Susie Kim's Guide to Intimacy and Period Positivity

INTIMACY COACH SUSIE KIM

Meet Susie Kim, someone used to getting up close and personal. Susie swapped her life as a criminal prosecutor for a more heartwarming gig: Relationship and Intimacy Coach. Now, she’s breaking down the barriers and showing us how to keep things hot, even when life gets busy.

 

Name: Susie Kim

Pronouns: She/Her

Day job: Relationship & Intimacy Coach, Therapist

My period in 3-words: Deep, intuitive, easeful

Flow: Medium flow, 28-day cycle, 4.5 days

Location: Woollahra, Sydney

 

Tell us about your career…

I grew up feeling disconnected from my family, so I was always trying to understand how relationships worked. When I was 10, I remember showing my parents a parenting article and pointing out all the ways they weren’t doing it right!

I struggled in relationships for years but read and studied everything about it, did therapy, and worked on myself until eventually, I earned a secure attachment in my mid to late 20s.

By that time, I was working as a criminal prosecutor. I’d always wanted to work in a helping profession like therapy but didn’t know how to jump. Then I went through my Saturn return at 29. It all hit, and I broke up from a ‘lovely but not quite it’ relationship, quit my career in law, and jumped ship into what I had always wanted to do.

 

What’s the most common misconception about intimacy?

Often, people don’t realise that a lack of physical intimacy in a relationship is due to a lack of emotional intimacy. When couples are having trouble with physical intimacy, I always want to know what topics they’re avoiding and in what ways they’re not ‘getting’ each other.

The other one is about spontaneous and responsive desire. People often glamorise that hot and heavy ‘spontaneous’ experience of desire, but in long-term relationships, that desire often needs to be leaned into and cultivated because it’s responsive. It’s still hot, though!

 

Best strategies to keep the spark alive?

Stay emotionally connected and make space for non-sexual intimacy. This means trying to stay current with what’s happening in each other's world, being invested in how your partner is feeling, and showing that you care regularly.

Also, exploring non-sexual touch or sensual touch that DOESN’T lead to sex. For example, this could be passing by in the hallway and affectionately pulling your partner in for a slow kiss, kissing your partner’s neck when you say goodbye, cuddling but not taking it any further. Injecting your relationship with micro-moments of intimacy keeps the fire warm!

 

What are some tips for navigating sexual desires?

In our culture, we’re shamed for so many things from a young age that part of owning what you want can bring with it a feeling of insecurity. Lean in, know it’s part of the process, and slowly, gently keep asking for and exploring what you want.

This could look like saying to your partner or lover, “Hey, I realised I have this fantasy which I feel a little shy to share, but it does turn me on. Are you open to hearing it?” And going from there. That vulnerability brings with it electricity, too. Gently lean into it.

 

What are ways to maintain intimacy during the menstrual cycle?

Some womxn feel particularly amorous on their period due to the change in hormones. It can be as easy as laying down a towel, and away you go!

If this isn’t for you but you still feel like engaging in some gentle tantric breathwork can help you connect to your own sensual energy. Gentle breast play and fellatio are always popular too! The emphasis is on gentle and slow, as womxn often feel more sensitive and slower when bleeding.

 

What advice do you have for feeling sexually confident during a period?

I’d say get more connected with your menstrual cycle, starting with tracking and getting familiar with the seasons of your cycle. One of the most helpful counterpoints to body insecurity is embodiment and connection. Once you really connect with and honour the different phases of your bleed, it becomes less about how you look and more about how connected you are when you bleed.

 

How do we foster a more open environment around menstrual health?

I think it’s helpful to make it a normal part of the conversation, starting with friends and family. A lot of people think talking about your period is TMI, but is it really? It’s just a normal part of life, and the more we can say matter-of-factly, “Oh, I’m not coming to that cos I’m due to bleed and need to rest,” the more normalised it becomes.

It’s ridiculous that we don’t talk more about how to care for ourselves and how to navigate the different phases of our menstrual cycle, especially when so many womxn suffer from terrible symptoms on their periods!

 

What does period wellness mean to you?

It means tuning into how my cycle impacts my energy and mood levels and going with it instead of resisting or ignoring it. For example, I know that day 24 is when I’m most likely to experience emotional sensitivity, self-doubt, fights with my partner, etc., so I try to be extra gentle and spacious with myself on that day.

Also, as I’m due to bleed, I feel all my energy start to descend, and I get slower and less analytical but a lot more intuitive and internally connected. So, I go with that, do grounding activities, and move slower without forcing myself to perk up.

 

Are you in tune with your menstrual cycle?

Yes, I’ve been tracking my cycle for at least 5 years. I always plan major events around my cycle. For example, I chose my wedding date to be in the follicular. And I’ll often avoid scheduling social events like big parties or festivals when I’ll be bleeding, as I probably won’t feel like being social.

 

Why do you think periods are STILL such a taboo topic?

Honestly, I think it’s just a hangover from patriarchal views of menstruation being dirty. It’s only been recent years when period product ads even showed red blood on undies!

 

Fast Five!

  1. Most used emojis: ❤️‍🔥🫠🥰🥹🔥
  2. Bad habit: Reading my phone in bed!
  3. Self-pleasure or be pleasured: Be pleasured!
  4. Podcast recommendation: Wild by Sarah Wilson
  5. Book every wxman should read: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

 

Finally, your cycle, summarised:

  • Period self-care means: Moving slower, letting myself rest, and dropping into womb practices (the most intuitive time).
  • Period toolkit: Period panties (Scarlet High Waisted), Epsom salt bath or infrared sauna, nourishing drinks
  • Best period hacks: Tracking your cycle (including mood and energy), acupuncture if you have bad symptoms and seed cycling.
  • Contraception of choice: Fertility awareness method and using condoms in the lead-up to ovulation. I haven’t used oral contraceptives since I was 21.
  • On day 1, you can find me: Wearing the comfiest clothes & sipping hot tea. I also have the most profound client sessions when I’m bleeding.