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Robert Kandell has spent the last 10 years working with literally thousands of people on the charged topics of love, sex, and intimacy with the international company he co-founded, OneTaste. He is now a coach and has his own firm, Kandell Consulting, where he gives personal training sessions on communication skills, personal life and business.

He sat down with us for a conversation about one of the topics he knows best. Here it is in it’s entirety. Enjoy!

Question 1: How and why you founded OneTaste?

I met Nicole Daedone in December of 1999 when we were learning from another group about sexuality. We became instant friends. For the next four plus years, we travelled together, learned together and discussed the concept of teaching transformational courses.

We started another school together in 2002 and then merged with another company in 2003. We learned from each endeavor. In March of 2004, Nicole said it was time to open the center. We didn’t have a business plan or financial backing. She described the kind of location, feel she wanted. I said she was crazy and we’d never find it. She found it 2 days later. Within 10 days, we had signed the lease and gotten the keys.

We gathered ten other willing people to volunteer and help open the center. In retrospect, none of us really knew what we were doing. We had a yoga teacher running a yoga program, a woman who liked raw food and smoothies running a cafe, and myself who had started a small business acting as the Chief Operating Officer. However, we all believed passionately in what we were doing. It was time to bring the concept of orgasm into the world.

For me, the “why” at that time for me was that i thought the concept was a fun thing to do. I had seen my own transformation and loved the changes that it had done for me. I wanted to give it back to the world. I also was bored with my career as a computer programmer. I had been doing it for about 10 years and was ready for a change.

Question 2: Why the separation from OneTaste?

The main reason i left OneTaste was that i was ready for a new lifestyle. While i had loved the hustle, bustle and intensity of OneTaste, i wanted more quiet time to myself. At Onetaste, we were working 70-80 hours/week, 7 days a week. My personal life was in a bit of shambles and my health was suffering. I was traveling pretty much non-stop for 3 years and it was time to have a quieter, healthier lifestyle. The split was very amicable and i’m grateful for how peaceful the transition was.

Question 3: when and why you got interested in sexuality?

I’ve always been interested in sexuality. Before OneTaste, I was very underground about it. I would sneak porn and have a crazy, wild imagination. I would avidly read internet porn newsgroups (it was before video) and every woman could easily be an active player in my sexual fantasy world. I never told a soul about it.

At Burning man in 1998, my wife and I had the first honest conversation around sex I had ever had with a woman. We walked around the playa sharing secrets and desires for hours. It was amazing and it changed our lives forever. We returned to San Francisco and started exploring different aspects of the scene there. We went to a swingers club in San Jose (horrible), put up ads on internet sites, and eventually ended up in a class about sex in March, 1999. There, I was confronted about how little about women I knew and decided to dedicate my energy and attention to my sex life.

Our attention on it accelerated and I started doing courses in June of 1999 and eventually got involved with the Welcomed Consensus in the fall of 1999. I dove deep with that group for close to two years. I was so excited to be able to bring out all of me.

Question 4: why so many men and women are not satisfied sexually?

It’s very simple. Most people lie, withhold and have extensive amount of shame around their sex lives and desires. So, we paint pictures of how it’s suppose to look and won’t talk to our partners about what we want. This causes our partners to have no idea how to please them and people are getting less and less of what that want. This leads to more anger and more disconnection until eventually people just quit and avoid the topic. Then, people look elsewhere to satisfy their sexual desires like cheating, porn and alcohol.

Men are so frustrated that they push out that energy often in destructive methods. Women just get meaner and meaner. All because people won’t take the chance of being vulnerable and asking for what they want in the bedroom. It’s maddening and disturbing.

Most people don’t fit into a box and we expect our partners to be a certain way. So we feel squashed and denied. We become more secretive. We tell even less truth. It’s an awful cycle.

Question 5: what can they do about it? couples and singles

The answer is also simple if not easy. Tell the truth. Make agreements with your partner on how you speak your desires in a method that won’t trigger them. Be curious. Make it a game. Reward your partner for speaking the truth, don’t punish them. Allow them to be as big externally as they are internally.

Take chances with your sex lives. Be willing to make mistakes. Don’t take it so seriously. And if your partner makes a mistake or breaks an agreement, don’t kill or leave them. Reward them by letting them into your world. Have a friend there to help mediate conversations. Remember if your partner is open and free in their sex lives then odds are it will pour all over you. Don’t let fear of jealousy keep either of you small.

Check out this video on the topic.

Question 6: why is sexual energy so important?

I think it is just a big part of all of us that we deny. I don’t know medically it is so important, probably some biological drive to continue the species. But its there and it is intense. Don’t deny it. Embrace it and ride it like the biggest wave on the North Shore. People want to cover it up and pretend that it isn’t there. Or do drugs, eat too much sugar, shop to avoid it. Don’t ever let your fear stop you from confronting it.

Question 7: what do you think about Poli, BDSM, Tantra and Swinging?

I am a YES, YES, YES and YES. I think all of it and more is awesome if done deliberately, honestly and with consideration. I think all manners of sexuality is awesome and offers people a chance to express themselves. However, they can all be detrimental as well if not done with communication. Couples that swing where one partner isn’t a full YES is a very dangerous course that i don’t recommend. Take the time to work out all the kinks in your agreements before engaging and then always debrief and take times to enhance the agreement.

I love BDSM and want more of it my life. I think it is so incredible how far people can take their sensations and what they can handle. I don’t like pain but i like pressure.

I think Poli is great for some. Again, it can be taken further than some people want. Be willing to experiment and try. Listen to your partner’s feedback. Don’t let fear get in the way.

Tantra is not an interest of mine but i know many people and it has helped expand them. I am a big YES to anything that expands people.

Question 8: do you believe in monogamy?

I believe a very small percentage of the world is inclined towards monogamy. 10%, 15%? Maybe. i’ve know some monogamous couples that have been absolutely gorgeous. I don’t think the majority of people are monogamous though and this causes a lot of trouble. I think non-monogamy is a pain in the ass but its better than hiding behind some rule. I am appalled by the percentage of people cheating on their partners and thinking they are monogamous. This is not how it works. I am sad as well on the level of divorce in this country. I think if people were honest then a lot of the angst in our society would diminish.

I don’t think non-monogamous people “need” to act out on their desires, however, i wish for them the opportunity to discuss with their partners their desires. I think the silence is the killer. I want my partners to tell me every single nasty thought that they had and with whom. I want to know my partners. I want to feel the burn of jealousy. I don’t want to have to hide myself from anyone. Ever.

I think it needs to be a slow process if a monogamous relationship wants to open it up. I recommend for people to go super slow and be super deliberate. I think agreements are very challenging and tedious but also are important.

I think the world will change soon on their viewpoints around monogamy. It will be less and less the standard in 20 years.

Question 9: what do you think of pornography?

I don’t like porn and I think it is a very dangerous epidemic that is harming today’s society. At the basic level, i think porn is super hot. I love being able to find visual representation of a sexual fantasy with the entering of a search string and a push of a button. However, i found myself watching porn daily and masturbating to it often. It was thrilling to find favorites and things that turned me on. However, i found it was affecting me and causing erectile dysfunction. i stopped and i can still feel the pull for it. It scares me because of its power.

I think it is educating men in very negative ways. I think boys are watching too much of it and it will cause ED in the future. I think it is also affecting women and that is even scarier. The worst part is that we don’t even know the full effects today. It seems that we don’t quite want to confront it.

To soften my point slightly, I do think that there is some amazing porn out that can even be educational. However, i think this is a very small (minuscule) percentage. I want to acknowledge the filmmakers out there that are attempting to create this. However, i think the world has a long way to go.

Question 10: how is sexuality changing in the US today?

I think sexuality is changing very, very quickly. I remember in my youth (I’m 45 now) that sex happens but it wasn’t everywhere. It feels with our youth that it is prevalent with kids getting younger and younger. I think the internet has forever changed our access to sex and misinformation around it. I think women are gaining more and more power which is changing the social dynamics between the sexes.

I also think that sex has become more available to talk about, for which I am grateful. I hope that honest conversations will cause more and more people to have the sex lives they want. There is a huge flux of sexuality teachers and hopefully they will gain more and more presence in today’s world.


We are fascinated by these topics since we produced the documentary Monogamish

Why are relationships so hard? Monogamish is an exploration of sex, love and monogamy throughout history and into the 21st century.

If the topic interests you, subscribe to our Youtube channel or follow the Monogamish page on Facebook.


Giancarlo Canavesio (24 Posts)

Giancarlo Canavesio is Mangu.TV’s CEO. He was in investment banker, then an entrepreneur. He left it all to found Mangu.TV and make paradigm shifting documentaries and he has never enjoyed working as much as he does now.