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Lecture 6: Sexual Values

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Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Rich and welcome back to session six in the course, this session is on sexual values. And it's an area that I find that most people haven't really thought much about. In general, if you talk to most adults, most of them really haven't thought about their values, whether they're related to sexuality or anything else in a very long time unless they tend to be deeply religious or spiritual people. So that is, I think, in general, it's an area that's really under explored and it's a really key component of AC coaching, which is why I love it and I really am excited about values because I think living a values based life is one of the secrets to high level mental well being. So more about that later, but let me jump right into the course and stop talking so much which is normal tendency.

Alright, so again, if you look at the ramp model moving from psychological inflexibility, and beings stuck to psychological flexibility and getting unstuck. You can see that value of living is a key component. So valued living also known as defining value directions is kind of making that connection between what a person values in life and then living that way and connecting it to sexuality so that a person's sexual values are the basis of their relationship and their goal setting. Now, the primary outcome of AC sex coaching is really to get clients to behave in ways that are congruent or consistent with their sexual and their sexual relationship values. So in other words, we want people to use this information about sexual values to kind of set values congruent goals. guys can go and see is when you know something you value intellectually now becomes connected to action.

So, your goals, your behavioral goals for coaching and you know, and in this case sex coaching are related to your sexual values just like your behavioral goals for, you know, business coaching would be related to your business guys. So I think that connection between sexual values and sexual goals is key. And this value is values and behavioral connection, as I said, is it called values congruent behavior. Now clients who are not stuck in a sexual rut generally behave in ways or live their lives that are congruent with their sexual values. So in other words, people who are not stuck tend to be living a life that's consistent with their sexual values. And a key to this is men wacko, minimizing game playing while maximizing being genuine and purposeful living So when you can stop playing games, you know, and again, we will have to play certain games in order to exist in society and in the workforce.

But if we can play the fewest games possible in our relationship, and have our sexual relationship be as genuine as possible, it gives our life meaning and purpose. And as I said, contributes to high level mental well being. Now values really are the motivate motivational link to committing to action. Remember, we talked about that little mantra that I wanted you to say in the service of blank value, I'd be willing to coexist with no pain and suffering. While I move forward on this goal. That's what I mean about the motivational link.

Clients commit to coexist with their pain and suffering, because they value what they need to do more than they value being stuck. So in other words, if one of your clients is stuck in a in a sexual wreck with their partner, but They value that relationship ultimately, you know, very highly and maybe more than anything than they're willing to kind of, you know, deal with that pain and suffering in order to take action to you know, move the relationship in the direction that they want to move it in. So they value what they need to do more than they value being stuck. That's why people are willing to coexist with pain and suffering. And that's why you really have to identify these values. And there are four steps to defining value directions, one is exploring values, two is choosing and then ranking the values, three is publicly affirming the values and four is acting on the values and publicly affirming values is less of a case in which sexual values because usually the public affirmations are between the partners, although do people do carry it outside relationship and, you know, express their sexual values in different Always.

Now again, AC coaching uses a variety of in session and homework assignments to do this. One of my favorite activities for helping clients define their sexual values is called sorting the mail. And the reason I like it is because doing this can be very confusing. So by using this kind of male slot system, you actually help clients be very concrete in identifying an aspect of their sexuality and then attaching the value to it. And we're not going to use a male slot, we're going to use Manila envelopes, but if you haven't printed the activity off yet, do so and let's get right into it. I'll take a sip of water.

And occasionally, you may hear a little grunter groan on this tape. It isn't me. It's my little shitzu she came up to join me and it's like the fourth take and I'm trying to get through it without her ruining the whole thing. So bear with us. Okay, So then what you want to do is get clients to get five manila folders or large envelopes and label them accordingly. Gender Identity values, gender role values, sexual orientation, guys, sexual behavior guys and sexual relationship guys.

Then on five by eight inch file cards, you want to ask them the following values question for each category. So what exactly do I value about blank? category? Okay? So for example, what do I value about sexual relationships? So I value having someone who shares my love, I value the physical contact I get with another human being, I value having a single steady sexual partner, I value having someone with whom I can share my deepest thoughts and feelings, and I value having a close companion.

So those would be examples of sexual relationship values that a client of mine expressed Then, you know, when you're doing this, you know, ask clients Take your time. And I would because of that, do it as a homework assignment because he's very meaty, you know, you're talking about five sexual identity areas and you know, asking them to identify values for each of them. But you want to make sure they don't judge their values. Just write them down and accept them for what they are and put them in the proper envelope and tell them we'll rank them later. But for now, just categorize and sort your sexual values. then choosing a ranking is the next step in defining value directions.

So after you have the clients, you know, do the basic identifying and categorizing and putting into the appropriate on globes. Now we're going to move to the next activity which helps them choose and rank. And basically what ranking helps clients do is distinguish what I call core values from satellite values. And this allows them to really clearly identify areas were willing to negotiate and compromise which is a key not only in sexual relationships, but it's a key in all relationships, right? I put together this model that I use in my stress management textbook for years and years and years. So it kind of applies here.

And you can see core values are things that are central to who a person is their personality. And then satellite values are things that they have that kind of spin around them, but they're less important. So to me, a core value represents things that are central to who clients see themselves are a sexual people, and they're not willing to change or negotiate this. And then satellite sexual values are less important things but they still give their clients your clients sex lives direction, but they're not strongly committed to them. So they're negotiable. So you know, let's say that of course, sexual value might be you know, to be monogamous.

Satellite sexual value might be to, you know, a specific sexual behavior like, you know, masturbation or whatever. So, a partner or a client may not be willing to negotiate on monogamy part but might be willing to negotiate on Okay, well, I'm not really masturbate myself, but you know maybe I'd be willing to explore this and do it to you or have you do it to me or whatever. So if clients know their core and satellite values, and they know their partner's core and satellite values, really gives them a greater understanding of how their thoughts and feelings about this relate to getting stuck, because clients and people in general tend to have the strongest emotions about their most deeply held values, right. So the things that are central to who you are as a person, your core values tend to provoke the strongest emotions, especially when those emotions are in conflict.

So you really, it's really important, therefore to identify those things. And when there's a mismatch between, you know, let's say one client has something that's listed as a core value, and the partner has it listed as a satellite value, you know, there's really a potential for becoming stuck stuck rather than a sexual rut over that. And, or if somebody is already stuck in a sexual rut, it'll kind of help them pinpoint where in the sexual values hierarchy are they stuck. So we're going to move on to the core versus satellite part of the discussion on values. And if you haven't gotten that activity yet, pull it out because it builds on the previous one that we just did that you know, categorize and sorted, and I want to take a quick sip and we'll move into it All right, so as clients to look at those five folders or envelopes that they set up in the previous exercise, and have them rank each folder envelope in order of its importance, with one being the highest.

So you got the five folders or envelopes rank them which one represents the highest area of most important sexual values. And then on a table or floor, have them put the most important envelope right in the middle and arrange the others around it just like that core and satellite kind of grouping that I showed you. And then have them take all the sexual value cards out of the envelopes and put them into five piles, keeping the most important one in the middle. And starting with the pile in the middle, have clients read each value a few times actually read them aloud. It's really important to get things out of clients heads and out into the open either on paper or to verbalize it. Now, have them use numbers to rank Each of the values contained in the pile.

So you have the you know, the category pile, have category envelope rather. And then all of the values in that envelope are now in a pile, well wrap the pile, which is the most important, which is the second etc. And then like line them up in order of most important to least important. Now, the easiest way to line these up would be if you can have them, put them on a desk or a shelf, and then be able to step back step away from them, lining them up on the floor is a little less powerful, like lining them up against the wall would be better. And then ask them to step back three feet and tell themselves These are my most deeply held sexual values, right the core values, I accept them for what they are. I realize that some of them may not be helpful in meeting my current sexual or sexual relationship goals, and they can be replaced.

Now have them repeat step eight for each of the piles So go through all of the piles, and have them go back to the piles. And see now if there are any values they feel differently about after they've identified them, rank them, step back from them, and have them discard any of the outdated and unhelpful values or replace them with new, more helpful values. I want to stop and talk about this for a minute. Because while our values represent like our, you know, the deepest, most important things about ourselves, they do change. And sometimes when clients first do this, they'll put something in even into the core value pile. And then when they stop and actually put it up on the wall and step back and read it and look at it, they realize you know what, that really isn't a core value of mine anymore, or in one of those satellite piles.

You know what, I don't really even value that anymore. Now that was something that was passed on to me by my parents or society. And it just doesn't resonate. For me it's outdated, you know, and maybe I'll still carry around and it'll be in my rucksack or whatever. But it isn't something right now that represents, you know what I value in my personal sexuality and in my relationships, so I think it's okay for them to discard the outdated and unhelpful values. Now, a lot of people disagree.

You know, a lot of people are much more traditional, and it's, oh, no, no, you know, you can't get people to change their values, you know, you can't tell them what they should value. And I'm not doing that. This is something that clients are deciding. I personally think values are flexible and values, you know, change over time as people are exposed to new information and experiences and things in their lives change. So this is something that kind of reflects the way I look at values, you might have a different way of working with values and that's okay. Just make sure you under Stand that but that might take on this is very values neutral, because that's an AC coaching approach.

And I also think that values do change and therefore, it's okay to say you know what, these no longer work for me. All right, and then one final exercise is called clarifying your values. And it combines all four elements of the defining value directions process in a very simple way. So grab the activity, clarifying your values, if you haven't printed it off yet, and I'm going to grab another quick sip of water. All right, so this activity combines all four elements of the defining guide directions process, and it will help clients clarify their sexual values, and that sets the stage for writing values based sexual relationship goals. So read it, read the following instructions to your clients.

Number one from the explore what you value Part, pick one of your core sexual values from the pile of values you put in the middle of the circle, and copy what you wrote on that card in these lines. And then rank this value, write down the value rank that you gave this value in the core versus satellite part of the exercise. And now publicly affirm this value, and describe some of the things you can do to affirm this value. And then last, then fourth, take action, write down some things I can do to demonstrate this value to others. And then five, identify the things that make it difficult to affirm and act on your sexual values. The thoughts, person scripts, scurry pictures and emotions that make it difficult for me to speak about this value, or act on it are.

So this is real powerful. It combines all the elements. Let me show you what it looks like in an example. On the last cut, identify what you're willing to accept and move forward on So I'm willing to accept the following to affirm and act on this value. Here's an example. Explore you value.

Having sex with my partner at least three to four times a week. That's a core value. That's something that's real important. rank the value. I rank this number one, publicly affirm it. Well, one way I could probably be firm is I could talk in private to my partner about it.

In other words, get it out in the open, let her know how important it is to me and act on it. Take action, I can write a note to my partner expressing my desire to have sex with her more often identify the things that make it difficult to affirm an act. And this is a direct quote from one of my clients. I'm afraid to upset my partner by telling her I want sex this often. I don't want to come off as demanding and I'm afraid she will reject me. I closed my eyes and see her getting mad and walking out of the room on me.

And then six identify what you're willing to accept. I'm willing to accept the risks. of upsetting her and having her walk out. I'm willing to accept my fear and anxiety related to this. So this is a way to identify the values, rank them, affirm them, and act on them while identifying and coexisting with the pain and suffering suffering associated with doing this. Now the publicly affirm you know, clients can go farther and they can you know, write letters, join organizations, take stands write editorials, you know, on things about sex, that our core values, but in the context of a relationship, generally, the publicly affirm is to really bring it to the awareness of the partner in as clear and direct and specific way as possible.

And this is very difficult for clients. new clients will generally we say to a party, well gee, you know, can we have sex more often, you know, being very very precise and say really my ideal, you know, would be to have sex three to four times a week I ranked this number one, in my core values packet is a way, you know, for clients to really be crystal clear. And doing this as a couple looking at your partner's ranking, and then you know, seeing where your values fit on your partner's rank is gives both partners a real clear idea of like, okay, so where are the clear highest priorities, highest values? And if my relationship is really, you know, something I want to bring to the next level, where am I willing to negotiate? How am I willing to negotiate on this? Right, so when clients use this and have that discussion, they can actually then use this information to set sexual and relationship goals.

And by setting goals for sex and for the relationship that are consistent with values, it'll increase the likelihood of attaining them. All right. Okay, so that's it. So, again, this is a really key step in moving the relationship forward and moving the person your client personal sexuality forward is you know, stopping the stopping General, stop saying things like you know, have more sex and be very, very crystal clear. Be honest, be upfront, understand, you know, whatever pain and suffering that might create for the client and the partner and for the good of the relationships and willing to accept this and move it forward. So again, the value is the link to committing to coexisting with that pain and suffering and moving forward.

That's why the defining value directions part of this is so important. All right. Thanks for bearing with me on this and I look forward to being with you in session Seven

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