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Diane Musho Hamilton: The Evolutionary Power of Mindfu...

Diane Musho Hamilton is a spiritual teacher, mediator, and group facilitator who has been studying mindfulness for more than 30 years. She is a featured presenter for A Year of Mindfulness, Sounds True’s yearlong online meditation program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Diane discuss how her experience with mindfulness has helped her to become an effective group mediator. Diane speaks on how mindfulness skills transfer to interpersonal communication and skillful relationship—especially when it comes to being able to take on someone else’s perspective. Finally, Tami and Diane talk about the importance of relating to others with different views than us and how we can foster a better, more open engagement with the entirety of the world. (69 minutes)

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Justin Michael Williams, Shelly Tygielski, and Mario V...

The end of racism—really? When your eyes stop rolling, tune in to this podcast to hear why it’s actually possible—in our lifetimes—to free our society from systemic racial oppression and  injustice. In part one of this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin Michael Williams and Shelly Tygielski about their new book, How We Ended Racism. In part two, filmmaker and activist Mario Van Peebles joins the conversation to share his own hope-giving perspective. 

This stirring and uplifting podcast explores the five assumptions that perpetuate racism; the eight pillars of possibility; the pledge to help end racism; how our inner work relates to the outer change that we’re working toward; assertion versus assessment, and learning to recognize our own biases; shadow work and confronting the concept of supremacy; taking action where we’re standing right now; “loving with bigger arms”; crossing the divide within families; the metaphor of the inherited house; the practice of calling forward; intraconnection; the link between exposure and empathy; the SUSS process: State, Uncover, Synergize, and Select; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Stefani Goerlich: Understanding Kink and Advocating fo...

You’re kinky but your partner is vanilla. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Perhaps you’ve always known; perhaps you just found out. So how do you talk about it? And what happens next? 

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with “edge expert,” certified sex therapist, and master social worker Dr. Stefani Goerlich about her new book, With Sprinkles on Top: Everything Vanilla People and Their Kinky Partners Need to Know to Communicate, Explore, and Connect. Give a listen to this much-needed discussion about destigmatizing kink and expanding our definition of a healthy relationship, as Tami and Stefani discuss: reassessing our sexual attitudes; how kinky became taboo; bringing kink into the “cultural redemption arc”; the misconceptions about trauma and kink; the concept of authority exchange; surrender and relaxation; kink as a relational, not a sexual, behavior; moving from secrecy to shared knowledge; decorating and enhancing one’s “core vanilla-ness”; discovering your fantasies; the nature of fetishes; understanding your erotic map; and more.

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Erotic Authenticity: Replacing Shame with Celebration

Sometime last year, I was having a conversation with a close relative of mine. I had sent them a recent news story I was quoted in and had been met with… silence. Eventually, I nudged a little bit and they responded, saying “I’m sorry, I just can’t be proud of someone who talks about sex and sex toys for a living. It’s embarrassing.” As we unpacked this statement, it became clear that they were unable to see the good—any good—in my work. As a therapist, as a writer, as an educator… my work was shameful in their eyes.  In that moment, I understood my clients in a way I never had before.

With Sprinkles on Top was already finished by the time this occurred, but if it hadn’t? This conversation would have inspired me to write it. It can be incredibly painful to have someone you love tell you that “What you do is wrong. Who you are is not OK.” Many kinky people are afraid that if they share their innermost selves with the ones they love most, they too will be rejected, written off as broken or creepy or wrong. I wrote Sprinkles because I believe deeply that every single human being deserves to feel loved and worthy and whole, to know that their innermost desires are not just valid but beautiful, and to find others who can celebrate this beauty and their relationships together with them.

Sprinkles is also written for the partners of these kinky people, many of whom tell me that, if their spouse had just been willing to share their desires, they would have happily explored with them. For the spouses who don’t understand the fantasies or intimate practices they’re learning about and who need a guide to help them navigate these new relationship waters. For the men and women who call my office afraid—afraid that there’s something wrong with their partner or something inadequate in themselves.

They want me to “fix” them. I want to celebrate them.

With Sprinkles on Top is not a “how to” book. It’s a “what now?” book. My goal is to celebrate the things that make each person and each relationship unique and delightful—and to help them discover new unique qualities in themselves and new ways to delight one another. I want to celebrate vanilla relationship values while also normalizing and affirming kinky identities. I want to help my readers find new and exciting ways to enhance their own core sexual and relational “flavor” through interactive activities they do by themselves and with their partner.

Differences in desire represent an exciting opportunity to strengthen and reinforce the bonds of intimacy and trust we have created within our relationships, while also expanding the erotic playground we enjoy together. We don’t have to change who we are. We don’t have to be ashamed of what we want or embarrassed to talk about it. Sexuality, desire, and intimacy are, to me, sacred gifts. I’m honored to be able to help my readers, my clients, and others to build happier, healthier relationships with their bodies, their partners, and themselves. I hope you enjoy the process of finding your sprinkles and using them to communicate, explore, and connect with the one(s) you love.

Kol Tuv,

Stefani Goerlich

Stefani Goerlich, PhD, LMSW-Clinical, LISW, LCSW, CST, is a certified sex therapist and master social worker who specializes in working with gender, sexuality, and relationships. She is a sought-after clinical supervisor, media consultant, and conference presenter who has appeared in media ranging from CNN and the Washington Post to Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue. She is the award-winning author of the professional books The Leather Couch and Kink-Affirming Practice.

Author photo © Kim Williams

With Sprinkles on Top

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