Discharging on Early Sexual Memories

This seems like a good time to remind people why discharging on early sexual memories (ESMs) can be so helpful—for the RC Communities as a whole, for our work on our Unified Goal on the Climate and our other RC goals, and for us as individuals:

  • RC classes and Communities depend on good relationships. Early sexual hurts get in the way of close, safe, trusting relationships.
  • The success of our Unified Goal on the Climate, and all our other goals, also depends on close, caring, connected relationships. As Diane Shisk [International Commonality Reference Person for Care of the Environment] has said in relation to the worsening climate situation, “As things get harder, we get closer.”
  • Discharging on ESMs can help us remember that our hard feelings are old.
  • It can help us understand our own distress better, by exposing literal recordings and unbearable feelings.
  • It can provide a support structure for working systematically on early hurts that reverberate through our lives.
  • It can help us understand RC theory and practice better.
  • It can help us become stronger counselors and clients.
  • The purpose of addictions is to numb us to unbearable feelings. Counseling on our ESMs can help us discharge the unbearable feelings.
  • Implementing our new Guideline on sexual harassment will go better in Communities that have done at least some work on ESMs.

I have noticed that sessions on ESMs can become less effective over time, leaving people less interested in doing this important work. It can be hard to continue because of unbearable feelings “hiding” in the memories and people’s early pro-survival decision to turn away from those feelings.

PDFs of the pamphlets Counseling on Early Sexual Memories, by me, and A Rational Theory of Sexuality, by Harvey Jackins, are available from Rational Island Publishers. Other important articles on sex and sexuality, by multiple authors, can be found on the RC website at <www.rc.org/page/otherimportant>. 

Let me know if you would like someone to help with ESM work in your Community or constituency.

Joan Karp


Reprinted from the e-mail discussion 
list for RC Community members

(Present Time 210, January 2023)

Last modified: 2023-01-18 01:37:16+00