Articles and writing with Linda Connors
Is painful sex and vaginismus impacting your relationship?
Do you find sex painful, impossible or uncomfortable?
Are you afraid, anxious, worried or scared about sex?
Is painful sex stopping you from enjoying sex?
Do you want to overcome vaginismus?
If any of the above resonates with you I can help.
My name is Linda Connors and as a Hypnotherapist in London I combine hypnosis, counselling, psychotherapy, coaching with a mindful and intuitive approach to help women overcome vaginismus. After I experienced sexual problems during my 20s I decided to go on a journey of self-discovery to connect with my sexual energy. From this place I will share with you all I discovered, my insights, knowledge to help you to find your path of self-discovery to to overcome vaginismus.
Here's some information on what vaginismus is and why some women experience painful sex.
What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus is a vaginal tightness or involuntary contraction causing penetration problems, pain or an inability to experience sexual intercourse. Inserting a finger or tampon or going an internal examination may also cause a lot of discomfort and pain.
Primary vaginismus is the inability to experience sexual intercourse because of the condition. Secondary vaginismus occurs after a woman has been sexually active but now finds sex difficult, painful or impossible.
Why some women experience painful intercourse
Vaginismus is a learned response to sex and the body habitually shuts down to “protect” itself. If your first sexual experience was painful, unpleasant or you were simply not ready this may generate feelings of anxiety and fear associated with sex and sexual relationships which can cause the body to shut down sexually.
Belief systems, thought, relationship issues, medical conditions, sexual abuse and feelings associated with sex can also directly impact how you and your body responds to sex.
If you are ready to take the next steps to transform your sex life Vaginismus therapy may be the key you are looking for.
To speak to me, please call me on 075 3421 3557. I look forward to hearing from you
There has been a lot of talk in the media recently discussing if watching porn should form part of teaching at schools. As we all know, porn is now readily available compared to before the birth of the internet. The children and teenagers of today have direct access to an unprecedented amount of porn compared to previous generations. It’s not only the issue of watching porn but also the frequent masturbation while watching porn and the huge impact it has upon children's brains and behaviours.
The ethics of porn in schools
The argument is that children and teenagers are watching porn so schools should show it in the classroom to better analysis and critique it. I see this point, however, how do teachers ensure that they are buying ethical porn and not porn where men and women are drugged, forced and bullied into having sex on camera often without protection or sensitivity. Many women have been kidnapped, drugged and forced into performing sexual acts for other's entertainment. Just look at this figure: the international labor organisation now estimates that the human trafficking industry is worth approximately $150 billion and that almost two-thirds of that annual profit $100 billion are from commercial sex trafficking. The demand for Porn increases human trafficking.
My concern is that if schools buy porn to use as classroom material they also become part of the problem as they are unwittingly financially supporting the porn industry and perhaps unknown to them sex trafficking.
What is the way forward?
I believe that sex education must change to keep up with the modern times and changes in technology. When I was at school sex education focussed on protection, not getting pregnant and not getting Aids or other sexually transmitted diseases. It appears that little has changed since then.
Sex education needs a dramatic overall. Sex education in schools needs to be modernised to cover sexual consent, sex-texting, same-sex relationships, intimacy and relationships and the use of porn. Parents and caregivers also need to play an active role in their children and teenagers sex education rather than leaving up to the inadequate school system.
The impact of children and teenagers porn
Porn addiction amongst children and adolescents isn’t going to go away. It’s here to stay. According to one children’s helpline, one in three children are watching porn in the UK – not just once or twice but every day. That’s is truly frightening.
These children become desensitised, confused and get a warped sense of sex and their sexuality. Young girls and teenagers said they feel they have to act and look like porn stars. Watching porn also impacts their drive, motivation, focus and emotional states.
Should porn be in the classroom?
I think porn has a place in the classroom. To openly talk and discuss porn with male and female students. To discuss the implications of porn addiction, porn induced sexual dysfunction, female objectification and the loss of focus, drive and motivation. Let's discuss things openly and honestly. But we don't need to bring in physical porn for the kids and teenagers to watch. Yes, they watch it at home, on their tablets or phones but lets go beyond modern technology to where it matters - open conversations in the class to learn, teach and create change at a core level.
Should porn be shown in classrooms? Please add your views in the comment section below. I would love to hear them.
Following on from my previous article about how I overcame blushing and reclaimed my life back I want to share with you today how to overcome blushing through my three step process. Through my personal experience of chronic blushing in my 20s and early 30s, I know the full implications of blushing and how it can hold you back. I see it in my clients too. They live half a life and invest their energy into fear and anxiety about blushing - when they will blush, who they will blush in front of and what will other people think. Rather than moving ahead in life they are held back. Does this sound familiar?
Through these three steps you can start a new journey and reclaim your life back from blushing, connect with your potential and live fully and freely. When I blushed I tried counselling and therapy and nothing helped. These steps are the steps I took myself to stop blushing and I am so happy to share them with you.
Step 1 - Healing the shame and embarrassment of blushing
Underneath blushing, often beyond your conscious awareness, is shame. This shame is often associated with childhood family dynamics, experiences or events. Shame has a very physical manifestation as chemicals are released into the body when shame is experienced - you may feel warmer, anxious and blush. As an adult, you may not even be aware why your body is responding in this way. You go into a meeting, and it's your turn to speak and before you blink you feel your face going bright red.
The path to moving beyond blushing includes healing the wound of shame. Hypnotherapy can assist in healing the shame especially if this is all happening within your unconscious mind out of your conscious awareness.
Step 2 - Creating a growth mindset
When you are trapped in the blushing cycle, perhaps you notice you have a very fixed, critical and judgement mindset. "I can’t stop blushing”, “I am going to blush in this meeting” or "I will never be able to stop blushing". You put your whole energy and focus into these intrusive thoughts and this creates your reality and generates even more anxiety and fear.
To move out of the fixed mindset you must learn to step into the growth mindset which allows you to connect with your inner skills, resources and potential rather than focusing on the past. Rather than getting trapped in the fixed mindset of “I’m going to blush when….” The growth mindset allows you to focus on growth rather than limitations. Ask yourself coaching questions such as these:
The learner/growth mindset is about rational conscious choices and is solution focused. Ask yourself the above questions and notice what feels different in your body.
Step 3 - Changing the physical and emotional response to blushing
There are two elements to blushing. On one side is the physical conditioning of the body. The more it happens the more the body, skin and face responds to external triggers by blushing. On the other side of blushing is our inner world – which consists of thoughts, fears, restricting beliefs, previous experiences and anxiety.
Science has shown us that the body is an intellectual system and holds body memories. Dancers, athletics and even soldiers embody actions and movement into the body so it becomes a physically learnt behaviour. Blushing is very much similar. The more it happens the more the body embodies and embeds the blushing behaviour and it becomes the natural response to situations, experiences and events.
To undo this conditioning it’s essential to create a new physical and emotional response which embodies confidence, inner strength and calmness – and to practice this through a series of processes I have created based on science, mind and body connection and mindset.
Just take a moment to consider the above. What is the first step you can take today to begin to create changes in your life and becoming blush free?
About Linda Connors
Linda Connors is a Hypnotherapist and Coach offering Chronic Blushing therapy in London Harley Street, Bath and Skype.
Is blushing holding you back? You can change your life starting from today by contacting Linda on 075 3421 3557
We all carry wounds within our inner world from childhood and earlier years. Some of these wounds are open and painful, and others are quiet and contained. The wound for abandonment is one of the most common fears, and it manifests in many different ways in relationships and life.
To counteract the fear of abandonment people often create unconscious strategies to cope with relationships and life. For me, the fear of abandonment was a large part of my life. A lot of my childhood I was very alone, even when sick, and had to learn how to be fully independent from a very young age. So I became a survivor and discovered how to rely on myself rather than being dependent on others. I was fiercely independent and wore this badge with pride but this caused separation and disconnection.
When I look at my past relationships in my twenties to my mid-thirties, I had one foot in the relationship and the other foot out. I choose partners who were unsuitable for me and also had commitment issues and decided something had to change. Change is scary, but it was worth it. Learning how to open my heart after it was so guarded for so long and letting go of some of my self-made independence was tough, but relationships are based upon togetherness and not separation or detachment.
I am still independent to some degrees, and it allows me to focus on my vision and goals in life and also the shared goals and vision in our relationships. What is different is that this independence no longer blocks love in my relationship for it creates a deeper connect, love, intimacy and togetherness.
I have put together five signs that the fear abandonment is affecting your relationship and remember that this fear can manifest in so many ways. For some, it is loud and puts up walls, and for others, it is more subtle and quiet.
1. You are a survivor
You learnt from an early age how to look after yourself. You cope and manage with life’s ups and downs, events and experiences alone because this is what you have always done. You don't allow your partner to get close or to help you.
Growing point: Learn how to share your emotions and feelings with others and learn how to ask for help.
2. You don’t fully commit to relationships
You have commitment issues in relationships and have built walls around your heart. You find it difficult to commit to one partner or perhaps regularly dating others. These commitment issues also may manifest in other areas of your life - unable to commit to projects, goals, work and social activities. This fear of commitment causes a lack of connection and movement in the relationship.
Growing point: Look at areas in your life where you find it difficult to commit and make a conscious choice and action to step towards committing more (where it is right to do so)
3. You fear intimacy and vulnerability
You hide part of yourself away, and only half show up in relationships. You built a wall around your heart to protect you from abandonment. The fear of getting too close and open creates a detachment in the relationship and yourself.
Growing point: The step to moving beyond the fear of intimacy and vulnerability is to communicate and to be open with your partner your fears.
4. You have control issues
You try to control others, situations and events to keep you safe from unexpected experiences - and abandonment. There are many different types of control issues - from being bossy, co-dependency control, guilt led control, silent treatment or withdrawal until you get your own way. These control issues causes a very one sided relationships and communication issues.
Growing point: Learn to identify your triggers and what underlying emotion, fear or feeling is there.
5. You disconnect from your partner
You like to be separate and fully independent rather than working as a team with your partner. You may keep yourself isolated and emotionally withdraw from communication, sex and intimacy in your relationships. This disconnection stops the relationships going deeper and experiencing more love and joy.
Growing point: Learn and practice opening your heart to your partner. Do fun things together - go out on a date, dancing or go away for a weekend. Share your feelings with your partner.
Healing the wounds of abandonment
Fear of abandonment at its highest level blocks love and creates dysfunctional relationships. There is a way to move beyond this. Healing the wound of abandonment is a journey of self-reliance based on love rather than fear, and learning how to commit with your mind, body and heart with yourself and your partner. For some this journey can be difficult but the rewards of love, joy, connection and happiness are great.
Ask yourself this. Are you really ready to make a change and move towards a deeper commitment in your relationship rather than fear of abandonment?
If so contact Linda now on 075 3421 3556 for a free telephone initial consultation.
Linda Connors is a UK and International Hypnotherapist and Coach working with men, women and couples heal the wounds of the heart to allow them to create the relationship they desire. For more information please visit: fear of intimacy
As a sex hypnotherapist and relationship coach I have worked with many successful men - CEOs, leaders in their companies, business owners, public figures and entrepreneurs and I have seen first hand how sexual issues impact them on a physical, emotional, spiritual and mental level. Very often these men do not realise the real extent until we work together and resolve the sexual issue - as it is then they notice how they step back up in the world with a new found inner confidence, strength, masculinity and inner power and this has a direct positive impact in their work, communication, and leadership as well as in the bedroom!
For many men, the weight of carrying sexual issues (from premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation) rests heavy in their being. Often they feel deeply ashamed, embarrassed and try to hide it or refuse to talk openly about it with their partner. I have worked with men who are too anxious that they will not even consider starting a relationship as they fear how weak he will look if he can't sexually perform.
Men's sexual issues and dysfunctions have a devastating consequence on their lives, male identity, emotional and physical well-being. Today will I share the truth and reality that many men experience in their lives as a result of experiencing sexual performance issues.
Men's sexual issues and confidence
Sexual issues often cause men's confidence to skydive. For many men they see their roles in a sexual relationship as core as the focus is to please their partner sexually. If this doesn't happen or the partner is not sympathetic to what is happening (some women can be very cruel and brutal to their partners when he suffers from sexual issues) his confidence decreases. Often sexual anxiety replaces sexual confidence and then he begins to lose faith, trust and belief in himself. Sex becomes a focus of anxiety and pressure to perform and this causes a disconnection from his mind, body, and heart.
Men's sexual issues and masculinity
Sexual performance is essential to the male masculinity. In a time when women often no longer need men in the way we did hundreds and thousands of years before - women can now enter into high profile jobs, be financially independent, and even become pregnant without a male partner. So many men focus on sexually pleasing his partner - that is his intimate gift to her. When sexual issues get in the way he often feels emasculated and very much less of a man. This loss of masculine energy also has a direct influence on many other areas of his life - from work, confidence, leadership and communication.
Men's sexual issues and leadership
When who you are sexually is in conflict with the rest of you and your male identity (e.g., can’t get an erection, or ejaculate too soon) and perhaps you hold a senior role at work which involves leadership this impacts you on a deep conscious or unconscious level. It can change the way you lead others, deal with conflicts and communication authentically. Some men become more aggressive to hide what is happening other men tend to take a step back. It creates anxiety and fear about performance – not lonely in the bedroom but for some men in other areas of their life including leadership.
As one of my male client’s said “when I was leading a large team I wasn't authentic. I was terrified someone would find out about my weakness which was the sexual issues and the lack of my manhood. So I overcompensated and behaved more aggressively and confident which was verging on the tip of arrogance. When I resolved the sexual dysfunction I became a better leader and naturally confident”.
Men's sexual issues and communication
Following on from leadership, we move into how men's sexual issues impact how they communicate. Many of the men I have worked with, discovered that as their sexual confidence and ability increases their communication skills improves. They are more direct and more confident to deal with conflicts and issues within work team dynamics. They didn't notice they were hiding or stepping back from conflict or challenging group dynamics until after their sex life improved and they began to notice how naturally more willing they are to step up in all areas of communication and team dynamics.
Men's sexual issues and relationships
Relationships are essential to our emotional and physical well-being and intimacy is the glue which connects two people in ways other experiences can't. When sexual issues interfere with a couple's sex life it can either make or break them. The couple either comes together as a team to work through it or disconnect from each other and the sexual issue becomes the elephant in the room. For some men they may take a back seat in their relationships as they feel deeply ashamed and embarrassed they are not able to sexually perform.
Single men who experience sexual issues often feel anxious about starting a new relationship. Some of my clients even refused to look or talk to women in case it lead to sex as they felt so embarrassed and emasculated about the sexual issues. So they lived a lonely and very much disconnected life until they contacted me and we started working together and often within a few weeks they are dating again.
In my next blog I am going to share with you how to resolve sexual issues and be a better lover. I am very excited to share this with you!
If you know any men with sexual issues, or your partner experiences sexual issues please share this article with them. Let me know that them are not alone, that in fact many men experience sexual issues and that there is help available.
About Linda Connors
Linda Connors specialises men's sexual issues hypnotherapy and helps to not only resolve the sexual issue but reengage with life with more confidence, improved leadership skills, and more connected with their mind, body and heart. To find out more please visit men's sexual issues or call 075 3431 3557 for a confidential conversation.
When I first meet people and I say I'm a Hypnotherapist you can see their eyes spark with interested. So you help people with weight loss, fear of flying or stop smoking they say, or you relax people and in jest you use a swinging watch!
Although Hypnotherapy has grown and developed in recent years it is still very much a misunderstood therapeutic treatment. Some of my clients come to me as a last resort - they have tried counselling, psychotherapy or CBT (often for months or years) with little or no success. As they begin to research hypnosis they begin to view hypnotherapy as a viable treatment option to create change in their life. They may still be a little unsure. I have been in therapy for years - how can you help me when counselling hasn't.
So I wanted to break down some myths and misconceptions about hypnotherapy so you can see the real potential hypnosis has to offer you in your life, work and relationships.
Hypnosis Myth 1: It's just about relaxation
The use of hypnotherapy is more powerful than simply relaxation. It's not a simple case of coming in, closing your eyes, relaxing and listening to the sound of my voice giving you positive suggestions. This format is called suggestion hypnosis and often doesn't add real impact because it doesn't help resolve the underlying issues and drives which are causing the problem.
There is a powerful therapeutic and personal growth component to hypnosis which supports you to create real changes in your mind, thoughts, builds resources and creates new behavioural patterns.
Hypnosis Myth 2: Hypnotherapy can only help stop smoking or weight loss
Old school hypnosis was mainly used for stop smoking, weight loss, or fear of flying. With the right advanced training hypnotherapy can be used for many of life's complex issues which in the past counsellors or psychotherapists would have dealt with often for months or even years. Hypnotherapy today can successfully treat addictions, sexual dysfunction and emotional challenges.
It's important to note that not all hypnotherapist are trained or experienced to work with complex issues. To work at the level I do, I completed 2 years hypnotherapy training, 2 years counselling and psychotherapy training, as well as training in mind-body connection, mind-sets, sex therapy over the past ten years (just to name a few!).
Hypnosis Myth 3: I will lose control
Thanks to Hollywood films and stage hypnosis some individuals fear they will lose control, forced to say things or act in a certain way during hypnosis. Your mind is very powerful and has its own set of values and morals. If I were to suggest something that was not in alignment with your values and morals (not that I would ever do this - or indeed any professional and experienced hypnotherapist) your mind would simply reject the suggestion.
Hypnosis is not about control - it's about working together in a collaborated way, to communicating and working with your unconscious mind and working together in a way meaningful way to create the changes you seek.
Hypnosis Myth 4: Hypnosis is a one session quick fix
Although hypnosis is a quicker form of treatment than traditional talking therapy most people require more than a "one" session approach. To create real long-lasting change it's essential to work with the mindset and thoughts, body and heart and to embody and embed this within you. I work with most of my clients for 6 weeks. For more extreme situations such a severe trauma or sexual abuse this work is completed in approximately 12 weeks.
Hypnosis Myth 5: Hypnosis takes the same time as traditional talking therapy
Traditional taking therapies such as counselling or psychotherapy tend to focuses on the past without empowering the individual to create core changes in their mind, body and heart in the present time. They have grown as an individual and have a greater self-awareness yet they are still experiencing the issue. As many of my clients said "counselling helped to a small degree but I am still struggling in my life".
The therapeutic application of hypnosis is more focused on the present day, giving you the skills and resources to change your life. There are times of course we need to return back to the past for healing - but we don't stay there session upon session. Hypnosis allows the individual to find the answers they seek and create changes within a much quicker time frame than traditional talking therapies.
Hypnosis Myth 6: Hypnosis only works with the mind
Scientific studies have shown that hypnosis influences the brain (if you wish to research look up Mendelsohn et al.’s study on hypnosis and the work by Psychologist David Oakley (University College London). Hypnosis can also work with the body and heart and create deeper mind-body connections. An example is a man experiencing premature ejaculation - hypnosis strengthens his mind-set, changed the physical and conditioned behaviour pattern (early ejaculation) and teaches the man how to gain ejaculation control and to be more connected to his partner (from the place of his heart) rather than focusing on what his penis is doing.
Relationships with a loved one is a special gift. It gives us space to grow and develop to allow love to flourish. It allows a special person to share your journey upon this earth and create a shared vision together. Your relationship also holds a mirror up to your insecurities, wounds, pains of the past and deepest fears. You get to only really get to know another once the honeymoon period is over, when the masks begin to slip and the fears, judgements, and insecurities begin to surface.
When you are open and honest with yourself and your partner it allows time for growth, healing and working together as a team. For some this is truly frightening as they prefer to hold on tightly to the ways of the past regardless of how uncomfortable and dysfunctional they are. They project onto the other and blame them for their misfortune in life and their love becomes conditional.
All of this is created by the ego. On one level it is used to keep you safe and at arm's length. At another level it keeps the relationship stagnant and stuck. Here is a beautiful piece by Rev. Diane Berke which illustrates how the ego works in relationship and how it blocks love from flourishing
Vows of the Ego
Just take a moment to consider your relationship
Once you read this just pause for a moment and breathe. Which vow relates to you and your relationship? Which one is holding you back? Are you ready to be open and honest with yourself? Are you ready to change your impact in the relationship - to relate in a new way? It takes courage, action and love to change your relationship.
Linda Connors is a hypnotherapist and coach helping people break dysfunctional relationship patterns, grow and enter a new place of love, kindness, compassion and honesty. For more information or to book an appointment with Linda please call 075 3421 3557