? They I think it's still Amazing things amazing structure, my experience was was beautiful, I got so much out of it. And there was there was definitely a moment where men were allowed to share their experience of being a man their sexuality, or being a man, you know, their fears and worries and so forth in front of each other looking at each other. And it was like it was probably leader day. And as I talked about, it's like I'm goosebumps is like, that's probably the moment that I cried the most, while Esther was when other men was sharing what was going on for them, and how they felt sexually and so forth. And it, it always moves me because it's kind of the untold story. I'm not saying that, Oh, no one listens to the story. So it's that men are so suppressed in talking about some of these things. That they it doesn't get out like, I guess one of the things I think, is the sexual liberation movement, which is continuing, which is amazing. And I, you know, I know so many women who are in this and pushing the sexual liberation movement for women, and I love it. I think it's amazing, like, as a man is amazing, because when you are having sex with women who are more sexually liberated, it's far more enjoyable. And I learned this, I learned this when I was in my mid 20s. Because I learned this very simple thing. I was like, ah, if you meet a woman, and she has sex toys, then the chances are the sex is going to be better. That was something I very quickly learned as a 25 year old man. But men are left behind in the sexual revolution, right? They are being left behind is not is not a deliberate thing. But it's just that there's not as many men coming forward and talking about sex and men being willing to drop the bravado around listening to it, like I run workshops, sometimes around sexuality topics for men, masturbation, performance, stuff like that. And sometimes men contact me and they're like, I want to come but I don't want to be there. Because I don't want to see I don't want anyone to know that I'm, they will see that I'm there. Yeah. And I'm like, It's okay, you can come and just turn your camera off. That's cool. But there's a lot of stigma involved for a man to get sexual help, especially because the idea that a lot of men carry around is that I should be good at sex. Right, I should just be good at it. Well, and then the irony is that some of those men come to see me, because I do a lot of sex therapy. And that's the thing that gets them to go to therapy is the focus around wanting to have better sex or be functional in different ways. And that might be their doorway into getting emotional support for other things, because we all know that the penis is connected to a whole being how it performs and acts is it you know, often response to what's happening emotionally, or what's happening in other parts of your body, right? And so, you can't just treat a penis you treat a whole being I love that, say, you got a t shirt with that, check, sadly, a bumper sticker, I get pulled over by cops a lot. Well, that's another story. My podcast Originally I started in talking about what forms of healing can lead to more sexual freedom after trauma. And while I do a lot of work around sexual trauma, and I, you know, have a very broad definition of what sexual trauma is, because I don't think of it just as sexual assault, and child sexual abuse. I think of it even as racism growing up with a mother who is mentally ill, or a father who's an addict, like all the ways that we have to constrict and tighten inside of ourselves or shrink inside of ourselves or not as express in order to be safe in the world, in order to be okay in order to be accepted. Right, and that how does that not affect your sexual self expression? If you're like, a balled up tight, little, you know, living inside the column of your body, versus expanding out to the edges of your skin and beyond this. And so when I asked this question, having that in mind, it's like, what do you what is sexual freedom? And what is freedom and living a vibrant existence? You know, what comes to me in this moment, or two things done with our mind is like, it's kind of having the freedom to enjoy your life. Like being able to enjoy your life. And being able to enjoy sex initiative, freedom is being able to enjoy sex, you know, be able to enjoy it. And I also feel like there's something there about being able to breathe, to be able to exhale and relax as well. Like to be able to have a conversation about sex. And to be able to stay relaxed and in the conversation and being able to have sex and be present. In the Connection, in the feeling, like being able to stay there, be there and be present. And I guess that would extend into life like having the space to breathe, you know, to be able to breathe and relax, to be able to enjoy your life to be able to like, because you know, when we have breath, we can we have enough breath to exhale, we can also when we relax, we can also express ourselves, you know, I think that that fills in this moment. Like, if you can do those things, and there's so much freedom, there's a lot of freedom and just being able to breathe, you know, absolutely simple thing, but be able to have a big deep breath, and then let it out. And then do it again. If you choose. There's so much freedom in that. Absolutely. It's, you know, when you're afraid in the world, you hold your breath. And the intelligence is the less oxygen in your body, the less the less you feel, right? It numbs out your body. So you're feeling your sensations, you're not feeling your emotions, you're not having to be with what's occurring. But then you also deprive yourself of a lot of pleasure. Once Once you can make that translation of sensation is not your enemy sensation isn't doesn't equal being unsafe. Like there's so much pleasure that comes with breath. Yeah, yes. David, how can our listeners find you online? Probably the place I hang out the most is on Instagram, you can find me at the authentic man underscore probably my website, WWE dot d authentic as well and the email there if you want to chat to me, always happy to have conversation or too many questions. I can Hello at the authentic Those are the main places you know, those are the main places that get in contact with me probably the easiest place to get in contact with me. Beautiful. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for having me. You're in such a beautiful conversation. So so enjoyable. Yeah, thank you. There's so many different kinds of breathing practices. Some are calming for the nervous system and some are enlivening and I use both with my clients. So this breath practice will increase sensations in the body. This might show up as tingly. Or Sparky. For some this will feel good and to others it can feel a bit scary because any increase sensation may feel bad. If you know you tend towards anxiety or a lot of numbness and may not take much more oxygen than you normally take in to overwhelm your system. So please be mindful as you do this and you can always stop. So go ahead and first choose the time to do this when you can lay down. If that isn't possible, it's fine to be seated and upright. Now, observe your breath as it is. You don't need to change anything. Is it high in your chest? Or does it fill your whole torso? Can you feel your back or just the front of your body? What sensations do you feel in your body as you just breathe regularly? Since you sensations can show up as absence blankness numbness, warmth, coldness, tension, openness, pulsing, pulling, streaming, or tingling. Are there any images or colors that also show up and also pay attention to your thoughts or emotions. Now all of this instruction goes for this whole time. Every time we pause, you can come back to these questions. Rest your hand on your chest. Bring more breath in through your nose and let it just drop out your mouth with a power sound. So increase breath into your ribs and chest in through your nose. Let your chest rise fully on the inhale and on the exhale. Use your hand as if it's a weight to press the air out of your chest. Ha. Then release the pressure on your chest as you inhale fully again. So you're expanding your ribs and really filling your chest what you're doing is you're stretching the muscles the intercostal muscles between your ribs. This is fascia that gets quite tight and restricted when you hold your breath. Inhaling fully in through your nose. Pressing as you exhale, using your hand to help exhale fully like a weight. As you exhale, try to let the breath simply fall out your mouth versus control In the exhale let's do this five times one right after the other like this Ah ah ah well now feel yourself what do you feel in your chest? Your belly, in your pelvis and face if you want to stop here you can or you can keep going. Let's try 10 breaths this time. Inhaling oh never. Ah well when when, when you can place one hand above your pubic bone and one on your heart. How do you feel one hand more than the other? What emotions or sensations are here? For some of us simply putting your thoughts on a body part increases the sensation or others. Touch helps bring our attention and aliveness to that area. And others may need to repeat this practice regularly to turn an area back on if it has been done, which is totally okay. Remember, numbness serves a purpose. Ask it what it's protecting you from or taking care of. You can keep going on your own or you can stop here. If you're lightheaded. That's okay. If you feel scared, pause and attend to the part of you that feels unsettled. Thank you for listening. In order to support the podcast I've started a Patreon where I plan to release exclusive content you won't be able to find anywhere else online. I'll be offering meditations more in depth exercises that relate to specific episodes and behind the scenes info about the interviews and my personal life. You can find my T ar e yo backslash la IDOPENPO de Cast To learn more about how you can support her community. Another way you can support the podcast is by rating reviewing and sharing it with friends so others can find our healing community. You can also follow me at laid open podcast on Instagram and Facebook and read more about my work at passionate Until next time, may this podcast connect you to new resources and empower you to heal yourself

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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