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E49. ADHD, Intimacy and Sex (Interview with Ollie Maggi)

Donae Cannon 0:05

Welcome to ADHD Crash Course! Today we have Ollie Maggi, and she is here to talk to us about sex and ADHD. She is a sex therapist. She is a co-owner of Cointimacy Relationship Coaching, is that right?

Ollie Maggi 0:24


Donae Cannon 0:24

She works with all kinds of different individuals, but she's here today specifically to talk about ADHD and intimacy, as well as ADHD and sex. As you know, ADHD impacts all of our lives. It's not just in the classroom, there's probably no place that ADHD doesn't show up. Welcome, Ollie.

Ollie Maggi 0:43

Thank you. Thanks for having me today.

Donae Cannon 0:46

Tell me a little bit about you, a little bit about how you got into this work? Yeah, just let us know about you.

Ollie Maggi 0:54

I know I've told the story a bunch of times on other podcasts, but I just always find it ironic that I originally went to school for engineering. Then I realized, "funny, you know, I don't know if I'm like these other engineers." I don't even remember how I stumbled upon sex therapy, but I stumbled upon it. I thought, "this is what I was meant to do." I think having anyone talk to you about vulnerable topics is very special. I just love being, and I'm honored to be, in that space with people.

When they can especially talk to you about what I consider some of the most vulnerable of vulnerable topics, that's when I think, "wow." To hear something that someone hasn't told anyone in their family, or maybe it's the first time they're really admitting some of these things to themselves, is such a special place to be. In terms of specifically ADHD, the place I went to grad school, had a two degrees for one extra year deal. Lo and behold, my mom taught me to be a bargain shopper.

I thought, obviously I need to also be a school psychologist. At the time did I know what that was? No, but as a school psychologist, you're the one that does all the testing for special education, it has nothing to do with therapy at all. You just help different kiddos get services that they need. One of the things that kids can qualify for in special education is under something called Other Health Impairment if you have ADHD to the point that it's interfering with your ability to access the education at school.

It's huge nowadays. I think dyslexia and ADHD are some of the most common referrals that we get for special ed. The more I got to work with kiddos with ADHD, as the universe works, my partner ended up having ADHD. I thought, wow, this stuff sticks with you. It's not just not being able to focus in school. It shows up way later in life.

The amount of clients I work with now, even just for anxiety or therapy that isn't sex therapy, that realize in their 40s or 50s, I just got diagnosed with ADHD, and it makes so much sense now. It's impacted my relationships. It's gotten in the way of certain jobs. For our business, for Cointimacy and Relationship Coaching, we do weekend workshops. It was my turn to pick our first one, and my brain obviously went to ADHD.

Donae Cannon 3:31

Yay! There's so many areas, even within sexuality that ADHD can impact. I'm sure you've seen that in your practice, and can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.

Ollie Maggi 3:50

Yeah, so I think first it's always good to know, how does this even feel in a relationship? How can it just show up in a relationship, whether that's inside or outside of the bedroom? A lot of people with ADHD will explain feelings that are similar to feeling overwhelmed, because it can feel like it's hard to keep your head above water.

Just in many aspects of life, it feels like you're treading and these other people are swimming. You're thinking, "I'm so confused. Who taught you how to swim? I'm just trying to tread water here." You can feel different obviously, your brain works entirely differently. Subordinate, which is sad, but true. You know, there's an incompetence. Men can feel emasculated from this struggle that feels like you might be going through alone, especially when people don't know that they have ADHD and you're being diagnosed later in life.

All you've seen around the world is, it seems easy for you to do this. It seems easy for you to pay attention, focus, stay on task, or get that done. I need to take 500 breaks, and then I'm staring at a butterfly out the window.

Donae Cannon 4:59

When you say subordinate are you talking about that parent-child dynamic that can creep in when one person is the responsible one, or the reliable one? Is that what you're referring to?

Ollie Maggi 5:12

Yeah, and I'm going to get a little more into that too. The people can feel less than, and are thinking, "I'm the one being told, I'm the one being pointed fingers at. I need to listen, I need to do better, right?" I know those feelings can be just so prevalent.

Shame is a huge one that can exist underlying all these other emotions, such as feeling unloved or unwanted. You think, "I should be the one that should change, I shouldn't be like this, I shouldn't be sad," or just longing to be accepted. You want to be like other people. Again, this isn't everyone's story. I think some people see all the positives that come with their ADHD, they're probably so much more creative.

There's other parts of their brain that are on where they learn things differently. Once they get it, they can probably retain it and apply it way differently, and to a much larger extent than other people.

I think this can be very true of especially children navigating this journey, and adults that are still coping with and learning to accept that they have ADHD.

Donae Cannon 6:25

Definitely. I mean, you can see that in relationships where there's unintentionally a story about ADHD and the ADHD partner. This is where things become about them. Any conflict becomes about them, or anyplace where there's friction, as a default ends up being sometimes "Oh, the ADHD factor." This of course, impacts things, but it's not always the whole story.

Ollie Maggi 6:55

That's such a true experience to write. I get couples where someone maybe has ADHD, and every issue is because of the ADHD. There can still be some accountability there. You know, it's definitely one of the components. It's hard when you don't really know to what extent, what is my ADHD versus what isn't?

Donae Cannon 7:19

Right, it's true. That can be a long journey, figuring that out on your own, and in a relationship it's more complicated, I'm sure.

Tips for the non-ADHD partner: Communicate with a curious approach.

Ollie Maggi 7:28

I have some general tips for the non-ADHD partner, for the ADHD partner, but just general tips in relationships and in general for the non-ADHD partner. Sometimes these verbal attacks can feel like nagging. It doesn't get us anywhere, that you engage in that style of communication. It's just going to create barriers between you and your partner, and make them feel more of some of these feelings that we talked about above, that subordinate feeling of being unwanted. That's just never going to get us anywhere.

Donae Cannon 8:09

Mhm. For somebody like a non-ADHD partner that is really frustrated, and is slipping back into that pattern of the finger pointing or the accusing, what's better? What's more helpful? What can they incorporate that prevents that?

Ollie Maggi 8:32

Well, I feel like this goes for a lot of different types of communication in general. Even something we practice a lot as therapists is, whenever you hear someone's story, you're looking at someone do something and you're thinking, "what on earth is wrong with this person?"

We're thinking, "what's wrong with you?" The way to reframe that is, "what happened to you?" People normally don't want to "act abnormal." It would deem or cause attention, or be whatever that is. If you tend to have that feeling inside, thinking, "what the heck, what's wrong with you," there's normally something driving that.

I think it is best to come at it from, okay, what your ADHD partner is doing, like you said, is probably pretty obnoxious. You're valid in thinking, "oh my gosh, we're having this conversation again?" Rather than attacking your team, it can be, "I know that I'm feeling a little frustrated right now. I know this is a problem we faced in the past. What's something we can do together to help you remember next time?"

"Is there a way I can support you so that we can better approach this the next time this situation comes up- the next time we're in the same context?"

Donae Cannon 9:46

That curious approach versus having the answers. You might not have the answers yet, but approaching your partner that way is productive.

Ollie Maggi 10:01

I think it's important like you said, that people with ADHD are navigating how to do this on their own. They're already just navigating, "how do I handle this?" When you're in a relationship, it's probably that they don't even know how to handle it, and now you have another person involved. Now they need to learn how to handle it.

It is a team effort and affects both partners. It's not just this ADHD partner against the world. ADHD is affecting the entire dynamic. That is your relationship. That's the thing, if it affects the relationship, it takes two people to come to solutions and two people to navigate that together.

Tips for the non-ADHD partner: Acknowledge achievements.

Another one I have for the non-ADHD partner is encouraging progress when you see it, or acknowledging achievements rather than just nitpicking. It can feel like when you have ADHD, it's hard when you're at work, and you're constantly being told when you aren't doing things right.

It feels a little different when someone reminds you, "hey, you did that great this time," or "hey, normally I noticed you don't remember those kinds of things, and you did today. That was awesome." Take the little wins where they are and celebrate them, because they're not that little.

Donae Cannon 11:13

That encourages intimacy. Celebrating with someone, affirming someone, it does encourage you to be closer in general.

Ollie Maggi 11:36

That's why I feel I like to start with just some of these general feelings and tips. When a lot of people do come to us for for sex coaching or for sex therapy, their first shock is where they're saying, "wait a minute, this just feels like therapy. Tell me how to have longer orgasms."

I'm saying, "oh, you might be very discouraged to know what sex therapy is, my friend." It takes place mostly out of the bedroom. What's happening in the bedroom is a domino effect of all these other life stressors, contexts, and how you're talking to yourself and your partner. One of my favorite quotes, (I forget who says it, it might be Esther Perel, I love her) is that foreplay is the last time you had sex to the next time you have sex. It's not the 20 or 15 minutes before.

Donae Cannon 12:35

Absolutely. I liked that you said how you're talking to yourself. That is a huge factor for people with ADHD is how we're talking to ourselves. What other thoughts do you have on that one? I know that's got to impact all the things.

Ollie Maggi 12:55

Again, I think it comes with when your partner is going to acknowledge your achievements. That's a time for you to say, "hey, I did do this." It's okay to give yourself a pat on the back. It's okay to get frustrated when you've done something 10 times. Then move on, and try next time.

You know, it's harping on these things, creating that internal dialogue of, "I'm not enough, I won't be loved." Obviously, that's a dual. That's something that can be addressed by both partners, having both partners respect, and talking to each other in a certain way. I think it's a lot about reframing what it means to have ADHD.

I talked about this on the phone to Donae. It surprises me so much that I get adult clients that come in knowing they have ADHD, they've been diagnosed since they were seven, and we're talking about it, "...processing disorder." They're saying, "what?" I'm thinking, "Your ADHD... it's a processing disorder."

They have no idea that there's actual brain mechanics and how your brain encodes and decodes information is directly linked to having ADHD. It's not just this imaginary thing no one can see.

Donae Cannon 13:46

It's been framed that way, it's almost been understood as a behavioral disorder, which is not accurate, obviously. I think people operate under that misinformation or misimpression that this is something you can white knuckle and just do better.

Ollie Maggi 14:30

Yeah, exactly. I think that's part of what I find so fascinating, having both these roles like as a therapist, and as a school psychologist. Learning both at the same time, I remember being so confused, because you have our DSM that talks you through how to diagnose ADHD, and then as a school psychologist, you run actual tests that will look at a kid's processing speed. You'll have different areas of, "oh, these areas are pretty high and these areas are pretty low."

That makes perfect sense. There's a lot more measurement behind it. When I would get people that have been diagnosed by a therapist or a doctor, I feel like that's so interesting, because school psychologists have to take hours and hours to look at your history growing up, everything every teacher has ever said about you, and run actual diagnostics.

Taking that and equating it to how a therapist or a medical doctor can just give you a diagnosis, I found super interesting.

Donae Cannon 15:35

It is, we could go on a whole different rabbit trail, right? It becomes a big frustration for adults to get the picture that you're giving, right? People ideally have that developmental picture. You don't often get as deep of a look when you're being diagnosed as an adult.

Tips for the non-ADHD partner: Focus on their intentions.

Ollie Maggi 16:13

Two more I have for the non-ADHD partner here are to focus on their intentions. A lot of the times I know we hear that intentions aren't impact, and there is a difference in intent versus impact. I think especially with partners who have ADHD, it's important to look at their intention, because a lot of the times they don't realize the impact. The reality is that executive functioning isn't there for them like other people's executive functioning is.

They might not have the same skills, or the same speed of those skills to be able to do things the exact way that you'd like to see or were hoping to see from a partner. I think sometimes looking at the intent behind their actions or behind what they were trying to do can help a non-ADHD partner more easily accept and digest, "okay, it's all right, we can be more patient with this."

Donae Cannon 17:12

Right, and you do that, hopefully, with kids. We're looking at effort versus outcome all the time, because effort you can impact. Intentions, effort, those are things that you do influence, where you don't always have total control over the outcome. That makes sense across the board to just celebrate that part that we do have more control over.

Tips for the non-ADHD partner: Don't parent your partner.

Ollie Maggi 17:40

Then there's not to parent your partner.

Donae Cannon 17:45

Girl this comes up a lot. No one wants to have sex with their dad. Seriously, this comes up a lot. This is a big issue in relationship dynamics. I always see it in my work. I'm sure you see a lot of it in your work.

Ollie Maggi 18:08

I think we go into relationships with perceived notions of what we expect from another person. The reality is you brought that in, that's not what anyone told you was going to happen. That's what you assumed.

Now you have someone acting in a way that the only thing you can compare it to, is a child. You're thinking, "oh, they just need to try harder, they just need to learn this." That doesn't give you permission to act like their parents. They don't need a parent, they're still a full functioning adult. They just aren't responding to certain situations. You know, they don't have the same executive functioning skills as you do, or as you expected all adults to have. That doesn't mean you have to parent.

Donae Cannon 18:50

I liked that you said the expectations that you bring, because I think whether or not we're aware of it, you grew up in a home with dynamics, right? You carry that expectation of what that looks like. Often without being cognizant of it. It goes with you, and really look at, "oh, what am I bringing? What expectations do I bring to the table here, and do they even fit us?"

Tips for the ADHD partner: Acknowledge your ADHD symptoms play a role.

Ollie Maggi 19:15

Exactly. Then for the partner with ADHD, I think it's important to acknowledge that your ADHD symptoms likely are interfering here. It's not just your partner being unreasonable. Again, you can do that within boundaries. You don't need to shame yourself. There doesn't need to be all this underlying, really deep, awful self talk involved.

The reality is ADHD is real, and your brain works differently. I think a huge part of this process is accepting that, accepting your relationships are going to look different. How you learn and how you function is going to look different. Sex is going to look different.

Donae Cannon 19:53

That's reasonable. I mean, there's not really an area of life I can see that ADHD doesn't impact for at least some people, right? It makes sense.

Tips for the ADHD partner: Acknowledge strong emotions or reactions ahead of time.

Ollie Maggi 20:03

Exactly. Another one is, if strong emotions derail conversations, because a really common symptom with ADHD is the lack of emotional control at times, especially when you're under stress or in high anxiety environments, acknowledge these things ahead of time with your partner.

Acknowledge this if you know that exists in your relationship and have a plan. Be prepared for things like timeouts. It's perfectly okay to say, "hey, I need some space." I think where a lot of people go wrong is they say "I need space," or they just storm out.

There's no talk of when you're going to come back. You need that piece. You decide this with your partner when you're in a very low stress environment, and everything's going smooth, there's no stressors. You can say, "hey, maybe next time we have one of those conversations, and I do explode or get overwhelmed with my emotions, I'm going to excuse myself for 5, 10, 15," whatever you think minutes, "but then I'll meet you back in whatever room you're in," or there's a plan of when you come back.

Donae Cannon 21:13

What I'm hearing you say is the person that needs to remove themselves is probably also going to be the person that's responsible for re-engaging.

Ollie Maggi 21:20

Yeah, I think that tends to work well. Like everything, sometimes it's both partners. Maybe go to a separate space, and then meet in a different location. Both of them are coming back.

I normally advise that when these conversations are had, I always encourage the partner with ADHD, when they feel comfortable enough, to initiate the conversation. It can feel attacking to have someone else say, "hey, you blow up in conversation, sometimes you're going to need to step out."

Donae Cannon 21:52

Similar to putting them in timeout, right? Going back to that whole parental dynamic. Not cool. That makes sense.

Ollie Maggi 22:00

It's more just having the awareness. Again, it's okay, everyone freaks out, everyone has moments where you're thinking, "oh, I could have handled that better. I needed to de-escalate for a hot second before we had that conversation." There's nothing wrong with that. Once you accept that you get there sometimes, just have a plan for success in the future.

Donae Cannon 22:22

I like that. Removing yourself, that's definitely one I've learned.

Tips for ADHD relationships: Find ways to spoil your partner.

Ollie Maggi 22:32

Another one is find ways to spoil your partner, because feeling more cared for could help with feeling less like a parent too. These could just be really little things. I think if someone's love language is gifts, we think, "of course, they just want all these things and all these shoes." It's not always like that. Sometimes if you find a flower out and about, and you're thinking, "oh, I know they love this color," and you bring it back for them, that's just a little kind gesture.

If you know that your partner wakes up every morning and makes their coffee, and you're already up, maybe you can make their coffee for them. That keeps intimacy alive. That definitely kills that parent-child dynamic too. It helps you reconnect, and just be more intimate with each other far before sex is happening.

Donae Cannon 23:25

You mentioned love languages, and I don't remember where I learned the whole concept about this. They had the different love languages, and I discovered at some point really early on that mine was more being affirmed and words of affirmation.

My husband is acts of service. We could be "spoiling each other for eternity," and not receiving it. Which we did, he could care less about my words of affirmation, it's just not how he rolls.

I wouldn't notice if he removed a tree. I actually did not notice him removing a tree at one point. Knowing that we received those things differently really helped me be able to catch it. "Oh, this is him making a really kind gesture towards me that I totally have not seen." The same goes vice versa.

Ollie Maggi 24:14

I feel like you touch on such an important factor, Donae, which is we tend to give love in the way that we want to receive it. I know mine is quality time.

I would think, "oh, I'm just going to invite this person to do all these things," or "oh, I'll just go over, and we can hang out while you do that." If someone's love language is not quality time, they're going to say, "okay, that seems like an inconvenience for you." We are naturally inclined to give love the way that we hope to receive it.

Once you know the other person's love language you're thinking, "oh, this might not make a whole lot of sense to me, but I guess I'll go pick that thing up for you. I guess that'll mean a lot."

Donae Cannon 24:54

Yeah, absolutely. For me, who's somewhat inattentative, it's difficult being able to notice, see, and recognize, "oh, that's what that was." To me, the words of affirmation are so obvious, right? Compliments and things that are just affirming you are so obvious, but could easily go missed for the other person too.

Ollie Maggi 25:20

Yeah. I think that's a great one. I think that's a perfect example of, "I don't even think that's your ADHD" and being inattentive. People aren't going to know what you want if you don't communicate it.

You can be the most attentive, type A, observational human, and you still won't know your partner's love language unless they tell you. You still won't know unless there's some way in which they're outwardly expressing to you, this is how I like to accept love. That's one where I think people with ADHD may have the assumption, "oh, of course, I should have known." We see couples all the time, but ADHD isn't anywhere around.

Donae Cannon 25:57

That is true.

Ollie Maggi 26:02

I want to get into some research, because I like everything backed by research. I think that's my school psychologist brain for sure. In my mind, if these things are shown, or there's patterns, I want to know how, why, and the studies that found it. There's this one study by Ari Tuckman, he's a Psy D.

His research showed that ADHD is more likely to elicit masturbation behaviors more often than people without ADHD. They might desire sex more often, watch more porn, have more hookups, or be more into that like hookup culture scene than people without ADHD. They may desire more consensual, non-monogamous activities outside of a marriage, and maybe desire larger repertoire for sexual activities.

These are findings that I've seen and heard time and time again, as well. I think there's an exploratory of curiosity. Again, that's not to say if any of these things apply to you, that you have ADHD for sure.

Donae Cannon 27:12

No, but it tracks, right? Somebody who's looking for intensity, novelty, is very much ADHD nervous system. Some of that helps kick things into gear in terms of your nervous system level. You're able to focus and be fully present. That makes some sense.

Ollie Maggi 27:33

There's a psychiatry journal, there was so many authors, but they showed that the increased emotional dysregulation and impulsivity that can come with ADHD can lead to more hypersexual behaviors, and more sexual dysfunctions. What I found interesting is even just outside of this study, over a third of men diagnosed with ADHD and over 40% of women with ADHD reported some form of sexual dysfunction.

I think it's just so important to know that you're not alone. This isn't just, "oh, what's wrong with me? Why can't I do this?" With that there can be hyposexuality, which is actually a loss of desire. It's funny, there can be both ends of the spectrum here, because you might have a fluctuating libido that just isn't quite as regular as someone else's libido. You can also show some researchers have even suggested recommending a screening for sexual disorders as a part of diagnosing someone with ADHD. I thought that just goes to show how prevalent this is within the ADHD profile.

Donae Cannon 28:44

Absolutely, I'd be really curious to see in terms of just lifespan, do you see a lot more of the impulsivity and the hypersexuality in one phase of life versus the hyposexuality? Do you see it under the umbrella of ADHD in a different phase? I definitely see both. I do feel just by nature that a lot of times with ADHD, the way our brains are working the activity, some people are tired across the board. That fatigue impacts sexuality, interest in sex, and sex drive, im sure.

Ollie Maggi 29:19

This can impact some sexual risk taking as well. There can be lots of different ways that it shows up in the bedroom. There's also a decreased satisfaction with sex that they've shown is again linked to ADHD. They don't know whether one causes the other, or how they're related. It's just been pretty prevalent that if you have ADHD, the chances are that this could be highly associated with a lack of satisfaction with sex.

They think a part of it could be that there's an increased fear of intimacy, and there's an insecurity and a depression that can even come from some of those feelings of chronic underachievement that a lot of people with ADHD carry.

There's a trio in general psychology, and how I've learned it from all my supervisors, ADHD, anxiety and depression are all this little trio that will come to you. They're saying, "I have all three." Really, one is leading the show. It's just hard to tell which.

Donae Cannon 30:32

Yeah, it's so hard to tell. I know, it's going to be really hard as diagnostician, because unsupported ADHD can show up that way. It can exist together, it's just the way it is, that those are triplets.

Ollie Maggi 30:47

Sometimes there's some comorbidity, but other times, you know, what else affects sex? Anxiety and depression. People assume that wandering thoughts (are the main impact in the bedroom). They'll say, "oh, I noticed that in the bedroom," and I'm sure you do. That does affect your sex life, and that'll come up, but I think there's lots of other ways in which some of those anxious thoughts, or depressive symptomology probably affect your sex life and libido. Not everyone thinks of that automatically when they think of ADHD.

Donae Cannon 31:25

Yeah, that does make a lot of sense. Those are often "friends" that accompany ADHD at some level, and would impact how you feel about yourself, how you feel about intimacy, vulnerability, all of it.

Ollie Maggi 31:41

The wrap up here that I have, and it might sound a little general, but more management of your ADHD shows that people end up feeling more comfortable, and they report having more fulfilling sex lives and sex in general.

I think as we were talking about in the beginning, Donae, that relates to making sure it doesn't feel like you're a parent to your partner. It relates to having the communication skills and the support in place for each other, or navigating general day to day ways that ADHD shows up. All those things are going to have a domino effect that you will see in the bedroom. It will make your your sex life more prevalent and better.

Donae Cannon 32:30

Right, that does make sense. What about for people who (I know that this comes up a lot) like prioritizing the time together, intimacy together, and just shifting from one thing to another thing? Do you have any thoughts about it? I know there's no one size fits all for how to approach it, but how to prioritize it, in addition to better connection?

Ollie Maggi 32:58

First of all, I think there's four main things. Seeing your medical doctor, being on medication (if that's the right path for you), therapy (if you really notice ADHD affecting different parts of your life, that's another great support), and just building executive functioning skills.

All of those things are very foundational, and you can start to address this with the executive functioning skill building. Whether you have ADHD or not, most people are inclined to think that you shouldn't have to schedule sex. When the spontaneity of sex dissolves as you are in a longer relationship or the longer you've been married, I noticed people's disillusionment with that. To me, it's no shock at all. It's something people are prepared to have to schedule these things.

Donae Cannon 33:54

It doesn't fit with the romantic image we have. I think with ADHD, we really have the experience, a lot of times, of our lives running us, and having some more intention about something that matters has to actually go into account.

Ollie Maggi 34:21

I love it, and what I think people believe is that, "oh, if it's on the calendar, that takes the lust out of it, that takes the fun." Actually, if you know when you're going to have sex, then you can adequately plan a large amount of foreplay.

You can work up to that if you know it's going to be right after work on Friday, because you guys have scheduled it in. You can send flirty texts to each other while you're at work. If you're going to get home a little earlier you can prep the house a little bit or put something else on. You can dim the lights and light some candles.

You can actually create more of a scene because of planning it, which is also incredibly beneficial if you have kids. Making time to have sex when you have a family, planning ends up being a part of it. There are ways to shift your mindset about how that doesn't have to be a buzzkill.

Donae Cannon 35:16

Right, okay. I like that, I was thinking about planning a trip, and how I get really excited about planning, right? I mean, I'm kind of dorky that way. So much joy goes into that anticipation and preparing things in that way. I don't know, think about it as planning a journey.

Ollie Maggi 35:39

Some couples do, when they have more sex than they would then when they're at home, or there's already an expectation that's going to happen on this trip. In a sense, you have an idea of what it means to schedule sex. I just think when people word it a certain way, or when you write it on your calendar, it sits differently.

Donae Cannon 35:56

For sure. I think so. It almost seems a little laughable. I do know that transitions in general with ADHD can be tricky. No matter what you're doing, with hyperfous it can be difficult to be pull away, so being available in that way is proactive.

Ollie Maggi 36:26

Yeah. Again, I think it's a double edged sword, because some people that'll then increase the anxiety around it. They'll think, "oh, no, what if I'm not in the mood?" Or, "sometimes I get really dry. What if like, what if he can't get hard?" I think it's important to work up to it or schedule it.

In terms of you have scheduled intimacy time, if that leads to intercourse, great. Maybe we're just going to stick to oral today. Maybe we started doing massages, and we're thinking, "can we just make this a one hour massage sesh, because this is fantastic." It doesn't have to lead to anything. There never has to be a be-all end-all intercourse and orgasm that has to happen.

Donae Cannon 37:12

That has to be a big shift. It seems like a big shift.

Ollie Maggi 37:24

It is, but what's interesting is when you get couples or people that are having trouble climaxing, they become so obsessed with it. The first thing you do in your practice is you take it off the table. You're saying, "okay, we're not having intercourse, we're not going to try to climax." It confuses people, and makes them very frustrated. They're thinking, "well that's why I'm here." It's actually that the pressure you're putting on yourself is negating what you're trying to accomplish.

How you actually have more sex is by not worrying about it leading to that.

Donae Cannon 38:01

I swear everything in ADHD ends up being about mindfulness. You always go back to being in the moment, enjoying the moment, and noticing the moment. I feel like all roads seem to lead back to mindfulness. I don't know if that's how you see it, but to me it sounds like, yep, mindfulness again.

Ollie Maggi 38:21

Oh, yeah Donae. When we talked about this, when you contacted me to talk about like this topic, I was so excited. Part of it is because Cointimacy and Relationship Coaching is having a workshop on ADHD and sex.

Until October 8th, we are hosting a workshop 11:30 PST A.M., and we are going to get into more of the nitty gritty. If these things that are happening to you during intercourse, literally in the bedroom, these are specific ways that you can attack it. I think having a lot of this background knowledge is so important, because a lot of it doesn't happen in the bedroom.

Yeah, mindfulness is up there. We have lots of ways to specifically hone in and use certain mindfulness exercises, because I think a lot of people can mistake mindfulness as meditating. They think it's 20 minutes of needing to sit under a tree and think of absolutely nothing. That's why we're set up for failure.

Donae Cannon 39:26

It's really true, people get the heebie jeebies when you talk about mindfulness. They'll say, "no, no, I'm not going to do that, that's not my thing." It can be really different. Tell me more, you're having this... it's a course, it's a workshop. What is it going to be?

Ollie Maggi 39:39

It's going to be a one and a half hour workshop where you will get to sit with two sexologists, and we will discuss ADHD and sex. It's going to be an open forum. It could be for individuals or couples. We're really going to go through the nitty gritty of different experiences that happen in the bedroom that are common with ADHD and directly how to address them.

Anyone who comes, we love open conversation, so if people specifically say, "hey, you did not touch on this, I feel like this is 100% related to my ADHD and I have no idea what to do," you have us at your disposal for an hour and a half. We are there to answer your questions, and give you skills and tools that you can bring with you and hopefully utilize for the many sessions to come.

Donae Cannon 40:26

Very cool, so that leads me into my next question. I'm sure people want to reach you, ask you questions, and work with you. How can they do that? How can they reach you?

Ollie Maggi 40:36

We're on Instagram, my instagram handle is olliemaggi_sextherapy. Then we have an Instagram for our company, Cointimacy Coaching, and that's just cointimacycoaching. You can DM us, we have a website: You can also join our newsletter through there. You can sign up for the workshop directly through our website, or you can DM us if you have any more questions. We can talk to you that way too.

Donae Cannon 41:04

Perfect. Don't worry guys, I'll have all the links in the show notes. I don't expect you to remember all of it, but I will have the link so you can easily reach Ollie if you have questions, or want to learn more about what she's doing. Thank you so much, I appreciate your perspective, your expertise and joining us today.

Ollie Maggi 41:23

Yeah, thank you so much Donae, this was awesome.


How to reach Ollie:

Instagram: @cointimacycoaching, or @olliemaggi_sextherapy

Visit her website here


Interested in learning more about my group coaching program, Embrace Your Brain? Considering 1:1 coaching or have other questions for me? Please feel free to contact me here.


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