Let’s talk about sexy, baby! Today’s Womeness Crush Wednesday, Amy Elisa Hedrick, is a certified sex therapist and sexual wellness advocate who has been practicing professional counseling in Idaho for the last 19 years. She has dedicated her career to helping people embrace their bodies and feel empowered sexually. We’re all about it!
Check out our interview with Amy to learn how women can feel empowered when it comes to sex, intimacy, and their bodies.
Tell us about yourself!
I am a woman with a passion for living life to the fullest while embracing my human-ness and becoming the best version of “me”. I am a seeker, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a child at play, a divine lover, a creator, a dancer, a student, a rebel, catalyst for change, a mentor and therapist.
My dedication to my work as a sex therapist is not just a career, it is a joy and a pleasure and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to assist clients in their personal journey to accessing their voice, accepting their unique sexual blueprint and claiming a more fulfilling sexual self.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to women to feel empowered as it pertains to their sexual health or sexuality?
Our sexual nature is unique to each one of us. It is our innate birthright to embrace whatever it means to each one of us. Reclaim your sexual essence and find your own investment in what you deem as “sex worth having”. So many women have been raised with the beliefs that sex is for men/for their partner, sex is their wifely duty and obligation; they are often unfamiliar with their own needs, wants and desires. Our sexual nature can often look very different from male sexuality and we can find ourselves subjected to pressures and expectations and often feel the need to tailor our own sexual fulfillment to fit the needs of others. Heaven forbid we speak up and claim what would be fulfilling for us physically and emotionally. Know that there is no such thing as being “broken” sexually. Know that your body is designed to experience pleasure and connection, regardless of how you feel about it. It’s ok to be self focused and to speak up regarding what types of experiences are most enjoyable to you and those that aren’t.
How can we help women feel comfortable having conversations about sex?
There is no such thing as “normal”. Female sexuality is complex and we all have been subjected to many covert and overt messages over the course of our lifetime regarding what our sexuality should look like and how it should be expressed or not. When I see women at the Women’s Sexual Medicine Clinic, they have struggled with many dysfunctions and they feel alone, and broken. Regardless of your comfort/discomfort with your current state of sexuality, know that it shifts and changes over time. I see many women who have struggled with various changes to their bodies and sexuality and are often embarrassed and frustrated. Many women have sought answers for their sexual trauma, low libido, difficulty becoming aroused or inability to experience orgasm without much success in treating them. Know that there are answers and solutions. There is support and you are NOT ALONE. Don’t be afraid to mention any challenges you may have to your physician or seek out a sex therapist who can guide you to the proper professionals and care. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Your pleasure and sexual fulfillment matter and you deserve to reclaim your sexual sovereignty.
What is one thing we can all do for better sexual health or sex lives?
Your sexual health and pleasure should be made a priority, for you and you alone. Too often we prioritize our partners sexual needs and bypass what we need. Many women have never explored their own wants, needs and desires and struggle to communicate with their partner. Take responsibility for your sexual health. See your OB/GYN and express any concerns that you might have. Consider what kind of sex “is worth having” for you. Learn about the bodies sexual arousal response and what is actually required for a woman’s body and how much time it takes for a body to become adequately aroused prior to intercourse. Did you know it can take 20-40 minutes and many bodies need additional lubrication. This is NORMAL. Very few women actually climax through intercourse alone and the majority of female bodies require clitoral stimulation to climax. Many women struggle to get into their body and enjoy sexual pleasure because they are “in their heads”. Learn to relax, give your body all the time it needs to adequately become aroused and ask for what you want. FYI: An orgasm a week boosts your immune system.
What’s one of the biggest challenges/obstacles you’ve faced? What did you learn from it?
One of my greatest challenges is maintaining Work/Life balance and setting boundaries. Loving what I do and being dedicated to the clients I serve can be something I love spending time doing. However, to stay clear and healthy I have to consistently practice setting limits and prioritizing the things I love most: My children, my partner, my friendships, my hobbies and interests and making time to play and frolick in nature and move my body. These things feed my soul and I need to carve out time to nurture all aspects of my life.
What empowers you?
As a lifelong seeker, I engage in my own spiritual practice. I love to take one new “bucket list” item every year to continue to experience life in new ways. I value personal growth and continually practice “shadow work” to learn to love and accept the parts of my self that I have not always been so accepting of. I’m continuing to learn to enjoy cultivating and embracing my own “essence” The very essence that is so unique to each one of us; the way in which we move and interact with the world around us. I‘m empowered by love and life moving through each one of us and knowing that self-love is gift we bring to the world.
What goal are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my PhD in Clinical Sexology. The final project has been one of the most challenging things I have taken on following some lingering effects of COVID.
How do you stay grounded?
I stay grounded through taking time to foster my relationships with my partner, my children, family and friends. I listen to my inner knowing of what my heart, mind and body need and try to honor it as best I can. I say YES to myself by saying NO to things that don’t serve me and I prune things from my life that aren’t in my best interest. This vessel is the only one I have in this life so I choose to move it, rest it, feed it and enjoy it!
What’s your life motto?
My life’s motto: I have two. One is that life happens and we have a choice…to let it make us bitter or BETTER. I choose better.
Two is ….leave it better than you found it. That goes for people and the environment. I choose to be someone that leaves people feeling good to be in my presence and to pick up trash from our “home”, our mother earth whenever I can.
Podcast you’re currently listening to:
The Shamans Cave
What is your guilty pleasure:
Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream
Anything else you’d like to include/like our community to know?
The Women’s Sexual Medicine Clinic operates out of OGA in Meridian, Idaho. We have created a collaborative treatment team dedicated to assessing and treating women’s sexual dysfunctions. Women’s Sexual Health has been sadly dismissed and often overlooked and is finally getting the attention and care it deserves! We treat women of all ages and seek to find solutions and treatment for sexual health concerns that may have previously been unsuccessfully treated.