Episode 76: Wendy Strgar: Making Love Sustainable

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It is one of the most vulnerable places on the human body and yet almost everyone puts petrochemicals- Propylene Glycol, Polyethylene Glycol- directly on their genitals, in the form of lubricants we purchase at our local Drug Store. Meet Wendy Strgar; owner and founder of Good Clean Love, manufacturer of all-natural love and intimacy products. Wendy has studied natural health care and has used homeopathic remedies, aromatherapy and energy healing techniques with her four children, family and friends for the last 20 years. She formulated her Good Clean Love products to meet a personal need for healthy lubrication products after the births of her 3rd and 4th child. Join us as we talk about Wendy's personal crusade to provide healthy, sex-positive products for enhanced intimacy. Listen in as Wendy extends the concept of "sustainabilty" to relationships and love and her campaign for "Making Love Sustainable" and discusses her weekly blog about "Good Clean Love" in every aspect of our love-life. Wendy is a fount of information and great ideas. And don't miss her exercises for you to try at home.

Transcript

Announcer: 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 am your host, Chip August. Today on the show we are talking to Wendy Strgar. Wendy is the owner and founder of Good Clean Love. She is the manufacturer of all natural love and intimacy products. Wendy calls herself a 'lovologist', and we'll ask a little bit about that in awhile and she's a sex educator.

She is focused on making love sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships that teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love and family. Wendy has studied natural health care and has used homeopathic remedies, aromatherapy and energy healing techniques with her four children, her family and her friends for the last 20 years.

She formulated her Good Clean Love products to meet her personal need for healthy lubrication products after the births of her third and fourth child. She researches and advises on a range of healthy products for enhanced intimacy and provides information on the negative health impact of many of the petrochemical ingredients found in common over-the-counter intimacy products.

Wendy Strgar: So if anything that is biological in us and innate in us it's sexuality and intimacy, and I would even go so far as to say after 25 years of marriage that my marriage is fundamentally a sexual agreement.

We have four kids. Our children's ages are 10 through 20 right now. We went through many years with initiation issues - who's asking, who's saying yes, who's saying no. We did all that stuff and finally got to a place where our sexual intimacy and our connection just got free of all that anger and resentment.

You know, in order to build a fire in a relationship there are some very important other elements in the ecology of love that have to be true. The first is that you have to have the ground to build a fire on. The ground of a relationship is how you think about each other, so if you have bad thoughts every day of the week; you don't have to say stuff if you've having bad thoughts about somebody. They know it. You're not going to build a very strong fire on a marsh built of really negative thoughts. There's nothing there to feed it.

Actually, if we all talked about this to kids then we would have a really healthy sexual culture, and we wouldn't actually let our children learn about sexuality from pornography. I think it's really valuable to them, and a lot of their friends will come and ask me questions because there's nowhere to go to get answers for questions.

So, my children know when I'm having a date with their father because that bathroom is off limits, and I think that they have come to really appreciate how important that is that we have this space and the time to have an intimate life.

Chip August: Welcome to the show, Wendy.

Wendy Strgar: Thanks. It is nice to talk with you, Chip.

Chip August: I think the best place to start is to just talk about how you started your own business. What were your goals? What's a nice girl like you doing in a business like this?

Wendy Strgar: [laughs] I started this business in 2003 and like just the same way that you have four children, it's sort of like a naïve idea. When you don't know where you're going really, it seems like a good idea. Not really having had a business degree or business background, I really did come to it because I couldn't find any products that didn't make me sick.

Actually, one third of all women struggle with pain with intimacy and vaginal dryness and all those things because the majority of products on the market is made with petrochemicals, like propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol which are actually industrial chemicals used for things like brake fluid and antifreeze. A lot of women have allergies and sensitivities to those ingredients. Also, most of them are preserved with methylene propylparaben and those have been found in breast cancer tissue.

The ingredient base that lubricants have sort of grown up with is really not the most product savvy ingredients for the most sensitive tissue in your body. I didn't know all those things when I started, but I was just looking for something that would make it possible for me to keep having a reasonable sex life with my husband. So, that's how I started it.

At the same time I was really moved to try to find some kind of funding source for a peace education project that I had started for children. Before I was doing this, I was an education reformer and I started some charter schools. The last one was a peace education program for kids that... I always used to say, if you can't do in Eugene, Oregon, where can you do it? Basically, it was 2002 and you couldn't do it anywhere. That was the other motivation to start this business was to find a source of revenue to teach children to think about life in a different way.

Chip August: Now, this is a pretty big vision. Are you a chemist? Do you have a background in lubrication?

Wendy Strgar: No, I was just being naïve again. I do have some experience in natural products. Our first line of products was things that I could make in my own kitchen. We started with love oils and pleasure butters which were oils that you can blend, essential oil formulas. So, for the first couple of years of the business it was really literally a cottage industry.

My whole downstairs in the middle of four kids, if you can imagine this, was taken over. We would blend and pour oils there and label. We did the whole nine yards. We made everything from ordered bottles, filled them, everything and then sent it out. The business just grew too big. We couldn't do it anymore.

Chip August: That was probably good, actually.

Wendy Strgar: It took a long time actually. Each step of the way, it took a long time to learn how to let go of it and to turn it over to different places. It's been a really great learning curve. I mean, I could never have claimed to be bored or without something interesting to do because there are just so many things to learn when you are trying to do something that you dream of doing.

Chip August: OK, so this really started, more than anything else, with your own desire to have a lubricant that didn't make you feel sick that had ingredients that you didn't mind putting in the most sensitive place in your body. And that would satisfy your needs for whatever lubrication. That's basically it.

Wendy Strgar: Pretty much that was it. I've been married for 25 years. At the time that I started this business I was about 18 years in and having had four kids and nursed for a long time every time I had sex which I've really always enjoyed intimacy. We certainly had our share of problems which we can talk about in a minute, but I would have so much pain and burning and itching. I'd be soaking in a tub for two hours after he was sleeping. It was not good for our relationship. I was definitely looking for a personal solution for my own intimate needs.

Chip August: And getting rid of these chemicals, getting greener products, basically, solved that problem for you?

Wendy Strgar: Totally.

Chip August: Wow.

Wendy Strgar: Actually, I had a lot of pelvic pain, all kinds of related pelvic pain before that. We have testimonials from all kinds of people, doctors, customers where women try this product and it's the first time they had pain-free sex in a long time. That's the thing that keeps me most inspired in this business is just creating an access to an intimate life.

There are so many other things, as you know from doing this show, that interfere with people being able to be intimate along the length of their relationship. The truth is that we are biological creatures. At certain points in the month I feel like I'm nothing if a biological creature, like a bag of skin carrying around dysfunctional hormones, right?

How we feel physically - We think it re-interprets in a mental way, but the older I get the more I think that life is really a biological function and we justify it in all kinds of intellectual ways. If anything is biological in us and innate in us it's sexuality and intimacy. I would even go far as to say after 25 years of marriage that my marriage is fundamentally a sexual agreement.

Like I said, we have four kids. Our children's ages are 10 through 20 right now. We went through many years with initiation issues - who's asking, who's saying yes, who's saying no. We did all that stuff and finally got to a place where we just got over it. I'm very lucky and very blessed to have gotten to a place where our sexual intimacy and our connection just got free of all that anger and resentment.

That was right at the same time that I was experimenting with love products. What I learned right then as I was testing mostly love oils on him because I didn't have the lubrication formulation for many years after that. You can use love oils for lubrication, and that's what we were doing. Love oil is a product that is very misunderstood, but it's actually even more powerful than lubricants in many ways because it actually changes your brain chemistry while you kiss.

So, our love oils are made with apricot kernel and hohaba [sp] oil, but they are formulated with an essential oil formula that actually goes into the limpid part of your brain which is where memory, sexuality and emotion is and actually wakes up that arousal mechanism as you're kissing with it and oral sex and everything else you do.

What I realized and I can't believe it took me 17 years of marriage to get that is that the more that I physically loved my husband, the more he was the guy I wanted to be married to. Can you believe it took me 17 years to get that? And we were still there to talk about it.

I actually gained all of the lovology stuff that I write about and then talk about now happened as part of this experiment. I didn't start out thinking I was ever going to be a lovologist or even that there was such a thing. But, just traveling around the country and talking to thousands of people about their intimate lives because people really don't have anywhere to go to ask these questions. That was really where my own wisdom really just came out that I didn't even know I was carrying with me actually.

Chip August: I want to learn a lot more about that wisdom, but believe it or not, it's time for us to take our first break. We want to pause for a moment and give a little support to our sponsors.

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You might want to check the episode pages to look at what offers we have. You can find those episode pages at PersonalLifeMedia.com. As I say, we'll be back in a few minutes. You are listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy and we'll be right back.

Announcer: Listen to Just for Women, dating, relationships and sex, a weekly Internet audio program from PersonalLifeMedia.com, fresh inspiration and expanded relationship options for today's woman.

Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I am your host, Chip August. We're talking to Wendy Strgar. She's the founder of Good Clean Love, a manufacturer of all natural love and intimacy products.

Before we went to the break, you used a word, lovologist. Actually, you used a lot of words that I want to go back to but lovologist. What in the world is a lovologist?

Wendy Strgar: Well, my children always say that's no such thing, that I invented it. It's the same thing as a psychologist or a vulcanologist or any kind of person who studies. It's a person who studies and tries to make sense of the practice of love.

Chip August: Oh, that's cool.

Wendy Strgar: And so, if I achieve one goal in my life that is to create a chair of lovology at one of the universities that I've gone to. My belief is that, especially if you read the paper and look around the world, for all of the things that we have gotten to and achieved in our human evolution it's remarkable to me that we have not spent more time on what it is to love people. That we presume that because we're born human we know how to do it.

I actually believe there could be nothing further from the truth that there are some basic tenets of what it is to love people. Many of us are not fortunate enough to experience those things in our childhood because those people didn't experience it in their childhood.

If we spend time and taught people how to resolve conflicts in ways that were reasonable and fair and we spend time and taught people how to communicate as children in ways that were actually effective, we might actually come up with a culture that did not feel compelled to hurt and kill other cultures so completely as ours does. So, anyway, you can see it's a big rock going down a very steep hill, but I'm devoted to it.

Chip August: Thank goodness you are. I love the idea. I'm may start calling myself a lovologist. I like that very much.

Wendy Strgar: There you go.

Chip August: So, now, you started with what you call love oil which was, if I hear this right, it was both an oil that could be used as a massage oil but also had an aromatherapy quality to it.

Wendy Strgar: Exactly.

Chip August: I've seen a whole range of samples of your products and tried a whole range of them. Do you have kissing oils? Do you have oils that...

Wendy Strgar: Well, those are the love oils.

Chip August: The love oils, OK.

Wendy Strgar: The love oils function like you could use them for a massage but for any kind of intimacy. But, they are not recommended for lubrication as such because they are not latex safe.

Chip August: Right.

Wendy Strgar: But, you know, if latex is not your issue - Also, I really think that in the time it took us to develop our lubricants, they are better products. They are water-based. They are more viscous. I always say there's kind of a step one and step two thing about our love oils that the love oils bring you to a place of arousal and where you actually think to yourself, oh yes, I do want to have sex. Then, that is the point at which you would use the lubricant because the lubricant is a penetration tool.

Because lubricants get so much air time in terms of advertising, people think that will actually solve their sexual problems, but it only solves a single sexual problem which is one of vaginal dryness or irritation and gives you more time and space to enjoy the penetration part of sex. But, it's not going to actually really make you want to have sex, and so the love oils do all that stuff.

Chip August: It sounds to me that you have developed some form of a natural aphrodisiac.

Wendy Strgar: Well, that's what I call it, actually. It's a system. That's the thing. I didn't actually develop this. If you read back in history the power of scent has always been profoundly connected to our sexual selves, and that is because the limpid part of the brain is where memory, sexuality, emotion and scent all live together.

Cleopatra covered the sails of her ship in rose oil which was more precious than gold, actually, at the time. It takes 50,000 pounds of rose petals to make one pound of rose oil, just for the record, and so she got Mark Anthony's attention. All of the great lovers in history have used scent in intimacy.

It's really our culture that has really, I think, lost that connection. So, I feel like I've just tapped into a science that is as old as the human race, and I've packaged it in a nice beautiful bottle. But, this isn't mine.

Chip August: It's more than that you've packaged it in a beautiful bottle, though, because you are using all natural ingredients. Somehow, you are doing this all in a safe way.

Wendy Strgar: Well, we have really great manufacturers who work for us now. Like I said, it took a while to get that all set up, but we've got great manufacturers who do really high quality work. And we use really pure ingredients. We use organic ingredients whenever we can. Our lubricants are 95 percent organic ingredients, but we're not FDA approved or any of that because that costs $50,000 to do that. The organic thing in this country is very confusing.

Chip August: It is.

Wendy Strgar: They really want to certify it and control it, but essentially all the controls come down to money just the same way that the FDA does. This is how we keep small companies out of our market. I could actually talk on and on about that, if you want some day.

Chip August: Not really. My area is love, intimacy and sexuality.

Wendy Strgar: Just outside of the products, good love products actually should remind you that you want to have an intimate life. I don't want your listeners to think, "Oh, if I just use these love products, then I'll have better sex." Yes, conceivably if you used really good love products that will improve your connection and your ability to feel somebody and smell someone and taste them and want to be with them in that very visceral way.

This is how I developed this whole sustainable love concept which is that in order to build a fire, that's like building a fire in a relationship. There are some other very important elements in the ecology of love that have to be true. I set it up as a sequence, and the first is that you have to have the ground to build a fire on. The ground of a relationship is how you think about each other.

If you have bad thoughts every day of the week, then the chance that you are going to build a good fire on the weekend - You know, you don't have to say stuff if you're having bad thoughts about somebody, they know it. You're not going to build a very strong fire on a marsh built of very negative thoughts or on volcanic ash. There's nothing there to feed it.

The air, what I call the communication, is the air of the relationship. So, that's not just communicating about taking the garbage out but that's like full on self-disclosure and letting people know what's really going on with you. This is true about all relationships, not just because I can articulate all these things. I have this unbelievably deep conversation with my husband all the time. There's gaps in everyone's relationships, but if there's no real communicating and you don't feel safe to really talk about what's going on for you, then there's nothing feeding the fire.

The last thing is the water in the relationship. I just think of the ebb and tide of the ocean when I imagine this. The water's not always there, right? There's a lot of times the tide is out, but if the water never comes in. The water in the relationship is how we show up for each other so that we know that there's somebody at our back when we take our time in a relationship. If things get tough, there's going to be somebody that changes the tire if you get a flat tire or pick up your kid when they get sick at school.

There are a zillion ways that we need to show up for each other that are not necessarily romantic or sexy but that actually give us the grounds to actually get to that romantic sexy place in a long-term relationship. If there's no water, then it's not safe to make a fire with somebody.

I don't ever promote my love products and say this is going to solve your sex life because that would be a ridiculous thing to say. It would solve your sex life if you communicate and if you show up for each other and if you work really hard at having a basic number of good positive thoughts about somebody.

Chip August: I think the thing I've come to see in my 50s that was not so clear in me in my 20s and 30s is that often all the story and thoughts in my mind are in the way. They are not actually leading me towards a sustainable love.

Wendy Strgar: Totally.

Chip August: They are leading me away from it. My body knows what it needs, and it needs to be held and cuddled. And it needs to hold and cuddle someone else. When we can quiet the thoughts, often we find out what we really want.

Wendy Strgar: Well, it's true. It's so weird, isn't it, how we tell such bad stories. They are so familiar because we just have been told them. We've heard them a zillion times, but they are no truer than any positive story you could spin. It's just that it's a little bit more unfamiliar. I just feel like it takes a lot of consciousness. That's all it takes, really. Just being awake and then choosing when you are having a certain set of thoughts, is this the thoughts I want to have? Is this actually going to bring me what I am trying to do in my life? If it's not, then just be like, OK I'm not going here right now. Watch it go by.

Chip August: You make it sound simple. I just want to say to anybody that's listening that this is a lifetime practice and we aim for progress not perfection.

Wendy Strgar: The whole thing is this. A friend of mine wrote this to me in an email yesterday. If you're just in the game, if you're just showing up, then actually you are succeeding these days.

Chip August: Exactly right.

Wendy Strgar: Here's the thing. I have been married for 25 years. I don't know why people think if you're married for a long time you're lucky. You're somehow lucky. If you've been three or four times, then you have wisdom or experience. Here's the thing. If you stay in any relationship, whether it's three or four different ones or one long-term relationship, what that means is that you are actually in the process of learning how to love.

Relationships, people don't get this. They think that relationships should make them happy. That's their job of a relationship. Many people go in thinking it's going to make them happy and that it's going to get easy or it should be easy.

Here's the thing. That's like the kiss of death to the relationship. It is not going to get easy, not for any sustained period of time because human beings are annoying by definition. And so, living together is an exercise in love. It's not supposed to be easy. It's just supposed to be learning how to love. That's all a relationship is supposed to do for you.

Chip August: I think words like easy and hard are difficult to comprehend. So, I think what you're saying is human beings are complex and we're ever changing. Take two complex human beings who are ever changing and put them together, and you have a situation that requires constant awareness, mindfulness and communication and will be changing all the time. I have to say I do believe my relationship is quite easy, but it does not run itself. 

Wendy Strgar: The thing is, maybe, this is sort of the biology. There are people who are just basically more optimistic than other people.

Chip August: That could be.

Wendy Strgar: When I talk about easy and hard, I mean that life is a problem solving event, and relationships have those qualities just stuff keeps coming up. I don't know. I just have met a lot of people and talked to a lot of people who believe the Disney fairy tale.

Chip August: That they all live happily ever after is insane.

Wendy Strgar: That's not even real. When I talk about easy and hard, it's just in the same way that if you have a career that is challenging to you just because you go through a patch where it's really challenging and painful, you don't walk from it. You just stay with it, but we tend to bail in our relationships in a way that we don't in other aspects of our life. I just think that is tragic because oftentimes the moment where you bail is the moment of the epiphany. It's the part where you get through that place, and you suddenly have something available to you that you didn't even know you were looking for.

Chip August: Well, I definitely take your point although I have to say I've been divorced twice. So, I often know that sometimes there is a time to leave. We need to pause for a moment here, though, and take a break.

As we go to break, a couple of things. One is remember to come back because when we end Wendy is going to have an exercise that you can try for yourself. Also, if you're liking what you are hearing or you like what goes on in the shows, please, please, please tell your friends. Send a link. Let people know. I'm getting better and better numbers with each passing month.

More and more people are discovering the likes of this particular program, and I would like that trend to continue. I know that a big part of it is you are willing to support me. Please send a link to somebody that you think might also enjoy it.

Also, if you want to give me feedback I do get email directly at [email protected]. I read everything that gets sent to me. If you have ideas for guests or other program topics, please let me know.

We're going to take a short break. I'm Chip August. You are listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy. We'll be back in just a moment.

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Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I am your host, Chip August. I am talking to Wendy Strgar. We've been talking about making love sustainable which I just like even saying the words, making love sustainable. It just sounds so great.

A few more things I want to ask you, Wendy. One of them is just some simple stuff, like do your kids know what you do?

Wendy Strgar: Yeah, of course, they do.

Chip August: How do you talk about this to your kids?

Wendy Strgar: Well, actually, if we all talked about this to kids then we actually would have a really healthy sexual culture.

Chip August: Right.

Wendy Strgar: And we wouldn't actually let our children learn about sexuality from pornography.

Chip August: Or from other children.

Wendy Strgar: Well, the thing is that to the degree that we have had a 'just say no' culture to sex, we are all sexual beings. We're born sexual beings. One of the first things that little boys discover about themselves is their penis. It's a very normal, natural phenomenon.

To be fair, my middle school children, whenever they are in middle school, really struggle with my job. My older one has even said to me, "OK, you don't have a job now. Don't talk about what you do." They have gone through phases like that. Still, when they are struggling, when he had his first heartbreak and I would talk to him, he would be like, "How do you know all of this stuff?" And I'm like, "Well, this is my job." I think it is really valuable to them, and a lot of their friends will come and ask me questions because there's nowhere to go to get answers for questions.

My children know when I am having a date with their father because that bathroom is off limits. A lot of times we'll send them out of the house for an hour. I think that they have come to really appreciate how important that is that we have the space and the time to have an intimate life.

It's very hard to do when you are raising children, and it's something that we've gotten more and more clear about how important that is for us to not give way. To give that up thinking that we're doing it for the kids because, actually, the most loving thing that you can do for even a brand new baby is keep loving your spouse and really show up for them.

It's just such a common thing in our culture where we let our children replace our primary relationship. You know what? It's not good for the kids, and it's not good for the relationship. I was guilty of that for many years. It was easier for me to love my children than my husband and I did that.

But, I can tell you that intact families are a great bonus to growing up. It's just helpful. I grew up. I grew up as a kid from a divorce way before it was really fashionable or socially acceptable. I'm sure that's one of the reasons I'm so dedicated to my own relationship. But my kids, the number of friends they have that their parents aren't together and there is nobody really watching what those kids are doing.

When a marriage ends, people don't really think about or talk about how that impacts your productivity at work. It impacts the whole community. It doesn't just impact the man and the woman and their kids, all of the people who were friends with those people.

You made a comment before. I don't know if we were on the air but that you had been divorced twice and some relationships really are supposed to end. My husband is a psychiatrist so we have conversations about this. Sometimes, I think I'm insane. Why am I going on and on about the sustainable love thing?

Maybe, we are really just to supposed to relate to somebody for a certain period of time, and yet we all really covet and long for this relationship that has this depth and history of somebody loving us over time in a way that really you only get from having time and history with somebody. Yet, culturally we have less and less of those relationships to look to.

Anyway, my husband who is a man of very few words said something to me that I think about very often. The question is not whether that relationship is wrong for them. The question is what you are looking at. If you are looking at what there is to stay for, that's what he said. If the people in the relationship are looking at and looking for what there is to stay for, then if there is something to stay for hopefully that will be the thing that comes to them.

Certainly, my parents probably should never have been together. So, there are also those relationships. But, if you ask that question, is there something to stay for, then you would get an answer. I think it's a noble question to start your days with somebody.

Chip August: The good news is there is no 'one size fits all' answer. I'm really clear there are relationships that have a 'use by date' and there are times when we think it's a 'use by date' if we'll just hang in there and learn the lesson that's right in our face. We'll move past that moment into some really beautiful things. Both things can be true.

Wendy, it is really terrific talking to you. You have a really great - I don't know what to call it - email, a newsletter, a blog that I get whenever you send it out. I really enjoy. If somebody wanted to hear your wisdom because you have a lot of things to say about relationships, how could they get in touch with you? How could they get on your list? How could they learn more?

Wendy Strgar: We have a really beautiful website that is very content rich. It is www.goodcleanlove.com. We have an accompanying blog which you can get through the website or independently. It's www.makinglovesustainable.com.

You can sign up to get the weekly newsletter, The Sustainable Love Note, which goes out on most Fridays when I can think of something coherent to say. You can sign up right at the top of the page. There's a lot of great product offers, things that you wouldn't find on the site that are offered in the newsletter.

We have actually a pretty nice size list that stays. It's growing really fast. It's incredibly gratifying actually, and it's definitely the piece of my work that whatever it keeps me in my own marriage and it keeps me honest about what I am trying to do with my life. I really value that sustainable love work. You can sign up at goodcleanlove.com for that.

Chip August: Listeners, just so you know, Wendy and I were talking off air. I was saying that I thought my listeners actually would probably be really interested in these products. Wendy said, "Why don't we make a special offer to them?" So, if you are listening to this podcast and you are interested, go to goodcleanlove.com. If you order, use the promo code love09, love 09.

Wendy Strgar: I think you get a 10 percent off discount.

Chip August: Terrific. You'll get a 10 percent discount on what you order. That way you can support Wendy and her work, and she can support you a little bit. And we can all support this program, and everybody wins. Yea, let's make all of us sustainable.
 
Wendy, I always like to end with - Oh and the links that Wendy just mentioned will be on the episode pages as usual. If you didn't get a chance to write them down, just go to personallifemedia.com, click on the pages marked Sex, Love and Intimacy and you will find this interview and the links that Wendy just said.

Wendy, we always like to invite our guests - It's like I'm the royal we, all of a sudden. I always like to invite my guests to offer an exercise or something that people can do at home to enhance the sex, love or intimacy in their lives. Do you have something you want to suggest to people?

Wendy Strgar: Well, I guess I would offer two things. One is that you try to either go to bed with this thought or wake up with it, or have a brief conversation on your way out the door or on the way back in when you are going to have a meal together. Just do a check-in. What are you staying for? What are you here for with me today?

Make a mental list or, better yet, write it down on a board on the fridge because that's what we were talking about earlier. It is very easy to get inundated with this negative thought thing. Actually, just do something that it seems like it's going to be trite.

I make my kids do this kind of thing all the time. It drives them nuts, but that's how we learn how to love people. We learn how to love people by actually practicing it. So, think of one thing that you love about that person that you stay for, even in the midst of all the other problems you might have. Give it air. Give it a language. So, that's the one thing.

And then, the second thing is make your intimate life a date. Don't expect it to spontaneously come up for you. Don't wait to be in the mood. Don't have people have to tell you a certain xyz thing in order to get in the mood. Just agree that on whatever day of the week you are going to actually have a physical conversation with somebody and stick to it.

Chip August: You've used that term physical conversation, so I want to make sure that people understand what you mean. You mean get body-to-body.

Wendy Strgar: Like actually feel somebody's body. Even if you're angry, just agree you're not going to talk about it until you have already had some kind of intimate physical connection. I actually tell a lot of people that a conversation, even a conflicted conversation, will have a completely different tone after a sexual release than before.

Chip August: I want to say to the listeners when you make this date, treat this date like you treat a date with a really expensive doctor. You don't just blow those off. You just don't ditch them. It's hard to get. That's the other thing. We make up stories about why this isn't a great time. It doesn't matter if it's a great time or not.

Wendy Strgar: It has nothing to do with how it is. So, if you're waiting for some sort of Hollywood inspiration to hit you, you'll wait a long time.

Chip August: I always tell my clients when you practice waiting, the thing you get good at is waiting. Don't practice waiting.

Wendy Strgar: Exactly.

Chip August: Wendy, you have been a terrific guest. You are just chock full of information and ideas. I really appreciate you spending the time with me. Thanks for coming on the show.

Wendy Strgar: You're so welcome. It was really delightful. Any time I would love to do it again.

Chip August: Terrific. Listeners, thank you so much for listening in again. We really appreciate your support. This brings us to the end of another episode of Sex, Love and Intimacy. I am your host, Chip August. I hope you'll join me again next time.

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