Two Open Doors

Claude Cruz

Two Open Doors is dedicated to exploring the many sides of deep personal relationship. We explore how relationship works; the range of relationship, from everyday to intimate; how we can understand and grow our personal capacity for relationship; how to identify and deal with relationship blockers; and how to make deep human connection a central part of your own life. Host Dr. Claude shares his insights, and invites guest presenters and listeners to contribute their perspectives. Please join us!

New weekly episodes are usually published on Sundays. You may also want to check out the companion private Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/645271539750218 (for posts and discussion), and the Two Open Doors Meet-Up group at https://www.meetup.com/two-open-doors/ (for event announcements).  Dr. Claude welcomes your questions, comments, requests and suggestions, at claude@twoopendoors.com.

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture
Health & FitnessHealth & Fitness
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RelationshipsRelationships
SexualitySexuality
Self-ImprovementSelf-Improvement

Episodes

Episode 4-15:  Polyamory and PINO
5d ago
Episode 4-15: Polyamory and PINO
Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy that is slowly making its way into our societal mainstream.  (As we’ve noted in previous episodes, monogamy or serial monogamy comprise the vast majority of socially-sanctioned long-term committed relationships in our society--- but perhaps 5% of adult intimate relationships in the US are polyamorous.)As someone with years of immersion in the polyamorous community, I’ve noted a number of relationships that their participants label as polyamorous, but which  seem to lack one or more of the fundamental traits of polyamory.  To coin a new term, I think of those as examples of PINO: Polyamory In Name Only.  In this episode, we’ll explore why that may be an apt label in at least some of these cases.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-14:  Open Relationships, Swinging, and Polyamory
Jun 9 2024
Episode 4-14: Open Relationships, Swinging, and Polyamory
Lifestyles that fall outside our society’s mainstream often come with associated terminology that is unfamiliar and potentially confusing to many.  While labels can be misleading or artificially confining, they can also clarify important concepts.In this episode, we’ll explore three terms that describe non-traditional relationships: open relationships, swinging, and polyamory.  We’ll see how these are related, and how they each describe potentially rewarding alternatives to mainstream monogamous relationships.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-13: First, Do No Harm
Jun 2 2024
Episode 4-13: First, Do No Harm
One of the guiding principles for physicians is captured in Hippocrates’ admonition to “first, do no harm” in the process of trying to help a patient.  The Hippocratic Oath includes a similar commitment.  These statements remind physicians of their commitment to try to improve the well-being of their patients.The spirit of “first, do no harm” applies to the conduct of healthy relationships, as well.  If we care for someone, we will focus our efforts on bringing them good (as best we understand it), and on avoiding intentionally harming them.  In this episode, we’ll consider how this orientation shapes the behavior of partners in a mutually-beneficial intimate relationship.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-12:  Is Intimacy Transactional?
Mar 24 2024
Episode 4-12: Is Intimacy Transactional?
The well-known sex educator and podcaster Dan Savage has stated his belief that all loving relationships are transactional.  In contrast with that, there is the proposal that true love is unconditional.  Can these two polar positions be reconciled?In this episode, we’ll consider what it means for a relationship to be transactional, and we’ll also envision what an unconditional relationship might look like.  We’ll then consider what these two perspectives have in common, to try to gain a broader and more inclusive understanding of the nature of intimate relationship.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-11: Living on the Edge
Mar 17 2024
Episode 4-11: Living on the Edge
One of the things that I’ve observed about the sex-positive community is that many of its members differ in significant ways from the mainstream population.  That’s reflected in the lifestyle preferences of these community members, as well as in how they interact with one another. We’ll explore some of these differences in this episode, and we’ll see that living outside the mainstream calls for the personal attribute that was the focus of our previous episode: courage.  We’ll also note the many benefits that are open to those who do choose to live a self-examined and self-determined life. Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-10:  Courageous Connections
Mar 10 2024
Episode 4-10: Courageous Connections
Connecting intimately with another human being can sometimes be a scary thing.  Deep connection requires vulnerability and radical authenticity, and both of those can expose a person to potential hurt.  Yet, without accepting the risks inherent in relationship, one cannot reap the many benefits of deep connection.In this episode, we’ll consider why risk is inherent in relationship, and we’ll then entertain how that risk can be managed.  That will help clarify why courage is a prime requisite for living in intimate connection.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-9:  The Magic Trick
Mar 3 2024
Episode 4-9: The Magic Trick
In our last two episodes, we considered the idea of socially-constructed “sexual imperatives” that constrain our sexual expression, as described by Dr. Emily Nagoski in her new book, “Come Together”.  We then examined the possibility of living an “erotic” life, in which all of our experiences are expressions of the flow of life-energy.In this episode, we’ll take a look at a kind of experience that becomes possible when we’re living a life in touch with our erotic essence.  We’ll explore a very special kind of deep human connection in which our sexuality provides a path to personal transcendence.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-5:  The Importance of Sexology
Feb 4 2024
Episode 4-5: The Importance of Sexology
I recently had the pleasure of participating in a thank-you event for a friend and colleague who is a fellow sҽxologist.  From the many glowing comments I heard, it’s clear that my friend has made many contributions to her professional community.  At least as importantly, she has touched many lives.In this post, we’ll revisit what sҽxology is, and why it matters in our society.  We’ll consider why and how it provides essential support for the full expression of our humanity.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-4:  Morality and Relationships
Jan 28 2024
Episode 4-4: Morality and Relationships
Human sexuality is a strong force, which impacts both personal lives and the fabric of society in many ways.  Not surprisingly, then, sex can stir up some very strong feelings in people.  Similarly, the expression of sexuality can provoke both strong reactions and constraints in many if not most societies. In this post, we’ll take a look at a connection that bears on this uneasy relationship between sex and society: how morality enters the realm of sexuality.  It’s important to understand this connection, if we as individuals are to be able to comfortably and responsibly enjoy the gift of sexuality. Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-3:  Kinds of Connection
Jan 21 2024
Episode 4-3: Kinds of Connection
I’ve recently been wondering about why I’ve had such an intense longstanding interest in deep human connections, even in childhood.  While many of my peers seemed to be focused on sports, or having adventures, or running in popular social circles, I was drawn to the exploration and understanding of intimacy.  Why?We’ve previously explored the three realms in which human connection plays out:  the physical, mental and emotional planes (with the latter including spiritual experiences).  In this episode, we’ll consider the very special role filled by intimate relationships.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 4-2:  Learning to Love
Jan 14 2024
Episode 4-2: Learning to Love
I recently came across a book that I found to be full of thought-provoking observations:  All About Love, by the feminist and cultural critic bell hooks.  That work deals with what is perhaps the central orienting theme in intimate relationships:  our desire for love, and how that desire plays out in our lives.  In this episode, we’ll explore some of bell’s often-pointed views on what love is, how we acquire our understanding of love, and how we try to bring it into our daily life.  Hopefully, that understanding will help us in our ability to create and sustain truly loving relationships.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 3-53:  Taking Stock
Dec 31 2023
Episode 3-53: Taking Stock
As the end of another year approaches, I’d like to recommend a practice that has long held meaning for me:  taking stock of the preceding year of my relationship experiences.  I see that as a good way to learn as much as possible from the last year of living, as well as a good way to prepare for a meaningful year ahead.In this episode, I’ll share a few highlights of what I’ve learned, and what I look forward to.  While the reflections that I’ll share are very personal and individual, I believe that they’ll resonate with many or most people who are also trying to live a conscious life.  Perhaps that’s a sort of (belated) “Christmas present” to the Two Open Doors community!Standing in the presentDr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 3-51:  What are the “God” and “Goddess” in Us?
Dec 17 2023
Episode 3-51: What are the “God” and “Goddess” in Us?
In Tantric cosmology, the universe is created and filled by two inseparable deities:  Shiva and Shakti.  Shiva is seen as the embodiment of masculinity, while Shakti embodies the feminine.  Shiva manifests the state of being in existence, which focuses on the static aspect of existing.  In contrast, Shakti manifests the flow of energy that animates everything in existence; that role is fundamentally dynamic.Contemporary people who have a tantric perspective on life find Shiva and Shakti very relevant to their daily lives.  In this episode, we’ll consider how the spirits of the “god” and “goddess” play out in our life. Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 3-50:  The Importance of a Secure Base
Dec 10 2023
Episode 3-50: The Importance of a Secure Base
In prior episodes, we’ve seen that attachment theory can provide many insights into how relationships function.  That theory proposes how infants and children learn to relate to others, and how they form a self-image that’s essential if they are to see themselves as worthy of love and support.  Relationships evolve over time, and the relevance and utility of attachment theory carry over into adult relationships.One of the concepts put forward in attachment theory is that of a secure base.  That term describes how a child’s caretaker can provide the safety, security and support that enable a child to explore the world in order to learn.  In this episode, we’ll explore how the partners in an intimate relationship can serve as a secure base for one another, to enable each partner to develop as a participant in their relationship.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/
Episode 3-49:  Revisiting Attachment
Dec 3 2023
Episode 3-49: Revisiting Attachment
In numerous prior episodes, we’ve taken a look at attachment theory, and its many implications for adult relationships.  We’ve seen that personal attachment style is a strong factor in determining our predispositions as to how we interact with others… as well as in how we see ourselves.There’s far more to be said about “attachment”, though--- starting with how that term is defined.  In this episode, we’ll consider another perspective on attachment, one that is a central theme in several Eastern belief-systems, such as Buddhism.Dr. Claude Cruz is a relationship and intimacy coach based in the Portland, OR area. He holds a PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS), as well as a Professional Sex Coach certification from Sex Coach U. Dr. Claude is passionate about promoting and supporting deep human connection. He develops and delivers workshops and other events regarding that topic, as well as being available for individual and couples intimacy coaching. He can be contacted at claude@twoopendoors.com.This weekly podcast is distributed through multiple podcast directories, including:* Apple podcasts: 1588173033 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/two-open-doors/id1588173033* Google podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/search/two%20open%20doors* Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/two-open-doors* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ib3hb9vsNoNvWM3HWpEXL* iHeart Radio: · https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-two-open-doors-86831925/