EFTROU Season 2 Episode 3 is 1 hour, 51 minutes, and 9 seconds long. (1:51:09)
Chavonne (C): Hello there! I’m Chavonne McClay (she/her).
Jenn (J): And I’m Jenn Jackson (she/her).
C: This is Season 2 of Embodiment for the Rest of Us. A podcast series exploring topics within the intersections that exist in fat liberation!
J: In this show, we interview professionals and those with lived experience alike to learn how they are affecting radical change and how we can all make this world a safer and more welcoming place for those living in larger bodies and those historically marginalized who should be centered, listened to, and supported.
C: Captions and content warnings are provided in the show notes for each episode, including specific time stamps, so that you can skip triggering content any time that feels supportive to you!
J: This podcast is a representation of our co-host and guest experiences and may not be reflective of yours. These conversations are not medical advice, and are not a substitute for mental health or nutrition support.
C: In addition, the conversations held here are not exhaustive in scope or depth. These topics, these perspectives are not complete and are always in process. These are just highlights! Just like posts on social media or any other podcast, this is just a glimpse.
J: We are always interested in any feedback on this process if something needs to be addressed. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org And now for today’s episode!
C: Welcome to Episode 3 of season 2 of the Embodiment for the Rest of Us podcast. In today’s episode, we interviewed the wise and wonderful human being, Molly Adler (she/her) about her embodiment journey and perspective on pleasure. This episode was recorded in December 2021 and Molly asked us to acknowledge that the pandemic is still ongoing at this moment, just as we recorded months ago.
J: Molly is a Certified Sex Therapist with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). Her practice Sex Therapy New Mexico is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tiwa land. She works with a lot of clients who are LGBTQ2S+, BIPOC, anti-racist, activists, polyamorous, and/or kink identified. Her approach is compassionate, grounded, pleasure-centered, light-hearted & social justice oriented.
C: She enjoys the micro-level therapeutic work, as well as working towards structural change by offering training for healthcare providers and institutions who want to be more inclusive of sexual and gender diversity in their work. Previously she co-founded and co-directed Self Serve Toys, New Mexico’s first and only sex-positive, health- and education-focused adult shop and resource center for its first eight years.
J: In the next few months Molly will be offering continuing education trainings on Mindful Sex Therapy and Helping polyamorous and monogamous folks manage jealousy – see show notes for her email list link to receive more information. Thank you so much for being here, listening, and holding space with us dear listeners! And now for today’s episode!
J: We are continuing with our interviews for season 2 today and we are beyond thrilled to have Molly Adler (she/her) joining us from right here in Albuquerque, someone whose radical justice driven perspectives on sexuality and gender are something everyone should be listening to. There’s so much nuance to sit with, in, and around and we can’t wait to dive into this with you all listening. So let’s begin, Molly, how are you doing today?
Molly (M): [laughs] Great. A little, umm, giddy and excited to talk to y’all. I’m excited about, uhm, everything I’ve heard so far on the podcast and it’s, you know, embodiment and bodies and sexuality and gender are all things I love talking about, so I’m excited to be here with you.
J: Thank you, we’re so excited.
C: Yeah, we’re so excited that you’re with us, so pumped, so thank you so much for joining us.
J: Yeah, it’s, ooh! I’m permasmiling already and we just started. Ahh!
C: [laughs] Permasmiling, I love it. I’m going to use it all the time. [laughs]
J: [laughs] Yeah.
C: As we start this connected conversation about being present in our bodies, I’d like to start with asking a grounding question about the themes of our podcast and how they occur to you. Can you share with us what embodiment means to you and what has your embodiment journey been like, if you’d like to share?
M: Yeah, I love it. Just dive in right away. Yeah, when I hear the word, you know, embodiment, right away.
J and C: [laugh]
J: We do!
M: It does feel like an invitation to just check in with myself. And so of course you know, I think of it simply as being aware of what’s happening in my body and connected to my inner experience. Umm, I believe the fancy mindfulness word is interoception, like having a sense of what I’m feeling inside. Umm, you know, I, and I think like most people, I spent most of my life not being in touch with that so much or not knowing it was a thing at all. So part of my, I would say part a big part of my embodiment journey, one piece I think of is feeling feelings. Umm, like I would say, you know, I was a, a psych major and women’s studies major in college and I thought about thinking and the mind and how psychology works and was always interested in that. And I got to do a really cool Mind Body Institute kind of mindfulness internship during college, so I was learning a lot about mindfulness. My early years of learning about that I think I was really thinking about thinking and it was really mindfulness of thoughts. Uhm, which is super powerful and important. I think of, you know, the, the popularity and years long commitment of the mental health institutions being committed to cognitive behavioral therapy. And seeing the mind as obviously the most important and the historical Western ideas of mind, body split, and really a focus on the head, right? Like above the neck and it wasn’t until, you know, a few years ago, I would say within the last 10 years that I was in a therapy session and, you know, I’d gone to therapy. I had, you know, believed in it and it was in a therapy session with a sensorimotor psychotherapist where I felt like the first time a memory of someone inviting me and encouraging me to slow down and feel what was coming up and I really believe that was a powerful moment and you know, influenced my experience of myself since then of really learning what it’s like to feel emotions, feel into my body, listen to sensations and see what they’re telling me, not in a narrative thought-based kind of way. And so I feel like that’s been a huge part of my embodiment journey is learning to do that to bring, you know, and I’m definitely influenced by mindfulness principles like secular mindfulness in the non judgmental awareness of what is happening, and I think the non judgmental part is of course a big important part of that. Because it’s not because we might have lots of sensations we don’t like or that are uncomfortable emotions and sensations. And I would say, you know, I obviously work in the realm of sexuality. I’ve been a, you know, sex positive person for, you know whatever that means, for a long time and very curious about sexuality and desire and attraction, and people’s journey of gender and sexual identity. And so you know that is also of course a realm in which we can learn pleasure and embodiment in a different way. So, so, so learning about you know, sensations learning about what desire feels like. Uhm, coming to embrace or enjoy and have acceptance come with what feels good in our bodies is also of course another really fun way to experience embodiment.
C: Ooh I love that answer. I…something that’s sitting with me immediately is the idea that that feels like an aspect of true embodiment. Being able to identify what feels good, believing you deserve that you deserve to feel good in that way that feels like really, really important to embodiment, yeah.
J: Ooh, I was thinking of something similar. I love the way that you phrased that, Chavonne, true embodiment. I often hear embodiment phrased as positive embodiment and I do love the word positive like in terms of warmth or desirability. As you were talking about, like going towards things that feel good and positivity can be really warped and misused and become, can become rather toxic. And as you were just describing that I was thinking…so you said true embodiment. I was thinking, ah, to be a full person like, like the things that don’t feel as pleasurable as pleasant can feel painful, harmful from that nonjudgmental self awareness, like from within ourselves. I was really actually hearing that as a kind of boundary that, like, to be embodied even about things that are difficult, helps us slow down, helps us reflect. And when you’re talking about, like, not thinking our thoughts but feeling our feelings, sensations. Uhm, it’s giving me chills to talk about, like, I’m already…this always happens where I get, like, really engaged physically and like, feel kind of what I’m talking about. Uhm, but it’s a way to be kind to ourselves and a way to have compassion, because we, we’re not like walking all over our own boundaries because we’re noticing and like pausing in the noticing. Uhm, so I really love that perspective like tied in with that secular mindfulness, that, it’s a, it’s a place of discovery, it’s a place of finding things, and even if they’re not pleasant and it can be a really important discovery. Like I don’t, you know, like for example, I don’t like when I go in this particular situation, it always sits in this particular way in my body. So I was really hearing how embodiment can be a guide like it’s really active.
J: I just, so I just love that. Because mindfulness can feel like I should sit here and I should let things come to me. But what I’m hearing is the search, the activeness mentally and also physically.
M: Oh yeah, yeah, I think of the body scan and different language to kind of look within. Like a, like, a mental flashlight or like putting your attention within your body and just seeing what’s there. And yeah, I love that you, you know described it as active, right? Like, you know, I think, it takes realizing we probably most of us might have learned to ignore for lots of reasons, right? There’s lots of reasons that could be survival based and have gotten us where we are, that we ignore what’s happening in our bodies or we can’t acknowledge a boundary in that moment. But of course, when we realize we have the ability or the access or the safety to actually pay attention to and, and want to see what are we feeling inside? That’s really valuable information about something feels good, something feels bad. So yeah, it’s, it’s really powerful. We talked about this in our episode about embodiment, the term itself. And I’m trying not to be ableist again, so instead of, I guess where I’m coming from is not thinking above the neck, but more just being able to access what’s below the neck.
M: Yeah, yeah, I, I don’t know much about the origin of the use of the term, but I have recently heard and I want to credit Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, who’s done a lot of disability justice, healing justice work on using the term Bodymind. To, to kind of mush them together and use a term that includes body and mind so that we’re not thinking they’re separate. So I haven’t really incorporated it into my everyday speech yet, but I’m intrigued by that shift.
J and C: Oooh.
C: My goodness, I, I’m very intrigued by that. I can’t wait to do more research about that and we’ll definitely link that to the show notes.
J: Yeah, yeah, so so, speaking to the non dualism of being a human being, we are–our mind is our body and our body is our mind and it’s a false separation when we talk about them as separate. And, and, and it also feels like there is a lot of opportunity for not just ableism but other isms, when we keep them separate and can create some sort of stratification. I don’t know why, I said the word stratification, but you know, like, some sort of category. Uh, when we keep them separate, when we don’t acknowledge the full humanity of something we can just really oppress it and marginalize it. So that feels important to make sure that they stay connected.
M: Oh yeah. You know this could be a whole other conversation, [laughs] but I can’t help but name white supremacy culture as, uh, prioritizing like the worship of the written word and the, uh, you know, objectivity. All these kind of imaginary delusions, ideas that prioritize certain ways of being in the world that are harmful to all of us.
J: Yes, and keeping the mind separate means that mental health care is not supported as well, so I’m kind of sitting with that, too, that when just like mental health, dental health, eye health, it’s all the body. It’s all one body. We’re all one person, so to not to be selectively supported. So thinking of the medical industrial complex as well. Uhm, yeah, that feels really important to name in this particular part of the conversation because talking about bodymind, it also reminds me of the way that we used to talk about these things. And, and I mean we as, like, human beings in a world culture or in our individual cultures before westernized medicine took them and made them their ideas, right? They, they leave off really key things like the body and mind are connected and we can’t ignore one and only focus on the other when that’s happening. So, I’m, I’m really glad you named that.
J: Yeah, uhm, and this is actually a great segue into the next question I wanted to ask. Just thinking about being a human being and also thinking about the present moment that we’re in or continued moments, or almost two years straight of moments, [laughs] the pandemic. Umm, curious how it’s affected your embodiment practices. And kind of thinking about the other side of it is, just like what lights you up about it and when are you feeling most embodied, even in a pandemic kind of sitting with both?
M: Well, I, I mean one of the first things that comes to mind is that you know, like a lot of other therapists I shifted to telehealth 100% from going to an office and meeting people in person and sitting with them in a room and now I am with my computer in my house. And you know, by the time we enjoy this podcast it, it may have changed a little, I hope. But I’m, I’m at a place where I’m hopefully going to have a new office where I go meet people again in person, but it feels like such a significant shift and potential change again, too. And and it’s amazing how much then embodiment becomes so, umm, like how much I become aware of embodiment because at recognizing that I am…Like there’s, feels like there’s more work or more effort or something to recognize that I am with someone through a computer screen and I, I feel like we need kind of sometimes more energy or attention in order to really feel into that and be aware of that and it’s so easy, especially if we’re sick of being in a chair or at a computer that it could be so easy to kind of dissociate or feel detached from ourselves or from the person or people that were with when it’s through a screen. So it’s been a huge shift in terms of my day to day. And also I did have issues with nerve pain and body pain after switching to working telehealth full time. So within the first few months of the pandemic, I ended up needing PT and having to adjust my furniture and you know, how I am in my body. You know, doing telehealth at a computer all day, I’m, I also shortened my number of clients I saw, so I adjusted my work, work to, you know, listen to my body to notice what I needed, and so there was definitely a bunch of changes that happened from that. I’m grateful for physical therapy and was able to do PT over telehealth in 2020 and eventually go see that person when it felt safe to do so, you know, this past year, so there were a lot of changes for me in my body in terms of how I work and how I operate. And I know that for a lot of us over the past two years, and especially right now when we’re recording this, that we see how capitalism has influenced how we all operate in day-to-day and, and the grind culture that is so unhealthy for our bodyminds. And uhm, you know we’re in a place where the economy seems to come before a lot of human’s health and wellness. So, so I really felt like I was also in my own exploration of how can I optimize my quality of life? And some of that might require working less even if that means my income takes a hit. So yeah, so that was definitely a big piece of the shift, I would say. There’s also, you know, like a lot of people, I obviously saw fewer people and I still see, don’t do things in big groups indoors at all, so, uhm, I think I have more appreciation for being with people in the same room. I think there’s more awareness to the closeness, and I think a lot of people are describing…and we joke about the awkwardness of social interactions when people haven’t been as social for a couple years in person so, and, and I think, you know, I want to bring humor and self compassion and compassion to everybody going through those shifts because I think we are acknowledging, oh, where there was a practice, there was a familiarity of being with people in rooms and being with all our bodies and our, you know, space, personal space, boundaries, and so we’re kind of rediscovering that in different ways. And so, I definitely have had my own path with that. It was when I, I did go back to my own therapist in person recently and I feel like the first session was all about acknowledging the shift of like Oh my gosh, we’re in the same room together again. And so there’s so many layers to how I think the pandemic has influenced our, you know, awareness of our own bodies and sharing space with other bodies and, and, you know, I know for a lot of us for a lot of folks there’s been not enough touch. You know, some skin hunger, you know.
C: Ooh, I love that term, oof. Sorry to interrupt that, oh I felt that in my bones. Okay. [laughs]
M: Yeah, totally. And so yeah, there’s this, there could be this, like, kind of sad, loving compassion for some grief, for the lack of touch that a lot of people might be experiencing. So I think I appreciate that throughout the pandemic there’s been acknowledgement of the social, mental, emotional needs that we have that are physical that involve being with other people in community and relationship.
C: Oh, skin hunger, oh.
C: That just…whoo.
C: But yeah, I, I never realized how much I enjoy– it sounds not, it’s, it’s, it sounds [laughs] different in my head, but I…how much, how much I miss touching people, like I didn’t realize how much I needed to touch. I remember telling my–that’s I know, I know!
J: [laughs] Sorry, it was a relief of tension.
C: [laughs] I remember telling my mom like I just–not that I’ve hugged her anytime recently–but telling her like I just want to hug someone who doesn’t live in the same house as me. Like I just want to touch someone who I don’t see on a regular basis, it’s, it’s really hard. You know I, I worked as a therapist myself, but I also feel like it takes a different kind of energy, not just for therapists, for any kind of, you know, healing professional. You have to access a different kind of energy and additional kind of energy to be present with someone in such a, such a vulnerable way over the screen. I, I had to see less people, too. I was exhausted at the end of the day and just doing a regular number of sessions was absolutely out of the, out of the question. I guess my question and if this is too much of a diversion and we need to, we need to come back to it later, that’s fine. But I, I guess my question was how was it working with clients in what I would imagine is such a body focused, such a touch focused, such a pleasure focused arena when you couldn’t be in the same room with them. How was that for you?
M: Yeah, I mean, you know, I wonder if the same…you know, there’s so much opportunity for dissociation in our society around sex and touch and boundaries and in rape culture. Uhm, so there’s so many reasons that, uhm, that any of us might not want to be in our bodies, right? And there’s obviously been so much anxiety and fear around COVID. Uhm, so I, I have a sense that folks, if, if dissociative tendencies are part of their coping strategy, then there might be more of it, and so it might just take longer to get comfortable with being present through a screen. Uhm, kind of like if that’s already difficult, then it’s going to be more difficult. I also think there have been advantages and this is…Before the pandemic for folks that you know, telehealth is helpful and becomes more accessible for folks that are disabled that umm, you know, don’t, you know, can’t drive 1/2 hour or, you know, gas money to get to an appointment. Uhm, you know, so there are some folks that you know, telehealth, of course, makes therapy more accessible or any, uhm, you know, service that they can do over Zoom or the Internet or whatever. So, you know, I think there’s some folks that might feel more at ease through telehealth or therapy because they’re in their own space. I have folks who would kind of create a somewhat of a spiritual ritual or a grounding ritual before they have a session with their incense or their altar or their kind of meditation, and so, you know, I’ve learned from clients how they kind of created a space in their own home to go into a therapeutic space or a healing space. And then there are some folks where it’s that much harder because they’re like, well, I can do these other things at home or they clearly have pop ups and alerts coming in on their computer. So like actually explicitly talking about do not disturb settings. I mean what’s interesting is it’s really an invitation to have boundaries in different ways and so, you know, technology would be happy to, you know, give us lots of alerts and notifications all day long and never be interrupted. And so, I mean, a big topic over the past couple years and certainly syncs since the elections of 2016, I feel like a topic in therapy, I’m sure you’ve seen, too, is like limiting news intake or limiting doom scrolling, and so some of that also feels like, well if people work or school is all online, then they might really want to shift their relationship to how much technology they’re engaging with outside of what they need to do. So that can be tough, too. And, you know, with therapy, I think there are a lot of folks who, umm, could benefit from like doing a phone call instead of Zoom, yeah, because they can walk or they can move and, and it feels like embodied in a different way. So there’s some more freedom there.
C: Yeah, that makes sense.
J: Oh, that’s a great question, Chavonne. So something, uhm, I was just really enjoying just like listening to that interaction. And I, I wrote down a lot of what you said, I was like taking a lot of notes. [laughs] This is all from that exchange and what I was realizing is that we’re talking about how human beings and human bodies are connected even through space like telehealth. I was thinking of a therapeutic alliance between a clinician and their client, and how there might even be some therapeutic embodiment there. A, two words I have not quite put together before. Uhm, as you were talking about the boundaried ways you can be with each other and evolve together as trust builds and, and uhm, as we’re with each other, was also making me think about collective embodiment. So it’s with two people who are not able to touch. Skin hunger is going to sit with me for a long time and, and yet there is still connection. It’s something that has surprised me. I thought I would never do telehealth. I avoided it for as long as I could until it became required for the pandemic. I just could not, I, I can’t do it, it’s not going to be the same. Uhm, but you’re right that being in our own spaces, including for me, provides some sort of grounding like just being in our own spaces. It can also make us feel extra vulnerable and hard to be embodied because it’s like, oh, you can see my piles behind me. [laughs] So for those of you listening who can’t see the video, it’s like I’m in my guest bedroom and the bed is covered in my, in my shit. Because and the floor is covered in my shit that I tried to hide but now realize is in the camera anyway. Like…
M: And there’s something so humanizing, like early in the pandemic there was that video of I, I don’t remember who it was, but it was like a British news guy and he, like, like his kid came in and then I think he stood up and there were boxers or shorts happening. Yeah that moment of and now it’s been like joked about.
J and C: [laugh]
M: And, like a common, like, OK, so what does that mean? That means so many of us were, like you know what? I don’t want to wear shoes. I don’t wanna use jeans or wear a bra.
J: Yeah, I was just gonna say that.
M: And that affected how we want to be in our bodies on a daily basis how we want to live in our clothes or sit in our chair or not be in a chair and stand up or, you know, stretch and turn off the camera in the middle of something. So I think there’s a lot of opportunity for embodiment in ways. That you know performing these other roles like goes to professionalism and, and decorum that a lot of us don’t really like in professional life. Uhm, so it’s really humanizing and gives permission for us to listen to our bodies and be more comfortable.
J: Ooh, yes, and, uhm, I loved how you talked about explicitly naming a boundary like a do not disturb on a device. And, and also something I do on my device and my device decides to push things through anyway, something that’s been one of my latest irritations with the technology I know nothing about, I’m like why? I have you on do not disturb. Uhm, but just, like, also like the humanizing part of it, like I’m never gonna understand why my phone did that and it also feels OK to admit that I’m so sorry, you probably noticed me looking somewhere. It’s because I have a phone on do not disturb, but something came through anyway. So I’m sorry that happened, just give me a second. I’m gonna make sure that that’s still on there and then let’s continue like. It’s more of that kind of pausing. The word admitting is coming to mind, but I just mean in a vulnerable way. Not like we have to admit things, like we’re to blame or it’s our fault or something, right? But just like saying what’s going on. Uhm, why am I looking in that direction? ’cause they can’t track where our eyes go. I think it’s an important, maybe transparency is the word. That’s sitting with me. Like how can we be telehealth and still be transparent? Umm…
M: Oh yeah. Yeah, and I think it’s all of these are opportunities for, uhm, yeah, acknowledging what’s actually happening and I feel like that can be, you know, in our bodies and you know tracking our own emotions or our own bodily reactions to what’s happening. But it can also be the world around us, right? And that we’re not in a vacuum and like if a news alert came in. And, you know, so two people are sitting in the middle of a meeting and then a news alert comes in that obviously multiple people see, that’s going to shift that moment and all of a sudden, even if you didn’t ask for it or expect an alert to come in, it’s going to shift that moment. And can we acknowledge it? Can we pause and not pretend it didn’t happen and keep going to whatever the agenda was before?
J and C: Mm-hmm.
C: Ooh. [laughs]
J: OK, that was my first journal prompt. There it is. Can we pause and acknowledge instead of pretending it’s not there? It’s so easy to mask from ourselves our own inner sensations and feelings, emotions, thoughts and, and to do it in company with another person or other people to practice. Just being with things, how they are and how they are not. I was hearing both of those things in there. Uhm, feels like a scary thing to a journal prompts me like, oh, that sounds scary, I better write it down. Umm, necess-scary, right? Let’s look in that direction. Uhm, and also, uh, it’s making me right now want to sit with compassion for myself during a telehealth session in the same way I sit with compassion for my clients, because I actually think I think I do it, but I don’t think I do it intentionally and now it’s feeling like it’s missing, so it’s making me want to look at that and think about that. So thank you for that.
C: Yeah, that’s really, that’s really awesome. Thank you.
M: Yeah, and I feel like, I’m like, I know it’s not my podcast, but…[laughs]
C: Oh, take it over, we’re fine. [laughs]
J: Go for it, go for it! [laughs]
C: Right, we’re good.
M: Uhm, going with the flow with sex with bodies, right? So like that, kind of being able to acknowledge what’s actually happening is a huge way of kind of getting into a more authentic, you know, embodied experience of erotic play and touch and boundaries with other people and with ourselves. But, you know, to actually think about can we acknowledge, like you know, and I think of any two humans trying to just enjoy each other or figure out what they want together sexually, erotically, and there going to be so many moments where someone’s like, wow, that feels weird or that’s uncomfortable or my back hurts in this position. And how many times, we just say it’s fine, we’ll just keep going. You know we’ll, just, you know, power through, and obviously it could be worse situations to acknowledge. There’s going to be situations with, you know, abuse and power dynamics that are unhealthy or violence that could be happening where someone feels like you know submitting and going along with what’s happening is the safest thing to just get it over with and a lot of people do use that strategy to survive violence. And of course, when it serves us and gets us through and we make it through, that’s great. And we don’t want to use that strategy for, for what we want to be more positive, healthy, connected types of sex with people who are safe. And so a lot of folks who are trauma survivors, I think are used to putting up with, and I think a lot of queer trans people socialized as female have learned to be compliant and accommodate. And it’s, it’s a very useful survival strategy when necessary. And yet that can be learned and wired in our brains for situations later in life where maybe we are with a safe person or a loving person. But our brain is still used to that survival strategy of submitting and accommodating, and so how can we unlearn that? And you know, acknowledge when there’s discomfort. Acknowledge when there’s pain and, and try to minimize that right so that we are listening to the body’s wisdom. If the body is saying I’d like to move or I’d like to change positions or I don’t like that thing you’re doing right now, now, umm, can we say something? Can we stop and change what we’re doing? And, and the more we model and, and are able to do that, and whether we’re talking about, like, in the middle of a Zoom session in a meeting or with a friend, and we’re able to say, you know, what I need to pause, and I need to get up and move around or I’m gonna turn off the camera or I need to eat a snack. The more we’re able to listen to our bodies in those ways, I do think it still translates to erotic and sexual other experiences where it’s the same kind of practice of listening and being able to adjust and acknowledge something needs to change.
C: Yeah, absolutely it wow it makes me wonder, I guess. You’ve talked about a little bit, but how do you think embodiment can impact your sexual pleasure? And on the other hand, how do you think sexual pleasure can impact someone’s sense of embodiment? What do you think?
M: Yes, uhm hugely. And I was thinking about this, uhm? So I mean some of what I was already talking about, I would say is the first thing that comes to mind, like that and I’m definitely influenced by Janina Fisher. Her work in, like, from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and parts work influenced by Internal Family Systems. For other folks who want to geek out and, you know, look things up for other therapists out there. Uhm, but Janina Fisher uses the model of structural dissociation and understanding that we have parts of ourselves that evolved from survival strategies. And you know, for example, flight response is, or submit, are survival strategies that definitely help us get through trauma and stressful situations. So being able to float away in our minds. To not feel what we’re feeling when it’s painful or harmful. To, umm, be friendly and uh, kind of a good girl and accommodate the powers that be in a given moment. Those are ways to sometimes get through something where if we were to fight back or if we were to try to escape, it wouldn’t go well. And so of course some forms of dissociation flight response, accommodating and submitting to what’s going on, freezing, those are ways that we can get through things, but what can happen of course, for survivors of trauma and for a lot of us that have these learned strategies that have worked in certain relationships or certain power dynamics. Once we’re in a safer, uhm, more supportive situation or relationship, we still might operate from those survival strategies, those kind of automatic learned reactions. And so, of course, I think any practice of embodiment learning, I would say first to get to know what it can be like to have kind of a neutral relationship, a nonjudgmental but kind of neutral relationship to any embodied experience. And that can be like feeling your arm or feeling your feet on the floor, something that’s neutral that’s not full of pain. That’s not really difficult or uncomfortable, emotionally or physically. Starting there can be a really good place to start and not expecting everything to just feel good. If we focus on our bodies and we, because a lot of people can’t tolerate being in that embodied space, if their bodies expect harm to come to them. And that’s been their experience and so and, and that can be, I want a name of course, like based on intersections of power and their position. So if they have an experience of being a Black person, a person of color, someone trans, someone fat, someone disabled, then the world is not always safe, so it is totally valid to have those survival based responses at first. Umm, and to expect the world is not going to be safe. So, so for all those reasons, I want to validate that it’s, it’s wisdom, right? Like those survival strategies are wise and are your body making sure you’re OK and it’s going to take unlearning those strategies and really experiencing safety and experiencing kind of neutral and or pleasurable experiences of embodiment to believe that, OK I can do this again. And so I kind of lost track of your initial question. [laughs]
C: This was an awesome answer. No, this is fantastic. [laughs] That makes, it made a lot of sense, absolutely. Thank you.
M: Yeah, and can you repeat what you originally asked? [laughs]
C: [laughs] Uhh, sure, umm, I said, how do you think embodiment impact sexual pleasure and vice versa? How sexual pleasure impacts embodiment, but I think you answered it really, really well. Yeah you did, yeah.
M: The other piece that I think of, uhh, like at least in western dominant cishet, you know, culture around relationships and sexuality, there’s a strong narrative of performance and pleasing partner, and so those are also about how you are performing for others or how you look. And, uhm, if what you’re doing is, is, quote, the right thing to do or the cool thing to do sexually or, you know, for the other person? And I think that’s the other place that our society can be really harmful and unhelpful in terms of sexual pleasure. So if we can recenter one’s own pleasure and being responsible for your own pleasure, then that really changes it from a framework of, it’s about what you do for somebody else, like an exchange or a performance, and it’s about what feels good. And so that also, so that difference, I think, relates to all kinds of problematic stories and myths and beliefs we have around sex, about what it should be and who we should be and how we should look and so many harmful beliefs that a lot of us internalize about how you know, you know what our partner wants or what feels good or what’s sexy. But that’s not necessarily about what anyone in the room actually wants or what actually feels good, so that, that’s, that’s an issue I think a lot of people are dealing with.
J: Ooh. Umm, but that was, like really specific, but also somehow full of so much nuance that my brain is like really working on. Uhm, I was just, it’s just made me realize some things that are spoken about that don’t resonate with me and, and thinking about sexual pleasure that I have never like voiced for myself before. For example, sex doesn’t have to be about an orgasm. What if it’s just about connection, was just sitting with me and what you were saying. Uhm, like how intimate laughter can feel. Still, I was just sort of like sitting in like uhm, sometimes we need to admit and like bring to the front that sex can be weird and uncomfortable and funny and like just like awkward. But that’s part of the magic of it all. Like that’s part of the being present to it, that those things can exist. It’s like playtime for adults is something that I’m, was sitting with. And what you were saying that I, I don’t know I’ve voiced all of these before. [laughs] But I was just sort of, like, if, if we could not have these downward facing pushing down on us expectations of what we have to do, like what might show up there? So that’s already occurring to me. So you know, take over as many times as you want.
C: Yes, please. [laughs]
J: ’cause that was beautiful and fascinating and just really resonated with me. So again, thank you for the journal prompt that was going to be one to just like, what’s there?
C: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
M: Yes, and I love that you brought up playtime and it’s–the first time I really read about it in a specific way, Esther Perrel, in, in the book Mating In Captivity talks about play and I love that. It’s like, you know, she quotes some play theorists, which I love that that’s a thing and kind of cracks me up. But that play’s for no other purpose, it’s just for itself, right? So, so, and if you think of what feels good, what’s fun, what brings you joy? If you’re just following that and playing, you know how freeing that is, right? And so a lot of people, if you thought of that, that includes your bodies and touch and exploring with somebody else, you might not go with the standard, you know, very narrow definition of sex. You might try other touch, you might try other toys or sensations and just see what feels good and that is a great way to approach sex, because then you’re actually just following what feels good and noticing what doesn’t and then adjusting your course. And so playtime is a great way to think about how pleasure can be so powerful and give opportunities for embodiment that is pleasant, you know. Like I am all for kind of learning to have non judgmental awareness of, of what we’re feeling, what’s going through our heads and what’s going through our bodies’ sensations. And also I’m all for making more space for intentionally seeking out what feels good, have more time and space where you get to feel the things that you really enjoy and, yeah, really feel pleasure.
J: Ooh, that there, umm, I really got from that like the permission or the choice not just to be aware of what has already happened or is currently happening in your body, but choice about what comes next. So maybe think of communication, including with ourselves as really, uhm, well, thinking of bodymind and thinking of bodymind wisdom. I can’t remember if you said that in order, if–I definitely wrote that down, I think you said that. But like bodymind wisdom where it’s like what feels good. OK, let’s try it at like even the willingness to be wrong and to just say, OK, never mind, sorry for that idea that no, [laughs] no, I don’t want that. Or like oh that was interesting, that gives me more ideas. And, like, I was just thinking, uhm, this feels strange for my brain, it’s because of the word playtime, but like I’m thinking about kids playing. So yes, this is in the context of adult sexuality. I’m also just thinking about how well kids communicate like, ooh, we’re in a castle and they’re like, yeah, and you’re the king and I’m this, right? And they have this whole conversation about what is there and present with each other, which is making me think about role playing, which is like just thinking about even I never thought about that about playing being in that phrase I always thought about the role part actually, but I’m really sitting with playing that just like it’s almost like improv, but in private where it’s like, I don’t know what if we were to do this and the other person is like oh, I don’t know what if we did, right? It doesn’t have to always be yes, not trying to imply that there’s no opportunity to say no, uhm, but just sort of thinking about the expansiveness, expansiveness of that which is what I think of when you’re using the word wisdom. I think of expansiveness because there’s limitless wisdom. We can just keep asking, we can just keep looking. There’s always going to be something, and we’re never going to uncover it all, so it feels really powerful. But play and wisdom and choice might go together. So it still feels weird that I went back to children [laughs], but I was just trying to give an example, so children.
M: I mean we could learn a lot from children, right? Like if you hang out with kids and, and it’s funny, too, with certain ages like I just hung out with my nephew who’s a toddler and so you know he’ll change his mind very quickly. Nope, now we’re doing this and, yeah, well, the way you know the grown pps that will just go with it, right? And what if we did that with ourselves as grownups, right? Like I feel like doing this, I changed my mind, actually I need to pause and get a drink of water, like you know? And yeah, we–there’s this preciousness sometimes around sex and a sexual experience or a date with someone that we feel like we might have a, and a story in our head about how it should go or what should happen. A lot of shoulds and then if it veers from that path, we’re like, Oh no it’s wrong, right? Versus being open to kind of feeling it out and seeing you know what you like together and you know where the overlap happens and and you know and yeah, and the role play example is great because it’s like it, it’s a container, it’s it’s a permission to just try on this other experience for a little bit and imagine what it would be like to be in this other dynamic. And, you know, there’s going to be things that people come up with that feel really exciting and hot, and then something that feels like definitely not no yucky, never want to be in that. Yeah and so that’s, that’s also a great way to learn, right? Like you said, what, what’s the wisdom of does that feel good or bad?
C: Hmm. It’s feeling really expansive. The idea of this playtime, because we live in a capitalist society and there are these very capitalist thoughts around everything. And like there’s this movement toward orgasm, movement toward procreation, whatever. And it’s this very puritanical view of sex. And I love the idea of it just being play and it’s, it’s in this capitalist society that we live in, play is not often allowed for adults, sexual or otherwise, so it feels really expansive to even let it exist that way, yeah.
J; Uh, my brain is saying sex is a radical act. Like radically vulnerable, radically transparent as you were talking about earlier, radically present. Not perfectly, just radically. I’m distinguishing that for myself because I try to make things that are radical perfect. [laughs] So I did that really intentionally.
J: Uhm, uhm, and especially thinking about like power structures. The next question that I have really comes to mind in this space, which is the second part of our podcast name. So Embodiment For The Rest of Us, the second half being the rest of us. I’m curious what the rest of us means to you. How do you identify within the rest of us, and we’d also love for you to identify your privileges in the same context, like who are you in these ways?
M: Yes, and sometimes it’s funny, I’m like, oh yes, I didn’t say this at the beginning. Uhm, but yeah I am a white, Jewish, femme, queer, pansexual, nonmonogamous, polyamorous, uhm, woman and I am a settler here in New Mexico. I come from folks in the northeastern United States and I’ve lived on Tiwa land here in Albuquerque, NM for the last 15 years. And so I think of myself as having privileged positions and oppressed positions in my life and, and I think of most of us having locations where there’s some privilege and some disprivileged, or, you know, oppressed categories of experience. And let’s see, and so the rest of us. Of course, I hear that as you know anyone who’s been marginalized, anyone who’s been in a position where they don’t have privilege and you know, I think it’s a great qualifier, a great description for the podcast like, you know, Embodiment For The Rest of Us, because if we and, and it, it’s interesting to think of in the container of the society we’re in. Because if we think of embodiment as some goal or some practice, you know, that’s a lot easier when you haven’t experienced depression or trauma. So all the things that keep us from embodiment that, that are maybe involved in survival, or maybe you know involved in, you know, getting through something difficult. Well, folks who are not safe in a, you know, white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal society, uhm, don’t have the privilege of just relaxing and scanning their body and and listening to their own needs. And that’s real like the systems of oppression don’t allow certain people at certain times to just check in with their bodies and listen to their bodies and follow what their needs are. And so yeah, I think of the rest of us as folks who have experienced some kind of marginalization and therefore, can’t just, you know, I don’t know. I picture like a lot of the whitewashed, spiritually bypassing capitalist sale of self care healing, you know, market. You know, like I think of a lot of that stuff and they think of who has access to that? You know, who has access to that type of embodiment, so I think of it as acknowledging all the structures that keep people from being able to access their own embodiment, their own pleasure.
C: Umm, one thing I’ve really liked that you just said in, in terms of being the rest of us is someone who doesn’t have the access. I think often that terminology around the rest of us is kind of putting the, not the onus, but the focus on what is happening to that person rather than what’s taken away. So when you think of marginalization, when I think of oppression, when I think of persecution, this is what’s being done to this person and now they’re a persecuted person or something like that rather than this is stripped from them, that access has been stripped from them. That’s a really powerful way of seeing the rest of us, like so much so that I need to, like, journal about what I think the rest of us is. Like, that’s sitting really heavily in my body right now, so I really appreciate your saying that. That’s really sitting really heavily with me right now. Ooh, I got chills! [laughs]
J: Ooh, I had a real physical response to that.
C: Oh man, yeah.
M: I think it’s so important like there’s so much potential and I’m a very stubborn, optimistic person in terms of people accessing pleasure and getting to be themselves and be authentic in their attraction and desire and gender and all of this. I think it’s so important to recognize all the totally real reasons that people can’t just do that.
J: Umm, it’s like what you were saying earlier, Molly, about, umm, like being transparent about what the reality is, uh, the directionality of the…I love that word persecution mixed in with oppression and marginalization because persecution is so intentional. Uhm, reminds me of fundamentalism, right? Purity culture taken to an extreme of this is the way we do things and we are all in this way, if you’re not, get out of here and we’re sitting in a room with the directionality, but also what I use for that. It’s almost like forcefulness, like, as distinct from choice, as distinct from individual power, power over one’s own embodiment. I just kind of was picturing that classic picture of a thumb pushing down on a person or their ideals, or their desires, or what feels good, push that down too, right? Like all these, uhh, it also reminds me of the phrase trickle down anything. Doesn’t have to be about a country’s economic structure, but just thinking about how there’s this idea that if the privileged have access to it that we’re going to get some of this too eventually, right? It’s going to come down to us eventually, so the rest of us are sitting in a place of what if we just got access, why do we have to wait for it to trickle down? Why is–who gets to decide that we have to wait? We have to–it reminds me of, like, the bootstraps type mentality of if you would just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You could also have the it’s to…I actually can’t remember who it was, but in the beginning of the pandemic, some celebrity who knows who it was, on some live somewhere, so it must be Instagram or something, said, well, I worked really hard for where I got and so they have to do that, too. So they have to do that too, like just talking about…
C: I feel like there’s more than one, one person who said that. I have a few thoughts. [laughs]
J: Yeah, I think that’s probably true. I was actually picturing quite a few faces so that makes sense. But in other words, like an immediate separation of the haves and the have nots in a pandemic gives a lot of forward-facing reality structure to who’s the rest of us and who’s not like who has all the privilege? Who has the intersections that line up to put them in a particular position and who is told that they weren’t given that? So why aren’t they working hard enough to get that, like, kind of sitting in this space? So where would there be time for pleasure? Where would there be, be time for sex, where would there be time for asking yourself, what feels good? If you always have to work towards getting to where the privileged are, even though they didn’t have to do any work to get there. It’s really making me angry as I’m sitting here saying that, uhm, and also thinking of the people who are harmed, the most like directly. Like, black trans folks murdered as unharmed when you were talking about who embodiment is easier for. And a presence of privilege and absence of trauma, it was really making me mad. I was just talking about waiting and, like, I was just getting that for waiting, I’m sorry, for people who have an intersection of privilege are the most privileged, they don’t have to wait, so it’s not just easy because they have the privileges. It’s because they specifically have the privilege of time that’s not filled with the energy of working through trauma, of continually being marginalized and oppressed, uhm, of having learned how to survive in this society through things like dissociation that you mentioned, right? Survival is pretty inherent over there with the privileged. So I was just really hearing, umm, kind of that space of privilege isn’t earned, it just is. And like how we often talk about which is making me, reminding me of the pandemic and all sorts of things. But sitting with individual responsibility is how we get out of this. I was just kind of sitting with, umm, maybe something that’s transparent or that is to get present to is how much it sucks that we have to unlearn things in order to be embodied.
J: I mean that was a lot of words. [laughs] It’s that conclusion, but like, just sometimes the thing to be present to is how much it sucks to have to unlearn that the–if someone caused us harm or a structure caused us harm or held us down in some way that they don’t also have to do the work that we have to. It’s just, uh, really like it makes sense, I, I get it and also it sucks. So I’m sort of I think maybe for the first time sitting with how some processes of embodiment aren’t just hard, they involve that grief you were talking about earlier. The loss of it being for someone else to undo that we have to do it even though we didn’t put ourselves in that position necessarily. It just sucks. It’s a real downer, sorry, [laughs] but this is the place where I’m sitting right now, like, Oh my gosh, this sucks.
M: Yeah, yeah, and I think it’s appropriate to have anger, rage, sadness, grief around all of that which, you know, it does remind me of the idea of pleasure, activism and how centering the pleasure of the most marginalized is good for everyone and you know shows us kind of those barriers to access and it also reminds me of like the Nap Ministry and Tricia Hersey’s work around like people having rest as reparations, like just the the radical nature of rest, like claiming rest. I think of that with like claiming pleasure and how important that is, and how revolutionary it is, right? For like, marginalized folks, BIPOC folks, queer and trans folks, too, and for fat people to like, have pleasure, right? To prioritize pleasure, not about other people, not about survival, and, and you know, performing some role or some image of what the dominant culture says is deserving of pleasure, but everyone.
C: Yeah, as a Black woman I am–we just talked about this before we started this podcast. How much I fucking hate not working right now, and it’s fine, it’s what I need to do. I’ve been working nonstop since I was 16 years old, or not having a full time gig, umm. But it freaking sucks. It really sucks right now and just leaning into that has been a part of my embodiment process lately. For sure it’s a, but it’s very necessary, too. I love the Nap ministry like, love, love, love, love that endeavor, yeah.
J: I think that’s a great example, too, because I see their work coopted almost more than anything else I see on social media. Uh, you know in the image when they put something on Instagram there is like a statement that I see end up seeing everywhere else, but there’s they’re very good at describing their intentionality for why they said that. What is the structure they’re specifically talking about and opposing that I find missing from other things?Uhm, and I’m just– ’cause we’re like in the space of grief and anger, I’m also sitting with how angry it makes me. How easy something that’s talking about, not being part of the usual system and is trying to be outside of it gets pulled into the usual system. Uh, thinking about that for, uhh, bodymind, in a bodymind. I, I’m like sitting with embodiment and bodymind both in my mind a lot today. Uhm, that, knowing that it doesn’t feel good to work this much or this often. How much we have to ignore that is also really sitting with me as a thing to uncover in a pleasure practice. What does it mean? As you were talking about,uh, pain you experience doing telehealth, I was also thinking about this like what does it mean to be present in our work? Supporting other people and not just bodymind and bodymind wisdom but like what actually feels like pleasure in those sessions. What does it feel like to bring those into session? Feels like a little revolution in this session and it feels really important, so I’m just kind of sitting with that, right now, which is giving some a place to put my angry energy. Just like it’s nice to put it in that container. [laughs]
M: I mean, I, when you were saying that I thought of just liberation. Like I thought of freedom, right? Like someone having the freedom, the liberation and feeling, the space to follow their pleasure.
C: Mmm. Yeah, absolutely.
J: Hmm. What an ultimate privilege, right? Like the different kind of intersection of privilege where it’s like you have access to something in that moment like that.
M: And you asked about pleasure or like I forget the question [aughs], but like in my work with folks, I feel like witnessing their, umm, kind of feeling entitled to pleasure, to joy, witnessing folks and supporting them in feeling that liberatory freedom to be with pleasure to seek it out, to prioritize their desires. That is a great joy. You know that like having that experience of witnessing people step into that is, is one of the great joys with my work for sure.
J: Yes. I, I have been phrasing that recently as a rush of connection. Something I never expected to experience through telehealth. So as soon as I found myself saying things like I really felt that over here and what I realized in those really connecting moments, that it was just hitting like a rush, it was feeling–it gives that it’s a, it’s another way of saying I had this feeling of like, so I’m supposed to be here in this moment, kind of feeling where it’s like, ah, that’s it, that’s the thing I’m here for. Uhm, because as we support people in their unlearning, we unlearn ourselves. Uhm, as we are present to other people’s goals, bodymind wisdom. We’re can be more in touch with our own, these kind of things are connecting and expansive in themselves with just the inquiry and the curiosity of it all, not even in the answers necessarily, but just in the the practice process, devotion to that and of that.
C: Before we go on to our next question, umm, could you more explicitly name what you see as your privileged identities as well as your kind of marginalized identities just so we can be more explicit in the podcast.
M: Yeah, so to name kind of, umm, positions from which I have privilege or marginalized identities. Uhm, I am white. I am a cisgender, uh, woman from the northeast. I have class privilege and educational privilege and I’m, I’m a settler here in New Mexico, on Tiwa land being from the Northeastern United States. And I’m, I’m also a queer pansexual Jewish, uhm, person who practices polyamory. Uhm and you know, I think, and umm, I recognize that I’m straight sized which is a new term to me. And so you know there are ways in which you know I’ve moved through the world with privilege, with a great deal of privilege as a white person and as a cisgender person, and then there are ways that I’ve experienced marginalization in my life. And it’s funny, I’m also thinking of naming being a young, when I was a young woman starting a business, like that was interesting. [laughs] When I was cofounding Self Serve Toys with Matie Fricker. We were in our late 20s and that was one of the more marginalizing experiences where, like starting a business that’s perceived as dirty and in the adult industry by, you know, the business world that decides what’s valuable and what’s an adorable idea for some young gals starting a business [laughs] Like that was one of the surprising moments of my life that I was like, wow, like, I, people really want me to be smaller and visible right now they don’t like what we’re doing and, and we got a lot of pushback from the city having a sex positive education based sex shop, you know, in Albuquerque, NM, so there, we had some legal issues, some zoning issues, a lot of people clearly didn’t like what we were doing. So taking up space, two queer woman, queer women, you know, starting a sex shop that you know centers marginalized folks and queer trans folks like that was not definitely popular with the powers that be. [laughs] So that’s funny that that came to mind. That, that would be something that like in my day to day life I would always think of.
C: Thank you so much for answering that. I have been really appreciative when people are a bit more explicit, more intentional about it because I think that we all have certain aspects of our identity, obviously, and some people might see that as privileges and another person might see them as a, uh, marginalized identity. So it’s really interesting just to see how it, it shows up for people, so I appreciate that. Thank you.
M: And it depends.
C: Yeah right. [laughs] Yeah, I was on a podcast a few days ago as a guest and I named being a dark Black woman as a privilege and most people don’t often do that. But one thing I appreciate about it is that I never have, I’ve literally never been asked, what are you? There’s no doubt.[laughs] Just a super Black lady living a super Black life. So, like, my kids are biracial they don’t always look…we’ve been asked, like, you know so that kind of thing. So I, I, umm, I appreciate when people can just kind of parse through that for themselves. So thanks for answering that.
J: Oh, uhm, both distinctions and nuances. I love when those two things show up together like something feels really clear. And it’s also like and it depends because that actually just feels honest and like you mentioned earlier, like life is not a vacuum, we don’t, we don’t live in vacuums, like, so I, I really appreciated that because I can hear the not vacuumness of that
C: Yeah, like Sheila, who we had a few weeks, a few episodes ago, named having a history of mental health struggles as both a privilege and a, umm, and a disadvantage for lack of a better word. It’s, you know, it’s kind of that there’s at least there’s exposure, there’s…people talk about it now, so at least, so I, I just really like learning how people kind of see what their, how their identities match up. So thank you, I appreciate that.
C: OK, so we’re going to move on to another topic. I want to talk a little bit about gender dysphoria. Can we start off by asking you to define what that is for people who might not know and also what embodiment practices do you recommend for people who are experiencing gender dysphoria?
M: Yeah, and I would say, uh, you know, the, I would guess the textbook definition of gender dysphoria, I would direct people to the DSM 5, which in itself is part of the, uh, you know, medical industrial complex, mental health industrial complex. And a lot of, just the term in itself, gender dysphoria is problematic for a lot of folks as being seen as a disorder. Umm, and for some people it’s very validating and for some it’s honestly just a point of access for health care in the current structures that we have. So in order to have access to the tools and medical resources that some people need to live their best life, for them to feel right in their body, their bodymind, uhm, then, to access hormones or to access surgical treatment. Uhm, you know community like having terms, right? Having words can help. Uhm, but yeah, I would think of it generally as people using it to describe that aspects of their gender do not like and the assigned sex at birth do not match their current gender identity, and they’re going to be folks that that’s a more binary story where they were assigned female at birth and identify as more masculine or male later in life and or vice versa, or there’s going to be folks who just no gender or binary gender doesn’t fit at all, and there’s more of a non binary gender identity or gender fluidity. I’m, so I’m a cisgender person so I would never cite myself as the best resource for anything about transgender nonbinary experience. So I would always direct folks to other resources and listen to people who are trans who have lived experience and at the same time I would say I do work with a lot of trans and non binary folks who, you know, kind of discovering where they want to sit with their own gender identity. And if and whether and how come some kind of medical transition is part of their path and how they relate to their body sexually and erotically, and or with other people, how they relate to other people in erotic relationship and play. I, I will have to say, first and foremost, like, want to definitely shout out and share gratitude for Lucie Fielding, who’s a sex therapist and educator and just wrote the book this past year, Trans Sex. Uhm, the full name has Clinical Approaches To Trans Sexuality and Erotic Embodiments, and it is an amazing, totally accessible book really about queering sex therapy. So those who are listening or therapists, I think it’s a great book for any therapist, because if you want to be centering trans and non binary folks, then again, like whenever we center marginalized folks, it’s going to benefit everybody. And so Lucie has great resources about embodiment, uhm, about freeing ourselves from what they call functional fixedness about, you know, expecting body parts and toys and things to have certain narrow specific uses and freeing ourselves from those kind of narrow expectations and assumptions. Uhm, you know, they talk about, uhm, you know, kind of a more expansive view of erotic play and desire, and so there’s a lot of resources in there and there’s contributions from other folks that are trans and nonbinary, so it’s just a wealth of resources, so I have to name her book. And I would say in terms of embodiment, I was thinking of something I said earlier about. You know there might be a feeling like, oh, we want to be really positive. We want to really focus on pleasure and jump to what feels good, and I think first sometimes that means some giving permission to not focus on parts that don’t feel good. So if there’s parts of the body that there’s a tense, you know, relationship with permission to not go there. Learning how to have first maybe a neutral relationship with certain parts of the body and feeling embodied and then moving towards what feels good like and I think for anybody, uhm, noticing how in your, in your senses, in your five senses do you feel pleasure? Like what are things that are already experiences that bring you pleasure? So for someone that can be the smell of a candle or a fireplace, or it can be the taste of ice cream or a sip of tea, or it can be putting on lotion on our feet or, you know, it can be listening to certain music. All of those sensory experiences are definitely an opportunity to find a way to pleasure and starting with things that already feel good that you know, feel good are a great way to start. So really, just practicing experiences that are, are already verbal and then building from there. I also think, uhm, you know I work with a lot of folks where they really want a pleasurable, satisfying sex life with another person with a partner and/or partners and I really think the relationship to your own sexual self is the first one to work on. So getting to know and again this can start from neutral, so if there’s a way to practice a kind of body scan meditation but with touching, so just neutrally exploring the body with your own hands, uhm, just seeing how things feel. Uhm, there’s a practice of sensate focus in the sex therapy world where people focus on temperature, texture and I’m blanking on the third thing–temperature, texture, and I don’t know, movement, so I might be getting that wrong. But basically neutral observing of what things feel like. There’s also great ideas from Betty Martin if you look at her work on how to touch and exploring, just describing in neutral language like ooh, that’s, that’s prickly or that’s ticklish, or that’s smooth, or that’s rough or that’s hot or cold or clammy. The more that we can practice kind of a nonjudgmental description of what touch feels like or what our bodies feel like, I think then we can start to be with touch and be with sensations and so that can be a practice that we do with ourselves. And then, you know, ideally maybe that can be like bringing mindfulness to masturbation, to self love practices, so that there’s kind of more room and space for really focusing on the pleasure, right? Like so that it can grow. So if we pay attention to the pleasure and really embrace it, then hopefully we can feel more of it, experience more of it. And so I think all of those practices, umm, can be a great place to start for anybody, and you know, I would say with other people or even with the relationship to self finding words for body parts can be really empowering too. So there’s a lot of folks who are trans who don’t relate to anatomical or typical language for genitals, or for body parts, and so finding terms that feel fun and sexy and accessible. Uhm, so that they can talk about their bodies and so, like for example, I, there’s so many fun ones like, I mean, I’ve just heard like front hole, back hole, or like male slot was a funny one. You know I’ve heard strapless strap-ons and so there’s all these different, you know, saying clit for different size clits, you know different body parts. So there’s, there’s all these different ways to name and acknowledge and embrace and celebrate bodies and words can certainly be part of that, too.
C: Oh! I, I have a few comments to say about what you just said, ’cause it was such a wonderful answer. But in the moment, if I need to repair, do you have a different term for gender dysphoria? For people who don’t feel comfortable using that term, like something that feels more inclusive, more accessible in case I did say something that wasn’t supportive.
M: No, I think that’s a great question.
M: I think placing it in context of just medical use is important to me and so I’m always gonna support if someone’s like, this fits me, it’s, it reminds me honestly of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I feel like there are folks who, or any mental health diagnosis, like, someone might find a diagnosing label as really helpful and validating, and you know, acknowledging what they’re experiencing and just validating it, right? That it exists. And for some people, it, it’s like just gender diversity.
C: Ah, okay.
M: So like you know there are folks who are, you know, born into a cisgender, you know, world that is very binary and limiting and, and, and then we pathologize the folks who don’t, like, abide. You know, who don’t fit.
C: Yeah, I really like gender diversity. Thank you for sharing that with me. That was really, really great. That’s really helpful.
M: And I also, I really like gender expansiveness.
C: Huh, perfect. Thank you so much.
J: Mmm. I love the power of language and the rephrasing of something. Yes, there is, there can be power in a clinical diagnosis. It’s just a lens or perspective to try on, something to try on. And, and also, just, uhm, these phrases like diversity and expansiveness that look to where else we can look at, not just at what’s hard, also feels like bodymind wisdom. I was kind of getting that from what you both were saying.
M: And there’s so much freedom and again, like, if we think of where, you know, I love that in a lot of indigenous cultures and two-spirit histories, there’s a lot of, of, you know, indigenous groups where two-spirit folks are seen as like having a special gift and access to different spiritual resources and more, [laughs] you know, than other folks. And I think, in Lucie Fielding’s book, she does a great job of also acknowledging the power and the expansiveness of the, the liberatory power of not being attached to these narrow binary definitions of sex and bodies. And, umm, you know how we relate. And so, uhm, yeah, there’s so much freedom in that and, you know, that benefits everyone, right? Even if someone’s cis..
C: Yeah, I love the word expansive, so I, I’m really feeling drawn to that one ’cause it just feels joyful to me. I really, I really appreciate that absolutely, thank you so much for that answer. I was scribbling intensely, intently, I suppose, ‘cause it’s just giving so many things that I can’t wait to read and learn about, so that was, that’s really fantastic.
J: Hmm. So this next, we’ll call it a mega question for me, it’s pretty wordy. [laughs] It’s pretty wordy, but it’s, it’s actually touching on so many different things that we’ve already talked about, and, and also brings in fatness, which we referred to sometimes, and I think is an important, umm, identity or marginalization to center when it comes to pleasure. Uhm, so one thing I’ve already noticed and something I was sitting with before talking to you is, Molly, that you have such a gift for making concepts and perspectives on pleasure, joy, fun, satisfaction feel new and approachable. That’s already my experience of you, especially in shifting the framing of the experience of being in a fat body or any other marginalization that we might put there. What would you define as pleasure liberation? I love that we’re already kind of going there, especially in a fat body. And what do you wish everyone understood about pleasure?
M: I love that, uhm, and I, I love that I feel like in particular when I think of folks and fat bodies or I would say it reminds me of ,like, maybe overlap with folks and disabled bodies and, and folks who are Black, Indigenous or folks of color, like there’s so much in our society that says,, you know, you should be invisible or we just are ignoring your needs or your existence. There’s this invisibility. And, uhm, so there’s something about what feels related to pleasure liberation is about folks and fat bodies or other marginalized experiences taking up space. And like I think of literally taking up space, like having a bigger body and needing space and that being totally OK and wonderful and also how radical it is in a world that’s like be small, be small, small. Uhm, and you know, sex and pleasure is messy, bodies are messy and awkward. Uhm, so there’s a reality check with sex for anybody, I think, umm, of and I would say, you know, for most folks that don’t have like or as Sonya Renee Taylor says, like at the top of the ladder, the imaginary ladder, whose bodies don’t work the way some Hollywood or porn story has told us they should look or work. But there’s something that’s really a reality check about recognizing bodies, like, with rolls, with sweat, with fluids, with hair, uhm, that I think is really powerful to embrace and recognize in, in order to have pleasure. In order to really, uhm, enjoy ourselves that requires not being obsessed with, uh, some idea of a beauty standard, that’s like, you know, fatphobic and skinny and ableist and white and light skinned, you know? So like there’s something about people in bigger bodies, you know people in marginalized identities taking up that space. Uhm, you know, letting, umm, boobs and rolls and, you know, fat be what it is and move the way it’s going, to hair and sweat and smells and fluids happening, umm, that I think is the visceral rawness that is, that can be sex and, umm, and it can be liberating, right? Like to witness someone else, to be witnessed in a sexual capacity with somebody else in that space and embraced, right? Like celebrated and pursuing joy and pleasure in that space. That feels like really experiencing pleasure, experience–like centering and experiencing joy in a way that’s so liberating that, I think, is so powerful and on that person’s terms, right? So, you know, I think there’s ways in which, you know, there’s so much toxicity and fatphobia in terms of fat women’s bodies and trans bodies, and so and like so many just fucked up, you know, toxic narratives about, like, not being entitled to joy and pleasure or connection and marriage and relationship or whatever people desire. Uhm, and accommodating or being grateful for being loved like it’s like, uh, you know, not their right. And I, I think there’s something so radical about centering, you know, fat folks’ joy and beauty and pleasure and celebrating bodies and seeing those bodies as beautiful and sexy and luscious and delicious and all of that. And so, so yeah, so I think, and again, if we go back to sensation, like if we go back to actual embodiment like people’s actual sensations and how it feels. Of course there’s so many people that can feel so much pleasure in a beautiful, luscious big body and there’s so many people that would want to be with the person in that body and feel their body and enjoy their body to get there. And so there’s a way in which I think we lose out on so much potential for pleasure when we have such a narrow idea of who gets to have pleasure, who gets to be centered in their needs and their pleasure. Uhm yeah, and so yeah, like, like all different marginalized experiences, I feel like if we think of the reality of different sized bodies and especially pairings of people with different sized bodies. So someone who’s bigger and smaller, people with big bellies or big butts, like that’s going to impact also, the logistics of sex and like, sexual positions and, uhh, the body positions that we can be in. And again, if you think of, like, people with disabilities, people with pain issues, uhm, you know, just different bodies. When we acknowledge that all the different bodies need different things to feel good or be comfortable, then that’s good for everybody, right? To acknowledge that that’s part of sex. That’s part of navigating touch and boundaries and all of that.
J: Uhm I love this, well there’s many a journal prompt in that one. Uh, thinking about navigating pleasure together like navigating playtime, uhm, is really sitting with me as an inclusive activity. Uh, noticing what is there asking what makes someone else feel comfortable, not just like in, is this pleasurable for you, but also, are you comfortable? Those things just suddenly sat as distinct for me and I really appreciate that distinction. Uh, or I enjoy being slightly uncomfortable in this way was also occurring to me that that could be pleasurable. So thinking like just layered, you use that word earlier and I’ve just really been sitting with that, but it’s very layered. That was beautiful. I was like, ahh, that’s such an invitation.
C: That’s exactly the word I was thinking of, it’s an invitation. Absolutely.
C: You co-founded Self Serve, an incredible sex positive adult shop and resource center here in Albuquerque. You also just bought a building here with two colleagues named Aliso Roots Community Collective which is focused on liberatory healing. Why do you think physical spaces are so important in leading to and fostering liberation?
M: I love the question. I appreciate the question and it’s something that until you asked, I might not think about as like a category, uhh, so it’s really fun and exciting to acknowledge. Uhm, yes. In 2007 just about 15–almost, next week in January, when we’re recording, this is the 15 year anniversary of Self Serve Toys, and that’s pretty exciting and phenomenal. I co-founded Self serve with Matie Fricker who is the current owner. I left in 2014 to full time pursuit of social work and becoming a therapist and a sex therapist and so she has been the sole owner and kept that beautiful resource alive through the pandemic. So, and just actually opened a lingerie shop, Self Serve Body, by the way. So it’s a size inclusive, gender inclusive lingerie store, so that’s exciting. And, and you know when we started Self Serve, it was definitely to create more space for sex education for grown ups where anybody could walk in the door and ask about toys, say for sex, strap on sex, you know, gender accessories like binding or packing, lubricant, you know, sexual side effects from illness from life changes, just talk about the technical stuff. Talk about, you know, shame or, you know, questions about masturbation, porn, we used to rent DVDs back in the day when there were DVDs. And so, you know, creating a space that was safer, right? That, uhm, centered and affirmed queer and trans people and people of all sizes, people of all abilities, uhm, people about genders. And, so, uh, yeah, so that I mean that space is a magical space. Like yes, it’s a place that you can go and get a vibrator. And that is probably. What mostly pays the bills, I would guess because vibrators are great and a revolutionary tool for a lot of people’s pleasure and a lot of people really it’s just a revolutionary, affirming, liberating experience to go in and be able to acknowledge their own sexuality with other humans and see that there’s toys out on the shelf that you can pick up and touch. You know lubricant that you can feel in your hand and see what it’s like. So really, taking the, the taboo and the, the hidden nature in our society, out of sexuality, and so that really blooms in a place where there’s space right for people to talk, for people to look to ask questions to not know. And so yeah, that space is really revolutionary and I love it and I’m so proud of Matie for keeping it going. And back before pandemic times we did have workshops there, so there were, you know, in person, adult sex ed workshops and relationship workshops, and so that was really part of it, too, is to have space for learning about sex and relationships. And so that feels really important to have a place to be able to go and ask those questions and share knowledge and share community. So there were also a lot of times when the community would use the space for a meeting or a workshop, and so one of the first things, a fat positive group was one of the first ind of groups that met in the space. And that was, you know, back in like 2007, 2008 and and then later on there were, you know, 12 step groups and other queer and trans groups that would meet in the space. So it was also providing a space for community to gather. Yeah, and I would say Alisa Roots, you know that’s a very new project with Amanda Wilder and April Lee, two wonderful colleagues and social workers and therapists. And uhm, you know, Amanda has led and co-facilitated a group here in New Mexico of behavioral health providers that serve the LGBTQ2S+ communities for a long time and over 13 years, I think that we’ve gathered monthly to consult on cases and share resources and support one another and a lot of the therapists are queer and trans ourselves, and so it’s a place for community, a place to refer and find resources for clients. And, umm, and then I’ve known Amanda for a long time. I think, was, was thinking about, could there be like a queer trans kind of focused therapy center in town. And, and so, it’s not quite that, but essentially it was really April and Amanda who invited me to join them in creating an office space that would center queer trans BIPOC marginalized folks.And so you know, we were looking for months and months and this summer found a building in Nob Hill, Albuquerque and there’s, I think, like 8 offices and a big conference room and, you know, gender neutral, single use restrooms and wheelchair accessibility. And you know we now wanted to create a space where, you know, healing of queer trans BIPOC folks is centered, so you know we’re really hoping to be intentional about that. People just started moving in. It’s, it’s brand new as of, you know, the fall/winter of 2021 and there’s some new people still moving in early 2022. And there’s folks who are psychotherapists, there’s folks who do Reiki and massage and other healing modalities. There is an endocrinologist, so someone who can help folks with hormone therapy. Uhm, there is someone that’s going to create chrysalis therapy, which is really exciting, kind of like a holding space in a yoga swing.
C: Oh my gosh.
M: So that folks can experience like resting and being held with different kinds of grounding holding positions. Uhm, there’s actually a community organizer, social justice, racial justice consultant who’s going to use the space part time, and there might be a prescribing psychologist at some point. So really trying to have different kinds of opportunities for healing and also hoping that the space feels affirming and welcoming, umm, to marginalized folks, so talking to new tenants about not using gendered language with people walking in the door or kind of having a trauma informed space so that it’s quiet and not too stimulating for different folks walking in. Respecting people’s physical personal boundaries, of course, maintaining COVID safety, you know, and then hoping that the conference room, when it’s safe, will be an opportunity for workshops, yoga trainings that, you know, also, you know, work to serve our communities so it’s very exciting. I think, you know, we also had…I love that folks from my Jewish community helped do a blessing before we opened the building and April had folks from her spiritual community come and cleanse and bless the building. So there’s a lot of intention around really trying to make this space as welcoming and healing and holding for both the clients and the folks who work there. And so we’re really hoping it’s a magical place and you know, it’s something that you know, especially being isolated, working from home in the pandemic that I almost have forgotten about what a joy it is to just be around folks who shared values, you know, during the day and get to meet a friend and or talk about a hard session or support each other with our own healing journeys and our own work, you know, in the mental health field you know, in my case. And so what a joy it’s going to be that we have each other as well. Like all the folks that are working in that space and, and I love that. Like so far, we have one neighbor that’s, you know, doing social justice, racial justice consulting and, and, you know, it’s like they’re in the macro world of life changing the world. And I feel like a lot of us are working one on one with folks in the micro kind of way. So it takes all forms, yeah, so I think it’s–recently I heard people use the term world building and how, you know, a lot of us are feeling like we’re in late stage capitalism, apocalyptic times and it’s, it’s real scary out there and real depressing at times out there and there’s a lot of loss. A lot of things that don’t work and I love the idea of how can we, in different ways, envision and build a world that we want to live in, that, that we know that there are people, there is community of folks who see a different world as possible. And so I love that we’re, you know, taking up space in that way. Uhm, and, and so creating a space that you know centers on that.
C: Ah, so it sounds like a very magical place. When you opened it I said if I didn’t live like 100 miles away, I don’t really. But I live, like, on the outskirts of town, way too far away to even get over there on a regular basis, I would be there in a heartbeat. It just sounds like such a gift to be in that space with other people who have the same mindset and the same goal in helping others. But I absolutely agree with your idea that, that idea of worldbuilding, it’s so important to create those physical spaces so that you can feel held and heard and seen. And it sounds like that’s what you’ve done in both instances.
M: Yeah, and it’s collaborative, right? Like we’re, we’re calling it Aliso Roots Community Collective. Umm, we’re on the street named Aliso, and we love that that’s a tree in Spanish, and so like we’re building roots, we’re hoping to build those roots and have it branch out and, and support others in their journey of healing, yeah. And so yeah, it’s, it’s a magical thing for sure.
J: Oh my gosh. I’m picturing sensory grounding swings and just thinking about how walking in there is going to be healing like as a baseline, also treating from the margins. Umm, it’s amazing.
C: It is.
J: You could have talked about it for another hour, but like this is so exciting.
C: Tell me more. [laughs]
J: Right? Yeah, that’s, that’s really where I’m sitting with it.
C: Yeah, yeah, it’s such a gift.
M: Yeah, we’re trying to, like, just do it differently, so, like, naming the privileges and positionality of the owners of the building, like those of us that have become landlords, yeah, trying to elevate the needs of the people that are renting in the space. So, you know, if we think of you know what community agreements we want to have, of how we treat each other, and move around in the space, like checking in with the folks who are renting space and how they feel about that and what would they change or contribute to that. So really trying to shift the power dynamics of like also, you know, a project that has owners and tenants you know.
J and C: Hmm.
C: I, I also agree with Amanda in that I want to open a mental health practice for a group practice and it’s, it’s so daunting. So I love this idea of doing building, too. Because it doesn’t, it feels obviously daunting, obviously, but it’s different, it’s daunting in a different way. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful thing.
M: Yeah, ’cause it’s like we’re all independent.
M: So, like if you have the space or, like, whatever, like, kind of recruit like minded folks. Yeah they could have this, but like y’all still have communities.
C: Yeah. That’s such a gift, that’s amazing.
J: And it’s so rare to be wheelchair accessible. Uh, yeah, and serving this particular community like I only thing they have is hospitals and they barely get by with that. Right? Like I want to sit in the space of like the sparking of the information and what it’s making, like, percolate in me.
C: [sighs] Okay. So, we’ve talked a lot about big and small picture perspectives in this conversation. What do you think we can all do to make a difference with what we’ve learned here today?
M: Where to go? Where to go from here? Uhm, I mean I think sometimes the tiniest little movements are the most accessible, so like, you know, for talking about embodiment just bringing more awareness whenever we can remember to our own experience, to our own reality of, of what we’re feeling in the moment, what our needs are in the moment. Something that we didn’t really get to yet or talk about explicitly which Lucie Fielding has a version of this practice in her book Trans Sex is like embodiment, practices of leaning into yes and no. And so I think of, uhm, thinking of something that you know is a yes. For example, like, if your favorite food or tea or drink or coffee or treat or something like that and like noticing what does it feel like when that thing is in front of you or when, you know, you’re about to enjoy it? Umm,really getting to know what your yes feels like. Like, which, you know, as I don’t think we said Adrienne Maree Brown’s name yet somehow. But in her book Pleasure Activism, she definitely talks about, uhm, you know all the ways that pleasure activism like what it is and how we can practice that and you know that you know making, making room for the no also makes room for the yes. So sometimes we also are more clearly in a survival based way. We’re more in touch with what to know before we’re in touch with what’s a yes. And so listening to what to know. And, and also on the other side of that, practicing celebrating other people’s no. So you know, learning from I want to say Marcia Baczynski and Reid Mihalko, who did cuddle parties in the 90s, talked about, like, they had consent workshops and they would talk about treating a maybe as a no and then practicing thanking people for their no. So you can do this just as a practice where you even construct it. Set it up with somebody and say, you know, I’m gonna offer you something and you’re gonna say no and I’m gonna appreciate that. And someone saying no and saying thank you for telling me thank you for taking care of yourself. And I think the more that we also practice appreciating other people’s boundaries and other people know the more we’re also helping other people really claim their boundaries and, you know, feel good about saying no because so many of us have difficulty with that. And so I think both learning and feeling into what says yes and getting in touch with that. You know, practicing that as well as celebrating no and supporting one another in our no is a huge but, you know, accessible small way and day-to-day life that we can try to practice embodiment and boundaries.
J: Hmm. Acknowledging and appreciating consent. Wow. I do not want to end this podcast and I will be asking the last question.
J and C: [laugh][1:47:37]
J: Thank you, Molly, so much for being here with us as we finish up this episode today. What would you like everyone listening to know about what you’re up to and how they can find you? And if you’d like to answer now, what direction do you see your career and our work taking in the future?
M: Hmm. Great question. Let me know. No, I’m just kidding.
M: Well, let’s see right now my professional home or whatever you want to call it is Sex Therapy New Mexico. So sextherapynm.com is my website where stuff about me could be found and I for the last few years have been trying to do some continuing education trainings. So I will have different trainings, mostly for therapists, but all kinds of healing practitioners can benefit really centering on trans and queer experiences, marginalized folks, and and sex therapy approaches things in that. Umm, and so I’ve been inviting other, wise brilliant humans to present and supporting their education as well as presenting myself. Uhm, different CE topics and it’s a funny thing about sex therapy. I feel like and and being a therapist like you know, in a lot of different fields we’re required to get continuing education. I think that’s really important and in the realm of sexuality and gender I feel like there’s a lot of folks where it’s like, oh, there’s an excuse that I like professionally have to get the CE training, but then I can go learn about sex and gender and kink and interesting things that I might not attend a workshop on if it weren’t for the continuing ed part. And so I love that our jobs can be a way to learn more about ourselves as well of course, so bringing ourselves into that. I, I hope that there will be more in person opportunities for community at Aliso Roots Community Collective. So I look forward to the collaborations that will happen among the folks that are working there among other community members coming in and teaching and holding space and, uhm, that’s really exciting. Uhm, what else? I think that’s it. I mean, we’ll see. I’m, I’m a sex therapist and I, I do like working in the realm of sex therapy and in the future I may be, you know, becoming a supervisor or, you know, working with more folks coming up. I’m really excited when I hear of other people in school wanting to pursue sex therapy, especially focusing and centering marginalized attendees. So you know if folks are students or hoping to explore that career or sex educators and ever want to like talk shop and or think about their own launching of their career I’m always excited to talk to folks about that and support more of that because I think we just we have such a need in our communities for people to heal and explore and talk about sex and gender. And so, so if you’re interested, if you’re listening to this and you’re interested in that career, please join me and you will have a great time and there’s going to be all kinds of people that want to work with you. I’m always like come join us!
M and C: [laughs]
J: That expansiveness that we were talking about earlier, I could, I could hear that and feel that in what you were saying. OK, still don’t want to end and thank you for being here with us. We adore you. This was amazing. I’ve never had so many journal topics for myself, and, and I’m just really excited for the reading list that you’ve given me also, today. I really didn’t know much about where to look for any of these things, and I’m just so ready to do that also.
C: So thankful, and before you even came on, we both said like we’ve decided that you were going to be our friend and colleague. So like it’s even more intense, our feelings are even more intensified at this one, but like I was really already like her, I don’t even know why, but I do like she’s gonna be. [laughs]
M: We felt our connection even before.
C: I felt it, I felt it, yes, exactly. So this has been such a gift, such an honor. I’ve learned so much and I think the people who listen will learn so much, too.
M: Thank you, thank you for having this podcast and creating this space for the rest of us.
J: Thank you, thank you for validating that. Thanks so much. Oh OK, I wish I–speaking of touch hunger, I wish I could give you both a hug.
C: Skin hunger. [laughs]
J: Oh, skin hunger! Even better. [laughs] I wish I could give you both a hug right now. Okay, bye!
C: Air hug! Bye! [laughs]
J: Thank you for listening to season 2 of the Embodiment for the Rest of Us podcast. Episodes will be published every two weeks-ish (because let’s be real here) wherever you listen to podcasts.
C: You can also find the podcast at our website, embodimentfortherestofus.com and follow us on social media, on both Twitter @embodimentus
J: And on Instagram @embodimentfortherestofus We look forward to being with you again next time in conversation.