Women's Sex Book Recommendation: Women's Anatomy of Arousal

How much do you know about the female sexual anatomy, beyond the basic plumbing? Most of us don't learn about the amazing intricacies of women's bodies and our expansive capacity for pleasure. Sheri Winston, from her years of experience as a midwife, nurse, massage therapist, and sex educator, knows A LOT about this topic.  She describes the hidden treasures and hidden pleasures of women's anatomy, starting with a historical/cultural context to explain how we can all have greater reverence for women's sexuality.

Throughout, she offers detailed sketches, humor, skills & tips, amidst a meaningful expedition into sexual energy and the erotic arts. I most appreciated the ground-breaking explanation of the G-Spot and our anatomy. Sheri won the AASECT "Book of the Year" award in 2010 for Women's Anatomy of Arousal. This book makes you think, but definitely in a fun and arousing way!

Quick Fix for Sexless Relationships?

If you've experienced how verbose I am about any sexual or relationship topic, you won't be surprised to hear me respond NO to the above query. However, there are two basic questions you can ask yourself to start digging at the foundation of a lackluster sex life:

  1. What does having sex mean to you?
  2. What does not having sex mean to you?

When I write "mean," I'm referring to the compelling emotions surrounding these questions. For example, one woman I presented the first question to exploded, "What does it mean? It means I'm just taking care of my husband like I have to take care of the house, the kids, and my clients at work." Yikes. Lots of underlying resentments. Generally resentments represent needs that aren't being met. In this case, she was not feeling nurtured and cared for, and feeling overwhelmed with emotionally managing so many others.

In another case, I asked a male client in a "sexless" marriage what not having sex meant to him. He sadly replied that he was unable to have a level of closeness and intimacy he craved, intimacy that made him feel good about himself and connected to his wife. Having sex with his wife validated his self worth as a man and a loving husband.

When sex is "missing" in a relationship, just trying to spice up the excitement level rarely addresses the depth of the hurt, resentments, and walls that have built up. Gently pulling back the layers of hurt and disconnect and replacing them with appreciation and vulnerability (with a kick of creativity) is the best "quick fix" I can recommend.

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego

Consciousness Raising in Female Sexuality

I received a wonderful email today from a viewer. She wrote about the idea of consciousness-raising, and how she uses In the Den with Dr. Jenn for her own personal growth. I like the concept of consciousness-raising, and first heard about this as an undergrad learning about the feminist movement of the 1970s. Through gathering, learning, expressing, and implementing, groups of women would challenge their beliefs systems for personal and societal growth. Below are parts of the email I received:

Dr. Jenn,
I subscribed to your podcast at least a year ago. I just wanted to tell
you how much it has meant to me. You are wonderful! You are "out there" saying things that are so important to be in discussion in our society (and so important to me too). In fact, when I first downloaded the podcast I kept a journal of reflections regarding your ideas, statements, and the information you presented. It was like a consciousness raising for me. I watched your podcast like a class! I really like your tone and topics. Many of the podcasts concern things I have thought or read about before but not thought through enough to have integrated them into my life. The reflection journal helps me in that way. I enjoy the format of your show. It is a safe place to have these conversations, as you say each time. I am so grateful for your blend of fun and academic tone. Our society seems to put women into a box and not let them out. I live in Oklahoma and the stereotypes seem more narrow here. Did you know you were a role model? I bet you did. =0)

It means so much to me to receive emails like this! I'm actually creating a workbook to be used as a guide for self-learning and exploration with the podcast show, and I love that this viewer has already taken that into her own hands by creating a consciousness-raising journal. We are always hearing and learning new information, but unless we take the time to reflect on how it impacts us at a deep level and what we want to do with that knowledge, it may just go in one ear and out the other. This is a great example of a woman taking the bull by the horns in terms of her own self-education and sexual empowerment - I love it!

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego

Reclaiming Female Sexuality through the Heart & Soul of Sex

Dr. Jenn talks with Gina Ogden, author of the Heart & Soul of Sex and Women Who Love Sex. Gina is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a diplomate in sex therapy, and student of ceremonial shamanism. AND… she’s even been on Oprah. They discuss what may be missing for women in their sexual satisfaction and how to reclaim that.

Gina Ogden, Sex Therapist