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In Discharging Your Distress On Sexuality With The New Approaches, What Results Have You Noticed In Your Thinking In Areas Far Away From Sexuality?

(These are answers to the questionnaire in the previous issue of Present Time.)


I began working on sexuality, and the pathways that has led to are many. For me it led directly to a new understanding of my struggle to feel good about my life and enjoy it for its beauty and fullness in the present. Counseling on it being OK to be a sexual/sensual person led me directly to exploring how all my feelings and needs are OK. I discovered that I have a mechanism that was installed at a very young age that puts down just about every spontaneous (especially joyous and free) thought or urge that I get. I sometimes would act on these thoughts (i.e. spend the afternoon reading a good book instead of doing what I "should" be doing), but I paid dearly for that pleasure in guilt. So, saying "yes" to my inherent, human, wonderful sexuality was saying "yes" to all of my real self.

Another place that I have gone with my sexuality counseling is to re-discover that I have a body below my head. All my life Iíve been carefully trained to deny that truth, or at least to ignore it out of "politeness." Reclaiming my physical self is a truly amazing process for me. I am feeling integrated and whole in a way I've never felt before. I am finding that some of the oldest, chronic distress that I've ever worked on in 4 years of counseling, is stored in nooks and crannies of my body, and if I listen to my body, discharge freely and appreciate it, my counseling is more powerful than ever before. I am starting to feel my discharge as physically coming from all of me, deep in my gut, from my toes up, down to my fingertips and rolling off my back instead of just shallow yawns and delicate tight crying. I also find that I spontaneously want to take good care of myself physically (for years, I've tried to get myself to exercise and always ended up quitting from boredom and lack of simulation). I am eating well and intelligently and delighting in sports and lots of stretching yoga and dance. Working on sexuality became working on total body awareness, because what more are genitals than just another wonderful part of my body (albeit, a part that gets perhaps the most shame and abuse.) Time to stop all that.

The third area that sexuality counseling has really unlocked for me is that old favorite - Love. For years I have suffered greatly from the sharp and compelling feeling of "being in love." It wasn't fun or beautiful (or real), it was a tremendous feeling of compulsion, that I MUST have a man, MUST have sex with him, MUST spend every minute with him, MUST be with him or my life was really nothing, etc. So much for true love. It certainly has passed for that plenty of times before. But this time, with my knowledge of discharge, I could sense that something painful was going on here, and I got myself in a safe place and discharged like crazy. I cried and cried and that feeling that had begun with "I feel so turned on, I must have sex with him" quickly became (as I was crying) "I want to be loved so badly that it seems to ache endlessly." It amazed me. The feeling of being sexually turned on was a thin guise for my desperate need for real love and closeness and intimacy. Using my sexual feelings as a pivotal point for my counseling on my feelings about love and closeness, I have gone back to being a baby and wanting to be held and rocked, being a young girl and wanting to be loved and appreciated for being my brilliant and exciting self, etc. To be honest, based on what's going on with me now, I don't think I've ever felt a mature, real sexual feeling (or not for very long at least), that isn't at least 50% restimulation of my other material built into it. Rational sexuality must exist, because our genitals are very sensitive and love to be touched, but then so does every inch of our body. Should be interesting finding out more about this!

RANDI WOLFE, Columbus, Ohio:

I began counseling on my first sexual memory. This quickly led to spending every session on not wanting to be touched (my counselors chasing me all over the bed, kissing my hands, laying on top of me, and so on). I'm still working on this and I've begun to see that it's really pushed through my fear of discharging - discharge comes more easily and more heavily. Also, it's somehow connected to my parents not cuddling and touching us as we grew up, and to a lot of heretofore unexplainable and unconnected idiosyncrasies and fears. I'm still not quite sure where it's leading, but it's been the most effective and consistent work I've been able to do and it is affecting many aspects of my life and touching into what I thought was many unrelated chronic patterns (and fears!)

JOYCE FULLER, Concord, N.H.:

I have spent between 12 and 16 sessions on sexuality with noticeable improvement in reclaiming power and in becoming bright eyed and bushy tailed, at last, about my own goodness and correctness. No forever-greyness about me in the future.

JANE DEER, Bolinas, CA:

One thing is that around sexuality I always have had fantasies about the perfect mate, the perfect lover, "the one." Since I've been discharging those desires, I've begun to see all my friends and human contacts as the perfect person that each one is, and how much my previous life had been tied up to the image that the only "perfect" friends conformed to romantic, sexual images. I'm much more in touch with the real world of diverse, wonderful uniquely perfect loving humans, and my work, school and relations with children are getting better.

SUSANNE BANG, Copenhagen, Denmark:

I don't know if it is an accident or not, but shortly after I began to work on sexuality distress, I got an insight into what oppression really is and that it is possible to liberate yourself from oppression. I feel much more free to do what is right, and I have finally broken some heavy addiction patterns which I have had for years and didn't believe I could break alone. It's like my thinking ability has accelerated.

originally printed in Present Time Vol 31, p. 54

Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00