The Best Sex: How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Sex Life with Dr. Laurie Watson | POP 702

A photo of Dr. Laurie Watson is captured. Dr. Laurie Watson is the director and owner of Awakenings, Counseling for Couples and Sexuality, where she supervises 11 clinicians in both Raleigh and Greensboro. Dr. Laurie Watson is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Can a couples’ emotional and attachment cycles influence each other? How does secure attachment allow for “the best sex”? How did the pandemic influence relationships?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about secure attachment styles and sex therapy with Dr. Laurie Watson.

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Meet Dr. Laurie Watson

A photo of Dr. Laurie Watson is captured. She is the director and owner of Awakenings, Counseling for Couples and Sexuality. Dr. Watson is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Dr. Laurie Watson is the director and owner of Awakenings, Counseling for Couples and Sexuality, where she supervises 11 clinicians in both Raleigh and Greensboro. Laurie has her doctorate — with her research in helping survivors and their husbands heal after breast cancer using Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Her podcast FOREPLAY RADIO—Couples and Sex Therapy is frequently ranked in the top 4 sexuality podcasts on iTunes. Laurie also authored her first book Wanting Sex Again—How to Rediscover Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage in December 2012.

Visit Awakenings and connect with Dr. Laurie Watson on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to her podcast and read her blog.

In This Podcast

  • Secure attachment allows for the best sex
  • Attachment cycles
  • How the pandemic has influenced relationships

Secure attachment allows for the best sex

The secure attachment style is not about smothering your partner or feeling joined at the hip. Secure attachment means to allow – and encourage – your partner to be their individual selves.

But, when we are securely attached to our partner, there’s so much breathing room, there’s so much allowance for the otherness of our partner which becomes very exciting. (Dr. Laurie Watson)

When you see your partner in their own space, in flow, and working on their own hobbies, job, or activities, that can be very intriguing and exciting for someone, which boosts arousal and appreciation.

It’s within secure attachment that vulnerability keeps sex hot. It’s when we reveal the erotic mind that our sex stays alive and on fire, and I don’t think that’s as possible in relationships that are new and random … in terms of enduring desire, that comes with security. (Dr. Laurie Watson)

Attachment cycles

In almost all relationships, to varying degrees, there is a pursuer and a withdrawer. The pursuer wants to be with their partner often and desires a strong connection which can, ironically, push the withdrawer away.

In turn, this makes the pursuer more frantic and needy, which makes the withdrawer back up and shut down. This emotional attachment cycle dovetails into the sexual attraction and attachment cycle.

[Withdrawers] try to control for the “temperature” and the intensity of the sexual experience. Mostly, because ironically, they feel [the sex] so much more intensely, so they’re not trying to control their partner, they’re trying to control the experience for themselves to modify it in a way that they can tolerate it. (Dr. Laurie Watson)

Some highly sensitive people have more sensitive bodies, and therefore orgasms can be a mind-blowing experience, and so relationally they feel exquisitely vulnerable to be naked and intimate with their partners.

The emotional and attachment cycles feed off and influence each other in various ways.

How the pandemic has influenced relationships

1 – The pandemic has changed the dating field: many people before the pandemic dated for fun and closeness.

However, after the pandemic, research has shown that most people are now dating for connection and intimacy.

Because I think all of us realized that this isolation was so toxic. To be alone, to not have a partner, to not be touched … the idea is that we are not invulnerable, we know this with the pandemic, and so partnership has become very important. (Dr. Laurie Watson)

2 – Forced togetherness: many relationships ended over the pandemic because the cracks in the relationship could not be avoided.

If a couple was struggling with issues and they did not have the tools to repair and resolve their negative cycles, then splitting up became the solution.

3 – An increase in masturbation and sex toys: people have become more self-sufficient since realizing that there may be times when they could be without.

Books mentioned in this episode:

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Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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