Is your sex life struggling? Sexual integrity can repair a relationship
- Do you feel you and your partner don’t have the same sexual desires?
- Do you have sexual fantasies you are afraid to share with your partner because they will judge or shame you?
- Are you acting out unwanted sexual behaviors just to please your partner?
- Are you finding your relationships consistently are failing and you can’t figure out why?
When we are people pleasing, judging ourselves, or afraid to express our full sexual desires, we aren’t living in sexual integrity. This is the place to start.
What is sexual integrity and why is it important in a relationship?
We all understand integrity – when our behaviors coincide with our values, words and beliefs. Sexual integrity is no different – it should match our values, our words and our beliefs, however, that often does not happen. Our struggle often is that expressing ourselves fully sexually can seem unsafe. We may want to please our partner in the bedroom and uphold masculine stereotypes that have become toxic, and our sexual integrity is neglected or forgotten or maybe not even understood.
When was the last time you thought about the type of person you wanted to show up as in the bedroom? Sexual identity is unique to each individual; it is not doing what your partner wants. This is where the conflict begins and where dissension and difficulties grow and fester in the relationship. Our values and our beliefs have disappeared. How can any relationship be successful without sexual integrity?
Men, in particular, want to please their partner. They deny their own sexual integrity because they worry about risking their vulnerability, being the type of lover society conditions us to be and about being shamed or guilted. Sometimes, they do things they know (or may not know) are not right or not the best way, but they feel stuck, trapped and powerless to make changes because they don’t understand what they are doing wrong. They are confused. They don’t know how to “show up” sexually. Sometimes, they feel they are wearing a mask; they are following a stereotype of how they think their partner wants and needs them to be. They have divorced themselves from who they want to be.
While all of this turmoil is occurring, the relationship is unraveling.
The question to ask is, “what is your personal version of you and what you want?” Defining and living a life of sexual integrity can come with many challenges and struggles for couples.
How can couples change this vicious circle?
Here are a few suggestions to start the process:
- Examine your values, especially involving sex (eg, casual sex, cybersex, masturbation, sex toys, anal and oral sex). This may help you become more aware of your true sexual integrity and resolve conflicts with your partner.
- Take a hard look at your beliefs about the “right kind of sex.”
- Learn to identify your true desires, not the desires you think your partner wants you to have. Studies show that more than 90 percent of people never share their sexual desires or fantasies with anyone because they fear shame and rejection. That is why sexual integrity is such an important issue when it comes to strengthening relationships. Our needs and desires are in constant conflict. True sexual identity involves acceptance – not only from your partner, but more importantly, from you.
- Identify your principles for sexual integrity, not the model you follow because you think it is what your partner wants.
- Start working on behavior change. This takes practice and time. Start with self-awareness and mindfulness. Try to stop your autopilot way of thinking and stay in the moment.
There is help if you need it!
Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW, founder and director of The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health (CRSH); along with Adam Letica, life coach with CRSH and expert in the field of behavior change; developed a sexual integrity course designed to help men (women also are welcome) understand why they make the choices they do regarding their sexuality and how to make changes that reflect their sexual integrity.
The course will:
- help create a vision and gain clarity of the person you would like to be sexually, not the person you think your partner wants you to be.
- help you identify actions and beliefs about the type of person you want to be.
- bring awareness of ways you are breaking your sexual integrity.
- give you a game plan to take action so you can be the person you want to become.
- provide ways to maintain your sexual integrity for permanent change.
- help you engage in sex with integrity – respect honesty, consent and mutual agreement.
- help you avoid conflicts in your relationship.
- help you find ways you are falling short on sexual integrity.
- help you build and maintain sexual integrity.
We live in a world of sexual opportunities; it is time to identify these and how they fit your sexual integrity.
Course name: Building Sexual Integrity
Course details: A month long course broken into weekly topics. Each week will provide expert teaching on psychological concepts, round table discussion, live coaching, and homework assignments.
Week 1: Creating a Sexual Vision
What does sex and sexual integrity mean to me?
What are the values and beliefs I want to uphold in my sex life?
What do my erotic and sexual desires say about me?
Week 2: Identifying Dis-integrity
What are the underlying wound, beliefs, and traumas that prevent me from living in integrity?
Where am I repressing and masking desires or sexual interests?
How can I handle the emotions and feelings that prompt dis-integrity?
Week 3: Building Integrity
How can I build pillars of integrity using communication, boundaries and agreements?
How can I better connect to the parts of me that are holding shame, anger, and limiting beliefs?
Week 4: Maintaining Integrity
How do we build integrity into the fabric of our relationship?
What are obstacles that keep me from integrity and what skills can I use to navigate through them?
- Date: February 2nd, 9th, 16h, and 23rd
- Time: 7-8:30pm EST
- Small groups of 6 to 8
- How many weeks: 4 weeks
- Dr. Kort and Adam will facilitate the course.
- Cost: $249
- How to register: online payment portal
Introducing your course facilitators
Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW, is the founding director of The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health. He has been in practice since 1985. He has worked successfully with hundreds of individuals and couples to improve their lives and their relationships, using a variety of therapy modalities. He is a board certified sexologist, and he is certified in EMCR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), Imago Relationship Therapy and LGBTQIA Affirmative Therapy. Dr. Kort is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists; and the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. He completed his PhD in Clinical Sexology.
Adam Letica is a life coach and an expert in the field of behavior changes. When working with individuals and couples, his goal is to help close the gap between who you are and who you are capable of being. He is trained in Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Somatic Experiencing, a therapeutic technique that helps individuals understand what emotional obstacles are holding them back and how to overcome them in a sustainable manner. Adam works with clients on making major life decisions, building positive relationships, finding clarity and direction, creating a compelling future, developing more confidence, becoming more optimistic, dealing with identity crisis, increasing focus and productivity, and much more to improve your quality of life.