Sex, Love & Goop: Episode Guide

Founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop is a modern lifestyle brand leading conversations about all that can help optimize our existence – wellness, nutrition, self-care, and more.

The series Sex, love & goop focuses on exploring pleasure through the experience of five couples, helped by five practitioners, in overcoming their struggle in the bedroom and learning methods to enhance sexual satisfaction.

Each of the six episodes explores different techniques to understand better who we are as sexual beings, as we all have distinctive sexual language.

Disclaimer: The series does not provide medical advice.

EPISODE 1: A SHOW ABOUT SEX

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS EPISODE?

Damon & Erika

The first couple faces a sexual mismatch, meaning that they want different things in the bedroom. While Damon gets easily turned on, Erika needs more stimulation than just penetration – which doesn’t entirely satisfy her.

They are matched with a somatic sexologist, Jaiya. For her, the first step is to understand each of their sexual languages, that’s why Jaiya makes them take the Erotic Blueprint test. After that, the aim is to test how Erika’s body reacts to different kinds of touch with body mapping. Ultimately, it leads to an evaluation: how pleasurable was each touch on a scale from 1 to 5?

As it turns out Erika’s blueprint is Energetic & Kinky, Jaiya introduces kinky toys that provide various sensations on the body: wolverine claws, metal flogger, feather tickler, leather paddle, handcuffs, nipple clamps, and more.

Felicitas & Rama

On the brink of divorce, the second couple finds it difficult to cultivate intimacy in their busy familial environment. The intimacy, relationship & embodiment expert, Michaela Boehm, observes that Rama and Felicitas need to overcome their mummy/little boy dynamic to redefine themselves as sexual partners. She advises a practice of embodiment to start with.

TECHNIQUES & RESOURCES

Somatic sexology is the meeting of somatics (awareness through the body) and sexology (study of human sexuality). It was influenced by different traditions: yoga, meditation, and tantra, but also scientific research and psychology.

We all have a unique combination of points that trigger desire. Body mapping is a technique used to enhance someone’s perception of their physical self, sexual communication, while ensuring that both partners get the kind of touch (touch, caress, kiss, pinch, slap, scratch, etc.) they need.

Kink is not necessarily hardcore BDSM (whips, chains, etc.), but simply any unconventional activity, object, or dynamic that turns you on, and gives you sexual pleasure, including surprise, adventure, firm touch, anything that gets you out of your head.

Erotic Blueprints are five types of sexual personalities (take the test!). After spending decades studying what triggers desire in people, Jaiya came up with an arousal map revealing what’s your primary erotic language. More on goop’s website.

  • Energetic: someone turned on by anticipation, tease, yearning, longing.

  • Sensual: someone turned on by all their senses being ignited.

  • Sexual: someone turned on by what we think of sex in our culture – nudity, orgasm, genitals, intercourse, penetration.

  • Kinky: someone turned on by what is taboo for you.

  • Shapeshifter: someone turned on by all of the above.

Some of the kinky toys featured in the episode are listed here, and some are on goop’s online shop. Pick one that will provide the sensation you are looking for!

Embodiment is an exercise to develop a deeper presence, awareness, and understanding of what is going on in the body, helping to break free from mind-body limitations and allow growth.

TAKEAWAYS

  • When struggle arises in the bedroom, we tend to think in terms of “chemistry”. Actually, sex requires skills and learning tools rather than innate knowledge.

  • Being sexually compatible is not about liking the exact same things.

  • Couples who innovate last.

  • Each problem is an opportunity to grow, to learn about yourself.

EPISODE 2: WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS EPISODE?

Felicitas & Rama

Michaela prepares them for a sensitivity-building exercise, essential to consciously engage with our bodies. When touching each other’s palms and synchronizing movements with breath, the body experiences “erotic friction” – comprising both surrendering and guiding aspects. The use of blindfolds is perfect to tune people back into their bodies, instead of living in their heads.

Damon & Erika

The workshop focuses on their sexual compatibility, and this time, it’s Damon’s turn to explore his real sexual blueprint. Jaiya makes him experience his orgasmic energy, and he manages to reach an energetic orgasm.

TECHNIQUES & RESOURCES

Contrarily to what we tend to think, there are multiple ways to orgasm. Energetic orgasm is one of the most powerful ones, experienced as a natural high. Oftentimes, touch and nudity aren’t necessary. In this episode, Jaiya demonstrates what is possible to do with a partner, or as a receiver. Here is an additional guide on how to have an energy orgasm.

TAKEAWAYS

  • We have to redefine sex and gender roles in our culture. There are persistent expectations regarding the behavior of cisgender heterosexual men who are supposed to have orgasms with penetration or genital stimulation only. Rare are those who explore other parts of their body! There is a big difference between who we think we need to be as erotic beings, and who we really are.

  • The definition of having sex is reduced to penetration, biased by the dominant heteronormative perspective in our Western culture. As demonstrated in the episode, we can have sex energetically without even a touch.

  • The voluntary act of surrender is empowering, and is distinctive from passive submission, often associated with weakness.

  • We all have unresolved patterns and issues in our lives. And so, there is no such thing as “happily married” – words that should be banned from our conversations. In fact, we don’t have role models that show us how to behave, feel fulfilled, have healthy sex, communicate with honesty, maintain intimacy after years of living together.

EPISODE 3: YOUR MUM CAN’T WATCH THIS

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS EPISODE?

Camille & Shandra

Camille and Shandra struggle to claim their authentic expression of lesbianism due to a lack of education and representation of gay sex. Besides, the stigma surrounding it worsens their body image.

Darshana Avila, erotic wholeness coach, will teach them confidence and intimacy building and expand their sexual repertoire, including the use of sex toys, sensual touching, and positions that feel good.

Mike & Joie

After spending 12 years together, this couple in their sixties struggle with unmatched desire. Mike initiates sex most of the time, and Joie needs more preparation to feel in the mood.

In their first workshop, Amina, founder of the Atlanta Institute of Tantra and Divine Sexuality, makes them embody the primal desire to be wild by behaving as their inner animal. Through crawling, grunting, purring (and more), the aim is to embrace each other’s energy as much as their own. Meditation and breathing are additional ways to ground, be in the body. Next, Amina demonstrates how to offer touch – that is not necessarily sexual – to help Mike tune into Joie’s needs for foreplay, attention, and slowness.

TECHNIQUES & RESOURCES

Both Amina and Darshana demonstrate mirror work to combat negative body image. It’s the exercise of observing ourselves nude in front of a mirror. What do I like? What do I dislike? And why? Often, the things we don’t like about ourselves have been told to us by a third party.

Here is a step-by-step guide.

TAKEAWAYS

  • Self-realization is crucial to sex and relationships. We need to be in tune with ourselves before being entirely comfortable with anyone else.

  • Sex is conditioned by heteronormative sex: penis/vagina penetration. An interesting idea came up in this episode: foreplay doesn’t have to end up in the sexual act!

  • We are taught how to procreate, not how to please our partners.

EPISODE 4: WOULD YOU DO THAT?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS EPISODE?

Damon & Erika

Jaiya has something special in store for Erika and Damon: an anatomy class that focuses on the clitoris! The female anatomy is pretty unknown (pss, we wrote an article on female orgasm here!), and not many know what is erotically possible out of penetration and vibrators.

The workshop was a hands-on practice for Damon – guided by Jaiya – on how to touch Erika’s genitalia for pleasure. At the same time, she learns to observe tension in her body and emotional release.

Camille & Shandra

In this episode, Darshana gets the girls to observe their vulvas in a mirror to make them more comfortable with their bodies. She speaks about the perception of female genitalia throughout the ages and the negative influence of religious conditioning.

Shandra decides to undergo sexological bodywork to overcome pain during penetration, and Camille because of her difficulty to speak up about what she wants. Darshana provides genital contact, penetrative touch, and some indications on what kind of touch gives pleasure.

TECHNIQUES & RESOURCES

Sexological bodywork is a somatic and erotic education that assists people to deepen their experience of sex, between erotism and trauma-healing. The therapists are trained to do sexual touch (one-way touch only, and always with gloves) on the patient for education, healing, and pleasure. The aim is to encourage the body to open up without fear and wire it for pleasure. It’s illegal in the United States, except in the state of California. In Europe, the Association of Sexological Bodyworkers (EASB) is based in Switzerland.

Here is a Q&A about the practice.

TAKEAWAYS

  • Many women feel generalized pain in their bodies (during penetration, for instance). The pain doesn’t necessarily have a physical foundation, but is frequently a physical response to a psychological cause. The body freezes to protect itself, perhaps due to past negative experiences.

EPISODE 5: THANK YOUR PAST

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS EPISODE?

Dash & Sera

This is the only couple that doesn’t have sex issues but strives to optimize their relationship by breaking their avoidant patterns. Both are matched with Katarina Wittich, a family constellations facilitator, who prepared a workshop to help them explore negative behavior patterns through this unique form of family therapy.

TECHNIQUES & RESOURCES

Family constellations is a therapeutic approach that exposes the unknown dynamics in a family to heal harmful patterns impacting someone’s current relationships. The method was developed by a German missionary, Bert Hellinger, who lived with the Zulu people for a while. The way they deal with intergenerational healing inspired him to investigate how we inherit patterns and trauma from a family system.

Here is an article that explains what family constellations is, how it usually takes place, and a step-by-step exercise for you to start investigating your family history.

TAKEAWAYS

  • We don’t often realize that the way we relate to others is influenced by family patterns that we perpetuate, as well as education.

  • The foundation of a relationship is to be, first and foremost, a strong individual. The internal experience of working on our own patterns is essential to understanding who we are.

EPISODE 6: FIREWORKS

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS EPISODE?

Damon & Erika

The time has come to integrate at home what has been learned during the workshops. Jaiya pushes Erika and Damon to start designing their sex lives through some homework. What do I want to explore? What worked out and what didn’t?

In the same spirit, the last workshop gives ideas on how to integrate knowledge into games: body painting with a blindfold, a sensory playtime, and finally, a sensual hide and seek.

Camille & Shandra

In this episode, Darshana continues focusing on enhancing sexual communication with a game. Camille undergoes sexological bodywork to identify and communicate what she truly finds pleasurable: what kind of touch, and where. That way, she manages to experience a slow-building orgasm with multiple waves.

TAKEAWAYS

  • It’s our responsibility to know who we are and what we want, as the only way to overcome negativity, body shame, and trauma.

  • Communicating honestly about our boundaries is a process that needs to be practiced daily, even for the most insignificant things.

Last advice for the road? Our perception of sexuality is biased by taboos, popular culture, self-esteem, but also beliefs inherited from our family system and education. Yet, Sex, Love & Goop shows us that there are plenty of opportunities to welcome change into our lives. Take your time, but take action! ♥︎

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