Sexuality, Spirituality and Relationships – A guide to bringing them together in our lives

Charlotte Sophia Kasl, Ph.D.

Written as part of a CD Rom project on
holistic health and healing
© September 1995 , all rights reserved
Revised for the web site, August 2012

Additional copies can be ordered by sending
$5.00 per individual copy or
$3.50 per copy for five or more, to:
Many Roads, One Journey, Box 1302
Lolo MT 59847
Or order then on charlottekasl.com

Introduction
Sexuality and spirituality are closely intertwined. When sexuality is grounded in a loving intimate relationship with another person it can increase our ability to connect with the vastness and wonder of the universe. When sexual desire is separate from a loving connection it can become a negative or empty experience separate. What helps a sexual relationship feel satisfying and connected, is a relationship that is satisfying and deeply connected. For many people, the desire for sexual union and ecstasy reflects a deeper desire for spirit and a sense of oneness with the Universe. While sexual union with another can give us a glimpse of the ecstasy of spiritual fulfilment, sex alone cannot give us that fulfilment. Hopefully, the desire for sex that satisfies and goes deep, will entice us to opening up our lives and become transparent to our paratner.

Sexuality and spirituality are both deeply personal and connected to our life force energy. Our attitudes about life, love, care and compassion are all connected to our feelings about sexuality. We all came to this earth through a sexual act. If life is sacred, then so is sexuality. Unfortunately sex has been tremendously defiled in our patriarchal culture where sexuality has been paired with shame, control, domination, exploitation and evil. To heal our sexuality means changing our beliefs so that we associate sexuality with love, care, joy and commitment. To do this means embarking on a journey where we open our minds to re-think all we have learned about sex-role stereotypes, love, sexuality and spirituality.

Getting beyond our self absorption and being able to tap into the wonder and awe of creation can help us deepen our experience with sexuality. When we are full of tenderness, vitality, and openness to life, it helps sex have a flow and vitality that keeps it alive and fluid. If our lives are in a rut and we are out of touch with something beyond our separate self, sex tends to become mechanical and dull. We can use all kinds of techniques, but they are simply that, techniques. People tend to have numerous partners or lose interest in sex because they are unable to create a deep, loving connection that is fulfilling. Sex gets reduced to a physical high without the context of an evolving connection with another person. There is a tendency to blame one’s partner when the high fades–”you weren’t exciting enough”–rather than realizing something is missing within. This leads to a futile search for the “perfect” partner or more exotic sexual experiences. The pattern is broken when the person realizes that a sexual high will never quell the
underlying restlessness and emptiness which can only be filled with honest, heartfelt connections to others and to .

Sexuality grounded in love, and commitment and openness to growth can deepen and strengthen the connection between two people and intensify their sense of intimacy and oneness. When we open our inner world to our partner and allow the power of our energy flow through us, we naturally open our heart. Opening the heart may also put us in touch with our heart aches–the painful inner feelings and memories that have been buried. This is why new relationships can feel so bittersweet. You feel love, passion and connection partly due to the hormonal rush that comes with new love. Then the buried or avoided pain from the past comes to the surface and can result in the petulant, hurt, possessive, scared parts tumbling out. Painful memories often come to the surface, often of sexual violation. If we allow these parts to surface , face them and heal them, we will grow immeasurably. This can be done within the context of a loving relationship if the partners becomes allies to each other—work together to deflate the old goblins, rather than act out against each other. If we try to bury our memories and live out a role, we will suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually. We may become depressed and feel our life energy and joy draining out of us.

Sex can vary with the fluctuations in our lives–sometimes being sweet and tender, other times feeling powerful like the roar of an ocean wave. Like any energy force it waxes and wanes and changes like the seasons. New mothers sometimes lose interest in being sexual, especially if it seems like a duty. People who are overworked and tired, often lack the energy or interest to pleasure their partner and be open. Sexuality that sustains is a reflection of our inner worlds meeting each other. When two people first feel the electricity of sexual chemistry and attraction, sex may take center stage. This is fine so long as people don’t expect sex to be the only glue of the relationship.
Enduring happy couples have very different levels of sexual intensity, but for the most part those who have sexual chemistry between them from the start are more likely to have that sexual desire stay alive in a long term relationship. Sexual chemistry and attraction isn’t a guarantee of a healthy intimate relationship, but it is an important spark that helps keep relationships vital and alive. It also helps people surmount troubles and do the necessary work to stay together. That spark is part of our mystical bond with another human being. When people marry or become partnered because it they feel they “should’ or it is a good idea, often the sexuality does not stay alive and vital because the chemistry is absent.

When we are with a partner it’s important to remember that sexuality can be like a window to the rest of our relationship. Whatever is happening or not happening in our relationship may be reflected in the sexual relationship. Couples with long-term satisfying sexual relationships usually realize that when sex isn’t going well it reflects something deeper in the relationship–it’s not just about sex. It’s like a barometer for the whole relationship. “Now what aren’t we dealing with?” “What aren’t we talking about?” Have I been keeping secrets that have turned into guilt? In enduring , happy relationships people also realize the importance of keeping sex alive as an intrinsic part of the union. It would be very important if it were missing. It’s part of the glue, the very special union people have with their beloved partner and no other.

A first step on the journey to sexual intimacy is to make a commitment to oneself:
I am open to my feelings, to knowing myself and to knowing my partner. I am open to growth and change.
Unless you make this commitment, you will block your sexual energy from flowing through you. In other words you will dissociate from parts of yourself.

A second step is to say to oneself:
I am committed to becoming more open, aware and attuned–to listening, understanding and feeling empathy with my partner and all people. This leads us to learning about love, truth, wisdom and purpose.
When we make this commitment it’s as if we say, I will not make a god of sex or my partner; there is something bigger I am seeking. My partner is traveling beside me on my journey and we can learn from each and be helpmates, but we can’t replace the need to seek out the meaning of our lives as intertwined with all life.
A third step is to say to oneself:
I will allow my playfulness, creativity and joy to come alive in all that I do.
As we come alive, open our creativity and feel joy in life, we bring bright energy to our spirit, body, sexuality and our partner

Effects of culture on sexuality
Sexuality alone cannot create a bond between two people although the popular media would lead us to believe this is possible. Advertisements abound with images of svelte, thin, young women with flawless clothes and complexions linked to the arm of a handsome, tough/cool man next to a car or a bottle of scotch. The goal is to pair sex with looks, possessions and age in order to sell all kinds of products that supposedly make you more sexually desirable. In reality some very ordinary people have positive sustained sex lives and some very rich, attractive people do not. For anyone in this culture, it takes a lot of work to cast out the negative images of sexuality we have been taught. Enduring sexual intimacy is about what we bring on the inside–our joy, passion, humor, and ability to care and accept another person–as well as the packaging on the outside.

Too often seduction is mistaken for attraction. In reality, seduction is often about overpowering someone for self-centered reasons. It’s a false way to feel powerful. That’s why we have so many songs that say things like, “will you still love me tomorrow?” All the sweet talk is wonderful before the sex, but afterwards, when the partner rolls over and a chasm opens between us there is an empty lonely feeling. That’s because the sex was more about exploitation and a short term high than an expression of love and care.

To quote from Women, Sex, and Addiction
It’s important to remember that:
sex is not proof of being loved;
sex is not proof of being attractive;
sex doesn’t cure problems
sex doesn’t mean you’re lovable;
sex is not assurance against abandonment–even if you’re terrific in bed.
Sexuality is not always about partners and orgasm. It is related to the way we live in our bodies and experience the sensual pleasures of life. We can be alive to our senses, yet not be controlled by them. We can feel connected to the wonder of life when we smell bread baking, slowly eat a juicy peach, stroke velvet or gaze at the moon passing through hazy clouds. Connecting to our sexual energy is also about feeling joy and passion that come from honest conversation, giving to others, being in nature, being active and being of service. The concept of sexuality as kundalini–life force energy–resting like a coiled snake at the base of the spine ready to rise up and fill us with energy suggests that sex can be used as a tool for spiritual awakening. This is a tricky subject, because it is important not to fool ourselves by saying we are being sexual in order to be enlightened. We need to have a bond with our partner. One way sexual experience helps open our hearts is when we allow the sexual energy to fill us and then breathe the energy from the pelvis up into our heart.

If we think of the body, mind and spirit as one, then to have a sense of wholeness associated with our sexuality is to be tuned into all aspects of our being–our spiritual life, senses, feelings and thoughts. Sexuality is something we each possess and have available for our pleasure whether or not we are with a partner. In many ways the spiritual journey is about making love to ourselves in a myriad of ways–listening to our hearts, being honest, following our calling in life, giving ourselves pleasure and tapping into the wonder of the life force energy which people call God, Great Spirit, Goddess, Allah,Universal Energy, to name a few. Part of our sexual awakening can also be through making physical love to ourselves–taking time to pleasure ourselves, get to know our bodies and feel comfortable with our smells, sensations and erotic feelings. It’s important not to depend solely on another person for sexual pleasure. We need to know it belongs to each of us and is ours to experience and enjoy.

For some people the spiritual journey will entail a choice for celibacy. This may be for a given time period to learn to connect with people in a non-sexual way and to change our internal messages or it may be a long term choice. It is important that the choice for celibacy come from an inner evolution rather than from arbitrary external rules or a desire to control unwanted sexual feelings. We cannot escape the power of our sexuality. We either become at peace with us or it remains a troublesome force within that creates confusion, shame and separateness from our spirituality. If we are celebate yet still obsessed with sex, it is still controlling our life. Too often people who sexually perpetrate on others have created an inner duality of sex as an evil force that should be repressed. They are obsessed with sex in a negative way. The problem with repression is that it usually goes out of control in some way. How can we become at east with sexuality when we have taken a vow against it?

Feeling conflicted about sex sometimes stems from rigid teachings about sex, often in religious institutions where sex is associated with something dirty, shameful, secretive and extremely enticing. Religious teachings around the world put external controls on sex that are separate from love, care and goodness–it’s okay if you are married, heterosexual and want children–but it’s not okay if you are unmarried, of the same sex or are being sexual for personal pleasure. In reality there is often loveless exploitive sex in marriages and caring intimate sex between committed people of the same sex or people who are not married. As a result of negative teachings, many people need to go through a long process of shedding layers and layers of guilt and shame in order to have intimate, pleasureful sex with a loving partner–to realize that all love is God’s love.

The sex role stereotypes we have been taught also limit our openness and comfort with sex. Women are taught to act passive and demure and men are taught to act fearless and aggressive. In reality, women are perfectly capable of being assertive sexually and men are often afraid and insecure. If we only develop half of our potential, we are only half alive to our sexuality. Enduring, happy couples usually have a sense of equality about sex. They can both take a passive or an assertive role. There is not one who is the aggressor and one who is the receipient of sex, it is a mutually enjoyable form of pleasure and connection.

Sex is sometimes used in the hope of creating a bond. Two people who are unable to be honest and open with each other might have sex frequently in an attempt to create a connection or fill an inner void. The mistaken underlying
belief is, “if sex is okay then the relationship is okay.” This is like counterfeit intimacy. It is about using sex addictively to fill in our empty places in a relationships. In other cases, people who are emotionally distant or who are not honest with each other might cease having a sexual life. It dries up leaving a void in the relationship. In some cases people will have periodic sex that is mechanical and devoid of emotional intimacy. Some will use alcohol or other drugs to heighten the sexual experience. It may feel good momentarily, but there is usually a sense of emptiness afterwards. It is like using “spirits” to have sex, instead of finding the spirit within us.

Some people have difficulty sustaining a loving, vulnerable sexual relationship because the sexual act triggers unresolved feelings from sexual trauma or abuse. It feels okay to have sex with a near stranger or under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, but when the partner starts to feel like “family” then it triggers memories of sexual violation or abuse by someone who was in the original family. Many people flee relationships for this reason. They fall in love, enjoy a person for a while, and when the relationship starts having an every-day quality without the high, they leave. In these situations it is usually helpful to have counseling with someone familiar with sexual abuse problems. Three helpful books on this subject are Women, Sex and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power by Charlotte Kasl, The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz and The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis.

Becoming whole sexually is about becoming whole as a person. This means clearing out shame from our past so we are free to be open with each other. As a therapist I have repeatedly had people come to therapy wanting to fix their sex lives as something separate from the rest of the relationship. They don’t realize that the buried secrets, avoidance and resentments that have built up over time are reflected in their sexual relationship. The need to learn that everything in our relationships is magnified in sexual relationships–sensitivity, trust, understanding, acceptance playfulness, and the ability to be honest in a kind and caring way.

Bringing Sexuality and Spirituality Together

Here are some ways to bring more joy and spirit into your sexual relationship. Please remember in reading these thoughts that they are focused on bringing sexuality and spirituality together. There is no moral judgement intended. We have all grown up in a culture that separates sexuality from spirituality and we are all learning and growing. These suggestions are not a cure-all for serious sexual problems that may need counseling or professional help.

1. Develop your own path in your life. The purpose of a relationship is having a partner on the journey to spirit or becoming who you truly are. You can learn from each other but you must never mistake the other for god in any form. It’s is crucial to know that you could live without your partner and that you do not depend on him or her for your self esteem. You want to come to your beloved with a sense of equality as a human being–not as a child, parent or a god.

2. Spend time with your partner doing things you both enjoy. Loving sexuality flows from loving times together. It is difficult to have loving, enjoyable sex when you are exhausted from a hectic day or have not bonded together through mutually enjoyable experiences. Slow down your life as much as you can so you have regular times together when you can talk, share tasks and simply be together. Repeatedly, couples report that sexuality comes alive when the relationship feels alive and bonded. I would add that this often varies between men and women. Men are more wired to want sex as a release, while women want sex to express love and connection. This was evident in many of my sexuality workshops where the men and women took turns talking about their ideal sexual experience.

3. Do not use sex to fill a void, to prove you are important or to keep a partner from leaving. You will prostitute your heart, soul and body if you do this, separating yourself from spirit and love. People often ask, “But isn’t recreational sex okay?” It’s not a matter of being okay or not, it’s a matter of what you want. If you want to have a deep, spiritually alive sexual relationship, then you need to feel love and care for your partner and have sex be an expression of the love between you. Most people need a solid commitment to allow themselves to be emotionally vulnerable and present to their partner. If you have recreational sex without commitment or the intention of a lasting relationship, ask yourself, how did it feel? Maybe it felt good, but I now worry–will he call again? Does she really care for me. Anxiety often accompanies lack of commitment

4. Take good care of yourself. When you are filled up and happy you will have energy to give to your partner. When you are depleted and unhappy, it is harder to enter the flow of give and take that lovemaking requires. Learn to set limits and boundaries so that you don’t become depleted. Don’t do things that leave you feeling resentful. For example, if you give something to your partner, and find you are keeping score and expecting something in return, it’s time to step back and reconsider what you are doing. Give from the heart, but do not give from guilt.

5. Make love to your partner throughout the day with eye contact, tender touch, soft words and interest in their feelings and experiences. To find out what helps your partner feel loved, ask, “What helps you feel loved?” “What can I do to show you my love?” You can also ask if there are things your partner would rather you didn’t do–certain ways of touching, talking, etc.

6. Share gratitude and appreciation with your partner. Much of this is done non-verbally, with touch, eye contact, being present to listen and keeping agreements with great care. Expressing gratitude opens our hearts and ignites our joy. For example, if you take a walk, you can focus on the wonder of nature, rather than bringing up troublesome subjects—isn’t this beautiful, aren’t we lucky! You can start meals by taking time to give thanks in a personal way. You can express gratitude for a warm bed, friends, work, food, smell, the ability to walk, hear and feel a soft breeze. You can also say all the things you appreciate about your partner–from washing the dishes to taking care of the children, to earning money, to smiling when you walk in the room, to initiating a get together with the family. The more we notice and show our appreciation for our partner the more our heart becomes open–and an open heart leads to open-hearted love making.

7. Be of service to others. In interviewing couples who had a sustained positive sex life and marriage/partnership, they repeatedly spoke of the pleasure they derived from being of service to others. It makes sense that experiencing pleasure from giving to others carries into our intimate relationships because it helps us develop compassion, understanding, be less self centered and more thoughtful of others.

8. Always respect your partner saying yes or no to sex–or anything else for that matter. Part of the spiritual path is deep respect for others. Any form of coercion, manipulation or force shows disrespect for the other person and will create harm in the long run for both people. This doesn’t mean you can’t say. I really need for us to talk –there are some things that are getting in the way of feeling close.

9. Learn a process for consensus problem solving. This helps you make decisions that you both can live with so that you do not have left over hurt and anger for each other. This is crucial to keeping the love alive between you. (See A Home for the Heart)

10. Touch and massage each other in non-sexual ways. Set aside time to pleasure each other physically without the pressure of being sexual. This can be massage, back rubs or head massage–whatever brings pleasure. It can be with clothes on or off, in bed or some place else. The receiver can gently move the partner’s hand or make sounds to show what he or she likes. This is especially helpful when one partner has felt pressured to have sex or feels sexually detached or numb. The idea is to pair pleasure and nurture with touch, and not always feel that touch has to lead to sex.

11. Pleasure yourself. Use oil baths, soft lights, music incnense or anything that bring a sense of peace and happiness to you as you take a long time to touch yourself and be your own lover. It’s like having a deeply intimate experiene with yourself. You will be both more receptive and giving with a partner when you have a good sexual relationship with yourself.

12. Make a date to make love. If you don’t get around to lovemaking or keep putting it off because you are “too busy,” make a date to make love. Many people think they have to wait until they feel passionately turned on and inspired. In reality, we create the right moment by the way we think. By setting a time to make love, each person has time to become emotionally and physically turned on for lovemaking. It takes the wondering out of the situation–will we or won’t we? It’s also important to remember that we can usually get ourselves in the mood. It’s a little bit like going for exercise. Sometimes we have to drag ourselves out because we feel tired, but once we get started, we feel glad we made the effort. The same can be true with sex. You may not feel particularly excited about the idea, but once you start making love, you come alive to the feelings and have an intimate experience. Sometimes we need to get in the habit of making love as part of life. Of course this doesn’t mean having sex when you truly don’t want to.

13. Be honest with your partner and do not keep secrets (unless they would be harmful to your partner or destructive to the relationship). Part of the spiritual journey is learning to be truthful with kindness and respect. It’s important to talk about your feelings, needs and concerns. Both partners are responsible to help maintain the connection in the relationship. If you are withdrawing and your partner asks, “what’s going on?” it’s important to reach inside and talk about what your are thinking or feeling. Even if it means saying, “I feel blank” or “I feel afraid.” You don’t have to know the answer, simply say something that keeps the door open between you. You may need a moment to stop and let your feelings rise to the surface. Tell your partner, ”Just a minute, I need to check in to see what’s going on with me.” Being honest also applies to harbouring secrets about past or current affairs or other indiscretions that are festering away inside.

14. Learn assertiveness and relationships skills together. Many couples find it helpful to read a book on assertiveness, communication or relationships skills together. This can help with skills for dealing with conflict– past and present. It’s amazing and heart warming to see the love and care come back to a relationship after people clear out old hurts and grievances. Almost always, underneath the hurt and anger we find love.

15. Stay away from images that pair sex with cruelty, violence, superficial behavior or a flashy outward appearance. This can include movies, magazines, pornography, or even TV shows. To merge spirituality with sexuality means to connect sexuality with love, beauty, wonder, equality and joy. Immerse yourself in books and images that affirm the wonder of life, the beauty of the human spirit and sexuality born of love and care. You need to literally re-program your mind, body and spirit away from most of our culture’s teachings on sexuality. I realize this stance may seem out of date, but the question remains, what do you want in a sexual relationship? While exploration, novelty, and different settings can enhance a sexual relationship, violence and cruelty often become addictive, the partners needing more and more pain and domination to feel sexual desire. That’s what the makers of pornography know all too well. Once people start using violent images for stimulations, over time they need more violence and cruelty to become sexually aroused. That’s why people who use pornography to have sexual arousal often become unable to feel comfortable with their flesh and blood partners.

16. Talk with your partner about your sexual relationship. Ask each other,“Am I giving you pleasure? Is it working for you? Do you feel I am tuned in to you? Do I take enough time? What would you like?”

17. Get professional help when needed. If you cannot alleviate a deep sense of sexual shame and guilt, you cannot stop compulsive sexual behavior, or you continually go numb when being sexual, get help. Change is possible with a good counselor who knows about sexual issues linked to childhood trauma. Sometimes a support group or workshops on sexuality and relationships can help immeasurably. The worst thing in life is staying stuck. It usually better to open up discussion, feel the hurt and pain, even make mistakes, than allow hurt and anger to fester away inside, draining your life energy. Staying stuck leads to depression, illness and often the loss of a relationship. Do whatever you can to help your relationship work, but if it is chronically painful and harmful to you, then give yourself permission to leave. Failure is not in having made a mistake, it is in not being wise in the moment and taking good care of yourself.

18. Join a sexuality group or take a sexual history
The sexual history is included if one orders the complete article.

Taking a Sexual History
Sharing our sexual histories with others helps us feel more “normal” and less alone. Talking about sexuality also lessens shame. When I facilitate sexuality workshops, people are usually tense to begin with, but after a while, animated discussion, laugher and sometimes tears ignite the energy in the room. You can take a sexual history with a trusted friend or with someone in a support group. You can do this in twos or threes. This is usually best done with someone of the same sex, and not your primary partner.* You need to be free to talk openly about anything. The purpose of taking a sexual history is to desensitize yourselves to embarrassment or anxiety around the subject of sex. If you giggle and feel like an adolescent, you have lots of company. Many people have never spoken openly about sex.

Many people take several hours to do this history and others break it up over several sessions. It depends how much time you have and how much depth you want to go into. Let yourselves know when you hit a saturation point and need to stop. You can also jump around with the questions, starting with the ones that feel most comfortable to talk about

*After you and your partner have done a sexual history with others it may be appropriate to do it with each other. You may want to edit some parts.. It may not serve any useful purpose to tell your partner how many sexual partners you have had, and you certainly don’t want to spring information about an affair during a sexual history. So do it with each other with discretion.

Ground rules for taking a sexual history.
–Take turns answering each question so the sharing goes back and forth.

–Share as much as you can without revealing more than you can handle, but also nudge yourself a bit.

–The listener is to listen! Not to judge or say things like “You did that!!!” You can ask questions to draw the other person out, or relate your own experience if the other person asks ( I faked orgasm too. “I was also sexually abused.”)

–Let the person talk and have their feelings. Do not jump in and care take by saying things such as, “Oh, I think that’s normal.” “I wouldn’t worry about that.” “I know lots of people who have done that.” Allow the other person
time to think, and to be silent. Do not push the other person to answer a question if he or she doesn’t want to.

–If it is your turn to talk you can ask the listener, “Did anything like that ever happen to you.?” It is also important to remember that your history is your history and while it’s nice to know you are not alone in your experiences, try to accept whatever you have experienced or done as part of your journey. Don’t judge it, observe it and learn from it.

–Remember each of you may be sharing certain information for the first time. Be as supportive as you can be and give each other your full attention.

Sexual History

1. What were your earliest messages about sex? Who told you? What did you feel? Did you understand?

2. What were the message you received from your father/mother/other care givers?

3. What were the messages, if any, you received from religious training/in school/at camp or friends?

4. What were the best messages you received?

5. What were the worst messages you received?

6. When did you first experience sexual arousal?

7. What experiences did you have with sexual experimentation as a child, including masturbation, playing doctor, etc? What were the reactions of adults to these experiences, if any?

8. As a child, what images of sex do you remember from the media and magazines that were in your home or that you had access to? How did they affect you?

9. What questions did you ask your parents/care givers about sex (if any) and what were the answers?
10. Did you experience any forms of sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual treatment as a child. This could include any sorts of intrusions that led to feelings of shame or discomfort. Some examples: parental obsession around bathing, taking naked photos, enemas, adolescent development, dating, looks, popularity at school. It could also include inappropriate touching, fondling, sleeping together, using you as a substitute intimate partner, (such as saying to a ten year old boy, “now that your father is gone, you’re the man of the house.”) kissing, holding and overt sexual abuse. When you talk about these things, say how you are feeling at the moment, and how you think these events affected you.

FOR WOMEN
11. What were you told about menstruation? Who told you? What was your first menstrual experience like?

12. Tell your first bra stroy.

13. Tell your most embarrassing menstruation story.

14. Tell about you development as an adolescent–breasts, pubic hair, growth? Include age, what people said,how you felt and who you talked with (if anyone).

15. Tell about positive experiences with menstruation.

16. When did you first know about your clitoris?

17. Have you ever been pregnant? Given birth? What was the experience like for you?

18. Tell about menopause (if applicable).

FOR MEN
19. Tell about your adolescent development. Age, how you felt, etc

20. Give examples of locker room/playground/ men talk. What was said about penis size. How did you feel about yours? What was said about having sex? What was said about females.? What was said abut homosexuality? What were your feelings about any of the above questions and what was said.
21. Tell experiences about having erections (when you didn’t want one or couldn’t have one when you wanted one.)

22. How much responsibility do you take for birth control? How do you feel about wearing condoms?

FOR EVERYONE

23. Tell about your first voluntary sexual experience, including your age, the setting and feelings at the time.

24. Does orgasm come easily? with difficulty? occasionally? Not at all? Tell your history of orgasm.

25. Have you said yes to sex when you wanted to say no? What do you understand about the reasons? Have you engaged in sexual practices that you didn’t like or that felt harmful to you?

26. Have you said No to sex when you wanted to say yes? Talk about the situation and the underlying reasons.

27. Talk about the role masturbation plays in your life at present? Do you take time? Is it a form of making love to yourself? Do you use a vibrator or other aids? Is it a quick tension release?

28. Talk about your worst sexual experience? Are there still harmful effects from this experience? If so, explain.

29. Talk about your best sexual experience? Give the setting, your feelings and say what made it so favorable. If you haven’t had a wonderful sexual experience, describe an imaginary one.

30. Tell you history of sexual fantasies. Do you fantasize often? Do you have rape or violent fantasies? Victim fantasies, With animals? Children? Strangers? Do you have fantasies from nature–ocean waves, motion? How do you feel about your fantasies..? Have they changed over time?

31. Tell about sexual attractions and experiences with people of the same sex.

32. Have you ever sexually abused or manipulated another person? Talk about the experience and the feelings? What do you understand about the underlying reasons?

33. How many sexual partners have you had? Men? Women? Group sex?

AT PRESENT
34. Are you in a sexual relationship right now? Is it committed? How is it for you sexually? What works well? Any problems/concerns?

35. How well do you say what you like and need? How are you at saying yes, no, a little, maybe later, never? Do you respect others saying yes, no, not now, maybe later, never?

36. Tell all the ways you create a feeling of exhilaration or joy in your body? This can include sports, hiking, meditating, caring for others, etc? How often do you do these things? How could you arrange your life to do them more often?

37. Do you currently masturbate. Quickly, slowly,? How do you feel about it?

38. What do you think you need to do in your life to make sexuality a more positive or affirming part of your life.

39. Is there anything else on your mind about sexuality that you would like to talk about?

Sexuality,
Spirituality and Relationships
a
A guide to bringing them
together in our lives

Charlotte Sophia Kasl, Ph.D.

Written as part of a CD Rom project on
holistic health and healing
© September 1995 all rights reserved
revised for the web site August 2012

Additional copies can be ordered by sending
$5.00 per individual copy or
$3.50 per copy for five or more, to:
Many Roads, One Journey, Box 1302
Lolo MT 59847

Sexuality,Spirituality
and Relationships
a
A guide to bringing them
together in our lives

Two articles by
Charlotte Sophia Kasl, Ph.D.

Spirituality………………………….. page 1
Sexuality and Spirituality… page 11

Box 1302 Lolo MT 59847
Phone: 406-273-6080

2 Responses to Sexuality, Spirituality and Relationships – A guide to bringing them together in our lives

Charlotte Kasl

Charlotte Kasl, MA, PhD
See Biography
Licensed Professional
Clinical Counselor
Certified Addiction Specialist
Reiki Master
Healer
Consultant
Teacher
Author

Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps


Finding Joy: 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Dance with Life


Yes You Can!: Healing from Trauma and Addiction with Love, Strength, and Power

Value Pack Order

If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path


If the Buddha Married: Creating Enduring Relationships on a Spiritual Path


If the Buddha Had Kids: Practical advice to help parents raise peacemakers in our increasingly turbulent times


Dear Therapist: Through the Voices of Survivors of Childhood Abuse


If the Buddha Got Stuck: If the Buddha Got Stuck, is a wise yet lighthearted book