The holidays are intended to be about love, connection, peace, and appreciation. What do many people experience, though? Stress, frustration, disappointment, and distraction. It's common for the couples I work with as clients to lose their focus and priorities...Read More
Blog - Essays, Articles, Videos, and Tips
With the start of the school year, it's not a bad idea to use this time to take stock of your relationship, and make sure you're still on track and deeply in love. I discuss three R's of long-term long, including Reassess, Recognize, and Romance, with Marc Bailey on San Diego Living. What would your R's be? :)
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sexual Health Speaker, Sociologist
Since we're encouraged to "Kiss me, I'm Irish," does that mean the Irish are particularly good lovers or more romantic? I tackle this topic on the San Diego Living morning news with Marc Bailey, as we delve into different cultures around the world and their versions of love, romance, and sensuality. It's a relatively superficial discussion, but we do touch on the sociologically fact that our versions of love and romance are created by the culture and country in which we're raised. And if we don't like them, why not consider how others do it?!
Watch the video clip HERE.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus -- San Diego Sexologist, Sexual Health Speaker, Sex Sociologist
If we were to learn about love from advertisers, we would believe that love is spending money on your partner or buying sparkly surprises. But love is complex and often difficult to define. So this season of love, let’s look at love in three different ways—neurochemically, socially and emotionally—and then consider whether this relates to “mature love.”
Neurochemical: Love and lust can easily mix at the start of a relationship, when love feels like a deep yearning for the other. A lover’s high in the beginning is a mix of brain chemicals such as oxytocin, adrenaline and dopamine. If you’re with someone long enough, you can also develop a deeper kind of love, that involves different areas of you brain concerning attachment and commitment. It feels less passionate, but is more stable and enduring.
Social: We grow up learning myths about love. For example, there is the social myth in America that “love conquers all.” I hear this from clients and we see it is movies and books. In our society, we also hear that you should only get married because of love (instead of more practical reasons like health insurance) and that love should be easy. I think women are more likely to be raised with the belief that they are not complete or worthy when not in love or with a partner. Societal expectations of love and marriage can weigh heavily on women and men.
Emotional (and Feelings): Love can feel wonderful—a warmth in your heart, appreciation for your partner, and a sense of safety that you are not alone in the world. In the throes of love, we feel joyful, awe-inspired and vibrant. The flip side to these is that love, or at least attachment to someone, can bring about self-doubt, disappointment and deep angst.
How does all of this match with “mature love”? Interestingly, there’s not much of a match! In this discussion, I call upon my work with clients, personal experience, as well as my enjoyment of the If the Buddha Married book. In mature love, you respect yourself and your partner. You support each other through tough times and celebrate the successes. Mature love is interdependence; you rely on each other but don’t lose who you are. It is also having the courage to be vulnerable and accepting, and work through conflicts by taking responsibility, instead of defensiveness or blame. You see and appreciate your partner for who they are, not who you project them to be. Love does not conquer all in a relationship; it requires diligence, intention and attention. And these have the beautiful potential of bringing you even closer to your partner.
I think the best Valentine’s gift this season is committing your intention and attention to cultivating a mature loving relationship with your partner! If you find yourself single this time of year, all of these same qualities can be developed and expressed in your relationship to yourself. Mature love starts with loving yourself. And that feels lovely.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, National Sex Speaker
If Dr. Jenn's Den and FrogQuest had a baby, this would be it!
Add spice to your Valentine’s weekend with a sex- and love-themed Photo Scavenger Hunt. Whether you’re single or the better part of a couple, we want you to gather a team of 4-6 friends, dress in any outrageous costumes you choose, and set off on this high-energy hunt! Your challenge is to capture the most daring, creative, and interactive photo quests, from the list we provide, with your smartphone
Fun? Check! Adventure? Check! Competition? Check! Making a spectacle with your friends? Double check!
Photo quests will have you and your team setting up compromising yet hilarious photo rich situations, some of which may require that you get strangers to help you out! For instance, you may need to convince a stranger to eat an ice cream or a piece of fruit seductively. Don’t feel comfortable with a particular quest? No problem! Skip it and move on to another. There will be no shortage of other laughable moments to photograph!
Each quest is worth a varying amount of points depending on how daring or difficult it is, so the objective is to earn more points than any other team. Afterwards, teams return to watch a photo slideshow and celebrate while enjoying food and drink specials. This is the best part!
I'm co-hosting this event with my friend Chris Geirman, who owns FrogQuest Photo Scavenger Hunts.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Sex Speaker
Last Friday I got to be on KUSI News and Good Morning San Diego for the first time, talking about ways to focus on your relationships and sex life in the new year. The morning producer brought up a good point - resolutions and intentions tend to focus on our individual needs...but what about focusing on improving our primary relationship?
I suggest a three-step process:
1) What's not working in your relationship and sex life? Write this down and get clear on it. What is your role in this?
2)What is your vision of a happy, satisfied, and connected relationship? Be clear on what direction you're headed.
3) At the start of every month this year, choose one thing to focus on that prioritizes improving what's listed under #1 and moves you in the direction of #2.
I discuss why scheduling is so important, offer ideas to prioritize at the start of each month, and I also give a suggestion to folks who are single and a bit jaded with the dating experience.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Sexual Health Speaker