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Alex Katehakis - Center for Healthy Sex - Sexual Gridlock


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Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S, Founder and Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex, presents a slideshow on Sexual Gridlock between partners.

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Alex Katehakis - Center for Healthy Sex - Sexual Gridlock

  1. 1. It’s not the orgasm, it’s the connection! Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST February 4, 2011
  2. 2. Common sexual complaints•  Low desire •  They cause:•  no desire •  Marital dissatisfaction, emotional alienation,•  mismatched limited intimacy desire •  Extramarital affairs, divorce, & family instability
  3. 3. Sexual/Relationship Satisfaction is a systemic issue!•  Decision making•  Handling arguments•  Friends and social life•  Parenting•  Dealing with family and in-laws•  Emotional support•  Areas of agreement & disagreement
  4. 4. How’s your sex life? Sample size 14,387 people•  15% sex is dead•  34% sex is comatose & in danger of dying•  28% sex is asleep & needs a wakeup call•  15% sex is alive & well•  8% sex is robust, erotic & passionate•  77% of people say their sex life stinks making them NORMAL
  5. 5. How’s often do you kiss? Sample size 14,387 people•  35% kiss multiple times in every encounter•  16% once in ¾ of encounters•  15% once in ½ of encounters•  24% rarely kiss during sex•  10% never have sex•  55% rarely kiss during their sexual encounters
  6. 6. Sexual arousal threshold is composed of:•  What you are thinking about during sex? (intrapsychic)•  What’s happening between you and your partner? (interpersonal)•  What you are feeling in your body? (sensate focus)•  Are you making eye contact?•  If so, what are you seeing?
  7. 7. Cornerstone #1 – Self-Knowledge •  Acceptance of yourself without judgment. •  Know yourself: what you like and dislike sexually, when you become scared, when you take risks, where your growth edges are. •  You know who you are and take a stand for what’s true for you in order to create change, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  8. 8. Cornerstone #2 – Comfort & Connection•  Building connections to yourself and others, you can develop the capacity to comfort your anxieties and connect to your partner without reacting to his or her feelings.•  Allows for a deeper relationship with family and friends•  Requires diligence and discipline•  Connection creates novelty in the brain•  If the connection is sustained, a stable relationship can form
  9. 9. Cornerstone #3 – Responsibility with Discernment•  Responsibility within intimacy is about accountability•  Be accountable for your own feelings•  Be assertive, speak up for yourself, take responsibility for your actions, and tell the truth•  Tell the truth even though it may be difficult to say and for the other to hear•  Being truthful about preferences does NOT mean being mean and hurtful
  10. 10. Cornerstone #4 – Empathy with Emotion•  Empathy is your ability to recognize, feel, or experience another person’s thoughts and moods•  Being empathic in relationships helps you to be comfortable with another•  Can you empathize with how your partner feels?•  Can you understand and validate how those feelings affect them?•  Can you do this without making their feelings about you? (shame)
  11. 11. Definition of sexuality according to the World Association of Sexual Health•  Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life. It encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction.•  Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles, and relationships.•  Sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed.•  Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, ethical, legal, historical,religious, and spiritual factors.
  12. 12. Definition of sexual health according to the WASH•  Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.•  Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.•  For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled
  13. 13. Some components of sexual health are…•  Ability to talk about sexuality•  Identify cultural concerns•  Address sexual identity issues•  Sexual anatomy functioning•  Sexual health care•  Awareness of behaviors•  Self acceptance•  Masturbation and fantasy•  Positive sexuality
  14. 14. What comprises optimal Sexuality? Kleinplatz, et al. 2009 (64 informants)•  Being present, focused and embodied•  Connection, alignment, merger, being in synch•  Deep sexual and erotic intimacy•  Extraordinary communication, heightened empathy•  Authenticity, being genuine, uninhibited, transparency•  Transcendence, bliss, peace, transformation, healing•  Exploration, interpersonal risk-taking, fun•  Vulnerability and surrender
  15. 15. How do we get to optimal sexuality? •  Healthy Sex + •  Intimate Sex + •  Erotic Sex + •  Spiritual Sex = •  Erotic Intelligence!
  16. 16. Healthy Sex…Being present, focused and embodied means: Focus on the here and now Slow down
  17. 17. Healthy Sex… •  Adds to your well being •  Is free from behaviors that create destruction to your psyche, feelings and physical body •  Healthy sex can have a tone of innocence and simplicity that feels beneficial, healthful and sound •  May restore your character as a result of the sexual act because it feels good in the moment and leaves you feeling good afterwards •  Healthy sex is free from shame and pain and does not create disorder or
  18. 18. Deconstructing your sexuality… •  What were the messages you received from your family about sex and sexuality? •  What kind of messages did you get about sex from your community? •  What do you consider to be “normal” sexuality?
  19. 19. Deconstructing your sexuality…•  Where do you limit yourself sexually?•  What scares you?•  How does the culture at large inform you about sex and sexuality?•  What impact does this have on your sexuality?
  20. 20. Intimate Sex…Strong connection to one’s partner Good, clear boundaries Self-knowledge Self-acceptance Sense of humor and laughter
  21. 21. Intimate Sex•  Know who you are and use good communication. This creates an interdependent, cohesive relationship as opposed to an unhealthy dependent, enmeshed relationship.•  Have honest, crucial conversations. This requires discipline, entering a nonjudgmental state, and talking consciously while managing your anxiety.•  Each person makes an active choice to be the kind of partner they want to be•  A realistic view of intimate sex is that your sexual desire and that of your partner consistently changes, requiring adaptation throughout the lifespan
  22. 22. Play! •  Play with each other in loving, adoring, respectful, raunchy ways •  Raunchy meaning earthy, sexual, and
  23. 23. Conscious query of your sexual self•  How do you define sexual desire?•  How does it feel?•  How does it look?•  How do you express sexual desire?•  Do you experience more sexual desire by yourself or with any partner?•  Do you experience more sexual desire by yourself or with your monogamous partner?
  24. 24. Erotic Sex… Deep, penetrating sense of trustMutual respect, deep caring, genuine acceptance Desire, chemistry, attraction Love
  25. 25. Your positive sexuality… •  How do you feel about your body? •  What are your thoughts about yourself if you aren’t turned on in a moment’s notice? •  What are your thoughts about yourself/your partner if you/they don’t orgasm?
  26. 26. Your positive sexuality, cont…•  What are the real reasons you are “shy” to talk about what you like sexually?•  What stops you from making preparations for sex and/or planning?•  What arouses sexual desire in you?
  27. 27. Sexual Fantasy•  In adult sexuality, you pay attention to your current fantasies and discuss them with your partner and listen to his or hers without reaction or judgment.•  In a healthy relationship, sexual fantasies keep desire alive.•  Both partner-replacement fantasies and mental wanderings are an escape from emotional connection with your partner.•  Fantasies that include your partner and that you invent together increase your erotic styles.
  28. 28. Masturbation…•  What’s the purpose of masturbation?•  What do you think about when you masturbate?•  Do you tell your partner that you masturbate and what your sexual fantasies are?•  Do your fantasies include your partner? www.thecenterforhealthysex. com
  29. 29. Sexual Fantasy •  “Sexual fantasies may call forth new life in the guise of new sexual experiences, and so the motive for repressing these fantasies may not be as much moral sensitivity as fear of life’s irrepressible abundance.” •  Thomas
  30. 30. Your positive sexuality, cont… •  How do you arouse sexual desire in yourself? •  How do you arouse sexual desire in your partner? •  What do you need to work on?
  31. 31. Essence of Eroticism•  Sex is about inviting a kind of nervous excitement where there’s no rush to cover it up or push it away. You accept that part of your adult sexuality, and you recognize it as the engine that arouses you and your partner.•  Speak your love, your carnal desire, what you are seeing, would like to see or do with your partner, whether it be lovely, lustful, or lascivious. This kind of connection flames your partner’s physical arousal.
  32. 32. Spiritual Sex…Emotional nakedness: vulnerability and surrender Loss of constricting beliefs Sense of bliss, peace, and healing Sense of “high” akin to meditation
  33. 33. Spiritualizing Sex•  Spiritual sex combines how you express your love with your intentions or the blessings you bring to your partnering.•  Spiritualizing sex is willingness…we create a spiritual bond through a commitment to completely know ourselves with our partner.•  To be true to the nature of your gender, the feminine opens to energy and invites the masculine in. The masculine directs the energy to empower the feminine to feel it, be warmed by it, to glow in it.
  34. 34. Spiritualizing Sex - Breathing•  During sex, stop, relax and notice the sexual excitement in your bodies. Breathe together and feel the warmth as it radiates throughout. Notice what you feel in this engagement.•  Breathing is not a one-breath event, but a conscious, circular experience. You relax and focus on the breathing, you’ll flow in and out; sensations heighten, and tensions release. You are fully present with your partner.
  35. 35. Spiritualizing Sex - Ritual•  Rituals prepare each of you to meet the sacred in each other. Breathing, prayer or meditation sets the stage for inviting your highest selves to a sexual feast.•  Rituals start as simple acts of preparation or kindness. Repeated rituals are a means to train your body and your mind to focus fully on the event and engage the person with heart and respect. Rituals create the time, space and energy to connect with each other.
  36. 36. Spiritualizing Sex•  Spiritual sex is about the attitude of respect and actions of kindness. It can also be fun and reverential, giving you the freedom to try things your way, not in the prescribed ways we learned or how our culture determines it.•  Spiritual sex suggests that you move beyond orgasm into the connection with yourself, your partne,r and the divine, recognizing them all as one.
  37. 37. It’s not the Orgasm, It’s the Connection! •  Sexual desire and sexual health change over the lifespan. •  Connection can mean more than orgasm!
  38. 38. Available Now! HCI Publications •  Igniting Hot Healthy Sex While in Recovery From Sex Addiction