How You View Your Sexual Self

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stuc_in_a_sexual_rut

stuck in a sexual rut

 

In an earlier blog I talked about how you get caught in a sexual rut because of  psychological inflexibility. I described the six core processes that contribute to being psychologically inflexible and getting stuck; (1) Lack of clarity of values (2) Dominance of outmoded scripts and learning (3) Cognitive fusion (4) Attachment to the conceptualized self (5) Experiential avoidance and (6) Inaction, impulsivity, and rigidity . The six processes work independently and combine synergistically when getting stuck sexually. I’ll go into these six processes in my next blog.

In this blog I want to talk a little bit about Attachment to the conceptualized, Dominance of Outmoded Scripts and Learning, and Cognitive Fusion .

AC Coaching and ACT use the term the conceptualized self to refer to what most people think about when asked to describe themselves. For example, if I asked you to describe yourself, you’d probably say things like “I’m thirty-five years old,” “I’m of average height,” “I’m happily married,” “I’m an architect,” “I’m kind and I’m lovable.” These kinds of self-statements sum up who you are and how you measure up compared to some societal standard (intelligence, income, body composition, and so on).

You also have a conceptualized sexual self that relate to your sexuality. So, if I asked you to describe yourself as a sexual person you might say things such as; “I really like sex”, “I’m pretty sexy,” “I’m good in bed”, “Men find me very desirable,” “I am not so sexy,” “I’m kind of inexperienced,” ” I have a very high/low sex drive” and so forth.

Some aspects of your conceptualized sexual self are helpful, positive, rational, and support your efforts to live a meet your sexual needs and wants and behave in ways that are consistent with your sexual and relationship values. Other aspects are not so helpful. Instead of helping and supporting you, the sexual thoughts, feelings, personal scripts, and mental images in your mind create barriers that keep you from meeting your sexual needs and wants and behaving in ways that are congruent with your sexual and relationship values.

 

When this is the case, it is often because you’ve attached, or fused with unhelpful aspects of your conceptualized sexual self. This is called Cognitive Fusion. When you fuse with any unhelpful aspect of your conceptualized self it takes on an added level of importance or concern that smothers the other aspects.

Personal Scripts and learning related to your conceptualized sexual self become outmoded (aka outdated) when they no longer represent your values or they stand in the way of meeting your values-based sexual and relationship goals.  In an earlier blog in this series I talked about how values originate and change over the course of your sexual history. When you fuse with outmoded aspects of your conceptualized sexual self they dominate your sexual thinking (hence, the phrase, Dominance of Outmoded Scripts and Learning).

 

For example, let’s imagine that you were raised (as I was)  to be ” good boy”  or a “good girl”  Your parents raised you to defer to others and always seek to please people. Because of this you grew up with a value system connected to strong beliefs that you shouldn’t upset people by being assertive or uncooperative. Your first inclination was always to please others and be a good boy or girl. You complied with this throughout your childhood and adolescence and grew up viewing yourself as a good boy or girl. You also felt guilty whenever you  caused others any displeasure or inconvenience because you strayed out of your good boy/girl pattern of behavior. Being a “good boy” or “good girl” became a key part of your conceptualized self

It also became part of your conceptualized sexual self as you began dating, became sexually active, entered into relationships, and got married.

Because you were over-attached (or fused) to “being a good boy or girl” it was hard for you to assert your own sexual needs, wants, and desires whenever they came into conflict with your partner’s. Your lack of psychological flexibility regarding this part of your conceptualized sexual self caused you to get stuck for years in behavior patterns and relationships that were not congruent with your sexual values, goals, needs, and wants. Your sexual mind was dominated with outmoded sexual scripts based on outdated learning.

 

 

People get fused with and stuck on many different aspects of the conceptualized sexual self such as body image, gender role, sexual preference, sexual behavior, and a host of others.

AC Coaching and ACT refer to the conceptualized self viewpoint as a self-as-content view. When you become attached to the view created by your conceptualized  self you mistakenly believe that your thoughts about something are the same as directly experiencing it.

So in the case of trying to break out of the good boy/girl mindset and behavior pattern your mind would conjure up all of the possible negative outcomes and things that could go wrong if you started to assert yourself or didn’t always aim to please. Because the attachment to that aspect of your conceptualized sexual self is so strong, your mind wants to protect you from the pain and suffering that would result from you trying to change that it.

The self-as-content view leads you to believe that you can avoid the pain and suffering of taking action and seeing what actually happens by figuring it all out in your mind without having to directly experience them.  This keeps you stuck as it keeps you from experiencing things that can be troubling or painful but growth-enhancing.

AC Coaching and ACT use techniques from Cognitive Defusion that help you step back and distance yourself from unhelpful attachments (such as the good boy/girl ones) to your conceptualized sexual self that keep you stuck. They help you detach or defuse from them. This diminishes their importance and brings them to a level that can be accepted and not seen asa barriers to change.

In later blogs I will discuss Cognitive Defusion techniques and give some examples of how to use them to break away from unhelpful attachments to your conceptualized sexual self.

So, if you want more desire and passion, and great sex at any age stay tuned to this Great Sex Blog.

 

Each installment will focus on a different aspect of my Great Sex From the Inside Out Program, a new multi-session home study course for people just like you who have been in a committed sexual relationship for 5, 10, or more years and want to re-ignite the flame of desire or make it even brighter.

 

Thanks so much for reading this blog.

As a special gift I’d like to give you a copy of my free Sexual Mindfulness training session.  It is targeted to people who have been in committed sexual relationship for at least 5 years and are either in a sexual rut and want to re-ignite the flame of desire or are doing ok but would like to make it burn even brighter.                                                                                                   

 

 

This free one hour training session  combines a 30 minute video session about mindfulness and a sexy 30 minute audio session that shows you how to give a mindful back massage. Both sessions show how mindfulness can greatly enhance your sexual response and pleasure.

 

Get immediate access by downloading here:

 

Thanks again for your support,

Dr Rich

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