Sex, Lies & Trauma

Straight Talk about Sexual Compulsivity

Monthly Meditations to Invite Eroticism (February)

Awkwardness. Testing. Disclosure. Open-Heartedness. (4 themes per month.)

At Center for Healthy Sex, we find inspiration from many sources to treat sex addiction, love addiction, sexual anorexia, and sexual dysfunction. Meditation and affirmations are helpful tools that build esteem, create procedural memories, reduce anxiety, slow the heart rate, and increase blood flow to the brain.

Attachment theory is a component of our philosophy -- behavioral patterns imparted in infancy affect the way we grow up to live our lives. Because this early programming becomes so ingrained, it takes consistent and sustained effort to rewire the neural pathways.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

These monthly meditations are similar to the affirmations we use with clients. They are intended to provoke deep thought about core beliefs and inspire open communication with a partner. (You may sign up for our free daily meditations here.)

Meditation for Week 1 -- AWKWARDNESS

“Anyone who realises what Love is, the dedication of the heart, so profound, so absorbing, so mysterious, so imperative, and always just in the noblest natures so strong, cannot fail to see how difficult, how tragic even, must often be the fate of those whose deepest feelings are destined from the earliest days to be a riddle and a stumbling-block, unexplained to themselves, passed over in silence by others.”
~ Edward Carpenter

Not having grace or skill is often a result of a socially clumsy childhood. People who feel awkward in life, and especially in sex, were typically not seen, heard, understood, or cherished as a child. Moreover, many others were sexually shamed or, worse yet, sexually abused. Shame creates sexual awkwardness so overcoming sexual trauma is the first order of business.

Once you’ve done the major work of reclaiming your sexuality and pulled it out of the grips of shame, feeling awkward in sex can be overcome. Like a beginning dancer or musician with no skill, you may feel that any attempt to a make a sexual move feels impossible to you. With practice and patience (with yourself and by your lover,) the impossible will become difficult as your nervous system recalibrates to read sexual contact as something good instead of a set up for danger or rejection. Eventually the difficult becomes easy and, with time, you will experience your sexual ease as a thing of beauty.

Daily Healthy Sex Acts:

  • Set sail on a course of sexual healing by committing to address one thing you need in order to move out of awkwardness. Does this mean going to therapy for the first time to address sexual abuse you experienced as a child or does it mean that you’re awkward around a certain sexual act you need to talk to your partner about? Today’s the day to take action.

Meditation for Week 2:  TESTING

“Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short.” ~ Milan Kundera

Trust is often tested instinctively in relationships. This is different than taking conscious measures to test a partner’s trustworthiness, because the very act of testing trust is a contradiction. Testing reveals that you don’t trust. Whenever you set up obstacles as a form of test for a partner, really what you’re doing is setting up obstacles. For lovers to successfully get past your obstacles to pass the test, this just means that you’ve trained them to allow obstacles in the relationship.

We test ourselves when we test others -- do we operate from the greater good, or from a place of ego and preconception? They say you teach what you most have to learn, and it’s also possible you test what you most have to comprehend. Any test we consciously set for others is going to be steeped with subjectivity. In scientific methodology, this is called ‘confirmation bias.’ Perhaps life delivers enough tests so that we don’t have to add any trick questions. A healthy way to evaluate trust with a partner might be to observe how they respond to life’s challenges. It can also be a great test to allow simplicity ...to tolerate intimacy, security and safety with another person, and to build trust.

Daily Healthy Sex Acts:

  • Your deepest innermost self always knows just what you need to do. Trust yourself to act accordingly.

Meditation for Week 3:  DISCLOSURE

“I have said to you to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies is much worse.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Keeping secrets from, or telling lies to, your partner can be an enormous burden that will ultimately get in the way of your sexual intimacy. A guilty conscience is not sexy, but making yourself vulnerable is.

Exposing your true self means facing your shortcomings and any accompanying shame you feel about your actions. Speaking the truth about things that make you feel bad about yourself can be scary or painful, but is essential if you want to build your relationship on honesty. Living a life of secrets and lies doesn't allow love and sexuality to flourish but, instead, suffocates them.

Take time today to think about what an act of courage it would be for you to disclose any secrets and lies you're holding that separate you from your partner. Are you ready to face yourself and stand up as an adult? Keep current with your partner by banishing secrets and lies from your relationship, and experience what it's like to live in honesty every day.

Daily Healthy Sex Acts:

  • Today, disclose just one secret you've been keeping from, or one lie you’ve been telling to your partner. Let honesty be your goal, and don’t expect reciprocity. Do it from your heart because you want to be truly known, and want the other to know you.
  • Drop your defenses.
  • Stay present.

Meditation for Week 4:  OPEN-HEARTEDNESS

"Open your heart and take us in,
Love - love and me."  ~  William Ernest Henley

Every person possesses the quality of open-heartedness. The real test is to stretch into open-heartedness right when you feel most like isolating and shutting down. It's so easy to close a heart, especially against a partner (if not all humankind, at times). Withholding love is called being “cold” while open-heartedness is called being “warm,” and it's possible there is actual vital energy being shared when you open your heart to another.

But first, open your heart to yourself. Show yourself love even when--especially when--you fall short, because your shame, disappointment, or regret can never open that heart.

There's a saying that anger is like picking up a burning ember to throw at someone--you get burned in the process. It's the same with close-heartedness. You might close your heart to protect yourself from intimidating or hostile forces, and yet closing your heart is one of the most hurtful acts you can do to yourself. Closing your heart as a form of protection is a contradiction. The only protection in any challenging situation is to open your heart so you can keep the vital energy flowing inside you.

Daily Healthy Sex Acts:

  • Share with a partner or friend: What opens your heart? What closes your heart?
  • Feel the vibration of your own opening heart. Imagine that vibration expanding and basking everyone you encounter today with its warmth.
  • Practice synchronized heart-opening with your beloved. Explore together what it feels like to close and open the vital energies of loving hearts.

     

Sign up here to receive free Daily Meditations by email written by Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss of Center for Healthy Sex to help you develop sexual and emotional intimacy.

Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., is the Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles. more...

Subscribe to Sex, Lies & Trauma

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.