For Women Only: 3 Tips to Take Care of YOU!

I don't think women take enough care of themselves. That's why, for this Valentine's season of sexy love, I'm encouraging women to prioritize themselves with three tips for nurturing. Thank you Softcup Menstrual Cup company for hosting my Valentine's videos this February!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Sex Speaker

Singles Awareness Day - February 15

Is Singles Awareness Day just a silly day, to make fun of Valentine's Day and its emphasis on coupledom? Or is it a legitimate reason to celebrate being single and help folks feel better the day after Valentine's Day? I'm guessing that it started as a joke (this day's acronym is S.A.D., afterall), but I think there's actually a lot of value in recognizing this topic.

We learn to put great emphasis on being in a relationship, and that this form of expression completes us. While relationships can be amazing, the good ones take a lot of work and perseverence, and sometimes bring out the worst in us. If you notice that you're feeling down because you wish you had a significant other, take a bit of time to feel that sadness, but don't get stuck in the wallowing. Don't overlook the benefits of being single. Make sure you are prioritizing taking care of yourself, something that is often easier to do when single. Being single is a great opportunity to focus on your purpose and mission in life, your personal growth, and what personally lights you up.

For example, on a day like Singles Awareness Day, or ANY day that you want to take care of yourself, create opportunities to learn new things, challenge yourself, surround yourself with friends, and just have fun. For example, take an art class that has always interested you, join an adult sports league, take a language class, or invite a few friends over for a wine or beer tasting. These are ways to feel like you're in control of your life, while doing something you enjoy and sharing time with others. Also, write a love letter to yourself, describing all your strengths and what you appreciate about you. Treat yourself in a romantic way, just like you would someone else. I have no doubt you deserve it.

The bottom line? Don't wait for things to happen - make something happen! And appreciate every stage and step in life.

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

"Ask the Shrinks" - Dr. Jenn as Special Valentine's Guest on San Diego Fox 5

CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO.

Once a week, San Diego Fox 5 News hosts "Ask the Shrinks*," and today for Valentine's Day I was their sex therapist guest. I really enjoyed bantering with the two psychologists and addressing viewer questions about sex and relationships from multiple angles. This is Part 2 of our segment (I can't find Part 1 online). Don't miss when I mention one of my favorite activities for couples: Happy Naked Fun Time!

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

*Disclaimer: For the record, I am not officially a "shrink," because I'm a sociologist, not a psychologist!

Guest Blog for The Happiness Coach - Focus on What IS Working In Your Relationship

This was posted this week to The Happiness Coach's Blog:

One of the most significant conclusions from the positive psychology research is that other people matter to our happiness.  Anyone in a committed relationship knows well that our partner can have a HUGE effect on our emotions.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve asked my good friend, San Diego relationship and intimacy expert, Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, to be the guest writer for the newsletter this week.  She shares one of the best ways to bring more positivity into our primary relationship. – Eric Karpinski, The Happiness Coach

Complain. Bitch. Moan.

It is easy to complain when we have been in a relationship for a while. When dating, everything is new and exciting about our partner, and we are more likely to express our gratitude. However, in the long run, we often take for granted the positive aspects of the relationship. But before you start blaming yourself here, consider that this negativity bias is genetically influenced. As a survival mechanism, we are programmed, just like other animals, to notice what is wrong or not working. Unfortunately, this negativity bias can be a real drag in a relationship if you are on the receiving end of continuous complaints.

I suggest consciously making a shift from being in a relationship that is based on survival, to a relationship that is about thriving. Try focusing on what is working instead of what is not working. This is a strengths-based approach to perceiving your partner. When you consciously choose to see what is already strong and positive, you can break through your negativity bias and prime yourself for even more optimism. Choosing optimism is a much stronger foundation for the relationship to continue to grow and evolve.

A practical way to put this shift into action is to write a list of at least 20 things you appreciate about your partner. What are his/her strengths? Positive characteristics? What traits made you fall in love? Share your lists with each other, and post them in a place where you will see them often. Another way to integrate greater positivity into your relationship is to end each day with sharing two or three appreciations with your partner. What did he/she do that day that you appreciated? Did your partner nurture you? Spend quality time? Make you laugh? Take turns going first each night. If you find yourself continuing to struggle with negativity, every time you file a complaint, take on the challenge of also finding two ways to compliment your partner.

Making these activities a regular part of your interactions will infuse your relationship with a conscious positivity. Not only will this assist you both in recognizing each other’s strengths, it also makes you feel appreciated, and opens your hearts and brains to greater resiliency and creativity in the relationship. These are all key components to growing and thriving!

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