"We have to shed this idea that we are this definitive thing of a good person or a good man. We are flawed and vulnerable and we are trying."
This week, I'm excited to welcome Eric Fitzmedrud Ph.D. into the Expansive Intimacy conversation. Eric is a therapist specializing in relationships and sexual issues, and the author of a new book titled The Better Man - A Guide to Consent, Stronger Relationships, and Hotter Sex.
The winding road to intimacy, especially in long term relationships, is not easy or glamorous. Even the most well-intentioned partners will hurt each other just by continuing to grow, and part of intimacy is knowing this and choosing to trust anyway.
Being a better man is not about being “the good guy,” but rather evolving past who you were yesterday to meet your potential and being an example for other men rather than a source of competition. Eric shares his own story in which a period of infidelity led to recognizing his authentic self, and through hard work, cultivating a deeper intimacy with his partner.
In recent years, the topic of consent has been viewed by many men as a dangling sword of Damocles. InThe Better Man, Eric explains that consent is a chance for both parties, whatever gender, to reclaim sexuality for themselves and meet each other on an equal playing field. Communicating boundaries and fantasies is not necessarily a greenlight for sex, and he discusses how to view and handle rejection, especially when as humans our focus narrows the closer we get to our desire.
Consent in the bedroom should be part of a larger cultural shift in the way we consider all of those around us from our children to our co-workers. Eric explains the important step to keep fantasies from becoming obstacles to intimacy, body language cues that many partners overlook, and the best place to talk about consent.
“One of the myths that we encounter is you could hurt me, but if you really love me, you won't… intimacy makes hurt an inevitable part of a relationship.” (8:24 | Eric)
"We need some help, even if in long term relationships…The problem is that we haven't received a lot of the foundational tools in terms of understanding how to navigate our own desire" (17:54 | Eric)
"When we receive a no, that doesn't mean a no to us, a no to everything, a no to the next time. A no means no to this in this situation, to the way you asked." (27:05 | Eric)
"Have your consent conversations on a walk in public… ask for something new in that context." (33:08 | Eric)
“I really think of the process of building consent as building consent culture and that it takes place everywhere.” (38:26 | Eric)
Connect with Eric FitzMedrud:
Author Landing Page: https://www.drericfitz.com/the-better-man
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/TheBetterManBN
Connect with Jim Young:
Expansive Intimacy, the book: https://www.amazon.com/Expansive-Intimacy-Tough-Defeat-Burnout/dp/B0BFTSZ4ZG/
If you like what we're talking about on the show, would you consider sharing it with someone important in your life who might also appreciate it?
I'd also love it if you would rate, comment, and subscribe to Expansive Intimacy on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.
Intro Music: Catch It by Coma- Media
Outro Music: Upbeat Funky Retro by QubeSounds