Erin Falconer

Erin Falconer is an author, digital entrepreneur, and the editor-in-chief and co-owner of PickTheBrain, one of the most trusted self-improvement communities online. She was named “one of the top digital entrepreneurs in Los Angeles” by Los Angeles Confidential and one of the “Top 10 Women Changing the Digital Landscape for Good” by Refinery29. Erin has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and lives in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at erinfalconer.com.

Author photo © Louis-Delavenne:Revolutionpix

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A Love Letter to Friendships . . . And How to Break Up...

Erin Falconer is an author, digital entrepreneur, and the editor-in-chief and co-owner of PickTheBrain, one of the most trusted self-improvement communities online. She was named “one of the top digital entrepreneurs in Los Angeles” by Los Angeles Confidential and one of the “Top 10 Women Changing the Digital Landscape for Good” by Refinery29. She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is the author of the books, How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything So They Can Achieve Anything and, with Sounds True, How to Break Up with Your Friends: Finding Meaning, Connection, and Boundaries in Modern Friendships.

In this podcast, Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, speaks with Erin Falconer about the unique power of our personal friendships and how we can work to improve them—or let them go if necessary. Tami and Erin also discuss: opening to our inner guidance and the voice of truth within, why taking 100 percent responsibility for our lives leads to 100 percent freedom, taking an audit of your friendships—including what Erin calls “exposing the mediocrity,” self-knowledge and personal energy management, bringing clearer intentionality and deeper commitment to our friendships, difficult conversations and applying the concept of “rupture and repair” to relationships with friends, making amends in previous friendships, Erin’s “friendship questionnaire,” and much more.

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William Ury: Being a Possibilist

A healthy relationship—whether that’s between two people or two nations—is not one in which everyone agrees; it’s one where it’s safe for differences, and we have the skills to honor all of our needs. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with renowned mediator and bestselling author, William Ury, about his new book, Possible and the insights he has gleaned through more than four decades of conflict-resolution across the globe. 

If you only listen to one podcast this year, may it be this one! Tami and William discuss: Meeting animosity with curiosity; shifting perspective and the metaphor of the balcony; self-observation; how more silence leads to more cooperation; the 3A trap: avoid, accommodate, or attack; the link between creativity and conflict; why negotiation is more about listening than speaking; reaching “second order agreement”; creating a “golden bridge” across our divides; universal needs and the question, what do you really want?; humble audacity; the notion of bringing in the third side; the importance of reconciliation; 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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