Dr. Laura Berman Webcast Transcript
Oprah: I don't know if I would be going to a religious leader to discuss that or not.
Dr. Berman: You'd be surprised.
Oprah: I don't think I'd be doing that.
Dr. Berman: I can say for five years I used to go every week, it was fascinating, to an orthodox—seriously orthodox rabbi's house because—and have a consult with him because he had a whole congregation—
Oprah: It depends—you know what you're suggesting then, it depends on who your religious leader is.
Dr. Berman: Right.
Oprah: I've met a lot of rabbis who are pretty liberal in their thinking.
Dr. Berman: Right.
Oprah: I don't know if you're living in Alabama and you're going to a Southern Baptist preacher.
Dr. Berman: Well, I don't know. It's something to think about. It's something to think about.
Oprah: Not to indict Southern Baptist preachers.
Dr. Berman: Maybe it's not your religious—maybe it's not your pastor but it's someone—a friend who shares your religious values.
Oprah: But is this a question for your pastor, whether or not you should stimulate yourself? Is that a question for your pastor?
Dr. Berman: Some people if they're really caught up in it being a sin—
Dr. Berman: —then it sometimes takes—
Oprah: But it's your body.
Dr. Berman: I agree. I mean, listen, I think it's—
Oprah: It's your body.
Dr. Berman: It's your body, it's healthy, it's good, it's loving yourself. There's nothing wrong. I've read and talked to all different schools of religion about this because I face it every day.
Oprah: Would you give yourself a foot massage?
Dr. Berman: Right. Yeah.
Dr. Berman: Or an elbow massage.
Oprah: Because reflexology is really good. Marsha, thank you.
Marsha: I have talked to my pastor about it.
Oprah: And what did he say?
Marsha: He said that it is a spiritual act.
Marsha: So he wouldn't recommend that I have casual sex right now.
Dr. Berman: Right. Well, we're not talking about casual sex.
Oprah: We're not talking about casual sex.
Dr. Berman: We're talking about self-stimulation.
Dr. Berman: About stimulating yourself and in some ways it can be a meditative practice that is a spiritual act. It's just not a spiritual act. You're waiting to share that spiritual act because that's your value with someone that you love and that you're committed to. And in the meantime, you're keeping the plumbing working and keeping connected to your body.
Marsha: Well, I have considered asking him that question, but I'm just too embarrassed.
Oprah: I think that's a hard question to go to your pastor and ask.
Dr. Berman: It is.
Oprah: I really would, just like we were talking on the show during a commercial break today, The Oprah Show, about how it's easier to say the word "uterus" than it is to say the word "vagina," it's easier to say, "I massage my foot" than "massage my vulva."
Dr. Berman: That's right.
Oprah: But it's all your body. So what's the difference?
Dr. Berman: It's all your body.
Oprah: So what's the difference when I massage my breasts, then I massage my elbow.
Dr. Berman: I have women who won't give themselves breast exams because they feel like that might be too close to self-stimulation.
Oprah: Oh, boy.
Dr. Berman: So it's an important question, and maybe if there's some religious leaders watching this, call in. Let us know what you think because—
Oprah: Thank you, Marsha.
Marsha: Oprah, I want to thank you for being an inspiration to me since I was 10 years old and I'm so thankful for this moment.
Oprah: And how old are you now?
Marsha: I'm 33.
Oprah: Wow. So you've grown up watching The Oprah Show.
Marsha: Yes, I have.
Oprah: Thank you.
Marsha: This is a dream come true for me.
Oprah: Thank you, Marsha, from Toronto. Thank you.
Marsha: Okay, thank you.
Oprah: All the best to you. So Alice from Chicago is on the phone. Alice, what's your question?
Alice: Hi, I was calling to ask if you're supposed to use your Kegel muscles to—if you should squeeze—squeeze them during intercourse to achieve a vaginal orgasm because I don't know how to get a vaginal orgasm and I've never understood why women are supposed to exercise your Kegel muscles.
Dr. Berman: And where's Dean? Dean, will you bring the Kegel exercisers here? Let's talk about Kegel exercisers.
Oprah: Hello, Dean.
Dean: Hello, ladies.
Oprah: Hello, Dean.
Dr. Berman: Hi.
Oprah: Our Kegel instruments.
Dr. Berman: Yeah. I brought some Kegel exercisers. These are two from my line but—but other lines make them as well. This is called the Isis and this is called the Juno. This is a beginning—
Oprah: Well, since you're here you might as well promote your line. What's your line?
Dr. Berman: It's called the Berman Center Intimate Accessories.
Oprah: Which you can get on Amazon.com.
Dr. Berman: Amazon.com. Drugstore.com.
Oprah: Along with Edgar Sawtelle. Our book for the book club. You can get yourself a Kegel exerciser and you can also get yourself—(Laughter. )
Dr. Berman: So this—so first of all, Alice, to answer your question, Kegels are very important not only for avoiding incontinence—
Oprah: Explain it for everybody who doesn't know what it is.
Dr. Berman: Okay. The Kegel muscles are the muscles that surround the—you know, basically they run in a figure eight around your vagina and anus, and they're the muscles that you use—
Oprah: That's another word. Hard word.
Dr. Berman: Anus?
Dr. Berman: And they—they are the muscles that you use to stop the flow of urine. That's how you identify them.
Oprah: That's right. When you—yeah.
Dr. Berman: When you stop.
Oprah: When you're in traffic and you've got to go really bad and you're squeezing it, you're squeezing the Kegel.