Sex Gets Real 262: Samantha Manewitz on emotional abuse and gaslighting


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In a Sex Gets Real first, this episode is Part Two of a THREE part series featuring Eve Rickert, Samantha Manewitz, and Aida Manduley.

This episode is my conversation with therapist Samantha Manewitz. We build on the conversation I had with Eve Rickert in Episode 261, exploring emotional abuse and gaslighting in relationships.

One of the things Samantha stresses in this conversation is how normalized gaslighting is in the world right now. We have the highest levels of power (the US President) gaslighting an entire nation, and none of us are immune.

We also explore some things that help reveal behaviors that might lead to emotional abuse and what one word can change the way we enter into relationships.

This is an important and powerful conversation about how subtle emotional abuse can be, and how to look out for DARVO which is how emotional abusers position themselves as the victim.

The survivor pod resources mentioned in this episode include:

  1. Initial statement on February 11th
  2. Update on March 25th
  3. Tracking spreadsheet where you can find most of the documents, updates, and conversations happening
  4. Survivor pod PayPal where you can donate some money (PLEASE DO THIS) to support the process

If you've been accused of consent violations or harm, this piece by Tamara Pincus is a good place to start.

Patreon supporters - head to to grab your bonus content this week which includes a little PDF of the questions Samantha offered around helping to figure out if we're being gaslit, plus a few bonus minutes of our conversation AND an embodiment exercise that can help us arrive in the body in a gentle way. If you aren't a supporter, I'd love your financial support to help keep the show going. If you pledge $3 per month, you get access to exclusive weekly bonus content and if you support at $5 per month and above, you can help me field listener questions.

Follow Sex Gets Real on Twitter and Facebook. It's true. Oh! And Dawn is on Instagram. About Samantha Manewitz:

Samantha Manewitz, LICSW CST, is an educator and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. She has trained mental health professionals, sex educators, and alt-sex communities on healthy communication, abuse prevention, and mental health in BDSM. Samantha was a featured presenter at multiple conferences, including CatalystCon West, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit.

Among her therapeutic specialties are trauma (complex PTSD), sex therapy, couples therapy (level 2 Gottman trained), and gender affirming care for transgender/non binary clients. Samantha is also on the faculty of the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment, where she has presented on sexual coercion and psychotherapy with kinky clients.

Stay in touch with Samantha at

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Contact form: Click here (and it's anonymous)

282 episodes