Episode 69: Celeste & Danielle: Creating a healthy, motivated and passionate life, Part 2

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Dr. Danielle Harel is a clinical sexologist, a pleasure activist and a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Celeste Hirschman is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality where she teaches the Sexological Bodywork Certificate Training. Together, Celeste and Danielle use a combination of talk and body-based coaching methods to support people in overcoming sexual concerns, expanding comfort and joy in their bodies, and achieving their pleasure potential. In this second of two interviews Celeste and Danielle talk about the relationship. Listen in as we talk about dating, looking for love in all the wrong places, and becoming the lover you hope to find. Join us as we talk about how to keep “the fire burning” in long–term relationships, how to deal with the changes brought on by time, and how to fully embody our innate erotic potential. And don’t miss Celeste’s and Danielle’s sweet exercise for you to try at home.

Transcript

This is part 2 of a two-part pod cast. If you’d like part one, you’ll find it at PersonalLifeMedia.com.

This program is brought to you by PersonalLifeMedia.com

This program is intended for mature audiences only.

Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love, and Intimacy. I’m your host, Chip August, and, uh, on today’s show we’re going to continue an interview we started last week with, uh, Celeste and Danielle. They have a website, they teach, they are sexologists and teachers, and uh, we’re going to be talking, actually we’re going to be talking today about couples, maybe a little bit about singles, a little about dating but really about relationships, that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Um, Dr. Danielle Harel -- Danielle is a clinical sexologist, a pleasure activist – I love that word, pleasure activist. I’m gonna put that on my card -- “pleasure activist” – and a professor at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. She has devoted the last fourteen years to counseling and empowering couples, women, men and groups. She graduated with a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Human Sexuality degree from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. Danielle has graduate degree in clinical social work and a baccalaureate degree in psychology and educational counseling. Celeste Hirschman has made her, a lifelong study of sexuality, intimacy and relationships both inside the classroom and outside of the classroom. She is currently an assistant professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, where she teaches the “Sexological Body Works Certificate Training.” She received an M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State, where she worked as a researcher at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality.

Danielle Harel: Many people do actually choose immediately, but usually when we choose someone it’s not necessarily the right person for us, it’s a person that is familiar to what we are used to and many times we didn’t have successful relationship before, or the way we were – relationship were demonstrated in our household as children weren’t successful so we many times can actually make mistake if we just go with this first impression about someone, that’s why we have some dating period [[laughs]] to really see, “who is this person?” and “what is there about them we connect with?” Because really a life with someone is way more complicated than just, like, falling in love with them.

Celeste Hirschman: I really want to distinguish between “in love” and “love,” because that beginning part where you’re “in love” and the other person is perfect and you’re perfect and the sex is perfect and everything is going great, like, that’s a fantasy and it’s a beautiful fantasy and I say enjoy every moment of it. “Love” is where you begin to see that they are not perfect and you say, “Okay, is this somebody that I can hammer it out with? Can I actually do the work with this person? Are they gonna meet me in this work? Are they gonna be present? Am I gonna be present? Do our broken places meet up in good places, or really, really bad places?” That’s when you begin to see, “Can I love this person in the long term?”

People kind of, like, get together and connect with each other, and they become life partners, and they forget that this partnership is very different than the energy that we need in order to be sexual with each other, because as life partners we have, you know, we’re a team. We negotiate things, we talk about things, there’s lots of logic involved in it, but when we talk about sex we talk about passion and desires, and kind of, like, talk about dichotomy of forces, you know, we need a man, we need women, we need seduction, we need other energies that play in this field. Many couples kind of forget that that needs to be recreated in their relationship.

Chip August: Welcome to the show, Danielle and Celeste.

Danielle Harel: Thank you!

Celeste Hirschman: Thank you.

Chip August: When last we were talking, we were talking about orgasms, and about how to be a better lover, and, uh, things like that, and listeners, if you didn’t catch that show, go back and look at my episode page, PersonalLifeMedia.com, or look at your iTunes store, and just look for their names and my name and you’ll find that episode, but I wanna talk today, uh, a little bit more about a relationship. And so, uh, I wanna start with the singles process and then kind of move into the, uh, to the couples process and, you know, and I wanna say to listeners, I know, I think there’s a beauty in the single life but I have a bias and so, listeners, I think you know this because you listen to my show so you know, um, there is, for me, just an extraordinary life journey to all kinds of possibilities when we are in committed relationships that just, I always feel like I can spend seven lifetimes in a monastery studying the texts or studying the tracks or I can one lifetime really, in a real relationship, and that’s about the same amount of wisdom there. [[laughs.]] So, uh, I want to talk about the single life but I’m kind of talking about that part of the single life that leads us to relationships, that’s sort of my long preface, and so, um, first, I kind of want to talk about, like, uh, how does one date today? I mean, where do you even, you know, great, so I’m single, maybe I’m newly single, maybe I’ve been married, and now I’m suddenly looking at the dating world again and I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the marriage I just ended or the long-term relationship I just ended, but, how does one do this? How do you, where do you begin?

Celeste Hirschman: Yeah, I almost wanna start back from there and start not really where you start to look for someone else, but like, how you get in tough with yourself and what you want, because I think so many people begin that process from a completely mental point of view. They start to make some kind of a laundry list, “I want this characteristic, this characteristic,” they look on the internet like they’re shopping for soap, and they think, “Oh, I want it to make me smell good in this way, or that way,” and they completely miss the point that when you actually sit with somebody, and you feel yourself and you feel intimate, that’s how you know if you want to be with them. And so, first you have to feel yourself, and so, what we call “embodied dating” is where you actually feel the experience that you’re having with the other person. Not planning off into the future, we love to go into future thinking with dating, it’s the first thing we do, “Is this my handsome prince? Is this my beautiful princess? Are we gonna live happily ever after?” Every fairy tale tells us that’s the goal and that’s not the goal. The goal is to actually feel with somebody in the present moment. And you start immediately, or at least you can, although most people don’t, you can start immediately feeling people in the present moment by being in your body in the experience feeling, “how am I reacting to this person? What kind of future things am I projecting onto them?” Because when you first meet somebody you don’t know anything about them. So you need to, you know, step back and sort of see, “what is it that I’m looking for based on these projections? And who do I really want? Who makes me feel really good in my body, and with myself, and why?” That’s how you begin the embodied dating process.

 

The rest coming soon!