Unfortunately, we can be terrible sometimes at assessing long-term sexual compatibility at the start of a relationship because our feel-good neurotransmitters are running the show. Most of us know that feeling of overwhelming passion the first few weeks and months, when you can’t imagine not being easily aroused by your partner….Read More
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With Comic Con in full swing in downtown San Diego right now, I’m having flashbacks to Wonder Woman from my childhood. And since I’m in the sex field, not surprisingly this progressed to me reflecting on Wonder Woman as a sexual archetype. An archetype is a constellation of personality traits that form a recognizable character, such as the Mother, the Warrior, or the Teacher. If someone asked you to enact one of these roles, you’d have a good idea of what to do because they make sense to us.
I expand on this concept of archetypes to include sexual archetypes who can help us grow in our sexual identities. Do you like who you are in the bedroom? Do you express yourself authentically and fully in sexually encounters? Do you bring the best of you to sex? If not, a sexual archetype can be a tool for growth.
Due to the stigmas and discomfort we have around full sexual expression in the United States, sexual expression can often be stifled. If you have a fear of sexual rejection or fear of sexual judgment for being authentically sexually you (who grows up in this society and doesn’t?!), it can feel terrifying to try something different.
One way to break through your sexual blocks is to choose a sexual archetype with whom you identify. While we have archetype understandings of the Seductress or the Whore or the Goddess, I like to extend this to our cultural icons. What Hollywood star, movie or television character, or book persona exudes a sexual energy you’d like to embody? This is beyond role-playing because you are pulling out parts of yourself and developing comfort with them, with the intention of long-term integration.
It’s important to recognize the difference here between “performance” and “authentic” sexual expression. I’m not suggesting that you “perform porn star,” but that you tap into an energy of expression that resonates deeply with you, but has been blocked or never developed. An archetype allows a big shift in perspective that offers permission to access and express new depths of your sexual being. So who do you want to be? If you're interested in learning more about the origins of the Wonder Woman character, check out my video from awhile ago about Wonder Woman.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sociologist, Sexologist, Sexuality Speaker
(Photo of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman from: http://bestofbothworldsaz.com/2011/03/12/wonder-woman-lynda-carter-an-arizona-beauty-2/)
In a recent conversation with a couple, I was asked about all the factors that can come into play in sexual interactions. I started rattling off a long list, such as childhood lessons about sex, religious beliefs, self-esteem, self-worth, body-image, early sexual experiences, abuse, knowledge about one's body, nutrition, exercise, where you are in your life, where you are in your menstrual cycle (for women), stress, chronic diseases, length of relationship, depth of connection, medications, sense of security, emotional intelligence, meaning of sex, hormone levels, gender beliefs, anxiety, sleep, alcohol intake, comfort with communication....As I paused for a moment, they looked at me and said, "Wow - that's a lot."
Yes, it is, and there's still much more. In every relationship, each person has their own version of these factors as well as how they interact in the relationship, where they may take on a life of their own. It can be very complicated. I think this is also very exciting when it comes to evolving our sexual potential both alone and with others, because there is always something new to learn or new avenue to explore. This is why I believe it is imperative to take a holistic approach by considering the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects, and the interplay between these.
It can be a daunting task when facing sexual and relationship concerns to realize that there are so many relevant factors. However, we can also redefine the circumstances as ripe for personal growth and exploring the depths of human pleasure.
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