Lovehoney Sex Expert Interview: Amy Jo Goddard
Amy Jo Goddard has been teaching and writing about sexuality for over 20 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education from New York University and wrote Woman on Fire: 9 Elements to Wake Up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power and Sexual Intelligence.
She is co-author of Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men and is currently hosting her upcoming Fire Woman Retreat – a transformative, playful, rich event for women and non-binary folks this fall.
She also teaches sexual empowerment programs and does VIP days and coaching with couples and individuals.
Find out more about her work at amyjogoddard.com.
What does it mean to own your sexual power and how can people get better at it both individually and in relationships?
To own your sexual power is to first realize it is part of your personal power – an intrinsically important one.
Our sexual energy is at the core of who we are and we use it to create everything we are creating in our lives: lovemaking, sex, music, art, businesses, community, family… everything is sourced from our sexual energy. So learning how to effectively channel it is core to our power.
Owning your sexual power means you get to be who you truly are sexually, to like what you like, want what you want, and not like what you don’t like. It means that you are not pretending to be something you are not in order to please your partner or because you think it’s what you are supposed to do.
This is the core work I do with women – I teach them how to figure these things out and how to love and enjoy their sexual selves. I’ve watched thousands of people go through this journey and the transformation that occurs when women go through it is phenomenal – totally life-changing.
Most women in particular live in a state of constantly taking care of everyone else, which has them abandoning themselves and their own desires – which ends up translating to sex too.
Not only do women need more permission to have their own desires, they need safe spaces in which to explore. That brings a person into true power.
What are some of your very best practical tips to help couples fully express themselves to each other sexually?
The first thing is to learn how to communicate: period! Most people really do not have sexual communication skills and it is one of the things that is most detrimental to your sex life.
When talking about sex, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Set the conversation up for success. That means planning it for a time when you can both be present and open, without distractions, pressing things to tend to, or when someone is about to run out the door. And not during sex – during a neutral time and in a neutral space, like over tea or coffee, or on a walk, or an easy Sunday afternoon when no one is around.
- When you are trying to communicate what you want or find out what your partner wants during sex, sometimes it’s hard to say a lot since many folks go non-verbal during sexual interactions or arousal. It’s also hard for some people to “stay out of my head.” Ask quick easy questions to get quick easy answers so you don’t pull each other out of the juiciness and you can keep making what you are doing better. Ask about speed, pressure, and positioning. “Do you want it harder or softer?” “Faster or slower, or just right?” “More pressure or less?” “Could you move a little to the left?”
- People feel vulnerable around sex and many people can be defensive about it, especially when they are not used to talking about it. Take your time, let your partner know you want to open up communication more because it’s important to you to connect in the best possible way sexually. Assure them that you are here because you want more pleasure, intimacy and great sex for both of you.
How can incorporating toys into the bedroom help strengthen and increase the level of play in a couple's sex life?
Sometimes people look at toys as something to compete with rather than as an enhancement. Toys are tools – they are fun, they add spice and something different, and sometimes they do things we can’t do on our own.
There is no shame in using toys – quite the opposite. To feel empowered enough to choose toys that you want to play with either alone and/or with a partner shows assertiveness in getting your needs met and exploring desire and pleasure.
For women especially, who learn that our needs come last and that our needs should not be important, the process of prioritizing your own desire, pleasure and play can be deeply transformational.
Tell us more about Woman On Fire and why you're so passionate about empowering women in their sexuality (we are too!).
Woman on Fire: 9 Elements to Wake Up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power and Sexual Intelligence is a book based on my sexual empowerment work with women over the last 20 years.
As I worked with women both privately and in my classes and programs, I realized that patterns were emerging. There were things that I was talking to all my clients about. The nine elements came organically out of my work.
This book lays out many inroads to empowerment – and as I say in the book, you don’t need to read it in order. If you want to skip to the desire chapter or the play chapter, go for it.
We all need different things and there are many starting places for this work. What is important is to start! Period.
Most people wait their whole lives and they never give themselves the space to explore their sexuality and break through the patterns that have kept them stuck. When you do this deep empowerment work and you learn to fully embrace your sexuality, your body, your pleasure and desire, everything changes.
What’s not to be passionate about?! It’s an honor really.
What's your very favorite bedroom advice to give couples?
Don’t let your sexual life go on autopilot. Talk about it. Don’t stop flirting. Have more fun with it. Slow down.
Rather than assume what kind of sex you’ll have tonight, ask your partner what kind of sex they want to have. That changes everything. At first they may not know the answer to that question.
The more you give space for exploration, the more you will discover and the more options you will have. The beauty of sexuality is that you can keep learning about it your entire life. It’s dynamic and there are endless things to discover in it.
We are so lucky.
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