040: Modern Sex Talk with Ryan Thomas

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Welcome back to Tuff Love with Rob Kandell. The guest star on the show today is Ryan Thomas, who runs the podcast Modern Sex Talks. Rob was on that podcast and now Ryan is here to talk about the concept of sex in the modern age.

How Ryan ended up teaching and running a podcast called Modern Sex Talks is a bit of a long story. His background is in the military, he was an Army Captain and he served in the Canadian Army for 11 years. In that environment, it’s not very emotionally intimate. For Ryan growing up, he didn’t get a lot of sex education, and learned a lot from pornography and the internet. As he got older, he started using sexuality as a way to build confidence, which led him down some very dark paths. He started to hate women, which isn’t a healthy place to be. He realized he was the only common denominator in all the problems he was experiencing in relationships. That wasn’t an easy thing to realize.

During a stressful period of time at work, he started experiencing premature ejaculation when having sex with a woman he was dating. Not knowing how to handle it, he asked this woman for help. He felt guilty as a man asking for help for anything sexually related. Eventually, Ryan dealt with it using tantra, but he had to figure it all out on his own. Over the next few years, he was posted into a new city that he hated and ended up with erectile dysfunction because of depression. He started drinking, hated his job, didn’t know anyone. It was a recipe for disaster. That brought about performance anxiety. Eventually he was able to deal with all these things but because he didn’t have any resources to deal with it at the time, he had to figure it all out on his own.

Fast forward a few years, Ryan started helping a friend who is a dating coach (not a pick up artist) with the trainings he runs for men. He started getting a lot of feedback from the guys in the sexuality portion, and realized he could start turning it into a business. In January 2015, Ryan started running workshops and then in August started to piece together a podcast with business partner Veronica Chase and launched the podcast in November. The idea is to normalize and catalyze the conversations around sexuality and facilitate personal growth through that. There is a lot of information out there around the act of sex itself, but not so much the emotional elements that go into it.

Ryan and Rob discuss the concept of sex in the modern age:

  • Ryan is an advocate of the emotional intelligence aspects of sexuality because if we can target that, then the sex itself is quite simple.
  • That’s the worst thing behind those things, is that there is the shame. The anger towards women is a common thing in society, as well as the premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. There is shame around it. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy—it ends up happening, then you feel bad about it, then you feel bad and anxious and ashamed, and then it happens again. It is a shame loop.
  • It comes down to doing the inner work. The biggest thing for Ryan was recognizing that he wasn’t his dick. He wasn’t his ejaculation and wasn’t his hard or soft dick. He had so much more to offer.
  • He wrote out what made him a great partner and a great man. He wrote out his eulogy, including how he wanted to be, and then tried to step into those elements.
  • As he started to do that, the performance anxiety started to fade away and he stopped caring about those things. It’s counterintuitive that once you stop caring about it, things start working. The more you need something, the less it comes your way.
  • Less caring about the performance does not mean less caring about the other person or yourself. It’s caring more for yourself and the other person.
  • Sex is so much about the physical and performance factors these days, which we get from porn, and it’s less about the emotional factors. A lot of people bypass the emotional because it’s so intimate.
  • We have misconceptions of what sex is supposed to be like. We think it needs to be multi-orgasmic and mind blowing every single time you have it, and that’s just not the case. It can be really passionate and intimate, even when it’s very short. It’s about shifting our perspective of what we think sex is supposed to be.

Ryan shares specific tips for men for better sex lives:

  • Ryan recommends getting in touch with your own arousal. One particular practice Ryan used when he was getting in touch with his ejaculation control was experiencing multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms.
  • Ryan took an erotic massage course. After that course, he started providing live demonstrations of yoni massages as well as full body massages to friends and past students. Women would give feedback like, ‘I didn’t come but there were waves of energy going through me.’
  • That didn’t make sense to Ryan until he dove into Tantric practices. He felt like a failure because in his mind, not having an orgasm meant the woman didn’t enjoy herself.
  • As men we have this expectation that sex is the orgasm, the end result. The more we engage with our own pleasure and the more we can learn about our own sexual energy, the more we can understand the idea of having an amazing experience but not have an orgasm.
  • It’s important to have a solo sex practice. Don’t be afraid to masturbate. It’s entirely normal and also really good to help you learn to receive pleasure without being distracted by anyone else.
  • If you bring yourself very close to an orgasm and then slow yourself back down again, and practice going back up and down over and over again. You’ll start to feel the PC muscles starting to flex. There are mini-spasms that happen before ejaculation. They’re spasming around the prostate and they start to feel really, really good. You’ll start to feel these waves of energy coming through you. Once you come back down again, you’re ready for the next peak.
  • Men have an orgasmic cycle that is up, up, up, go over the edge, go to sleep. A lot of women are taught that that’s the right methodology to follow and if you don’t reach that peak, there’s a failure. However, there is an alternative, which is up and down in waves and peaks and valleys.
  • There is a masculine dynamic and a feminine dynamic of sexuality. The masculine is for the end result, about death, emptiness, overcoming challenge and an obstacle. It’s releasing tension. That’s why when men are starting to get really turned on, they want to release that tension. It’s objective focused, which is also why guys can feel like a woman doesn’t have a good time if she doesn’t have an orgasm, because the end goal is that masculine idea.
  • The feminine is about the fullness of experience. The fullness is life, the opposite of death. It’s circular, not objective focused. When a man starts to experience those waves of energy, he starts to realize how good it feels and how energizing it is, and then he understands the woman’s experienced and the feminine dynamic of sexuality of the circular pleasure. And being able to engage in that.

Rob and Ryan coach Arielle, whose sex life is pretty dry right now:

  • Arielle feels like the more that she’s been putting her perspectives and views and voice out into social media, the more dry her sex life has become. It makes her sad.
  • Men have always been sort of intimidated by Arielle, but lately she feels like the men that are approaching her aren’t able to handle her in a way that allows her to surrender in sex, and she’d love to surrender.
  • She’s open to surrendering. She’s trying to find the balance between being fully out in her power and leaving space for men to come in and handle her.
  • She feels really good about being open with her sexuality. She works with women around claiming their power in sex and love and magic. She enjoys it and enjoys sharing about her sex, vulnerability, desire and emotions. It’s certainly a process. She doesn’t have all her shit figured out, but she’s very down with sharing.
  • When men approach her, she opens her heart but there’s a lot of fear of being abandoned. Ryan explains that a lot of empowered and strong women start to wonder if men are strong enough to handle them, and they won’t even necessarily give them a chance. That shows a lack of trust in yourself of whether or not you can attract the right type of guy.
  • Rob is seeing a lot in society of women being in their masculine. Arielle is a kick-ass producer and to do that she brings her masculinity out. In our society, women are learning to be in their masculinity and men are learning to be in their femininity and that is great on so many levels. We’re getting closer to each other, which is great in terms of emotional intelligence.
  • But when it comes to sexual polarity, it’s fucking things up. Women want to be in their femininity and want men to just handle them, but society is giving them mixed messages. They’re saying, ‘Men, I want you to be more emotionally available, and I want you to handle me,’ and men are confused.
  • There’s a way you can communicate this to him and to the prospective men not with a directive, which is masculine, but with an offer, which is feminine.
  • Part of the challenge for Arielle is that so much of her social interaction involves her being in a leadership position. Her life is work right now, but she’s constantly trying to calibrate to allow her feminine to come out. She is doing the work but is frustrated and impatient.
  • Arielle is wanting to be approached in a certain way and it rarely happens. Rob suggests that if a guy approaches a woman who is in her masculine, he will naturally (and not consciously) go a bit more feminine. He’s approaching you but isn’t ‘taking’ you.
  • There’s a piece where Arielle really wasn’t in her power in the past and let herself get taken advantage of by men a lot. Her defense mechanisms are up because she doesn’t want to be the woman that a man feels like can get something over.
  • Rob says, it’s a hard time to date in society these days. There are so many options, men have a hunter-gatherer aspect and love the chase. It’s so easy to chase in society now. If a man is hitting a resistance point with her when she’s too masculine, he can just swipe left and go look somewhere else. It’s a sad state of affairs in terms of options.
  • Arielle has been exploring the concept of the seeker and the sought. One person is ‘fuck yes’ and the other person is ‘fuck maybe.’ Arielle feels like her ‘fuck yes’ intimidates men, and it actually shifts the course of the relationship. She doesn’t want to be less than who she is but also doesn’t want to be overcompensating because she’s afraid.
  • Rob suggests adding more humor and curiosity into this process. It feels very serious and frustrated and impatient. Find some fun and levity. When you’re serious about dating, it will tighten everything up. Have fun and relax more.
  • Arielle is aware of the fact that she has the desire to steer the boat, and rather than letting herself go into that, she’ll hold back but still feels the desire to control the situation.
  • Ryan suggests more patience. In our very results-based society, we don’t have a lot of delayed gratification. But patience is probably the key element here. You can’t rush these things.
  • Enjoy where you are, learn how to love yourself. Feel your own sexual energy and pleasure without the need for someone else to take you. Allow yourself to experience it.
  • Rob hopes Arielle continues to be fully herself and doesn’t compromise just because men haven’t caught up with her yet.

Find Ryan

The podcast is called Modern Sex Talks and it’s about the deeper elements of sex, intimacy and relationships.

Sex and masculinity consultant for men so generally works with men, currently have a book just published, 10 Steps to Longer Steps: A book for men on improving pleasure and delaying ejaculation.