Couples Workshops in San Diego

Being in a relationship is a wonderful experience AND it takes awareness, communication, and work to stay on track. I'm offering weekend workshops for couples to improve their communication and get them back on the same page in their commitment to the things that matter.

Benefits of Attending:

  • Improve communication skills
  • Learn to cultivate mindfulness techniques
  • Increase play and creativity in your relationship
  • Learn to speak each other's love language
  • Focus on appreciation and acknowledgements
  • Deepen intimacy
  • Learn to focus on sensual enjoyment
  • Learn how to check-in with what's most important

Next Weekend Couples Workshop:

April 4-6, 2014

Friday night: 6-9pm
Saturday: Specific activities on your own (as determined Friday night)
Sunday: 1-5pm

For more information, visit this page for Weekend Couples Workshops in San Diego.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sociologist, Sexuality Speaker, Intimacy Counselor

How (and When) to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

Talking to your children about sex can be such an embarassing and confusing topic! What values do you want them to have? At what age should you start? Should you just lay down the law? I was interviewed on San Diego Living about this topic, since kids are heading back to school this fall. There was so, so, so much more I wanted to say, but hopefully this gets you thinking in some new directions!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Sexuality Speaker, Sexologist, and Sociologist

Straight, Gay, or ASEXUAL – Are They All Legit?

Sex is fun. It connects us, let’s us express ourselves, and allows for procreation. Desire for sexual connection and experience is very natural… or is it?

What if you never had a sexual spark or an interest in having sex with another person? I don’t mean a period of chosen celibacy after giving birth, or when you just need a break from dating and relationships. I’m referring to people who have identified their whole lives as “asexual.”

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is an organization dedicated to educating and supporting asexuality as a sexual orientation, in the same way that heterosexuality and homosexuality are perceived. Their website explains that asexual people form relationships like sexual people, with intimacy, closeness, attraction, and sharing. The difference is that there is no need or desire to engage in partnered sexual activity. People who are asexual do not perceive this as problematic; it’s just what feels right to them.

You might assume that an asexual person has experienced sexual trauma, has a mental or emotional block, or is experiencing a physiological sexual dysfunction. However, no research to date has supported these presuppositions, and a recent study specifically challenges the physiological dysfunction hypothesis. In it, researchers showed sexual stimuli to a variety of women, then measured blood flow to their genitals, and recorded how they felt about being aroused. Women who identified as asexual were similar to the other women in sexual arousal, except they did not perceive their sexual arousal in a particularly positive way or as something to share with another person.

What does this all mean? The jury is still out on that since this topic has only recently been the subject of research. However, regarding whether it’s “legit,” my guess is that you can’t miss something you’ve never had or experienced, so to an asexual, this is just the “normal” way of being.

(Article was originally posted as part of Pacific San Diego Magazine's Blogger Series.)

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Marriage Counselor, Sexologist, College Sexual Health Speaker

The Pleasure Revolution

Momentum Founders, Tess & DeeSpread Your Legs & Open Your Heart…

Free Sex Advice on a Park Bench…

The Pleasure Revolution…

The Three P’s of Porn…

Dirty Bingo….

Are these video titles of porn?

Actually, these are workshop titles from a sexuality conference I attended this past weekend in Washington, DC, named, Momentum: Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism, & Relationships. In its second year, Momentum is a space for sex-positive professionals around the country to learn, teach, and build community.

The opening keynote discussion comprised five powerful sex educators speaking on the state of the union for sex. Their focus areas ranged from adolescent education to elderly sexuality to sex workers’ rights. It was an inspiring plenary, and I was surprised by how energized I felt being a part of this group. All were welcome in this sex-positive space, whether professor, sex educator, sex toy store owner, online sexual performer, or prostitute.

What is sex positive? Sex positivity is viewing sex as a natural process. It is embracing pleasure. It is open, frank, conversations about sex, sexuality, and sexual health. And it is accepting sexual expression in a vast variety of forms. It is not perceiving sex as dirty, shameful, unnatural, or just wrong. Unfortunately, sex negativity is more the status quo in America, hence the need for sexuality professors to unite in a community of like-minded folks.

Allena Gabosch, the Executive Director of the Center for Sex Positive Culture in Seattle, defines sex positivity as “an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, and encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation.” I encourage you to consider what sex positivity means to you and how embracing it, even a little bit, could enhance your pleasure, exploration, and health. As I’m completing this blog with a cup of tea in hand, my Good Earth tea bag tag offers this quote of advice: The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next. What is your common sense telling you about creating your own pleasure revolution?

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Marriage Counselor, Sexual Health Educator, Sexologist

Shhh…Can You Hear That? Vaginas Are Talking

“If your vagina could talk, what would it say?”

This is one of several questions posed by Eve Ensler in her award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues. I think it speaks to the personality of a woman’s sexuality, and offers the opportunity for many women to explore this verbally for the first time. Based on my work, here is what some vaginas want to say:

“Warm me up. Sometimes I may be hot and heavy right away, but other times it takes awhile to get the blood flowing down there. My arousal isn’t always immediate, but it doesn’t mean I’m not interested. I just need you to prime my pump, both physically and emotionally.”

“Slow down! Pounding is good sometimes, but it gets old in the long run, and I feel like a porn actress. When we are in synch with each other, the natural ebbs and flows of intercourse are perfect.”

“Surprise me. You may have found something that seems to work, but this can change over time, and even just day to day! Please don’t let your need to feel good about knowing how to please me get in the way of continual gentle exploration. From the labia and clitoris, to the vaginal opening and G-spot area, and the rest of my erogenous zones, there is a lot of me to discover.”

If you’d like to hear from more vaginas, ranging from hysterically funny to heart wrenching, come see the play The Vagina Monologues. I will be performing in two benefit performances at the La Jolla Playhouse on March 18. Buy your tickets for the 2pm show HERE and the 7pm show HERE.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Marriage Counselor, Sexologist, College Sexual Health Speaker

(This blog was originally posted to Pacific San Diego Magazine's Blogger Series.)

150 Shows About Sex: Lessons Learned?

On March 12, 2012, I am hosting a big party to celebrate the 150th episode of In the Den with Dr. Jenn! We had our first video shoot in a tiny studio space in downtown San Diego in June 2006. Back then, I was sitting in a big red luv sac with a production staff of three men. With no teleprompter, I had notes scrawled on a white board next to the camera, and you can see my eyes darting back and forth. We had no idea what we were doing, but had a whole lot of fun doing it.
In reflecting on 150 shows about sex, I've learned that…

  • Sex is truly a blend of contradictions: fun and serious, pleasure and pain, reverent and irreverent, healing and escape. We can get stuck on one side of the equation, but I think there’s growth in opening to its complexity.
  • Maintaining a high standard of integrity around sex-positivity AND female sexual empowerment is sadly not the norm in the sex field.
  • I love being part of the San Diego sex community and having the opportunity to bring so many fascinating guests on my show, as well as shooting in front of a live studio audience. Public discourse around sex is so valuable!
  • Sexual energy is more powerful and sensitive than I realized. We all need to honor and respect this in women and men.
  • People are excited to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I've found that creating empowering, sex positive messages is a challenging yet important cause that calls to many.
  • You can never know everything about sex, but we cover a lot through Den Chats and Sexual Fun Facts.  Did you know that yoga can improve orgasms, practitioners of BDSM tend to have higher IQs, women who want to become pregnant should pay attention to their nutrition well before that point, the chakras of women and men open in opposite directions in sexual situations, masturbation is still one of our most taboo topics, and college female gymnasts may serve as masturbatory fodder for male students? These were all new to me!
Here are a few Fun Facts about the show:
  • My favorite Sexual Fun Fact is from Session #26. Question: What have zookeepers in China used to assist pandas in reproduction? Answer: Panda porn! They have played videos of other pandas having sex.
  • The sex terminology most repeated (to me) from an episode is “anal bleaching,” from Session #20.
  • The episode with the most hits on YouTube is Anal Sex: Advice from a Gay Man to Straight Women. (Session #119). Hmm…I think there’s a lot more conversation to be had around this one!
I could go on and on, because creating this show was such an incredible experience. However, I will leave you with two other links:
Session #150: Gynecologist Speaks: How to Improve Women's Libido (with Dr. Diana Hoppe)
Session #1, where it all started!

And please join the party on Monday, March 12, if you're in the San Diego area!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Marriage Counselor, Sexologist, College Sexual Health Speaker