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Sex with Dr. Jess


March 27, 2020

Getting Naked With Tova Leigh: Monogamy, Motherhood & More

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Tova Leigh joins Jess to share her journey as a mother, woman and author of Effed at 40. They discuss:
  • How she got over her body image issues after birth
  • How to care less about what other people think
  • The reconciliation of motherhood and sexuality
  • The experience of stripping down at a nude spa
  • The power of nude photoshoots
  • Her new book: Effed At 40

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Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

Getting Naked With Tova Leigh: Monogamy, Motherhood & More

00:00:05 – 00:05:05

You’re listening to the sacs with Dr Jasser podcast sacks and relationship advice you can use tonight Hey Jessica Riley here. Your friendly neighborhood sexologist. And I’m here with author and content creator totally. Hello Hello. It’s so nice to be here so you are london-based. You’re on a tour. You are all over North America and beyond and I came to the end of your show last night. It sold out. There’s not a seat in the house. it was so much fun. Last night was New York as part of a worldwide tour and promoting my book. effed at forty. I can save effed at forty on your podcast. That’s like so refreshing because most are no making me call it after forty which is a bit annoying at forty. It’s so funny the censorship. When I first started in this field morning television. They wouldn’t even call me a sexologist. They’d Commun- intimacy expert like intimacy shit about that. I just about second well and it’s so funny to complete the to know you. You talk about sex all the time. Yeah I talk more. I guess about Sexuality Relief From Women’s perspective. Something that I feel like not a lot of people tend to think about ’cause for my own experience not obviously a an expert at all but I talk for my own experience. I have felt throughout my life that my sexuality is a woman has always kind of been viewed from a male point of view. And they think that’s true for a lot of women so that’s something that’s really interesting to me was sort of a revelation. I had probably in my forties. Oh hang on a minute. My sexuality exists so Internal Age Ford. Yeah totally yeah yeah. So what does that mean effed at forty Yeah so people ask me. They go like what is it. Eff forties at bad I had a effing moment. God were saying. eff a lot right. The first five minutes of the show I had a eff it moment when I turned actually forty two and sort of just went. Oh my God. Life is short. What am I waiting for? I’m a mom. I have three amazing daughters and I had three kids in the space of two years so I know because I have twins. We’re not as a magic uterus The way when I had a one year old and then I got pregnant and had twins and I feel like I mean again. Motherhood Mate is amazing and I’m so blessed but I felt like a lot of things. Parts of me got lost and one of the main things was sexuality that sexiness the drive for saks. You know just that whole part of me you know. Just completely shut off it. Shut down And yes so a forty two eff it moment can add decided. I’m going to go out and kind of rediscover myself and find those bits that I had lost one of them being sexuality so I I did a lot of things to try and regain that So what what did you do? How did you rediscover at forty two ish so in terms of sexuality for me it was first of all moving because I felt like you know my I just wasn’t moving and it wasn’t about fitness? It wasn’t about getting thin or losing weight or or anything like being even necessarily being active. It was actually about moving like certain parts of my body that I just felt like. I wasn’t feeling you know like an I took up. This will make you laugh pole dancing because I wanted to feel that kind of inner fierceness. You know and what’s funny about pole dancing now. It’s becoming more mainstream right but people kind of think. Ooh It’s like Gus stripper thing or whatever or it’s for men like for the benefit of men but actually I went to these. Amazing classes with all-women at all ages. Which is what’s most incredible. Some twenty year olds. Victoria’s secret models. I honestly thought I would be so embarrassed to stand next to and some of them older moms and different body types and it was such an empowering Place to be you know because women were there for themselves you know. Making a show bore themselves in their amazing outfits and I started off in these like you know big sort of you know big Alfredsson you know in hiding my bits and bobs and ended up like in my knickers you know an Abroa- not even caring you know and it was awesome. I mean the day I managed to hump the floor embody Rove was a happy day. It was a happy day because I couldn’t do it. And I know it sounds really stupid right but I couldn’t do it and it was so liberating you know to actually not worry so much about what I was looking like but more like how I was working my body and how was moving in and it really helped me in many many ways but I did other things I JUST WANNA shout out to the strippers at their job.

00:05:05 – 00:10:17

Because I think because they’re the folks who have paved the way for us Horley and I think that it often becomes dichotomy does like Oh pole. Dancing is empowering but stripping is not and stripping also totally. He’s so empowering I always think of sex workers or like why do you judge me for forgetting paid for something you do for free and I think it’s important to just really that like if you’re doing this for you good for you if you’re doing it for your partner and you love it good for you? If you’re doing this for cash go get that. Yes for sure for sure love it and so you you did this the pulling what else. What else was part of your own. Nudity was another thing again like after parenting for me. There was a lot obviously a lot of women but a lot of changes so I had to see sections that you know. Left me with a scar and something. I never knew was possible. anybody who’s had see section might relate to this but it’s called a c-section shelf and that’s where I keep my wine glasses quits like massive boat. Nobody tells you about so. There’s a lot of changes in your body Happened and I had a real issue with nudity because of that I didn’t like being nude like being naked. Now that will affect your sex life. It’ll affect intimacy with your partner because if you don’t like what you look like when you’re naked and you don’t WanNa show your partner what you look like. When you’re naked that will have an effect on your relationship so for us. It did and I really wanted to tackle that. I wanted to really kinda embrace my body and be able to feel comfortable even in the most vulnerable state of it. Which would be naked so I went to a nude SPA. I did like a whole day in a mixed newt. Spa with a friend. Is that in London. No I went all the way to Brighton to go to the SPA. Yeah which we heard about and do you know what we walked in. They had like these changing areas and even in the changing era. There are no cubicles like you. Just stand there in the middle of the room men and women and your strip and of course like to begin with I was like Oh God. This is awful would you? You know you’re so like it’s such A. It’s such a weird experience. If you’re not you know if you’re not comfortable in that by by the end of the day it was amazing you know you sort of like you suddenly realize again. It’s not about the body. It’s about how we’re all exactly the same. Not just in how we look but in how we feel you know. Everybody has similar insecurities. Everybody has the same kind of inhibitions and by the end of the day. I felt so liberated you know I actually got out of that experience. Something that I hadn’t expected I had expected to go in. And maybe hopefully come out with sort of like a bit more confidence in my own skin. Cetera ET CETERA. But what I found was how many masks we wear. And how close Actually Shield US and hide us so even if you’re wearing a tiny little bikini you’re still wearing a tiny little bikini. There’s still some sort of a shield some cover whereas in the nude there’s nothing you’re so vulnerable you’re so open you’re just you. There’s no filter. There’s nothing and by the end of the day when I was walking on the tube back into real life right. It felt like the Matrix. ’cause I felt like why are we all dressed like? Why can’t we just hug each other? Generally just over united now was massive for me. That really made a massive difference. Nudity is such an equaliser to because our our clothes are also about status and I hate the fashion industry for hate everything about it but I hate it for the way it tells us. You must dress for your body dear God like I. I’ll never forget. I may have told the story before that a stylist was at an event I was at and she was telling me You know I really liked my outfit. I was wearing jeans and just a tight. Pink sweater very tight. Because that’s the way aware and she was saying that. Oh but if you were this this would minimize your shoulders. And but why do I want to minimize my shoulders to fit like my shoulders are strong? I’m not a super strong person but this is we have broad shoulders in my family. Broad for the little person I am and I remember thinking why. Why do I have to minimize my shoulders? So that I can look more like you and you can look more like me. Do we all want to be clones of one another and getting naked? Not only changes the way you feel about your body but I find it really changes the way you feel about other people’s bodies you start to see more people as human I’m not suggesting that nudity is sexual but if you do spend time in an area where people are naked you start to see beauty in so many different things you let go of. The cultural prescriptions of that is beautiful. God is not and you start to see people differently and I think about you know. Imagine when you’re hiding your body from your partner they feel it they see it limits. You in what you can do. You don’t WanNa do certain positions. You don’t WanNa do it in certain places. You don’t want to do it in certain lighting and all of those limits all of those stressors take away from the sex appeal but also when you feel badly about your body. We have evidence that it’s contagious. So your partner starts to feel badly about their on so like if I’m judging myself it sends you the message that I’m judging you rate so if I start complaining about my thighs right now for example which I wouldn’t because I like him and I love saying that like I love talking about how I love my body this body performs for me.

00:10:17 – 00:15:05

Yeah look at these heels. I’m in like these five six inch heels. I’m so lucky can walk in those right. I can climb good the bad engages in these things. It’s been done but if I start complaining about my thighs it makes you self conscious about your thighs. And it works among all gender. So it’s it affects your own self esteem and self worth and sexual self esteem but it affects your partners greatly. Were pulling each other down when as you said. I like the ing moment because life is short. I WANNA live ’til I’m one hundred and eight but I don’t know if I will read. I don’t have a minute to waste hating my body so I love this. I love that you spent time naked but a great place to go and nude SPA and I know they exist. You know a lot of the Korean spas are they exist all over the world. So you got pulled in seeing you got nudity. Any other tips for people on how to rediscover yourself. I mean after that and this was a long process. Obviously because it doesn’t happen overnight you know a but what you said really resonates because for me was also that it was the psychology behind the idea of actually appreciating my body for what it does for me and I think a lot of times. We’re under a lot of pressure. People say Learner. Love your body. Love your body and that’s a lot of pressure to love your body. Like why do I have to love my knows what have to love my finger like you know so it was shifting? The thought to actually appreciating what my body was doing for me rather than standing in front of going. I love my stomach. You know this is a friend was telling me he wants a therapist to help them with self esteem and he said but I don’t want to stand in front of a fricken minute mirror and say you are beautiful. You are beautiful. He’s like I want to just become more neutral. Yeah like body neutrality. As opposed to body positively. You do what works for a lot of pressure. Yeah I know. It’s a lot of pressure though. I love my body. But it’s like you love it for what it does. I do and I also like I really do like the way it looks. I think maybe that sounds conceded. Oh no but I really. Yeah I really really like the way. It looks funny because I did reach that eventually. You know like even because I went to a plastic surgeon at some points discussed the c-section shelf the Yeah and his advice. Was You know you could get rid of it but through surgery was a tummy? Tuck and I had been through two C sections that were very traumatic on my body and I just thought you know what I actually don’t want to put my body through that trauma again and again for anybody who has done it. That’s awesome if it worked for you but for me in my experience it just wasn’t it didn’t feel right and I have come to not just accept the C. Section but actually I like it you know and it took me a while by the way I used to never tuck my tops in you know in my in my jeans. I wear jeans and like I wouldn’t. Tuck the top end because you see like the the the area that’s like it’s never flat. You know what I mean and that really bugged me so that was another thing I did. I thought you know what I’m Gonna. Tuck my topic today just to see how we’re just GonNa let it in the whole day and see if I survive and I got so many compliments that day I think a lot of the times were so harsh on ourselves as well. You know we see ourselves over so you know you’re like in Microsoft looking at yourself and other people were saying. Oh my God you look so great. It’s like when you wear lipstick and you think red doesn’t suit me red lipstick and everyone’s like oh. What have you done if you’ve done something? It was that so that was a great thing as well and that changed for me going out and buying new clothes. You talked about fashion. I so relate to that for years I was told where that or this type of clothes. Because it’s good for your body and it really limited my options. You’d go into a shop and you would see all these great things but immediately I’d say well that’s not for me because it’s not for my body type so I would go to the things that for my body times so bored of it And then I have a friend. She’s so into fashion. She’s amazing and I said to her. Can we just go shopping? And could you pick out stuff for me? Just whatever you pick. I’m going to try on. And she picked stuff that I would have never chosen for myself and like fifty percent of them. I didn’t like but a lot of them. I did and that was a massive shift for me like in terms of fashion what I was allowing myself to wear and stuff like that. I also did a nude photo shoot by the way. Yeah as so that was after the new SPA And this was not a challenge. This was a celebration so at that point I had reached the stage where I was like. Right let’s just now fun. Let’s flaunt it. I WanNa have something to keep forever you know and I did a really nice photo. Shoot a couple of friends. Came with me and There was a photographer lady photographer. Who’s lovely and there was like three sections one was like with with a t shirt and then there was like just you know underwear and then there was nude and it was just so lovely.

00:15:05 – 00:20:01

You know is just really. It was a celebration you know so you talk about the body image work. What about the motherhood piece do you str- did you? Struggle with that. Madonna whore dichotomy did you. How do you overcome the notion that I can be both a mother and a sexual being? Oh my God. This is a massive part by the way in my book Because you are so right I felt for my entire life that I needed to choose and I think maybe for men as well but again talking from a perspective from female perspective from Women’s Perspective for me I’ve always felt like people will tell you. What are you so are you a businesswoman? Are you a mother are you? Are you a slut? Are you a that type of choose? What you are and it took me a long time to realize that actually yes I could be all those things and it was such a small difference that I a change that I did which was changed word instead of saying or I started saying. And so we’d go. Yeah I’m a mom and a businesswoman and I you know I I don’t know I like sex and you know some you know and sometimes I’m prudish and sometimes and also who said you can’t contradict yourself that notion of just not having contradictions is so insane to me. We’re dynamic you change. You can wake up tomorrow morning and feel different. So what like? I don’t get it and I think that the moment I allowed myself to accept the fact that I have inner contradictions and they can live together. It was just so liberating ’cause like Nah. It’s your problem. The you can see that I can be more than one thing. I think that’s such an important point for everyone not just parents but when we think of ourselves sexually we are so dynamic and I always say this what am into on a Tuesday night may not be what. I’m into Saturday morning and I noticed this with pushing my boundaries with the edginess of the sex. We have like some days. I WanNa talk so Raunchy and I’m so into the notion of like group sacks or multiple partners or something a little bit violent or being degraded and other days that would bring me to tears and so I personally and this is not for everyone. I associate it number one with my cycle and number two with what’s going on in my life so if I had like a kind of a rough day if I’m dealing with some comments online that don’t feel good. I don’t generally WANNA play with those subversive feelings even in the context of this really loving respectful sexual relationship with Brandon who is. I’m certain disappointed. He’s missing you but other days. It’s the hottest thing ever and so I don’t have to explain that I don’t even have to understand it. I just have to be able to say this is what I’m cool with right now. Or they’re here are my boundaries right now and so I love the notion of. You’re allowed to contradict yourself. You’re allowed to change your mind. You’re allowed to and this may not happen to you but sometimes even in the middle of sex. I’m so into something. And then all of a sudden it becomes a turnoff and I can like lose the moment and I could sit here analyzing. What’s wrong with me? Why do they lose interest? You know why did I dry up in not in a literal sense but why did I clam up? But it doesn’t matter why because I’m really just on pleasure connection experience. I don’t need to explain it like we don’t always have to go to the root of things. Because it’s not always explainable rate. It might be a smell. It might be a word someone said it might be something that popped into my mind subconsciously and so I think this is so relevant to parents in non parents alike because it is. I am this and I’m this or it could be. I am this now and I am that later totally. Yep and and we’re so afraid because sexist shrouded in secrecy and we don’t really talk to people about it. We’re all afraid that we’re messed up right like the the number one question I get is. Here’s my story. Am I normal. Not In so many people WanNa know like is something broken about me and say okay. In some cases there are feelings. You need to work through. In some cases there’s trauma you need to work through but oftentimes our desires just are unexplainable and that’s okay. Yeah no totally. I get that I mean I like. That’s one of the reasons why I mean again. Like this sex sexual activities not my Line of expertise at all. It is because you have your own expert. Yeah just yeah but I feel like what I like to do is just just come out and say things that are very personal and not talk about and and then what I found is that it’s overwhelming. How people hide those things how we are exactly what you said consumed with.

00:20:01 – 00:25:01

Shame and guilt and these really very painful feelings. Only because we think it’s just us. Something’s wrong with us we’re alone. Nobody else feels that way. We’re not normal. You know in that kind of way and it started from parenting for me. When I was when I was like the kids were still young and I really struggled as a mom again. I thought it was just me? ’cause everybody else looked perfect. Your and then you start talking about it and you suddenly hear more and more women saying desist me this can I say was. I didn’t know I was allowed to say that you know like and I went. What all my other people like me. And then it evolved and you know. My kids are now a little bit older. You know they still bug me sometimes. But we’re actually at the sweet spot. They’re great so I’ve I’ve shifted a lot of what I’m talking about and again with the forties and this midlife crisis thing and all that it really started to be more about women and more about sexuality and more about body image and other things and again. I’m always so surprised. By the fact that people will say Oh my God like yeah so one of the things. By the way that we’ve talked about in the book was the whole concept of monogamy and I don’t know if you if you had a chance to see that but I question a lot of things in my life one of them being the notion of monogamy and you know being with just one partner And I am in a very loving supportive. Could not have had a better relationship honestly. I don’t even understand how this third like like. No you sound like an leasing. He honestly and I’ve been married before so I feel like I’m so happy by the way that I was married before and I wish my ex-husband. Nothing but the best. We were wrong for each other right at the Times. Nothing about him but you know when you have to go through something not good like not right for you to find the thing. That’s just so right for you and I don’t think I would have known in my twenties that Mike was. Right for me to know what I mean like. I needed to go through that relationship to get to my thirties. Meet make and realized that he was so right for me and in the ten years that we’ve been together that that has just I mean honestly it’s like it’s it becomes stronger and stronger with years but we’ve had our. We’ve had our bad years as well. You know when the kids were young it was really hard and an altar boehner killer. Yeah I mean honestly or walking Boehner totally like it was very very difficult and a lot of couples talked to me. Like right people right to me about that as well like you know about the sex what happens and you know and and feeling guilty does fearing. I hate that I was get women saying like Oh. My husband’s such agree. I’m GonNa talk in a Hetero sense because these are the ones emailing me about this specifically my husband so great. He’s a great father. He’s so supportive. I feel so bad because I’m six months eight months twelve months eighteen months postpartum and I’m just not in the mood for sacks and I know that he needs it on my can we please flip this script. I’m sure he’s a great guy. However where’s your pleasure? Greatly is sex good for you because if it’s feeling like a chore I wonder if this wonderful person who may be wonderful is really giving you what you need and do you even know what you need. Because it’s not on him. I lo- her. Yeah I tell people I’m like you WanNa Change Your Life. Your partner to go down on you tell your partner to get a toy. If you’re not in the mood for sex people. How do we get in the mood? And Mike I don’t know tell them to get a vibrator work for three minutes and you’ll get back to them and see if you’re in the mood it doesn’t just happen after you put the kids to bed after you’ve talked to. Your mother-in-law like spontaneous sexual desire is not realistic for most of US Annoy. I always think of this. You know alda up more of an acquaintance of mine. And they had a nice relationship both berry high-powered jobs and she’d walk in the door and say I had a bad day. I just need you to shut the eff up and go down on me. And he was into this too. She wasn’t being demeaning. This was kind of a consensual arrangement and then that would get them both in the mood. You don’t think they’re not walking in the door wanting to jump each other Not After fifteen years of marriage and three kids they had three or four kids later so we have to work at it. And I’ve been I was saying to Emma last night Emma by the way is from killing kittens and they throw these very high end sex parties all around the world and so I’m here in New York for one of their events but it would seem to Emma that I love my job so I love my work. I love my business partner. Brennan also loves his work and so we often talk about the fact that relationships and sex require work. Yeah and people don’t like that and I realize that we really should be using the word effort because I love my work but a lot of people hate their work. That’s my privilege to love my work like I hate this nonsense of Lake. Do What you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m like okay not everybody. Has that choice. Some people you know. We’re we’re sitting here in. A hotel and people are are overqualified for cleaning this hotel room like for them to love it. They don’t have the they’d maybe don’t speak English or there won’t born here they just don’t have all the privilege have but work is a good thing to me. But it’s effort right if you want. If you want to like your body or feel neutral toward your body it requires effort.

00:25:01 – 00:30:11

If you WANNA have a great relationship with your partner it requires effort and I love the piece around questioning monogamy. That’s effort that’s work. Every damn person should question monogamy. It doesn’t mean that you need to being ethically non monogamous. But if you haven’t question it questioned it do you really want it? Yeah and that’s what I felt like I but it wasn’t just that it was a so many things in my life. You know that I questioned. So how did you question monogamy? How did you come to terms with what works for you and you don’t have to share? What works for you but what’s the process? I mean everything I wanted to share like in detail about what we’re doing is in the book you gotTa by the look. This is effed up forty. But it’s not a book about open. Marriage is either. You know it like. That’s in it of course but it’s not an expert. We didn’t go to any seminar this a lot of books and there’s a lot of rules and whatever but at the end of the day weeds. We did what’s right for us and that might not be right for everybody so I suggest if people are interested in open marriages and apparently a lot of people are then they should buy their great books out there about that topic specifically but for me it was more about. It really was a combination of a few things so I think about hormones a lot. I think that we don’t think about it enough. ’cause you were talking about you know declined sex drive but what? I realized was that. Actually I’ve been on hormones since the age of seventeen I’ve been shoving the pill down my throat since the age of Seventeen. And then when you become you know try to get. I was doing I you I. I was shoved hormone house my down down my throat when I was doing for treatment. And then after that your hormones. Because you’ve had a baby and you’re breastfeeding and all that. I’ve been hormonal over twenty years. And even if you’re not taking birth control your hormones are fluctuating. Every month they did. I did a training for the WE VIBE IN WOMANIZER. There a sex toy brand and did it hormones throughout the ages. And so as I’m doing the research and you talk about what twenty eight day cycle looks like. In terms of hormonal fluctuations Jesus piece at Jamaican Estrus expression like and then. Then you get pregnant and that’s hormones and then postpartum and that’s one and then by the time you’re done that you’re pretty much going into paramedic pause and that’s hormone so our entire lives are so highly affected him because there isn’t as much money and research on women’s health and because even that becomes limited a lot of stuff on college age women or just white women or just certain types of women. We do not know. Yeah just even one percent about how these fluctuations affect our lives and our moods is some I was saying sometimes. I wonder why like on a Tuesday night what. I don’t like on a Saturday morning. I think for me. It’s what’s going on in my life but it’s also hormonal. Like certain days of my cycle. I feel differently and it’s not always the same rate so what I like on day. One is not the same as what I like Hyundai Fourteen and even to day fourteen in a row in two separate cycles are not dissing and I don’t need to explain it to anyone. I just know this is what I’m feeling right now and I’m lucky that I I guess. I grew up with permission to feel what I feel. That’s great right not express it still Chinese Jamaican and Irish Catholic Combo so I had to learn like I had to learn and I’m still learning right him. I’m working on my own emotional literacy sure because it’s so easy to seek to feel kind of sad mad glad but what about all the other stuff although vulnerable stuff and and? I think that you know I look at people younger than US. And the range of emotions that they’re capable of expressing feet freely. I’m like holy. How is a seventeen year old saying you know what I feel a little bit vulnerable in this Stereo Kids? Say Stop Drake. You think it’s because he said he’s in his feelings. I don’t know what it is but it is. It is so lovely that they’re able to express things that we couldn’t you know so for for younger folks. You said that you kind of had this revelation at age forty two for someone who’s twenty two. We’re can they do right now? I think you just said it. The questioning is something brilliant like I just think stopping for a minute and asking like and you could ask that question by the way not just once like you said. Just keep asking. It is what I want my happy like. Is this right for me. I don’t like boxes. I don’t like Like the norms of society. Also what is society? It really does depend which culture you come from where you’re living in the world. One thing might be totally different other part of the world and how much money you have. Yeah and how much money you have to. Who really is to say what’s right or wrong. You know. I was brought up to believe that marriage and have being a mom and kids. That was the way to go. You know maybe if I was born somewhere else that’s not what I was a man. That’s not what I would would would have been told across the world. We are basically baby makers exactly so I. I think I would suggest people just to ask and And see what’s right for them? I guess yeah I don’t know well and I have some questions to consider around monogamy so when we think about you can be monogamous.

00:30:11 – 00:35:02

You can be ethically Namananga monogamous and you can be a whole area in between Monogam- Mesh right not Dan savage’s monogamous which is kind of a don’t ask don’t tell policy but it might be couples who for example are monogamous. And once a year. They do something like gross ex club or have an orgy or have a threesome. Gordon. Strip clubs. So they’re not one hundred percent monogamous and we also know that monogamy means different things to different people right hate the shorthand of will you marry me okay. Sure I’ll marry you. That means a party but that is not the relationship I know like if you haven’t asked hundreds of other questions don’t even think of will you marry me in fact? I wonder if we could do away with proposals. I’m so unromantic right and just be like do we WANNA do this. Yeah do we want to spend the rest of our lives together and have we discussed money kids the role of family how we spend our time political values religious values personal values so remembered that this again will and may change and like. I said going back to my personal relationship with Mike has been the fact that I brought change into the relationship but I was lucky that he was happy to change with me because when we married. We didn’t ask these questions but we start our relationship and there was a premise. You know the premise was. I was a stay at home. Mom nothing wrong with that. But that’s that was the premise. I was a stay at home. Mike went to work every day. He wasn’t really involved him. The kids and stuff you know and then suddenly things changed would you do you take flak for being away from your kids because know that men absolutely. Don’t say this to me. All the time They say if you have kids everything’s GonNa Change. You’re not going to be able to keep up this career with the travel. And it’s oftentimes men saying this to me or women who stay home with their kids and unlike but your man your partner or you know especially the man. You’re traveling every week to Thursday but dear God imagine I did. Yeah it’s so weird you know. The first time when I started taking off I will. I call it like literally took time off for myself and then after I started traveling a bit more in Bala You know so Mike had to sort of come. You know support. He did more he was doing more and the amount of times people would come up to him at the school playground and say. Oh Wow you know. Wow you’re amazing you’re such a saint and it was like for years. I was there for every job often. Every pickup nobody ever came up to me and congratulated me. For What an amazing job I was doing. No do you. Nobody and I just don’t understand you know what’s sad also not sad. I don’t know if what the word is but a lot of the times. Actually it was women who did that. Who were saying that? And I don’t know why like where that comes from. If it comes from a place that may be. I don’t know maybe they would have liked their husbands to be more involved in. Actually that’s what it is for Patriarchy greatly except none of us. Yeah yeah a woman does not make you immune to it and so we are sexists just like people of color like these sexists racists. These values are ingrained in all of us. And it’s a lot to undo them right and I think yeah. Why do you get a cookie for looking after your own kids? Just because you’ve got a couple of balls between your legs but I stopped apologizing. That’s what changed. So where is it the beginning? If people would have said something like that to me I would have just felt enormous mom guilt and felt the need to justify it and probably say something about my mental health to get the pass. Do you know what I mean like. Oh I’ve been depressed or I’ve been feeling not well been ill or you know. Sort of like. Make some sort of justification. I stopped doing that. You know I just stopped apologizing and that took people by the people would be shocked. You know have you learned to not care about other people’s judgment because this is where I need the lesson? Yes and you know what Mike? Help me with that because Mike goes away every summer for two. We don’t travel that much but my goes away every summer for two weeks. He does. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He’s done it from day. One when the kids were like tiny and never once has he had a struggle with it. The kids have no problem with it and when I go away the kids are crying bawling their eyes out but it’s because they’re reflecting may cause I would struggle with the going away so they pick up my vibe and they’re like Oh mommy you’re going you’re leaving believing it’s awful. You know we. He goes away. He’s like by skype. You you know that type of thing but my said to me. He’s like that’s ridiculous. He doesn’t get it. He has helped me a lot with perspective. I talk about that in the book and also in the show whereas we both. We both forgot our daughter’s birthday assembly. It’s time you know I’m not going to tell you the whole story but the moral of the story was that I went. I walked out of that going. Wow we’re like the worst parents in the world and Mike will and we rushed back to the school.

00:35:02 – 00:38:47

We got there in time in the end and Mike walked out inside. We’re the best parents in the world because we dropped everything and showed up for the thing and that moment changed everything for me in terms of mom guilt because I realized how it really was about perspective. I constantly highlighted the moments that I wasn’t there and took the moments that I was there and that I was great just for granted like they were just like obvious. Do you know what I mean right. So you really folk. I think that’s a very strong message. Received by young women and women of all ages that we need to really focus on our deficits and eliminate them all to be perfect and we don’t highlight our strength. We don’t highlight. We’re we’re manner the opposite and the research shows that men are the obvious that a man again could eff could eff up but still come out of champion and by the way. I don’t say this is like a judgmental thing. I think they are geniuses. I think it’s brilliant that they’re able to do that. People are any person is able to do that to go. You know what this didn’t work out like I WANNA but actually in that moment did I get that one right. Wow and focus on bad. It’s just brilliant you know. That’s I guess you’d call that positive or neutral filtering liking cognitive behavioral therapy. We talk about negative filtering so you only see the negative right in the situation especially when it comes to yourself right so if as it relates to yourself worth so we need to do that like every time you screw up. Can you take a second and think about what you did? Well yes you know. I’m I’m hard on myself and I struggled with perfectionism which is a terrible thing. It is not a good thing I know in interviews. People are like Oldman Moi weaknesses that I’m a perfectionist. And they think it’s a good thing. Actually it’s not. It is such a struggle and it’s very difficult to overcome mine is very much rooted in wanting people to see me favorably right on us. Something I have to work on It’s so funny. I turned forty and another sexologist. Luna Matas an eye she also turned forty. She’s brilliant follow her Luna Matas and we were talking about. Oh my God when we turn forty are we gonNA stop people pleasing and I’m like okay. It’s only been a couple of weeks for me but I’m I really. I’m working on it so one tip to leave us with. How do you stop focusing on pleasing others one word and it’s like the most annoying word because everybody’s using it now and like it’s become annoying but it’s it’s the truth authenticity? Just be yourself. If you honestly you know who told me that may eight year old. May eight-year-old told me that when I was stressed out really nervous about going on tour not if people going to like my book and I put out a lot of contents of the world some of it is a bit controversial and I get a lot of hate online and I I. Sometimes I’m not sure of myself. My daughter said to me Mommy. Just be yourself and that is honestly the best advice of ever had. Yeah Yeah and that’s that’s a hard thing to do but people are loving you. I saw your show sold out last night. You’ve got an event in New York tonight. You’re heading to Chicago and L. A. folks can follow you online instagram. Tova Lee and check out your book effed up forty available everywhere from your local bookshop to Amazon and online. So thank you so so much. Thank you really great chatting with you. I think a lot of really important insights for people regardless of whether you’re forty or your mom or your twenty and you’re you know a young man anything Wherever you’re at I think these are really helpful insight. So thank you for being here. Thank you to you for listening folks wherever you’re at have a really wonderful week and we’ll be back next. Friday with a whole new episode. You’re listening to the sex with Dr Jazz podcast. Improve your sex life improve your life.