Asking For A Friend

CATRIONA BOFFARD  |  Podcast , ±47 min episodes every 1 week, 3 days  | 
Ever had a question you felt too embarrassed to ask, and instead asked that question “for a friend”?

Hosted by Clinical Sexologist and Psychotherapist Catriona Boffard, Asking for a Friend brings you fascinating and interesting conversations about sex, intimacy, relationships, and mental and physical health. In each episode, Catriona will bring you evidence-based information and real-world advice on topics that are not often discussed but that we really need to normalise and talk more about. She’s joined by special guests who are all experts in their fields or have lived experiences of these topics. Follow Catriona on Instagram at @sexologywithcatriona

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Season three finale Q&A - S3E12

How on earth did that happen? Season 3 of Asking for a Friend is done and dusted!
I’ve had the privilege of speaking to yet another 11 amazing people, who’ve spoken to me about everything from sex and stress, to mindfulness, period poverty and how to have extraordinary sex. I’ve learnt a fortune from my guests this season and I hope you have too.

As always, I end the season with a Q&A of some question you’ve sent to me over the past few months. Today’s episode addresses the following:
1) What impact do contraceptions have on libido? Are they linked to anxiety?
2) What is the difference between intimacy and sex? Isn’t sex enough when it comes to intimacy?
3) How do we recreate closeness since we are always together since the pandemic began?
3) I feel very unconfident in bed after coming out of a 4 year relationship (he’s the only guy I’ve slept with) and I constantly worry about how someone else will find me in bed. Help!

I’ll be back in early 2022 with a brand new season and more incredible guests, speaking to topics we need to talk more openly and easily about.

Extraordinary sex, with Prof Peggy Kleinplatz, S3E11

Sadly, I think most people think that great sex equate to sex X times a week or when sex is novel and varied (perhaps by using multiple toys or positions)… but this could not be further from the truth. And don’t we all want to have extraordinary sex? Obviously yes!

Who better to speak to about this than the global leader on this topic, none other than the prolific Prof Peggy Kleinplatz. Peggy is a professor of Medicine and a Clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She teaches Human Sexuality at the University of Ottawa, and is their Director of Sex and Couples Therapy Training. She is also a clinical psychologist. She is considered prolific in the field of sexual health research; being a highly respected and accomplished clinician, her work on optimal sexual experiences is not only exciting but ground-breaking too.

You can read up on Peggy’s work here:

Her book, “Magnificent Sex: Lessons from Extraordinary Lovers” is a must read!

Treating sexual pain, with Dr Elna Rudolph - S3E10

If you struggle with sexual pain, a major concern when seeking treatment is if you will have another experience with another healthcare professional where you feel broken, traumatised or shamed (this is so common and upsetting that I am conducting research on it in order to help health care professionals do better). And so in this week’s episode I’m covering what SHOULD happen in a medical assessment, so that you can empower yourself when you start your journey to recovery.

In my opinion, if there’s one person globally who you would want to talk to to learn from or get treated by, it’s my guest this week. She is none-other than my friend and mentor, Dr Elna Rudolph. Elna is a South Africa sexologist and medical doctor who has been working in the field of sexual health since 2010. She founded South Africa’s leading multidisciplinary team, My Sexual Health, and the training platform, The Sexology Training Club. She is the president of the Southern African Sexual Health Association (SASHA), and has just been appointed as the new president of the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS). She is loved and hugely respected by anyone who meets her, and goes above and beyond for not only her patients and colleagues, but to advance the field of sexual health in a direction of inclusivity, sexual justice and sexual rights for all.

You can find out the practice Elna started here: sexual

If you want to improve your knowledge or skills in sexual health, sign up with the Sexology Training Club here, using my discount code BOFFARD for a discount:

Can mindfulness really improve your sex life, with Dr Lori Brotto - S3E9

It’s been scientifically proven that consistent mindfulness practice can actually improve your sex life (and most other areas of your life as well) – isn’t that just amazing! But the issue is that most people don’t really have a clear understanding of what mindfulness is, often get frustrated with the practice and tell themselves that they “aren’t good at it” or they “don’t have time.”

To explain to you just how powerful this practice can be, I chatted to Dr Lori Brotto, a clinical psychologist, author and researcher in Canada, who is considered the world’s leading expert on the subject. Lori and I take a deep dive into just how useful mindfulness can be for your sexual experience. Mindfulness, the act of paying attention to the present moment, moment-by-moment, without judgement is not supposed to be easy. It can help us manage our emotions and improve our ability to connect with our bodies. We also delve into the difference between compassion and complacency – a concern so many people express when I talk about using mindfulness to change one’s relationship with sex.

Dr Brotto practices in British Columbia, Canada and is a faculty member of the University of British Columbia. Her best selling book, “Better sex through mindfulness” is in my top 10 books I’ve ever read!

Attachment styles, with Dr Stan Tatkin - S3E8

I call myself an attachment theory nerd all the time. I love this psychological theory and how it clearly helps us make sense of adult romantic relationships.

Attachment theory relates to the type of attachments we have to our primary care givers growing up (usually our parents), which can predict what sort of relationship dynamics we might be experience as adults. The more insecure we are as children, the more we struggle as adults and vice versus.

Dr Stan Tatkin is a world-leading voice in couples therapy and human behaviour. He is a therapist, teacher, author, researcher and developed PACT – a psychobiological approach to couples therapy. His books are best-sellers across the world, and I often recommend them to my clients and colleagues.

Stan is on Instagram @drstantatkin
His website,, is full of useful resources for clinicians and couples.

Making sense of menopause, with Prof Trudy Smith - S3E7

It almost feels cruel that women experience a ‘Benjamin Button’ effect as we age – from adolescence when our bodies develop and hormones kick into action, to the menopause mid-life when hormonal levels decrease and impact our body. But it’s not supposed to be the ‘end of your womanhood’ or your sex life, as I discuss with my guest this week.

Prof Trudy Smith is one of the most highly regarded physicians in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology; both locally and internationally. And she has does extensive work and research around the menopause – the time after a woman’s last menstrual period (usually around the age of 49-51).

Trudy and I discuss several aspects of this stage of a woman’s life, including early menopause, what to do when you are in the menopause, and why Japanese women are known to have almost no menopausal symptoms. We obviously discuss how sex is affected by the menopause, and actually, that it can be liberating sexually rather than the myth that it’s the ‘end of your sex life’.

Prof Smith consults with only gynaecology patients in Johannesburg, after recently given up obstetrics after many years.

What to expect when you're expecting, with Clare Bourne - S3E6

This is one of the topics that I get asked about the most, and in this week’s episode I spoke to Clare Bourne about how to prepare for and manage sex pre and post-partum. Clare is a London-based pelvic health physiotherapist and mum of 2. Having pregnancy and postnatal experience personally, Clare knows what a precious but also vulnerable, and sometimes lonely, experience it can be.

Our journey is not all the same, and it’s important as someone who’s giving/given birth to recognise this. There’s so much information out there and too much thinking about what we “should” be feeling. Clare and I delve into how to be ok with what’s happening to you and your body, and how to prepare for changes that inevitably take place. Talking to Clare was a breath of fresh air. She speaks to honestly and clearly about what women can really experience around their bodies, births and sex.

She’s amazing to follow on Instagram @clarebournephysio
In the episode, we mention the amazing brand Yes organics @yesorganics

Recognising relationship patterns, with Dr Amani Zarroug - S3E5

"Self-reflection is the area [in the relationship] where the most change can happen."

Ever realised that in a new relationship, you notice the same things happen from previous relationships? In this week’s episode, I’m chatting to Dr Amani Zarroug, a Clinical Psychologist and Relationship and Psychosexual Therapist. She specialises in a variety of mental health problems, and has been working in this field for the past 20 years. Amani enjoys working with individuals and couples to improve the quality of their relationships, and their sexual satisfaction.

We talk about relationship patterns and common problems that couples could face. I own up about things I realise I have done and have had to reflect on in terms of my own relationships. And Amani emphasises that owning our role in the dynamic that plays out between a couple can really make a massive difference in your relationship.

You can follow Amani and her work on Instragram here @dramanizarroug
She runs her practice in London, but also consults online.

Fighting Period Poverty, with Siv Ngesi - S3E4

140 MILLION. That’s how many school days per year are missed by South African girls because they don’t have access to menstrual products. And what’s even more shocking is that it would only cost R130/ £6.50 PER YEAR to change that for a girl.

Siv is not the person you’d expect to be behind a major national menstrual product drive (or be a nationals winning pole-dancer and drag queen). He’s ferociously fighting the injustice that girls and women experience daily across South Africa. And he doesn’t feel he’s the one who needs the credit.

There’s the word men in menstruation, and as Siv rightly points out, without menstruation, humanity wouldn’t exist. He also believes that if men bled once a month, period products would be free (and I absolutely agree).

This is a very real conversation. Siv doesn’t hold back and I’m so glad he doesn’t… but it might be triggering to listen to.

Siv is on Instagram @sivngesi, and you can find out more about his incredibly work here:
Please consider donating to the MENstration foundation:

Sexual Compulsivity, with Silva Neves - S3E3

We need to name it by the correct term - sexual compulsivity... not sex addiction.

We use the term addiction too freely – addicted to chocolate, to Netflix and so on. But if we struggle with compulsively wanting sex, we aren’t addicted to it, but rather that we compulsively need to engage in a sexual behaviour in order to soothe, decrease distressing emotions or perhaps to feel something at all.

In this episode, I chat to the wonderful Silva Neves, the brilliant psychosexual therapist and author of the recent textbook Compulsive Sexual Behaviours. Whether you are someone who has experienced this or a clinician who wants to work with these concerns, we can all learn from Silva’s no-nonsense and empathic approach to treating sexual compulsivity.

You can follow Silva on Instagram (and you should, he’s fabuslous) @silvanevespsychotherapy
He runs his practice in London, but also consults online.

Being a sex-positive parent, with Carly Rowena - S3E2

Talking to your kids about sex and ensuring it’s an ongoing, positive conversation is the one thing that almost all parents would prefer to avoid. But is it really as bad as we make it out to be? (Spoiler alert: it’s your discomfort that makes it a shameful topic for your child).
I spoke to the lovely Carly Rowena, a personal trainer, Youtuber and mother to the cutest little girl, Jax. Following Carly on Instagram, I have repeatedly sent her messages of praise for the way that she is raising her daughter – in a sex-positive, permission-filled way! She helps her daughter understand her body by using correct anatomical terms, promoting permission and not shame around gender and bodies, and allowing her daughter to grow up with a view that will without a doubt only benefit her when she is an adult. And Carly wasn’t raised by her own parents talking openly about sex. Carly also talks so honestly on her Youtube channel about sex, relationships and life… she is one influencer you actually will feel good from following!

Bravo Carly! Thanks for being a role model for womxn and other parents when it comes to the topic of sex!

Follow Carly on Youtube or on Instagram @carlyrowena

From sexual response to stress response, with Dr Emily Nagoski - S3E1

Asking for a friend is finally back, and while I know you’ve been waiting so patiently, it has been worth it I promise! I’ve been speaking to the most incredible, knowledgeable, and interesting people to bring you the best season yet.

And what a way to start - bringing you a conversation I had with one of the most impactful people in the field of sexuality. If you’ve spent any time with me, you’ll have heard me say that she’s the person to follow in the field of sexuality, that her books are an absolute must-read and, in my opinion, should be syllabus in all schools, and now having met her, I can also say she’s the coolest and just nicest person.

She is a prolific sex educator and best-selling author of two books, Come as you are and Burnout (which she co-authored with her identical twin sister). She travels all over the world, training therapists, medical professionals, college students, and the general public about the science of women’s sexual wellbeing.

In this episode, Emily and I discuss the most important aspects of sex, what you all need to know about yourself sexually, and how stress impacts our mind, bodies and sexual experience. We also get deep, discussing the impact of heteronormative, patriarchal narratives and capitalism on our sexuality. And Emily courageously opens up to me and shares about some experiences she’s had in her life that have helped her understand her body under stress.

Emily’s work is incredible. You should read it, know her and follow her!
She mentions Tricia Hersey, The Nap Bishop, and suggests you check out her amazing work @thenapministry

37 episodes

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