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#70 - Stefani Goerich: Minding the Pleasure Gap: Bridging Kinky & Vanilla Sex

Season #2

Stefani Goerlich, professor, author of “Sprinkles,” & a sex therapist, discusses her journey into the field of sexuality, working with students & patients. In this conversation, Stefani Goerlich discusses that while kink & BDSM have become more mainstream in recent years, many "vanilla" people still find the concept off-putting or disturbing. However, consensual exploration of power dynamics & erotic psychology can profoundly deepen intimate connections in relationships. She shares a powerful story of helping a couple navigate the difference between consensual kink & abuse. 


  • Understanding what is normal and healthy in relationships requires unlearning societal biases.
  • Consensual kink and BDSM can be misunderstood and stigmatized, but it is important to differentiate between consensual kink and abuse.
  • Maintaining boundaries as a sex therapist is crucial to ensure the therapeutic relationship is not influenced by personal experiences or biases.
  • Exploring & striving to understand each person’s erotic identity is important for couples with differing desire levels. 
  • When couples want to open their relationship, clarifying their motivations is important. 
  • Partners supporting someone with trauma should reframe their role as holding space and providing support.


1:50 Introduction and Guest Presentation  

1:58 Introducing Stefani Goerlich  

2:43 Beginning of the Interview with Stefani Gorelick  

3:33 Stefani's Journey into Sexuality Business  

5:05 Stefani's Teaching Experience and Challenges Faced by Students  

6:16 Understanding 'Normal' in Sexuality and Relationships  

10:21 The Importance of Boundaries and Understanding Personal Limits  

13:12 Stefani's Specialization in Kink and BDSM  

20:45 The Thin Line Between Consensual Kink and Abuse  

26:23 Personal Preferences and Boundaries in Kink  

31:17 Exploring the Power of Words in Intimate Relationships  

31:59 Understanding the Psychological Impact of Name Calling  

33:47 Introducing 'Sprinkles': A Guide for Kink and Vanilla Partners  

36:10 The Importance of Focusing on the 'Vanilla' Person in a Relationship  

37:59 Addressing the Challenges of Mixed Desire Couples  

40:14 The Role of a Kink-Affirming Sex Therapist in Relationship Dynamics  

41:20 Exploring the Book 'Sprinkles' and Its Availability  

41:49 Discussing the Scope of Stefani's Work and Expertise  

44:05 Navigating Relationship Changes: From Monogamy to Non-Monogamy  

49:19 Closing Thoughts and Contact Information  

50:35 The Dish with Leah & Dr. Willow  

53:49 The Importance of Perspective in Relationship Dynamics  


Leah & Willow's King & Queen of Hearts Intimacy Toolkit is on sale. Use Coupon  Code KINGANDQUEEN10 for 10% off.

Awaken Arousal Oil Lubricant "I had a 3-minute orgasm and then a 5-minute orgasm." - Beth 
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