Lecture 3: Sexual Orientation and Sexual Behavior

30 minutes
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Hi, it's Dr. Rich klonda. And welcome back to session three, lecture three. And in this lecture, we're going to continue our discussion of sexual identity, looking at how issues and components related to sexual identity, contribute your clients being stuck in a rut and not able to move forward. In this lecture, we're going to focus on sexual orientation and sexual behavior. And we're going to cover the gamut of sexual behavior from A to Z. So I want to get right to it and not waste any time if you haven't printed off the activities that are associated with lecture three, stop the video, print them off and be ready to do them.

Let me reduce myself and let's get started. Okay, so just to review, we went over the five dimensions of sexual identity a couple of lectures ago and we're now down to the fourth and fifth components sexual orientation and sexual behavior. And I've got a slightly different spin on both of these. Remember, I've been doing this close to 40 years and I worked in the STD program sexually transmitted disease program for 12 years before I came to the University, and then I taught sexuality for close to 30 years. So in my experience, I'm defining sexual orientation as the adult, free choice of sexual partners, which means who your clients desire, and then who they actually have sex with. Now I say adult, because childhood and adolescence and even early adulthood are typically times of experimentation.

And you'll find if you work in the field of sexuality a lot that a lot of your clients will have experimented with same sex, opposite sex and both sex partners. And some of them at some point decide, you know which way they're going and others continue to experiment for their entire lives. free choice to me means the person is not incarcerated, or coerced or forced to have sex against their will. I work with inmates who were incarcerated and who would routinely have sex with other men, men who would have sex with men. And they would consider themselves heterosexual. Because they weren't inserted, no one put their penis into their rectum or their mouth.

You know, they were the insertive partner, they would insert their penis into other inmates mouth and rectums. And therefore they considered themselves straight. So adult free choice. I define sexual behavior as including the number and types of partners and relationships, the preferred sexual activities and the level of sexual activity. So sexual behavior to me includes who you're having sex with how many different people what the nature of your relationship is, and then what do you actually do with those folks, and how often do you do it So it's a combination of all of those things combined really gives you the best picture of someone's sexual behavior. And getting back to our continuum, we have a continuum for sexual orientation and a continuum for sexual behavior.

And there are people on one side of the sexual orientation continuum who are exclusively heterosexual, they have always been attracted to and desired and only had sex with opposite sex people and never had sex with a same sex partner. And then there are people at the other end of the spectrum who are exclusively homosexual. And that includes, you know, gay men and women who have only been attracted to and desire and have only had sex with same sex partners. And then true bisexuals are people who are equally attracted to both men and women. And equally or, you know, have sex with both men and women. And remember Because it's a continuum, there are people at, you know, various ends of the spectrum that, you know, for the most part are gay or for the most part are straight.

So, and that changes over time. So not only does you know where a person could be on the continuum vary, but it will vary over the course or it could vary over the course of their lifetime. And the sexual behavior continuing the same thing. You have people at one end who are totally uninterested in sex, and or have very low sexual interest, and people at the other end who are very sexually interested in a very high sexual interest. And then most folks are in the middle and they've got an average interest in sex. And once again, I'm not going to attach numbers to this, because as soon as you hear numbers or your clients hear numbers, there's this quote, ematic comparison, if the average number is 2.5, and I'm only 2am I not getting enough, if it's 2.5 and M 4.5.

If I Am I some kind of a nympho. So we're not going to get it two numbers, we're not going to get into standards and comparisons. That's not what's important. What's important is, are your clients happy with their sexual orientation and their level of behavior. Now, once again, AC coaching takes a values neutral position on sexual orientation and sexual behavior and believes that there is no inherently right or wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral at the core or unethical sexual orientation or behavior pattern, unless it breaks the law. It's forced or coerced.

And that's what I mean by moral ethical exceptions. And the important issue again, is whether your clients thoughts, personal scripts, mental images and emotions about their sexual orientation and their behavior contributes to them being stuck or not. Now this is very difficult for coaches and counselors and therapists who have very strong Sexual beliefs based on their own religious and moral and ethical training. And you really have to decide either number one, to approach sexuality, you know, and as an adherent of your religious and moral and ethical position and state that up front and say, No, I am a blank coach, and this is my position on sexuality. And if you want to work with me, I will help you struggle with your issues within the context of my religious or moral ethical boundaries. Or you just have to accept that and I can't work in this area because my moral and religious and ethical boundaries keep me from actually serving my clients best interests.

So that's for you to decide. And again, I don't think there's any right or wrong answer to that. I think that coaches and counselors and therapists are entitled to have their own strong sexual beliefs based on their religion and their morality or to be more fluid in it. You know, keep that separate from their work. It's up to you folks. Now your clients outdated and unhelpful thoughts, feelings, person scripts and mental images about their sexual orientation, or sexual behavior can create barriers that get them stuck in sexual relationship ruts and personal sexual ruts.

So, you know, as there are these little personal scripts and mental images, little sexual movies in our heads about other aspects of our sexual identity, we also have been about you know, our sexual orientation and our sexual behavior. You know, if we think about, you know, who we desire and who we have sex with as, as men and women, there are often you know, scripts from the past that you know, when we were growing up are different than the ones that are in our head now and some of those from the past can be troubling and definitely outdated and definitely not helpful. So, the following activity will help your clients explore their sexual orientation. And the activity is called my sexual orientation. So if you haven't printed it off and gotten it, take a moment and do it right now, like get a sip of water.

Okay. And the purpose of this activity is to increase client awareness of their thoughts, scripts, images and emotions that relate to their sexual orientation and how this contributes to being stuck in the present moment. So on a sheet of paper, ask clients to describe their sexual orientation. And you know, you can talk to them about it and you know, explain the components of sexual orientation. It's, you know, adult free choice, we desire we have sex with, give them a couple of moments to write that down and describe it. And then you have them describe their thoughts.

It's personal scripts, mental images and emotions about their sexual orientation. And then ask them habit, you know, these mind programs contribute to being stuck in their sexual relationship, you know, get them to kind of look at it, and you know, then you can bring up the issue, you know, are some of these scripts outdated, and that's why they don't work anymore. Or some of them may be current, but they're still unhelpful, and therefore, they contribute to being stuck in a sexual relationship, right? Remember the idea moving forward, is to allow people to coexist with this baggage. Remember, remember the rucksack of pain and suffering that we carry with us all the time? Well, a lot of the junk that's in there is related to sexual orientation and sexual behavior.

You know, it's never going to go away. It's always going to be there. It's just an outdated, unhelpful script. You can drop that rucksack and move forward and have the kind of sex life and sexual relationship you want. As long as you're willing to do so now let's move a little bit into sexual behavior. And in the beginning, I said we're going to, you know, talk about soup to nuts, all of these behaviors.

If you read chapter eight, in my human sexuality textbooks that came with your package, I go over all of these and they're wonderful line drawings, these illustrations that are illustrator used to illustrate a lot of these things. So you have a better understanding, for instance, celibacy and abstinence. Are they the same or is there a subtle difference? And I think there is I think that celibacy and abstinence celibacy is more of a lifetime moral ethical commitment, whereas abstinence can be more situational. No, you can abstain from having unprotected vaginal intercourse, including ejaculation with partners you don't know very well. You could abstain from having sex with certain people.

You don't Trust, whereas celibacy to me is not really situational, it's more conceptual lifestyle. So take a moment and read through all of these but you know go from basically having no sex to, you know what used to be called outer course back in the 80s and 90s you know, kissing, making out petting, fondling, masturbation, sex toy use, you know, all of those things. Don't involve penetration and don't involve you know, mouth or penises on genitals. When you start getting into you know, oral sex with women cunnilingus and with men fellatio and then annulling his his oral, anal sexual contact and all the way to the end you're getting into you know, different types of sexual activity and behavior that involves penetration, with or without ejaculation. So in order to explore this, rather than go over a lecture on all of those, the best thing to do is use a simple activity such as favorite sexual behaviors.

And the purpose is, you know, to explore to understand that people engage in a variety of behaviors to satisfy their sexual wants and needs, you know, in a non judgmental way, we want to explore that and we want to explore what turns clients on so they can understand that and then understand if that how that contributes to them being stuck in a sexual rut. Alright, so grab that activity. I'll get a sip of water and we'll work through it. Okay, so I'd like you to ask clients to describe which solo sexual activity they find most enjoyable and why. So solo sexual activity. You know, by that I mean, auto erotic behavior, masturbation, fantasy, things like that.

If they do not engage in solo sexual activity, they should just say, you know what, I'm not into that stuff. I only engage in partner sexual activity. And then the second question is ask them to describe which partner sexual activity they find most satisfying and why. So it might be oral sex, it might be vaginal intercourse, it might be mutual masturbation, you know, whatever. And then he asked them to describe their favorite sexual position, and why they like it. And if you read chapter eight, you'll see that when I talk about sexual positions, I talk about starting points.

So a starting point might be the you know, rear entry starting point, a starting point might be no woman on top man on top so the actual starting point, the actual position and then ask them have a thought Personal scripts, mental images and emotions regarding their sexual behavior contribute to being stuck in a sexual relationship, right? Remember around all of these behaviors, there are original old scripts that came up the first time you engaged in the for example, you know, the first time a person masturbates, or the first time the person gets caught masturbating by mom or dad. You know, there's a personal script that gets developed there, there's a little scene in your sexual movie that gets developed. And that stays in your rucksack. It's always there. It stays in your subconscious, and it will come out when you're in the present moment.

In a similar situation, whether you're masturbating yourself where you're masturbating your partner. So understanding the thoughts, scripts, images and emotions people have about their sexual behavior, especially their favorite sexual behavior gives them a good understanding of is this, you know, related in any way to me being stuck. Now you can take it to the next level or you can choose not to by having them share this information with their sex partners, or do the activity together. Again, doing an activity that your coach suggests, is a good way to break the ice and get, you know, couples to start really talking about sex in a in a much more formal way by actually writing things down. So what we're trying to do here is look at what people really desire, what they like to do, and then see if and how that contributes to them being stuck.

And not asking the why question, right. Who the heck knows why it contributes a lot to notice. Is it in any way related to being stuck right now? Does it contribute Yes or no? Is it helpful bringing up these outdated scripts? Yes or no?

Then, you know, if it's unhelpful can we coexist with them and move forward? Now auto erotic behavior auto eroticism. I'm doing this as a separate kind of entity because I really feel that auto eroticism and fantasy, especially fantasy coupled with masturbation is a really valuable safety valve or icing on the cake for couples and individuals that are stuck in a sexual rut. So I'm a real advocate of auto erotic behavior and masturbation if you haven't guessed by now, especially for a monogamous couples in long term relationships. But this is automatic behavior. Auto eroticism is the catch all phrase used to describe sexual arousal and gratification experienced by a person without the direct participation of a partner.

And most quarter erotic behavior is fueled by fantasy and usually Accompanied by masturbation. And the types of auto erotic behavior vary, I mean, from, you know, adult books and magazines. And I remember when that was all that was available, we were dirty magazines, and you had to go to, you know, a porno bookstore to get them and you know, then they became mainstream somewhat with, you know, hustler, and screw and penthouse, and playboy. So you know, I go way back and you know, and understand the history of auto eroticism and the sources of the material, you know, films. And again, you know, sex films started out as nine millimeter films in seedy little adult theaters, you know, then they became CD ROMs and videos, and the movie theaters started to shut down because now people could obtain this material in the privacy of their own home, you know, and then video clips which are just short little snippets of videos.

You know, there's a lot of hot video clips that get right to the point and if someone says Looking for a short snippet of an erotic turn on and don't want to watch an hour long video, they can watch, you know, 15 minutes of oral sex, you know, resulting in orgasm. Telephone sex would fall into that, and then cybersex via everything from just still pictures or video clips to computer webcams and chat rooms. And this only scratches the surface. And by the time you get this course, they'll probably be new forms. Because the one thing that I've learned and if you read any, anything about technology, one of the first markets that advances in technology hits is fantasy and pornography and erotica, because people have been spending money on that stuff forever. Now all of these sources have one common thread.

There is no actual physical contact between persons providing the arousal of the arousing sexual content and people consuming So even a telephone call, it's just a telephone chorus. So there's no physical contact, pair it or you know, it's verbal contact. And I'm the first to admit that being on in a chatroom, or using telephone sets, where you're actually making a connection with a live human is way different than reading a book, looking at a video or a video clip. So I believe there are degrees and levels and again, this is for clients and their partners to understand and explore and see if they're related to being stuck. But there is actually no touching no one is touching. No one is making anyone arouse, except through this audio visual kind of medium.

And I'm going to, you know, be the first to admit that sex experts, counselors and therapists all differ in their beliefs regarding the role of photo erotic photo erotic activity in committed Relationships I'm way on the way liberal and I really feel it's a bonus it's a plus that to resist the temptation of, you know being you know, unfaithful to your monogamous partner, you know result you're going to auto erotic activities and fantasy and masturbation can be that safety valve that keeps you from breaking up breaking a bond that you may have made with your partner, you know, regarding being monogamous, whereas other counselors and therapists say no, no, no, that in and of itself is a form of, you know, breaking the bonds of the relationship and breaking the trust bond. So again, you're you're all going to differ on how you see this and feel about it.

I just want to throw it out. So you can think about it because for sure your clients are thinking about it. And I would venture to say that the large percentage of your clients have used and do currently use Auto erotic activity as a way to cope with the demands of being monogamous. And there was really one interesting study done by this guy Laumann in 1994. And I believe I referenced it in my book chapter eight. Whereas most people tend to think, Oh, yeah, people engage in this stuff because they're not getting enough at home, right?

They're not having enough real sex at home. And in fact, what we found was that people with the highest levels of partnered sex in other words, they're having high levels of sex with their partner ready, also had the highest levels of auto erotic activity. So people that tend to be on the high end of being very interested in sex are very interested in all different kinds of sex, including fantasy and masturbation. So some committed monogamous couples find that auto erotic activity as a way to add variety to their sex lives without actually having to have sex with others. So you could you know, excuse my French fuck anyone you want in the world, any color, any race, any gender, any body type, without really cheating on your partner, who I know that's really, really powerful stuff to digest. So you think about it, and you decide whether you want to or can approach it that way.

To help you make up your mind, have fun activity that I developed, that's called is cyber sex, sex. All right, so if you haven't printed it off yet, I'd like you to go print it off. And we're going to work through this. And as with all the activities, I'd like you to do this one for yourself. So the purpose is, you know, clients vary in their beliefs as coaches do about cybersex. And the purpose of this activity is to help clients identify their beliefs about cyber sex, and how this relates to being stuck in a sexual way.

Okay, so again, what I'm saying asking you to do is, you know, read actually in my sex act book that you have also, there's a section on auto eroticism in chapter two, I would actually tell clients to read both that and the section in chapter eight in the human sexuality textbook as a part of this activity, and I would have you have them do it as homework, because it involves reading. And then we've been done reading and getting a background on this material and to the following questions. Is cyber sex really sex? Is it possible to have an affair with someone over the internet? Is it cheating to be sexually explicit with another person over the internet or phone? Is it cheating to masturbate while engaging in internet or telephone sex?

And then lastly, what are the dangers associated with internet chatting or telephone sex? Now when I say internet or telephone sex, I'm also including You know something like just sitting by yourself watching video clips or you know videos online, or if you still have you know, your own CD ROMs client has a CD ROM or a video cassette that's erotic or pornographic. They watch that and they masturbate. So I'm not just including, you know, internet chat that involves live contact with people internet activity, rather that involves live chatting. So you have them answer all those questions. And then you Yes, how to your thoughts, personal scripts, mental images and emotions about eroticism, and cyber cybersex relate to being stuck in a sexual rut.

Okay. And you could add a section for you know, share this information with your partner, have your partner do the same thing. And then the two of you share your results. And that's really, you know, ultimately the best way to do this. So I'll leave that up to you as the Coach to decide whether or not you want to have this client. Do this with a partner and share it or not.

But I think that that's the only real way to be open and upfront, especially in a monogamous relationship, if two people committed to being sexually exclusive, whether they're married or not, whether they're straight or gay, or whatever. And the as that exclusivity, you know, carries over years, they are both going to be confronted with temptations to not be exclusive. They're going to meet people at work and in the neighborhood and whatever. So are they going to give themselves an outlet to release some of that temptation by having sex with fantasy people through automatic activity, and that's really the purpose of it. So with that context, play with this, do it yourself, maybe bring it back to your own partner, talk to your clients about it and if this is really really pushing your limits of comfort, Just don't use it in your sex coaching, it's up to you.

Remember, I've been doing this for 40 years, so it's much more comfortable with this. And then there's another activity I'd like you to do, quote, unfinished sentences. So I'll give you a moment if you haven't gotten that one ready to pull that out. And we'll go through that one while I take another sip of water. Okay, and the purpose of this one is to kind of help it help make it easier for clients to answer questions about their sexual wants and needs to kind of, you know, bring these issues up and discuss them with their partners. So the purpose of this activity is to use sentence stems, which are a real simple teaching tool that you can use and make up your own stems related to sexual orientation and behavior.

All right. So This is what you need to do have your clients finished the following sentences regarding sex I wish my partner got that finished the sentence, the sexual thing I want the most from my partner is that the sexual thing I love to do to my partner is if there is one thing I could change about my sexual relationship, my partner it would be. And you can do this in the office in session or if you're, you know, virtual sessions, you can do it online, or you can do this as homework, and then discuss it in the next session. And then have your clients share this information with your partners. And again, I always say that's your choice as the coach, whether you think that your client is ready for this whether you think it's a good idea or not. But once again, this is an easy way to help your clients get it out of their heads and onto paper.

And you know what, you can even make this a whiteboard activity where You actually post it and you have them step back from it, and look at it and then step back again. Because what you're really having them do now is get all of these fantasies and all these desires out of their head and onto paper. So you're, you're making them now have an observe yourself kind of view and look at this stuff. And, and then, you know, to get the same information about the partner would be real powerful. And then for them to share this with your partner would be the most powerful. Right?

So then you get back. Okay, all right. So a lot of controversial stuff I know. And you as the coach have to be comfortable enough with this stuff personally, to be able to explore it with your coaching clients, right to explore it professionally. That's why I say do all these activities yourself, and then decide, you know which of them I could really use which of them I couldn't use, which could I pull off, which could I not pull off, I personally couldn't pull off some of these activities and eyes in my 20s or 30s because my sexual relationship with my wife and my own personal sexuality was still evolving. And my sex life was strongly influenced by outdated scripts, from my kind of background, I don't want to go into my religious and, you know, cultural background, but by my own background and my development as a sexual person.

And when I came to my own conclusions about who I was and what I wanted, and what I needed in my 20s and 30s, it took me a good 10 years to get comfortable with that. And then in the context of a marriage to kind of, you know, discuss it and kind of integrated and you know, get to a point where I was comfortable and, you know, now I can honestly say I feel them thriving in my relationships in my 60s. So, you know, it takes time but hope i presented this in a way that, you know us coaches from the wide spectrum of coaching and moral and ethical and religious and non religious, you know beliefs can kind of see what it's all about and tailor it to your own style. So thanks again. I'm going to kind of get out of here and get ready for lecture four.

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