I had the opportunity to speak on a radio show back in February hosted by another extraordinary therapist by the name of Lily Sloane. You can jump into our conversation at 12:28, after I'm introduced by my theme song, Living in Midnight!
In the Pursuit of Healing, We Stop Short of Pleasure
In the radio show, I talk in more detail about my journey to work to end sexual assault and how it led me to promote sexual health. I stutter through talking about an incident in college where I am convinced that I might have been sexually assaulted if the circumstances had just been slightly different. I did say in the the show that The World Health Organization (WHO) has a comprehensive definition of sexual health. It touches on multiple areas of health including mental, physical, and social while also, and maybe most importantly, promoting pleasure.
Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence
We've all had the experience of listening to a friend lament the state of a crumbling romantic relationship. We stared at them across a coffee table as they cried after a love went sour. Such a scene may be familiar even in relationships that were once healthy. However, what do you do when the break up can be dangerous? Maybe your loved one faces acts of retaliation like enduring scratched in the paint of their cars, being outed for their sexual lifestyle, or fighting off a physical assaulted.
You being a caring family member or friend to a survivor in this situation may bring feelings helplessness, confusion, and anger. Understandably, there isn't much you can do to change their relationship or the abuser. However, there is a lot you can do to support the survivor.
Don't Rescue them
Are you one of the 20% of American living without some form of Herpes?
Herpes is so common but we treat it as a selective mark on only a few promiscuous and reckless individuals. Herpes-1, commonly known as the cold sore virus is quickly surpassing Herpes-2 for all new genital herpes infections. A sixth of Americans have Herpes-2. A fifth of those infected have noticeable outbreaks, another fifth never see ANY symptoms but can still pass the disease. The other 3 in 5 see such minor symptoms that they mistake it for something else like a cut from shaving too closely or irritation from rough sex. Meaning, to have a conversation about when to disclose we have to have a conversation about the sheer amount of people who do not know that they are infected in order to disclose.
Top 5 Reasons to Disclose
It was such an honor to tell my story on Annie's podcast. Since then, I've been met with an outpouring of support and connected with disillusioned therapists and budding sex educators from all over the country. Each conversation was powerful and I got to hold space for my colleagues much like I hold space for clients. I listened to tearful stories of being overworked in community agencies. I encouraged people not to trust our enemies and to find better supports as they take the leap of faith into private practice. If you're a therapist or educator reading this, then I"m going to distill the top 5 points I've been giving out for the past two weeks into something digestible.
1. Don't Throw in the towel