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Hey, dear listeners, today's guest is actress, producer and director Kyra Sedgwick. Until now, the closest I ever came to meeting Kyra was at a party when we passed each other on a staircase. After talking with her, I wished I had had the courage to say hello at that party and maybe we would have become friends sooner. Kyra has this warmth and sense of self that I really admire. Later in the episode, I'm joined again by Dr. Emily Morse.


Dr. Emily is a doctor of human sexuality, author, host of the incredibly popular Sex with Emily podcast and frequent contributor to publications like The New York Times, Men's Health, Cosmopolitan, Glamour Assman and Harper's Bazaar. As always, thank you for sharing your stories with us. It means so much to hear from you if you have a question. And do you think we might be able to help, please go to the link on our website at Unqualified Dotcom.


OK, here she is, Kyra Sedgwick.


Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to unqualified radio host unifiers. Hi, Kyra. You're so kind to do this, thank you for coming on the podcast. Oh, my God, I'm so thrilled to do it. I want to tell you my memory of you. I think it's the only time we may have met and you might not remember it. I was at Sundance years ago and it was my first time there. I was at one of those big fancy lodge homes where they give you shit, you know, and I'm so out of my element in every way.


And I remember you were walking down this big wooden staircase. You were holding on to the banister because you were wearing beautiful boots, high heeled boots, and you looked me in the eyes as I was walking up and you were walking down and you just had this big smile on your face and you said, hi, how are you? And I thought, oh, my God, she's in charge in your hair was like a beautiful Tressel's. And I remember thinking, I love her.


I love singles. Singles had a heavy influence on my life. I grew up north of Seattle.


It was a big deal for us.


Thank you. Thank you. I love what you're doing with your podcast. If it gets awesome, you're incredible and you admire your work as an actor forever. But I really love what you're doing with the podcast. It feels really authentic and it feels really like needed at this time in many different ways. And I love the way you talk to actors. And so bravo. Great job, really. Thank you.


So, Kyra, I want to talk to you about call your mother. Is this your first time doing a multicam?


It is essentially in nineteen ninety I think it was nineteen ninety nine maybe I did six episodes of a show that they only aired three of and I played like a female Howard Stern.


But I honestly must have been in some kind of a fugue state because I remember like nothing about it, except that when they called me and they said it's not doing well, they're only playing three episodes, they're done. They showed three and they're not going to show anymore. I was so fine with it because my daughter had actually been in the hospital with complications from pneumonia, my seven year old daughter. And it was so awful. And thank God she was completely fine.


But it was just one of those moments where it was like instant perspective. And then when they called me with that news, I was like, I can't even get it up to care a little right now. But literally, it was like a blip. And I don't even remember how I felt about it. It's so funny because I feel so strongly about this that I just don't even remember having feelings about that. So clearly, it wasn't the right thing.


But I feel I'll say this. I feel like a newcomer by like a very large margin. I mean, I often feel like a newcomer in everything I do, but I really feel like a newcomer in this space. And it's fascinating and different and a music that you've heard your whole life but never heard before. But I don't know if you're doing right, but you're sure you are because it's a music and you're not hearing the music. Right.


And so there are a lot of feelers around this and a lot of intensity around it. I mean, basically, I'm having the greatest time in my life. But but anyway, it is my first time. I feel very virginal. How many episodes have you shot so far?


We shot eight. We're up to eight. OK, I'm in L.A. or on the East Coast. In L.A.. In L.A.. Yeah, it's interesting. Watching the pilot made me think about doing the pilot for mom. Sure. And I was thinking you were in the same position of driving the pilot in the story with more exposition, which is an interesting situation, I think, for an actor to be in specifically with this format because of the precision, I think that people don't quite understand how precise and surgical doing multicam is.


And for me, I wonder if you can relate to this idea, because it's hard for me to articulate. I would constantly think this is a format where there is no place to hide or totally.


You can't. I know it's really I think on some level it's the hardest thing I've ever done.


It's so incredibly tricky because there is an artifice to it and which is also what makes sitcoms successful. Right. But because of that, there is that fine line of managing the balance of reality and oftentimes the highly structured dialogue. I mean, the sentences are so I don't know what it was like, but in my world with mom, we had to be word perfect, which most projects you show up, word perfect or you attempt to my case. But it's almost like there's a precision to the cadence that has to be finessed totally 100 percent.


I mean, if your sentence ends with the word to Toto and you say also that won't work because your joke is based on the T o, the next person's joke is based on the T o and maybe like at the end of the scene is built on that Toto. So it's like you can't mess around. And so, you know, sometimes I'll have someone that runs. Lines with me and she'll say, yeah, it's actually written this way, and every single time I look at it, I got that's better.


What's on the page is always better than my version of it. And it is so surgical and so precision. I mean, those words are so right on. I think the other thing that's so fascinating about it is, on the one hand, just the stakes always have to be extraordinarily high, as we know in comedy. Right. But even higher here. There's some energy level that's like utterly different. It is utterly unique to anything I've ever had to do before.


So it's exhausting. But in the great way and in a way, it feels almost unreal. But the truth is that when you get to that place and you're in that pocket, emotionally, I'm totally grounded. And I feel like emotionally I can go anywhere and the container will hold it.


That's a great way to put it. So let me catch our listeners up. Kyra Sedgwick stars in Call Your Mother, which is a multicam comedy for ABC. Here's what ABC said. The series follows an empty nest mother who decides to be close to her children by moving cross country in order to be with them. Much to the chagrin. I feel like that's a great summer. But there's also a lot more to help guide us through your character, what she is sort of about and what she's looking for.


Yeah, sure. I think it's a lot of things and I can really relate to this being a mother of adult children. You know, you keep your whole fucking life to these kids.


Yeah. They're completely obsessed with them. They're the thing you wake up in the morning thinking about the thing you think about going to bed at night. And if you do your job right, you get fired, they leave. And even somebody who's had a job her whole life, even during the pregnancies of both of my children, I was working. And who hasn't given up my life for these kids? Certainly. Obviously, there's always a compromise in dance that all working mothers are doing.


But when they leave and when your job is essentially done, there's this reckoning of who am I, what am I? Do I even exist and how am I going to fill my days? How am I going to fill my soul? How am I going to figure out how to stay a mother? Because they always do want you and need you to degree, but also have a life that's fulfilling and doesn't make them feel like they have to take care of you, which is my worst nightmare as a parent.


And so I think my character's really straddling all these different things. And also they're your kids are living their best lives like they're so interesting when they're adults. I'm so fascinated with my kids. Like, all I want to know is everything that's going on in your lives at all times. I don't tell them that. I don't call them incessantly and be the Punisher. But given my druthers, I'd be thrilled to talk to them often and frequently, probably even more so than I do, which is a bit I mean, I'm very lucky my kids want me around.


So what happens is, is that the gene is a very emotional person and a very instinctual person and doesn't plan things. And she basically doesn't hear from her son for four days. He hasn't called her back for four days and she decides something's terribly wrong and she literally gets on a plane to just go check on him and make sure he's OK and she arrives at his apartment. Not only is he doing well, but he's got a girlfriend and she sort of imposes herself a little bit in that situation, realises that it's uncomfortable leaves, then goes to check on her daughter, who also lives in Los Angeles, who is actually struggling and having a harder time.


And so what turned into a visit ends up being I'm going to stay by the end of the first episode. But I think that it is that ongoing saga of like who are we when we are no longer needed? You are no longer no one in your kids lives. How do you become number one in your own life? How do you balance? Because it's a constant balance. I mean, as a mom, I know I feel like I'm constantly is a push pull all the time from the kids.


I want you to go away. I want you to go away. I mean, I feel it a lot. And coming from them, I always want them. That's a given. But anyway, so I think it's that and I also think it's being in your fifties and figuring out what that looks like. And, you know, are you a sexual creature? Like, what is that look like? Are you someone who's going to start a new career or do you go back to your old career?


What does that look like? She's from Iowa. She leaves everything and goes three thousand miles away and for a little bit of a fish out of water. And she has to forge a new world for herself. Yeah, I think also one of the fascinating things is that the kids in their twenties are kind of going through a second adolescence in a way because they're not going to school anymore. They don't have high school, they don't have college. And suddenly it's like, well, wow, what do I do?


How do I fit in? Like, I don't really know what my routine is as an adult. Right. So they're almost like in this kind of in-between place. And I feel like Jean is in that in-between place. Her kids are gone and she's trying to figure out what the rest of her life looks like. So in a way, they're kind of also in this equal time of life, even though. They're not I assume that you guys haven't shot in front of a live audience yet.


No, which is a tragedy. You know, it's funny, Kevin did a small part in the redo of on the family that was done recently that Pam Fryman actually directed with Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei and Jesse Eisenberg. And he had the time of his life doing it. And I was in the audience a couple of months before they sent me calling your mother. And I was feeling that feeling of that, you know, being in a play and feeling the audience's feedback.


So I think that's a real loss for us. I think that we're doing it in spite of it. Well, and I'm very proud of the show, and I really look forward to that time. How did you feel about that? Is a great. I loved it. Yeah. I loved for a number of reasons. I loved how forgiving it. Maybe it's like this with Call Your Mother, but mom was you know, our hours were fantastic.


But there was a very particular stress level to each day in terms of run through. And you always want to bring your game and make all the jokes work.


So having the audience be so forgiving and generous and excited did feel like what we would work towards each week, you know?


So that was wonderful. Yes. The moving on so quickly always took me by surprise, but usually I come with a strong point of view of how I want to deliver a line or how I want to play in the scene. So I enjoyed that element. But it was like, all right, I get to take this and we're moving on. Yeah, yeah.


So I would constantly leave set feeling like, well, that was kind of a B plus I think because I wasn't used to not exhausting a scene.


So that was interesting. And I also thought that it felt like playing tennis with like a good friend in terms of acting like you're constantly like, you know, like volleying back and forth.


Yes. But I think oftentimes I was in the position of setting up the joke. I liked that position, but at times I envied the crazier characters on the show or whatever. But that's always the life of an actor.


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I can totally relate. I vacillate. You know, I flip flop between, like, being the anchor and then times when I'm like, am I funny? But am I funny, you know what I mean? And it's like, what is funny? I mean, there's so much self-doubt. I think one of the reasons why I've started to direct, which I started to do about five years ago, and I've just like completely like that's such a passion of mine.


It's ginormous. And I have been able to do quite a bit of it in a short amount of time is that I have left out as a director. It's really interesting. It's like when I got it, I'm like, I know I have it and I know how this is supposed to go and I know I have it and I'm moving on. And as an actor, there's always this like that. Any good at all. Yes.


I mean, I usually figure that is pretty good, you know, but there are times when I'm like, well, and I think it is the great unknown, because the truth is, just because it felt good for me doesn't mean it felt good for the audience. Just because I cried doesn't mean the audience cried just because I made myself giggle. There's a certain amount of Zen that I have to like force, force. Then, boy, that sounds like a real oxymoron because it is, you know, to go like I have to let that go.


Like, that was a moment and I have to let it go.


Mimi Kennedy, who plays Marjorie on Mom, told me, I think second season. She said you shouldn't put so much pressure on yourself, but I didn't realize that she picked up on it, which meant probably other people, you know how. And I still wasn't able to I still would like mull over things, wondering if I could have had a different spin on something, but especially in this format. Your part of the train. Yes. So you have to just continue to keep momentum and there isn't enough time, I guess, to obsess about everything.


Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, I got to say that I really feel this way about everything creative, but also very much about life. Like part of my process is that I have doubt part of my process is that I really give myself a hard time. Part of my process is that I want to make it perfect. That's not such a bad thing. Right? Right. Why is that bad? Like, I have to allow like that is part of my personality as a creative.


I am exacting and that's OK. You know, it's like you're talking about like you gave yourself a hard time forgiving yourself a hard time. It's like, OK, well, so you make it doubly hard. I have a really, really dear friend who said to me, sweetie, like, you walk through this doubt every single show you ever do. What if it's part of your genius? You know what I mean? Like what if it's part of your success?


Because as we know, like, so many people are like, it's fine. So I wonder if directing allows you to be decisive and exact with other people. At least I'm projecting.


I would feel if I were in your shoes, there is that feeling to when you know, your work is being sent off to the editor and it's in everybody else's hands and you're like, yeah, I hope they don't use that fake or whatever.


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I heard some anecdotes about how you and Kevin met, but would you mind telling us a little bit?


Let's see. I think I was twenty one and we did a hebes. You're probably too young to know about this, but PB's used to do something called American Playhouse, which is basically American writers, whether they were short stories like I did a Eudora Welty short story that they made into a film and sometimes they did playwrights. And this was Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky. And I didn't know Kevin. I knew his work in the theater. I'd actually never seen Footloose, which he seemed to be extremely shocked about when I told him, which was always so funny to me.


But anyway, so we met doing that and the story goes that I was in another relationship. And so I wasn't looking. I kind of thought he was kind of full of himself and like, you know, too cool for school. And like, you know, I was like, who is this guy? Like, whatever.


And I also remember talking about what we were just talking about. We had like a week of rehearsal before we actually started shooting, where we sat around a table and we were just reading the script over and over again because, you know, it's Lanford Wilson is a play. It's like you want to really, like, get your ducks in a row about like, what is this play about? And every time I looked up from my script, you staring at me.


And my first thought was, he must think I'm terrible. Isn't that funny what the ladies do to each other? Meanwhile, the guy would be like, she must think I'm hot every time, you know?


I mean, it's just so funny. Anyway, so I wasn't really interested, but he kept sort of like trying to like, get the cast together and blah, blah, blah. And then one day we were shooting this scene where he was putting baby oil on my back and massaging me in the scene. This was in the scene and he said, if you ever had a massage and I said, I have. And he goes, well, you know, there's this really great Mitsuse at my hotel because he was at the swankier hotel and I was at the like Sheraton commander in Cambridge.


This is a little in the week. It's amazing. So anyway, so he's like doing this thing and he's like, if you ever had a massage. And I said, no, I haven't. And he said, well, there's this massage therapist at my gym in my fancy hotel and why don't you book an appointment and blah, blah, blah. And if I just happened to be at the gym that day, you know, when you're done, maybe I could take you for a meal.


And I was like, well, that's not going to happen. Because that's crazy, but whatever I was like, oh, OK, sure, crazy person. But anyway, that weekend I booked myself a massage. I don't tell them when the massages and I walk out of massage and there comes just a StairMaster. Oh, well, that was exhausting. I just finished my workout. Imagine the odds. Can I take you out to dinner? And I was too young to understand that song was coming on to me like I didn't even get it anyway.


So he had actually called the freakin hotel, which would never happen today. Right. And said, is Kyra Sedgwick booked for a massage and like planned the whole thing out? Anyway, we went out to dinner that night and that was sort of the beginning. And then I just very quickly fell very madly in love with him. And we were married a year and a half later.


It was twenty three. And I had my first kid when I was twenty three. And like if you told me when I was twenty one that I was going to be married and have a kid, by the time I was twenty three I would have told you you were fucking insane. You know, I've been working professionally as an actress since I was 16 and like very ambitious and very independent, not interested in any of that. But then there was this person and it was the right person.


And honestly, we've just been really lucky. It's been a long, long, long marriage. We're thirty two years in and I still get super excited to see him.


I'm lucky. I love that detail of you looking up and he was just always looking at you. That is really romantic and intense. I love that. OK, I have some life questions for you. What was the best or worst advice you've ever been given? Well, there's two things. One, when my mom taught me how to drive, she said to me, I always assume the other guy's going to be an asshole. That's great. So when someone puts their blinker on, don't assume that they're actually going to take a left.


And when you see someone coming towards a stop sign, don't assume that they're going to stop.


So I kind of thought that was great, like for driving and for like maybe maybe.


But the other one has sort of a similar sentiment, which is that don't expect other people to this is going to sound sort of sexual to fill your holes. Meaning like, yeah, you've got to figure out what makes you happy and you are responsible for that. It's not going to be the outside thing. It's not going to be the review. It's not going to be the award. It's not going to be your mom. Finally apologizing is not going to be the guy finally apologizing is not going to be the cash and the prizes and the outside thing.


You got to let it come from you. And whatever it is that fills you up, that makes you feel whole, and that also has something to do with something that I remember so specifically when I had my first kid, when I was twenty three years old and he was tiny, an infant, and I was watching the Today Show and Katie Couric had on some psychologist who talked about how the mother is the emotional center of the family. And if the mother is not happy, then you're in trouble.


So make sure that you get what you need.


I love that. That's pretty rad. I know, because it's true. Because it's freakin true. And it's like what is good for mom is good for everybody. I really believe it. I heard about your pound cake. Oh, my God. That's amazing.


OK, so in the beginning of the shit show dumpster fire, that is 20 20 as my friends are says this insanity is pandemic and everything. I was gifted through my reading of The New York Times cooking section by Melissa Clark, a recipe entitled Let This One Buhle Pound Cake Soothe You. And I was like, first of all, I want to be soothed. Second of all, I want to pound cake and I love it. It's in one bowl.


So that is the recipe. And it's Melissa Clark at her best, being very like not anal about her recipe. Basically, it's like whatever fat you have in the house, whether it's butter or oil, use that and then you need milk. But if you don't have milk, you can use yogurt anyway. It's all in a bowl and it's the best pancake. And you have it for breakfast. I have for breakfast every morning. I know it's OK.


I'm looking this up. I love the great. OK, it's going to let me just warn you that when you make the batter, you're going to be like, God, this looks so dry. It's not a super moist, moist cake, but it's killer. And you put it in the toaster and you put butter on it and maple syrup or both or anything else you wish in your life. And it's just the greatest thing of OK, I wrote it down.


Melissa Clark, a cake. I'm looking at it. OK, what was your first boss like, Kara?


Oh, God. Well, I did a soap opera when I was 16 years old in Manhattan called Another World. And this guy, Michael Roush, was my first boss. He was kind of right out of central casting. He had like a little mustache. He was the executive producer of this soap opera. And he was like perpetually tan and a little shady. Alsatia Yeah.


I don't want to go into too many details because, listen, because people have families that live after them. And and he gave me a job, which was great. It was interesting. But he was, you know, right out of central casting. It's all I can say. Never tried anything sleazy or anything like that. He was just a little shady, just a little, you know, just a hint of shade.


Were you able at that age to pick up on it? Oh, totally. Oh, my God. New York, born and raised. I was like, dude, I have your number. Yeah, yeah. No, totally. I was savvy at a young age. Yes. Kyra, do you have any collections? Do you collect things?


Oh, my God, I do. I collect trolls like troll dolls, old troll dolls, old not the new fangled nineteen ninety thing. We're talking like old from like the sixties and seventies trolls. Yeah. I love them when I was a kid and like people give them to me and like it's thing. Do you have. I do really. I do.


Unfortunately it's not one of my life. Really. Really. Oh this is you know, this is actually a big one. Usually there are a lot of smaller.


That's a good troll, isn't he the greatest? I don't know. There was just something about these trolls when I was a kid. Usually they're smaller and my mom used to take me to Woolworths to give me a dollar and I would buy clothes for them.


It's really cute. Oh, I love them so much. They're so ugly, but they're lovable.


That's the thing. It's really cute. But for an anniversary, if Kevin got you. You mean jewelry.


Well, I'm just wondering if Kevin got you a troll. Oh, if on a scale of. On detent, is that like a 10 gift or is that like a seven go? You know, I have a lot of trolls. I don't think I need any more trolls. So I would be like, honey, yeah. But if someone else got me like an antique troll, I would be like, oh, you see me. You see me.


I love that. You know me.


You see me here. What was your living arrangement like when you first lived on your own?


The first time I moved out to L.A., I lived by myself for a little while and then I got into a very dark, not good place. I was like 19 and it was not a good place. It wasn't good to go to L.A. completely by yourself anyway.


So when you first moved to L.A., you were 19? Yeah, I only stayed there for a year and I live by myself. And then when I came back when I was 20, I had a roommate. Is that what you're asking?


Well, yeah, but you're you don't mind. I want to explore a little bit like your loneliness when you first moved to L.A., was it loneliness or was it like this city feels incredibly foreign? I mean, it's an opposite to New York.


Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, definitely. It was completely by myself. I was very lonely. And I had this idea that I was just going to hunker down and audition, audition, audition and just get a job after job after job, which did not happen. And so I think I got lonely and I think I would say I was slightly depressed. Yeah, definitely. And very alone and like overexercising and probably not eating as much as I should have and getting lost a lot because, you know, back in the day we didn't have the Thomas Guide, the Thomas Guide and L.A., you have to seek out community.


And it was so different than New York. And people would say things like, I'll call you and they'd never call you. And I took that really personally in the beginning. Now I know it just doesn't mean anything. Yeah. With a lot of people I'm going to call you. It's like. Sure, yeah. That's never going to happen. I love L.A. now, you know, but at the time I was just like, I'm so alone and I know nobody here.


And I mean, for me, I think for such a long time, when I first had dealings with Los Angeles, you know, Kevin and I had joke about it. We used to call it the City of Fear because it was such a one business town and we only went there to do business. And, you know, your movie would come out and it would be a bomb or you went out for a screen test and you didn't get the job.


You know, I mean, it is like suddenly you feel like, of course, you know, that's not true now as more of an adult.


But like at the time, you're like and everybody knows and everybody's thinking about it. I mean, it's kind of true. Like people know about it a little bit more than if you went to like the Greek diner down the road, you know, on a Monday after your movie tanked, you know, go to Hugo's on Monday. People are like, oh, totally. So it felt like the city of fear just felt like unwelcoming. And I was just very young.


I think right around twenty seven or twenty eight I found comfort. One day I was like, oh, we're like race horses, actors, totally.


And there's this whole world of people that kind of keep us in our stables and we are these commodities.


And I took comfort in that idea because it helped me distance myself emotionally. But yeah, the idea of like, OK, so these people, they're placing their bets on us essentially.


And when I was able to kind of compartmentalize it in that way, even though it was a depressing thought, it was like, all right, this is kind of the reality that I'm dealing with. And right around that time, too, I started to realize that if I wasn't proactive in terms of creation, I wouldn't work because the auditions had kind of dried up. When I first moved to Los Angeles, it was 1999. There were a lot of like teen movies coming out during that time.


There was WB. I was auditioning pretty regularly for things. And then there was that, oh, fuck, I have to hustle in a different way now. Anyway, that was our experience. OK, Kyra, back to you.


Yeah, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?


I like that four year. Oh gosh. Isn't it funny? It's like you feel like the pandemic has really changed that answer. I've always wanted to work in England or Paris somewhere in Europe because I really do love a city. And whenever I go to Europe, I feel really freer. In a weird way, it's like America sometimes feels oppressive and probably it's also partly my idea of like what is success and what does success mean? And and also aging.


Aging in Europe feels a lot easier and better. That idea of like Europe embraces women's aging a lot more than they do in America. And it's honestly, I know I feel this way, but I don't want to make it sound like I'm completely obsessed with aging and oh, my God, it's just a terrible thing to go through in America. But they're not as obsessed with youth and beauty and outside bullshit in Europe. Yeah, I have been watching weird things for me on YouTube, like videos of people going on train trips.


And there's this woman in Positano, Italy. She just goes. Through her daily chores, and I love it, and now I'm determined to rent a small apartment one day in Positano and live there for like six months, maybe a year. Can I just say that Positano is where Kevin and I can see your first child?


We went there for our honeymoon.


Where did you stay? Did you stay at, like, laserdiscs? We stayed at the Supernus. Yeah, we say the Supernus on the upstairs one with the balcony. Anyway, it was amazing. It's unbelievable.


I've only had like a peach Pollini there. And it was incredible. Oh, my God. So amazing.


I love it. Wait, does your child know this? Yes, he does. This will come as a shock. Travis. Travis. Yes. This come comes a horrible blow to him. Yeah. Positano is gorgeous. Perfect. Yeah. Six months sounds perfect. I say yes. OK, thanks, Carol.


OK, what talent or ability would you most like to have to tell the future?


No, I think it's interesting that your first reaction was to be able to see the future. I think that would be terrifying. It probably would be.


I think I would love to be better at interior decorating. You know, I think my husband has like this. I that's really incredible. And I have an eye, too, but I get overwhelmed with all the choices. And also, I'd love to be one of those people that, like, looks in their closet and goes like, I know exactly how to put these outfits together in a way that like nobody else would have thought of before. Like, my sister in law has that ability and she's just like, incredible.


So I look at my closet and she'll put something together. I'm like, that is the cheapest thing I've ever seen in my life. And I didn't even know I had that, you know, like so that ability to like, there's a cool factor that I like in certain areas. I feel you on that. Do you have a favorite movie that you could watch over and over? There's so many. I always say this one, but it's really true, Tootsie.


Yeah, it's great to see in terms of Endearment, like broadcast news. Any of the James Brooks.


Yeah. Do you have a favorite book or author? I have a favorite author.


I like John Irving. He hasn't written anything a long time. I love Tolstoy, actually, a current writer who's been writing for, I don't know, about ten, fifteen years maybe. Chris Bohjalian, flight attendant, is one of his books. I love his writing.


I have not picked up a novel in a long time and I'm embarrassed by that. And I like to blame other things like, yeah, well, I have an eight year old and that is part of the thing and whatever. And I have to read some stuff for work. But it is embarrassing how much television I've been watching during the last eight months as opposed to I think we're not allowed to beat ourselves up during a pandemic.


I'm just going to say, OK, this isn't an artists retreat like we're in the middle of a fucking pandemic.


You know, I love it when you let me off the hook there up.


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I never took it in school for whatever reason. I just think that knowing our history can help us understand our present. And, you know, like the other day I was listening to NPR and they were talking about, you know, what's been going on with contesting the election results and whatever. And they were talking about, you know, is there any other time in American history where we've been so entrenched in something seemingly real that really wasn't real?


And they were talking about the McCarthy era? That is something I know something about. But I just thought there was some comfort in knowing, like we've been here before, to a degree, this is not new to America, then it just made me feel a little bit better. I think that's interesting. OK, if acting suddenly became illegal, how would you make a living directing way?


Kyra, that feels like a treat.


It is a treat I would love to teach. What would you like to teach? I would love to teach English literature. I'd love to be a homeroom teacher of like a kindergarten. I would also probably do some kind of social work or be a therapist of some kind.


OK, what is your relationship with fame? You know, it's funny.


And Kevin would never mind me saying this because he says it all the time. Kevin really wanted to be famous. I wanted to be considered one of the best in my field. And I think there's a difference. And that fame part really mattered to him is an outcome of what I do. And there's no question that I'm invested in it. I would have to be that would be a lie, I think, to say that I'm not invested in walking around and people going, oh, I love you.


You know, I think you're great. You really move me know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, or also the things that fame brings, which is like we're so happier in our store, we're so happy you're in our restaurant. But it wasn't the end game for me. And I think that as much as I like to believe that I stay firmly rooted to the Earth, I think that it creates a bubble to be famous, as humble as I think I try to be and feel not that that's a lie.


But I also know I'm humble and I'm famous. You know what I mean? When I think about getting really old, like my mom talks about this a lot and I have a lot of compassion and she's like, I feel invisible. It's funny because to a degree I still feel invisible, like I feel anonymous when I go on the subway, like I don't get recognized. In fact, I noticed a big change after the clothes are that like people stopped recognizing me and I didn't mind it at all.


At all. I didn't miss it at all. But I do think that there's something that's sort of nice about people looking at you and going, wait, are you specially human? You know, like, do I recognize you from somewhere your special human? So I feel special anyway. But I think that there's definitely some complexities in there. And in terms of being married to someone who I've always felt like is much more famous than me and much more recognizable than me, I feel watched in a way that I don't think that I feel when I'm not with him.


Oh, I'm sure you guys are like I magnets. Yeah, there's more of that.


And so I go like, oh, how do I look. Is my hair OK? Did I put on any makeup today like I was my frock would if there's a picture and I'm like oh really. Like you don't need me.


So it's both and it's all the things I was thinking the other day that few people are rude to me, you know. Yeah, right. It feels like a simple realization. But I was thinking I don't have too many interactions with strangers that feel normal I guess. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so through that I think maybe I have lost perspective without being able to lock myself in any way.


Exactly, Kyra.


What is a trait you dislike in others? I really dislike when people think they're right all the time and aren't able to consider the possibility that they're not, that their opinion and their idea of what's right is an empirical truth that drives me really crazy. I think it's a sign of immaturity. If you can't understand that people are entitled to their other opinions and that they have them and that just because they have the opinion that's different than yours doesn't make them wrong.


I also think a lack of humility, really. It's hard and it gets harder as I get older when I see that in people.


What is a trait you just like in yourself? My lack of humility? No, I'm only getting obsessive thinking, thinking that I can worry myself out of a problem.


Does it keep you up at night? Do you have insomnia? No, I don't have insomnia and I'm much better at this than I was. But I can sometimes think that obsessively thinking is going to fix a problem when it's just such a monumental waste of time.


I love that answer. On what occasion do you lie?


Oh, my God, I really don't lie.


I don't think I was ever a big liar. Made me feel very uncomfortable, but definitely as I get older, yeah, I'll mend that, I will say that there's a difference between honesty and full disclosure. Full disclosure is I have to tell you every single thing that comes out of my mouth, even if I'm pretty sure it's going to hurt your feelings. Right. But I will really go out of my way not to lie. I'm terrible at it.


It never feels good. But there's a difference between, you know, I'm not going to say this thing because I think it's going to hurt your feelings. And even if someone asks me something straight out, say something like, tell me the truth, I will say no.


You know, so what is your greatest extravagance? Oh, God, I really do like to buy clothes. I would say that's my greatest extravagance. What I do sometimes is go online and fill up a shopping bag and then not actually purchase it.


But yeah, I fill it up and purchase it and then I won't return it, which is just the worst because you feel guilty, just lazy and guilty. Yeah, I buy a lot of boots.


I'm like a boot person. I have way too many but I remember those Sundance boots.


Yeah. All right. I'm telling you, I'm a big girl. I don't know.


OK, next question. Do you believe in ghosts or aliens? Gosh, I definitely feel like we're not alone.


And I feel like then it's a yes for both of those things because I definitely don't think we're alone in the universe. I think that there's some kind of living beings up there, whatever that looks like. They won't look like our version of the living being. And in terms of ghosts, I definitely think that souls are around us. I call them more like souls and beings rather than the idea of like Casper. I just think that there's a lot of energy around there.


I like that. I care.


What character or role have you most enjoyed playing? And I recognize that there's a lot to this question because sometimes it's not the character, sometimes it's the people or the project. Right. I mean, there's so many things I really loved doing Twelfth Night on Broadway, where I played Olivia. That was an incredible experience. And Shakespeare is, you know, the greatest, the greatest writing for an actor. I feel like I loved the role I played in something to talk about that Calegari wrote where I played Julia Roberts sister.


That was a great, extraordinary fun role. I loved my role in The Closer. I love this role. You know, I really do fall madly in love with the roles that I do. But I definitely think that the play and probably something to talk about are right up there.


What about singles? I loved singles. Yeah, singles was amazing. Singles was seminal and incredible was I love the people. Still relate to it. I mean twenty year old still they come up to me and they say, you know, it still resonates even with social media which they don't really have.


Then you know I was listening to the soundtrack this morning. It's fantastic. It is. It's amazing. What advice would you give your younger self? Oh, be kinder to yourself.


Yeah, I love that. What do you think is the meaning of life to love and be loved? That's a perfect answer, Kyra.


Thank you so much for being here. Yes, thank you. I truly am going to make a pound cake. Awesome. Let this one Bohl pound cake. Do you tell me how it goes. I will. I will.


Thank you so much for the rest of your day. Thanks. You too. Take good care. Thank you.


Bye bye. This podcast is brought to you in part by better help if you're having trouble meeting your goals, difficulty with relationships or you're feeling stressed or depressed. Better help offers online professional counselors who can listen and help simply fill out a questionnaire to help assess your needs and better help will match you with your own licensed professional therapist in under 48 hours. Better help is not a crisis line and it's not self-help. It's secure, online, affordable, professional counseling.


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Dr. Morris is a doctor of human sexuality, best selling author and host of the No One's Sexuality podcast, Sex with Emily. She also teaches sex and communication on the masterclass streaming platform, where she provides advice and tips to normalise the conversation around sex. You can learn more about Dr. Emily Morse by visiting our website, Unqualified Dotcom. Hi, Dr. Emily, thank you so much for joining us today. Oh, I love being here. I'm excited.


Thank you. All right, let's call Ryan. Hello. Hi, Ryan. Hi. Hi, you're here with me on it and Dr. Emily Morse, who is a doctor of human sexuality and the host of the Sex with Emily podcast. And she's amazing.


Hi, Donna. Hi, Emily. How are you? We're great. We were just talking about if there are how many nerve endings are in the vaginal canal?


Oh, my God, I can't imagine. Do you want me to answer? Anecdotally, there's 8000 nerve endings in the clitoris. Oh, my God. Guess how much the penis has. I'm going to go with half of that. Yes, 4000.


Damn, Ryan, you're already on top of it. But there aren't that many in the vagina internally.


No. So that's why the penis centered sex is not going to do it for the majority of women. We just need clitoral stimulation anyway.


Ryan, that's a welcome sight right here to help you. I'm glad I could join it. Ryan, will you tell us what's going on?


Yeah. So my wife and I have been married for six years now and at the beginning of our relationship, amazing sex life. I mean, we were experimental and we had a lot of fun. We always made it a priority to have date nights and make time to connect. Now we have two children and I have a two year old and a nine month old and then put that scenario into the context of quarantine that we're in now. Oh, my God, life is just so overwhelming.


And at the end of the day, we are just exhausted. And it's come to the point now where sex is kind of left our relationship. And I just wanted to get you guys advice on how we can bring that back into our relationship, given everything that we're enjoying for the most part, you know, but also kind of having to grind it out every now and then.


Hey, Ryan, in your letter, you wrote that it has been quite a while and I want to talk to Emily to maybe address, like, how you jump back in. Would that be all right, Ryan? Perfect.


Yeah. So, yeah, in the letter I told you, it's been 11 months. So during quarantine, my wife gave birth to our daughter. I want to say the last time we had sex was February back whenever she was pregnant. Oh, my God.


That was like before quarantine. Yeah. So was it's your sex anniversary.


Mark the calendar.


OK, but she's given birth in that time. All right. So it's been it's been a while. It's been 11 months, right. Well, also, how was her birth like.


How is she feeling besides exhausted. How's her body?


She did great. My wife is amazing and she's super strong. And I mean, she did it all natural and she is just such a trooper. The birth went fine. No issues with her. No issues, baby, no issues with vagina or anything. I mean, it went about as smooth as it could go. That's great.


Yeah, well, my next question is, how old are you and how your wife. I'm thirty five and she's thirty six.


OK, so my first question though is have you ever talked to her about it and said so what do you think's going on with our sex life.


Yes, we found ourselves one evening, kids were in bed, they're asleep and we're cuddling up on the couch. And we kind of looked at each other and said, hey, should we have sex? And we both kind of looked at each other like this face, like, oh, we're just too tired, you know? And then she brought it up and she said, you know, we haven't had sex in like six to eight months. I said, I know it's just so hard to find time.


And then at the end of the day, when we do have time, we're just exhausted.


Yeah, it's a lot. All right. So just know that you are not alone right now. A lot of us are going through this. Even if we weren't in quarantine, having two kids, a nine month old and a two year old. And you're both working, right? You don't see your whole life has changed so dramatically besides, like, the global conditions. So it's OK to also give yourselves permission and not be hard on yourself and say this has been a really rough time.


And also looking at, well, what can we do to get back to that? I don't think it's a getting back. It's creating where you guys are. Both are now in your mid thirties with two small kids because there's this notion, you know, a lot of couples like you did, but you're like, oh, well, it was so great at the beginning. I love to hear that, because that means you have something, you know that you have it, you know it's there.


And also it's going to look different in your 30s after kids, but it's more about when can we find time to connect? So your wife feels relaxed in her body because it's this is thing, this notion that sex should be spontaneous and we just in the moment turn to each other and rip each other's clothes off. Right. Doesn't really happen in the more anymore like it happened in the beginning. It's how it's planning and thinking. And when might it be available to us.


Have you talked about any of that, about your sex life?


You know, we have. So my libido. In my my drive, it really like cycles to the day I wake up in the morning and I mean, I'm just like a raging bull, I'm ready to just do anything and go go at it then, you know, right around, like the early evening to evening. So I just start to trickle off. And my wife and I, you know, she knows that about me. And, you know, in the mornings we used to be able to make time to have sex.


Now our mornings are completely different.


So, yeah, well, it's good to know that biologically we understand that about ourselves.


If it is true, you wake up your testosterone raging in the morning and that all makes sense. So what about like a late morning? So a few questions for you. Do you have any help? Do you have a family member that could come over? Do you have any nannies or babysitters in late morning? Sounds like that would be good outside of covid in quarantine.


Yes, we do. But our nanny and in our help, they travel. They have other things that they do. Sorry if I didn't mention I'm military. My wife's a nurse, so my wife's very sensitive to the whole covid atmosphere. So, you know, we're very particular about who we allow to come into the home and expose our kids to. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, and that's created kind of the you know, we haven't had a date night and so long and we haven't had time to just really connect like that.


And, you know, even I was thinking, man, if we could find a time whenever the kids, like, take a nap in the middle of the day, we can sneak off for a quickie. But even then, we were like, oh, now's our time to do a project or now's our time to catch up on sleep.


Yeah, exactly. Like do the things they like to do the laundry. So I think what I love is that you've both you both want it. So the great news here is that you both want the same thing. You want to find time for sex, you're exhausted and want to give yourself permission right now to say, OK, we're riding this out. It's been nine months. It's just it's you've been together six years. So it's this is just a moment in time when you look back on it and maybe there's a little bit that you take the pressure off and you start thinking about, you know, the vaccine's going to be here soon.


Think of how exciting it's going to be. You're like, now he's coming for an hour, or maybe your in-laws or someone comes over, you get a hotel room for a few hours, you take those date nights again. So it will come back. It will be created in this new place that you're at. I don't know if you have a lot of time for dinner at night when the kids are sleeping, but a lot of things for couples are creating a new experience, shared experience together.


So maybe you're cooking a meal together and you're making it playful. What? The kids are sleeping, but it doesn't sound like you've timed for even new activities beyond what's going on with you.


You're absolutely right. Well, we'll try. We're still playful and we joking, kid, and, you know, make some suggestive jokes or innuendo or whatever, but we haven't, I guess, let it turn back to that sexual activity that we enjoy.


Dr. Emily, you mentioned that you for a long time have been kind of a post about the idea of scheduling sex. And now you are for it.


You elaborate a little bit on that. So scheduling sex, it seems not sexy at all. The reason why it works is a few things. First off, usually the high desire partner, which would be you in the relationship right now, the low desire partner actually has the power because they're the one who's deciding when sex happens and when sex isn't going to happen. But if you guys mutually agree upon, let's say you say Saturday night, then, you know, when you try to have sex maybe on Wednesday or Thursday and you feel, oh, God, I'm being rejected, then you guys are both looking forward to Saturday night and then you know what's going to happen.


And then, you know, so much of great sex is the anticipation, you know, the desire, the looking forward to it, the knowing it's going to happen. Because this whole sponte spontaneity with two small kids at home during the pandemic, we already know it's not going to happen. Right. You know, the other thing I'm going to ask you to do is write down the three most memorable times you've had sex with her. What were the experiences, what they were, where you were, and then she does the same and then you share those lists.


And that's a way of sort of getting each other in the mood and talking about sex in a way where there's no pressure. But you then you start to think right.


And you're walking down memory lane and then all those feel good hormones start to, you know, the Tonin and the dopamine, random fun homework, read the sex back again by just even talking about it.


Yeah, I'm getting excited, just thinking about it.


Oh, I love Dr. Emilia.


How you frame sex, you take the pressure and the the chore element or whatever it is out of sex and instead sort of infuse this philosophy about relaxation and enjoyment and intimacy and fun, make it about connection and intimacy, not even just penetration. Like maybe she's a foot massage, because the other thing is we're really stressed out, especially having kids. And she just might need some sense of relief. Like if you draw a bath for her and you massage her feet, you have a glass of wine for her and then she gets.


And then she's at home. It's like washing off the day, it could be a game changer, a reset. Absolutely. Like you said, we always are excited, you know, about the spontaneity of sex where we're at now. You know, I think, you know, looking back, what really excited us and then planning that into, you know, seeing where we could fit that into our new life. I think that's a great idea.


And what do you think about the Saturday night idea? Yeah, Saturday night. I think we can definitely do that. We usually, you know, try and do something with the kids, get out and go to the beach or whatever. We live in San Diego. So it's beautiful here. Definitely Saturdays. I think that's doable.


I love it if you guys decide on Saturday night. I love the idea of you kind of bringing it up throughout the week. Little moments of, like, physical contact, you know, leading up to the big day.


Yeah, it's true. It's just to keep the intimacy going because intimacy isn't just sex. It's about. Yeah, the touching like. Exactly. I mean, I need that too. I'm very physical. I don't know if you guys know what your love languages are, but just making sure that it's not just, you know, a lot of couples are like, why aren't I ready? We even touched all week we've been busy with the kids and bam, we should be in the mood for sex.


Like why we didn't warm up the engines. We didn't you know, we even touched all week. So I love that, you know, just making sure that you are still your intimate, whatever that looks like for you both, right?


Yeah. No, I totally understand what you're saying. You know, staying physically connected, even whenever we're not having sex, I think it'll just make it that more exciting whenever we actually do.


And another thing this reminds me of, which might be important, is that a lot of times when the lower desire partner, let's just say to your wife right now, who's baby? She's got kids on her and she's like, oh, God, when he does, I'm not saying this is you, but many women think, well, when he touches me, it means he's going to have sex. So then she might push you away. And I think it's important to say I don't want anything right.


I just love the I love how you just seem to relax into my hands. When I give you a back massage for a minute, I can see the tension roll off of you. This is just about me pleasing you. You got to let him know because I've seen this dynamic happen with couples and it gets back. It's like touch without pressure.


Yeah. And, you know, it'll be interesting to see where it goes because I'm kind of a complaint that my wife used to have whenever I would initiate sex is I was pretty out of caveman about it. Like literally I would just get an erection and then kind of, you know, grab her and just be like, hey, it's out. Yeah.


You know. Yeah. And how did she respond to that?


Yeah, she she would laugh initially, but then it just became she started to take it that that wasn't affectionate enough. That was just like I have an erection, let's have sex, you know. Right. I wanted a little bit more wooing.


It's like the demand of a child a bit too. It's like, hey, hey, hey, hey, give me this. I need it. Look at me. You know what I mean? She already has two of those things happening to her.


You're another man tugging at me, so I get to see more of them myself. But this is also education. So this is kind of circles back to where we were earlier about people who have vulvas, let's say their most pleasure is not going to come from your penis. Only 30 percent of women actually have an orgasm through penetration. Wow. Five percent. Thirty 70 percent are going to have it to your mouth. So your hands through you whispering things in her ear, kissing her neck like it's that playful.


So think of it this way. When you're turned on, you have an erection. You're like you are frying pan. You're like ready to go. Women are slow cookers. She needs to be warmed up. You know, she wants a slow massage on her shoulders. She wants you to kiss her. She wants you to, you know, maybe touch her over her blouse and and just tell her how hot she is. I mean, or whatever her love.


Let me. I love it. Tell me I'm hot all day like that.


Oh, yeah. Going truly. Ryan, that goes. Oh yeah. We're the same with that. It's like you me body just paying attention more. But I love that you even called yourself a caveman because that's what it is. And now you know, that didn't really work. Before I get curious. Well what might work now? What might my wife what would might really get her in the mood now? What does she need? What they ask her?


Because then you and the other thing, when I said about right down the three most times you have sex, there's some good sexual DNA in there, because if it's like that one time, you know, that we were almost home, gave an example. I pulled the site. You pull to the side of the road and we had sex in the car. Well, then we know maybe she's a bit of a voyeur. You know, she likes someone maybe watching.


She liked the spontaneity. She liked that it was unknown, you know, just she liked that you grabbed her at that time. Or even if it's just you draw a bath one time before the sex that we know she needs that relaxing because the thing is, the biggest number one killer of our sex drive is anxiety. So that's why what we're giving you here is all these tips of like how do we get her on the space, calm her, and then you still get your needs met.


And it all works out like you'll get your, you know, caveman time. But she just needs to be brought to the party first, right?


No, I love. I'm totally going to take that on board and just kind of, you know, ease her into it instead of just throwing it in her face.


You know, I just think it's so wonderful to hear from a man's perspective and how caring you are about your family and your wife.


And I imagine really good things when you guys have some time. And Ryan, don't forget, I cannot stress enough.


At least it so works for me. But like your ass, like, it's just gorgeous, baby, you know, like those little moments really build up to something wonderful for you, Ryan.


Be specific in your complements.


And so what you can't tell me like and not like the very specific things, but also making you feel that, you know, appreciated, you know, for sometimes people don't feel appreciated. You know, I don't know. You'll find out, you know, what she might need. And I think these conversations will reveal more to be revealed.


No, you know, as you guys talk about that, I know what she responds to. And, you know, I just need to put it into action and just make it more routine and let it lead into getting excited and getting on the couch and having some fun.


Dr. Emily, in terms of like physicians and orgasming with, like, a man, please, and a woman, OK, what are some of your go tos that you would tell a man to get a woman off?


So you mean for penetrative sex when the penis is in the air? Just any position, any. I mean, honestly, I wish I could answer that easily because every woman is different. So I would say, though, if you like, had you, like, just choose, it's going to be one where you can have direct clitoral stimulation, meaning, you know, the reason why penetration doesn't work so much for women, just direct penetration, is because our clitoris is external.


It's not getting stimulated first. So I would say, honestly, many women, it's women on top because they like that position because they can control the depth and the speed and penetration and you can kind of grind your clitoris against them. And then maybe he could even use his hands and stimulate you in that way. But then there's some women, not a majority minority, who their clitoris is way too sensitive. And for them, those 30 percent, they just like penetration and it's all anatomy.


It's all like how we were born and how there's all these studies about it. So I would say there isn't like one that works for everybody. I wish that would be so easy, but if I had to pick its woman on top, because women can move how they need to, which they've learned hopefully through masturbation and you've already given yourself orgasms. And then you know that this position and this kind of touch feels good with a partner.


I love being on top and I love it when my partner grabs my hips and moves you. Yes. Yes, it moves me. Mm hmm.


I love that. And Lube. I'm a huge fan of lube. I mentioned all the time that it is lube is an additive to every relationship. Sex, no matter what you're doing. It actually there's there's studies that show it's not our wetness level is not going to it's an indicator of arousal per say. And sometimes we're wet and not turned on or turned on, not wet. So a lube when you add a lubricant. There was a study that said that 80 percent of women were more likely to have pleasure and orgasm during any sex act.


When you add lube because the clitoris isn't going to lubricate itself, we don't always date. So I would recommend a position where you're using some lube and you are in control of how you need to move.


We do a lot of also I mean, we I guess we use the natural stuff, you know, saliva.


Mm hmm. So, you know, I mean, that usually works, right? Yeah. OK, cool. During the penetrative sex, sometimes we just need to add a little more, but see how it goes. It just kind of helps it study because, you know, because I mean you could get dry like your weg and then it gets dry again and you're like, oh, it kind of hurts. But if you just keep it lubricated like a silicone lube last a lot longer.


And also if she's, you know, breastfeeding still or hormones are changing, I'm sure that, you know, they've been in flux might be helpful.


So, Ryan, your assignment is to schedule really hot sex. Got yes.


I'm pulling up the calendar right now, and my wife and I, we're going to work that out.


I'm so excited for you, Ryan, and I truly can't thank you enough for talking with us because I know a lot of listeners are going to really respond to this, I think. And and I'm really grateful that you talked with us. So thank you so much.


Good. Yeah. I love listening to your show. It's always interesting to hear the woman's perspective. I don't remember a time that I heard a man call in, but, you know, here I am. So we're excited, right?


We were really excited. Talk to you. Thank you for being vulnerable and real.


I really appreciate your having me on the show and honor and Emily. Yeah, you guys are great. Thank you so much.


Hey, thanks, Ryan. Thanks, Ryan. All right. Bye. OK, bye. Dr. Emily. I cannot thank you enough. Oh, thank you for having me. Any time. So blessed by Dr. Emily. So loved being here. Thank you.