TL:  Welcome back to Heartrepreneur Radio, I am Dr. Terri and I’m welcoming you back for another episode.  And, it’s been so much fun over the last weeks, I’ve had such an amazing assortment of guests, and I’m excited to tell you we’ve got quite a line-up coming over the net months. Today is no exception.  I have with me today Dr. Susan Edelman, she’s an Adjunct Clinical Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  She’s also a board-certified Psychiatrist in private practice, and she specializes in women’s issues, and men, you need to know this too!  Practical and provocative, Dr. Susan delivers talks that challenge and empower, often making you question everything you thought you knew, that’s one the reasons I’m excited to have her.  She knows women and men and what stands in the way of getting what they want, and she teaches powerful take-away strategies that enable them to achieve powerful shifts and lasting results, that’s what we’re here for, right?  Dr.  Susan shows women how to reclaim their power by learning what works best for them-  instead of what they’re programmed to believe is normal by today’s culture.  Called “the dating bible” by Bestsellersworld.com, Dr. Susan’s book, Be Your Own Brand of Sexy, what a great name, has won 14 awards, including the Grand Prize of the Beverly Hills International Book Awards.  Holy smokes! Dr. Susan, welcome!

DSE:  Thank you Terri, it’s wonderful to be here with you.  I’m excited

TL:  I am so excited that I was able to get you on the show. I was taking a look at you and said you’re so interesting!  I have to make sure that the listeners get to know you.  So, first of all, how did you decide to really specialize in this kind of work?  What attracts you to this?

DSE:  Well, I’ve always been interested in women’s issues and why people do what they do. And, women are so different, they’re really fascinating because you can come at it from all kinds different of angles. And, I’m from the south, now live in California, so the women can be very different in different areas as well.  I got particularly interested in this topic for women when, a young woman who’s the daughter of a really dear friend of mine, went off to college.  And she called me for advice about men, and she said Susan, the guys are asking me to come over and hang out.  What does that mean? And I wasn’t exactly sure, but as it turned out, most of these guys were looking for a casual sex kind of thing.  And not only was she not looking for that and disappointed, but it really broke my heart cuz I loved college dating, and I started to wonder what had happened to courtship and romance?  And I really didn’t think this is what we had in mind with the women’s movement and the sexual revolution! We thought women were gonna have more power, not that many men would just take casual sex for granted.  So, when she said Susan, you have to do something about this, I thought, somebody really has to, and I’m in a position to really understand how we got here and what we can do about it.

TL:  That is fantastic to hear.  And I relate to that just because I have a lot of nieces, and they’ve told me stories about this word “hook-up,” and they said this is just the new thing, this is how it’s working.  And I’m like, what? I’m shocked to hear it.  So, what is this that’s happening right now, where women are almost giving up their power?  First of all, what’s happened, and second of all, can you give us some strategies?

DSE:  Absolutely.  So, what’s happening is there’s so much pressure on women to be sexy and sexual, that it’s just reaching really bad proportions. Not only does it hurt their confidence and their love lives, but it may even be contributing towards sexual violence towards women.  Because, when you think you have to be the best sex object you can be to get what you want, it’s really like driving in your car without your GPS.  You’re probably gonna get lost unless you have a really strong inner-compass, you’re really just trying to please other people.  You’re not really being guided by what’s right for you as an individual, so it’s a lot harder to get what you want.  So, that’s what being your own brand of sexy is about.  Figuring out what you want, what works for you but as an individual, and what strategies will help you achieve your relationship goals, whatever they may be.

TL:  Mm, oh I love that, I love that.  So, let’s just say that somebodies listening, and they want to “reclaim their power.”  What’s something they can do today, what’s an action they could do right now?

DSE:  Well, I think the first step is to really recognize how much we’re influenced.  Because casual sex and asking men out, although it’s supposed to be giving us all this power, it just doesn’t work for everyone.  Real power is knowing what works for you, and having the courage to stand up for what you want.  That is a really hard thing to do in a culture that shames us for how we look, or if we don’t follow social norms.  These girls will be called a prude if they don’t want to rush into bed with somebody.  So, women have more power though when we value being treated well by men, over having lots of sex.  When we have a lot more power, we can accept and love ourselves the way we are, instead of seeking these un-attainable beauty goals. So, the first step is recognition.  And the second step is, even if you’re not ready to say no to some of this, at least don’t rush into saying yes.  At least think about it first.  Say maybe, I don’t know, let me think about it.  Those are the kind of things that I think women don’t stop to think about.  And even stopping to think would really help.

TL:  You know it’s really interesting.  You know it sounds simple, right?  Stop and think, especially when I was younger, I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, I didn’t take my time and think as much.  I just blew forward on things, so I think that’s great advise for people, totally great advice.  Stop, pause, take it slow.  What if a woman is not really wanting to stand out and look different than all the other woman and they’re nervous about doing that?  What advice would you give them?

DSE:  Absolutely.  I think that many of us are worried about what other people are gonna think of us.  And that is huge, especially when you’re younger and I think for a lot of younger women, it is about fitting in and not looking different. But, I think when you really look around and you’re honest with yourself, you realize there are a lot of other people who really aren’t comfortable with these things as well. Maybe they’re not as verbal about it, maybe they’re not at a party dancing with somebody in a very suggestive way, but there are a lot of other women who feel this way.  So, I’ve been talking to a lot of women of all different ages about these things, and it’s more a matter of finding these people and finding the support with other women who are like-minded.  Because we don’t necessarily see those people in certain situations.  That’s why I wrote this book, I wanted to help people figure out how to do what’s right for them.  But, I also think we need support from other women and doing what’s best for us as individuals, and accepting the way we look, the way we are, appreciating our inner-beauty, instead of focusing on the external.  Cuz, I think we’d be able to expect accept acceptance and respect instead of people judging us so much.  And maybe it’s a process in terms of changing our culture, but there’s still always gonna be somebody that you can find who’s gonna support you in this.  And I think looking for those people is really important, whether it’s a mentor or friends.

TL:  I agree with you, that’s perfect, that’s excellent.  So, tell us about the book that you wrote.

DSE:  So, the book is all about figuring out how to tease your culture out of the equation so you’re not so influenced by it. And also, really just helping you see where your options are.  Because when you think you have to do something, you don’t see all the many options that you have that might open all kinds of different happy endings for you.  So, I think that’s really important, and one of the biggest one’s I think is the problem is that women think they’ve got to rush into sexual relationships.  And a lot of times they feel like there’s so much pressure on them.  I mean, are you aware Terri, that there’s like a three -day rule that you have to decide in three days if you’re going to have sex with a new man?  That’s just an awful lot of pressure.

TL:  What!?  Holy crow, no! That’s a new one, oh my goodness!

DSE:  So, a lot of women feel like they’re in a hurry to make this decision, but that doesn’t help them.  Because how are you going to find out if you could really trust this man?  Or, if he even wants the same things that you do, or if he’s being honest with you?  So, I like to call those romances where people jump into this is a “microwave romance,” something that progresses at lightening-speed, and then it usually blows up in your face.

TL:  Haha! That’s a great name for it!  Microwave romance, I like that!  Go ahead

DSE:  So, it’s about really thinking more about whether this guy can meet your needs, instead of rushing the process along because you’ve got to fit some cultural script, right?  Whether it’s to be sexy enough, or to have sex in a certain period of time, it’s really more about trying to relax and get to know the person, and see if it’s somebody you want to spend a lot of time with.

TL:  Mm.  I love that, I love that. Man, so it goes back to what we said a little bit earlier about slowing down.  Going slower, thinking.  This is really fascinating.  So, would this book be good for men to read as well?

DSE:  Well, several men have read it and they did find it useful.  In fact, it was really written for single women, but women of all ages have read it whether they were single or not, and found it really helpful. Mothers are giving it to their daughters, it’s a kind of an every-age book.  You know, if you’re really into the casual sex scene and you’re really happy with that, maybe this isn’t quite the book for you unless you’re open to another opinion, because I definitely have a different opinion about it.  But, if you’re looking for something a little more serious, or if you want some strategies.  You know I have this single women’s 12-piece toolbox with all kinds of strategies to help you figure out how to get what you want, and what works for you.  So, it’s really trying to find out what works for you, cuz what works for your best friend might not be the right strategy for you.  I also have a quiz to help you figure out if you’re being your own brand of sexy, and where you might be having problems.

TL:  That is phenomenal, I love it.  Ya, I’m intrigued.  I’m thinking of some guys that I think should read it, so that’s why I was asking that question.  So, tell people, I can’t believe how fast our time has gone, can you please tell people how they can get in touch with you, find out more, and definitely where they can get the book, Be Your Own Brand of Sexy, that’s won so many awards?

DSE:  Well you can go to my website, Be Your Own Brand of Sexy, and take a quiz to see if you’re being your own brand of sexy. I have like a part of the quiz from the book there, and there are links to all the different retailers where you could buy it.  It’s in bookstores as well, so it’s easy to find the book.  And, you could also find me on Facebook.  So, we have some running dialogues answering these questions for women, and “when should you have sex with a new man?” has been one of them, and the answers completely vary from “whenever you want,” to “wait until marriage.”  So, it’s fascinating to see how different we all are, and it’s a place where women can respect other women’s points of view about this.

TL:  Phenomenal, thank you so much.  You know, I have to tell you, you opened my eyes, I learned a lot.  I think I know a lot through my nieces, and yet there’s a lot I don’t know.  So, I think I’ll have to get a copy of Be Your Own Brand of Sexy, the dating Bible as it’s called!  I want to thank you, I definitely learned a lot.  I’m gonna take the quiz, I think that would be kinda fun.  And I’m really encouraging the listeners to make a connection.  I think that we’re talking about a very important topic whether it relates directly to you, it relates to a daughter, a grand-daughter, or a woman in your life.  So, thank you so much for joining me today, I appreciate it Dr. Susan.

DSE:  It was wonderful to be with you Terri, thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

TL:  My pleasure.  And for our listeners, do not forget that you want to subscribe to our show.  That way, you never, ever miss and episode, and we really appreciate it when you comment, when you like our show and when you share it on social media.  So, tune in next time here at Heartrepreneur Radio.