Intimacy Matters

Introducing Intimacy Matters

March 28, 2021 Jason Season 1 Episode 1
Intimacy Matters
Introducing Intimacy Matters
Show Notes Transcript

In which our intrepid duo lay out their stall.  Why a podcast?  What is Intimacy Matters all about?  What do we hope to achieve, and what can you, dear listener, expect?  And finally, what does Alanis Morissette have to do with ANY of this?  All will be revealed ...

Contact us here: www.realrelating.com

Nicola Foster:

Welcome to intimacy matters. I'm Nicola Foster. I'm a sex and relationship therapist and a self confessed intimacy geek. I work with couples around the challenges of keeping passion alive, and how to deepen

Jason Porthouse:

And I'm Jason Porthouse. Nicola's partner. I'm intimacy. also fascinated by what makes for fulfilling, nourishing and sexually alive relationships.

Nicola Foster:

So whether you're in one or you want one, join us as we learn from the best experts in the field and find out how we can have healthier, happier sexier relationships.

Jason Porthouse:

So you remember that book you bought me a while back? The ultimate guide for podcasting for beginners?

Nicola Foster:

I think it was a Christmas present

Jason Porthouse:

It was a Christmas present and it did sit on my thing for bedside table for a little while before I get into it. But in there it says, you got to know the who and the what and the why about your podcast. So I guess we could start there, couldn't we?... Who are you?

Nicola Foster:

Well, is it Who am I? Or Who is it for?

Jason Porthouse:

Oh, no. Crikey, I'm gonna have to go and read it now. Well, let's start with Who are you first?

Nicola Foster:

Yes, like it said on the intro, I'm Nicola Foster, I'm a sex and relationship therapist, and an intimacy geek. And I based in the UK, if my accent doesn't give it away. And I've been a couples therapist for a few years now. I trained initially, as a psychosexual therapist working with NHS clients. And I've been in private practice, since then working with couples and individuals, supporting them with relationship issues. I was in London and St. Alban's and now I'm in the southwest,

Jason Porthouse:

along with me.

Nicola Foster:

Yes. Who are you?

Jason Porthouse:

Oh, there's a question. That's a whole can of worms to open up. So well, I'm, I don't have any background in therapy or anything like that. By day, I'm, I work in TV. And I sort of make documentaries. So I'm interested in media and things like that. But I also am very, very fascinated about relationships, and psychology and all sorts of things like that, and spirituality and where they all intersect. So for me, this is a great opportunity to kind of explore those areas a little bit more. And I guess, to have just really interesting chats with people that are sort of fascinating. And find out more about the ideas that they've got, especially when it comes to sort of relating and intimacy and all those areas of our lives that are so fascinating.

Nicola Foster:

Yes, I think this, this kind of venture came up for us when we were talking. You know, we love listening to podcasts, both of us, I think, and, and really enjoy ideas. And I know, for me, one of the real appeals of a podcast was that we get to ask the questions that we want to hear the answers to, and we get a little bit of behind the scenes information about people. Yeah.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah, that's definitely a big part of it. But I know, too, that this sort of whole area of work around intimacy and, and healing is really important to you, isn't it?

Nicola Foster:

Yes. I think that's why I thought maybe there was space for another podcast, because I think there were a lot of podcasts about sex and kink and polyamory and relating and, and a lot of really fantastic sex education. And it's brilliant. You know, it's absolutely amazing, all of the resources out there. And I suppose for me, one of the things that I that matters to me is that I've been studying trauma for a number of years. I've had my own relationship trauma. My clients come with their struggles and difficulties, and often that have arisen through things that happened in their childhoods or through events that have happened in their adulthood that mean that sex and relating are really difficult. I knew right for me, this area is somewhere where I feel really strongly that and there's a brilliant quote, get Stan Tatkin says, 'We are hurt in relationship and we heal in relationship'. And often things that have happened to us have happened because our relational safety has been undermined, something happened, whether it's a sexual assault of some kind on on neglect or abuse, or abandonment or rejection or something happened, that meant that our, our system stopped feeling safe around others. And we can do a lot of work on our own to heal those wounds. But one of the most supportive and healing ways is to do it in relationship not easy to do to do that kind of healing in relationship.

Jason Porthouse:

That's beautiful. So I guess that sort of informs the, the why, of why we're doing this, to kind of bring that information out there. And, and, yeah, give people food for thought really, and kind of, not necessarily deal directly with issues or problems, but to kind of expand people's horizons a little bit and get them to think slightly differently, and maybe, you know, from something they might have heard on here to go out and investigate further.

Nicola Foster:

Absolutely, I mean, I, one of the things I think is lovely about doing this is give it's giving a voice and a space to teachers who are out there doing their work. And like you say, to plant seeds and ideas and inspiration. We say that this podcast is for people who are fascinated by relationship, whether they're in one and they're trying to use it as a way of growing, or whether they have a longing to be in one. Because maybe they've been hurt in the past. And they're trying to figure out how to do it better next time around. And yeah, this that's definitely a big Why is, like you say we if we can offer something that's inspiring, that's thought provoking. That's new, a new horizon, then that's really exciting and valuable, I hope.

Jason Porthouse:

So with that in mind, what are some of the topics that are going to be on the programme? What have you got sort of, that you would like to bring to this

Nicola Foster:

Well a core one for me is, you know, how do we keep desire alive in a relationship, a lot of one of the most common reasons that couples go to sex therapy is that there's a mismatch in desire, or there's a partner with low desire. So that's definitely something that we're going to be looking at is supporting people on the disk rediscovering of their own sensuality, sexuality. If somebody is feeling that they've lost their sex drive, and they want it back, that's really one of the core topics. And I want to respect that for some people, they don't want it back. They're quite happy. And nobody, you know, I would hate to be thinking that we're pushing this agenda. Absolutely not. You know, for some people, actually, they feel done with that aspect of life, or they identify as asexual. But there are other people who are saying, you know, what I want, and we called this overarching brand of ours wanting more, and people are saying, like, actually, I want more from life, or one, I want more connects with my partner again, and I want to get that aspect of life back on track. And I don't know how,

Jason Porthouse:

Because it can often be sort of bound up with just our zest for life in general, can't it?.

Nicola Foster:

Now, there's a whole subject for a podcast episode, isn't there? Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, if we've lost our zest for life lost all of our life force, and it's gonna be really hard to have an appetite for sexuality or to see what why bother.

Jason Porthouse:

And also, I'm really interested in the whole kind of area of, of, well, just how much we need intimacy in our lives, just how much we need, not necessarily sexuality, per se, but just physical touch, that the kind of benefits of that the benefits of community of sort of being with people having a tribe and, you know, finding your way in life through through connection with others.

Nicola Foster:

It's an interesting point you raise because, I mean, as a couples therapist, we talk about the stages of relationship being ideal ordeal and real the hill. Yeah, so for a lot of couples, they stay in ideal for a long time, things are good things are working well, or they're idealising. version of the relationship. Then comes the ordeal kind of power struggle about when things are more difficult or don't see eye to eye. There's a lot of issues about value differences and different goals? And is the relationship worse? worth working on and staying in? And then comes real deal? Were you with a couples work through those challenges? And this might sound like it doesn't relate to your question. But I'm bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this, which is that? I think in the often one of the things that happens in the ordeal and the real deal stages, is that the couple realise that they need more than just the two of them in isolation or their nuclear family. And that what's really been missing is hobbies, sports, friendships, social activities, community, that that, I mean, Esther parral, my heroine, Esther, parral, mazing, relationship therapist, she talks about how we put too much emphasis on the couple dynamic to meet all the needs. We used to have a village, we used to have a village we had elders, we had, the aunts, the sisters, we had the men's work, the rituals and celebrations where we, we were all holding each other in our tribe. And now we kind of live in one house in a little domestic unit, and it puts so much pressure on that couple relationship to be everything.

Jason Porthouse:

And of course, that's something that very, very few people can live up to, if any, to be all things to that person and partner is just never gonna

Nicola Foster:

it's impossible. No. And you can maybe make it work for a period of time, but then cracks will start to appear.

Jason Porthouse:

So we're going to look at sort of differing ideas around this, I guess, and, and ways of broadening our horizons a little bit.

Nicola Foster:

Yes, because of course, it's not without challenge, if you're in that old deal stage, to start doing things differently. norms will have been created routines. And the person who's sticking their head above the parapet and asking for something new. That might that might be very scary and frightening for their partner in terms of the equilibrium, the safety that they've created together.

Jason Porthouse:

And of course, the other thing I think we want to reflect is the fact that we're living through really changing times in terms of people's identities, people's sort of relationship with sexuality, people's relationship with relationships.

Nicola Foster:

Absolutely, I mean, it's, it's changed. So it's changing so much. at the current time, we're evolving as a species, and were becoming people of more able to speak openly. And this in some way is, it's a fascinating time, isn't it? In some ways, we're more open about sexuality, who were attracted to the kinds of sex that we that people are having, you know, 50 Shades of Grey came out years ago now. And all these areas are much more talked about than they would have been in, say, our parents generation. But when I talk about sometimes it's also creeping in some more Puritanism around sexuality, there's like a broadening and excitement around sexuality. And then at the same time, you know, this whole period of time we're living through. It's been illegal for people to have hookups. Yeah. Because of COVID.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah, yeah. So there's, there's there's a lot of contradictory kind of stuff going on in society. And and I guess one of the things we're going to be trying to do is chart a course I guess through that, or maybe at least kind of explore those ideas and those contradictions and the tensions around these things and what it brings up for people.

Nicola Foster:

Indeed the yeah, I think podcasts are a lovely way to do that, aren't they? Because we're not trying to get this right. I think we may put out an episode and then find that we don't agree with it three months later, because our views are emerging as our everyone else's. We're all learning together in the emerging field.

Jason Porthouse:

What's Atlantis Morissette got to do with any of this?

Nicola Foster:

Well, Isn't it ironic that you just remembered that? I said that I that one of the reasons I wanted to do a podcast is I was a huge Alanis Morissette van when I was young, oh my goodness, that album I mean, that's all about relationships, right and sexuality and sensuality, Jagged Little Pill. And it was to my great delight a few years ago, I stumbled across Alana's his podcast, where she did exactly what we're doing here and got on some of the leading teachers in the field. She had Harville Hendricks and Helen on who are amazing teachers in this field - they're exponents of Imago. And she just talked about her marriage, and how understanding things like attachment theory, and trauma had been so vital to her healing, and then how that has an effect then on her creativity and her creative process. And I learned a lot from that podcast, just from people talking and having these conversations. So she, I think she might have inspired this. Yeah, thank you Alanis.

Jason Porthouse:

So we've got some really interesting people coming up. For our first season, I guess, if you want to call it that? Gosh it all sounds very, very professional. Who are you looking forward to?

Nicola Foster:

Well, Janet McGeever, springs initially to mind, our furthest away guest from Australia who wrote the book, Tantric Sex and the Menopause, with Diana Richardson, and I just think it's fascinating insight into that stage of life for women and how that impacts sexuality. How about you?

Jason Porthouse:

aware we've got so many, Jan Day who's claimed relationship and intimacy sort of teacher and we're going to talk to her about conscious relationships, amongst other things. I'm really looking forward to that. Ruth Culver, who is going to be talking about Internal Family Systems, which I'm keen to learn about. And Cate Mackenzie as well.

Nicola Foster:

Yes, Cate's one of my colleagues, as a fellow sex sexual and a couples therapist, Cate's got so many strings to her bow, I'm sure we'll be talking about flirting because that's something that she does workshops on, we may talk to her about emotionally focused therapy,

Jason Porthouse:

Bridging to Yeah, we've done a bridging workshop with her...

Nicola Foster:

We have, which was really, really fun. Yeah.

Jason Porthouse:

So all of these programmes, we hope are going to be full of ideas for you. And full of just brain food, really to sort of get you thinking about relationships and all the various ways we interact with people.

Nicola Foster:

And what would be amazing would be to hear from you about the guests that you'd like us to have on the show the questions and themes you'd like to us to talk about on the show. Please do get in touch. And yeah, give us some some of your food for thought. And and tell your friends about the show to anybody you know, who's who's also a relationship geek. then pass it on.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah, to spread the word. And yeah, like you say, you can get in touch with us through the website for the show, which is www.wanting-mor .com. I think is slash podc st, isn't it?

Nicola Foster:

is yes. Forward s ash podcast. And we're on Insta ram and Faceb

Jason Porthouse:

Yep. Well, you're on Instagram and Facebook for that. You're just getting to grips with Instagram.

Nicola Foster:

I am I'm still a bit of an Instagram newbie. Five years behind the crowd. Bear with me.

Jason Porthouse:

But yeah, so any kind of thoughts and comments and stuff like that. We're gonna welcome with open arms, and that'd be great to hear your suggestions for anything you want to hear and comments about what you have heard.

Nicola Foster:

Absolutely.

Jason Porthouse:

Have we covere everything, then?.

Nicola Foster:

Yes.

Jason Porthouse:

Great. Shall we get out of the way and let them get on with listening to the programmes?

Nicola Foster:

Yes.

Jason Porthouse:

Excellent. Thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, subscribe so you never miss an episode. And remember, you can interact with us at wanting-more.com