For most people, sex is something that happens with someone else–for great sex to happen it’s contingent on a partner, their skill level, availability, mindset or drive. Many people that I talk with share great sexual experiences that happened at one time in their life. It could be that great experience or period of time with their partner that happened five or ten years ago. It could be with a past partner that they had great sex with. Or it could be in the hopes of having great sex with a future potential partner. It could be that person that’s walking down the street that you’re attracted to. It could be the barista at your favourite coffee house. Great sex for so many people happens over there with someone else. A different way to look at things is rather than finding great sex with someone else, you can bring great sex to a relationship.
In last week’s blog, I talked about the importance of developing your sexual self esteem and so to build on that discussion this week I want to focus on what it means to develop your own sense of Sexual Responsibility. You are the source of great sex in your life and nobody else! By shifting our understandings of who is and who isn’t responsible for great sex we can start to shift the conversation from places of blame, shame and doubt to places of empowerment where you can look at your sex life and be responsible for it. Take control of what it is that you in your sex life, and don’t let it be about anyone else!
A good way to great started on this journey of sexual empowerment is to think about developing your Sexual Core Values. These are values that are a very important part of being able to stay true to who you are–as I’ve mentioned before we have a number of very limited ways of expressing ourselves sexually. We have been taught that there are only a few ways to have the sex that we want or to have the partners that we want, or to have the type of sex that we want. Developing your Sexual Core Values actually gets down to what is really most important to you and helps you connect sexually with your partner(s).
The three Sexual Core Values that I will offer you to take on is what I call the Triad of Trust: honesty, respect and safety. Now, when I share this with most people they say “yeah, yeah, I do this. I’m always honest with my partner, and I respect their boundaries and we always practice safer sex.” I say “that’s great, but that’s not what I’m talking about”. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. What do you really want? To be respectful of what works for you once you’ve developed that awareness, and respect that it may or may not work for your partner. Then there’s safety. Safety isn’t only about safer sex all the time: it’s also the emotional and psychological safety that you require to be able to connect with your partner sexually. Once you have the honesty, respect, and safety first and foremost with yourself, you’ll have that trust in yourself to make the choices and decisions that support you. Then you can talk to your partner about that. You can share with your partner what’s really important to you.
Sexual Core Values are really important and the first three that I would invite you to take on are honesty, respect and safety. Then add on whatever else is a core value for you.
Developing this level of awareness around your sexual core values will serve as a grounding point and a screen to evaluate your sexual choices. When making a decision about sex or any aspect of your sexuality, ask yourself, are these aligned with my sexual core values?
- Posted by Dr. Stephen de Wit
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