In the first few episodes of Under the Covers, our podcast about relationships and music, Stephanie and Jeremiah explain the negative interaction patterns that couples get stuck in--the criticism and defend pattern and the pursue-distance ones.
These patterns exist in many different contexts--parenting, chores, finances. Our couples therapists will ask early about how these patterns exist in the most intimate of contexts: sexuality. We believe that by talking with you about your sexual relationship, encounters that naturally have high levels of anxiety, we can affect the way that you solve problems in a number of areas.
In Episode 4 of Under the Covers, Stephanie and Jeremiah talk about the messages (the "Shoulds") that we learn about sexuality. Sex should be between a man and a woman. Sex should involve two healthy bodies. Sex should involve that male partner in a dominant position and the female partner in a submissive one. Sex should involve an erect penis. The list goes on.
We learn all kinds of “Shoulds” about how sex is supposed to be, from parents/family, school, religion, doctors, and the media. Sometimes we’re told things specifically, and sometimes we learn by observing and listening. As you listen to this episode, ask yourself both about what "shoulds" you place on your sexual relationship and where you learned about the shoulds of sexuality.
Stephanie and Jeremiah then provide some healthy "shoulds"--expectations that could lead to a more fulfilling sexual experience. Sex should be consensual, where both partners know what to expect because there have been conversations about sexuality ahead of time. Sex should be safe. It involves conversations about contraceptive methods. We aren't forcing our partners to do anything they don't want to do. Healthy sex should feel good.
So check out Episode 4 of Under the Covers on Soundcloud. And if you'd like to explore how improving your sexual relationship, give us a call at 617-750-0183.