Add pleasure back in to the conversation about healthy sex and the whole conversation changes!
In this very sexy conversation (earphones around little kids are good idea for this one!), we talk about the balance between pleasure and safety as a way to think of sexual health. “Sexual debut” vs losing our virginity… wow, how fun is that shift in thinking, for example?
This is the first half of an extended conversation with Doug Braun-Harvey, co-author of Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior, Rethinking Sex Addiction, where Ann Kelley and Sue Marriott discuss two of the six principles of sexual health as defined by Braun-Harvey. The following episode, Part 2, will cover the other 4!
0:00 – Intro
2:10 – Conception and construction of sexual health. How has sexual health been traditionally viewed and why has it typically been linked with fear/harm rather than pleasure?
3:45 – Move towards more balance of pleasure and safety when talking about sexual health
4:25 – Conversations about masturbation and pleasure with teenagers.
6:00 – Construction of pleasure as self-absorption vs. getting in tune with your own desires and setting natural boundaries.
7:10 – Sex therapy as discovering internal regulators so pleasure can be had. Most everyone has naturally occurring boundaries, they may have just not tapped into them yet when controlling their desire for pleasure.
8:36 – Outdated construction of sexual health prior to mid-1970s which focused primarily on no unplanned/unwanted pregnancy and no STIs.
9:26 – World Health Organization’s new definition of sexual health: Not just about having a disease, more about tension between parameters of sex around safety, respect and basic human conduct.
11:40 – Sexual Rights: 16 sexual rights added by the WHO
12:12 – Six Principles of Sexual Health: 1) Consent, 2) Non-Exploitation, 3) Protection from STIs and Unwanted Pregnancy, 4) Honesty, 5) Shared Value and 6) Pleasure.
15:15 – 1st Principle of Sexual Health: Consent
16:23 – Age of Consent
17:40 – Legal Definitions of Age of Consent
19:47 – Sex Drug-Linked Behavior
20:20 – Link between alcohol and sex
21:00 – Language of “making a sexual debut” versus “losing virginity”
22:20 – Most debated sexual value: when and how a person can make their sexual debut
24:30 – Difficulty in parents communicating with their children about making their sexual debut
25:44 – Introducing language and idea of consent at an early age
29:30 – Second Principle of Sexual Health: Non-Exploitation
30:52 – Exploitation in Adolescents, in relationship, in infidelity, power imbalance
36:00 – Language of “Sexual Images” rather than “Pornography” and cultural bias/norms associations with that
37:09 – What’s embedded in “infidelity”?
37:49 – Idea of a Sexual Agreement
39:02 – Withholding erotic turn-ons from partner vs. sharing them with partner
41:42 – Anecdote that relates eroticism to falling in love again
42:53 – Pain of losing love due to misunderstood sexual interests
43:43 – Consent and Exploitation in the home
45:31 – Non-Exploitation through make up sex
46:04 – Desire Discrepancy
Want more podcasts like this or a way to discuss this episode? Dive right in and join our private online community of “neuronerds” on FB by joining or email list here.
Please go straight to Part 2 of this interview here.
Also hear a later, related podcast that refers to this one, an interview with Esther Perel on Infidelity, Love and Desire here.
As if that’s not already enough…
Even more resources here:
Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior, Rethinking Sex Addiction by Doug Braun-Harvey
Sexual Health and Recovery A Professional Counselors Manual, by Doug Braun-Harvey
The Harvey Institute is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations integrate sexual health principles and practices to improve personal well-being and rethink their organizational practices.
In 2013, Doug Braun-Harvey and Al Killen-Harvey combined their individual psychotherapy practices with their international training consultation services to form The Harvey Institute.