2022 Relationships are vital and… confusing. That’s why I asked Dr. Chris Donaghue onto AEWCH 180 to talk about how to navigate them!

23 Feb

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Happy New Year! Here’s the fifth episode in my series on How To Live in 2022. The first, AEWCH 175, was with occult scholar Mitch Horowitz; the second, AEWCH 176, is on why reincarnation matters for us now; the third is AEWCH 177 with philosopher Zena Hitz on how and why to be an intellectual; the fourth is AEWCH 178 on using mysticism and the tarot in 2022 with Jessica Dore; and AEWCH 179, the fifth in the series is about living in community and organizations with Dean Spade.

But at the foundation of all our lives is sex – even if we are not inclined to identify with this or that sexuality, it is our origin story – and relationship – whatever kind of relationship I might be in. While world events seem to take up so much of our attention, in some ways the real action is at the level of fantasy, relationship, desire, lust, gratification, doubt, dear, confusion, and pleasure.

So I asked my friend, sex therapist and relational philosopher Dr. Chris Donaghue back onto the show. Chris is the author of Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture and Rebel Love: Break the Rules, Destroy Toxic Habits, and Have the Best Sex of Your Life. Chris has been on the show twice before. Waaaay back on AEWCH 10 and then again on AEWCH 56.

Chris and I have a wide-ranging discussion as per usual on the show. But we both bring our own psychological (in my case psychoanalytic) and spiritual perspectives to bear. I hope this episode is helpful and illuminating.


WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ? I don’t like many pop-psych relationship books, but one I still think about – even though I read it over ten years ago – is David Richo’s How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration. It’s not a perfect blueprint for sex and relationships, but there are so many bits of wisdom and seeds of contemplation in that book that I think it can be helpful for everyone.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO? The obvious pairing for this episode is AEWCH 159 with my friend Duncan Trussell. There’s not much to say about it other than it was recorded in the middle of one of the hardest relationship moments of my life. I don’t think it’s “brave” to have recorded it. But I do think, based on the feedback that I received, that it might be helpful for others or at least help diminish loneliness.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER? One of the greatest tools I pull on when I’m having a relational emergency, I turn to The Work of Byron Katie. It’s a simple but profound tool for slowing down, and encountering the other through your own thinking. Watch some videos of Katie’s work in action, and then take it on yourself in your own life.

MORE ON CHRIS Chris is extremely prolific, so aside from his books (linked above), it might be a bit difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, his website gives tons of links. He also has a great Instagram which offers up thoughts and prompts for you to reflect on each day.

Until next time, be kind and horny with each other.

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