Sex Positive Me

E82: The Shameless Psychiatrist

Listen to “E82: The Shameless Psychiatrist” on Spreaker.

In this episode we talk with Dr. Lea Lis about her new upcoming book “The Shameless Psychiatrist’s Guide to Parenting”. We discuss her years of therapy and why she believes this book is needed. We agree after hearing some of the stories from the book.

Do you have issues with your sexual desires. Not able to comfortably talking to children about sex without shame.  Worried about a conversation about masturbation and alternative lifestyles to other family members. That is always an interesting conversation to have. Oh boy!

WEBSITE: www.drlealis.com
INSTAGRAM: @shamelesspsychiatrist
TWITTER: @shamelesspsych
FACEBOOK: @drlealis



Amberly Rothfield
On living a sex positive life we explore all aspects of human sexuality. We talk about the good and the bad the health and healing benefits, the adventures and the relationships as well as the crimes and the tragedies. We strive to be an advocate and empowering force in the fight for sexual freedom. Our mission is to educate, entertain, and talk about the touchy subject that affects us all. Sex. Now here’s your host, Angelique Luna

Angelique
Hey this is Angelique Luna I’m done sick and dying finally have a voice after a week of not having a voice so you’re hearing me again

John
she was quiet for like three days I’ve never heard that happen before. I’m glad she’s back.

Angelique
So John’s gonna be my translator from now on.

John
Keep going you haven’t you haven’t given me 10 titles I can usually do so obviously we’re off but keep going

Angelique
Well it’s because my throat that’s why I saved it for the interview. We got a good one today shameless psychiatry guide to parenting. Come on.

John
It is unique title. And it’s coming out next year. And we have Dr. Dr. Leah, I can’t believe I did that. on here on Skype listening to chatting with us. And we have we have more topics than we can fit. So I want to go straight in to talk more.

Angelique
Okay, go for it.

John
So anyway, welcome. So I want to start off right right off the bat and introduce you. You are a clinical psychiatrist.

Dr. Lea Lis
Mm hmm.

John
And you’re

Dr. Lea Lis
I’m a psychologist. The difference is about $250,000 in a medical degree,

Angelique
and pills, drugs.

John
I think we all have enough student debt. So we don’t need any more of that. But next year, you’re coming out with a book called this the shameless psychiatrists. Tell us. Tell us about it.

Dr. Lea Lis
Um, the book is on sex positive parenting. And it’s different from other books because it’s not just about how to provide sexual education for your children, which is, you know, easy to find lots of resources on that. This is more about owning your sexual story and your sexual history and passing on intergenerational wisdom rather than intergenerational trauma through owning your sexual story and understanding some of the cognitive behavioral concepts that I use in my practice to develop body positive and sex positive self esteem. So that’s really more with the book is about, so.

John
You said something that I really liked or question, intergenerational trauma. And when I think of in in something that comes in, intergenerational, I’m Italian so of course it’s cooking, we cook certain ways. We don’t even know why we do it when we watch a cooking show and say, Oh, we don’t have to wash the chicken before we cook it. But we’ve done it. So And so long, what kind of stuff do you see coming down that obviously, as parents, we pass things on to our child? What kind of trauma do you actually see coming down like that?

Dr. Lea Lis
Um, I think that I see. It can be, it can be, you know, obviously setting the child up for sexual abuse and assault by not teaching them how to stand up for their boundaries, and not to prioritize their own safety, by reckless behavior with drinking, and, you know, so as a parent, if you don’t pass down those kinds of like, always stay in a group when you’re at a bar and never go home alone with someone you don’t know, you know, and you behave in a way that puts yourself in danger. And you role model that to your child by, you know, bringing a lot of, you know, different partners home that you don’t know and so they see you do that and then, you know, they copy you so that’s like, that’s more of an extreme kind of trauma. And that’s, that’s, um, that’s obvious, right? A lot of sexual abuse. Victims become have children who are victims of sexual abuse success. That’s a very obvious obvious one. But that’s but there’s the more subtle thing that parents don’t even realize that they’re doing which I think is, is majority of parents which is that they’re in like a loveless relationship for so long and they don’t they they don’t have, you know, a fulfilling and active sex life. And so their child only sees you know the parents fighting or not connected intimately not sharing, not kissing or loving each other. It’s so obvious that then they don’t develop the skills in their own relationships to have intimacy because they never saw it and they don’t know how it’s done. It was never role modeled for them. And they were never told that to prioritize their own pleasure, right? They just think that sex is something you do to keep, like, let’s say a girl thinking that sex is something she has to do to keep her Partner around, right use it as a way of getting attention. Rather than ever really understanding that she has the right to have orgasms or for boys, it’s like, you know, for boys, you know, trying to to have you know, have sex but not really understanding that they need to, you know, really prioritize their partner’s pleasure or even being afraid to get intimate with anybody because they don’t want to have a serious relationship. And parents are pushing them to achieve so much to get into a great college. Like, why do you need to have a girlfriend right now? And these subtle messages of like, don’t get serious and so they never really try out real relationships till they’re way older. And by then it’s like, they’ve no idea what they’re doing and then their marriages fail. And so it’s like, this is what I mean about trauma versus wisdom and there’s the obvious trauma, but then there’s the subtle, subtle trauma and, you know, the parents just, you know, through their own Fear don’t know how to pass down the right messages. So I always say like, it doesn’t matter what your story is, you could have been very severely traumatized. But you have to own that story. And you have to come to terms with that story. And then you need to very carefully disclose what you need to, to pass down the right messages. So you know, that discussion of whether or not you would want to share that story with your child is an interesting one. Sometimes it can be very useful, like, Hey, I did get raped in college and, you know, it was a horrible experience. And, you know, but now I you know, I got through it, and it was very tough and, but, you know, that is something that you really have to think very seriously about sharing because if you don’t do it in the right time, and the right level of maturity really scares a child. But you might pass down a different message if you choose not to share that you might pass down a message of like, things were really hard for me at certain points in my life, and I learned that you know, that I to like, prioritize, oh, my own pleasure. And sex is something that I want always take on my terms. And I, you know, I’ve really learned to, you know, watch out for my safety when I’m going out. So you might want to pass more of that message on rather than the, the trauma message. It’s, um, you know, and that’s very hard to do, because most people who’ve been abused are pretty scared of just talking about anything in general. But then they’ll say things like, you know, don’t trust any man and you know, and then they’ll start all this like, scaring the crap out of their kid. And that’s, that’s the trauma I’m talking about, right?

John
It’s not preparing them it’s immediately putting fear on the subject into them. And one of the two things that we stress one is it. We never get any training for relationships. We really don’t you try it out, you mimic so much after your parents. And then later on, we end up in therapists office trying to save our marriage. And there’s still that stigma around mental health. Thankfully starting to go away, that you know relationships are not something that you are a magically born into knowing how it works. Hollywood has lied to us, it doesn’t just fade out and everything works out, you know what’s going on. But the other point to that is we’re finding so many parents are fearful and and not say it’s a comfortable subject but fearful of talking to their to their children about sex because immediately they jump straight into the biology of it. And it’s not necessarily there’s a lot more to sex than biology. I know that your book and your practice is very much based on families, and also teaching. You know, I guess age appropriate education, as well as you’re going over topics like why is it best to have your teens to have sex at home? Tell us, tell us a little more about that.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yeah, that was very controversial. And now regret, I put a blind consent on it. You know, I got a lot of interesting feedback. Um, you know, I took a lot of what I my opinions from the northern European like the Dodge approach to sexual education, which is a lot more advanced and mature than ours, and I think that, you know, to deny that your child is a sexual being once they are hit 15, 14, 15 go through puberty is ostrich syndrome, right? You’re just a, you’re, you know, you brought that up earlier, digging your head in the sand and pretending that, you know, an incredibly important part of your child’s life is not existing. And everything from like, obviously, they’re gonna start masturbating if they hadn’t already, right. And they’re gonna, you know, be interested in, in, in, in sex and, you know, that’s when you start to feel that you know, when you see it, right, you know, when your child starts to, you know, show an interest in sex. You know, that’s when you have to be incredibly proactive as a parent, you have to say, you’re thinking about sex come to me, you know, I want to make sure that you are understand how to use contraceptives, I really want to understand, you know, that’s how to talk about if you’re really ready for it, you know, because obviously you know their bodies already well before their minds and, and and and so I can give you some of my thoughts around how to know when they’re ready. And then all these things and then you’re going to say, Okay, now that you’re ready and you want to have sex, let’s find a safe place to do that. And the safest place is in your home, where are they going to go? They can’t rent a hotel room, or do they get back in the car behind the bleachers at school like I mean, it’s just incredibly silly to think that you would not provide a safe and appropriate location for them to have sex so I always say like, you know, think about that basement that you always wanted to convert you know like or that you know, area of the house where you can’t really hear them and and then you need to set you need to set you need to set rules like they’re not going to like Miss dinner because they’re downstairs with their girlfriend or boyfriend having sex. They’re not going to stop doing their homework. I mean, they would like to and remember what was like the first time you had sex, you just wanted to do it a bazillion times because, um, you know, which I totally understand. And so obviously, you have to mitigate that with like, their, their homework and their needs to, you know, go to their after schools or their sports and all the other things they’re doing and you you can set actual rules and say, This is appropriate, this is not, you know, you have to get your homework done, not during a school day, you know, you have to still show up for dinner, you know, you have to watch out for the other siblings who might hear you like, it’s not appropriate for you to like, you know, be so explicit that you expose your other siblings to things that are not ready for, I want to meet the person that you’re having sex with, I want them to come into my home and look me in the eye and shake my hand I want, you know, for them to understand that contraception must be used. I want you to come to me immediately if anything were to happen, you know, like, there was an oops situation, the condom broke, whatever it is, so I can help you. You know, and I think that That is the mature way of parenting. And it’s what they do in Northern Europe. I mean, they they don’t have a problem with that they understand that their 15, 16, 17 year old is having sex. And they’re very cool with like the the partner showing up and they all get in the hot tub together and they talk and, you know, they’re very, you know, open about it. And I don’t see why we we are not I don’t understand how that helps our children.

John
Well, it’s definitely being based on a puritanical society, we definitely see a lot of change. But as we travel around the country, it really depends on where we are. Because we’ve seen places where talking about sex is very open and honest and non shameful, and more importantly, not dirty. It’s not made to be this dirty thing. You go off on the side and come back, okay, now you’re okay. It’s just integrated as a normal part of life like eating. And we love doing lots of analogies and we will tell parents of you know, 14, 15, 16 year olds, they’re getting ready to drive. Do they have triple A? Do they know how to change a tire? Do they know how to use a turn signal? You know, going through all this stuff? And I’m like, of course I’ve taught them. I’ve trained them. I’ve done all this other stuff. Great. The worst thing that happens is yes, they can get into an accident. Or maybe they’ll get stranded. But these days, they have a cell phone, they have a lifeline. Why don’t you prepare them for their sex life? And it’s not just the sex, it’s the emotional part of it. That there is going to be up and down because with without someone backing you up, say okay, you made a mistake, learn from their mistake, move on. So many people take that mistake and it becomes a permanent problem.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yeah and when they when they have the mistake, you know, PTSD, if you know anything about that post traumatic stress disorder really develops when you don’t deal with the trauma or when it happens, right? And you push it down and you kind of don’t address it and then it will, you know, comes out the side. So you know, if your child feels like it They have been abused or assault, they can come to you and talk to you and you can get them, you know, appropriate help and give them a big hug. And, you know, they’re much less likely to have lasting manifestations of trauma, they’re more likely to rebound. It’s, it’s, it’s so important that they feel like they have you know, you as parents to come to, you’re their greatest protector, right? And to turn your back to them at this critical time of their lives and say, I don’t want to talk about it ostrich syndrome, and it just feels so it’s not right. It’s not it’s not the right thing to do as a parent and because you’re uncomfortable with it, like, get over it. You know, that’s what I talked about owning your sexual story. Like, you’re not uncomfortable to talk to your child about their sex life own that, like, why are you so ashamed, you know, what happened to you that you are so shame that you can’t talk about something that’s so important to them and to you, and something they’re gonna do for the rest of their lives? You know, and it’s high stakes, right? We all know. Since like, you know, higher stakes and brushing your teeth, right, you know,

John
and repair the teeth. That’s just $1 figure. That’s no big deal.

Angelique
But that does leave us to a great segue into our commercial break. And we could pick this up after this.

John
When I come back I know you have some great stories from your patients that we’re going to share. So we’ll be back in just a moment.

Angelique
Hey, john, I want to get a new toy.

John
Okay, so let’s go to Fairvilla.

Angelique
But I don’t want to waste time trying to find out what goes with what?

John
Well, there’s Fairvilla University and their staff is very well educated and helpful.

Angelique
Okay. But how about if I just wanted to go to a party instead?

John
Then go to their website because on their calendar, they list all their events,

Angelique
but I don’t want to spend a lot of money.

John
Have you heard of their loyalty program?

Angelique
Oh, yeah, that thing on my keychain that makes everyone blush every time they see it?

John
That’s the one.

Angelique
Let’s go.

John
Well, they have over five locations in Central Florida. Which one do you want to go to?

Angelique
Fairvilla, for pleasure, fun and fantasy.

John
Okay, and we’re back. And we’re talking with Dr. Leah, and she is going to share some stories, yes, or storytime. Because there’s again, stories are a great way to convey concepts and such. But there’s so much I won’t say bad behavior, but we’ll say perfect behavior in talking about sex. And there’s a lot of stigma in families, especially, there was same sex. Families used to have a lot of problems adopting and doing that, and now it’s kind of shifted from that we’ve moved on. And now we’re moving to polyamory. As the new Oh my god, you have more than one husband and boyfriend and that’s become the new Well, these people can’t possibly be good parents which we’re going to prove that wrong as well. So tell it

Dr. Lea Lis
well, I, there’s so many things I want to talk about.

I wanted to say that this is not all doom and gloom teenagers are, are actually having sex much later than they did 10 years ago, the average age is now 17 for both boys and girls. And, and from 1991 to 2017, the percentage of high school students have had have had sex dropped from 54 to 40%. So it’s actually the teen pregnancy rates plummeted. So a third of what it used to be. And the number who described their first sexual activity as unwanted has dropped by a third. So these teenagers are getting smarter and more savvy, so we got to give them a lot more credit than we do. Which brings me up to a little bit of an interesting topic, which is like, are we actually entering into a sex recession? Actually, in the United States, we’re all having less sex, the number has dropped from 64 to 54 times a year. And I think that you Yes, so most Americans, you know, used to Have sex 64 times elderly 54 Now we can all there’s a lot of reasons that are given like, you know, anxiety having to work more jobs, less free time. vibrators, Golden Age, smartphones being overloaded. And the rise of the hookup culture like meaning if you’re not in a committed relationship, you’re less likely to have sex because you got to go out and find a partner, you know, and that’s not easy to do in one night, right? As opposed to if you’re in a more of a steady relationship, you might have more sex. So all of those things are very interesting, but one one I wanted to talk about is actually the rise of pornography. Pornography has made it very easy for teenagers to get their kicks without actually having to interact with any human being. And it’s very rewarding in the brain. You know, neuro neuroscience shows us that you get huge dopamine verse every time a partner switched in pornography like you see a new party scene in person, I mean party senior person, you You get this like initial dopamine burst. So it’s very alluring to to everyone but to teenagers. And so this might be part of the reason why people are not having as much sex or or delaying their their sexual initiation. So I want to share one story of a patient named Gavin. He was a 16 year old patient of mine attractive, athletic and a good student, an all American kid. He also watched plenty of pornography beginning at the age of 12. His parents didn’t set up any internet filters and gave him the space when he started having sex with his first girlfriend, Valerie. At age 15, impact of this habit began to manifest he became very insecure about his penis. His parents didn’t walk around naked and his lacrosse teammates did not get Fully undressed in the locker room. So the penis he saw are oversized in porn. He also learned that women were very loud and they had sex and they like to be held off. When Valerie asked him to use a softer touch. He was confused at first. Wasn’t that what we women liked? She showed him how to slow down and give her multiple organisms that Gavin was still very dissatisfied. He longed to be with a big breasted woman that he condition himself to be aroused by porn, not a teen girl with newly developing breasts. It just didn’t feel excited by her. Gavin told me that he regretted watching so much porn because it made real sex less desirable than masturbation. We talked about what turned him on and how to evaluate porn scenes as performances. Real sex wouldn’t be as loud or acrobatic, the angles wouldn’t make everyone look perfect. Gavin still struggled with his identity and sexuality. I’ve encouraged him to use pictures instead of pornography for arousal during masturbation and focus on a girl’s pleasure as best way to connect sexually. He has had a girlfriend since and has been her sexual needs above his own. He has learned to ask questions about what she likes, and delay his own orgasm for the sake of hers. These behaviors have given a great self esteem booster as she his new girlfriend has repeatedly told them how good it is and how much she loves the sex. This is resulted in great improvement of his self esteem, self image and his attachments. So that’s one story. I wanted To share and the pornography thing is very interesting because most parents don’t address pornography with our, with our teenagers head on and they absolutely need to. And so I say to talk about really talk that pornography is actually acting, and that the consent really concerns occurs off screen, like, you know, you don’t see what’s going on, you don’t just walk up to someone like pornography and start you know, you know, hitting them on the backside. And that and that also the issues of, of contraception and you know, STD testing all happens off screen. And that most people’s human bodies do not look like the bodies of porn actresses and actors, so they shouldn’t be comparing themselves with it and finding that they fall short. Similar with the whole Instagram phenomenon with girls always thinking that they’re not pretty enough skinny enough because of all these Instagram photos.

And that they really should encourage your teenagers to be discerning viewers of pornography meaning like, there is good pornography and there is pornography that’s clearly upsetting, degrading, like, you know, it’s not all the same, and you really have to you can’t unsee it. So you really have to think about what, what you like and what you want to see and turn off the other stuff. You know, we could launch into also like, making sure that the pornography you’re watching is like, the actors are being paid fairly, and you know, that they’re, you know, that’s a lot for probably a teenager to really understand. But I do think that, um, that, you know, if it’s uncomfortable, you can’t unsee it, then just turn it off and look at something else. Um, so I think, you know, I think that you should talk about that with your teenagers. Obviously, before the age, you know, before a certain age, you really want to, like lock down their technology. I tell this to parents all the time. Like, they should not be watching pornography as as you know, a younger child before the age of 15. And like, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you don’t have access to it and I know that sometimes it happens, but You can monitor it if you’re careful and you really stay on top of them. So it’s your responsibility. Don’t just think like, oh, boys will be boys or, you know, they’re going to do what they want to do. No, like, you have to be on top of them at all times, like, you know, private eye and private detective and their allies, because this kind of stuff can be very damaging if you’re not careful. The parent?

John
Well, I know when I grew up again, we’re talking 80s. Obviously, it was a lot of sex on the to not not necessarily porn sex, but again, a lot of perfect bodies, and we kind of went through it then. But porn was at least over in the video store in the back room on VHS and that’s, you know, there was a way to get it, but it wasn’t nearly as readily available as it is today. And today, it’s at a point where even if they’re not looking for it, even if they’re going through Instagram or Twitter with their friends, it can just pop up and turn into that Oh, well what is this and click on and then lead them down this rabbit hole, whether they’re really looking for it or not so lucky. Now technology, we can’t be our parents and say help us program the VCR. We have to be up on technology because our kids are and know what, what to do and how to do it. Because otherwise you’re right, they’re going to go ahead and find it and I was, interesting. Last year, I saw a little snippet about three minutes from a porn studio, where they had porn stars talking to parents saying, please talk to your kids about sex. Please go ahead and don’t let them watch porn. Because we don’t want them to learn sex from us. We are actors. We are not educators.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yes. Oh my god, I love that brilliant. Yes, they’re and they don’t they don’t want to see it either. Because they’re, they’re just not ready to hear or see that stuff. I always say like, we gotta try the best we can to preserve their innocence, but at the same time, giving them incredibly useful information. In fact, we want them to learn about sex from us, not from porn stars, not Jimmy on the bus, not from you know whatever, you know, whoever it is who’s going to educate them, you know? And then I hear Oh, well, I think they learned about that at school, like, you trust like some gym teacher, you know, to teach sex. I’m like, What does he know? You know, remember The Wonder Years we do that, like, you know, TV show, you know, then then I still finding out that they’re dividing kids up during sex ed putting girls in one room and boy’s in another and I’m thinking to myself, what, boys don’t need to know that girls have periods? Like I mean, you know, you don’t give the boys the information and the girls information like what why are you separating them doesn’t make any sense to me, you know? So, so a young boy doesn’t even know what a tampon is, or that girls have periods and like, I mean, I feel sorry if they don’t know that stuff. You know, it’s embarrassing and humiliating to be like a 16 year old kid who knows nothing about how female body works or the other way around, right? I think I think our approach is totally wrong, and it’s It really should start way younger and should be ongoing. So

John
well, people think again, when we talk about sex ed, we’re talking biology. And the most horrible thing we ever heard was from a friend of mine about my age, who said, the way her father talked to taught her about sex, but it was a single day they lived on a farm was to go out, he pointed at the cows and say, see what they’re doing that sex. You’re good. That’s hysterical and horrible. But we still see in some parts of the country that pushing abstinence only sex ed, which is also unrealistic. Not that long ago, we’re going back 100 years or stuff 13, 14 years old, for a girl was considered the breeding age. And that’s when they started having sex to have babies and they were married and guys were not married till they were 18, 20 or a little bit older. Just because it’s changed in the last hundred years that we’ve gotten a lot more equality. You know, the the biology is still there that they’re going through these changes at 13

Dr. Lea Lis
Yes, and I think sex ed one very small pieces of the biology right, as you know. I think the piece that’s missing that I’m going to tell you right now is my book is talking about pleasure. I think that we fail to speak to our children about why we have sex so not to have a baby. We don’t have a baby every time we have sex. We kind of like miss the, the the messenger which and they’re not stupid, right? They know it feels good. So like, people have sex because it feels great. And they want to connect with their partner. This is why this is what you tell your child you don’t tell your child like, oh, because this person has a penis and you know, baby’s born like, like, you know, yeah, okay, yeah, maybe twice in your life. You have sex to make a baby. Maybe if you have a big family. It’s five times like this 100 times over their life. Yeah. Well, let’s be real, like people have sex because it feels good and you want to connect. And what you want to say is like, Well, you know, if you’re in You know your mom and your you know mommy and daddy have sex because it feels really great. And you know it allows us to connect and you know and you love it you know if that’s the story you want to tell of course there’s a lot of other stories to tell there’s a lot of you know, we can talk about the polyamorous story and how you dress that but like i think that you know, pleasure you know, if sex doesn’t feel good when you do it then stop or something you know, listen to you know what you’re listening to your your heart and you know, if if you feel uncomfortable if you don’t, you know, if you’re not having pleasure, and you can, you know, talk to him about masturbation it’s like, you know, it’s okay to you know, touch yourself it feels good you should you should know your own body. You should know your body really well before you even enter into sex because how are you going to? If you can’t pleasure yourself if you can’t figure out your own biology if you don’t get a mirror and look down there, how can you ever help anybody else you know, pleasure you. These are the methods You can tell this to your child and he really good, especially a father telling this to a daughter as uncomfortable as it might sound.

Father’s such a great

influence because you know, as you know, like, yet for a daughter, the father’s the first love of your life in your first important, intimate relationship. So to have that person say, I want you to have pleasure in your sex, like, I want you to listen to your body, I want you to love yourself. Go ahead and masturbate as long as you’re alone. Like, I want you to really, you know, understand that that’s okay. And you know that, you know what, that’s totally appropriate, but it freaks fathers out even me suggesting that they do that.

Angelique
Just as long as they’ll masturbate at the dining room table. I think it’s okay.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yeah, that’s what I said. I mean, like, as long as you’re alone, like, you know, it could you know, I don’t understand why a father couldn’t send that message or mother couldn’t say, you know, when to their son, like, you know what, you know, okay, great. Get the condoms and all that stuff. But I just want you to know, like, you always need to be prioritizing your partner’s pleasure above your own. And really, you know, both boys and girls, like, you really need to understand that like, these things take time, use a soft and gentle touch most most, you know, girls prefer that, like, you know, before you do anything that involves, you know, any kind of rough stuff, really make sure you get consent, like, you know, look them in the eye, like every every stage of sex, get a verbal yes, these are the conversations that that that mothers should be having with their sons. It’s not just like, okay, you know, do you want to have sex? Yes. And that’s it. You’re done with the consent, like no, like, you know, it’s like, the kids that pose in multiple stages, right? There could be like 10 or 15 different periods of getting consent for every new Act. Right. And that needs to be explained.

John
Well, I think one of the important things about even starting young we’re talking about it is making the conversation. not uncomfortable.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yeah.

John
Like,

Dr. Lea Lis
Are you comfortable talking to me right now about this?

John
Of course not

Dr. Lea Lis
Would you feel uncomfortable having this conversation with your child that we just had?

John
For us? No.

Angelique
Yeah for us No, but compared to your mom when you were going away to college like here’s a box of condoms, use them

John
Use them be careful. Good luck.

Angelique
Yeah, exactly. I got the traditional Mexican one. Don’t have sex. It’s bad. That’s it. That was my sex talk.

Dr. Lea Lis
Bad. I mean, I hear this stuff. I laugh, you know, you scaring scaring scaring these kids to death, you know, like, and the funny thing is, is abstinence only stuff is like, there’s no difference between the average age of sexual initiation between abstinence only programs and regular you know, programs that you know, like it’s a more enlightened sexual education programs. It’s completely absurd to think that talking about abstinence is going to result in any substance. And, and actually teenagers are just wiser in general like they are waiting, they are more careful because because, you know, the rise of sexual education is getting a lot better overall.

Angelique
So, and then MTV reality show 16 and pregnant because there were statistics that show that when that show was release, pregnancies dropped about 15% in teen pregnancies because they’re like, Ah, well, we see what all the drama and everything we’re like, no, no, no

John
But that’s almost going back to sort of almost a fear based reaction. And I think in overall we’re trying to get more towards an education, more educated and conscious pace reaction of it, which it’s great that the internet as much as it’s provided porn access to stuff we don’t want our kids to have. It has provided both access for parents and children to these resources that they normally wouldn’t go down to their their priests or their school or you know, even their whatever. softball buddy and go, Hey, I need to talk to my kids about sex. How did you do it? It’s usually just even even at the adult world. Level kind of pushed under the carpet. So we’re going to take just a little break and then we’re going to come back and talk about a new book coming out soon, so we’ll be right back.

Angelique
Hey, honey you know those new toys I wanted to try out?

John
Yes.

Angelique
The ones that you say are going to cost me way too much money to have?

John
Oh, yes.

Angelique
But I just found this new service called Kingcrate.com

John
sounds interesting.

Angelique
Yeah. And for $50 a month, they send you a box of toys that are worth anywhere from 75 to $100. And it’s like great starter kit, like you know that roleplay we wanted to try or your favorite medical play. So why don’t we just go check it out?

John
I heard if you go to livingasexpositivelife.com sponsor page, they can get you an additional 33% off.

Angelique
I see. It’s such a steal. Babe. Come on. 33% off our first box, please.

John
Okay, so we’re back and we’re talking with Dr. Leah about book coming out called The Shameless Psychiatrist, guide to parenting, which is something just reading the appendix And go through the topics. I know I want to read. So tell us about

Angelique
Oh, I wanna know why it’s shameless.

Dr. Lea Lis
Um, well, I spent too long it was called the new normal about, you know, and then I changed the title because I really wanted something catchy. And when I first thought I met I met another blogger called the angry therapist and he kind of interesting guy. And so then I thought that’s kind of catchy. What could what could be my title and then I thought shameless because I’m trying to teach people to parent without shame and to feel no shame. And it’s kind of a plan words and catchy. So that’s how I came up with it. So it’s, it’s it’s a plain words about not having change, like lashing in the way that you approach your sex life. So that’s how I came up with it. I think the thing I’m most proud of is the is the the cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral therapy piece book, which are incredibly wonderful, very evidence based therapies for Treatment of a variety of mental health conditions now applied to sexuality. And in specifically, I have a little exercise in the book about a framework to think about what is your sexual history? And how do you want to present that information to your child in a very in a very thoughtful way. So for example you know, my family what I know of their sexual story, you know, and and and my story with cognitive reframing cognitive reframing means taking the pieces out that were incredibly negative, and spinning them not to be necessarily positive but to be less. So things like the expression of affection and sexuality in my family, and how do I want to reframe that and think about that now, what I want to share with my child, my early like, what are your early memories of sexual feelings and sexual play? And what do you want to share with your childhood Monitor with your child. What’s your experience your own experiences puberty? Like, how is it horrifying? What What do you wish you had known? You know what your parents had told you? And so how are you going to like, what are the pearls or the wisdoms that you don’t want to be like? puberty is horrible. It was awful, okay, you don’t want to scare them, but like, what did you wish to know? You know? What did you wish you had known about your sexual orientation from the beginning? Like, what? How did it change? How did it evolve? Like, what do you want to share with that process with your child? So let’s say you talked about being bisexual, right? You probably didn’t know that when you were 15. Or maybe you did and you just couldn’t you know, you didn’t have the language or no one explained to you what that even meant. So you were totally confused when you first had those feelings. And, you know, you could share a little more of that journey, but you might not want to share every little detail with your child. Again, you have to be careful for intergenerational trauma, but you might want to share some pearls like you don’t need to figure out if you want to have sex with boys or girls. Right now, that’s not something you need to know right now, you just need to know what feels good. And you need to like, if it feels good, then you might want to keep pursuing that and keep an open mind because you don’t need to know that right now. What you need to know is just, you know, gentle explorations of the world, and keep, you know, keep the labeling of yourself for later. Like that’s a pretty great pearl that you can give your child who you might, who might be questioning their sexuality, or their sexual orientation. It’d be like, no matter what it is you choose, either I’ll support you don’t make up your mind right now. There’s no pressure, don’t put any labels on yourself just what feels good. That’s all what you need to worry about right now. You know, I think there’s a great pearls like to pass down with the cognitive reframing I was talking about.

John
Well, it’s such a more mature and intelligent way to talk. Like you talk to an adult and saying, you know, here’s the pitfalls here. Here’s, as you said, the pearls, the gems and stuff. Just be careful. It can be a great experience. can be a bad experience and giving them the tools to make their own decision. I love the part about not putting pressure on them. Because at 15, 16 I know half half I was a geek computer geek the whole bit so it became a race between me and my friends of Oh my god, we’re never going to find the girlfriend and you don’t think it’s 16 you know on I’m just starting my life. You think oh my god everything’s happening now.

Angelique
Yeah, but you’re also not taught to enjoy it and be pleasured with it you know you’re not taught to what’s the end goal. I’m just going to cum but you don’t enjoy the journey. You’re just like zoom. That’s it. You know how quickly it is.

Dr. Lea Lis
You might you might have been a geek you’re not a geek now but imagine

Angelique
Beg to differ hahaha

Dr. Lea Lis
story would have been if your mom and dad had been like, forget about what you know your your you know, forget about like just having sex like, enjoy each moment. Enjoy. You know the fondling. Enjoy. The you know, enjoy the whole thing from soup to nuts and take your time and marinate in each step and experience and like really, you know, make that person you’re with feel amazing. And through that making them feel amazing, trust me, you will feel amazing. Like it would have been great if like my mother had to, you know, told me that or, you know, why bother? And, you know, because it took me so long to figure that out. You know, I didn’t, I didn’t know. And, you know, it’s amazing how many women you know, you read the stats, like don’t have orgasms or don’t experience pleasure, because, you know, they were never told that that was okay. You know, and now they’re going back and doing that, but like God, like, I don’t want that my child, my child or any child that I treat, you know, having that experience. So I say I always tell every kid that walks into my office. I you know, I asked them their sexual history. And I always say if they’ve done the crime, they can do the time. So meaning if they’ve had sex, we’re going to go there. We’re going to talk about, you know, orgasms. We’re going to talk about their masturbation we’re going to talk about what their partner does or doesn’t do what they want. And you know, by the end, they’re kind of looking at me wide eyed, like, no adult has ever talked to me about this before. Like, I cannot believe we’re talking about this. And I’m like, why not? Why isn’t your parents ever told you about this stuff? So, you know, that’s the cognitive frame. And I also talk in my book about re a cognitive reframing, which means to kind of develop a new perspective on old information in your mind, about your body. So it’s like, you know, developing body positive self esteem. So I go through it every peak down me with my patients from the top of their head to the bottom of their toes, and I make them describe their body, every little bit of it, and I get so much crooked teeth, bad skin, acne, my hair stringy, it’s frizzy. I have no bubbly stomach. I don’t like they go down from there. They haven’t said one good thing about themselves, not one thing and I’m thinking to myself, how does that happen? Like you’re beautiful. So then we use the cognitive reframing tool in the book you Like, okay, you know, my, you know, you know my I have white teeth I have a nice smile I eyes that are, you know, I have I have bright eyes I have, you know, I have skin which protects me from the sun I have, you know a stomach, which, you know, I’m extremely strong. I can do 94 pull ups I, you know, I can dance and you know, my legs, my muscular legs allow me to dance like, and we just go through and you change the whole story. And they’re like, wow, I never thought of it that way. Oh, my breasts are too small, like, Yeah, but your breasts are gonna allow you to have, you know, to nurse a baby someday doesn’t matter what size they are. So you have these incredible, you know, breasts that are gonna allow you to tab a child that your hips are wide Yeah, that you can someday push out a baby and like how amazing that your body allows you to do these things, and allows you to play sports and dance and you’re healthy and you never get sick. And so by the end, they’re like, wow, okay, maybe I’m not so bad. Parents can do the exact same thing. This is not just for me to do in my practice.

Angelique
Right. But I think we also have to do it to the parents so they could continue to do it through the child. It’s like, it’s always when we teach our class or you know, they say, oh, how about if I pay you to teach our kids? I’m like, No, we’ll be more than happy to help you. So that way, you could continue to be the resource, not us. You know, we could take your all your money, but that’s not ethical.

Dr. Lea Lis
True. Yeah. They have to do the hard work on themselves I agree,

John
They should want to do the hard work, because they’re the ones who want to look like a hero. I don’t want to go ahead and work with someone’s child and have them say for the next few years. Oh, man, they had such great wisdom. I want them to go ahead and live with their parents because they’re going to be in their lives the rest of their lives and be like, thank you, mom. Thank you, dad for doing this for me, because it is such a great gift.

Dr. Lea Lis
Great. I agree. Um, and you wanted to speak a little bit about the alternative family structures. I think that I’m the advice I give parents who are living, you know, maybe polyamorous or is, you know, or an alternative sex practices or whatever, obviously, you know, before the age of, you know, 15 or whatever, I don’t think that exposing children to parents sex lives in a more exposing children neuroticism is really never appropriate. That’s what I say. Like, if you know, it’s never appropriate. So obviously you want to lock up your toys, you know, keep those things hidden, you know, put on the music, whatever you have to do to like keep them you know, from hearing you. There will be times where they’ll by mistake walk in or whatever and see things and I don’t think it’s helpful to say we were wrestling or doing yoga or like whatever. Well I do myself, because that’s even more confusing there, someday, you know

Angelique
how we just don’t hide up her stuffed animal. It’s okay.

Dr. Lea Lis
You know if it were to happen, I would just say, just say, okay, go back to your room, you know, obviously, you know, stop doing whatever you’re doing and then like, you know, come into their room and say, you know, we’re having sex. It’s something that adults do when they want to, you know, give each other pleasure and you know, it sorry that you have to walk in it, but I really do want you to respect my privacy and knock before you come in my bedroom next time. But, you know, don’t lie and be like, yeah, we were, you know, wrestling, but um, as far as how to, you know, explained polyamory to children, if you’re, if you’re bringing the partners into the home and exposing them to the partners. You know, I always say it’s like, you have to decide what kind of family you want to be. So I call it like blender, families, batter families and chameleon families, you know, blended families, they just try to blend they don’t want anybody to know, they don’t want their kids to know, you know, and they just shut it down and hide. That often can be problematic because kids aren’t stupid, but you know, and then there’s batter families, some families are openly you know, polyamorous and they come out to everybody including Their kids, the community, like they may live in San Francisco a very acepting place. Right. And they’re just out with it. And I think that’s incredibly empowering and good for them. I think it’s quite hard in certain areas of the country and may result in you know, the ostracization of the child in certain areas. So I think more power to you if that’s the way you want to go with it. I think most families are Blender like they’re out to some people and they’re not out to others, and that children probably may know. And I think it’s best if if that’s the approach you want to take as a family that you really start explaining to them very young before they develop the stigmas themselves before they even realize that it’s weird. And you know, just say, you know, mommy and daddy love each other, but we also love other people. And, you know, we, you know, we express our love through sex, you know, this is this is like something we chose to do. It doesn’t mean anything that you know, you don’t need to know too much about it, but I just want you to know, like, you know, that we love you just the same will always be your parents, no one’s gonna ever replace us. And you know, and then you know, you, you, you introduce whoever it is that you know, new relationship. Sometimes there’s triads and there’s all different kinds of, you know, relationships out there now, and you know, then you can leave it up. I really say like, as they become a teenager, if it’s been very normalized, you can really leave it up to the child to decide who they want to disclose it to. And under what circumstances so, I’ve interviewed families who, like a same sex triad, where they all live together, they were very open, and that the child had a new playdate over. She was 15. And she was like, I don’t want you to say anything, because this is a new friend, and I don’t know how they’re going to react. And I first the parents were really taken aback like, but this is who we are, but they then understood I reflected on it and said, this is a tough period of her development, not going to push this issue. I’m going to we’re going to pretend she’s just a friend. And, you know, it really gave this child a feeling of like, Okay, I have control. This is not my parents, like, completely, like making me feel like I have no control. So I think that the discussions in the blender family, it should really be an ongoing discussion. And it should be very carefully thought through in a notch just like, you know, and it can change, like you can be out in one area of your community and not in another. And that’s okay. You don’t have to be ashamed of that. That’s a great choice to make, you know, like maybe you don’t want to say anything at work, or maybe you don’t want the parents have, you know, your child’s school to know like, and that’s absolutely okay. Like, what were you know, you have to understand your community. I just think there should be some thought put into it. And, you know, really a framework.

John
Agreed. One observation I’ve made in working with children in polyamorous polyamorous families is that when They’re kind of introduced that or brought into the concept. Their mother or their father is also, you know, there’s this third person that’s, that’s there with them, their brain goes to. So I have another person to take me for ice cream and to go to the movies with him to pick me up from school and do this. It’s the adult mind that when I find people who are not familiar with polyamory, and the moment you say that their immediate thing goes to well, how does the sex work? Because that it’s just the adult mind goes to a different place as the kids, the kids are not really thinking of sex. So when you tell an adult that we’re going to tell a kid about about polyamory, they’re like, Oh, well, you know, how are they going to deal with the sex since like, their kids, they shouldn’t be dealing with the sex portion of it

Angelique
no, they’re about the presence and the bribery. It’s like, hey, how much emotions Yeah, I get.

Dr. Lea Lis
Um, and that’s another great topic. It’s polyamorous or step parents. It’s very similar, right? To have another parent around. He’s awesome. You know, having a third parent. It’s great. Third parent loves your child, then you are so blessed. You know, this idea that the other parent is going to compete. It’s silly, there’s no competition. More love for child is more love bringing on Okay, you know that you know, so they have a third parent Yeah, wonderful that their parent has wisdom that their parent has time that their parents gonna cook to them buy them presents. It’s all upside to kids, you know. And I think to just think of it like that and not be afraid to be like, you know, to empower that third parent to do what they do best. whatever that might be. Do they play baseball Do they? Do they love to cook like empower that parent share with their best with their your child and your child benefit?

John
Wonderful. So let me ask you, how can our listeners reach you if they want to get a little more information about this in your book?

Dr. Lea Lis
Well, my Instagrams at shameless psychiatrist and my my websites, shameless psychiatrists, so it’s very easy to find me You know, interact. And and I love to also tell people sign up for my newsletter which is on my website, because every month I send out an awesome newsletter. Great information.

John
And thank you so much for coming on the show. And we’re looking forward to the release of your book. You said it’ll be out mid next year.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yeah. Okay.

John
Oh, the the Google and everyone’s made the publishing process so hard. We’ll look forward to it again. But thank you very much for coming on.

Dr. Lea Lis
Yeah, it’s such a pleasure. Thank you.

John
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