What do you think about farting in bed? Whether this happens during sex, or while getting ready to sleep, this is a taboo topic that my colleague Jeanson Benoit and I let rip (see what I did there?)! Check out this 2nd video in my new In the Bed with Dr. Jenn video series...Read More
Blog - Essays, Articles, Videos, and Tips
If you'll be seeing family for the holidays, you hopefully have some positive reasons for why these folks matter to you. Likewise, there's probably some things that drive you crazy. I recently had a couple ask me how they could avoid reverting back to old patterns when they're home with family....Read More
A simple reminder from Dr. Jenn of what Valentine's Day is really about -- loving and accepting yourself, connecting deeply with others, being present with passion and your senses, and choosing the path of love.Read More
We generally think that fear is a bad thing for our relationships and sex lives. But maybe not?
Shortly before Halloween, I spoke on San Diego Living about the potential relationship benefits of fear, and how you can consciously bring this into your relationship for fun all year long!
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus -- San Diego Sexologist, Sexual Health Speaker, Sociologist
You’ve probably experienced this before—you’re having a regular, nice, normal conversation with your partner, and suddenly they are pissed off at you. Or, your partner is already unhappy about something unrelated to you, so you’re talking to them and offering support. But without warning, you now see anger on their face that is directed at you. What happened?!
In any relationship, and especially early in a relationship, you can’t necessarily predict what is going to trigger your partner’s insecurities or patterns, and how they are going to interpret something that otherwise seems benign to you. And when they react with hurt or anger, it may leave you flustered, confused, and defensive. But instead of being reactive, try nicely asking these two questions:
1. What could I have done or said differently?
2. Why is this important to you (or what does this mean to you)?
Asking questions like this is helpful because it’s a total pattern-interrupt for both of you. You have the opportunity do something different, stay present in the moment, and both bring some structure and rationale to an emotionally triggered situation. Then, by asking what you could have done differently, you get the opportunity to get into the head of your partner, and find out what he/she needed in that moment or was expecting. This also makes your partner take responsibility for coming up with a potential solution, instead of just being pissed off. The second question gets to the heart of why your partner was triggered. Did they think you were talking down to them? Trying to “fix” the situation? Implying they were stupid? Or that you didn’t care about them? Listen carefully when they share their interpretation and meaning of that interaction, and don’t rush to defend your actions. And then apologize.
Hopefully, by allowing your partner to speak their truth in that moment and listening with genuine interest instead of defensiveness, they feel heard and understood. And you can now gently share about your thoughts and intentions, and come to a better understanding as a couple overall. I suggest sharing these questions with your partner so that you can both use these as a tool to work through conflict and stay powerful as a team.
Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist | Sociologist | Sexuality Speaker
Yeah - a romantic vacation! It means time away from work with your partner. But will it be a relaxing trip by the pool? Or an outdoor adventure? Or an exploration of art museums and architecture? There are several important factors that need to be discussed ahead of time with you partner, to make sure you're on the same page, or at the least that you understand your partner's expectations and perspective.
I discussed this topic with Marc Bailey on Channel 6's San Diego Living, coincidentally days before his upcoming vacation to Alaska with his wife. Happy travels!
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sexuality Speaker, Sociologist