When the subject of sex comes up in session it is often in hushed whispers with eyes diverted to the ground. People (adults usually) are admitting out loud, sometimes for the first time ever, a part of themselves they have never had the chance to be vulnerable about or even explore in depth. Our sexuality is just as much a part of us as any other aspect of identity, but it is often unattended and undeveloped. Partly because we live in an erotophobic society and partly because we don’t truly ever receive quality, comprehensive sex education. So, what does that mean for us?
Monet David Blog
One of the beautiful things about therapy is the possibility it possesses. I have had the pleasure of witnessing growth right before my eyes as folks come to understand themselves on a deeper level. I am fortunate enough to have highly motivated clients who show up consistently, ready to hit the ground running and offer me the chance to point out incongruencies or patterns of behavior that can help them become better versions of themselves. But I have a secret to share with you—sometimes just showing up to session isn’t enough.
The frequency with which anxiety exists in our bodies can only be described as frenetic and unrelenting. A hive of bees when it is at its worst. An amalgamation of symptoms—elevated heart rate, dilated pupils, shortness of breath, tensed muscles. It’s no wonder those of us burdened with anxiety move quickly—from one task to another, constantly planning and waiting for the next crisis we will inevitably overthink. It’s taxing both emotionally and physically. To overcome such intense symptoms feels impossible. But what if it isn’t?
Picture it—I stand before you, perfect erect posture, an ornate hat placed upon my head and bedecked in some sort of religious garb. I beckon you to come forth and hear my wise words and you are hypnotized by the image before you. The atmosphere mimics the final scene of that one movie where Bill Murray whispers into Scarlett Johansson’s ear and the audience is none the wiser but desperately wishes they were. This time you get to be privy to information. I gently say to you, “Stop being the therapist friend. It’s not necessary. Just be, like, a good supportive friend.”
The therapeutic relationship is such a fascinating concept to me. I invite you, as my client, to join me, your therapist, in an intimate, vulnerable space with clear set boundaries. It seems like for many clients this is a novel experience. They are typically seeking counseling services to address interpersonal conflicts wrought with enmeshment and boundary violations. In these contexts, therapy can serve as a model for what positive, open relationships can look like in one’s life.
Sex is something that most of us participate in, gain enjoyment from, and even utilize to create families. It’s something that people have shamed, derided, and made out to be a disgusting act (usually stemming from traumatic experiences, misinformation or implicit negative messaging). So I am choosing to talk about sex openly in my next few blogs--which makes me pretty radical. Did you know that Louisiana does not require instruction in sexual health education at any grade level but does allow sexual health education to be taught in grades 7th –12th?
Dirty mirror selfie for your nerves.
Recently, a client admitted they had been searching for an older, gay male clinician. They desired to connect with an elder from within their own community. Who can blame them? But, as they discovered, there really aren’t any in Lafayette, Louisiana.