Archive for the 'Sexuality' Category

Oct 19 2009

Sexuality and Addiction

Published by under Sexuality,Twelve Steps

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When I was growing up, I never even dreamed these two words could or would end up in the same sentence. But they have, and frankly it is quite scary.

Internet porn has been dubbed the crack cocaine of pornography and that certainly seems to be true. It is hard to admit you have a problem even if you have had legal consequences and it is very difficult to stop this behavior.

What may have begun as simple curiosity (especially with teens) can become a way of life which alienates you from your “real” relationships. That includes family  members as well as romantic partners and even co-workers or friends at school.

When teens dabble in this area, their immature brains do not handle the stimulus well and they may be “corrupting their love map and arousal template”.

This is a set-up for a lifetime of hurt and unhappiness.

Monitor your kids’ (both genders) internet use just as you do their opportunities for drug use. The symptoms for these addictions can be similar and the use of drugs and porn together is not uncommon. They  reinforce each other and make recovery even more difficult.

The consequences are different today… sexual exploration can lead to criminal charges which are difficult to leave behind when maturity arrives!

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Jun 24 2009

Kudos to Mark Sanford for his Integrity!

Published by under Sexuality

Bravo Mark Sanford! Your integrity is incredible. 

As a previous resident of South Carolina, I am proud, not of your actions, but of your honesty!

Real men, good men stand up and admit errors. Humans make errors and then, when they are people of faith, they ask for forgiveness. That is exactly what you did in your press conference.

Followers of the Christian faith profess forgiveness is given, a gift from Jesus, I hope that each and every South Carolinian will remember the tenets of their faith and remember that ” there but for the grace of God…go I”.

And thank you for the information that allowed us to realize that this was not a “just” sexual fling. You honored women as human beings in your confession.

Families throughout our nation face this type of crisis every day and  many of us in the family therapy profession appreciate the example of responsibility and honesty you have provided to other men.

In every life there are deceptions. The measure of a person is in their ability to stop the lies, “come clean”, then ask for and accept help.

Thank you for your courage.

I wish you well and will hold hope in my heart for you, your boys and your wife.

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May 29 2009

Comprehensive SEX Education

Published by under Sexuality

 

Curiousity

Curiosity

 

 

 

Yesterday, I heard the news, no more money for Abstinence Education. Instead we will focus on Comprehensive Sex Education…yeah! As a Clinical Sexologist ( a sex therapist/counselor) the news is exciting.

 There’s only one problem, no matter how many “facts” we teach, the teen pregnancy rate may not go down and sexual activity certainly will not go down. The biological brain(not the mind) and our  built in sex drive  just doesn’t respond to reason or facts.

Please don’t misunderstand, I support sex education and in fact am a teacher and counselor of healthy sexuality. And this is not a new interest, it has been my passion for 30 years. I am painfully aware of the number of teen pregnancies and the sorrow that this situation can bring for all members of a family and dedicated to changing our statistics. *

What I am saying, is that we are just beginning to understand sexuality and it’s connection to the brain. What we have confirmed is that the brain is the largest sex organ we have, and it is very powerful. Both hunger and sexual desire are primitive drives, designed to keep us alive and to make it probable that we will multiply. Given that information…what can we do?

Learn, listen, teach, encourage, support, and question our children.

LEARN about healthy human sexuality… what needs to happen in a relationship in order to assure that  both partners are respected. Healthy is always safe, what is required for “safe sex”. (Condoms are not the whole answer)

LISTEN to your children, your parents, but most of all yourself. How do you want your sexual partner to treat you…is that what you want for your children?

TEACH the facts…(you may need a refresher course, let me know) and gear the information to the age of the person you are teaching. ALSO teach VALUES!

ENCOURAGE  awareness in others. What do you hear and see in the media? What is it teaching you? Do the messages support respect of others and of yourself?

SUPPORT others who are teaching, as they may be protecting your children.

QUESTION the media’s teachings, the use of the computers in your home and your children. Softly, inquire about their hopes and dreams so that they will know that you are available to support their inquiries.

Most of all question yourself. Are you passing your values by your actions, on to your children. Trust your heart and prepare your mind. Sexuality  and it’s outcomes are to important to entrust to government programs.

*  in my practice, the children of  single parents often

 show up for counseling, with sexual and relationship problems of their own

 

Visit our website heartworktherapy.com for more information or call 407-323-9961 to make an appointment or to talk about a teaching event  for your group.

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May 14 2009

May you live in interesting times…

Published by under Sexuality

 

It seems that I was told that these words are a Chinese curse. But have you noticed that these are indeed fascinating times? There are so many areas that have changed in the last 50 years, but one that may not be obvious to everyone is sexuality.

 

In the 1970s, I had the good fortune to be introduced to health education via a practicum in undergraduate school.  Our class was charged with the task of teaching sex education to freshmen in an effort to reduce the number of sexually transmitted diseases on our campus.

 

As a young married woman with a new baby, I had a lot to say and so a passion was born. I felt safe in my family and so was able to teach this touchy (no pun intended) subject without fear of ostracism or misunderstanding in that southern town.

 

One of the changes I have noticed through the years of learning and teaching about sexuality is that we don’t…teach that is. Instead we seem to accept the skewed view of sex we are given by the media.

 

We no longer teach our children about healthy sexuality and we don’t allow others to do so. Kids are interested in this topic naturally and they will accept information from any source available.

 

How do I know this? From grownups!

 

As a sex therapist, I hear so much sadness from folks who were never taught how to sexually love another with respect. This lack of knowledge paired with one of our most basic drives and youth can be a disaster waiting to happen.

 

It seems as that as we relinquish our role as parent, it is being picked up by the legal system.  Our young men learn to see women (or men) as objects for their own pleasure rather than as human beings with feelings and rights.

 

Although this part of the problem may not be new, the consequences are escalating. The impact on a young man (and his family) can be devastating without correcting the underlying problem.

 

Laws and the legal system were not set up to remedy problems, only to stop behaviors and sometimes they are successful. However, imprisoning people does not stop the cycle of sexual abuse.

 

But knowledge and willingness can end many of these problems and make the world safer for all of us, including our children.

 

If you have children…get busy, teach them about love, about themselves as sexual beings, about boundaries and how to protect themselves and others.

 

Learn about healthy sexual development for yourself and them. The more you understand the more likely you are to raise children whose mistakes will not cost anyone their health or freedom.

 

Sexuality is part of our identity, not a choice and the desire to express it is as

natural as hunger is to an infant.

 

Sexual behavior is where we get to choose. If we are unaware of what hurts others we are ill equipped to make loving and safe choices.

 

In the words of a favorite song “teach your children well”.

 

To speak with one of our counselors, visit our website or call 407.323.9961. We are here to help you.

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