Calgary Sex Therapy: Naked and Shameless Part #3: Sensational Sexual Healing!

Calgary Sex Therapy: Naked and Shameless Part #3: Sensational Sexual Healing!

Calgary Sex Therapy: Naked and Shameless Part #3: Sensational Sexual Healing!

Comments Off on Calgary Sex Therapy: Naked and Shameless Part #3: Sensational Sexual Healing!

Over two decades ago, I had a newly retired addictions counselling and Calgary Sex Therapy client in my office who I’ve never been able to forget. His struggles with sex and relationships had, at that point, gone on for over thirty-five years and, throughout that time, he had amassed over a thousand sexual partners – mostly paid sex workers – in virtually every major city in the world.

He had already experienced several failed marriages and many more failed common-law partnerships, primarily due to how astonishingly awful he was at concealing his activities. His world had shrunk down to a basement room in a friend’s house. He suffered under suffocating isolation and loneliness due to expulsion from his aggressively fundamentalist faith community and even his children cutting him out of their lives.

Only a short time into the first session, he began to berate himself, talking about how sick and perverted he was and the shame he felt for all of the disgusting things he had made these women do over the years. After this went on for some time, I finally asked him to describe what these disgusting acts were that so distressed him.

He reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a well-worn and utterly filthy piece of paper which he handed to me – a script he also passed to almost every sex worker with whom he had ever been.

young prostitute seated on street cornerTo my surprise, this paper requested an utterly normal sex act that Ros and I have both enjoyed thousands of times through the course of our marriage. A short script then followed that request. His paragraph-length script detailed the things he desired that each sex worker would say to him. Essentially, it was a penis-worship script praising his size and how remarkable his genitals were that over a thousand different sex workers had repeated for him.

That was the “Disgusting” act he had inflicted upon these sex workers… Ignoring, for a moment, the prostitution aspect of it, the only thing particularly unusual or disgusting about it was the filthy piece of paper these women and I had been forced to handle.

After I recovered from the confusion, I asked him what his sex life had included during his marriages and common-law partnerships. After he had shared a bit, I asked him if he had ever requested the same sexual experience from any of them that he repeatedly expected of the sex workers.

He responded with shock, horror and indignation, insisting, somewhat ironically, that he respected those women and would never do anything to disrespect them like that.

I’m nearly certain every one of those women probably felt far more disrespected by his refusal to even mildly experiment sexually with them, to say nothing of the infidelity. Some of them likely even felt personally deprived by the absence of that act. The majority of them would have been deeply honoured to have been allowed to explore his fantasies.

Sadly, only prostitutes ever got to know that part of him.

While politicians and the media consistently attempt to portray prostitution as some glamourous world of twisted and highly unusual sexual behaviours, the reality is far banaler and primarily focused on fantasies we all have. Though much of that world is opaque to us by virtue of its illegality, we do have extensive knowledge from two women in particular who have emerged from it to write and (in one case) gone on to achieve a doctoral degree in human sexuality: Veronica Monet and Dr. Barbara Keesling.

Right at the beginning of the first chapter of her book Sex Secrets of Escorts, Monet states:

“Escorts tend to see a side of their male clients that they perhaps do not share with the other people in their lives. It isn’t because the client considers the escort to be a better friend that he tells her his deepest, darkest secrets, but rather the fact that she is outside his social circle and unlikely to tell his secrets to anyone who matters to him… I have heard so many confessions, I often wondered whether my clients got confused and thought I was a member of the clergy…

…No one will judge him or censor him. He need not worry about losing his job, his standing in the community, or his family. Consequently, he can explore secret desires and urges. What is perhaps surprising is that it is less likely to be something exotic that he wants the escort to do for him and more likely to be something or someone he wants the freedom to do or be… In other words, most clients crave a break from the traditional roles that make up their day-to-day lives, and their secret desires more often involve violating the constraints of gender roles than indulging in different sexual practices.”

People tell social researchers one thing, their therapists another and their partners something entirely different. But quite often, none of it is accurate, nor does it match what they do in real life. These sex workers turned authors have given us a precious gift: An understanding of how shame about our oh-so bog-standard fantasies and the universally common needs that drive them actually play out in the singularly uninhibited world of prostitution. They have also given us a priceless window into the desperation that results when our fantasies are blocked from doing what they were designed to do:

Heal our hearts and unlock the most sensational sex ever!

Calgary Sex Therapy: Naked and Shameless Part #3: Sensational Sexual Healing!

In my mind, it seems only natural that so many former sex workers have become Registered Psychologists or Licenced Sex Therapists. Little changes when they begin keeping their clothing on, other than finally having the knowledge to be so much more helpful.

sex addiction syringe pictureBut, they already were doing therapy and providing a form of healing.

The main problem with the previous form of therapy they were offering is that it could only work at a surface level. Oh, they could exactly and precisely perform the elements of a sexual fantasy in an environment of zero shame, fear, guilt or threat of rejection, but that still could never fully satisfy.

As my client demonstrated, not even a thousand repetitions of the same could fill the void.

Why?

Because the intense vulnerability experienced through that shame, fear, guilt and threat of rejection is the central point of the fantasy and is precisely how it was intended to heal.

In other words, unless the fantasy and its payload of shame, fear, guilt or threat of rejection is fully expressed to a person who loves you and is also accepted by that person, the shame and guilt will never be dealt with. As a result, you will never fully feel accepted, will always keep that wounded part of your heart in hiding and will never be able to grow up.

In her book, Sexual Healing, Dr. Barbara Keesling described her past work as a sexual surrogate, stating:

“It is not the best of all healing scenarios, since neither person is the other’s physical choice or emotional mate, and the relationship is somewhat artificial because it is time-limited.” (P.16)

That says it so well: No matter how professional and knowledgeable the other person may be, and no matter how perfectly the fantasy may be met by anyone other than your primary partner, it’s still delivered by the wrong person.

It’s time to get the right people on the job!

Calgary Sex Therapy: How Sexual Healing Creates Most Sensational Sex Ever!

In the previous two articles in this series (Understanding Sexual Fantasy and Liberating Passionate Love,) we have covered the childhood roots of sexual fantasy. We looked at the anxiety, worry, guilt, humiliation, shame and fear of rejection that both energizes fantasy and traps so many in a netherworld of silence, desperation and, sometimes, sexual exploitation. (If you have not already read them, please do so first!)

It’s easy to look at the dark places where other people’s fantasies come from and throw the baby out with the bathwater. But that’s destructive and hypocritical. The fact is, none of us escaped our childhoods without pain, damage or at least unmet needs. Those unmet needs and the parts of us associated with them are submerged into our hearts’ deepest places and become the source of and engine for our sexual fantasies.

Our fantasies represent and provide the only point of access to a full third of our persons. They are an expression of our heart’s deepest cry for healing, fulfillment, and growth: A way to resume an arrested journey to adulthood and wholeness.

Calgary sex therapy couple receiving advice at a psychologist office pictureSex is a complicated issue both in marriages and Calgary Marriage Counselling. Sometimes people enter therapy to heal their sexuality, while others use sexuality to heal other life problems. In either case, however, people often struggle to talk about it. Many times they end up speaking in generalities and sometimes even hiding elements. Societal repression can take the blame for some of that.

However, much more of the reluctance seen is a byproduct of how our Calgary Couples Counselling clients perceive their fantasies to deviate from their values or how they see themselves and misunderstanding what to do with them.

Sex Therapy Calgary: What to do with Fantasy?

The key to understanding and using fantasy to heal is realizing that fantasy is not real – it is a theatre of the mind. People may fantasize about being raped, but even those who act out that fantasy in rich and vivid detail with a partner do not actually want to be raped. Furthermore, while some fantasies may have destructive elements and need to be revised (especially in a relationship,) most do not need to be changed.

They are, however, a crucial element of a relationship and do need to be understood and explored.

Both in counselling and intimate relationships, coming to an awareness of the wounding and broken belief systems that drive our fantasies is rarely a quick or easy process. We may intellectually understand that something we believe is not well reflected in the world around us, but it usually takes more than just a cognitive change to fix that. Usually, change happens as we take little leaps of faith and see positive results, And even then, that only results in change if we do so in a way that allows us to vulnerably experience and grieve the pain of the past that planted the belief systems.

While change may start through exploring issues underlying a fantasy, it rarely is completed outside of open-hearted risk!

troubled teenager and Calgary psychologist pictureIn relationships and sexual therapy, one of the most significant barriers to change is a fear for one’s psychological safety. People come to therapy and relationships seeking enough safety to change and should be seen as actively and intentionally using them to create that safety. Elements of security include understanding, empathy, the absence of judgment and a positive answer to the question, “Does anyone really get what I have gone through?”

In both contexts, people regularly throw out comments, enact behaviours and otherwise test those environments to see if they have found safety.

It’s only when that safety is proven that healing, change and growth can begin.

In my role as a Calgary psychologist, change is often split into two parts: In the office environment, people learn new skills, grieve the pain of their pasts, retrieve exiled parts of themselves, unpack the lies they have carried and reintegrate traumatized parts of themselves. Then they go out and risk living differently in the real world.

However, in an intimate relationship, those two parts happen simultaneously. In an intimate act, a sequence of small tests first occurs to see if a partner is open, empathetic and non-judgmental. Once the safety of attachment and openness is established, fantasy is shared. As the fantasy is explored and played with, vulnerability and delight combine to facilitate risk further and transform distorted beliefs.

Worthiness, understanding, acceptance and pleasure thus merge into a potent cocktail of intense positive emotions that mirrors the equal (though traumatic and damaging) intensity experienced when that hidden part of the heart was wounded in childhood.

In that intense context, we virtually roll back time and meet those childhood needs in our partners. Once those needs are met, the associated fantasies sometimes cease to be arousing while other fantasies rise to take their place, though this is not always the case. In nearly all cases, however, a dramatic expansion of flexibility and openness to compromise emerges. The form, content, meaning and function of those fantasies begin to evolve, offering up even more of the person to know, explore and enjoy.

fantasy young woman with wings in erotic pose in mystical forrestGoing back to the quoted text from Veronica Monet above, our fantasies rarely fall into stereotypical role patterns. The roles we learn to play are often a cover for and the exact opposite of what we feel inside. Fantasies repeatedly violate social and gender norms. They can be filled with role reversals, flooded with intense emotions and frequently contradict religious and other value systems while splitting or combining sex and intimacy in ways that are often entirely unexpected. Objectification is sometimes celebrated by those least likely to enjoy such in real life. Meanwhile, all of the above simultaneously triggers off deep fears that our partners will no longer love or respect us in the morning for having departed from those norms.

Healing simply is not possible without suspending judgment on all of the above.

Calgary Sex Therapy: Practical Steps of Sexual Healing!

To offer sexual healing to a partner and to receive it yourself requires planning and forethought. Here are a handful of steps that virtually every sexologist Calgary has to offer would agree on:

  1. Schedule time for sex therapy exercises and intentionally make that time happen.
  2. Healing will only happen if you both show up willing to share your fantasies and your entire being – mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually and spiritually. (If you can’t, reschedule and do the personal work to be fully present next time.)
  3. Environment matters. Keep your bedroom free of distractions, dim the lights and otherwise make it a comfortable and safe place to be.
  4. Do what you can to convey the confident expectation that everything will be OK, your relationship is fine, and both of your hearts are safe.
  5. Eliminate all pressure and expectations about erections, desire, performance or even arousal and adopt a stance of unconditional positive regard for both of your fantasies and each other.
  6. Open up and allow yourselves to become wholly absorbed in each other. Lose yourself in the anticipation, delight and power of becoming an agent of healing for and with each other!

When you offer the above to your lover and risk exploring each of your deepest fantasies, you become an agent of healing more effective than an entire army of people holding a sexology degree!

Calgary Sex Therapy: Experience the Sexual Healing and Sensational Passion that You Deserve!

young Calgary Counselling Services couple passionately kissing on bean bag chairFor over twenty years, we’ve been helping couples experience the best marriages and the most intimate and passionate sex ever.

Our Calgary Sex and Relationship Therapy is founded in science and deeply respectful towards your faith and spirituality. We act as a coach and a guide while you learn how to heal yourselves and offer each other the precious gift of your hearts!

Healing and transformation are not a mystery, and the therapists who work with our Calgary Counselling Services are ready to welcome you today! So, if you’re looking for the best couples therapy Calgary has to offer, consider booking a Calgary Sex Therapy appointment and start your journey of relational transformation and intimate healing today!

Please like, bookmark, favourite follow or otherwise stay connected with this page or social media feed to be sure you don’t miss future articles.

Can't find what you're looking for? Search Here!

Contact us

403 819 3545 (Text message capable)

info@henze-associates.com (iMessage capable)

403 819 3545, (Toll Free) 1 877 922 3143

Please email or text for information or bookings.

Back to Top