One day left to vote!

Please help spread my message of love and compassion, by voting for my message and image to be on an Inspiration Campaign billboard! Voting ends on Friday, March 20, and I would love your support! Last month I attended the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco, where I learned about Inspiration Campaign and posed for a photo with my message at their booth. This week they announced that 5 of those photos will be voted on to decide which one will be on an April billboard in San Francisco.

They asked why i chose this message and what it means to me. Here's what I had to say:

Sometimes I forget that everyone just wants to be seen, heard, respected, and know they are lovable. We put up so many facades because it's vulnerable to want those things and we fear not getting them. I've realized for myself that when I shift to remembering all of this, that we're all striving for the same basic things as humans, that I move to empathy and compassion (instead of, to put it bluntly, having my head up my own ass!). To me, 'We are all in this together' means a shift from fear or disconnect to kindness and compassion.

And to add to that, as relevant to my work, there is SO much fear and disconnet when it comes to sexuality and intimacy. In the United States we have a lot of judgment around sex and stigmatize anything that seems "different." Shifting to love, compassion, and kindness, and remembering that we all just want to loved, is an important reminder around sex.

I'd love your support by voting HERE!

In gratitude,

Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sexual Health Speaker, Sociologist

Sexual Empowement - Buzz Words or Depth of Humanity?

At the Coed Coffee Chat discussion I facilitated last week, we discussed whether we thought “empowerment” was needed for people in the realm of sex and sexuality, and what the word means in this context. Although I was the only female present to make the discussing “coed,” I was very pleased with the variety of perspectives represented and sense of humor each participant brought to the table.

We started with what we thought sexual empowerment meant. Different themes emerged:

  • Being in charge
  • Loving yourself
  • Safety and security
  • Giving and receiving respect
  • Recognizing choices and making healthy ones
  • Having access to contraception
  • Knowing what you want and voicing that
  • Caring as much about your feelings and pleasures as your partner’s
  • Breaking the norm

But this all begged the question – why are we discussing this unless we believe that women and men are “disempowered” around sex and sexuality? Is that the case or are we just getting wrapped up in pop psychology and new age buzz words?

We started discussing how scripted and performance-oriented sex can be, and defined through mainstream idealized media images, pornography, and assumptions around what it is to a “good” sexual male or sexual female. I think the “breaking the norm” definition of empowerment is so compelling, because this is where we realize that we have choices, can be open to expressing our needs, desires, and sexuality in new ways, and be truly present with the moment and/or our partner. It takes a lot of confidence and trust to be able to break norms around sexual behavior, because we can have so many insecurities and fears tied up in our ability to attract and perform and just to be liked. This gets to the core of our desires as humans for connection and is ripe for growth and exploration. It can be scary – but it can be damn empowering too.

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego