#118 Practical Male-Female Polarity and Intimacy with Michaela Boehm
Over the last couple of years, this has included some workshops with today's guest. I personally found these both effective and really rewarding, and I'll certainly be going to more of these because I see it as important to my development. So, you can get an idea that’s probably going to help you, especially if you're more inclined to develop your relationships with women further.
In today's episode, we're going to bring some real simple clarity and practical advise to something that is talked about a lot, masculinity and femininity, and the polarity between the two. Today's guest is in the best position to bring insight to this as she's spent thousands and thousands of hours teaching workshops on these themes – intimacy and sexuality.
Besides this, we get into some great discussion about what the new challenges are for sexual attraction and chemistry in today's world, which today's guest and myself see as changing. We also see how today's experts thinking and workshops have been evolving to cater for these.
Today's guest is Michaela Boehm. She spends 32 weeks of the year traveling the world teaching practical workshops to men and women on sexuality, integrity, intimacy, and other aspects of male and female relationships. She's been doing this for over 20 years and she has done it for over 40,000 hours. Now if you've heard of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule to mastery of any skill – the idea being that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get to mastery – then she's basically a 4x of mastery. That's pretty impressive.
Some of her ongoing clients include Oscar winning actors, producers, writers, and multiple Grammy winning musicians. Michaela has also traveled and co-taught with David Deida for 13 years of that time. She has a very rich background including multiple forms of yoga, Tantra, NLP, hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychology. So she's brought all of these skills together to create her unique skillset, which she uses in a very unique way in her workshops today.
Please enjoy this very unique interview, which I'm sure you're going to get a lot out of.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- Michaela's background and how she created the unique workshops she offers (05:41)
- Michaela's current lifestyle, home, relationship, career, etc. (12:51)
- Explanation of male and female polarity, and how it works (17:30)
- What people look for regarding polarity and the give and take of it between people (22:50)
- Getting back to your natural sexual inclination to better understand polarity (28:10)
- Changes in the modern world that are changing the forces of polarity (31:33)
- Men have to consciously learn to become more sensitive (34:25)
- The complexity of managing open, multiple, and polyamorous relationships (38:20)
- How to keep a relationship indefinitely engaging by understanding the concepts of the sameness for the relationship and the polarity for the sexual aspect of the attraction (42:00)
- Men should understand where women are coming from and their different polarities (44:00)
- Understanding Michaela's workshops and how they are structured (48:20)
- How social trends have affected Michaela's workshops (52:58)
- One of Angel's experiences in Michaela's workshop: generating an intense connection / sexual attraction (54:55)
- Takeaways from Michaela's workshops and what she is working on (57:35)
- The types of people who attend Michaela's workshops and what they are being taught (58:13)
- Regarding relationships, recommendations to reset and rebuild your strength in order to delve into your natural polarity (59:58)
- How to connect with Michaela to learn more about her and her work (1:00:42)
- Recommended experts for quality advice in dating, sex, and relationships (1:01:52)
- Top three takeaways for men starting out in dating, sex, and relationships (1:04:07)
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan]: Michaela, thanks so much for making time to be on the show. Good to have you.
[Michaela Boehm]: Oh thank you for having me.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, just as background, I've attended two of your workshops, one in Los Angeles and another one in London and they were fantastic of course. Really kind of eye-opening. So, I've been looking forward to having you on the show. It's really great. Could you give us just a kind of quick background on how you came to be doing these workshops because, they're quite unique. I've just been interested in kind of your journey, how you got there.
[Michaela Boehm]: It's a kind of a varied journey because, I have a dual background. From a very fairly age on, I started studying with a woman who was a Lina Chandra Kashmir tantra [phonetic] [00:06:01.26] tradition who essentially taught me over 12 years, one of them that taught me over 12 years. Parallel to that, I studied psychology, hypnosis, Tai massage, regular massage, movement, breathe, all kinds of things. That combination between the tantric background and my psychology background and the embodiment background eventually jelled to a me teaching.
I've been actively for 22 years counseling people. I've been a counselor for a long time and so, I've worked with couple, particularly in the realms of relationship and sex for the last 22 years. In addition to that, I've traveled and taught with David Deida for 13 years and I also have like a private client roster that's very, very high-end, high performance clients where I'm working with specifically relational aspects and relational, sexual aspects in the realm of high-performance.
All of those things together, that's just like a super quick snap shot and it was all of these things together made it so that my offerings these days are a combination of all of these things. I've taught extensively over the last 6 or 7 years meeting 32 weeks of the year or more. So, I've seen how things have changed over the years and how a relationship has changed over the years both from a workshop standpoint and from a one-on-one counseling standpoint.
What I'm doing these days is a direct result of having seen to these changes and also, the changes in myself. Last year, my original teacher died and I inherited the lineage from her. So, I have now the obligation, not only the privilege but, the obligation to teach in that particular vein with a view of finding students who can carry forth that particular line of teaching.
So yeah, so there's a lot going on that all comes together in what you'll see these days in the workshops and last time you saw me teach was about a year ago. Ever since then, I've developed a whole bunch of new material based on the findings of the last couple of years.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent. Let's talk a bit about that later. So, you mentioned a ton a stuff I'm interested in. Your original teacher, who was your original teacher you just mentioned.
[Michaela Boehm]: She was a woman who was a householder, a proper Indian householder who I came across in Europe, interesting enough because, her husband was stationed there. So, I got one-on-one instruction for many years on the more devotional. When people here in the States talk about tantra, it's all about sex but, my education wasn't about sex in the classic sense.
It was about the devotional aspects of everyday life. How everything is scared essentially and how everything can be infused with the devotion to whatever you want to call it, God, the Universe and where you essentially learn over (at least I did) how every aspect is an offering. So, the whole life becomes essentially attention to those principles.
[Angel Donovan]: Okay, alright, great. So, let's dive into that because, when you say devotional, does that mean caring about what you're doing? Because, I know I mix up with the theatre stuff as well as all the passion about follow your passion. So, is it to do with those angles? Is it to do with giving yourself away to it, like immersing yourself into it or how do you see it as a devotional?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, I think it's not quite that. It's hard to describe what devotional activity would be but, you could potentially assume that your life as a whole is an offering or you could, of course consider that your life as whole is drudgery and pain and suffering. How ever you want to go at it and both is of course true but, in the tradition that I was originally raised and then, of course in the years that I spent teaching with David, there is a strong attention towards seeing another human being and seeing your environment and seeing your life as a... It's hard to put words on it because, it just sounds so California, new-agy but...
[Angel Donovan]: Right, okay.
[Michaela Boehm]: ...but, as an offering, as a giving, as a service but, not in the sense of martyring yourself or giving yourself up or having no boundaries but, in the sense of giving of yourself in the way that it opens other people. That it creates a... what in my eventual traditions called erotic friction. Erotic friction being polarity, not only with another human being but, with places and things and existence itself.
It's a bit hard to talk about because, you know it sounds so "woo, woo" but, it how it looks essentially and you see this in many traditions in different ways like the whole chop would carry water in the Zen tradition is the same angle which is attention to ordinary things as a way to the divine so to speak.
[Angel Donovan]: When you put it like that in last phrase, it sounds a little bit like it could relate to mindfulness which is becoming how would you say, more popular these days? Right, there's a lot of people getting into the mindfulness and the yoga kind of area. Is it in relation to that a little bit?
[Michaela Boehm]: It is. It's different angles on the same but, it's essentially considering that it's not that you go to let's say a yoga class or even to a workshop of mine where you practice for like three hours being intimate with another human being but, that you become intimate with life itself as it happens and it's not in your computer. That your life begins when you go off work and then, you do special things and hopefully, they'll fulfill you. It's much more an attention to every thing being a portal or conduit to the divine, however you see the divine. It can be anything really, just meaningful attention to your life and your relationships and yourself.
[Angel Donovan]: Well, I totally get where you're coming from. I can appreciate that it may be hard for some of the listeners because, we're talking soft-skills here. We're talking as you say esoteric prospectives on those things especially if they haven't had any exposure to some of the workshops or even mindfulness and things like this.
So, one of the things I wanted to was... first of all, I'd like to get a bit of background on just how you're living today. What's kind of relationship and social life style today just to give people a bit of background about you?
[Michaela Boehm]: It's an interesting place to start if you want to start there because, I live a very odd life in certain way but, enjoying it tremendously. As you know, I'm Austrian but, I moved to the States when I was 28 and I've been living here ever since.
About 8 years ago, pretty much exactly 8 years ago, I bought a small organic farm outside of Los Angeles. I left Los Angeles where I lived and had an office and worked for many years and I moved out into the countryside actually and I live on this nice small little farm that sustains me for the most part. I mean, we buy dry goods and things like that but, I have chickens and ducks and I get eggs from here and avocados and fruit and vegetables and nuts and I have a full vegetable garden and I rescue animals. I have a great deal of rescued animals, everything from horses and donkeys down to tortoises and turtle, cats, dogs, goats, pigs.
So, I live a very farm lifestyle when I'm home but, for most of the year, I travel on and off. I'm usually not home more than a few weeks at a time and I travel to Europe to teach, Australia, all over the US and I also travel with my private clients. I have a nomadic lifestyle that is anchored in a beautiful piece of land that is always there and waiting for me which is quite fantastic.
I have a husband. I've been married for 15 years, 14 years, I think being with him for 15 and he also travels and teaches. So, we have a kind of lifestyle where we don't actually see each other that much which seems to be working for both of us and we're very independent and very much having our own lives and then come together when time and willingness allows. So, I still feel very much that my relationship is new in a certain way because, when you're gone that much, it always stays very fresh which brings us to the polarity piece in a little bit.
I travel and teach these days with a male co-teacher which has also been new because, even though I've taught with David up here at my house, I have a little retreat center up here that was a very stationary "couple of times of year, teaching out of my house" kind of a situation. Now, I'm creatively traveling and teaching and constantly coming up with new material just to address the changing needs of what's happening out there.
Teaching with a man really opened the whole spectrum of what's possible on the road as far as you know, different offerings and different ways of educating people and that's been really the main thrust of the last couple of years. It's not only creating states where people come to workshops, they have a state experience and then, they go home and they don't know what to do with it but, actually giving people the tools so that when they come home, they have the tools to have intimate connections and connect in their relationships existing or new in a deeper way and a more intimate way.
You know, I've also really this last year started giving so much more detail instruction, actual sexual things simply because, that seems to be called for these days. I think that's all I can say about my lifestyle.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent, that gives a really good picture. It is an unusual lifestyle. It actually might be suited to me. I've been kind of struggling. I'm extremely independent and I kind of been working my way through and some of my... when I find an independent partner, I think it tends to work well also.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: So, yeah. You're giving a pointer there for me. Maybe I'm just going to focus a bit more of my attention on that.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, it's great. I mean, I love being different places and because, I'm no longer traveling by myself, it has a whole other dimension when you have somebody who you teach with and be creative with and can explore things because, the whole travel experience not only the teaching just becomes a creative fodder for new things and it's very cool. Then, I get to go home and settle in between and have a real anchor and have a real grounding experience as well. So, I get the best of both worlds.
[Angel Donovan]: It absolutely sounds like that. It does. I'm jealous. I'll be out there in California soon doing this. I'm going to make my little home too, I think.
So, let's jump into polarity. I mean, it sounds like you've added some more practical tools since I last saw you?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yes, lots.
[Angel Donovan]: For people to take home and some of the sexual stuff, so we can talk about that later but, I want to give... obviously, we've been talking about polarity. I've read Deida's books a long time ago and we've been talking about that on the show in various lights. However, I think it's a very intangible subject and would like to get it from kind of one of the original sources and I'm sure you have some very clear ideas on how it is. How do you normally explain male/female polarity and how it works?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, I think things have changed for me personally being out there and seeing how people interact and particularly people under 35, I think, it's changed very dramatically. I no longer describe polarity in the classic sense where it's masculine and feminine which is very useful. We can start there but, it's very useful that you can tell that in each human being, there is different influences.
The way I'm looking at these things is essentially that every human has a creative principle, like that flow principle in them and an organizing principle which is the masculine, that go principle. Right? So, you have go in you and you have flow in you so to speak and each human being, regardless if it's man or woman is made up out of these bits and pieces, of these two bits and pieces.
Now, most people have a place where they like to reside, where they are most happy and that would be considered your essence, your home place. For many men, not all men but for many men, that's the more masculine aspect of them, the go. Going somewhere, taking something, penetrating, ravishing, attacking a project with full force.
That's not only true for men, that's why it's so difficult these days because, many women have that same aspect very strongly but, sexually speaking, we tend to have a preference. Very few people go completely 50/50 both ways. Most people have a preference if they want to take or be taken sexually, if they want to surrender or penetrate sexually, if they want to be the ones guiding where it's going or be the ones supplying the energy to that occasion. That's for usually sexually speaking pretty clear cut, not in other areas of life anymore.
So, that then lead us to when two people come together... this is also true for places and other kinds of things but, we're talking about relationships. When two people come together, what typically happens to begin with is you don't know that person and they're fresh to you and they're new and they're unknown and because of that, you have a very strong attraction to them because, as they say, opposites attract. You don't know each other so, it's all up for grabs and it's very exciting and that's usually when they sexual tension, the sexual chemistry is the strongest.
Now, there's some people who don't have that because there's other things at play but, for most people, sex in the beginning is fantastic. Attraction is fantastic. You can't keep your hands off each other. It's hot and then, what happens is, people start confusing sexual polarity which is the attraction, the chemistry with the relationship. What makes people have a relationship is sameness. The more you have in common, the better your relationship.
So, one of the classic pitfalls of relationship is that people start. They date and then, they start spending more and more time together and you start inviting each other to cook and then, you hang out and then, it comes that first time where you sit together and you watch a movie or TV and you become closer and closer and closer. You have common friends. Now, you have common interests. Maybe you move in together. At some point, you spend lots of time together. You share lots of things.
So, the relationship becomes stronger but, the sexual polarity because less because, you become more and more the same and sameness is the enemy of sexual friction, of sexual tension. The more the same you are, the more you might be loving and close but, the less sexual tension there is.
Then what people do is they go, "Oh shit. The sexual chemistry's going. We're no long that attracted sexually. Let's go to a relationship counselor. Then, the relationship counselor says things like, "Well, are you spending enough time together? Maybe you need to spend more time together. Go for a date night." That's good advice in the realm of relationship but, it's not good advice in the realm of sexual polarity because, the sexual polarity actually comes from one person specifically for sex, orienting towards their essence. So the masculine towards the masculine, the feminine towards the feminine and making themselves as different from each other as they can.
The difference is what causes the sexual spark. Polarity means nothing else but, two poles that are far enough apart so that there is a kind of a spark of attraction, an arch of energy.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right. So, I need to take an analogy from the BDSM world. Right? You have dominant and then submissive.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: So, are they kind of executing on a more extreme level. So, you have people seeking to be very, very dominant and they're looking for a submissive, very, very subordinate people within that community. The people in that community kind of understand it naturally, right? They're like, "Yeah, the Doms are looking for subs and the subs are looking for the Doms," and they're actually consciously saying, "Are you Dom or a sub?" When you start talking to one of these people, they're like, "You're a Dom or sub. Oh, we're not going to fit together." Are they consciously talking about this polarity because, they understand it better than the normal society?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, different flavor of the same thing, yes. It is definitely an extreme form of that, of what we're talking about. Where the roles are very clearly defined and because there's a clearly defined, there's no doubt. It is for the sake of sex. It's for the sake of sexual taking and surrendering and so, it's a very specific slice of what we're talking about. The problem with the whole Dom/sub thing is that it's usually not sustainable in regular relationships.
If you live with somebody, that's not the lifestyle that you... I mean, you know there is some people out there but, you probably want other aspects to your life as well. You don't want to be constantly in that kind of a dungeon situation so to speak. There's other aspects to life and because there's other aspects to life, these roles or these mechanics because, the important piece opt know is that having good relationship with somebody, finding somebody with whom you're truly compatible, that's hard. It's not easy to find somebody with whom you want to spend your life. It's very easy to learn the principles of polarity so you can enliven, sexually enliven pretty much any relationship because, these are like physics.
[Angel Donovan]: Right.
[Michaela Boehm]: So in the Dom/sub situation, the physics are very, very precisely lived out but of course, anything that's that restricted has its down falls. So, it's good to learn the more subtle mechanics of that principle so you can infuse your life with it. So that when you want to have a sexual occasion which for most people, isn't that often because, most people have incredibly busy lives and of course, whatever you do for most of the day is how your day is how your body is because, sex still happens in the body. We haven't managed to completely farm it out to our iPhones.
So, you still need a body for sex and the body of course is a creature of habit. It behaves how it's most used. So, if you spend all day doing, doing, doing, doing and then, in the evening, you want to be the one in the flow of the one who is submissive so to speak, your body isn't going to cooperate that easily because, it's used to a different kind of mode. The other way around right? If you're a guy and you spend all day doing, doing, doing, doing, when you come home, you probably need a bit of a break. That will then mean when you have a woman at home and she now wants to surrender because, she's all tight and fucked up and tense and you are tired from work. you're going to run into trouble because, you need different things.
[Angel Donovan]: But, it sounds like... because, you're saying both people are being doing, doing and doing in our society of doing, right?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: Because, that's what's focused on?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: And so, they both want to be taken at the end of the day. People always refer to highly-stressed CEOs or high-performance people being in this situation where they're taking all these responsibilities for hundreds of people. Then when they want to go home, they want to be in the opposite chair and more be taken. I don't know that's something that you've noticed?
[Michaela Boehm]: Oh yeah, totally. That's a common trouble in the relationship is then that everybody wants something that the other person doesn't want to give in that particular moment and because, the way we're built as human beings whisks that tendency towards taken and being taken. We also need a break from that even though we might want to surrender and we might want to take. If you've taken all day, when living in an extremely masculine society in that way, (right, it's all about doing) you as the doer need a break and of course, the person who is the most surrender flowing feminine person, if she's been doing all day, she won't be able to snap out of it.
Then, the classic scenario is that the women go... I'm saying women now but, the more feminine partner but, we're dealing right now with men and women. The women go, "Well, why don't you get me out of this?" and the guy's going, "Well, I've been doing all day. Do I have to do again?" That's the end of the sexual occasion right there in a certain way. The thing to know about that is that each person will have to spend some time apart and some part for themselves doing what they need to do so that their bodies relax into their natural state and of course, if you do a lot of pushing and doing and directing, you might need some physical exercise. You might need some actual physical work so your body can soften and relax and open again to another human.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right. It sounds like you're saying there's a default state for many of us with a bit of male and female polarity. Would you explain like this? If we went back to our nature sexual inclination, would that help us understand what that is?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: You kind of take away the pressures of all our lives because obviously, they're pushing us in different directions and we went back to that indication, that would tell us what our natural place is?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, so that's the whole idea in polarity is that you find for yourself what is your natural place, what's the place where you are most at home and you cultivate and animate that in your body. It's important that it's in the body. You can't armchair your way to these things. You have to have...
You can't decide you play the guitar mentally. The moment somebody hands you a guitar, you won't be able to play it unless you've practiced with your body playing the guitar and it's the same with sexual skill and sexual polarity. It has to happen in the body. You can't just think about it but, once you know how to do that in the body, how you can soften or sharpen, depending on what you need, then all you have to do for the sake of the attraction is willingly make yourself different. Who does what doesn't really matter in that particular case. It's just that it's different.
[Angel Donovan]: Right and that makes the experience for both people.
[Michaela Boehm]: Exactly.
[Angel Donovan]: Right because, if you're not working together, when you kind of work apart different polarities, then it's not going to work. It's not going to be exciting.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: But, if you go the way which maybe isn't your natural inclination but is the polarity, it's going to be a better experience for you too. Is that what you're saying?
[Michaela Boehm]: Both. You want to be at home in your natural inclination. Like for instance, a highly feminine creature... right? I mean, my mind is all over the place. My thoughts are all over the place. You should see my place. My place is an explosion of colors and textures and flavors and I have all these animals and books and beautiful things and altars and statues and whatever. So, I'm highly feminine in my nature and I certainly like to be the one who surrenders completely.
However, most of my life is spent doing things, going places, telling people what to do, holding a strong container and facilitating for people to have an experience that requires me to be very sharp and very together in a certain way. So when I come home from a day of... it's not so much in the teaching because, there I have a teaching partner who takes a nice big chunk of that but when I see private clients where I really, really have to be sharp, I come home and I bark orders. I just do because, that's what one does when one is on purpose and I like that a lot.
I just don't like it sexually but, it could be let's say that my man also spent all day teaching which he does and he's too tired for him to do the thing that's naturally his which is the taking part. Then, I might still continue being the more let's say dominant person in that moment so that he gets a break and then, we'll flip it around into the natural inclination. So, it's not that you can only do the thing that is yours, you should be well-versed in both aspects of the play so you can play the full spectrum.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, I think you explain it with a lot of clarity. I know you just mentioned previously that it's getting more challenging. So, I was just wondering what you think there is about the modern world that you said is also a difference between the people who 35 or younger. What do you think it is about the modern world that's maybe changing the forces on this polarity? We kind of spoke about work a little bit and having to do. Are there other things going on today?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, oh yeah there's lots. I mean, there's so much and we're just cutting a very thin slice but, one of the things that's... and that's why I have really stepped away from going with the classic masculine/feminine and all of that because, one of the things that's happened now is that these terms are kind of used as yet another way to pigeon-hole people and suppress them.
[Angel Donovan]: Right.
[Michaela Boehm]: And that, "You're feminine enough. You're not in your masculine." What does that mean? It becomes this additional weapon in the gender war in a certain way and that's not the way it's supposed to be. It supposed to be something that helps people understand themselves and their desires and heart-yearnings and inclinations sexually and relationally. So, I think what's happened particularly over the last five, six years I've seen it very strongly is that there is a lot of women out there who really don't want the kind of life and relationship that they had for many, many, many years but, not in the feminist way.
You know of, "Well men are bad and we do our own thing," or in the 50s house wife way where you're just subordinating to a man but, in a way where they both want their active purposed life and they still want a moment where they can actually let that all go and kind of exhale and lose their minds a bit and relax their bodies and soften. Most men still to this day do want that. That the ones who are inclined to be taking, ravishing so to speak, directing a woman, they don't want the full responsibility of a woman just listening to their every command and do what they want, you know guide them completely. That's highly unlikely to happen because, people have such different kind of lives.
So what's happened though, which is quite interesting is that in general, (and these are very, very big generalizations) women because of the way we are in the workplace now and because, in the western world we now have almost all options available to us, we've actually honed the more masculine skills. That's where our focus is and we've become highly competitive towards other women and men as well. To a certain degree, in order to do what we need to do, somewhat unfeeling.
While men have had to learn ever since women's liberation and beyond that to become more sensitive because, lives are not the way they used to be where a guy just went to work, did his thing, came home, opened his tie, put his shoes away and sit there while the woman served him food. Those days are over.
So, men had to actually be consciously learn to become sensitive, how to become the kind of fathers and partners and friends that can feel something and be sensitive to the environments. Because, men were traditionally thought to be not that sensitive enough, that feeling, men actually learned things and also were taught different by their mothers. So, what I'm finding these days is that for the most part, men are more sensitive than women these days.
[Angel Donovan]: That's interesting. Is that because they've been encouraged to move the other way while the women have been kind of moving more towards work? I think it's also because a lot of the women, I think they kind of grew up in this situation where it's been a hard. There have been different forces on women, right? Certainly in some positions it's been easier for men to compete in their positions in the job market and women potentially had to fight harder to get the same positions and so on. Maybe it's less so for under 30s and under 20s and so on but, that's definitely so.
[Michaela Boehm]: That's right. The things that I dealt with growing up are certainly no longer the things that a woman in her early 30s deals with and, it's a very, very different landscape. So, the things that have been said and written and developed 15 years ago or 12 years ago are no longer true for you know people who didn't grow up with those kind of circumstances and a lot of young women... I'm working with very young women at the moment and a lot of 20, 23, 24 in my workshops often. They no longer have any of those restrictions that I never personally experienced, I must say.
I was very lucky and privileged to never have experienced any discrimination because of my gender but, I know lots of women my age and older who had to really, really push to get to where they wanted to go. So, there's a certain hardness there and a certain toughness. You know, if you grew up in the 80s and were in business in the 80s, they had assertiveness training and things like that for women. You kind of have to think about that. That's only 30 years ago.
So, things have substantially changed and I think the whole spectrums available to both men and women now which makes much more confusing and difficult because, the rule so to speak, the rules of physics, the rules of sexual polarity are still the same though. It takes two different poles to create that tension and if you don't want to be the different poles because you're both operating in one pole which is doing, doing, doing, that makes for less and less and less sexual interest.
Then because you were saying kink, a lot of times when people get to that point where they're hopefully deeply loving but, at least they get along but they no longer have that sexual spark, they do things like kink or opening the relationship or things like that in the hope that that will spice things up. It will because suddenly, everybody's different again but then, that wears off of course and then, you have to do even more far out kink or more open relationship or more multiple partners and all of those things are options however, it will all come down to the same thing if you don't understand the necessity to make yourself different.
[Angel Donovan]: Right well, we speculated about this on the show before. Time and time again, you see you people get into swinging or polyamory and the couple will break up not long afterwards.
[Michaela Boehm]: Oh yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: Because obviously, they haven't found whatever the solution to the problem was.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, well exactly. I mean, now you have the same fucked up relationship with five people that you've had with one.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, it makes it even worse.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, where ever you go there you are, right and it doesn't take that into account. The principles stay the same no matter if you do it with one person or five people. It's just also that often times, not always but often times, the whole polyamory situation means endless amounts of processing which of course is zapping you of all energy.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, polyamory takes a lot of investment of time and work. That's one of the things that puts me off it. It's just, you have to decide you don't want to do much else in your life, I guess.
[Michaela Boehm]: Because essentially, for the privilege to fuck a few different people, you have to spend most of your days processing that stuff and that seems... when you look at the amount of psychodrama or engagement and the amount of sex, it's not really cost-effective.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right yeah. I mean, it depends what you want to get out of life. I have friends that do it and they seem relatively happy.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, I mean and that's not to say... I think that that's the other piece that we haven't talked about. I think that the traditional marriage and the traditional relationship is pretty obsolete these days and there's all kinds of different configurations that have to be taken into account. Because of things like Tinder for instance and on line dating, less and less younger men particularly want to settle down really or at least be completely monogamous. A lot of women no longer want that traditional picture as well.
They want it to some degree but, with all kinds of adjuncts and because of the complexity of life, of the life we have right now and because people don't get married that young anymore either, it's more and more that people have conglomerates of relationships. They might not be sexual with more than one person but, they certainly have multiple go-to partners for different aspects of their lives and if that's not attended to with some understanding of the principles, then it can get really, really messy.
Because like I said, the polarity that's like physics. It's a knew-jerk. You can't help it. It's like when you were a man, it doesn't matter how much you love your wife or woman or how old you are, when you see a young beautiful scantily clad woman get out from a chair and wiggle her ass, your body will react. There's nothing you can do about it and you know, neither should you do something about that. That doesn't mean you act on it. It's not like you eat all the potato chips that are available in the world. You don't always act on every sexual stimulus but, it's there.
The other way around in women, the certain kind of a command of being told in a specific way creates like a knee-jerk opening which is why women will fall for that whatever, tango instructor or a tennis instructor or personal trainers or teacher or therapists because, that being guided very strong as an incredibly compelling feeling to it. It can't be helped. So when you know what that is, you can actually produce it in your own relationship or relationships in a way that it stays interesting and it's kind of a fun thing to deal with.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, yeah. So would you say, if you understand these two concepts you've given us very neatly, the sameness for the relationship and the polarity for the sexual aspect, the attraction, the chemistry, if you understand these, could you keep a relationship interesting, engaging? I think engaging's probably a better word, better word indefinitely.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah of course. The thing to... you can and you can revive a relationship that's gotten somewhat stale. So both of these things are possible and that's much, much easier than finding the right kind of a person to be with. So, it's always most important to be with somebody who you truly want to spend time with and then, add the polarity and how that goes.
The discipline's in it though and that's what most people don't want to do is the discipline is that you have to maintain separate lives in a certain way. You have to have different activates and different friends and time apart and keep your own life interesting. For most us, a laziness kicks in at some point.
So when you look at the beginning when you go on a date, well what happens? The principles of polarity are very strongly in play. One person decides where you're going to go. Both people take time away from their regular schedules. Both people at least are going to restrict their cell phone use to a certain degree on the first couple of dates or on dates, right. Then, you get dressed properly and you take the time and you're going to a specific place and you go there specifically to be with each other. So all of those things are the aspects of polarity.
Then as the relationship progresses, you're sitting on the coach with your iPhones in one hand and TV or computer on the other thing, everybody's in their sweat pants and nobody gives a damn anymore in that way. It's very comfortable, just not very sexy.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, I think everyone can really relate to that and understand it with that visual.
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: I wanted to go back. In terms of practice, it seems like there's a few stages to this. There's understanding where the other person is coming from in terms of sexual polarity because, I know a lot of guys we talk to, they're probably still going to have difficulty maybe when relating to say what the woman's been doing all day in terms of her job or what she's doing for her livelihood. You know because, some women today if you're in Los Angeles or areas of California, there's a lot of girls who are yoga instructors right and they do tend to have a different energy about them. A lot of their life is more about this kind of spiritual side, this softer side versus like you meet other women who are starters. They've got their own start ups. They're entrepreneurs. It's a very different vibe.
So I guess guys can place... kind of understand women from that perspective. Is that a reasonable way to get started for them trying... understand where the women are coming from because, I think when they look at them, they find it pretty difficult to kind of understand how each woman may have a different polarity?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah I mean, it's hard to understand a woman, right? I mean and I'm saying this as being a woman because, one of the aspects of being a woman... and this has nothing to do with masculine and feminine per se. It has to do with the physical body of a woman versus the physical body of a man and the biological things that come with it and that's also what makes it not so clear-cut anymore because, certain things happen in a woman's body that don't happen in a man's body. For one, the constant flood of hormones which, let me tell you, is nothing that you ever want to experience.
[Angel Donovan]: Like a rollercoaster?
[Michaela Boehm]: It's like a rollercoaster and you're perfectly fine one moment and then, your biochemically completely altered half a day later and that's very hard to understand for any man and it's very hard to understand for a woman when a guy is pretty even-keeled most of the time. It's like, "Really? How?" It's just the biochemistry in itself makes it so that women can't be understood in a linear way. What you can understand though is that that particular up and down and back and forth and different moods is a constant.
Once you understand that that's a constant and you cannot on rely on a common thread there because, depending on how the wind blows, it's going to be different and that's not easy for a woman either, right? I mean, I and any other woman I know sometimes, "What the fucks wrong with me? Why am I this bitchy? Or why am I this?" but, biochemistry in it's very nature is such that you have very little control over what's happening which anybody who's ever had a biochemical dip can.... you can't snap out of a depression, right? When people go, "Well..."
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah.
[Michaela Boehm]: "... you know, just go exercise." It's the same thing. You can't snap out of these things. So with that of course comes a whole slew of circumstances that have to do with reproduction safety and security. Because of that in itself and because of the necessity for a certain safety and trust, woman orient completely towards safety and trust and that's biological in nature.
So what you do as a man verbally isn't as important has how a woman feels your body. You know, feels a certain integrity of structure and integrity of mind knowing where it's going, the things that we consider safe, trustworthy. So, when you try to understand a woman, you can't understand it linearly.
You have to understand that she orients towards can she trust you? Are your actions trustworthy? Is your body trustworthy? Do you feel stable? Do you feel like you know where you're going and you have your shit together enough that in case of an emergency, you don't crumble and lose your shit? That's what a woman orients after.
So what you say is fairly inconsequential. It's all about how you are, how your body is. So that's why only a good pick up line never works if you are not having the inner integrity to back these things up.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think this is a good segue to talk about your workshops and what happens there because obviously, it's more about the... well, I guess you would say, it's about the intimacy aspects, intimacy exercises and some of the polarity but, it's a very soft experience. Not much of it is actually vocal at all. If I remember properly, there's very little of that. It's mostly about how the body and it's this type of communication.
Perhaps you could us... you are doing in the workshops? I guess that is the first question. What kinds of things are you having people work through?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, well there's different offering. There is workshops just for men where we mostly work with the aspects that I just described. How do you work with your body so that your body has integrity? Your movement has integrity. There's an alignment between what's happening in your mind and what your body portrays. The areas of strength and power in the body are being explored sexually and also just how you move through the world. So that's man's workshops.
Then, there's women's workshops where we explore the whole aspect of how do you soften and open your body again after having kicked ass all day. How you actually create the kind of pleasure in the body that attracts a good man and keeps the man you're with interested engaging which also has to happen in the body. It's very, very experiential.
Then in the workshops where there is men and women, depending on the length of the workshops, right? We do evening intros where it's just three hours which I think is what you've done twice, right? In the evening intros, it's literally a little bit like a yoga class, right? You go there and even if you've done it 10 times, you still work yourself out in the ways that you learn how to create strong polarity.
The aspects of strong polarity is first presence, being with somebody men and women alike. A cultivating attention that they can keep which of course is harder and harder with the advent of social media and things like that. So, we work first on how do you actually stay engaged with somebody and stay present with somebody and cultivate some kind of attention towards that person.
Then from there, how do you connect the heart because of course, any of these things, polarity, kink, domination, submission without the heart is just very route. It's not. It doesn't feel as full and as deep as when the heart's engaged. So we work on how do you engage the heart? How do you do that? How do you unguard after having being hurt and betrayed and all the things that we've all had to do. That also happens in the body because, it's a bodily disposition.
Then from there, we teach the principles of polarity to varying degrees. So like I said, in the evening workshops, we go very basic. So, you have some things to take home. In full-day workshops, we might also go into how do you spice it up once you have polarity, meaning different flavors and textures of human expression. So that it becomes very interesting and very full, a play between two people.
Then in longer workshops... like I'm about to teach another five-day in Amsterdam. We just did one in Australia and one in the States. In a five-day workshop, we go way deep into those areas where you get real strong under-pinnings to how to create polarity ongoingly and personal tools on how to create your offering or your essence.
In those longer workshops, we then also attend to sexual skills. How do you... the mechanics of how do you ravish? How do you surrender? What happens? What's the mechanic that keeps it interesting and not stale? How do you stay in your body and don't check out when it becomes a bit darker?
The whole darker aspects of sexuality, that's a whole other area where we teach quite extensively because, most people close their hearts when it gets a bit darker and a bit nastier but, most people love the darker, nastier aspects of sex because, they free them from their regular constraints. So, it's a very interesting area to do into is how do you really talk dirty, do the darker more dominant things and still stay connect and not just check or dissociate or close your heart?
[Angel Donovan]: When you were talking about this last part about sex mechanics and so one that you're teaching, you know I thought back to porn because obviously, especially for the... I think it's exactly the under 35s. They've grown up with internet porn. So, I think the women also, now the younger ones, the under 25s, they've had a lot more exposure. They seem a lot more at home with it as well and I think that seems to be changing their expression on social media, on Tinder as well. It seems to be getting racier and racier over time.
[Michaela Boehm]: Well yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: And so, is that something you find your... is that one of the trends effecting the way you're guiding your workshops now?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah definitely. I mean, the thing is I'm all for incredible sexual freedom always around. I think the wider the spectrum, the better. The problem is just as it is with all these things that the more desensitized you get, the more you're used to the number you get and in the sexual realms, people now need to pretty intense stimuli to feel anything. That's everything from you know, the massive wand vibrators to really, really hard-core porn. They say that most 14 to 15 year-olds have seen things on the internet that nobody ever before knew before they were maybe in their 20s or 30s and that's considered fairly common-place, right?
So, it becomes harder and harder and harder to find something that gets you. You become less and less and less sensitive and so, in our work, particularly now that Steve and I are teaching so extensively together, we are really working on resensitizing people. Making them intimate with the things that happen in their body because essentially, if you can feel your own body, you can feel somebody else. You just can't. You know, it's like when you're numb and shut off, you will have a hard time with our own sensations and you certainly won't be able to feel anybody else there and that's a real issue.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, this brings to mind one of the exercises you had us do. I did in the evening and I did the day workshop and both times, you did this exercise and both times, it actually effected me quite intensely.
It was simply sitting there where you had our eyes closed with a girl partner and we just sort of held our hands together and we just let them move around naturally between each other. You guided us at certain points and then left it.
Both times, I had this intense connection with a girl to the point that the first time, I was quite concerned about it because, when we opened our eyes, we kind of looked at each other and I was like, "Wow, this is pretty intense sexual attraction I'm feeling right now. So, I feel like I have to get away from it because, I'd want to date you something, like take you on a date." I know one of my friends actually did this and he went sideways afterwards unfortunately. I don't if that... maybe it was just too effective your exercise. I don't know.
I found it like both times, it was really this connection with this girl was amazing. The second time when it was the day, you had us go away with the partner for lunch which was an even better experience because then, we kind of got to talk through it and put a layer of verbals on it, I guess. I found I'm pretty intense and I guess that one was about developing presence or how would you describe that specific?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, that is polarity right but, it's polarity from a place of... particularly the hand exercise which I'm doing more and more things that don't involve sight simply because, that's our go-to sense, right? So, we already have kind of a seeing and not so much of a feeling. So developing the feeling sense of someone is sometimes much more accurate because, you're not tripped out by the usual triggers, right? It's just how that person looks but, it's how they feel to you and how your body feels their body and that creates intense sexual attraction like you said.
Now, you don't have to act on it. It's just a workshop and you end it but, if you can produce strong sexual attraction with a complete stranger who were not going home with, you certainly can learn these tools with somebody who you truly love and want to be with. That's the lesson in there but, it does require a coming back to feeling and the coming back to the more subtle layers because, out there in the world and with porn and everything else available, it is very, very...
[Angel Donovan]: Absolutely. I mean, it's the whole world. It's TV and everything. Everything's being over-sensitized in terms of our stimulation to get to us, advertising and so on. It all has to be exaggerated and it's a continuously escalating cycle unfortunately. Otherwise, we just stop listening. That is one of the things.
So in terms of practical take-aways, is that the aspect you're working on more now, giving people things that they can take home and continue the exploration? Or what specifically are you working on now and are most interested in?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, exactly that, the how do you sensitize in your life? How do you feel people? How do you relate with people in a different way? How do you create this strong polarity? How do you develop sexual skills based actually being able to feel something?
Those are the main areas. There's many, many, many other aspects. Like I said, the attention to everyday detail which is an another way to sensitize yourself.
[Angel Donovan]: People coming who are coming to your workshops now or that you have the most contact with are they all singles or is there a good part that are couples? What type of people are coming to the workshops and are you teaching them different things? Like the singles are tending to work on one aspect maybe a bit earlier in the game and other people who were say in a relationship already, they need to focus on something else?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, I mean the skills are the same regardless if you're single or in a relationship because, most of the skills apply to you and how you then use it. You can use it in dating or you can use it in your relationship or can use it sexually. I would say, it's about... most workshops have more singles than couples in the shorter workshops and then, as the workshops get longer, it's about half/half where it's half singles, half couples about but, it's hard to tell because, every workshop in every country in every city is different. But, I find that we have both people who are involved in relationships and people who just want to really up their ability to date and date from a different place.
Because, you know dating these days is no longer and issue. Tinder and all of those things will give you access to more people than you can actually process but, actually having the kind of experiences that you want to have. Everything from just wanting sex to having a very deep relationship, thatÕs harder and harder to come by.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah absolutely, I feel like people are less and less satisfied no matter if they're having sex or what. Obviously, a lot of guys think the main goal, that the beginning is sex especially when they're younger but, I think after a while, they get pretty dissatisfied even if they're very successful at that as well.
What I want to round off with is just you did mention this kind of need for... I'm thinking more people of relationships here. When they've been doing all day, are there sorts of things that you recommend so they're able to reset so they kind of rebuild their strength and they're able to rest and take on their natural polarity? Is it things like meditation, yoga? You mentioned doing physical exercise. Are these the kind of things you recommend?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah absolutely. I mean, we teach very specific things you can do but essentially, repolarizing or reentering the place that you are most at home at has to happen with giving yourself a break from what you've been doing all day.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah excellent, excellent. Okay so, rounding off, I know you have to get away. What are the best ways for people to connect with you and learn more about you? Is it your website or Facebook? Where's the easiest place?
[Michaela Boehm]: Yeah, I mean my website is... I'm assuming you will list the website on the podcast?
[Angel Donovan]: Yep.
[Michaela Boehm]: It's http://www.MichaelaBoehm.com and there's loads and loads and loads of stuff on there as far as workshops go. Also, I have a Sound Cloud account that's linked from my blog. If you go on my blog, you'll see there is a link to the Sound Cloud.
Sound Cloud is I think 50 plus hours of free materials, podcasts. I've been interviewed. I just started my own podcast where it's essentially Q&As that we've edited with relevant questions. There's also clips from Steve who I teach with. So, you get a little bit of a male perspective. He has a very, really amazing background in embodiment and also a very strong sexual background that kind of combines, not the same training I had but, combines very nicely. So, there's stuff of his on there as well. That gives access both from the workshop and then also just from the listening to more stuff.
[Angel Donovan]: Very cool, very cool. Is there anyone beside yourself you'd recommend for high-quality advice in this whole area of dating, sex, relationships?
[Michaela Boehm]: No and why I'm saying no not for any other reason than I'm not that familiar with what other people do these days because, I've been on road and doing my own thing but, there's lots of good people out there for different things. It's just I think it's very important that one is clear on what you want. The problem is when you go to one modality that has nothing to do with the modality that you're actually working at and that happens a lot.
If you just want to meet people and have sex with them, that's one skill set. If you want to meet people in an environment that you don't know anybody and where you're essentially doing a cold-open so to speak, that's one skill set. If you want to deepen your relationship, that requires a certain kind of skill set. If you want sexual polarity, that requires a certain skill set and they can't be conflated and that happens a lot.
[Angel Donovan]: When you say conflated, that means that they can't be...?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, they're different modalities. Like if you have communication problems in your relationship, you must see a couple's counselor. If you have sexual polarity issues, you don't need to see a couple's counselor. You need to learn how to have polarity.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, right. So, you're saying you need to address different issues, different weaknesses?
[Michaela Boehm]: You need to deafen the issues and bodily issues. If you have trauma in your body from sexual or upbringing areas, you have to deal with it in the body with a soulmatic practitioner. So, there's different aspects to it and when they get all muddled together, when people (and this happens a lot in the tantra world) try to deal with their injuries by pushing themselves past their edge or to their edge, they're actually incurring more injury because, they're hitting the same rut again and again and again.
So, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into so that you're not stumbling into a situation where you just re-traumatize yourself or violate yourself or become more numb in an attempt to become more open. That just doesn't work.
[Angel Donovan]: It's not an easy path. Okay, last question. What are the top three recommendations to guys starting from scratch without prior to improve their dating life, dating, sex and relationships as fast as possible? What would be the top three takeaways?
[Michaela Boehm]: Well, I think top three takeaways are find ways to open your body, relax your body so that you can feel what's happening. Find ways to come back to your natural essence, to your inclination. If you're a man, that would maybe mean doing a workout or doing some meditation or some martial arts. Also, spending some time resting and just vegging out in front of the TV or whatever before you reengage. If you're a woman, doing things that create pleasure in the body. Those would be the most important things I would say.
[Angel Donovan]: Thank you very much for your time Michaela. This has been a great a conversation, very clear I think. It's hard to bring clarity to these soft subjects like this and you've given us some very clear frameworks and things to take home. So, thank you very much for that.
[Michaela Boehm]: Thank you very much for having me.
[Angel Donovan]: Okay, hope to see you another time soon in another workshop.
[Michaela Boehm]: Alright, bye.
[Angel Donovan]: Take care, bye.
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DSR Podcast is a weekly podcast where Angel Donovan seeks out and interviews the best experts he can find from bestselling authors, to the most experienced people with extreme dating lifestyles. The interviews were created by Angel Donovan to help you improve yourself as men - by mastering dating, sex and relationships skills and get the dating life you aspire to.
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