Tag Archive | Sex

Choose Chastity Because You Have Self-Respect

The idea of remaining a virgin has always had religious connotations with it because this is where the concept has the strongest need. In our modern society many people are ashamed to associate with a faith, which is very sad because it is important to value spirituality as well as mind and body. Parents are refusing to provide religious instruction through some avenue of persuasion, opting to “let them choose,” which is about as ignorant as allowing a child to vote. So by writing about chastity here, I want to put it in the context of self-respect.  For some reason modern women writers tend to focus on making sex acceptable and I think it is more important to make self-respect acceptable and a priority. This is not a conversation about religion but it is about being a feminist and it is not about hating men.

Not having sex before you are married is a very beautiful step toward choosing the right partner. It takes a certain amount of maturity, wisdom and focus to make this decision. I am always so proud of my female clients when they tell me they have opted to go in this direction. Some make the decision because of religion and some because they are smart enough to know they are not ready. When my female clients have chosen to embark on the path of sex before marriage, I am proud of them for choosing birth control and safe sex (a majority of young women refuse to use birth control). I know these women are not getting any support from their girlfriends because the “in” crowd is focused on their sexual appetites and what brand of sex they choose. The latter is ridiculous because you cannot be sure of your identity until you are an adult and even then, it takes time to adjust to being in the real world. Many people, I believe, are going to rue the day they made drastic changes to their sex and persona as a young person – wait and see. We have already gone through the plastic surgery guilt and the sudden surge in sex changes and sexual confusion is next. We, as psychology professionals cannot even give certain diagnoses to minors and this is because they are going through identity confusion.  So this is my main argument for chastity. Teenagers are going through an identity crisis and it is best to wait until they are an adult to make any sexual decisions. Regret is a painful feeling to deal with throughout your life.

With chastity before marriage so many benefits come with this decision. You are free to focus on your future without any inhibitions or “responsibilities,” [to someone]. In the meantime, it is important to date and befriend lots of people but be very open about your boundary of not having sex. By doing so, you will get rid of the bad people immediately who are only about pulling down your drawers. You don’t have to worry about disease or babies that “accidentally” occur because you have chosen not to use birth control. You can think about college or career aspirations. You can focus on building a financial portfolio so that you can buy a house and a nice car. You can enjoy having fun with friends and dates because you are not tied down to anyone. When you are dating, you are taking the time to get to know one another and finding out what it is you want in a relationship. When you finally do choose to marry, you are wearing a white wedding dress with pride and because you respect the meaning of the color. The long term benefits are that you will have a lot more happiness by choosing to respect yourself and you will be more successful in life.

The cons that come with sex before marriage are that once you have gone down this road, it is hard to turn back. You can with perseverance and strength and a willingness to start over though. Sex at a young age often becomes a place to perform. Young people get caught up in size, quantity, positions, acting, what they are able to do, and how great they are. This is a very shallow path toward a future because you become focused on your statistics and performance rather than your life. Many people, I have spoken with, who start out at a young age get so lost that they forget who they are. I spend time in sessions coaching them on how to find the human being that rests within. Of course because our society has decided it is not politically correct to discipline a young woman or the young man, for not using birth control, so many women have determined they can take the chances. They see these hideous reality shows where women have multiple partners, have babies before marriage and men see that it is practically acceptable to abandon a woman once she is pregnant. Our society is more focused on feeling sorry for than teaching values. Celebrities have no sense of their role in society and how they are ruining our young people by setting poor examples. It is great for a wealthy person to have a baby at 16 because they have nannies to take care of the unwanted child. The average person has nothing financially to contribute and this can end up leading to social services intervention and/or the public welfare system.

Sex is not a bad thing; it is a very wonderful way to be with a person that you love. It is icing on the cake but much more worthwhile when you have taken the time to get to know someone. Building a friendship and having trust and respect with your partner is foreplay. Foreplay is not a conversation on a first or second or so on date that you end with sex. It takes time to build this emotional connection and once you have a commitment, don’t end this by having sex. Wait to get married to do this, you’ve gone this far so why not? Young people are not able to make a decision that they are in love with someone when their friendship is about sex.

Emotional instability is often the very reason that women end up being unfaithful to their partners because we have “emotional infidelity” (before the act is performed of having sex) whereas men have physical infidelity upfront. When women don’t have a strong emotional connection to their partner, they seek someone else to fulfill this wish. You can’t love someone just because you have had sex together. That is infatuation. You can’t expect to build a relationship on a one night stand or a fling. Most women try to do this and they fall short or end up pregnant hoping to force the issue. Obviously none of this works. To quick to jump in bed is behind so many failed marriages.

The degradation of our current society is at an all-time low that I often wonder if it will ever be possible to repair it. So many inappropriate messages are being thrown out into our culture which unfortunately is witnessed by everyone, including the very young. When I grew up these topics needed to wait until after the nine o’clock hour which was reserved for adults. Even then, the topics were hardly an issue of concern to young people, not when you compare this with our world today. The focus on death by suicide and suicidal ideation is really missing the point. It is not about encouraging people to be sexually open; it is about encouraging self-esteem and abstinence as a way toward a happier and more successful life. I wonder if the rate would be so high if minors were not so focused on coming out or having sex in general? If we made the priority in schools about academia and goal planning for the future rather than passing a test and getting out of school. The idea of focusing on bathrooms rather than education when a person should not be choosing their sexuality as a minor (especially changing the gender) is so harmful to the young psyche whose brain doesn’t even stop developing until they are an adult. Young people won’t need to worry about bathrooms and sexuality if they are focused on their academic future. When they are out in the real world and beginning to see what life is all about, than they can make choices with a clear mind that is not intimidated by peer pressure, family, or religion.

Young people, often, do know what their sexuality is at a very young age but it is more important that they behave like a child and have fun. It is more important that they are groomed for adulthood and are taught principles to grow on. This means learning about religion – with their parents there to instruct as well as the religious sector. It means getting a good education – with their parents taking this seriously and being involved with the school. It means the parents need to teach values, i.e., work ethics and family beliefs. The only thing a young person should be choosing is which sport or type of dance to be in or which school club to join or which elective they want to take. Even then, this should be a decision agreed upon with the parents based on finances of course.

By not focusing on sex a child will have a much stronger and healthier sense of self. Being chaste will more than likely cause a child to be better educated in the long run and this will help them to make better choices in life. It is time for us to take a step back and reflect on the values we, as older adults, were taught growing up and realize how great we had it. Then we need to re-think the messages we are sending out on the Internet and how it is affecting the young minds. A young woman is more of a feminist by respecting her mind, body and spirit and a young man respecting feminist ideals when it is not about getting her in bed. Wait to have sex or to determine your sex and focus on your future. You will thank me one day.

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For Men Who’s Partner has been Abused

Home life can be difficult when you can’t be with the one you love. The way you won’t to love them. I can’t seem to find anything written about this topic and it comes up quite a bit with couples and sometimes with my male clients in individual. It is difficult for the guy who’s partner has been sexually abused or even physically abused. Issues of Trust, Sex and Boundaries are often misinterpreted. Guys take it personally because they are assuming it is about them. It causes a lot of hurt and frustration with the partner that they love. Many times the guy will say to me “Why doesn’t she trust me?” or “Why won’t she have sex with me? I didn’t abuse her?” It is really difficult for both the survivor and the partner of the survivor. So how do you cope?

1. Patience – If your partner is in therapy, they are spending time working on themselves and trying to get through this trauma from childhood (or even as an adult) and, if your partner is in therapy, it would be good for the two of you to do couples work as well.

2. Confidence – If your partner has confided in you that they have been abused, know that however they are behaving around you in the bedroom or in other situations has to do with the pain they have experienced. It isn’t always because of a situation between the two of you. It also isn’t always because of the abuse. Ask questions.

3. Research – While there aren’t books written to help men cope, there are plenty of online articles and books available to survivors of abuse. One of the top books is called “The Courage To Heal.” I understand there is a chapter in there specifically for the partners but the whole book is talking about how to cope with this trauma.

4. Practice Conscious Sex – Sex with your partner is going to have limitations when your partner is an abuse survivor. Some women forego certain acts of sex. This is because it is too difficult – the memories. Talk with your partner about sex, with the understanding that this talk is not going to lead to sex. Talk to them about safe touch (what feels comfortable for them). Work together on how sex can be fun for both of you.

5. Touch her emotionally and you will have touched her physically – Women regard emotions much higher than touch. Hearing how she is valued, loved and respected will get you much further in the bedroom than just touching her because you want to. This has to be authentic and really mean something coming from you. There are way too many men out there (and you know who I mean) who are players and can say a lot of crap to get a woman in bed. This isn’t about being a player. This is about being a man, building a connection with the one you love.

Once you have done these things with your partner, you will find that over time, trust will begin to re-build for her and she will begin to feel safer and safer.

 

Note: Also take a look at some of the resources on my Couples page.

Parents Sex Lives and Children

Adults who had parents, who led less than extraordinary lives, when it comes to raising their children with ethics, often have poor relationships. If you saw your parents (one or both) fooling around, watching porn, unstable with women/men, generally this has an effect on how you view partners as well. Men or women whose parent was absent growing up presents a dilemma also. How can you know good choices to make with a partner when you weren’t given a good example growing up?

In my own blended family there are three girls (a fourth sister died). Our birth father was not there for us growing up. He was a player who married five or six times but he cheated on all of them.  I myself recall women in his house when I was there for visitation, who he was not married to. As an adult, he is still unable to admit to me what his mistakes were as a man. He will say “Well you know what I did to your mother,” which is denial in a backhanded way. All of us sisters, including the one who died had bad marriages and equally bad relationships. Only one of us has actually been married successfully a second time. Our birth dad was unavailable to all of us growing up and therefore our self-esteem, setting boundaries and asking for what we want has taken quite a toll on us emotionally. This is why I am a therapist – I can empathize with bad families. I am a good therapist because of the work I have done on myself. Experience alone is wasteful unless you have become a better person.

I have also worked with foster children for many years who have played the “Who’s your babies daddy?” game. In the inner city it is considered glamorous, in a strange sort of way, to have multiple children that you are taking no responsibility for. It shows you are a stud and guys make jokes about this. It is not funny when you see a young boy or girl struggling with their own self-esteem and following in a pattern of looking for sex for attention. It is the only way they know to get touched, even if it is inappropriate. Some touch is better than no touch at all. These kids fall prey to gangs, prostitution, drugs, crime, anything that will get them in some type of world that will pay attention to them. Many kids I worked with actually didn’t mind being behind bars. It was one safe place where they were more protected than on the streets. I could actually empathize with them. Three squares and a cot that you don’t have to sell yourself for each and every day. Someone setting boundaries with you. Going to school and not having to worry about getting on the bus. And the people who work at juvenile hall actually care about these kids. Good consistent attention and a safe haven.

Kids who have been sexually abused in families often have one or both parents who have also been sexually abused. If the parent did not have anyone to protect them growing up, how will they know what to do with their own child? Sure it sounds pretty easy but when you are a parent, you don’t come equipped with a social worker or psychotherapist license. You raise your children the way you were raised. Middle class parents tend to do the opposite in a desperate need to give their kids everything they didn’t have. They end up raising entitled children who have names like Snowden and that kid who was caught with the Taliban from Marin, CA. If rich people can’t seem to get it right, you can’t expect low-income families with severe post traumatic stress disorder, sometimes are on drugs or alcohol, to pay attention and get it right. If you don’t know how to clean a house, your house is going to be dirty.

It is not unusual then that I would have many clients who have horrible relationships. Who have partners who take advantage of them just like their parents did. This is why I prefer working with individuals. If they are coming to me, the chances are their relationship is on a one way street. Someone is giving way more than the other. There is no equality because they weren’t raised by parents who work together.  They were raised with parents who were making babies with everyone in town, watching porn, using substances, turning a blind eye to someone abusing their child, or were just not there.

This is the reason that I do a family history the second session. I tell people I want to see what dynamics they grew up with that they have brought into their adult world. People always get a kick out of this because as soon as I say that, they resonate with this immediately. I also tell them that studies show, 90% of relationship problems are unmet childhood needs. Once we go over what this is in the second session, it is not unusual to see this comparison in their own spouses/partners. It is sad when they finally get this and the knowledge is often accompanied by lots of tears. Yet an awakening is followed by a new path where you can have what you want going forward – or can you?

Yes and No. It really depends on how strong someone is. Having a childhood as I have described above takes many years of therapy, homework, workshops, groups, reading, exploring your own self and then of course taking care of your body. First you have to see the connection. Then you have to be willing to do the work. You have to be open to realizing you do have an ego and taking responsibility for all the choices you have made. Yes, the partner was an ass but you attracted this person into your life based on the mindset you had. Sometimes it even takes awhile for people to realize this person is not right for them. Until they do, they continue to be taken advantage of and not get their needs met.

I don’t mind working with people, even if it takes a long time, as long as they are making some discoveries along the way. If they are not, they generally back out of therapy to continue being in a relationship that is ruining their hopes of ever having happiness. This is not so bad for them either. When a person has been raised in such a horrible environment, sometimes this is more comfortable than separating from what is normal to them.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. by  Anaïs Nin

Many people are stuck in the bud. When you think of a flower or better yet a caterpillar, in a cocoon, imagine how soothing this is. You are tightly wrapped up, very protected and it is dark in there. Nightime is often soothing when you are able to sleep. You are busy pretending the day never happened. Blossoming, opening up the bud, shedding the cocoon, this is risky and scary. You might not be good at this new life.

Think of these things as you raise your children. What images are you showing them? What interpretations are you making or telling yourself won’t hurt them? How much information are you giving them that they really don’t need to know? Hence the well-coined acronym “TMI.” Kids are not dumb. In fact their instincts and psychic powers are much stronger when they are little – until someone tells them that it is stupid or they are crazy. When someone says they are unworthy and will never amount to anything. This is when they begin to fall apart, lose their confidence, toss common sense to the wind and ignore their ability to see the double entendre.

Your children know you are having an affair. They might not put it in adult terms but they know something is going on that is strange and not normal for a parent to do. They know you are using substances – because everyone knows this. Because you are a new person once you’ve used them. You are no longer the good, fun parent but the evil person they have to lock their door for. They sneak out to pee and see their parent on the computer watching porn. They come into the room when adults are talking and hear the conversation about what mommy or daddy should not have done. Kids are curious, they wander around houses, they accidentally stumble on things. The truth is there. Think about how you are living your life. Is it really in the best interests of your family?

Sex in the Workplace

Cover of 2001 edition of Minding the Store, UN...

Cover of 2001 edition of Minding the Store, UNT Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stanley Marcus, the son of one of the founders for Neiman-Marcus, married a buyer at the famed store. Yet even still, he cautioned against fraternizing in the workplace in one of his famed memoirs. (He has two that I read a couple of decades ago: “Quest for the Best” and “Minding the Store,” I presume it was in the latter.)

Many times I have had clients or friends talk to me about sex in the workplace and while it does make sense it is important to be extremely cautious and very guarded about your behaviors.

First it makes sense because you are spending eight hours/day, five days a week, years on end with these people. You are joking, flirting, going to lunch, travelling together, team-building and even sharing intimate details of your life with these folks. They are like your family – except they are not. This is why we often cross the line. When you begin to become so intimate with people, they start to look sexy. This happens with clients and their therapists all the time. When you are being nurtured by a certain person or persons, you grow to love them – or at least think you do. In the workplace you are not leaving, unless you or they quit.

If you begin to have or are considering a triste with one of these folks, keep some things in mind.

1. No matter how exciting this becomes – DO NOT share it with your co-workers.

Be Advised – Your co-workers already know you are having sex with someone before you even have sex with them.  Remember they know you inside and out and don’t need to be a therapist to pick up on the subtle cues: eye movements, body language, extra time in their office, sneaking phone calls, your sudden elevated change in appearance, new perfume, long lunch dates, etc…

2. See if you can change departments (if you work in the same unit).

If this is your boss or their boss, you are now a CIA agent and must only offer up information on a “Need to Know Basis.” Your colleagues won’t appreciate the fact that you no longer indulge in daily gossip but you are now intimate with the guy/gal on top, pardon the pun, and must respect their position of authority, as if you were in their shoes. You are still being considered for promotions and evaluations, so if this doesn’t work out, don’t be surprised if you are suddenly put in a different area. It is only sexual harassment if it is quid pro quo – you do this for me and I will do that for you. If you choose to engage in sex with a boss, or higher up, you can’t expect there won’t be a fallout in the end, just as there would be if you didn’t work with them and it ended badly.

3. Do not ride to work together in the same car. Even if you did sleep at their house.

4. Do not attend company functions together.

5. Remember to continue behaving like a professional at all times.

6. Go to lunch or dinner out-of-town not in the same area where all your co-workers go. Look for out-of-the-way, hidden areas, if there are any or just wait till after work and meetup about 20 miles away.

7. Don’t be impatient – the longer you have to wait, the better it will be. Focus on your job, take your mind off the other person during those 8 hours.

Put the event date/time on your personal calendar that gives you an alarm so you know when it is time to think about the person once more. Once you know it is handled, go back to counting widgets, do your budgets, create a new spreadsheet, anything to occupy your mind on something dull (The initial phase eluding to, night one and then after having sex really does take people into another dimension. You have to work extra hard at being deceptive in the beginning.)

8. Anyone who still thinks sex will get them a promotion, doesn’t really think highly of themself. Learn how to do your job properly and get a raise on your paycheck.

9. OMG – don’t post it on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other internet outlet. Obviously you don’t want to put photos online either.

10. PLEASE USE BIRTH CONTROL – playing around = safe sex not getting pregnant or worse. If you don’t take control, you lose control.

These are all common sense ideas that we all know and say “duh” to but believe me, all these rules are broken when someone thinks “THEY” are special and are the one. You have lust, raw emotions and passion that comes from a build-up of tension in the workplace, it is rarely love.

What screws up the relationship is when it becomes everyone’s business in the workplace. This ends the affair quickly when one of the parties gets a reality check imagining the unemployment line.

What strengthens and continues a workplace relationship is when no one knows. What drives a long-term career romance is the seduction, the secrecy, the shared efforts in hiding the liaison.

Think with your head not with your heart.  If you are thinking with your heart at least pay attention to these rules. Workplace romance is one of the most erotic fantasies that are played out in the real world. It is also very unsafe and can cause job dissatisfaction, not to mention loss of one’s job, income and career aspirations. Is it really worth it?  Yes it is (for passion’s sake) but are you in it just for sex or for a long term committment? If you wish to have the latter, you really have to play by the rules and become a different person in the office.  If you are just in it for sex, at least have some integrity with your position [at the office]. Don’t make your sex life front page news.