Love, Lust & Laughter - 09.06.22
Parenting, Anxiety and Differentiation of Self: What does Sex Have to Do With It?
Dr. Diana and her guest, Dr. Ashley Mader, reflected on the anxious times we are living in, where stress can either be an accelerator for sexual intimacy or a brake for it. The better differentiated each partner is, the better they can communicate their desires (or lack thereof). Differentiation involves learning to balance your individuality (separateness) with your emotional connection to someone else (togetherness). For some, there is a loss of self – especially in anxious times. “Me Time” is essential. You can’t feel sexy with someone else if you don’t feel sensual and relaxed alone. For one client, a way to hold onto herself was to go to a hotel alone for 24 hours to decompress and sooth her anxiety. This was a time for enlightened selfishness!
NOTE: Dr. Ashley Mader will discuss this topic at the upcoming conference PARENTING DURING ANXIOUS TIMES (www.TheBowenCenter.org) September 30,2022, 9:30-3:30 EDT.
Most women with low sexual desire want to want. Female sexuality is often contextual. Women can lose desire quickly when they don’t feel the right motivation. But because female desire is highly responsive to environment, it can also be ignited. As sex therapists, both Dr. Ashley and Dr. Diana hear couples say, “We love each other very much, but we have no sex. There is too much stress.” They feel like they’re living with a roommate and they start to desexualize each other.
Dr. Ashley says how important it is to create Sexy Time. Be sensuous with all your senses: seeing, hearing, feelings, and smelling keep us alive. They also feed and nourish romance and eroticism! Watch some sexy films, play sexy games, read erotica to each other. Schedule a Date Night, ending early enough to get home and have sex. Buy some pretty lingerie … Sometimes the hardest person to seduce is yourself.
What about parenting in these anxious times? It’s common for anxiety to be projected onto the child. A depressive marriage is grim for both adults and children. Children with a depressed parent are, on average, more likely to have behavioral and academic problems (even lower IQs!). To survive happily as couples, they need to place a higher priority on sex and erect boundaries to protect their intimacy.
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