Is chosen abstinence ever a good path in our sexual journeys? This is the first time I really talked about the wise use of sexual energy. Brett Larkin, on her Sivana Yoga Podcast, interviewed me about some unique aspects of sex and sexual energy, and kept me on my toes!Read More
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Self-love can be a tough topic for women. From childhood to now, you may have heard messages that you're not good enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not smart enough, you're too loud...I'm happy to announce that I'm one of the more than 21 experts in a Women Learning to Love video summit that launched today...Read More
At last year's AASECT conference (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, & Therapists) I had the pleasure of sitting next to Natasha Helfer Parker at dinner one evening. She is a sex therapist and works specifically with those in the Mormon faith in Wichita, Kansas. She later interviewed me for her podcast show about one of my favorite topics: mindfulness and sex. We discussed how this compliments and contradicts aspects of Mormon beliefs. In my private practice I work with individuals of many religious backgrounds, and I have always believed that the practice of mindfulness is compatible with all faiths. This was the first time that it was brought to my attention that the nonjudmental and acceptance components of mindfulness might conflict with some of the beliefs in the LDS faith.
Listen to the discussion on Mormon Mental Health.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Sexuality & Mindfulness Speaker, Sexologist
At the recent sexuality conference I attended, my friend and colleague Gina Odgen spoke about her “ISIS Wheel.” ISIS is an acronym for “integrating sexuality and spirituality.” Gina is a sex therapist, author, and shaman, and her ISIS Wheel is a like a medicine wheel and a compass, applied to sexual experience and satisfaction. Above is an image of the ISIS Wheel.
Visualize yourself standing before a life-sized ISIS Wheel. Now reflect on your sexual experiences and sexuality and consider how you like to enter these experiences. Is it through the “body” realm and pleasurable sensations, such as heightened body awareness, the sounds of your partner’s arousal, or orgasm? Think back to the first time you had sex. Perhaps there was a “mind” component motivating you, such as curiosity or expectation. The “heart” component, about emotions, is strong for many and varies from the extremes of love and trust, to guilt and fear. For some, the “spirit” path is most motivating, when they exchange sexual energies and deep connection with their partner.
The foundation for Gina’s ISIS Wheel is sexual health, not sexual dysfunction. This means that despite any concerns people have in their sex lives, it is all just part of their sexual story that can be mapped and explored through the wheel. Framing sexual concerns as stories instead of dysfunction gives individuals and couples more freedom to explore the complexity of their sexual experiences, without judgment. Clearly, sex through the lens of the ISIS framework is about a lot more than physical release or performance.
The “ISIS connection” is when all four aspects of the wheel meet in the center. However, any experience is just as valid as the next. When we view a sexual “problem” as part of a sexual story and journey, it makes it a lot easier to address it head on, in all its layers of complexity. I suggest taking this wheel for a spin to learn more about you and your partner!
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Marriage Counselor, Sex Speaker, College Sexual Health Speaker
Dr. Jenn interviews Tantra Teacher & Counselor, Shawn Roop, about the definition of tantra as a spiritual & sexual journey. Shawn also shares important differences between women and men in their pursuit of spiritual sexuality.
Sexual Fun Fact
According to a new Australian study, what percentage of women regularly experience post sex depression or what's officially called post-coital dysphoria?
Special Den Sex-tion
Sex Position of the Day - "The Found a Penny"
~Dr. Jenn, San Diego Sex Therapy, Marriage Counseling, & College Sexual Health Speaker