Sex – Tantra and Kama Sutra
Francesca Gentille


CONNECTING WITH PASSION THROUGH NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION with Kelly Bryson, Certified Non-Violent Communication Trainer, licensed Psychotherapist, author of "Don't Be Nice - Be Real"

In this episode, Kelly guides us to explore the "Intellechy" or Soul Blueprint of harmonious relationship. Discover the steps to creating connection, going deeper into the soul, clearing messes from the past and conscious choice. Expand your ability to be passionately connected while having needs. Open to the soul force messages and empathy entwined with bodily sensations. Learn how it "Takes A Village to Raise a Loving Relationship."



This program is brought to you by This program is intended for mature audiences only.


Francesca Gentille: Welcome to Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex. I'm your host Francesca Gentille and with me today is Kelly Bryson. Kelly is a certified NVC trainer. NVC stands for Nonviolent Communication. He's also a licensed psychotherapist and the author of a wonderful book, "Don't Be Nice, Be Real." I've known Kelly for years. I've had him come and present at my centers. I'm so delighted to have you here today, Kelly because, Kelly, you have a way of making all of this entertaining, accessible, and as you said in your book, very, very real. Welcome!

Kelly Bryson: Thank you so much! I'm delighted, excited, and jazzed to be on your program with you. And with this, yeah.

Francesca Gentille: And Kelly, you know, some of the things that Nonviolent Communication--that's one of your, such a strong skill set--can do, is it's really a form of communication that can help people connect, help them go deeper with another, clean things up when there's issues, and really create community. But I'm imagining that many of our listening audience don't know what the heck this is! So perhaps before we go into how it works, we could give, or tell people a little bit of what it is.  Or either way! Either how it works, what it is

Kelly Bryson: I've had new ways of thinking about it all the time. My latest version is that Nonviolent Communication provides me a way of thinking that puts me in touch with my power, and my needs, and my feelings, and what's really alive in me, not just my thoughts. And it also puts me in a kind of a consciousness that allows me to connect deeply with the meaning, that other people are trying to express through their words. So the main focus of it is on creating a certain quality of connection, that feels ecstatic, and alive, and loving. And usually inspires this urge, this longing to love, or to give to one another. It also, because when I'm coming from that consciousness, that connection to the beauty, and the power of my own needs, it's much easier to invite other people to meet those needs in a way that makes it seem attractive, rather than a lot of the ways I have learned in my family: demanding, whining, complaining, manipulating, coercing in different ways. So...

Francesca Gentille: Let me tell you. This is really very close to my heart right now, because after my mom died last year I became so emotionally volatile, and very reactive on a level that I hadn't quite experienced since my younger days, and I'm still not back to center. So what do we do when we feel those...especially if I'm challenging when I'm angry. When I feel angry, and reactive, and I want to judge you, and I want to blame you, and I think it's all your fault. How can NVC help me then?

Kelly Bryson: One thing I'm learning and a decision I've made to do for myself. It comes from a little book called "The Decision," that I'm selling these days. It's from Dieter Duhm, in the Zegg community, and he says it can be really helpful to make the decision not to react from reactivity. That I'm just deciding. I have a reaction. I'm angry. I'm hurt. But I'm not going to pour that out. I'm not to express it in that way. I’ve just made the decision not to make that knee-jerk reaction, but instead to be with that reaction, to sit with it, be with it, own it. what's it all about. What am I telling myself that makes me feel so entitled right now? You know? Can I just give myself the empathy and compassion it takes to allow that reactivity to settle down until I can clearly, and beautifully, and sweetly, and joyfully get conscious of my need. What is my beautiful need right now and what strategy would I like to take right now to meet that need? Sometimes I might be hurt and I'm thinking I need you to hug me and I need you to notice that I need a hug and to give it to me without me having to ask for it. So I'm...


Kelly Bryson: So I'm angering my reactivity in that moment, and I'd like to settle down notice the pain, even notice where it's coming from, some past place of disempowerment and sit with that until it settles down to, until I mourn perhaps the needs that I haven't been getting met, for touch, or hugs, or connection, or even sexuality. And so I can kind of grieve that and then I make a pivot, a shift into what is...Can I even think of a time where those needs were being met? Can I be grateful for ways those needs have been met? Can I get in touch with the joy of that need and then once I'm in touch with the joy, and the beauty, and the gratitude around that need, then when I ask for what I want I'm coming from a whole other energy and also I have a lot more variety of ways I can ask for it. I'm not addicted to one particular strategy. I can hold tightly to my needs and loosely to my strategies from that place.

Francesca Gentille: You know, it sounds like this means slowing things down. It feels like I couldn't do all of that as quickly as I talk.

Kelly Bryson: No…Yeah yeah.

Francesca Gentille: If the first thing off the top of my head is... if I were the one to say, "You know, Kelly, I really need a hug now!" and let's say you said, "Oh no honey, I'm not in the mood." What might come up for me is, that jerk! You know? I always hug him! You know, how selfish he is and that might be the first thought in my mind. So if I let that out of my mouth...

Kelly Bryson: Yep

Francesca Gentille: Then I'm imagining that it would start a cycle of communication that would not get my need met. So...

Kelly Bryson: It could if the other person wasn't highly censored. Right.

Francesca Gentille: And so slowing down. So I'm noticing these thoughts in my head and then what do I do next?

Kelly Bryson: Well, the first thing I notice is the energy. I've made a decision when this kind of rush energy, like I want to strike back. You know, I’ve identified it, because sometimes I can identify the emotion quicker than I can the thoughts. I don't see the thoughts, because I'm one with the thoughts. I really believe he is a jerk. I don't even notice I'm thinking it. It's just a thought in my mind.

Francesca Gentille: It's so true. It's the truth.
Kelly Bryson: So I've identified it in terms of bodily sensations. When I feel that rush of revenge come up and that what I call reactivity, I've identified that. That's the first thing I want to notice and then make the choice. No, I don't want to express that in that form. I want to be with it, until it transforms into something more likely to get me what I'm wanting.

Francesca Gentille: And what do you mean by be with it? Is do we do that?

Well I can notice the bodily sensations, for example. I can send my attention...I feel this rush of hot heat in my gut. I feel neck tighten up. A lot of times my jaw will tighten up. My back of my neck will tighten up. When I'm in my ego, and I'm in my defensiveness, and my revenge mode. And I just want to notice that, and then I want to look for the emotions. What am I feeling? Am I feeling angry? Am I feeling tense? Am I feeling scared? So I might ask myself those kinds of questions. What are the feelings? And I just name it and see if it fits or not. And as it's starting to fit, then I can feel it, kind of; the tension relax a little bit. Oh yeah, I'm just really frightened right now. Underneath my anger I'm scared, and lonely, and I'm feeling separate.

Francesca Gentille: And it's interesting how there are those layers right? So the first one might be, I'm feeling rage or anger. And then as your saying, I keep noticing it and then it might go into another layer which is, oh! I'm actually feeling sad or scared.

Kelly Bryson: Sometimes it can help me to identify the thoughts creating the feelings. Like when I'm in anger, I'm almost always telling myself, somebody should be giving me something that I'm not getting. And it comes in that form of should and expectation, so I can name that. Oh! That's what's making me angry. Okay, I'm thinking they should have given me a hug already, but now...

Francesca Gentille: You know I want to slow that down for a second, because that's huge. That's the difference between the, like you said, not noticing the thought where the person, they should be giving me a hug is the truth.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah

Francesca Gentille: And being able to step back that one extra step to say, this is my thought that they should be giving me a hug.

Kelly Bryson: This is my story.

Francesca Gentille: Yeah. This is not the truth.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah.

Francesca Gentille: This is my thought and I may be [inaudible] right now.

Kelly Bryson: [inaudible] says that's what ego is. Ego is unexamined thought. Thought that I'm not noticing is a thought and I'm merged with it as a reality. That's his definition of ego itself. Unexamined thought. So we can begin to have a little power with it, if we can notice it. That removes just that step you're talking about and then we can have control with it, because otherwise it's kind of unconscious that it's a thought. And what we're unconscious of controls us. What we're conscious of...

Francesca Gentille: I like control, control is good!

Kelly Bryson: Control is good, but I need to make you conscious in order to have control of it. Otherwise, it's driving me. I'd like to be driving it, not it driving me.

Francesca Gentille: I like that! I like that! Because know, control feels safe. So if I feel out of control, it feels unsafe. And I love that you’re...

Kelly Bryson: Nobody wants to be out of control in their car or whatever it is.  To draw the beautiful need.

Francesca Gentille: And it doesn't have to be negative, because sometimes people say, "You're so controlling!"

Kelly Bryson: Oh I know, the therapists have pathologized it and part of the reason I think they do it is because they want control.

Francesca Gentille: So this is allowing control as I get to be in--our listening audience--I get to be in control of my thoughts, and how I react to them. I have the thought that I don't have to react. I am now in control. I'm looking for my feelings. I'm noticing and something else opens up from that deeper noticing. And what opens up as we go into that noticing, that deeper level? What opens up for us?

Kelly Bryson: Well it's...there's different ways of talking about it. I like several different ways. One is kind of a mystical, spiritual way of looking at it and that is that we begin to get in touch with our intellikey.

Francesca Gentille: Intellikey?

Kelly Bryson: Our intellikey. Intellikey. This is…Jean Houston talks about this a lot in her book "The Possible Humans." It's the life force, the soul force. It's that information in an acorn that knows it wants to be an oak tree. It's the driving force that causes a little shoot, a little seedling, to push up through the asphalt. You know? And so if we can get in touch with that driving force inside of us and identify it accurately. Wow! This is this, right now this soul is needing support by way of touch, or it's needing empathy, emotional reassurance, or it's needing... Whatever it’s needing for it's nurturance, and development, and growth, into what it came here to become. The blueprint, I get in touch with the blueprint of my soul. And I can actually feel a connection with it, if I can quit thinking, and whining, and complaining. I can get in touch with it, and then I can take actions and ask myself to do things, and others, that will support this soul fully expressing itself.

Francesca Gentille: And that sounds beautiful! It sounds instead of this forcing or dominating another person as we're in a greater consciousness, we're noticing within our self and deepening this soul force, this blue print.

Kelly Bryson: Another angle we take on it a lot of times, is we call it neediness. Oh, it's my neediness! Oh, I'm needing love, and connection, and empathy and we can get into it like it's a co-dependent sick thing part of us, instead of it's what we’ve come here to do to realize and its what we need to unfold our purpose, which serves the greater purpose too.

Francesca Gentille: You know, Kelly, I want to talk more about this neediness, because that's huge in this culture. I mean I've heard people say I don't have needs, or I'm not a needy person. I think this is a very, very big. And I think there's a way that distances us from one another, and we judge it. I want to come back and deepen into how we create bridges of connection. It's through...really the beautiful times, but especially the hard times. After a break and a word from fabulous sponsors. And I just want to remind our listening audience to please support our sponsors, because that helps great shows like this come to you. And we'll be right back.


Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to Sex: Tanrta & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex, with Kelly Bryson. Certified Nonviolent Communication trainer, psychotherapist, author and we're discussing neediness, and those difficult places, and how we bridge them into places of deep connection. So what do we do with this whole needy, don't be needy...

Kelly Bryson: I just got excited! I just got excited! About a metaphor, an analogy that's coming to me as we're talking right now. It's a good example of it. The other day, since this is Sex and Tantra and whatever, I was making love to my beautiful, powerful, wonderful goddess. And we were making love and then she just says to me...she says, "Kelly! I am so glad you love sex so much! It really makes me feel desired!" And then I! And that was so healing, to me, just to hear that, because you know being raised in this culture I think I've had thoughts planted in my head that I'm just a dog, male, pig who only wants one thing and doesn't care about others, and is sex-addicted or whatever. And it just felt such a relief in my heart and soul to hear that my need, my desire, my passion was meeting a need of hers to probably help heal something from her past, about her wanting to be valued, and desired, and important, and, you that way of really charging her and then that she's desirable. There is like a confluence that my need, my desire for passion, was also serving her. And as she was connecting to me and meeting my needs of a sexual connection, I think it really served her life force at the same time. She was contributing in this way and giving in this way. So there was no shame around it. There was no idea of neediness.

Francesca Gentille: Mmhmm. What I hear you pointing to, is that we all have needs for touch, for sunlight, for food and our culture tendency to shame it, or label it, when the need appears to be bigger than what I might want to fulfill. Then goes from being a need that I treasure to then I'm going to label. I might label this as you're being needy. And what I hear you pointing to is it's just...It doesn't doesn't need to be a like that, was that we should embrace it as...

Kelly Bryson: I've watched some various teachers and gurus, as a matter of fact; tell their audience members, "Oh you're caught in your neediness right now." And what I would like is for that guru, that teacher to say, no right now I'm feeling overwhelmed trying to meet your need. In other words, to assert their need, to tell the truth of their need. Because like you're saying, neediness is a judgment. And all judgments are poorly expressed needs. Needs that we often have shame around, so we don't just say them directly. We say them in terms of what's wrong with the other person, instead of asking.

Francesca Gentille: One person, you know I might say to someone, you're need for food or your need for music, or your need for adventure, is bigger than I feel comfortable with.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah.

Francesca Gentille: Doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with that person's need.

Kelly Bryson: No, not at all.

Francesca Gentille: I might not just be the good, the match to fulfill that need with them.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah. Or you might just be willing to fill a part of it and then you assert your need to sing conflict, so to speak. Hey, I've listened to you for an hour or two now and now I'm wanting to rest. It doesn't mean you’re needy. It just means maybe you have some more need to fulfill with another strategy. Which starts to bring me around to one of my favorite things; which is my belief that it takes a village to raise a healthy relationship.

Francesca Gentille: What does that mean? We've heard it takes a village to raise a child and that makes sense, because a child needs, you know, the wonderful and it has various people to model from, a lot of people to hold it, and reflect back, and to support the mother and father so all of the needs of the child are not fully to be met by them. I don't understand it takes a village to...

Kelly Bryson: The same way...I believe human beings are pack animals. That we're wolves, we're not swans. Wolves travel in packs and work best as packs and to their connection with their group. Swans maybe go off by themselves in dyads on down the river. But I, at least for myself and maybe its different for other people, but at least there's a big group of us who find that we work better in a larger energy field. So that, for example, I've had things going on inside of me. I remember once I was thinking my partner was needy and controlling and it took the community, several other people, to point out to me that I wasn't taking responsibility for myself. I was trying to control her controllingness. I was afraid to do what I wanted, because I didn't want her to have certain reactions. But I couldn't see that on my own, and I wouldn't listen to it from her.  You know, she was screaming at me, "I'm not your damn jailer!" You know? "Don't put me in that damn box." But I couldn't hear that from her. I needed the honesty from other people to help me see what was going on, even in our relationship.

Francesca Gentille: You know, Kelly? Can I just slow that down for a moment? Because I need to really breathe that in, and I'm imagining some of our listening audience does as well. Is that...there's something beautiful and personal in a community, where it's a community of support and love and we're getting good honest perspectives. And like you said an opportunity, if you're my sweetheart and I want to go to the movies and you don't and I'm in a loving community, then I can call up a friend and say, "Are you in the mood to go to a movie?" and I don't have to make you wrong. But what I find in the way of that, and I think I'm not alone, are a number of things. One is that, you know, this 'should.' My partner should want to everything with me at all times.

Kelly Bryson: It should be my community. It should mean all my...

Francesca Gentille: Right. It should be all my community is one. Another thing that can get in the way of support or truth, is this sense of 'don't air you're dirty laundry.'

Kelly Bryson: Yeah.

Francesca Gentille: So if I'm struggling in a relationship or struggling with my mother's death...

Kelly Bryson: Yeah. A big one.

Francesca Gentille: That some how I shouldn't share this with people...that it's going to be a burden for someone else.

Kelly Bryson: Right, yeah. You know that dynamic is very prevalent in what I'll call dysfunctional families of different kinds, whether it's incest families or domestic violence families. You have that common them of 'don't air the dirty laundry.' Don't let anything outside of this particular circle. I call it damming up the river and nature hates a closed system. It wants a healthy...

Francesca Gentille: One of my clients was literally told by her family: you cannot trust anyone! You cannot trust anyone outside this family.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah, yeah. You know there is a little kernel of truth in those things, in the sense that often we find as we start to share these things, very unsophisticated community. Community that colludes with us in our empowerment, and colludes with us in our judgment of the partner. "Oh yeah, he's a jerk. He should have gone to the movie with you. Dump him!" Instead we need sophisticated community, that’s growing consciousness and skills, who knows how to give empathy, and knows how to give self-responsible, helpful honesty, not just derisive criticism.

Francesca Gentille: You know, Kelly, I want to talk more about this and how we build nurturing communities, sometimes even train a nurturing community or look for them. And after we come back from a break and a word from our sponsors, and really deepen into that life and community that we love and we'll be right back in just a moment.


Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex, with Kelly Bryson. Nonviolent Communication Trainer, who is helping us to be real. Not just nice, but really real. And we were talking about transforming neediness into a way of connecting. We were talking about invoking, or bringing forth, a community that supports a more sophisticated or compassionate perspective. And we were saying one way to do this was to choose that community. What about training your current community, your current friends. Is that possible?

Kelly Bryson: I think it's possible to some extent. I mean, it depends on kind of where they're at in consciousness. But I can certainly ask for what I want in a more direct, clear way. I can...when I'm wanting empathy or understanding about some pain I'm dealing with, not just solutions, I can say that. I can say, "Hey, I'm sad. I really would have like to had more time with my sweetie last week." And then sometimes people will quickly jump in, "Oh there's more fish in the sea, you don't need to just sit with that." But before...

Francesca Gentille: And we feel like we have to take sides, you know?

Kelly Bryson: Right. Before they do that...

Francesca Gentille: You know, I'm for you, so I'm against him or her.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah. That's the sad thing, it looks like frequently, Oh, I'm your friend, not your partner. You know? So I'm for you, not unlike that selfish jerk who wouldn't spend time with you. And that's sad, you know, that frequently communities are tearing couples apart by doing that. But you can slow that down a little bit, by making it clear what you want. Hey, I just need you to tell me what you hear this is about for me. Just that you hear that I'm sad, and I felt lonely last week, and would have liked more connection and companionship. Can you just tell me what you're hearing? So that can help guide the other person on how to massage you, and to give you what you do need, instead of what you don't need.

Francesca Gentille: Well, what you're pointing to is that we want to be heard. So if I were to tell you, you know, he didn't go to the movie with me, that you would just reflect back, "I'm hearing you really wanted more time," rather than saying. "He's such a jerk!"

Kelly Bryson: Yeah.

Francesca Gentille: So rather than labeling him, hearing me.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah. I can orchestrate that some. I can ask for it. If my friends are at a certain level of consciousness, but it also takes presence. It takes a certain evolution on the other person's part to be able to give you the presence and not just the reflective listening.

Francesca Gentille: And I find that with some of my friends, and you know, this can really separate, you know, who are the people who are ready for you to grow with as friends and who aren't. But with some of my friends when I gather the courage to say I'm going to stop you, when they’re taking sides in a discussion...

Kelly Bryson: Yeah

Francesca Gentille: And say, clarify what I'm really wanting right now is to be heard or what I’m really wanting right now if you could just let me know what you think I'm saying. But what I'm really wanting right now is to your...your wisdom in how might I be part of this cycle. I'm noticing that more and more he needs to be saying no, when I'm asking for time. So how might I be part of that? Is there a way that maybe I could ask better? Is there some way, you know, inviting your wisdom as somebody who knows me well, to help reveal what some of my patterns of behavior are to me. Because they might be in my blind spot.

Kelly Bryson: Yeah, and that's invaluable. I think your friends, in some ways, can help you with your blind spots better than your partner can. Because...

Francesca Gentille: I can certainly hear it easier.

Kelly Bryson: It's easier because you're not so involved, and there's not the tendency to polarize into the dyad. The number two is one of the hardest numbers to balance, because of this tendency to polarize. So that's where friends are really helpful. But it really takes, you know, like I say, a growing, sophisticated community that has certain values and skills, and sometimes that takes a little formal training. Sometimes you can find such communities, certain Tantra communities that I know of, that I helped work with in San Diego. Some of the NVC communities, Nonviolent Communication communities, have some of those values and norms already built-in and their consciousness growing. But it takes a, what I call a, certain field of consciousness in the community, to really support anyone in their healthy love relationships, just growth in their lives. And that's something I think people need to work on and it can be helpful to have training.

Francesca Gentille: I think you're absolutely correct, because we get so many years of training by the culture, by television, sometimes by families who are very critical or shaming. And it would make sense that we would also, to shift that, shift that deeply engrained pattern; we would need training, workshops.

Kelly Bryson: There’s a whole field of kind of consciousness around relationships. The field, what I call the morphogenetic field of consciousness is very strong for dominant submissive relationships and for codependent relationships. If you listen to pop music, you can tell. And we need to create a subculture, a new culture that's coming from a whole other field of consciousness. More around egalitarian, and negotiating our needs, and knowing that it doesn't ever help to coerce someone to do something for you that doesn’t also meet their own needs. The whole values and the whole field of consciousness is very different and how to grow those things. I want to mention a book on the subject that I've been finding to be the most profound book I've ever read, called "The Sacred Matrix." It's about moving from a culture of violence to a culture of cooperation and consciousness.

Francesca Gentille: And who's the author of that?

Kelly Bryson: This is by Dieter Duhm. D-U-H-M. They just got it into English. And so, it's at Amazon now. You can get it off Amazon or you can order it from me, through my website, also.

Francesca Gentille: And Kelly, I so want people to be able to be connected with you, to get your book, to find out about your workshops. And I know you do teach across the country, as well as in California, so how would people reach you?

Kelly Bryson: Well, they can call me on my phone: 831-462-3277. 831-462-EARS. Or they can go to my website, It's all one word. And...

Francesca Gentille: And tell us...oh, go ahead.

Kelly Bryson: And you can get my book off from anywhere, you know, Amazon or...I make more money if you buy it from me, but, from my website...but you can get it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon or wherever.

Francesca Gentille: And Kelly, I just want to think you so much for being here on this show, being a friend of mine. You are my inspiration. Nonviolent Communication, the first person that I ever saw make a presentation and it changed my world, and any beauty I think that is in my relationships or times of challenge...really you are the foundation of that, so I so want to thank you for being that and being here on this show today.

Kelly Bryson: Wow that really touches a sweet place in my heart. I just feel like a big relief around my chest area, as your talking about that. It just really warms me up. Thank you so much for saying that.

Francesca Gentille: You're welcome. And if you want to reach Kelly, another way to reach Kelly, to get the transcripts of this show, to see his picture, to forward this to your friends; is to go to the website for this show which is That's Thank you for being our beautiful listening audience for Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex!


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