Before That Sex Show premiered, I promised myself to be as honest with our callers as they are with us. It seemed only fair that if people were going to be vulnerable and talk about their issues on national television, I would do the same. No matter the topic, I would give an honest answer and pull from my own life experiences. Each night that we air, people are backstage tweeting on behalf of the show, and they capture just about everything we say.
Sometimes I completely forget that we are on TV. There is a moment during every show that I feel like I am just having a conversation with dear friends. I look across the table at Heidi Hamilton, Katie Morgan and Dr. Mike as though we were enjoying a really fun dinner party. As I walk off the stage, I take my phone out of my pocket and see at least a dozen mentions from @ThatSexShow. Our Twitter guru Jessica is doing her job all too well:
@ThatSexShow: "Dougall likes a clean tuchas!"
@ThatSexShow: "Dougall is our resident swallower!"
As I read the tweets, I momentarily swallow something else: my pride. It's more like a gulp. Did I really just say all that on TV? This tends to be followed by a frantic flurry of thoughts: God, I hope my mother-in-law isn't watching. Did I really have to talk about spanking?
The other night we got a call from our dear friends Hanna and Ben. "Dougall, we were so nervous that we weren't going to like the show, but it turns out that we love it!" they told us. "We watch it together every night, and it's actually helped our relationship."
Hanna explained that after 10 years of marriage, she thought that she just didn't enjoy receiving oral sex from her husband.
Something about watching the show got us talking about our own sex life. At first we would just giggle at some of the outrageous calls and questions, giving our opinions of how to handle each callers' issues. Then we started talking about what we like and don't like in our own sex life. I had honestly never thought of explaining to Ben what would feel good. I would feel frustrated that he didn't know how to please me, and his bruised ego stopped him from trying again. We just never talked about it. The other night I gave him a few pointers and it was out of this world.
As a psychic, it always amazes me, in my practice or with my friends, how often we are afraid to be vulnerable. I am guilty of this as well; expressing my own personal truths on national television brought up the fear that I might be judged or misunderstood. Hearing that my friends were inspired to increase their own passion and communication due to our public, open dialogue is such a delight.
Every night I am so proud of our callers' honesty. One sweet man recently called to find out how to protect his new partner from contracting his genital herpes. Dr. Mike Dow gave statistics illustrating how common it is for people have some form of herpes, yet it's rarely discussed in a national forum. With this particular caller, I just wanted to reach through the video chat and give him a huge hug. I congratulated him for being vulnerable, open and honest with an issue that many people face.
We are all presented with opportunities to be vulnerable. Whether in our work environment, at social gatherings or with family, our brains tend to operate out of fear. We create small, exaggerated illusions of who we are and what we can share in order to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, this doesn't get us anywhere and often leaves us feeling alone. Think of those moments when you felt truly connected to someone; aren't most of them moments when one of you exposed your truth? My friends Hanna and Ben, who have been married for 10 years, only needed a simple, 10-minute conversation to recharge their connection and have mind-blowing sex.
Ask yourself today, "Am I being vulnerable? Is there a particular area of my life that I could reveal, to feel more connected to those I cherish and love?" It doesn't have to be about sex. It could be about a dream job within your company. Perhaps you fear not living up to your family's expectations. Maybe there's a friend you have a crush on. The opportunities are limitless.
As for me, I will continue to enjoy the transformative power of callers being vulnerable on our show. And if it helps for me to admit that, yes, I manscape, or that, yes, I met my husband in an online chat room, I'll keep doing it.
Photo credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Logo
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