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What I'm Reading
  • Gone Girl
    Gone Girl
    by Gillian Flynn
  • The Secret History of Wonder Woman
    The Secret History of Wonder Woman
    by Jill Lepore
  • Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Open Media)
    Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Open Media)
    by Tim Wise
Sunday
Feb222015

Stop Being Boring! Ideas to Romance Your Partner

It can be easy to get in a rut when showing your love and affection to your partner. I offer suggestions around building sensuality, expressing appreciation, creating sexy time, and filling your partner's love bucket. Softcup Menstrual Cup company brought me in to be their expert for their February Month of Love - fun folks there, doing good work!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Sex Speaker

Thursday
Feb192015

All year round is a good time for GALentine's Day

I really do like the idea of prioritizing celebrating time with our girlfriends. The day before Valentine's Day has been dubbed Galentine's Day (from the show Parks & Recreation), but I think just like Valentine's Day, it's important to celebrate this kind of love, friendship, and connection all year round. Although you might not always be treated with the surprise of Chippendales' dancers on your next gal pal outing ;) We had a lot of laughs on this segment on San Diego Living!

The video is not embedding properly from the San Diego Living website, but you can click here to watch about Galentine's Day on their site!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sex Speaker, Sociologist

Tuesday
Feb172015

Top 5 Questions Women Ask a Sex Counselor

Sex is fun…and complicated! While there are a lot of biological components of sexuality, there are also a lot of social, mental and emotional aspects. These often get in the way of enjoying the pleasures of our bodies and the potential for deep connections with others. As a Relationship and Intimacy Counselor, I receive many questions from women about their sex lives; below are five of the most common questions I receive.

1. Am I normal? Is what we’re doing normal?

These questions come from a fear of being judged or not feeling good enough. There may be sexual statistical averages around activities and frequency and tastes, but what really matters is what you like and don’t like, and the same for your partner. You could be perfectly “average” and “normal,” but still have a miserable sex life! Each individual and couple needs to create their own “normal” based on their preferences, needs and desires.

2. Why don’t I feel desire any more? How can I feel passion again?

It is really common for women in long-term relationships to lose their desire. Desire is a tricky thing that we tend to take for granted in the early stages of a relationship. But once those neurochemicals wear off, most women and couples don’t know what to do. The first step is to redefine desire from something that happens to you, to something that you can cultivate. What primes your pump? By this I mean, what can your partner do that helps you feel open to being sexual? Is it doing the dishes for you, massaging your shoulders, or having an eye-to-eye conversation? Focus on what makes you feel loved and nurtured and also makes your partner seem appealing. The second thing you can do is to take responsibility for your own desire. What puts you in the mood, such as reading erotica, fantasizing, or touching yourself? Do these things regularly to kick-start your libido.

3. How can I request my sexual needs without feeling embarrassed?

Read the rest of this blog that I wrote for the Softcup Blog HERE.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sex Speaker, Sociologist

Thursday
Feb122015

Why Couples Need to Have Date Nights!

If intimacy or quality time are not happening on their own in your relationship, then you need to make them happen!

Two cool therapists in Phoenix interviewed me for this new podcast show, Mission: Date Night. We were so in alignment with our perspectives on intimacy, gender, relationships, and sex - it was a lovely conversation. I shared my perspectives on what I think are ingredients for an amazing relationship (can you guess?), how and why to create the opportunity for intimacy through date nights, and I even shared what I consider my perfect date (can you guess this one too??). You can listen to the podcast interview and discussion below:

Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, National Public Speaker

Tuesday
Feb102015

What is LOVE? How about MATURE LOVE?

If we were to learn about love from advertisers, we would believe that love is spending money on your partner or buying sparkly surprises. But love is complex and often difficult to define. So this season of love, let’s look at love in three different ways—neurochemically, socially and emotionally—and then consider whether this relates to “mature love.”

Neurochemical: Love and lust can easily mix at the start of a relationship, when love feels like a deep yearning for the other. A lover’s high in the beginning is a mix of brain chemicals such as oxytocin, adrenaline and dopamine. If you’re with someone long enough, you can also develop a deeper kind of love, that involves different areas of you brain concerning attachment and commitment. It feels less passionate, but is more stable and enduring.

Social: We grow up learning myths about love. For example, there is the social myth in America that “love conquers all.” I hear this from clients and we see it is movies and books. In our society, we also hear that you should only get married because of love (instead of more practical reasons like health insurance) and that love should be easy. I think women are more likely to be raised with the belief that they are not complete or worthy when not in love or with a partner. Societal expectations of love and marriage can weigh heavily on women and men.

Emotional (and Feelings): Love can feel wonderful—a warmth in your heart, appreciation for your partner, and a sense of safety that you are not alone in the world. In the throes of love, we feel joyful, awe-inspired and vibrant. The flip side to these is that love, or at least attachment to someone, can bring about self-doubt, disappointment and deep angst.

How does all of this match with “mature love”? Interestingly, there’s not much of a match! In this discussion, I call upon my work with clients, personal experience, as well as my enjoyment of the If the Buddha Married book. In mature love, you respect yourself and your partner. You support each other through tough times and celebrate the successes. Mature love is interdependence; you rely on each other but don’t lose who you are. It is also having the courage to be vulnerable and accepting, and work through conflicts by taking responsibility, instead of defensiveness or blame. You see and appreciate your partner for who they are, not who you project them to be. Love does not conquer all in a relationship; it requires diligence, intention and attention. And these have the beautiful potential of bringing you even closer to your partner.

I think the best Valentine’s gift this season is committing your intention and attention to cultivating a mature loving relationship with your partner! If you find yourself single this time of year, all of these same qualities can be developed and expressed in your relationship to yourself. Mature love starts with loving yourself. And that feels lovely.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, National Sex Speaker