Nick and Amy interview Cindy Scharkey with the "Permission For Pleasure" Podcast. Cindy is passionate about opening the doors for women to have conversations about expressing, experiencing and enjoying their sexuality.
In this episode, they talk about how the clitoris is literally the "key" to unlocking female pleasure. For women who would like to find intimacy more enjoyable and better understand their bodies, and husbands who want to better understand where and how to please your wife, this episode is for you!
You can find Cindy's great podcast HERE
Also, don't forget to download the Ultimate Intimacy App for free in the app stores, or at ultimateintimacy.com to find "Ultimate Intimacy" in your marriage.
Follow us on Instagram @ultimateintimacyapp.
If you have any feedback, comments or topics you would like to hear on future episodes, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
You are listening to the Ultimate Intimacy Podcast, where we discuss how to find ultimate intimacy in your relationship. We believe that, no matter how many years you've been married, you can achieve passion, romance, happiness and ultimate intimacy at any stage of your life. Join us as we talk to not only marriage experts, but couples just like yourself and people who are just flat out fun. The Ultimate Intimacy Podcast is for couples who have a good relationship but want to make it even better.
So hi and welcome to episode 30 of the Ultimate Intimacy Podcast. We are your hosts, nick and Amy, and we are so excited for our episode today. This is a topic that, even though it's kind of geared more towards the women, I think it's something that the man out there really need to listen to. So the title of this podcast is it's All About the Clitoris, and we have Cindy Sharkyon with us today, who is an expert in this area and just phenomenal. Amy and I have had a few discussions with her and she is just absolutely wonderful. So, cindy, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here.
Thanks for having me. I'm delighted to be here.
So I am just so excited about the name of your podcast, which is Permission for Pleasure, which I just find incredible because it's so true. As women, we sometimes feel like we need permission for pleasure. Why is that? Tell us about your podcast and why you named it that.
Yeah, I've been working in women's health for I've been a nurse for 35 years and I've worked in women's health a long time and I just found, in working with women and speaking to them and meeting with them, that often this is the crux of the issue they don't feel like they have permission, permission to experience pleasure, that sex and sexual pleasure isn't for them, and so what happens with that is that I think that we just need to change that dialogue, change that conversation and for women to recognize the things that influence them, to come to feel that way and investigate that you know, and then to start giving themselves permission for pleasure. I think a lot of women are raised or have influence from culture, religion, families, communities that tell them over and over, either with silence or with words. They communicate to women and young girls that sexuality, normal sexuality, is dirty, bad, wrong. You know all of that kind of thing, and I just saw it over and over that women then were raised to feel like they did sex wasn't for them, they didn't really have permission to experience pleasure, and I just heartily disagree. So I think the other factor I saw that really cemented this was how many women I met with consult or taught who. Because of that upbringing and that mantra and that teaching or silence, they learned to shut off their normal sexuality and sensuality, turn it off. And then they got into a married relationship and somehow they were supposed to just turn it on. Yeah, they flipped the switch, so to speak, and they were having such difficulty doing that, and I think this is an issue for so many women. I see it over and over again.
I think you're so correct because we're taught it's bad, it's bad, it's bad until you get married. Then it's good and you better enjoy it, because you better do a lot of it. You know, and then don't figure out your body. But then you're married, so you better know your body all of a sudden and teach your husband how about your? I mean, it's just a lot. It's a lot to take in as a woman.
Yes, yes, and this is a common thread. When I meet with women for consult or at workshops, this just comes up over and over and over again. Whether they're into their marriage a year or 25 years, still the same issue.
Yeah, so let's jump right into it. Actually, god designed us with a body part that teaches us that we should find pleasure in sexual intimacy. And that's all about the clitoris, so let's dive into that and talk about that amazing organ that we have, that God gave us so that we can enjoy it.
Let's do that.
My favorite subject.
Let's talk about it.
So tell us all about the clitoris and what women should know and what husbands should know that they don't know.
Yeah, let's do that. The word clitoris is thought to come from the Greek word key, so I like to call the clitoris the key to female pleasure.
Like that that's good.
It is the key to unlocking sexual pleasure for women. Period. It really is. It really is. And I think the truth is that so many people are unfamiliar with the anatomy. They're not taught it in school. It wasn't even in the textbooks for so long. I mean, it's just really come finally to the forefront, where we know the whole structure of the clitoris and we have more understanding. So people think the visible part of the clitoris, the glands or the head that you can see and touch, is the only and the hood I have my hands going. Oh boy, she's going to go off. They think that that's the only part of the clitoris, but it's really just the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole network underneath that and that whole network is bigger and more involved than people understand and think. Let me give you a little comparison, especially for the men. The penis and the clitoris have the same amount of erectile tissue pound for a pound. It's just organized differently and you cannot and it's not on the outside.
And who knows this Right?
and who knows, most people don't know this. No, no, and the clitoris has just has 6,000 to 8,000 nerve endings, I mean more than a penis has actually twice as many as a penis. And the great news is all of this erectile tissue. When I say the clitoris is erectile tissue, what does that mean? It means the clitoris actually gets an erection, just like a penis. I think if people could think in this way, especially couples, right, it starts to make a lot of sense and then you realize OK, well then, just like a penis, the clitoris has all this erectile tissue, which means it's available for arousal, erection and pleasure. It's just organized differently. But all accessible. That's the good news, right, yeah.
Yeah. So, as we're talking about this kind of just thinking like, what do you think the percentage of women are that don't really understand the clitoris or recognize how the clitoris can be used, I guess, for that pleasure? I mean, how many women do you think the percentage of women out there that are kind of in the dark, so to speak, that?
aren't able to explain.
I mean, I think it's just a little bit of a little bit of a sense of the experience, pleasure and intimacy because they don't understand the clitoris.
Yeah, I don't know study-wise the percentage I just know off my workshops and speaking events and consults. I'll usually get out my little clitoris. I'm showing them my little 3D model, so that Nick can have a little look here. Yeah, I need it. What is that? And they just don't, you know, they only know the tip of the iceberg. They don't know what all is underneath, and so it's a lot. It's a lot, nick, it's most people.
They may know they can access the clitoris, the glands, because they can see it and feel it, and they may come to understand their own body and what brings pleasure, not even knowing that most of that, all of that is connected in some way to the clitoral network.
Yeah, well, I think too is men, and I, I mean, when we first stopped married, I just assumed that, hey, sex or intercourse would be pleasurable for her, not not understanding all the you know different things that uh, are behind the scenes I guess, so to speak, and and. But I just assumed, oh, you know, intercourse will be pleasurable for her. And you know, I think a lot of wives out there, you know, maybe maybe don't say anything or or don't express how they're feeling. But if the husbands knew that that Maybe really isn't the case more often than not, or they need to do something to stimulate the clitoris, I guess you could say, um, they, they would probably get their, their wives, to enjoy intimacy a lot more. And, um, I mean, that's kind of the way it was in our marriage, right? Oh, you're right, you're right on. Yeah, you're right on.
I mean. The truth is that that Most people's education is only around intercourse, and so they don't understand that the majority of women 75 to 80 I would say it's more, actually percent of women Do not Orgasm with intercourse alone. Yeah but they make the experience pleasure and arousal, but very as a very small percentage that will actually orgasm with intercourse alone. This is a fact. So when people don't know that kind of information, then they're just going off what they they see in the movies, what they hear from their friends, what they watch and porn which is lousy, sex, ed, yeah. And they think why isn't she coming? I mean, I don't, and she's thinking why am I not coming? I don't understand, something's wrong with me. I'm. I'm broken. My vagina must be broken. You're not broken.
You're normal, you're normal and you just didn't have the education.
We actually have a article we put on the app talking all about Trying for couples to try to have outer course. You know, forget about the intercourse, try our course to see you know how that benefits your sexual intimacy and pleasure for the wife and.
Um, and there's a lot of couples that will switch to that because it's so much better for the woman. Yeah, yeah both yeah Um absolutely what what advice do you give couples maybe more couples that haven't figured out that how important the clitoris is? What advice do you give them when they're really struggling, like right off the bat?
I think number one is A woman needs to figure out her own body. So I just feel really strongly about this. I mean, I think that men are they're able to understand their penis. It's right out there, um, it's easy access, it's it's, it's like, it's not so taboo, you know, it's just and it's visible, right? I think that women need to understand their own body, which means getting a mirror, and If you've never even looked at your genitals, I would start there. I really would. I think I know, actually, from all these years as a nurse, how many women have never even looked at their genitals. I it's just astounding to me, and it's it's really a place to start. This is a healthy exercise to understand their genitals, healthy exercise to understand your own body. What is there, how does it look, how does it feel if I touch this? What does that feel like if I touch this? You can do it with your partner. Yeah but I think a lot of women need to do this on their own and understand and become, become more comfortable with their body, and then the key Right. The key is then sharing what you learn with your partner. This is the whole point, mm-hmm, because your partner cannot read your mind and your partner does not have a clitoris so true. So there's no way for them to really know, and know you individually, because we are each unique. Yeah, and that's where you share.
Yeah, that's where experimenting and communicating and and trying new things can like really help your marriage, you know yeah, and I think a lot of women are probably afraid of that.
They probably think, oh, I'm like you said, I'm just broken, but I think it's. I think it's okay to, like you said, get to know your body and get to know what what different things feel like. I mean, I think that's totally okay and totally appropriate and, like you said, I love how you said communicate that with your husband, include your husband as part of that, part of figuring out, because that is that is truly what I mean. Couples need to be intimate together, right? I mean, that's that's what brings couples closer together. So, involve your husband, communicate to your husband and figure that out, to bet, figure that out together, because intimacy is going to be so much more enjoyable long term.
Sure, and I think along that education piece is you know, having safe sources for education. You know, whether it's your podcast and your app or my platform and my pot, you know it's like figure out If you feel really uneducated which, frankly, most people are you know where could you safely get information from and education that would benefit you, either by yourself first, or as a couple, and then those kind of things, whether you read a book together or you read a blog together, like you're talking about, or let's do a podcast together, then you can open the conversation With the language that's provided, which sometimes makes it easier for couples to start those kinds of dialogues.
Um what? What do you think that women really need to experience more pleasure besides just knowing their body?
Yes, okay, number one is they have to involve the clitoris. So I know I sound like a broken record, but that this is.
This is the truth of what it is. It's not important.
It's clitoral stimulation.
It's learning like what? What kind of clitoral stimulation do I enjoy? Some people don't like direct clitoration. You know stimulation to the clitoris, to the head. Some people like more of a roundabout. You know, understand what the tissue looks like underneath and where and how you access that and what kind of stimulation feels good to you in this season of your life, because this will change. This is an ongoing conversation You're gonna be having this is not a one-time deal, right your body's always changing. So I would say the clitoral and, and you can have intercourse and incorporate clitoral stimulation at the same time, or you can have outer courses, you call it, and don't even, don't even involve the penis in the vagina initially. Just all of that, all of that kind of foreplay and warming up is a rousal. Yeah that's the second thing women need. Women need, uh, time. Women need time the the clitoral network is organized, a little more spread out and it needs time to be aroused. All of these warming up activities that that people say is just.
You know, foreplay, that's sex, that is Pleasurable sex for women guys, I hope all of you listening are listening to what she's saying. I mean more foreplay.
Oh, 100 percent. Foreplay is the play I mean, it is like I think if people could understand that female arousal does not take five minutes. Yeah female arousal. The studies are clear 12 to 20 to 40 minutes of foreplay for the majority of women to be able to reach orgasm.
And I'm gonna let me say that again.
Are you listening? Women's arousal is not five minutes.
Well, and sometimes if you move positions or switch something up on a woman, sometimes that's to start all over. Oh, great point.
Amy, just speaking my language.
That's what I found for me. I'm like if you move and something happens, or even if my brain stops and I start thinking about something else, it's like, oh crap, Exactly Starts all over again, Like we're just totally.
Reset the timer.
Yeah, it's like we're totally different.
I think that what a lot of women say, amy, is if your partner's doing something you enjoy, unless she tells you to stop, don't stop.
Even if it's like five minutes longer, longer or whatever like, and if you're bored with it, if it's working, stay there, so again communicate with each other.
You know when you're, when you're into it say is this, is this feel good, is this where we need to be?
And you know it's hard for people. I mean Nick's smiling, but I mean, nick. You know it can be hard for people to learn that kind of language if it's new for them, and yet it goes a long way towards really increasing the pleasure meter, right? So just figure out what's easy for you to start with, whether it's like more, less, faster, harder, slower keep going. It doesn't have to be a lot of words, just a few words maybe, and start. Start there, Start easy, right, make it easy. I do think too, that what a lot of women need is you brought this up, amy but they need to be able to engage their mind. Your brain is your most important sex organ.
And women's minds are really busy and loaded.
The mental load is a real thing. So it is such a big factor for women and I think that if men understood that, I think that they would be a little bit faster to jump in with the chores. I call it chore play.
I like that, I like that, I like that.
Chore play, sharing the mental load, meaning what can I take off your plate that would free up your mind space to want to experience pleasure? I mean, think of it that way Yep, I'll put the kids to bed and that will give you. Will that give you a little time to just kind of relax and switch gears? Because for a lot of women it's really difficult to make that switch from wife, employee, employer, mother, caretaker all of it to sexy female I want you. Sometimes it's a really hard switch to flip in different stages of our lives.
I was just going to say a really good way advice for husbands would be let me go put the kids to bed or let me go clean up the kitchen or whatever, and you go take a nice hot bubble bath for 20 minutes and get yourself ready and calm your mind down a little bit, shave your legs, whatever you need to do so that you feel clean and ready, and put on something if you want, and just so we can just kind of get stuff off our mind and kind of get into that mindset. I know for me I'm a night shower. I cannot climb into bed without making sure I'm clean and stuff. If he wants to be intimate or vice versa, I'm ready. You know what I mean. But he's already so good with the other stuff, with the kids and the house and all that stuff I don't really have to like check that off my list. But it is really really important for women to go into the mindset and to turn off that overload like you're talking about. Yeah, it's huge.
It is huge, yeah, it's so so important, I would say. The other thing is understanding desire. There's so much misinformation about desire and maybe you've had episodes about this on the podcast. It's always important to talk about. But I just, I always want to at least mention that a lot of women don't experience spontaneous desire and spontaneous desire where you just want sex out of the blue. You see something, hear something, smell something. You're like, oh, I want it, I want it. Yeah, that's a. Maybe 15% of women experience desire that way. Maybe 35% of men do, 15 versus 75. Yeah, yeah. Next next laugh.
I was thinking I was thinking, oh, it's probably 99%, guys, because I mean the wind can be blowing and I'm just teasing but the truth is there's a, there's a flip, there's also the flip side to this.
So then there's there's a lot of relationships where the woman has a really high spontaneous desire and the man has much more responsive desire. So I think if people understood that that sex out of the blue, a spontaneous sex, is not really the way most people move through their relationship, having a good, great sex.
So true, in fact, we've talked about and we don't mean to get off course, but we've talked about scheduling sex and how, how. I was kind of against that when I first heard that. I'm like who in the world needs to schedule sex? I'm totally converted now because, as you talked about, it gets you in the right mindset Totally in the day and and also for your spouse and gets you knowing that, okay, I've got to mentally get prepared or do things to get prepared for tonight.
So and it's good for a man because he's like, what can I do throughout the day? And a woman's like, how do I take some load off of me? Or exactly my mind in the right mental state. So I mean we did a.
We did a seven day sex challenge and it wasn't as much as I mean yeah, it was seven days of sex, but all the benefits were so much more important than the sex and it was just of all the things that it caused us to do in our relationship to. I guess you know I'm I'm being better around the house, I'm being better this way and just how we just connected a lot better. But it goes back to, you know, giving yourself that time to be prepared.
Well, and think about I use that. When people say I don't scheduling sex does not sound romantic to me. I say well, do you love hotel sex? Do you? Do you feel like you have great sex when you go on vacation?
It's kind of scheduled.
Yeah, exactly, it's that anticipation and looking forward and the planning that sparks your sensuality. It sparks your arousal right, and for a lot of people, responsive desire is how they experience desire, which means things have to happen for them to to have arousal and put sex on their mind.
So it's a kind of experience desire. It's not linear. Yeah, so true, it's a path.
Yeah, for sure, we talked a little bit about this. I'm definitely more the responsive, so you just got to discuss it, talk about it and figure out how to balance it and be open about it Really.
What advice do you have for husbands when their wife is just not interested in sex, won't initiate, won't even initiate, but won't even like, just doesn't even want to go there.
Yes, let's see here we could do a whole podcast on that. We've talked a little bit about communication, but communication is is huge. Silence is your enemy in this situation, because if we do, there's no discussion. Things just just go on like that for years and years and years. So it really takes communication and and that is a lot about being curious why does she feel this way? Ask the questions Are you experiencing pain? Painful sex is a huge issue, Much more than people understand. Is it an issue with desire? Do you understand that, how responsive desire works? Do you understand how to turn your own self on?
Do you know the things that push your off? And most often, for a lot of people, the things that push the off button are much more than the issue, than feeling like you can't turn on. It's the offs that override the ons, that is true. That is true. Is she bored? We're having more and more research around long-term monogamous relationships and how that works for women. Men tend to be fine because they are fine with this same and women like different Something new.
We're laughing, because why are you guys laughing?
Because I'm the one that brought them a bedroom game after 15 years and then created the offs because I was bored.
She's like I need something else.
I need something new.
Well, and I'm so glad we're bringing this up, because nobody talks about it.
It's so true Women can be bored too.
Totally and sometimes I think, the way we're wired, we just we need something different. We need to, and our bodies change. Women's bodies change and go through so many seasons and I think we forget to revisit the conversation again. What's happening with my body now? Because how you enjoy sex when you're 20, 25, 30, is gonna be, it's gonna look different when you're 40, 50, 60, 70. It is.
It's a good thing, Okay, but it's like we don't wanna revisit the conversation and it needs to be ongoing. Is she stressed? What medications is she on? Oh, there's just. You know, all of these things have to be addressed and talked about. It's important.
It really is. Because in our personal story, you know, I had a really, really strong sex drive, you know, in my 20s and early on in the marriage, and then you're 15, after we had four children and taken on a business, and everything had changed body-wise, marriage-wise, you know, just like having that conversation, like I was just totally different and all of a sudden he's feeling like, oh, are you not attracted to me anymore? What am I doing wrong? It's sometimes it is about the body or the situation, or the stress, like just having those conversations and knowing that it's always gonna change and those conversations are gonna keep having.
And sometimes the conversations are hard but they're so necessary. Like you know, when she brought me the bedroom game I was a little bit offended. I was like what Am I not good enough for you? This, you know. And then I got thinking about it and just having that discussion and starting to talk about everything just completely changed our relationship for the better. And so I think you know, for any couples out there listening, just you know, opening it up and communicating about sex and intimacy it's a tough thing to do at first but it just when you do it, it just opens so many other doors and just makes so many things in marriage just so much easier, because then you can start really resolving some of those deeper issues or problems.
Well, and I, to be honest with you, I think the only reason I think I bought it was I knew it was an appropriate game. It would just kind of get you in, try and stuff. There are no pictures or anything bad in it, but it really like focused on the clitoris, which was my whole entire goal is to kind of show him how important that is for me, because I knew it was without. But I can honestly say it was my fault because I should have not been ashamed to be like touch me here, touch me here, touch me. I just wasn't that personality. I hadn't like come out and be like this is really what I want. You know it was kind of awkward for me. But once we started having those conversations and I started telling them exactly what I liked and all that stuff, like our entire sexual intimacy changed for the better and now it just gets better. So when people say after 20 years of marriage it can get better, not less boring, you know what I mean. It's actually accurate, it really is.
Now we're talking on a podcast with tons of people about our sex life, so I love that you two are sharing this openly because, nick, your responses is very typical of what I hear. It's not. You've been raised. At most men have these scripts of they're supposed to know everything, they're supposed to have all the skill around sex, they're supposed to have all the information and they don't, oh, no question Our honeymoon night was like we knew nothing, nothing.
Yeah, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
Like. To me, sex is one of those things that has to be learned, like riding a bike or whatever it is it truly is one of those things I think you, if you're humble enough to admit it the more you're willing to learn, the better it comes over time. I mean, our sex now, after close to 20 years, is better than it's ever been.
Riding a bike. You're better at 20 years than you are the day you learn.
So Sex is a skill that you learn, and talking about sex, just like you're sharing, is also a skill you can learn. So, while it's difficult at the beginning and it may feel uncomfortable because you're not, you don't have the language for it, you haven't practiced it right, it does really get easier and it does really help make things better because remember, desire is a motivation system too. I wanted to go back to your question about you experienced desire, if you're motivated for the sex you're gonna have. So ask the questions of each other is the sex we're having worth per wanting it? Hmm, is the sex worth wanting?
And I think, when we remember this education about the clitoris and female arousal and the different ways to experience desire, and all this good education around the reality of what sexual intimacy and pleasure looks like, it's a game changer.
It really is.
Well and I hope I'm not. I don't wanna offend anyone in this, but I think the reason why this is such an important subject is because I really think that a good marriage almost and I understand there's certain circumstances, but overall to have a good marriage, or people that have good marriages, are having frequent intimacy, they have a good sexual relationship and again, I understand this isn't everyone, there's always exceptions to the rules, but I think, again, I think when people are having good sexual intimacy, they're gonna have most likely have, overall, a better marriage, and that's why we constantly talk about sex and intimacy on the podcast. And, of course, emotional intimacy and so many other things play an important role. But, like, today's discussion with you is helping the women out there that don't understand their bodies or don't know how to how to, I guess, get the pleasure is so important for both the husband and wife to understand Absolutely.
Right. The right kind of stimulation is important and it's learning what that looks like and feels like. And I would say to your point that A lot of couples there's not a magic number. You know this is such a frequent question. Well, how many times should we have sex a month, a year? You know there is not a magic number and each couple is individual, but are you each content? and pleased with the sex you're having and how often you're having it. Well then, home run, yeah, you know, and that's gonna look different for all different couples. So, comparing to everyone else or comparing and trying to reach some kind of I don't know thing you thought you heard or thought you knew, you know, sometimes I think people are beating themselves up unnecessarily. Are you enjoying and experiencing pleasure together and, like you said, like the more you're experiencing and having pleasure together, the more you want to?
So true, so true. How can our listeners find you, reach out to you, find you on?
social media. Sign up for your marriage courses.
Yeah, how do they get the help and tell them where your podcast is, cause it's amazing, yeah.
Thanks. You can find everything on my website at CindySharkeycom. It's C-I-N-D-Y-S-C-H-A-R-K-E-Y. I have a blog there and I do consults, workshops, and I'm doing a lot with my podcast called Permission for Pleasure, and you can find the links there. You can find it on Apple, spotify, google, wherever. We're just really well, we're just really opening these kinds of conversations for women about all of these important topics and trying to provide education through conversation. So I would love for your community to join me there, and it is pretty directed towards women, but I do. We have a lot of male listeners, but we are opening these conversations for women, yeah, and learning to give ourselves permission for pleasure.
Well, it's so important, it's so great. Go check Cindy out. Her podcast is amazing and, like I've always said, I really wanted to create the app not just for women, but to really focus on all the aspect that women need so that they can find ultimate intimacy also in their marriage. So thank you so much for being here and for joining us.
Thanks for having me. It's been fun to get to know you too, thank you so much.
This podcast episode is brought to you by Ultimate Intimacy. If you haven't downloaded the free app in the app stores, what are you waiting for? The app has hundreds of resources, conversation starters, products, positions, bedroom games and so much more Plus. Check out our brand new physical products for the perfect anniversary gifts, wedding gifts or just a gift to your spouse for no reason at all. You will love them. We have five card deck boxes, a bedroom game, intimacy game, 150 date ideas, truth or dare, intimacy game, 80 romantic and sexy coupons and 150 conversation starters. They come in beautiful boxes and are made to help you communicate, reconnect and create the ultimate intimacy in your marriage. Check them out at ultimateintimacycom.