Don’t you love when you meet a possible collaborator and hit it off immediately? Ideas just flow – you’re speaking each other’s business language and before you know it, a great new idea is born.
Thanks to F&F Speed Networking at Hugs & Brunch, that’s how we met, and in our six minutes together recognised the similarities in our working areas. We both work with taboos – sex (Ruth, as a sex and intimacy coach) and money (Sara, as a wealth coach).
So what’s so taboo?
These are areas which it’s often a struggle for women to talk about. Both are loaded with shame, ‘shoulds’, comparison with others, lack of decent education and clear useful information, and a belief that problems are difficult to overcome. We both find that simply creating a space where it’s ok to talk about these topics is transformational.
“Once a client realises it’s totally safe to talk with me about their sexual life – that I am not going to judge or shame them, whatever they tell me – the floodgates open,” Ruth says. “There is such a great sense of relief simply to be able to talk openly about something usually so taboo. It’s very healing.”
Sara says, “There is a lot of emotion bound up in our beliefs about money; being able to speak them out is freeing. This alongside getting a handle on the practicalities of their money, where they are right now, what’s available and most importantly what they want.”
And that’s when the idea came to us
When we met for an online cuppa to discuss possible collaboration, we found we shared other areas of our life where talking openly can feel taboo. For example, we are both part of blended families, where we’ve experienced moments of struggle, we felt we couldn’t openly share. We could see many other areas of life where taboos can hold entrepreneurs back – menstruation, menopause, mental health, family dynamics, kids/no kids, the list is quite literally endless. The idea for a series of Instagram Lives exploring this, perhaps leading to an online event in future, was born.
“We intend to support the removal of shame surrounding taboos,” says Sara, “kicking off with the subjects of money and sex. We know from experience that shame gets in the way of people reaching out for help in our areas of expertise. We would love to hear how these and other taboos impact you and the people you support.”
Ruth adds, “One of the things we love about the Found & Flourish space is how safe it feels to be a bit vulnerable. We’re hoping you’ll share with us what some of the taboos are which impact you, so we can make sure we cover ones that will lead to the most positive transformation.”
Do you work in an area which is typically a source of shame for women? Would you like to be part of our Live series this autumn? Or are you willing to share the areas of life around which you feel you are held back by shame? We’d love you to fill in our short Google Form (link at bottom of article) to help us shape the series of Lives and future events.
Feeling shy or ashamed by your situations? Here’s some advice from the experts
As starting points in our own respective areas, for people feeling shy or ashamed of their situation, our advice is strikingly similar. “The first thing I advise people is to try to lose the self-judgement – don’t think negatively of yourself for your shyness,” says Ruth. “It may seem everyone else is having a wild uninhibited time, swinging their knickers round their head, but I can assure you, they’re not. And the conditioning most of us received that has led to our shame and silence is not our fault.”
It can be helpful to begin to normalise discussion around sex by listening to podcasts – Ruth recommends ‘Sex With Dr Jess’ and ‘Sexology Podcast with Dr Nazanin Moali’ (on all major podcast platforms). “When discussion around sex starts to feel less taboo, ask yourself what you would have to gain by taking steps to improve your intimate life? What excites you about the potential impact on your life overall?”
Sara says, “The very first thing I talk about with clients is the value of a safe space being created for them to be open. This is an important first step, alongside dropping the judgement, when talking about money. The next might be simply sharing your feelings about money with yourself, writing them down daily.”
There are many benefits to this practice and Sara can provide a list of suggested questions, which include ‘When I think about money, I…?’ and ‘A behaviour I’d like to change around money is…?’. “This allows you to reflect on common themes and notice how your money mindset and practical relationship with money changes over time,” she explains. “Once you’ve shared these thoughts on paper, you’ll be a little clearer about how you feel and you’re one step closer to sharing them with another person – maybe a professional or charity.”
The most important thing is for us all to get talking about these subjects – to rip off the plaster. The first time of facing up to something which feels taboo or full of shame is the hardest. It gets easier once faced and shared.
We’d love you to join us on IG on Tuesday 13th July at 1pm to hear more about our plans and start the discussion.
Thank you Lara, F&F Hugs and Brunch for bringing us together.
Fill in our short Google Form here!
About your author
Ruth is a sex and intimacy coach and empowering striptease teacher. She spent a decade as a stripper and sex-positive campaigner – appearing on platforms as diverse as BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, The Erotic Review, The Times newspaper, and Love It! Magazine. In 2012 she won a prestigious Erotic Award for her work around the erotic rights of people with disabilities. Now she combines her vast lived experience with a transformational coaching diploma, supporting her coaching clients in revolutionising their sexual lives and beyond.
She is also a happy wife and stepmum. When she’s not working you’ll find her at a nightclub, festival or beach club – anywhere with music, movement and good vibes. Her life’s purpose is the recognition of erotic energy as a force for good.
You can find out more about Ruth and her business here.
Sara Jane Maxwell
About your author
Sara Jane Maxwell, Certified Financial Coach and Founder of Wealth Coach. Empowering individuals, couples, groups and businesses to find the joy in connecting to their money and future. Drawing on 20+ years experience in the Financial services industry, to engage and transform the relationship with money. Passionate to inject colour and energy into the grey of finances.
You can find out more about Sara and her business here.
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