This is another great video presentation from TED Talks. This one explains what happens in the brain to cause Sexual Addiction. If you ever had any doubt about Sexual Addiction, here is scientific proof.
Do you prefer your fish broiled, fried, or blackened? How about your steaks? Do you like them rare, medium, or well done? What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Are you an early riser or do you prefer to sleep in when you can? Do you tend to be attracted to slim people or someone with a little meat on their bones? I doubt that these questions or the way someone would answer them would be judged and would raise any eyebrows.
Would you agree that answers to these questions would be considered preferences? Would any of the responses be right or wrong? Would these be moral issues? All of what I have referred to is common to human experience. We would all feel comfortable discussing these things with people we know and not be concerned about being ridiculed or judged.
What makes sex and sexuality so different? The vast majority of people would be uncomfortable discussing their sexual preferences and sexuality with most of the people they know. Most would be concerned about what they said and how they said it. If they felt what they did or thought about sexually was not considered “normal” they would be even more uncomfortable discussing it. Some people are uncomfortable when the topic of sex is even brought up. There is a great deal of guilt and shame associated with sex. Even though we are all sexual beings, so much meaning is given to it that open conversation about sex is discouraged.
For centuries governments and organized religion has attempted to control and limit our sexual behaviors. This has not stopped people from engaging in sexual activity even if it is outside of what is accepted or seen as “normal.” Many laws and religious edicts have tried to restrict sexual behavior. This has created a great deal of shame about sexuality. It has not stopped the behaviors that come naturally. Before all else, we are mammals and have strong instincts around sexuality.
One of my goals is to take the discussion of sex and sexuality out of the shadows and encourage open discussion and healthy attitudes toward sex. I believe that many of the social ills we face can be more easily overcome if human sexuality was honestly discussed and shame free.
More to come…….
My work is about helping people overcome the issues that have been inhibiting them from continuing to evolve as a person. I help them change the way they think and what things mean to them. More and more I am coming to understand how being honest and open and having the willingness to see things a bit differently, opens doors to incredible change and growth. It requires taking risks and a leap of faith. I ask them to take my hand as I guide them to an unknown place. I ask them to trust that going through a process that is difficult and sometimes painful will result in finding a more rewarding life.
It seems the most shameful and damaged part of our development is sexuality. This seems to be at the center of a huge number of issues people face. This has become more and more clear to me as a do more and more work in the area of early sexual abuse and how children are socialized about sex and their bodies. We can be shamed about a great many things about us. But, our bodies and our sexuality go to the core of who we are. The damage is deep and difficult to overcome. I refer back to the beginning of this post.
“More and more I am coming to understand how being honest and open and having the willingness to see things a bit differently, open doors to incredible change and growth. It requires taking risks and a leap of faith. I ask them to take my hand as I guide them to an unknown place. I ask them to trust that going through a process that is difficult and sometimes painful will result in finding a more rewarding life.”
I see this more clearly every day.
I think it is time to change directions and begin discussing sex and sexuality. I try to write about the things I am dealing with in my life and in my practice. It seems that some weeks have themes and the same issues come up throughout the week.
This week the issue came up in sessions with couples. Sex, or the lack of it, is an issue I see repeatedly over the years. Currently the issue that seems to be presenting itself has to do with how women are socialized with regard to sex and their sexuality. There is a double standard between boys and girls. Boys are expected and in some ways encouraged to experiment with sex. There is a boys will be boys attitude. The general advice boys get is to be careful and avoid STDs and getting her pregnant.
Girls are told not to have sex (remain pure, save yourself for marriage, don’t be a slut) and sex and sexuality come with a great deal of shame. This belief system goes back to a time when women were looked at as having less worth than men and were practically the property of the men they married. In many ways, attitudes toward women have changed but the double standard remains. This causes many women to have great difficulty having pleasurable and healthy sexual relationships. The internal conflict can be debilitating, destroy self-esteem, and contribute to the destruction of marriages.
Once belief systems are in place they are very difficult to change. It requires a great deal of work to overcome. I will be writing more about sexual issues.