In Jessa Zimmerman’s interview we discuss:
- How Jessa came to be a sex therapist
- Sex therapy as grief and loss work
- Differences in sexual desire and how it can affect a relationship and what couples can do to work through that discrepancy
- How the difference in sexual desire should not be taken personally by the person who wants sex more often
- The importance of determining the reasons the lower desire partner has for not wanting sex, and how to address those issues
- The work that the higher desire partner has to do
- Two ways of having sexual desire: proactive and reactive
- Being open to sexual experiences that don’t necessarily lead to sex
- Bringing the spark back to long term relationships
- Exploring our own eroticism as a way of bringing sexy back
- What working with a sex therapist looks like
- Who should consider going to sex therapy, and who shouldn’t
- Jessa’s online course and book
Carrie’s favorite quotes from the interview:
“There’s some research that shows when people are first together, the first 18 months or so, and you think about your lover in your mind, right? The brain lights up all over the place on brain scans – there’s all these neurotransmitters and electrical stuff going off. It’s like crazy. When you’ve been in your relationship… let’s go back to this person married a decade… but, it doesn’t take that long – it only takes a year and a half to two years. When you think about your lover, your partner, the same part of your brain that lights up is the one where you keep your grocery list.”
Jessa talks motherhood:
What would you tell an expecting mom about the experience of being a mother?
It’s going to be the most challenging thing you’ve done – in ways you can’t expect – but also the most fulfilling thing.
What is the hardest part about being a mom? Biggest frustrations?
The exposure to pain – it’s like your heart and soul is out in the world in the being of other people – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Their pain hurts you so much, and you have limits to how much you can protect them from that.
What is your favorite part about being a mom? What makes all the hard stuff worth it?
Loving people more than you thought you could. Seeing them grow up into their own individual selves.
Any tips, tools, and tricks do you use that you’d love to tell other moms about?
Surround yourself with people who think like you do; be selective about the kind of input and advice you get.
Jessa’s free gift is her How Healthy Is Your Sex Life Quiz!
This 30 question quiz uses what Jessa has learned about healthy sexual relationships through years of clinical practice as a sex therapist. It is designed to give you an idea of the state of your intimate relationship, over several criteria. You will get your results and suggestions about how to improve via email, as well as ongoing information and ideas about improving your relationship and creating your best possible sex life.
This quiz is designed for people that are in a sexual relationship and who want to look at the interactions between themselves and one specific partner.
Jessa Zimmerman, Couples Counselor and Sex Therapist
I am a licensed sex therapist and couples’ counselor. I specialize in helping couples who have a good relationship but who are avoiding sex because it’s become stressful, negative, disappointing, or pressured. I educate, coach, and support people as they go through my 9-phase experiential process that allows them real world practice in changing their relationship and their sex life.
I do this work through in person therapy in my office in Seattle, online therapy for Washington residents, my Better Sex podcast, and my soon to be published book, Sex Without Stress.