ERP 099: How To Work With The Masculine And Feminine Polarity with Michaela Boehm [Transcript]
ERP 099: How To Work With The Masculine And Feminine Polarity with Michaela Boehm
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Welcome to The Empowered Relationship Podcast, helping you turn relationship challenges into opportunities and setting you up for relationship success. Your host, Dr. Jessica Higgins, is a licensed psychologist and relationship coach who shares valuable tips, tools and resources for you to dramatically improve your relationship.
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Dr. Jessica Higgins: Hi, thank you for joining today’s podcast episode. Today’s episode is 99, and the title of this episode is “How To Work With The Masculine And Feminine Polarity” with Michaela Boehm. I’m very excited about this interview; I had a great time talking with her and I believe you will get a tremendous amount of insight and value from her sharing her wisdom and knowledge with us.
On this show, The Empowered Relationship Podcast, I do my very best to honor the intention of helping you cultivate lasting intimacy, helping you improve your connection, helping you build resilience, knowing how to deal with difficulties, challenges and upsets more skillfully and more effectively, ultimately wanting you to experience the joy, the fulfillment, the satisfaction of a thriving, authentic relationship.
On the show I answer your submitted questions, or if you’re interested in being on the show, to receive live, laser coaching from me to really zone in on the areas that you’re feeling challenged with, and then also sharing that with everyone, so that everyone gets to learn and benefit from that work. We learn from each other.
Also, like today, I have experts in the field of couples, intimacy, relationship on the show. I think hearing other voices really helps round out the offering here on the Empowered Relationship Podcast. If you’re interested in deepening in your practices with these principles, with this intention, I encourage you to join the webinar presentation that I’m giving free, live, on 15th March. Many of you have already signed up, and I am so excited to be with you live, to answer your questions, to share a little more in depth about these principles, give you an experience to work with, as well as to hear about an opportunity to join me in a six-month transformational journey to really deepen in this practice.
If you’d like to join and sign up for that webinar, you can find the link on today’s show notes. Today’s show notes can be found either by just clicking on your device – I believe the Empowered Relationship logo will bring up the show notes. You can also visit my website, which is DrJessicaHiggins.com and click on Podcast. You can find the most recent episode at the top. Today’s episode is episode 99, titled “How To Work With The Masculine And Feminine Polarity” with Michaela Boehm.
Once you’re on the show notes page, you can just find the link there at the bottom under Mentioned. You can also reach out to me with any questions – my e-mail is Jessica@drjessicahiggins.com. I look forward to joining with you on 15th March.
Speaking of show notes, there is a place to comment if you scroll down to the bottom. I received a very sweet comment from a listener named Ken on last week’s podcast episode. He wrote:
“Another relationship podcast gem. Dr. Jessica Higgins is a compassionate and gifted intellectual with the ability to focus her expertise on the subject at hand, and transfer those truths to listeners like us. This episode gives me the tools to make my “I love you” tangible and measurable. This is fundamental to any relationship. Thank you, Dr. Jessica.”
Thank you, Ken, for taking a moment out of your day to comment on this podcast episode. Getting your feedback means the world to me. I am deeply grateful and touched, and I really feel great value in hearing your positive affirmation. Thank you for taking the time to do that.
Without any further delay, let’s get started with today’s podcast episode with Michaela Boehm.
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Dr. Jessica Higgins: Michaela Boehm teaches and counsels internationally as an expert in intimacy and sexuality. She combines her background in psychology and extensive clinical experience in her in-depth training in the yogic arts as a classical Kashmiri Tantric lineage holder into a unique offering of experiential learning. She is passionate about teaching skills that enhance deep intimacy, lasting attraction and give each participant the tools for full embodiment and capacity. Michaela also co-taught with David Deida for 13 years. Michaela teaches workshops and intimacy intensives for men and women, as well as offers mentorships and relationship counseling. Michaela, thank you for joining today and being on the show.
Michaela Boehm: Thank you for having me.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: I heard you speak many years ago, and I just was so impressed by what you had to share as it relates to male and female polarity, so I wanted to share you with my audience and hope that we can start there and see where our conversation takes us.
Michaela Boehm: Okay, great.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: For people who are not familiar with your background, can you just start with laying a little bit of a foundation of what that means, male/female polarity?
Michaela Boehm: Well, when we talk background, I have kind of a dual background, one side of which is a very vast counseling experience. I’ve been working with couples and individuals in the realm of relationship for over 20 years now (we calculated recently about 40,000 client hours in that time, and a little bit before then as well, in my schooling days).
I also am trained in a tantric tradition, which is a tradition that deals with the body, the interaction between men and women, between our internal masculine and feminine, which is very different than men and women. I also have a very strong background in the field of embodiment.
All of these things come together nowadays into a teaching that has to do with “How do you engage with yourself, have intimacy with yourself and have intimacy with another human?” And regardless of man/woman, just basic intimacy between two people, and basic love and compassion between people, and then more specific, how do you engage in the play of the erotic, the sensual? It doesn’t have to be actual sex, but how do you engage in that play between two people who are in that kind of erotic, hopefully ecstatic interaction.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: I love it, I love what you’re doing. It’s so fantastic to support connecting with the self, first and foremost. So many people – myself included – will get distracted and preoccupied with the stressors or the demands, people who have small children, you name it. So just a real invitation to connect with the body and all that’s available to then be able to share in intimacy and sexual play and erotic sensation, and to really be cultivating that in a beautiful, intentional, conscious way.
I feel like I would love to just peel back some of the layers with you. I’m listening to you and you’re saying each person recognizing inside themselves the masculine and feminine, and however you identify in your gender or sex. For people that are thinking, “Okay, I’m a man” or “I’m a woman” might not even necessarily know how to identify that in themselves. Could you…?
Michaela Boehm: Right. These things are a bit arbitrary, of course. It’s one lens, and there’s many other lenses one can use. But it’s sometimes a useful lens to make sense out of relational issues or sexual issues. As you said, regardless of your sexual orientation and even regardless of your gender orientation, each human being has two aspects to them, if you want to slice it like that. Like I said, if you cut somebody open, you don’t see masculine and feminine, but all of us have two principles that organize us in a certain way, and one of the principles is the go principle, the doing principle. The other principle is the flow, or being principle. Both of those are present, and they have to be present because only go without flow is pretty disastrous, and only flow without go is pretty disastrous as well.
In each human there exist both in equal measures, and that’s what makes us functioning both in the world and spiritually, relationally and all of those kinds of things. You can assume that in each human being, if you want to call ‘go’ the masculine and ‘flow’ the feminine, each human being has those things, and they have them in equal amounts. It’s not true that somebody’s predominantly masculine or predominantly feminine; they’re both there, otherwise your body wouldn’t function properly. But we have a preference.
The preference is some of us like to reside more in the being/flowing state when given a choice, and some of us like to reside more in the doing/going kind of a state. Depending on where we sit with that, we are viewing life and partnership through a certain lens. What makes this so difficult and where so much misunderstanding has happened is that often the feminine principle and women are mixed together, and the masculine principle and men are mixed together, and that’s not necessarily true. But one could say that a lot of women enjoy being in the flow mode more, but that doesn’t mean they’re unable or that they shouldn’t be in the go mode.
Or the other way around, some men naturally, sexually speaking like to be the one who is the…
Dr. Jessica Higgins: The leader, the dominator…
Michaela Boehm: Exactly, the penetrator or however you wanna call it — not only penetration in the physical sense, but the penetrator of what’s going on, the penetrator of the riddle that needs to be solved, and all those kinds of things. That’s true enough, it’s just when you make it only about that, you’re taking away a whole bunch of other things. But sexually/relationally speaking, it’s certainly true. But we have a preference, and that preference determines who we’re attracted to, and it also determines the sexual interaction, because – and this is where we come into the tantric principles – it is assumed (it’s been assumed for thousands and thousands of years, but you can see it and you can feel it within you very clearly) that the person with whom you have the strongest sexual attraction or where the sex is the hottest is the person who is different from you. The more different somebody is from you, the stronger the spark of attraction is. The more you are similar with somebody, the better your relationship is.
This is where the problem lies, because relationship is built on sameness, and the more you have common interests, the better you communicate, the better you are able to align your interests, the better your relationship will be. But of course, the better your relationship will be and the more aligned you are, the more of the same you are, which makes it less erotically charged.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Yes.
Michaela Boehm: So that’s where the trouble lies. Most people who are no longer sexually engaged or attracted to each other are so because they are so much of the same. They spend all the time together, maybe they even work together, they have the same friends, the same hobbies, they have children together, they spend all their time together and it’s very loving (in the ideal scenario) or just [unintelligible 00:15:12.02] (in the not so ideal scenario), but there isn’t that spark. The spark comes from two people going to the opposite ends of the spectrum. That’s where the principles of go and flow, and masculine and feminine come in really handy, because you can then with your bodies and with your behaviors pull apart into the opposites, and then that, like physics, creates the spark.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Nice. Okay, so before we go there if that’s where we’re going, I’m also thinking, is it conversely similar where if the sex is super hot and the chemistry is off the charts, but the relationship is pretty rocky and dramatic, that these principles could also support building relationship?
Michaela Boehm: No. [laughter] I am asked this a lot… It is much easier to have strong, polarized, erotic friction with somebody. In my original tradition it’s called erotic friction – that would mean attraction, or sexual tension, or erotic tension, however you wanna say that. That in its very definition means that you are at odds. That at oddness produces friction, which is the hotness of it, but it makes it so that your normal human interactions are pretty friction-filled as well.
When people have very strong sexual attraction and hot sex but they are at odds, you have to learn how to become the same outside of that. People who have these explosive relationships with lots of make-up sex and all of that, they typically have to learn relationship skills – communicating properly, being aligned in their values…
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Understanding each other’s perspective and meaning making and values…
Michaela Boehm: Exactly, all those kinds of things. So for that, you need to do some therapy, couples — it doesn’t have to be therapy-therapy, but you have to do relational work. But if you have a somewhat good relationship and the sex starts going, then you use the principles of erotic friction to recreate that part, and it’s always preferable to be with somebody with whom you’re aligned very well, because when you look at how much of your time is spent on sex/sexual interaction versus how much of your time is spent on life, it is true for most people that that’s relatively speaking a small percentage. It’s an important percentage, but it’s a small percentage.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Well, my mind’s also spinning here Michaela, because I’m listening to you and I’m wanting to check this out… I’m assuming that through the practices that help cultivate some of this polarity or tension that allows for this type of spark also is helping the individual grow, but also be able to have a little bit more awareness of their internal polarities. I don’t know, I feel like when we grow relationally, we also grow personally, and I imagine becoming more fully aware and integrated in our own two sides. What do you think about that?
Michaela Boehm: I definitely agree with that. I think in recent years it’s become somewhat of like a pop culture trope that all women just have to develop their feminine and it’s gonna be okay, and all men just have to develop their masculine and it’s okay… That’s actually not how it goes, because each human being has to learn for themselves how to balance these things, integrate these things, pull them apart so you can actually work with them, and only then can you actually offer your partner the voluntary, willing assumption of the one pole, so to speak. It’s not enough to just pursue one thing over another.
The reason that sometimes happens or why it’s so pronounced is that it’s assumed nowadays that all men are essentially weak and have lost their purpose and all women all ball busters, so the women just need to remember who they are, and if they don’t remember, they have to relearn it; and all the men have to become men again. That, of course, is a bad assumption, because it’s not quite like that.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Right, it’s distorted, it’s skewed.
Michaela Boehm: It’s very distorted, because [unintelligible 00:20:22.01] I have clients – I work with very high-performing private clients – who make a living being highly creative, but they are men… Men-men. But when you look at them and when you see them and the way that they perform, they have equal amounts of both, they have to. And even in the sexual occasion, right? The man who does the ravishing, let’s say, needs to be finely feeling, otherwise what is he doing?
This whole idea that you just train yourself to be this warrior doesn’t take into account that in order to actually perform your function as a lover and ravisher you need to be finely feeling and highly in tune. If you’re not, you’re just painting by numbers, so to speak, or having sex by…
Dr. Jessica Higgins: By technique, and mechanics.
Michaela Boehm: Exactly.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Yes, not the embodiment and the presence that I think makes it so rich, and that connection. I agree with you… The pop culture is just reminding me of all the books – Twilight series or 50 Shades of Grey, where the male character is so hyper-masculine, and I think people fantasize about those roles. Maybe that’s kind of speaking to what you’re talking about in the tension, but it’s getting misconstrued around the expectation or the assumption around, like you’re saying, that’s how it’s translating incorrectly.
Michaela Boehm: What’s so interesting about things like 50 Shades of Grey is, of course, the thing that you don’t get you crave the most. So when you don’t get any of that – for a variety of reasons – or very little, your craving for it becomes quite heightened. When you can get your fingers on some of it, whatever it is, you don’t really think about the quality of it. It’s like, when you haven’t eaten in a week, if somebody gives you a cheap burger, you’re not going to go “Well, is this grass-fed beef?”, you’re just gonna eat the thing.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Right, right.
Michaela Boehm: Then later, when you’re full and you’re able to source your own meals again, you’re probably going to be more selective, perhaps, if you can afford such things. So when you look at characters like that, the reason that’s so pronounced is that on one end we’ve been told that that kind of desire and behavior on the men’s side isn’t okay… It’s pretty insane when you think about the fact that on one end men are told that pretty much anything they do is rapy, and there’s such a rape culture – which I’m not denying that there is, but the message is “Whatever you do, you cannot think of ravishing or taking or being aggressive towards a woman”, which is a correct statement, but at the same time it’s said, “You are not man enough, you’re not manhandling me enough, you’re not pinning me down, you’re not ravishing me.” So it’s a little bit like, “Well, which one is it gonna be?”
The thing that doesn’t get spoken about often is that, of course, the difference between one and the other is how much heart and feeling there’s involved, how much consciousness and attention and love and care goes into the interaction. Because nobody wants to get thrown against the wall by an unfeeling aggressor. But at the same time, when that’s somebody who you deeply love and with whom you have a relationship and who trusts you, it’s the best thing ever.
So it’s a matter of the context, of course, but in the pop culture reference, when you look at Christian Grey, he’s an asshole.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: [laughs] Totally.
Michaela Boehm: He’s an abusive, self-involved asshole. There is nothing sexy about Christian Grey, if you would actually meet Christian Grey. It is essentially psychopathic in a certain way when you really analyze Christian Grey as a human, so to speak (which he’s not; he’s a fictional character). That’s a pretty nasty piece of work there. And you could look at the girl and go, “What is wrong with you? Where’s your self-esteem?” But of course, between two consenting adults, in the right kind of scenario, in a life of in general the pursuit of good things and trust, the kind of sexual play that’s a little bit darker and that’s a little bit more polarized – in this case it’s dominant and submissive, but it could be anything – is very interesting, and adds a lot of spice and enjoyment to life. But it’s a fast-food version if it’s presented like that.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Totally. And I thank you for that, because I do think that it really brings wisdom and perspective into some these things that are in some ways meant to be entertainment and really play off of these fantasies or things that people that maybe aren’t even fully aware of… So to bring some real light into some of the principles at play.
I’m also thinking about the man you were saying, who might be getting those mixed messages around “Take me!” or also “Don’t be so firm! Don’t be so rough!” and maybe even internally not comfortable with his own — having maybe culturally a lot of messages around that fire, that masculine, if you will, is bad, or it’s harmful, or it’s scary to be comfortable with… I mean, I think this brings us back full circle to where you were beginning to go with two loving, consensual partners who wanna engage together, ideally helping people be able to work with the masculine and feminine more consciously in an embodied way. But I would imagine it also takes some personal work, which I guess I was asking about a moment ago, that if you have shame around one or the other, like masculine and “I’m not comfortable with that” or “I don’t have a lot of experience with it…” or even — I know I’m adding a lot into this, but even you were talking about… Well, I’m just thinking too about the woman who might be “Go, go, go!” and in her intimate life is like, “I really just want…” — you know, maybe she takes care of the home, she works and she takes care of the kids and all the domestic stuff, and then she just wants to be like surrender, and be lead, and yet it’s hard to switch roles or switch energies.
Michaela Boehm: Yes, but there’s two different things at play that can’t be conflated, because that’s what makes it very difficult. There’s our social conditioning, and the man’s movement, women’s liberation and all of those kinds of things that are social conditioning, and definitely most men have got messages all their lives that certain things weren’t okay, and they aren’t okay in one context, but then if you train them out of your body and out of your — it’s mostly a body thing, right? You don’t have patterns for it… Then nobody can expect that you suddenly know how to do them.
The same is true for when a woman every day, all day applies herself very diligently to getting stuff done – that’s the patterns her body acquires. There’s nothing very wildly esoteric about that; that’s just the way it goes – whatever you do most creates the strongest bodily pattern. And in the body, whatever you have learned doesn’t get unlearned because that could be potentially rather dangerous. You could learn something different, but your existing pattern always exists. If you spend 20 years on the go, kicking ass and taking names later, you are not going to just simply soften into a surrendered, quivering blob of pleasure… You’re just not, simply because your body isn’t conditioned for that. But that’s not the same as not having it. You have it, it’s your birth right; you were born with it. The same way a man has all his capacities in the realm of going and doing and taking and ravishing and hunting, and whatever – it’s there, it’s our birth right; it’s just that we are not used to playing our instruments. Or our instruments aren’t developed in a certain way, but it’s right there. You’re never not masculine, if you wanna say it like that, or you’re never not feminine. It’s just whatever you do the most is the thing that you are about.
Essentially, when you suddenly go, okay, there’s two people, they do things in their lives, and suddenly now in the bedroom it’s required that they do things that are completely different than what they do in their lives, then you’re going to just encounter simple hardware trouble, so to speak… Meaning your body isn’t used to those things.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: I love it.
Michaela Boehm: But what you can do very simply, without there being something wrong with you or you being faulty or not good enough is you can just train that aspect of you, so that it’s also available.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: So getting some repetition and maybe building some experience in the latter energy, or the whatever other energy.
Michaela Boehm: Yeah, that’s pretty much… That’s a good, quick gist of it – you just train for it and you just acquire skills in that particular area.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Nice. So I’m asking about a particular thing and you’re really responding and I love that. In your line of work, do you find this to be a common issue with couples? I’m wanting couples to kind of be able to identify “This is what it looks like when it’s maybe not going that well.”
Michaela Boehm: Well, most people know when it’s not going that well. There’s several complaints, but the complaints boil down to one of two things: there’s relational issues – this could be disagreement around how to raise the kids, money, political stuff, procedural things, the way that people communicate, how time is being spent – all of those are relational issues; they have to do with two people not pulling on the same side of the rope, so to speak. Anything that is not aligned, not common, not reconcilable – hence the worst phrase of “irreconcilable differences” – that’s a relational issue.
A relational issue you work with somebody who is well-versed in bringing both people onto the same side of the rope – teaching people how to communicate, mediating areas of difference, and so on. Now, anything that has to do with there not being erotic friction, sexual attraction, the spark – that’s a different issue. That’s an issue of not having sexual attraction. Those two often get conflated.
Then what happens is people actually have quite good relationships but they no longer really have sex or feel like having sex, and it becomes an issue, because there’s a mental aspect of “Well, we should” and then there’s also just the physical and emotional aspect of “Well, we want to. This part is missing from our lives. It used to be so exciting, and now I would rather watch TV than have sex.” That’s the area that I’m talking about, where you have to learn the tools and you have to do protocols that pull you further apart.
What happens often is people have those issues, and they go to a relationship expert. The relationship expert says things like, “Why don’t you spend more time together? Why don’t you do ten minutes of non-sexual touch to get started? Why don’t you sit together and spend time talking, so that you get to be with each other more?” Those, of course, are the exact wrong things for sexual attraction; they’re the right things for relational issues.
In sexual attraction, the tips are spend time apart, spend time doing the things you like doing, that your partner might not actually enjoy that much. Go shopping with your girlfriends, don’t take your husband along… Whatever it is that one partner enjoys that the other one doesn’t. Don’t do them together. Spend time doing different things with different people, so when you come back together it’s fresh.
Do things that help your body acquire the skills needed for the part of the sexual play that you want to play. If you’re a woman and you spend all day kicking ass, you might want to things with your body and for your body that have to do with feeling pleasure, having joy, moving, experiencing the things that make you and the body happy – dressing up a certain way, hanging out with girlfriends, drinking tea, having chocolate, playing with the dogs, going hiking, swimming, whatever… Things that soften the body and that allow the body to feel that our body is actually part of nature. That will, in general, allow whoever plays the feminine part in the sexual occasion to be more conductive in their energy, more responsive in their energy, have more pleasure in the body, softer, more available.
The partner who likes to play the masculine part – whoever that is; it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman – goes and does things that help first of all relieve the stress from doing too much of the ass-kicking. Because often that’s the case, as well. You have both partners spending all day pushing, pushing, going, going, and then they come home – that’s another issue. And the woman goes, “Well, why don’t you just ravish me?” “Well, because I’m tight.” The guy has been pushing all day and he just needs a bit of a break before he can do that.
Often what that means is whoever plays the more masculine aspect first needs to kind of nourish themselves and relax and allow themselves to flow a little bit, and then from that place find activities that allow them to connect with what’s important to them, to their body, to their mind. Then you come back together and it’s a lot more fresh.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Yes, absolutely. I love this. I’m also thinking, do you find with couples — so your tip number one is basically really fill your cup in your own excitement, try new things, do what you love that is different than your partner; expand that part of you, to come back with newness and something fresh.
Michaela Boehm: Yeah, totally.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: And your second is basically if you can recognize in yourself the part – whether or not it’s the masculine or the feminine – that’s less used or doesn’t get enough airtime…
Michaela Boehm: That’s correct.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: …to spend some time giving it attention or giving it some space to be in that energy, whether or not it’s the go and the do, or whether or not it’s the pleasure and senses and just presence. Do you find that couples have that awareness about themselves?
Michaela Boehm: Yeah, I would think so. I mean, very rarely do I come across somebody who doesn’t know… I mean, even if it’s just an inkling or a yearning, there’s always something there. Also, once these things are looked at in a non-dogmatic way, it becomes pretty apparent. It doesn’t have to be some big deal; it’s just like, “Oh, okay. Alright. This is the bit that’s missing.”
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Yes, thank you for saying that, too… Because I was listening to you a moment ago and I was like, this could be a huge trap, that people are feeling like “Oh, we don’t have the spark…” They’re thinking “Something’s wrong with us, or something’s wrong with me, or maybe I start having a wandering eye and I start getting distracted by another connection… And I keep that hidden. I don’t bring it back and let it be transparent and work that tension in the relationship.”
There can be huge traps here, if people think something’s wrong and don’t look at this opportunity to develop the tension.
Michaela Boehm: Right, exactly. And once again, those kinds of things have to be addressed relationally. One thing that we haven’t mentioned yet, because that’s not so easy to address and it’s very individualized is when people no longer have sex (or very little sex), that lack of connection, that lack of spark and excitement causes all kinds of other things to go somewhat funny. Then the sentiment builds, then it becomes about other things, and…
Dr. Jessica Higgins: “You don’t love me… You’re rejecting me…”
Michaela Boehm: Exactly, yes… And then all their stuff kicks in with themselves and then with each other. So when there’s any form of concern or resentment, it’s always good to talk these things out. But then, once you’ve pinpointed that it’s really a matter of there not being the spark of the “too different” aspects, that part is just the procedural issue.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: This sounds like it just is a perfect entry point into the work you do. Do you wanna take some time…? I was thrilled when your assistant gave me your workshop; I hadn’t seen it… You do workshops all over the world. My international listeners, I’m like “Yaay!” Just to have that accessibility to you is fantastic. So maybe not so much about your workshops yet, but just more around what the invitation here is to do this work, because it sounds amazing.
Michaela Boehm: Well, there’s a few different things I do, which are all an invitation or an access to different aspects. We do have a teaching partner, Steve. Steve and I teach together, and we do some work where we work separately with men and women. There are study groups that are specifically (long programs, 6-9 months) where you get to work with your body, on your body, becoming full in the whole spectrum, but within your own gender.
The thing that we haven’t mentioned yet is there’s certain things that come with having a body of a certain gender, regardless if you’re trans or not – it doesn’t matter. When you have a certain body, with a certain hormonal set – until you change that, perhaps… But if you don’t change it, because that’s the body you’re born with and you like it, then that gives you a certain set of circumstances. If you are transgender, that’s a certain set of circumstances and it also has to do with hormones being the body or not. There’s an aspect of this that has to do with your born gender.
Then there’s an aspect of that that has to do with your sexual orientation, and then there’s an aspect of that that has to do with your sexual preference, or your goal of low preference, we could say. It’s not sexual preference as in gay or straight, but sexual preference as in are you a flower or a goer, so to speak.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Right, do you prefer masculine or feminine…
Michaela Boehm: Yes, and in the separate study groups we can address what’s biologically and genetically and evolutionarily, but then specific to the body, so the body can become more open, more receptive, more feeling. There’s a huge emphasis we place on resensitizing both men and women (it makes no difference). There’s so much numbing going on through the insane amounts of information and noise and stress that we all encounter… So resensitizing and then working with the body so that the body learns that skills that have been neglected – that’s specific to me and women, meaning that there are separate courses.
We also do separate workshops where I do the Wild Woman’s Way, which is one of the curriculum’s I’ve developed. Steve does something Men Unbound. These are completely gender-separate workshops. Asides from that (because they don’t have to build on each other) there is a whole exploration into how do you learn how to make yourself different; who are you, how can you strengthen your preference, how do you work with your body so your preference can be appropriately and properly and with skill expressed, and then how do you bring that preference to your chosen partner? And often, when people are single and they’re not there with a partner, they get a practice partner. There’s very strict workshop rules, of course, but you learn how to play with these things, because they are like physics; they can be learned and you can reliably produce them.
Then comes the psychological stuff, but the actual skill can be reliably produced. We do a whole bunch of education and workshops on how do you learn how to do that, how do you become intimate with yourself, intimate with another human, how do you keep your heart open, extend your heart, have compassion, receive compassion, how do you create erotic friction, and then within the erotic friction, how do you play the whole gamut from very subtle, sublime light flavor to very dark, ravishing, 50 Shades kind of flavor… The truffle version of 50 Shades, of course.
So there’s all of that, and then we also now teach teachers. We teach people to teach this, so that it can go all over the world and people can have it everywhere. We just finished our first four groups of teacher trainers who will go out there in the world and do things. I’ve developed a method that allows the body to unwind, that’s kind of a movement method that goes together nicely with the resensitizing and the releasing of stuff, and the bringing in new things.
So there’s all kinds of things that can be done and that don’t take that long to learn. You’ll have to repeat and practice, but essentially it’s fairly clear-cut skills that you can acquire, and then experiences that help you understand those skills.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Well, I am grateful that you’re doing this work. It just sounds like the way you’ve been able to distill it to make it this clear and accessible is a real gift, and congratulations on training people too, because it’s just allowing them to help and reach that many more people.
I guess the only thing that’s missing for me is is there anything personal that you wanna share around this work… Either a little bit about what this has meant to you, or early getting attracted to it, or anything that you wanna say just so we can personally understand you a little bit, if you wanna share anything.
Michaela Boehm: [laughs] And I have like three minutes for that, or something like that.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Well, you can take as much time as you like.
Michaela Boehm: Well, I’m just laughing because I don’t know even where to start other than to say I’ve been involved with this for a long time, and I’ve had a variety of experiences. It is very dear to me personally and it is what I do, what my whole life revolves around – teaching and working with people. Of course, I benefit from it as well in my own relationship. I’ve been married for over 15 years now, and I still have to do the same things I teach the women that I work with, which is I have to get out of my head, I have to get my body unstuck after having spent eight hours on the computer, which I often do on a regular basis…
Believe it or not, workshop teaching entails a lot more than workshop teaching; it involves running a whole business. I also have a farm, so I run a little farm, and there’s things to water and animals to tend to, and there’s a lot of stuff that I have to do in the go mode. So I benefit from my very own teaching, as in having to work with my body and making my body soft and available, and release things and bring other things in. So I am very, very passionate about what I do, and is pretty all-consuming, in a certain way.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Yes. Well, thank you for sharing that; I just got to feel a little closer to you just knowing a little bit… The woman behind the teachings. It sounds incredibly transformational. I too talk all the time about the fact that everything I talk about, I really am committed to practicing, even when I’m in the thick of it; I definitely work at all my edges. Okay, tell us how we can connect with you.
Michaela Boehm: Well, I’m assuming you’ll post my website, correct?
Dr. Jessica Higgins: Yes, on the show notes I’ll have all that.
Michaela Boehm: Wonderful. So through my website all the events, all the teacher training – everything’s on there. We’ll be in Europe this year. I’ll be teaching in the States — well, not for a little while. I’ve just finished teaching in the States, and we are now doing a Europe tour, then Australia, then back in the states, and so on. We’re teaching four times a year in Europe, twice in Australia, and the rest of the time in Europe and in the U.K.
The other thing that’s always good for people to know is on the homepage of my website there’s a Soundcloud link, and if you go to Soundcloud, there’s about 30-40 hours of free audio – podcasts, lectures, interviews and all kinds of recordings. There’s a lot of free resources on all kinds of topics. A lot of the podcasts are actual live recordings of Q&A’s where people ask specific questions and I answer them, where a lot of what we’ve just talked about gets looked at in all different kinds of ways.
Dr. Jessica Higgins: What a treat… I am grateful that you offer that as well. Wonderful, I will put all of this on the show notes, so people have access to those links. Michaela, thank you so much for the work you’re doing and for your time today.
Michaela Boehm: Thank you very much.
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Dr. Jessica Higgins: I hope you enjoyed this conversation. If you are interested in pursuing one of her workshops or getting connected with her teachings, you can find the links that she’s provided to us on the show notes. Again, you can find the show notes on my website, which is DrJessicaHiggins.com, click on Podcast and find the most recent episode there at the top. Again, today’s episode is 99, “How To Work With The Masculine And Feminine Polarity” with Michaela Boehm. So you can scroll down and you can find those links under the section titled Mentioned.
Also, if you are on your device, I believe simply just pressing on the Empowered Relationship logo will flip over to the show notes and you can find those links there.
It was such a pleasure to talk with Michaela, and I really love her insight and her wisdom. I also loved how she is really pointing people to the importance of developing the relationship skills… If you feel like there’s a lot of conflict or miscommunication or not really being able to take each other’s perspective, that often gets people really hooked, and that’s largely what I’m offering in my presentation to you on the 15th.
So again, if you’re interested in that, if you feel some attraction to that, I encourage you to register; I would love to have you on board. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, I hope you take great care.
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