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Hard Conversations


Introducing Hard Conversations, a podcast about male sexuality. Therapist Tim Norton expands the conversation about male sexuality, adds context to why we struggle as a society to have hard conversations and breaks down how in a sex-positive environment there really is no room for taboos, judgment, or shame when it comes to penises.


United States


Introducing Hard Conversations, a podcast about male sexuality. Therapist Tim Norton expands the conversation about male sexuality, adds context to why we struggle as a society to have hard conversations and breaks down how in a sex-positive environment there really is no room for taboos, judgment, or shame when it comes to penises.




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Ep 27 - A Top Sex Expert Discusses Impact of Social Media and Porn on Erections

Today Tim has a wide-ranging conversation with Dr Chris Donaghue, a therapist, educator and host of the relaunched "Loveline" radio show. They talk about how body positivity impacts sexuality, being sexually honest and authentic when hooking up with someone you meet online and alternatives to an erect penis during a sexual experience. They also cover shame, prioritizing pleasure, how much porn everybody is watching, and how culture and social media invade the bedroom.


Ep 26 - What a placebo effect expert says about the power of beliefs on erections?

Tim has a unique conversation with Dr. Luana Colloca - a top scientist in placebo studies - who shares insights on how our brains filter our experience of reality. This has profound implications for the ways men can get in their heads about erections, and how different aspects of our sexual environments can trigger negative placebo effects. The placebo effect can also have major impacts on pelvic pain. For clarity, an episode transcript is also available on the website.


Ep 25 - A Top Sexual Health Urologist on How to Have Better Erections

In this episode, (recorded Mar 2020) Tim talks to Dr. Ashley Winter, urologist and cohost of The Full Release podcast. They discuss the impact of COVID on treating penile issues and how not all urologists focus on sexual health - including ways to find one who does. Dr Winter also digs into Viagra - how it can treat both erections and the stress around ED - and using medication to help create a positive sexual practice. And finally she sends a message to partners of men experiencing ED - it's not about you!


Ep 24 - How to Improve Erections with a Sex Expert and Erotic Bodyworker

Dr. Joseph Kramer is the world's foremost teacher of erotic bodywork, helping clients to use physical modalities to direct their own erotic development. He and Tim discuss healing sexual wounds, erotic self-regulation, the epidemic of disembodiment and the "attention merchants" who steal our sexual focus. Dr. Kramer also gives outstanding advice on how to connect to your body when masturbating to porn, covering technique, breath, what your body should be doing, and what you should be thinking about.


Ep 23 - Understanding Sex Addiction and Erectile Dysfunction

This week Tim speaks with Doug Braun Harvey, creator of the Out-of-Control Sexual Behavior (OCSB) model. This is how certified sex therapists now collectively label what was previously referred to as "sex addiction." The two discuss the general tenets of using sex as a way of coping with anxiety, and of course, the impact of OCSB on erections!


Ep 22 - How to Get Better Erections with Self-Compassion

This week Tim interviews internationally recognized author Christopher Germer, PhD about self-compassion and how it can help with erectile issues. They talk about the research that shows innumerable benefits to implementing self-compassion, as well as helpful tips on how to transform rumination into mindfulness, isolation into connection to humanity, and self-criticism to self kindness. Enjoy!


Ep 21 - Why Somatic Sex Coaching is the Best for Erections

Today Tim interviews Charlie Glickman, PhD, a sex & relationship coach, somatic sexuality educator, and sexological bodyworker. Charlie also co-authored The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. Tim and Charlie talk about recognizing when what's happening in your body might be adversely effecting your erections, learning to identify anxiety during sex, new ways to approach self-pleasure, and how mind-body techniques can improve your sex life. Enjoy! Tim Norton is a sex positive sex therapist working in private practice, and host of Hard Conversations, a podcast on all things erectile, from the latest natural ed treatment to the best ed treatment, erectile dysfunction problems, masturbation and male sexuality. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern California. Tim is a proud member of American Association of Sex Counselors, Educators, and Therapists (AASECT), the Los Angeles Sexological Association, and works part-time with the Pain Psychology Center in Beverly Hills. You can contact him via his website, www.timnortontherapy.com, and for people not in the Los Angeles area, Tim offers limited national/international coaching sessions via online video-conferencing.


Ep 20 - What You Need to Know About Sexual Pleasure and Social Justice

Tim talks to Dalychia Saah, an award-winning educator, writer, and speaker. She is the co-founder of Afrosexology, a sex education platform that centers the pleasure, empowerment, and liberation of people of color, and a lecturer at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. Tim and Dalychia discuss social justice, how culture and media impact erectile issues and sexuality (specifically for men of color), alternatives to penile-vaginal intercourse and the importance of sexual pleasure.


Ep 19 - What You Need to Know About Transgender Women and Erections

This week Tim speaks with Dr. Natalia Zhikhareva, also known as Dr. Z, PhD, nationally renowned expert on transgender psychology, about the wide range of erectile issues that trans women and trans feminine people experience. They talk about different expectations for genital function (determined by hormones, surgery and sexual orientation), the role gender incongruence and dysmorphia play, and most importantly, how to negotiate a new relationship to sex and intimacy.


Ep 18 - How to Ruin Your Perfectly Good Erection

Today, Tim talks to psychophysiologic psychotherapist Alan Gordon, who helps patients overcome chronic pain and recover from IBS, headaches, and other mind-body disorders where stress and tension causes physical symptoms. Tim and Alan discuss the way the brain interprets 'danger' and how that can interfere with erections, and roleplay a technique to combat that anxiety. Alan also shares metaphors and stories to demonstrate the role the mind-body connection plays in managing and treating erectile issues.


Ep 17 - What You Need to Know About Erectile Issues, From a Legendary Sex Therapist

This week, Tim talks to Barry McCarthy, a giant in the field of sex therapy. Dr. McCarthy is a marital and sex therapist, and a tenured professor of psychology at American University. He literally co-wrote the book on erectile issues - "Coping with Erectile Dysfunction" - just one of many books helping men and couples achieve satisfying sex lives. They have a wide-ranging conversation about sexual intimacy, including “good-enough” sex, aging and sexuality, sexual performance, and of course, erectile issues.


Ep 16 - Hope For Great Sex after Prostate Cancer

Today, Tim interviews Robert Nicholson, founder of edtreatment.info, which covers all aspects of erectile issues including causes, treatments and how to find help. They talk about priapisms, erections before and after prostate cancer, and men's first-hand experiences with penile injections, shockwave therapy, and penile implants. Robert has also collected research on personal struggles with erectile issues, including the impact on partners, and how intimacy - not erections - are what couples really miss.


Ep 15 - How to Relieve Pelvic Pain and Erectile Problems

Today, Tim talks to Dr. Howard Schubiner, a world renowned specialist in psychogenic pain (pain with a psychological rather than physical origin). Dr. Schubiner explains how the brain can create pain without a corresponding physical injury and the implications for treating chronic pelvic pain. Tim and Dr. Schubiner find the similarities between treating chronic pelvic pain and chronic erectile issues and discuss the profound healing effect of retraining your brain to not regard pain and sex with fear.


Ep 14 - Pelvic Pain and No Hope? You Need to Know This Expert

This week Tim talks to Stephanie Prendergast, an internationally-acclaimed pelvic floor physical therapist and author of “Pelvic Pain Explained." It can be hard identify the causes of pelvic pain, so they talk through types of pelvic discomfort and various treatment options for these chronic conditions. Stephanie also outlines the overlap between pelvic floor disorders and erectile issues, and explains the differences, providing hope and answers for people who suffer from this understudied condition. Links And Resources For This Episode: Pelvic Pain ExplainedThe Pelvic Pain and Rehabilitation Centerpanel discussionThe latest comprehensive research study about chronic pelvic pain and prostatitisDirectory


Ep 13 - How to Get Your Mind Out of the Way of Your Penis

In this week's episode, Tim talks to Dr. Steven Hayes, the founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - a groundbreaking update to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that helps people better manage obsessive thoughts and become more mindful of their core values. Dr. Hayes offers invaluable insight on how obsessive thoughts affect erections, and how to change your relationship to those thoughts instead of hiding from them. If you make peace with them, they won't control your behavior, or your penis.


Ep 12 - What You Need to Know About Blood Flow and Penis Function

Today Tim interviews to Dr. Johanna Hannan, an award-winning professor at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine. She studies the internal pudendal arteries (arteries that supply our genitals), and their impact on aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. They cover why it's difficult to gather clinical data, erectile issues caused by prostate cancer and why diet and exercise make such a big difference. Please note: Dr. Hannan discusses animal testing in her research.


Ep 11 - How to Treat Erectile Issues with Meditation

Today's guest, Conor Creighton, is an Irish writer living in Germany. Conor opens up about suffering with erectile issues in his twenties, his frustrations with Viagra and how a ten-day Vipassana (silent meditation) retreat changed his life, including how it helped him address his erectile issues. It's a story of heartache, shame and perseverance. Enjoy!


Ep 10 - Insights from a Sex Researcher and Neuroscientist

Tim talks to neuroscientist Dr. Nicole Prause about the neuroscience of erections (of course!), the ins and outs of conducting sex research, and how porn and partnered sex affect the brain differently. She dispels myths about the correlation between testosterone levels and erections and talks about how neuroscience likely validates the effectiveness of sensate focus. They also get technical, discussing penile salience networks, transcranial magentic stimulation and what neuroimaging tells us about sex.


Ep 9 - Learning About Your Penis From a Sex-Positive Therapist

Today, Tim and sex-positive therapist Dr. Hernando Chavez talk about de-emphasizing the focus on the penis, the biopsychosocial (biological, psychological, and social) factors in sexual struggles, porn, therapeutic treatment of erectile issues, peaking, delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation, the myth of the desirability of long-lasting sex, and the politics of sex positivity.


Ep 8 - What Happens When a Urologist Talks About Medical Erectile Dysfunction

Today, Tim and urologist Dr. Josh Gonzalez discuss the three basic categories of medical erectile dysfunction (hormonal, blood flow, and neurological) and why pills aren't aways the best solution. Dr. Gonzalez talks about why he loves doing penile implant surgeries, the pluses and minuses of cock rings, and how to avoid priapisms (when the penis remains erect for hours). Finally, the two talk at length about the importance of integrated health care and taking the shame out of erectile issues.