One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about sexual wellness is the importance of self-care. Without it, we can’t cultivate strong relationships with ourselves or others or live gratifying, impactful lives. Part of that care is valuing our bodies and sexuality enough to treat them well, and avoiding toxins of all types—from negatively influential people to products containing risky ingredients.
Research published by the World Health Organization in 2012 linked ingredients common in commercial lubricants with an increased risk for infections, including STDs and bacterial vaginosis, the most common yet highly under-diagnosed vaginal condition that causes inflammation, itching and other symptoms due to bacterial imbalances. It can also appear with no overt symptoms, raising the risk for complications. As someone prone to UTIs, I’ve been blown away by the difference using high-quality, organic products makes; I haven’t had a single bladder infection since swapping “regular” lube for organic. Seriously, that’s life-changing.
Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Wendy Strgar, owner of Good Clean Love, makers of high-quality intimacy products—including organic, all-natural lubricants, body oils and body candles—I absolutely ADORE. Wendy is also a sought after intimacy and relationships expert who speaks candidly about her long-lasting, happy, highly sexually gratifying marriage. Her mission to bring love back into sex in a world fearful of intimacy is as admirable as her product line. You’re going to love what Wendy has to say! To listen, visit this link on iTunes, then pop back for our follow-up chat below:
Girl Boner Radio: Natural Lubes and Loveology
August: In addition to prioritizing a healthy, happy sex life, what’s one major way you’ve cultivated a lasting, thriving marriage?
Wendy: A passionate sex life is the product of all the other challenging emotional work that it takes to sustain intimacy with your partner—so I spend time every day asking questions and learning how to listen better. Listening to someone, even if you feel like you have heard it a hundred times before actually feels like love to the person being heard. I also prioritize showing up for my husband, whether that is making dinner early or helping him find a clean t-shirt. Showing up means different things to different people, but in the end it feels the same for everyone. You feel like you have someone at your back, willing to help you.
August: I loved what you shared about the myth that love inevitably dwindles over time. What common myth about lasting partnerships do you feel is particularly harmful?
Wendy: I think because so many people are not well-equipped with the skills required to love over time we have come to collectively believe that long term marriage is a dead-end and that it is impossible or at least nowadays unnatural that you could have a great and evolving sexual experience with a long term partner. I think this is very harmful, because it lets people off the hook for the hard work we all need to do to continuously be curious and open to who we are as sexual beings. No one can make us feel sexy if we ourselves are not committed to relating with and understanding our erotic selves and mysterious fantasies that go with it. It is easy and now socially acceptable to believe that sex withers with familiarity. My experience has been the opposite.
August: You shared wonderful thoughts on people’s fear of trusting love. What’s one step a person can take to begin moving past that fear?
Wendy: When it comes to trusting in the belief that you are lovable and can be loving, I am convinced that this process is an internal waking up process which begins with the seed of self love in all of us. So many of us are the walking wounded, spending 80% or more of our thought process on our defects, and worse still most peoples thoughts are 95% the same day after day. Paying attention to our thinking and giving yourself the benefit of the doubt, becoming your own friend is the first critical step to being able to witness and receive love from others. We all want to be loved and we all deserve it. Learning that is a practice that pays off in a million ways.
August: If you could have dinner with any celebrity, who would you choose? What would you eat?
Wendy: I have always had a crush on Bono from U2 and some of his music about love (miracle drug) often spontaneously starts playing in my head. I also have always admired Meryl Streep and the multifaceted challenging stories she is willing to portray. I would love to have a meal with either of them—maybe a harvest table of beautifully prepared vegetable dishes (think kale, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, arugula, brussels sprouts and yellow peppers), a warm crusty loaf of bread and a soft French cheese.
Okay, I want to eat all of that. Isn’t Wendy fabulous? To learn more about making love last, visit her blog, Making Love Sustainable, and follow her (@wendystrgar) and Good Clean Love (@GoodCleanLove) on Twitter.
A SPECIAL GIFT! To save 10% on a full order of all-natural, organic intimacy products—before tax, visit GoodCleanLove.com and enter the coupon code GIRLBONER10 through Friday, 11/28. (How sweet is that?!?)
What intimacy products do you use? If you’re in a romantic partnership, how do you ensure it’ll last? Do you fear love, or go after it with gusto? Any thoughts on our interview? We’d love to hear from you! ♥
Raani York says
You know, August, Wendy IS fabulous.
You know that MY relationship is a little different from others. Even though it IS apparently lasting and we are planning a future together, this won’t happen before the next 2 years. In the meantime we are making love with gusto – no holding back, no taboos… just “experimenting” with joy.
August McLaughlin says
I love hearing that, Raani! You and yours seem like such a beautiful couple. Keep enjoying each other!
Great, as usual, August!
All I can say right now about love and relationships is that I am redefining who I am and what/who I am after in life. It used to be a burdensome journey, but now I think it has moved into the interesting and even fun type of adventure.
August McLaughlin says
I love hearing that, Scott! So glad to hear you’re enjoying worthy rewards for that tough work.
It is tough work! You would not think it would be, but it is!!!