By Nick Northstar
Dr. Holly Richmond is the go-to sex and marriage therapist for some of Hollywood’s top stars. In between helping celebrities with their concerns and ‘issues’, Dr. Richmond, who is also a Somatic Psychologist, travels around North America working with others and speaking at conferences about new ways couple’s can enjoy themselves given today’s expanding technologic advances.
It’s A Glam Thing caught-up with Dr. Richmond to find out more about her career, her thoughts on these recent nasty Hollywood celebrity sex scandals, and why being/feeling glamorous is important to a healthy sexual experience.
NICK NORTHSTAR: How would you describe your own personal fashion style – both while at home and while working in your offices?
DR. HOLLY RICHMOND: I go for classic, sophisticated looks, but nothing too conservative. If I had to describe my style in two words, it would be classic chic. Right now, my home office is my where I work most often since I’m predominantly offering tele-therapy and sexual health coaching via phone, Skype or FaceTime. In cooler weather months, my look most likely includes leggings or jeans with a cashmere sweater. In warmer months, a blouse and jeans or a comfortable but form-fitting dress. Wearing nice fabrics that feel great against my skin is important to me.
NN: The word “Glamorous” can mean many different things… what is its definition to you?
DHR: To me, glamorous means a beautiful, captivating look that has a little something extra. That extra can be sex appeal, elegance, a forward-thinking sense of style or any number of things. What it doesn’t mean is overdone makeup, unnecessary embellishment or anything that looks like you tried too hard.
NN: Why is it important for people to feel ‘glamorous’ in their every day lives?
DHR: For most people, there’s a direct correlation between how they feel on the inside and how they present on the outside. If you’re dressed to look glamorous and you absolutely own that feeling, you’re going to present as self-confident, assured and powerful. My job is to help people feel better, and dressing the part is a piece of this.
NN: Relating to what you do and speak about, does feeling “hot, sexy & glamorous” make for better sexual situations and experiences?
DHR: Feeling “hot” is almost a 100-percent must for great sex. Again, it comes back to this sense of aligning your outward experience with your inward experience. If you don’t think you look good, it’s hard to cultivate and exude positive, sexy energy to others. I hear from my female clients, in particular, that if they aren’t feeling good about their bodies, their hair, or how they’re dressed, they have a hard time being present during sex. On the other hand, feeling hot, sexy and glamorous gets women out of their head and into their body so they can take in all the pleasure and eroticism that a sexual experience has to offer.
NN: What is your advice to anyone wanting to try and be more “sexy” for their partner?
DHR: First and foremost, ask your partner what they find sexy! Hopefully this is similar to what you find sexy, but if the two are a little off, it’s no big deal. It actually gives you more room to experiment with different looks, settings, toys, whatever it may be. For example, if you’re into boho-chic, lacey, floral lingerie and your partner wants to see you in black leather, that creates dozens of opportunities to create different sexual personas. What we wear can help us show a sexier side of ourselves, whether that’s through role playing or just really sinking into the look you have on. Authenticity and that “this is me” feeling is sexy and empowering.
NN: Why do you feel so many people in America are usually shy about talking about their sex lives or sexual things?
DHR: Because it’s America. We were founded on puritanical values and patriarchy, and that takes a long time to change or shift. It’s very different in Canada, Europe and Australia. They have sex education (good sex education) at a young age, and that education continues at home. Parents aren’t afraid to talk about sex with their children. I wish we could change that here, because I believe that’s the foundation for how we feel about our own sexuality, as well as other’s. If we could transform the discourse from abstinence (don’t do it or you’ll catch something, get pregnant, etc.) to pleasure (you’re going to do it anyway, so here’s how to really enjoy yourself), we’d be so far ahead of the game.
NN: So many sex scandals are happening in Hollywood these days… what is your viewpoint on these and why they are all finally coming to light?
DHR: I hate that the scandal is happening because my heart breaks for all of the women (and some men) who have been harassed, abused and even raped. But, on the other hand, the fact that this misconduct is getting so much media attention is truly positive. With the Me Too and Time’s Up campaigns, there’s a new day and a new way in Hollywood. People, men in particular, will have to behave differently. There is no room for abuses of power, blackmail and sexual missteps any longer. There’s been a reckoning for sure, and the fact that this societal movement is led by women is the most powerfully important shift I’ve witnessed and felt in my lifetime.
NN: Why should someone seek out your help and hire you? What do you look for in a patient?
DHR: I actually love the diversity of my practice, so really the only thing I look for is honesty and openness. Those two elements can take a while to cultivate for some clients, but it’s so worth it. It’s nearly impossible for me to do my job well if my client doesn’t let me know them. My job is to be non-judgmental, especially when it comes to sex, and I’m god at it! There’s almost nothing someone could say that would surprise me. If someone is struggling with any aspect of their sexuality, from fetishes to gender identity, or with something in their relationships like trying consensual non-monogamy or BDSM play, my goal is to help them move into those areas in a healthy, integrated way. So, we are not just talking about what they think about these things, but how their body feels about it. Sex is entirely a mind/body experience.