Asking For A Friend

CATRIONA BOFFARD  |  Podcast , ±45 min episodes every 1 week, 1 day  | 
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 @therapywithcatriona

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Navigating sex after a spinal cord injury with Dr Stanley Ducharme - S2E4

Two topics you rarely think of in the same sentence are spinal cord injury and sex… and that’s exactly why I wanted to have the conversation today with my guest, Stanley Ducharme.

Stanley Ducharme, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in the areas of sexual dysfunction, gender, physical disability, addictions, relationship issues and concerns of daily living. With over 25 years of clinical experience, Dr. Ducharme has worked with a wide variety of problems and has gained national and international recognition for the scope and quality of his work.

Often a forgotten part of human identity following a spinal cord injury, we explore why you should focus on relearning sex and pleasure early on, how one’s relationship can be impacted, and why a disability does not mean the end of your sex life!

You can learn more about the incredible work Stanley does via his website:

Men's sexual health in the medical space with Dr Anthony Smith - S2E3

Why is it that we don’t speak to our doctors more about sexual health? And why is opening up about this part of us even more challenging for men than it is for women?

Dr Anthony Smith has been practicing family medicine for over 20 years, but has specialised in human sexuality and is a fellow of the European Society of Sexual Medicine. He is the current president of the Southern African Sexual Health Association (SASHA) (who run amazing free monthly webinars by the way), and he lectures at the University of Cape Town in human sexuality. Like me, he is also committed to educating fellow clinicians in South Africa in sexual health. 

In this episode Anthony and I delve into his experiences of treating patients sexual health, and in particular the experience that men have with their sexuality. Our conversation takes us from how COVID has impacted people seeking out help for sexual health concerns, to how pleasure is most often excluded from the patient-doctor interaction. He explores with me the expectations of young men around their sexual health issues, and what the difference is between younger and older men sexually. We have a lot of work to do to break down the shame associated with taking care of our sexual health, and this episode with Anthony is more evidence as to why we need that to happen, especially for men.

You can find out more about Anthony’s work here:

Modern concepts of love, sex & pleasure with Dr Sara Nasserzadeh - S2E2

What kind of love do you have for one another as partners? And what are you expectations of love and of your partner?

Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh is a social psychologist and global thought leader in the fields of couples counselling, cross-cultural fluency, diversity and inclusion. She has numerous awards and accolades, is a respected author of both academic and general books and papers, and is a trusted expert for global media, including for the BBC, CNN and . She’s also someone I look up to and respect hugely in our field. She has extensive experience researching and working with couples to overcome challenges in love and sex that they bring to her therapy room.

Sara and I delve into the vast topic of love; exploring the varying types of love we experience, and how we make sense of it now in the 21st century. I asked Sara what exactly makes for a happy, healthy and sustainable relationship between romantic partners. We explore the differences between sexual chemistry and sexual harmony, and how sexual attraction and love are not enough for a relationship to thrive. And finally, we discussed sex and pleasure, and the complex nature of these experiences individually and culturally.

You can find Sara’s work on website:

Instagram: @dr.saranasserzadeh

Podcast: The Little Black Fish

This episode is sponsored by Desir, South Africa’s leading sexual health and wellness store. Desir believes that sexual health is not just about the latest sex toy, but also about using great products to improve one’s overall sexual health and wellbeing. For 15% off, use the code FORAFRIEND at checkout (minimum spend R500:

Psychedelics with Tobias Penno - S2E1

Welcome back to Asking for a friend, and to season 2 of the podcast.

This week’s guest is Tobias Penno, an Emotional Health Practitioner & Social Worker from Australia. After years of professionally managing extreme child, family and relationship stress, Tobias has found his passion in healing Emotional Pain & Trauma through the body. He is a researcher at the University of Western Australia, with an award-winning dissertation titled How Ayahuasca Offers Psychosocial Wellbeing and is currently working on a PhD researching the links between attachment trauma, the body, and best-practice in psychedelic integration therapy.

In this episode, we delve into the misconceptions of psychedelics, how Tobias uses preparation and integration therapy alongside psychedelics to assist clients struggling with common mental health difficulties, and how psychedelics could be used to improve our experience of sex and why.

You can learn more about Tobias and his work here:
Facebook: Emotional Health Care

Note: I do not condone the use of any substances recreationally, and this episode is not about encouraging substance misuse. This is about science and developing research in treating mental health difficulties.

This episode is sponsored by Desir, South Africa’s leading sexual health and wellness store. Desir believes that sexual health is not just about the latest sex toy, but also about using great products to improve one’s overall sexual health and wellbeing. For 15% off, use the code FORAFRIEND at checkout (minimum spend R500:

Q & A - S1E12

I can’t believe we’re at the end of season 1 and the final episode. I want to end each season with a Q&A episode. So there’s no guest today; just me answering some questions you sent in to me or asked me in person after bumping into each other (masked and socially distanced of course).

This season has seen me talk to leading experts about everything from sexual pleasure to perinatal mental health issues. From erections to sexual pain. I’ve spoken to incredible experts and I’m eternally grateful for their time and knowledge that they have so generously shared with me and you, my listeners.
In this episode, these are the questions I address. I hope that you find one or some of them interesting. And who knows, maybe there’s something you would have ‘asked for a friend?’

1. Does my lack of sexual experience matter to men? Do they care? Is it weird?
2. Why I find it hard to “get in tune” sometimes?
3. Eating disorders and the impact/ link with sex?
3. Why do some people like hurting the other during sex? Isn’t that abusive/ psychological reasons?
4. Is it normal that I’ve never had a vaginal orgasm but my gf has them all the time?
5. Whether sex with a larger woman is as pleasurable to men?
6. What impact do antidepressants have on me sexually?

If you’d like to ask something for a friend, get in touch with me!

HPV: what we all need to know with Dr Mpume Zenda - S1E11

Every year, I get a reminder to have my pap smear. But do you know why you need to do this? And did you know that having your pap smear is only testing for a few strains of the sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus (HPV)? This week’s episode delves into this topic with the wonderful and brilliant gynaecologist Dr Mpume Zenda. Dr Mpume is a passionate OB-Gynae-Sexologist, practicing in Johannesburg. She has a social media presence and is passionate about providing solutions to Sexual and Reproductive Health & Wellness through connecting Media and Medicine.

We bust myths, tell you what you really need to know, break down what HPV is and talk a little about how we wish things would change in order to eradicate cervical cancer. We speak a lot to the experiences of womxn, but this episode is for everyone!

You can find Dr Mpume on Instagram @dr.gynae. She sees patients in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Perinatal mental health with Tamlyn Anderson - S1E10

Catriona and her guest, clinical psychologist Tamlyn Anderson, talk about perinatal mental health and the uncomfortable truths about motherhood that often aren’t spoken about. This episode focuses on the impact on a woman’s mind and body during labour and the 4th trimester, how one’s partner is affected, and what we can do as women to really take care of ourselves during this major life transition. You can follow Tamlyn on Instagram @tamlyn_anderson

Unwanted sexual thoughts with Aoife Drury - S1E9

Ever wondered if you’re the only one who gets those unwanted, strange thoughts that come into your head unexpectedly… You know the one’s I’m talking about. Crashing your car? Imagining everyone naked? What about something as upsetting as having sexual thoughts about to children? In this weeks episode, psychosexual and relationship therapist Aoife Drury and I delve into a topic that is definitely not spoken about enough. We explore how these thoughts are always unwanted and cause someone immense distress, and what the difference is between the random intrusive thoughts we all get everyday, and the immense distress that thoughts like this can cause and what behaviour they can result in.

Aoife is a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist and is currently carrying out a Doctorate in Psychotherapy. With a BSc and Msc in psychiatry Aoife has always had an interest in intrusive thoughts, with a particular focus on the shame associated with sexual ones. Aoife runs her practice online seeing both couples and individuals. You can find her amazing work on Instagram at @drurytherapy.

Expanding male sexuality with Cam Fraser - S1E8

“Get it up, get it in, and get if off”… sound like the usual narrative that exists around male sexuality? This week I chat to sex coach and sexologist Cam Fraser, about how men can learn to deepen their understanding of their own sexuality that goes far beyond the beliefs that pop culture, porn and society have us believe. He speaks about his own journey into becoming a sexologist, being a man in a female-dominated field, and how he helps men to work on shifting to an alternative view of their sexuality.
Cam is on Instagram @thecamfraser, and he has his own fantastic podcast: Men, sex & pleasure with Cam Fraser

Sex Workers with Dr Jenny Coetzee - S1E7

*A warning on this episode – some of the things that Jenny speaks about could be triggering. A warning for sensitive listeners.

This is a topic that most of us (including myself) know little about, and yet when I interviewed Dr Jenny Coetzee – a highly experienced public health researcher – I knew I wanted to share what I’d learnt. Despite sex work apparently being the world’s oldest profession, most people hold particular opinions about sex workers, and don’t have a enough understanding of what it’s really like and what sex workers in low income areas might experience and be exposed to. Jenny shares the human side of sex work with me, and her fascinating findings of the research she’s done in South Africa. This is a real and honest conversation, and Jenny doesn’t sugar coat things about the experiences these female sex workers go through.

You can find out more about the Africa Potential Foundation here:

The Future of Sex Tech with Bryony Cole - S1E6

Sex and tech… what on earth is that all about you might be wondering? On today’s episode, I dive into this fascinating topic with sex futurist and entrepreneur Bryony Cole, to find out how technology can be used to improve our sexual experience, report sexual assault, help us overcome sexual difficulties and even teach us how to sextet. We delve into the fear of technology taking over, how it cannot replace human connection, and how we can use tech to enhance our sexual experience.

You can find Byrony on Instagram @futureofsex, and her podcast is Future of Sex.

Breast cancer & sexuality with Prof Elna McIntosh - S1E5

October is breast cancer, so Catriona discusses a topic we rarely speak about in relation to this – sexuality. Prof Elna McIntosh, a clinical sexologist and a woman who has beaten breast cancer twice, speaks about everything from nipple tattoos and body image to self-pleasure and the need for early detection. Catriona and Elna also discuss using and accessing other resources to bring the experience of pleasure back into one’s life.

You can reach out to Prof McIntosh via her Instagram page @disa_clinic

Desir, South Africa’s leading sexual health and wellness brand, is on Instagram @desir_official, and Dipsea, where you can listen to wonderful audio erotica, is @dipseastories and through your app store.

17 episodes

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