50 Shades of Sexy
Special Guest Pamela Madsen and Mac McGregor
Let’s get ready to get sexy! Men, are you a little concerned about 50 Shades of Grey coming out? Not quite sure how to handle the number one selling book that most of your female friends and partners have read? And women, are you wondering how you can embody your sexy self even if you don’t feel it?
If so, this episode of Naked Talk is for you. Take the journey beyond the bedroom with Dan and Elizabeth as we explore 50 Shades of Sexy with sex educators Pamela Madsen and Mac McGregor. This is only a preview of coming attractions as Pamela and Mac make an appearance in Boulder April 10-12.
0:05 Elizabeth Wood (EW): Have you wanted to bring more spice ad spank into the bedroom, but don’t know how?
0:12 Dan Powers (DP): Men, have you heard about this movie Fifty Shades of Grey but you’re a little bit nervous about it because the women are really excited about it but you’re not quite sure what to do?
0:22 EW: If so, this Naked Talk is for you. I’m Elizabeth Wood.
0:25 DP: And I’m Dan Powers with Beyond the Bedroom.
0:28 EW: Naked Talk is where we get naked in a conversation of sexuality, intimacy and relationship. We strip down and expose the bare facts so that you can learn what it takes for your love to thrive. We are really excited tonight to have with us Pam, Pamela– I call her Pam when she’s not listening– Pamela Madsen and Mac McGregor. We’re really excited to introduce them to you. I’m going to give a formal introduction. They are producing really fun workshops, Beyond Fifty Shades of Sexy, Laughter, Giggles, Moans and Groans. It’s a weekend workshop dedicated to creating the hot, the playful, the sacred and the extraordinary in your bedroom and beyond. I’d like to introduce my friend Pamela Madsen, she’s an integrative life coach, specializing in women’s issues, sexuality, fertility, body image, wellness and rejuvenation. Pamela is the co-director of Back to the Body sensuous retreats for women. And I can’t introduce her without talking about her book Shameless: How I ditched the diet, got naked, found true pleasure, and somehow got home in time to cook dinner. It’s been a #1 bestseller on Amazon and Pamela is also a blogger at Psychology Today with millions in readership in It’s About Sexuality. You can find out more about Pamela at PamelaMadsen.org. And then, my dear friend, Mac McGregor. He’s an educator, activist, speaker and coach. Mac is unique in the world of sex and gender-education, combining his extensive knowledge around sexuality with his un-paralleled expertise in martial arts and energetics. Mac is a sought-after teacher in the world of sexuality, from energetics to kink to gender. Mac is known for his extensive knowledge in making sexuality accessible, playful and sacred for everyone. You can find more about Mac at BeTrueToSelf.org. I’m gonna add this because the vision of BeTrueToSelf is to provide a nurturing, supportive space where we can all grow, explore and discover our hopes, dreams and passions without fear of shame or judgment. Wow. Don’t you want to stay tuned and hear what these two have to say? So I’d like to welcome Pamela and Mac to tonight’s Naked Talk. Hi!
3:16 DP: Welcome guys!
3:17 Mac McGregor (MM): Hi! Glad to be here.
3:22 EW: Good.
3:23 DP: Yeah. Yeah so let’s just get right into it, you know, we asked some questions at the very beginning of the show and the one that I know a lot of men are very nervous about, because I’ve talked to some of them, is the Fifty Shades of Grey. That movie’s coming out and, you know, what are your advice to some of the men like that?
3:45 MM: Well, yes, this book and movie have been a huge hit and most of the readership is women and so the women are all excited about this and this whole idea of being taken and a little bit– Yes!
4:01 PM: Take me Mac! Take me! No don’t take me– Take me!
4:06 MM: Right, exactly! And playing a little rough and risky and how do you do that and do it safely? Because you know, we don’t want anyone to end up in the ER that night. One of the ways to do that is to take a workshop with an educator who’s experience in this stuff. Don’t just try to tie someone up if you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a lot of safety precautions in that play. So get out there and what a sexy thing to do with your partner is go take a sexy workshop with a credible educator in this kind of stuff. And you can have a lot of fun with it. And there are all different levels from very basic, just a little blindfold and soft tie that can make it fun and exciting to, you know, to getting a little crazier.
4:55 PM: To getting spanked with the rose.
4:58 MM: That’s right.
5:00 EW: Sounds gentle to me unless you’re using the thorns.
5:02 DP: Yeah.
5:03 EW: So we want to let everybody know that Mac and Pamela are going to be here in the Boulder–
5:08 DP: In Colorado.
5:08 EW: In the Boulder/Denver area, April 10th-12th. So we are gonna dive deep into the workshop and give you all a taste of what you might experience when you’re here. Mac, you touched very briefly upon the safety and I know the negotiation is something that’s pretty solid. So how do people start talking about what it is they want and/or what it is they don’t want?
5:39 MM: Yeah, that’s a great question. Negotiation is really important and I have to point out that’s one thing the movie Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t portray very well. Negotiation is talking about what your partner is interested, and what you’re interested in doing, and getting the buy-in; are you interested in being tied up? Or is that something you don’t want? If you are– Are ropes OK? Handcuffs? Talk about what you want to use and really line out what the person is OK with, what their boundaries are and how far they’re willing to go and don’t ever cross those boundaries if you’re the one– if you’re the “top”, as we call it. So being really honest with one another and having safe words and we usually play with two safe words, one that’s like, just like, red light, yellow light. Yellow light is, “OK, I’m getting close to the edge, slow down. Maybe take a step back”, and red is, “I’m done.” Or you can pick your own words for it but being really clear about what those words are.
6:46 PM: And you know what? This is play.
6:49 MM: Yes.
6:49 PM: This is all about being playful, I mean that’s what Mac and I are all about as sex educators and as a couple, we’re about playful sex.
7:01 MM: Right.
7:01 PM: So, yeah, sure, we can play with some of the themes that people find in Fifty Shades of Grey. You know, I always love, my thing is to say, “tie ’em up and tease ’em”. You know, there’s lots of fun things that you can do. What people experience when they work with us is learning how do you actually name your desires. Well, first of all, you need to know what the desires are. Like, what’s available? What’s on the menu? How can I order what I want if I don’t know what I can order, right? So when people spend a weekend with us, we actually, you know, we give them a cooking lesson. You know, we take out the rose, we show them what you can do with a rose, how you play with the rose, how the rose can be lots of fun on various parts of the body in really safe ways. It doesn’t embarrass people. We’re really not about putting people at a workshop experience in an embarrassing experience. We make it safe, fun, playful, clothing on. People fly in from all over the place to work with us, do you know why? They’re gonna laugh, they’re gonna giggle.
8:25 MM: Yeah.
8:25 PM: They’re gonna moan, there might even be a groan.
8:27 DP: So the way I first met you was I read the book Shameless and I thought it was so powerful and enriching for women, tell us a little bit about that book and how you got started in being a sex educator.
8:45 PM: Well first I founded the American Fertility Association, so I felt really smart from the waist down, anyway. You know, I had a handle, right below the waist I was an expert. My sexuality at home with husband was fairly typical; I could come, he could come, isn’t that great? And we could be done in about five minutes, we were really proficient, you know, we just knew how to push the come button, you know. And I discovered there was more in my body, there was more about sexuality than I was actually finding in my marriage bed and that’s not a criticism of my husband, I think we’re fairly typical of, my husband and I, which is not Mac, is fairly typical of what a lot of marriages have experienced in America. And then it gets worse, and then they go into numbness, you know, and then you just watch TV and sit on the couch together and make popcorn. And that’s not a bad thing, you know, but there could be more fun in life and I wanted to find that without, at that point in my life, I really wanted to stay monogamous and so how did I, literally, get naked? How did I literally go find true pleasure/ How did I literally ditch the diet and get to love my body again? And actually get home to cook my husband dinner, because that was important in my house. So what my journey’s all about–
10:16 DP: Just to let the audience know, you are still married.
10:20 PM: I am still married, I am married for 33 years as one of those 17-year-olds. I made the right choice at a very young age and in my life, everyone negotiates all this differently, in my life I have a husband and I have a dom because I do like dominance and submission and Mac’s my dominant and we teach together and it’s pretty, pretty sexy. And what we want is to let other people in, that you can expand your sexuality within your relationships, expand your relationships as a single person. Come, come and learn with us and wake yourself up, erotically so that you, you know, attract people in. I hate that song that’s all about, you know, he’s gonna come and turn me on, she’s waiting there for him to come and turn her on, you know, like a firefighter.
11:23 DP: Like there’s not anything that she can do about it.
11:24 PM: Yeah. I don’t want women to show up warm, right? ‘Cause you can show up warm and hot in your life, then you’re gonna attract guys like Mac. They’re not gonna want, like, who wants to show up to an ice cube? Like, that’s not really sex. So in our workshop single people come hot and they’re about turning themselves on, which attracts other people to them. So it’s about, yes, taking my journey that, you know, it’s in the book. Which, you know, is too long to go into now. Read Shameless, it’s a fun ride. And expanded into figuring out how you can have exploration, safety, shake the cobwebs off your marriage, off your single life and come play with us.
12:29 EW: So what I like about what you’re talking about Pam, is you’re talking about safety, you’re talking about play, you’re sensuously exploring that rose on camera and then you’re also talking about things that are more frightening such as nakedness, body image and the erotic. How do you help women, in particular, sort of get a handle on the more frightening words? And I think that you do it by really bringing the laughter and playfulness, but I’d love for you to–
13:07 DP: A lot of judgement, yeah.
13:08 EW: I’d love for you to expand on that because some of those words are terrifying for the audience.
13:16 PM: Naked. Hmmm. Well, first of all, in our workshops you don’t have to get naked.
13:25 EW: Right.
13:25 PM: OK? So we do have an opportunity in the evening for those who would like to participate in a sensual laboratory. We will have exercises and the people can participate in that or they can go back to their hotel rooms to do it in private, so there is no public nudity. But getting safe in your body, you know what? It’s a process. I’ve been on the “journey” of loving my lovely, imperfect curvy body for about ten years now and I have to practice every day. You know, I don’t wake up every morning and look in the morning, guys, and go, “You’re a goddess. Wow are you hot, I’d have sex with you.” Not so much every morning, you know. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I go, “What just happened to my neck? Where did that go? Oh my god, lift that up…” I think that most of us have to practice forgiveness and allowing ourselves to really love and appreciate our bodies the way they are. Nobody’s body is the way they want it to be and what I find is when you’re walking around warm, so, like, you’re doing, we teach these erotic practices that will make you feel warm in your body, you’re like the sexiest thing in the room. We were in a taxi on our way to a show and we were just, sort of, talking about things, maybe I was talking about things that turned me on and that was kind of encouraging me and the next thing I know, I was walking into the restaurant in front of other people and, “Yeah I’m hot, I am so hot.” And, you know, and the people looking at me and smiling because a warm woman or a warm man who is feeling good inside their bodies is sexy and I don’t care what you look like or what you think you look like. Inside, I mean this sounds like bullshit, I know, but I’m not Christie Brinkly; I’m 5’2”, I’m really curvy, I’m after fifty.
16:20 EW: How many is that Pamela? So what I find interesting about you is you really blossomed into your fullness and so it’s not reserved for people who are only in their twenties or thirties. You know, I think it’s more of your peer appearance that you’re able to reach mainstream women that you have that normality about you clearly express and journey into it in your book.
16:50 PM: We all want to feel alive, right Mac?
16:53 MM: Yes, certainly.
16:55 PM: We all want to play again. It’s not you never– some of us never play and then people need prompts. You know–
17:05 MM: Or they haven’t played in so long, they’ve tucked that part of them away for so long they’ve forgotten how.
17:10 PM: You know, Mac’s a personal trainer, by the way.
17:14 MM: And a martial arts teacher, yeah.
17:15 PM: And a martial arts teacher. So it’s kind of like, how do we teach people to play again? And, you know, when you come together in a group and you permission people to do really fun, sexy thing together it turns them on again, it frees them up, it permissions them. And we’re gonna teach the tools. So, like, yes, this is the idea of the energy, right? You know, the energy is kind of like, you know, the energy is it’s sexy and it’s fun and it’s playful and, you know, I might want to become, like I did a few days ago, a magic pony and run away from Mac. “You can’t find me, I’m the magic pony, you can’t catch me, you can’t… I’m over here. I’m over there but you can’t see me.” You know, and it’s fun to be the magic pony and lassoed and tied up and teased and, you know, have to take the magic pony pledge that you will never leave your master again, you know.
18:21 DP: And how did that work for Mac?
18:24 PM: I’m sorry?
18:26 DP: How did that work for Mac? To make that promise, did she stick to it?
18:30 MM: Well, so far, it’s only been a couple days.
18:33 DP: OK. And so one of the things that I really liked about your book is that it really gave women permission to be like that, to be able to play. You know, coming from a, you know, a stale relationship, I would say, not that that’s really a bad thing, but that’s kind of what we all experience. Ester Perel talks about opening up and creating excitement in your relationship because we do have this cage that we’ve created once we’ve gotten married. I think it’s a really great concept that you guys are talking about, and talking about and you’re doing that as well. So who do you see as primary people that would come to your classes?
19:21 MM: People that are missing the fun in their erotic life. I mean, this should be fun. We’re erotic beings and we want people who are just missing that, who are kind of, you know, either they’re bored with their sex life or their sex life is so-so and they want to take it up a few notches and just have a lot more fun with it.
19:45 PM: OR people who are already playing and who want a playground to come to.
19:50 MM: Yes.
19:50 PM: So, you know, you need places to do it. You’re always in your bedroom, you’re always in your house, so let’s say you’re single or you’re married or you’re in a partnership and you’ve already started to open things up. OK you’ve done a few tantra workshops, OK you’re breathing, you’re gazing, you’re puja, you know and you’re wanting more. Well then come be with us, practice your skills, learn more, come into a playful, grown-up space that’s constructed for you to experiment further. I think, basically, Mac and I are creating spaces we want to play in. So you think we do this just to teach people? No! We do this because we like to play and if we run a workshop we get to play with everybody and when we enliven them, we enliven us. Does this make sense? So we get people to come so we have fun.
20:59 DP: Sounds great.
21:01 EW: So Mac, I know your history, I know a little bit more about because Pamela just revealed you are a personal trainer. So Mac, I’m actually gonna call out your focus and your discipline and your practice. I mean, as a martial arts champion, also as a personal trainer, there’s a lot of discipline. Are you using that in what you teach or are you breaking free of that? Because that’s something that interests me.
21:33 MM: Well that’s a very good question. So this is my 43rd year in the martial arts and so I’ve been pretty hardcore, it’s kind of like walking to me, and I would say that I’m using it. For one thing, I’m using it to be very present where I am, so that would be the main way I would say I’m using my focus is to be very present where I am. One of the practices in hardcore martial arts is when you walk in that dojo, you take off your shoes, you bow in, you leave the world outside, you leave the rest of the world outside and you’re there focused on your training and it’s the same thing when we do this. When I step into that playspace, that area, that’s where I am, fully. I’m not thinking about, you know, all the things I need to do tomorrow, all the the errands I need to run or what I didn’t get done yesterday or whatever; I’m staying very present there, so that’s where I think it really helps you, you know. And it also, and of course, focus also helps, I mean, when you get right down to the nitty gritty of the sexual part it helps as well. And the other thing that is crazy about my background, so combine that with the fact that I went to clown school, graduated from clown school and there’s the fun extreme, right? So yeah.
23:01 PM + DP : *inaudible, all talking at once*
23:05 DP: Sorry, go ahead.
23:07 PM: I said, learning how to teach people presence in sexuality. Like, how do we actually give each other our presence and our attention, Mac and I talk about this all the time. Because I think the number one thing women want is attention, we want to be seen, we want the masculine, in a hetero-normative model and there are people who may not be hetero-normative so the one who holds the masculine, OK, really wants to give that attention to the feminine energy who just really wants to be seen and, you know, a little part of BDSM is what’s happening, it can be played both ways, both genders, but we’re seeing the woman, the feminine– what happens when she’s tied up, she’s a focus of attention, isn’t she? And she can’t run away from it. So women have a lot of feelings of, “I don’t deserve attention, I want attention, I don’t deserve attention. I’m too busy for attention. Oh my god, when am I gonna get any attention.” So, you know, in power and surrender games, somebody is giving attention, somebody is receiving attention and we’ll be teaching about that, about what really is a power exchange relationship and even if you’re not playing with power exchange, because our time with the people who attend our workshop is not all about BDSM. That’s like, you know, it’s a segment of the class, right? But playing with how do you give attention? How do you receive attention? How do you communicate about that? Is a really important tool set.
24:50 EW: I think that that’s actually the crux of it, what Mac and I, and then you, expanded on was really about being present and focused in your relationship and Mac said if we’re thinking about the errands, if we’re thinking about what’s left over from work or what we need to pack for vacation, we’re really not present to the partnership and the potential of the energy exchange between us. So that actually might be my favorite, number one tip that you’ve just shared with our audience, is really being present despite all the business and all the distractions, so I’m gonna keep that and…
25:36 MM: And there’s on other thing I’d add to that, Elizabeth, is that as far as my focus from martial arts, I usually go into a scene, what we call a scene, or a sexy date night or whatever you want to call it, so it’s basically the same thing, with some sort of intent and I like to call this focused intent. I teach that in martial arts, I teach it in self-defense, I teach it in my energy workshops and I teach it in these workshops as well because if my intent is for this to be super playful, in a certain way, then I’m gonna put the energy of that intent forward and focus on it, right? To where everybody’s gonna get that because that’s the energy going out. If my intent is to be hot and steamy and rawr, the tiger and take her, that’s the energy I’m gonna put out, that’s the focused intent I’m gonna put out, so that’s another way it comes in. Like, I can shift the energy of the date or the scene, or whatever, by the focused intent that I put out.
26:42 PM: And we’re gonna teach this and we’re gonna give people ideas and we’re gonna show– I mean, how many times are you gonna learn about sex toys? But guess what? You’ll learn about sex toys–
26:55 MM: In a very different way.
26:56 PM: In a very different way and we’ve got some cool ones to show and we’re gonna– you know, people are like, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do.” Don’t worry about it! All they have to do is come, show up and we’re going to guide people through these ideas, through negotiation and, you know, there’s negotiation whether you’re playing with “Fifty Shades of Grey” or whether or not you’re gonna get a blowjob tonight, OK?
27:24 MM: Right.
27:24 PM: So negotiation, speaking your desires, giving and receiving, playfulness– these are the themes.
27:33 MM: And then I’m giving a little snippet, another thing that I like to share and I’ll be sharing in this workshop, is how you don’t have to go out and buy new things to have these special sex toys. If I came to your house, I could pick out twenty objects in ten minutes that are– I can make a sex toy.
27:53 EW: Promise?
27:53 MM: Just everyday things around the house.
27:56 EW: And you promise that this can happen?
27:57 MM: It’s about creativity. What’d you say?
28:00 EW: Do you promise that’s gonna happen in this house?
28:03 MM: Oh sure, yes I do.
28:05 PM: He can do an amazing thing. He can do an amazing thing with a fork.
28:14 MM: Yes I can.
28:17 PM: Just sayin’
28:19 EW: Gettin’ hot and steamy over here.
28:20 DP: Well, we do have an ice cream scoop for the Aunt Jemima treatment, so… Anyway.
28:26 EW: That’s way over my head, people. Someone’s gonna have to explain that.
28:30 DP: Elizabeth, come on.
28:30 PM: It’s OK, Elizabeth.
28:33 MM: It’s OK, you’ll have to come to the workshop.
28:35 EW: Oh, you think? So how– tell– I know that we start on…
28:43 DP: We’re at the thirty-minute point.
28:43 EW: Oh we are, but I want them to tell us a little bit about the workshop, the workshop structure.
28:50 PM: The workshop structure.
28:54 EW: It starts Friday night, so maybe I’ll fill it in. It starts Friday night with a meet’n’greet, and then it’s all day Saturday and all day Sunday.
29:02 MM: Yeah.
29:02 PM: Yeah. Everything we just talked about is gonna be in the workshop.
29:08 MM: Right.
29:10 EW: And we want people to know that it was a full weekend, and I mean a full weekend so…
29:14 PM: It’s a very full weekend. You know, Mac and I have a tendency to want to over-give, so we’re gonna be playing with things like your sexual alter ego, who is that? You know, like, who’s inside you that you want to play with? You know, we may be playing with costuming, we’re gonna be playing with scenarios.
29:43 MM: And teaching couples how to share their fantasies; a lot of people are afraid to share their fantasies with their partner or partners because they’re afraid of shame or rejection and we’re gonna go over some fun ways to share your fantasies.
29:59 PM: And for the single folks, we’re gonna pair you up and so that will be a safe way, too. Because you’re kind of practicing with a person on the airplane, right? You’re not taking them home with you, or maybe you will? It’s a workshop, you never know what might happen! But you get to practice with somebody else and so when you’re in your relationships, you have more tools. So this will really work for singles and couples. You know, we are going to be giving people play experiences and exercises around touch, negotiation scenes, role-play, that they can do with their clothes on and that will still be really hot and really sexy and really edgy. And then on Saturday night we have this optional laboratory experience where we will have a whole list of things people can try out and do and that will be clothing-optional and it will be three hours and you’ll be choosing something to do and you guys will be there, we’re gonna be there– that’s four sex educators walking around, keeping everybody safe, supporting people, you know, who are having experiences, maybe even partnering with somebody for a little while or demo-ing one-on-one with people to offer them support and, if you don’t want to…
31:35 MM: You can watch. Watching is participating.
31:38 PM: And we’ll have a sheet that people who want to do experiences privately, in their hotel room, can do that too, whether solo or with their partner. So everybody– this is an inclusive workshop. You can be gay, straight, transgender, married, single, we want humans. If you are human…
32:06 EW: That’s perfect.
32:11 PM: I’m sorry, Elizabeth?
32:11 EW: I said that’s perfect, I think that’s a great explanation of what people can expect. I do want to let you know that we’re at the end of our time together. For more information on the workshop “Beyond fifty shades of sexy”, please visit the website Beyond the Bedroom or BedEvents.com and that about wraps up tonight’s Naked Talk. We want to thank you for being a part of this potent, juicy and playful conversation. Dan and I really want to thank our dear friends Mac McGregor and Pamela Madsen who you all can see in Colorado April 10th through the 12th of this year. Thank you so much for being with us and we look forward to seeing you live and in this house. Have a great evening, thank you!