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Sex Education–Storytime for Adults

Karen Kreps was a featured story teller at  THE LIVING ROOM, a spoken word series produced by Amparo Garcia-Crow, bringing together a diverse group of storytellers. Enjoy an eclectic mix of stories in an intimate setting at Casa De Luz every FIRST Saturday night at the auditorium of Casa de Luz, 1701 Toomey Road
Austin, TX 78704
. The topic of the stories on Sat Sept 3, 2011 was be “Sex Education,” and there’s no one more interesting to talk about her own sex education and how she became a sex educator than the author of Intimacies: Secrets of Love, Sex & Romance.

Watch the video of this event.

The Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Thanks to Leighton Hodges, a retired thereapist who had been one of my guests at the “Intimacies” Group when we met at BookPeople, for showing this to those of us who recently attended his engaging “Sex in the City” conversation group.

Betty Ford, an Inspiration for Intimacies

First Lady Betty FordGiving voice to topics that are taboo is what made Betty Ford an inspiration for a generation. She was first lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, during the presidency of her husband, Gerald Ford. Active in social policy, she shattered precedents as a politically active presidential wife. With her passing, comes remembrances of the paradigm shift she created.

Betty Ford’s comments weren’t the kind of genteel, innocuous talk expected from a first lady, and a Republican one no less. She spoke openly about breast cancer, when mention of a mastectomy was normally only whispered in private. The publicity helped bring the disease into the open and inspired countless women to seek breast examinations. Her revelations about her own own descent and recovery from substance abuse lead to the founding of the Betty Ford Center, which has helped celebrities from Elizabeth Taylor and Johnny Cash and yet keeps its rates relatively affordable and has served more than 90,000 people.  She was a powerful advocate for women’s health and women’s rights. She spoke openly of how living together before marriage might be wise, and she said she wouldn’t be surprised if her daughter had had pre-marital sex. When I was coming of age, she was a role model whom I took to heart.

The Public Affairs Forum Takes on Intimacies

I was invited to speak this Sunday at the Public Affairs Forum at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin   – 4700 Grover Avenue  Austin, TX 78756, (512) 452-6168. Forums start at 11:30 and last for one hour.

I expect to have fun and hope you will join me.

Here’s the program announcement:

Karen Kreps is Austin’s own version of Carrie Bradshaw, Ann Landers and Dr. Ruth. She is the author of Intimacies: Secrets of Love, Sex & Romance. She’ll share recollections and anecdotes from her seven years writing candid explorations of personal relationships, which appeared in a popular column published by The Good Life magazine (until the publication folded last year), and hosting public discussions about lovers and lust at BookPeople. She will address people’s Number One questions about relationships and encouraging audience questions and comments. No charge, just bring an open mind and a sense of humor.

June 13, 2010
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
4700 Grover Avenue
Austin, TX

Submit your Number One question and learn more about her book at

Karen has a Master of Arts Degree in Cinema Studies from New York University and works as an independent producer of creative web content, blogging about technology and social media at

Twitter: For those who would like to Tweet about this event, the hash tag is #intimacies

The talk  will be broadcast on ChannelAustin, channel 10.  (Public Access TV), The times are TBA. I expect to get a copy of the recording and will post it on the web for remote viewing.


Single, the Film

This film was co-written/produced/directed by Jane Scandurra, a fellow alum from Prodigy, where I worked for six years until I met my husband and followed him from New York to Austin. It’s about the growing population of single adults in this day, but I wish I had seen it back then, when I was single. It might have helped me feel more indepedent and legitimate as a single woman.

Adult Education in Austin-Female Sensual Massage

Behind closed doors in a nice South Austin neighborhood, fourteen strangers crowded into a small livingroom for a three-hour workshop on how to give a woman a sensual massage and make her feel safe and relaxed and fully surrender.

There were seven single men and two single women, including four couples, ages ranging from 27 to 77. Everyone seemed relieved to find a congenial group of normal-looking adults who were genuinely interested in learning and excited by the potential that the workshop promised.

Charla Hathaway, an erotic coach and author of the book, Erotic Massage: Sensual Touch for Deep Pleasure and Extended Arousal, welcomed everyone and explained the structure for the afternoon. There’d be an hour of introduction and discussion about sensual massage, followed by a demonstration (back, front and genital), and a wrap-up talk. She introduced herself and her model, on whom she would later demonstrate. The model was an attractive and charming young woman, totally at ease with nudity. She explained that she has been studying erotic arts in California and was very much looking forward to the massage she was about to get.

Charla put everyone at ease, elevating the energy with spiritual discussion of Tantric arts and respect for the human body. A high level of trust was established. She got everyone to share openly about what they wanted to let go of as they entered the class, what they wanted to bring into the experience and what they intended to get out of the experience. There were seven single men and two single women, including four couples, ages ranging from 27 to 77.

By the time everyone entered the massage room, circling around the table, there was so much respect in that room–between the students, to the model and teacher and for each our bodies.  There was a shared sense of privilege to be privy to a very private, intimate affair, to be welcome to simply watch and or to try a couple of techniques on the model while under the careful guidance of the coach.

Charla demonstrated used of props like feathers and fur, cornstarch (yes, from out of the pantry) and oil to soothe and relax all the muscles. She got every to breathe in rhythm with the model as she explained and the model confirmed what where the most pleasurable strokes and approaches.  As genital strokes were demonstrated on a live person, everyone asked respectful questions and the women shared their experiences and preferences. No massage was ever too slow. Breasts could never be massaged too much, but the nipples should be touched last. Asking permission before penetrating your lover’s body in any way was only decent.

While only the model got the massage, everyone present was touched and opened in new ways that would affect them for the rest of their adult lives.

–Karen Kreps is the author of Intimacies: Secrets of Live, Sex & Romance, and blogs at

Why can’t we just be friends?–Q&A Intimacies


If you know that the person you’ve been dating for a year doesn’t want a serious relationship with you, but you still like her or him, does it make sense to keep her or him as a friend? — JP


Breaking up is hard to do, especially after a whole year. But if you would prefer that your relationship with that particular person be serious–get the hell out of Dodge. It’s better to break it off right away, feel the sting of separation and recover your perspective–so you can find a new relationship with someone who can relate to you seriously.  You aren’t going to change your friend’s feelings and you may only delude yourself into thinking you can, postponing or prolonging the eventual disappoint.

Some people, especially men, I think, will propose, ‘Can’t we can still be friends?’ as a way to soften the blow of an ended. It’s just the polite thing to say. Usually, after a couple agrees to split up yet remain friends, in time, priorities shift and they choose not to spend as much time with each other, they aren’t as open as before and the calls stop coming.

If, on the other hand, the lack of romantic interest is pretty mutual—if neither of you want to have a serious relationship with each other and won’t be subject to fits of jealousy or unrequited longing, you need not cut off a working friendship just because you aren’t ever going to exchange wedding vows with each other. If neither of you want more from each other than each is willing to offer, if you both agree that the match isn’t serious,  you need not lose all the stability and familiarity you’ve developed together.

A key consideration is what you mean by “keep her or him as a friend.” Usually, that means eliminating the romantic or sexual component of a relationship, if it ever existed. A  relationship can shift from sexual to platonic only if there is no longer a sexual attraction between you, mutual or one-sided. And an absence of mutual attraction would validate the choice to not get serious about the relationship.

A less-common option is to remain a sexual friend. You may find a sexually compatibility with someone, but not have enough going  on in the other departments that you can share. Some people maintain “Friends With Benefits” as a fall back and insurance against lonely nights. But to have a sexual relationship that doesn’t restrict either party from seeking new partners, an open, polyamorous relationship, is not for the faint of heart. In order to succeed and still be real friends,  you each must truly be able to see the other one get into a new relationship, you must watch your ex fall in love and you must not be jealous. If you could truly dance for joy at the marriage  of your friend (to someone else), by all means maintain that friendship. But, as a real friend, you will respect the need for space and no contact, for at least half a year, if It is requested.

Be careful that you don’t use your loyalty to your friend as an excuse for not getting out, meeting new people and starting to foster fresh relationships. After a year spent dating someone, the relationship has made you a bigger person. You no longer need to feed on that former relationship to support or validate who you are. You bring yourself and all that that you’ve learned to this point to the nourish the relationships that will manifest through the years that remain stretched  ahead of you.

Enjoy the Intimacies.


Wake Up from the Sex Stupor

Q: My wife isn’t interested in sex anymore. We still have it for a short time a few times a week, but I don’t think she enjoys it. I find her very exciting, but she doesn’t respond. What should I do? — Andrew C.

A: Dear Andrew,

If your wife is no longer getting off, and if you have sex that frequently for a short time, it sounds as if she is simply trying to fulfill what she may feel are her conjugal duties. If she’s not reaching orgasm, but you are, the focus of your lovemaking may have shifted from an spontaneous expression of sexual attraction to getting you to climax so she can just have it over with.

Try to shift your intention. Instead of focusing on your own response, focus on hers. Making love can be more than mastubation with the help of a friend. For example, when you touch her breasts, find a way to do it that gives her deep pleasure rather than simply copping a squeeze to get your own jollies. For a while, as an experiment, make it your goal to give her a great experience, rather than being off in your own world, what’s known as a sex stupor.

Pay attention to she what she responds to and if her response is positive or negative. Listen to her grunts and groans when she makes them and feel where she’s taught or moist. Do you still spend time on foreplay? If she performs fellatio, do you reciprocate? Take your time. Make sure you are both fully ready for penetration before you engage in it. Many men have erections that stand up okay, but their sexual energy is low and they misfire on a short fuse. If your ardor isn’t radiating out your appendage, she’s not going to get a charge from having it inside of her. When you join, make sure you are connected physically in an embrace that contains her whole body and being, rather than just her genitalia.

Try various approaches, not the same old bump and grind. Ask her what she likes. She’ll clue you in, if she thinks there’s a possibility of change and you would follow through, giving it to her the way she says she would enjoy it. Be willing to role play just for fun. Some women need more time for arousal, especially as they get older. Contain your energies so that you don’t spill the juice before she’s ready to soak it up. You may have to be supportive of her even before you get it on by helping to dispel the worries of the day so she can be relaxed and open to sexual activity when you do get together. Let her know that you want to find new ways to turn her on and she’d be a fool not to take you up on the offer.

Enjoy the intimacies.


A Sex Info Website that Treats You Like an Adult

It’s not so easy to find websites with sex positive information that isn’t pornographic nor pedantic. CARNALNATION is one I found in an adverstisement on

Here’s how it describes itself:
CARNALNATION provides comprehensive coverage of entertainment for grown-ups. We at CARNALNATION embrace and honor human sexuality, and we promise to be current, consistent, and uncensored. We compile event listings; we publish original and incisive content; and we provide insightful commentary on a range of related topics from health to fashion to the latest toys. We know you take your fun as seriously as we do, so we invite you, our readers, to use CARNALNATION to realize and explore your interests, desires, and curiosities.

CARNALNATION was developed out of a compelling need to counteract those oppressive forces, whether internal or external, that stifle sexual growth, awareness, and fulfillment. We believe that sex is a vital human need and that sexuality is an important component of who we are as individuals…

AustinLifestyles Video Profiles Karen Kreps

This just-released video was shot at SXSW09 Interactive. Paul Walhus interviews Karen Kreps about the Core Conversation she was about to host at SXSW on  “Sex Ed Online: How Teens Self Savvy,” her background as a Web developer and the Austin lifestyle she enjoys.

Link: AustinLifestyles SXSW 2009 interview - Karen Kreps