Hi sister! Welcome back to another episode of A Taylored Adventure to Happiness. If you are new, welcome! If you are a regular, you know I love you!
I don’t think I need to sell you on this episode, sisters. In this juicy scoop episode, we dive into pleasure, power, and owning your sexuality however you express it. Your sexual desires are unique and deserve to be recognized, supported, and safely expressed if you so choose. This is no easy task for most women because there are so many conflicting messages around what is acceptable and not acceptable. We’re also navigating centuries of disempowering dynamics and healing ancestral trauma while riding the waves of feminism.
But life is short, and your sexuality is potent. As I’ve always said, what you carry in your sacral chakra is directly related to how much magnetism and power you have. Shame within the sacral chakra can dim your light and decrease your effectiveness in the world. Plus, it doesn’t exactly feel good either. Yet, we don’t always know how to express our sexuality in ways that honor our desires and also feel safe, let alone know how to ask our partners for them.
I’m so incredibly excited to have Lauren Saluan — a friend and former podcast guest — with me for this episode. She opened up about her journey to sexual fulfillment post-divorce, healing her shame around sex, and her sexual expression, which was so refreshing. She also shared some of her kinky sexual experiences and discussed how she negotiates boundaries, cares for herself, and, best of all, owns her pleasure. Let’s get started!
Who Is Lauren Saluan?
In addition to being an amazing friend and fellow queen, Lauren Saluan is a lifelong athlete who spent much of her career in public relations, crisis communications, and marketing. In 2015, she launched a health and fitness coaching business while simultaneously continuing her PR and social media consulting — guiding entrepreneurs in the health, wellness, lifestyle, and personal development to expand their online influence and monetize their social media.
Lauren is a powerhouse — she runs both PR Accelerator and The Influencer Network programs, which are designed for boss babes looking to expand their reach and influence across a variety of industries. She regularly holds events designed to bring powerful, influential women together to uplevel their lives.
While she’s been killing it in her career, Lauren has transformed her life after divorce to fulfill her in ways she never imagined were possible. She has a straightforward approach to getting her needs met and has a great sense of humor. I had so much fun connecting with her.
Unpacking Shame and Awakening to Sexual Expression
First of all, why is it important to liberate our sexual expression? Why shouldn’t we just function at the level we’ve been used to functioning at? Lauren didn’t hold back:
“Life is short and orgasms are fucking amazing. … Sex can be so beautiful and so much fun and feels so fucking good. … We do not have time to waste having shit, unfulfilling sex.” – Lauren Salaun
Ladies, how would you rate your level of fulfillment on a scale of one to ten? I hope it’s pretty high up there, but if it’s not, what would it look like to be at a ten or close to a ten? What if you had an incredible sex life that made your body, mind, and spirit deeply nourished? What does that look like for you?
There are so many reasons why we might struggle with getting our sexual needs met — way too many to count. But here are a few: we might be ashamed of our desires, we might not have great communication with our partners, we might not have a partner and feel that we need one in order to have great sex (spoiler alert, that’s not true!), or we may just be too busy to think about it. The reasons are endless, but we can take inspiration from those whose experiences resonate with ours. I think a lot of people will understand at least some of what Lauren went through.
“I think the world of my ex. [He’s an] incredible man. We had a beautiful relationship and marriage in so many ways. … [But] the sexual chemistry, the sex life piece, was like a B plus. Everything else was an A, and I didn’t realize how important that piece would be for me.” – Lauren Saluan
Of course, that’s Lauren. You might not feel you need an A in the sex life if you have an A in everything else, or maybe all the other areas are pretty low on the scale too, which can affect the sex life. However, I think it’s important to realize that our sex lives are important and that when we don’t take care of our needs (in ways that honor everyone involved), we’re not thriving.
Sometimes we may not honor our needs because we feel we should not care so much. We might feel that we shouldn’t complain. We may begin to question ourselves or think there’s something wrong with us for having the needs. We might struggle with our conditioning like Lauren did:
“Growing up as somebody who has always gotten a lot of attention for her looks and navigating that my whole life, … I always felt some shame around how I look[ed] … I would often get negative, … unwanted attention for that. I would be underestimated. … My overachiever [tendency] comes from so many different places, but that’s one of [them]. [I always felt that] I had to prove that] I’m not just pretty.” – Lauren Saluan
Lauren expressed that her self-criticism and shame around needing sexual fulfillment came from some of these childhood experiences. She felt bad for being desirable and felt she had to prove herself in other ways instead of owning the fact that she was desirable. But there are other deeper reasons for her shame around sex too:
“I lost my virginity to rape when I was 16, … and I didn’t acknowledge that to myself, let alone say those words out loud, let alone think of it as the R-word until I was 31 or 32. I’m 34 years old right now. So for most of my life I was like, ‘Oh, we are compartmentalizing that and tucking away and never thinking about that again. We are never going to cry about it’. … And so I had a lot of shame around my own sexual expression, my own sensuality, all of that.” – Lauren Saluan
Sisters, if you have sexual trauma, know that you’re not alone. So many women have had these types of violations. If this is something that’s affecting your life, I invite you to consider getting support for it. It’s so fucking worth it.
We have deep work to do, and it’s not always easy. It’s confusing to have had disempowering sexual experiences and yet also crave sexual fulfillment. Know that your desires are valid and that wanting to express them is healthy.
“I’ve always been somebody who has felt very sexual and sensual, … and I felt like there was something wrong with me. I [felt that] if I’m not fulfilled in my marriage and the biggest piece for me, where I’m seeing that lack of fulfillment, is in my sex life, that’s because I’m [messed up] in some way. … And I was like, ‘Well, it’s probably because of my sexual assault. It’s probably because I like getting attention from my looks so much. So there’s something wrong with me, and I just need to figure out how to be happy here.’” – Lauren Saluan
At the end of the day, when we’re stifling our needs in any area of our lives, the needs don’t just go away. Suppressing them takes a ton of energy and drains you of your life force. So what can we do about it? How can we honor ourselves and our partners? How can we ask for what we want compassionately?
Owning Your Sexuality and Asking for What You Need
Lauren’s story is a true inspiration because she ended up choosing herself. That means something different for every person, and in Lauren’s case, she needed to fully pursue her sexual needs. After her divorce, she went down a new path of exploration.
“[I did] a ton of inner work and shadow work and healing … so that I didn’t carry shame around it anymore. But [then I also] liked exploring. … I will say much of 2020 for me was [about] … intentional, conscious connections. … I was like, ‘No one gets to have me as their girlfriend. I don’t want attachment to anybody. I am only accountable to myself.’ … [I did this] while having conscious, intentional connections and being radically honest and transparent.” – Lauren Saluan
I have to give props to Lauren for putting sex at the forefront of her connections. She identified an important need, she communicated it clearly and compassionately, and she also got it out of the way early on. She didn’t waste time.
Not everyone can magically hit a rest button and get this out of the way so early on. So what do you do if you are in an established relationship and you want to switch things up? Tact is key, as is compassion. You’ll need to be clear on your needs and what you want first. Then, take a positive, affirmative approach with partners. Don’t simply tell them what is lacking. Start with sharing what is great.
“Don’t just spring that on them because that can be very surprising. … I don’t think that you have that conversation in the middle of having sex … ‘cause sometimes we’re like, ‘Oh, well, [I should bring it up now] when we’re having sex because that’s when we’re … doing that kind of stuff. I think during sex … [we should focus on] positive reinforcement. [Say] ‘Ooh, will you do that? Or I would love it if you [ did this]’ … Keep it positive. … [We shouldn’t] say, ‘I hate it when you do this,’ or, ‘Could you not actually do that?’ … unless we’re hitting a hard boundary or limit. [Otherwise, we can] deflate the situation.” – Lauren Saluan
It’s a great idea to think about what you do like in your partner or lover’s expression. It’s such a sensitive topic; we don’t want to put someone on the defense or make them feel inadequate. So write out a list of what you love and be sure to express it. Save your desires for another conversation.
“[Lead] with praise … [say] ‘I love that we do that, [and] I love it when you do this … I would also love to talk about some things that I would love for us to try together. … I’ve always thought that this could be really fun. What do you think about that? And what about you? Are there any things that like would make our sex life even more enjoyable for you?” – Lauren Saluan
Safe and Supportive Expressions of Kink
Lauren did a lot of work to acknowledge and own the fact that she likes kinky sex. While it can be an edgy topic, it is still very much becoming less taboo.
The great things BDSM or kink can teach us is how to know our boundaries very well and communicate them very well and unapologetically. We can all learn something from how healthy expressions of BDSM play out, even if that kind of expression is not for us. Boundaries are non-negotiable for kinky scenarios, as are aftercare, self-care, and self-awareness.
“When you are going down the kink [or more] deviant route, … you get a lot better at expressing yourself, at knowing what your boundaries are, … [and] at processing your feelings and emotions.” – Lauren Saluan
Connection to your partner is also essential to BDSM scenarios. Lauren shared that she developed absolute trust with those with whom she explored this. She shared that the types of scenes, the language used, and the physical expression of things was all very much edgy. In a non-play scenario, she would never allow them. However, in the context of a relationship built on trust, she knew that she could push her edges.
“You need to be very connected to one another. So if there’s a look on your face that could create some concern, like your partner, whoever you’re with can say, … ‘Hey baby girl, do you need a minute?’ … Those types of scenes [are] very fulfilling [and] very fun and they’re [also] intense.” – Lauren Saluan
How do you build trust with partners? It really depends on you. Maybe you need to be in love with someone and be in a relationship to have experimental sex. Maybe you don’t want experimental sex, but you are still looking for more pleasure. Perhaps you are fine having wild sex with someone without a relationship, but you need to be sure they will honor your boundaries. These are essential questions to think about before you go this route. Communication should be happening before, during, and after sex:
“[A partner might say,] ‘When I did this, what did you think? Or when I did this, what did you think? Anything that you didn’t love? Anything you would want more of next time?’ [This] does help, especially when you’re in that very exaggerated power dynamic [with the] physical actions to support it.” – Lauren Saluan
I give props to Lauren for knowing how to nurture herself during intense kink scenes. It’s also important to know that even while you may love a sexual experience, the intensity can affect your body. Always tune-in with yourself, ask for the care you need, and give yourself that care too:
“A lot of intense things are happening. You can be in this heightened, adrenalized place, and so it is important to nurture any emotions and your nervous system.” – Lauren Saluan
Another important thing? Always speak up if something isn’t feeling good to you anymore. Just because you started something doesn’t mean you have to finish it. Just because you initiated something doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. You always have the right to stop anything that doesn’t feel good to you. When you don’t speak up, that means you’re enduring, and enduring creates trauma.
That’s why it’s critical that you have a partner who you know will honor your boundary, no questions asked — and that goes for all types of sex, kinky or vanilla.
“If there are very clear boundaries established and they get crossed, that should be an immediate stop and then you don’t keep going. Like if your partner is very clear on your hard stops and then violates [them], that’s a major fuck no. That should be an immediate stop.” – Lauren Saluan
I want to acknowledge that as long as boundaries are respected and you’re feeling safe in the experience, you can bring play and fun into it. There’s no reason why a kinky power dynamic has to be super intense or serious. Laughing, being lighthearted, and playing can lighten the mood for both you and your partner. It can also remind you that you’re in a container where you’re using your imagination to explore different parts of yourself. It’s not the whole you.
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s about pleasure and fulfillment. You choose what that means to you.
“I love sex. I’m very fucking good at it too. And I will not settle for mediocre sex … If I’m dating somebody and [the sex is] okay, … I’m not like, ‘Maybe we’ll grow into it together’. After the third time, if it’s not clicking, I’m fucking done.” – Lauren Saluan
Wow, well said Lauren. So if you want to connect to her on Insta at @laurensaluan please do so! Follow her for updates on her upcoming group Big Queen Energy, an experience designed to liberate your sexual expression, help you navigate sex after trauma, and free you from shame.
If you enjoyed this episode, don’t hesitate to let us know! Tag me at @iamtaylorsimpson on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways!
Remember, I love you. I see you. Cheers to giving yourself the pleasure and power you deserve. And remember — always choose happiness because, well, why the fuck not?
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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
- How Lauren got to a place of full expression and sexual liberation
- Why communication is so important and a massive key in your transformation
- Some ways you can start the conversation around your kinks and desires with your partner or while finding your king
- What’s BDSM, how to set boundaries, creating safe words in scenes, and what goes into aftercare
- What happens in your everyday life and business when you’re able to communicate your sexual needs in the bedroom (or wherever you’re getting it on)
- Lauren’s most unique sessions in BDSM that required some aftercare recovery and/or was a learning experience
- Shifting your views on sex from just sex into a more playful, fun, and exciting place
- Lauren’s biggest fantasy and what she’s looking for right now
- How to bring up certain desires without making your man feel insecure
- Debunking your worries about anal both receiving and giving
- The role trauma plays in BDSM and sex and why it’s actually so healing when done safely
- Things to keep in mind that will help you go all in on your desires
Connect with Lauren: