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What Is The Function Of Sex? - Dr. Clark (VIDEO)

By Dr. Mary M. Clark Expert
 
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Dr. Clark introduces herself and describes the function of sex in a woman's life.

Dr. Clark:
I am Mary Clark. I am a sex therapist, AASECT certified sex therapist and psychologist and marriage and family therapist here in California. I am associated with the San Diego Sexual Medicine in San Diego. I have been certified as a sex therapist since the mid 90s and so, very interested in this area and in education as an important part, as well as dealing with the issues of dysfunction or lack of functioning or mythology that surround female sexuality.

I believe that we have four aspects of our personality – we have a physical body, we have our emotions, we have our intellect, and our spirituality, and of course sex fits in the physical because it’s a physical phenomenon and what we enjoy with sex of course are our five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. And of course, when we are young and have all kinds hormones going, that’s the excitement and the enjoyment there, but as we age we also want to have that as part of our life, whether we choose to have a partner or even if we choose to be celibate, I think that having, masturbating to orgasm or even if we don’t masturbate, we still have our wet dreams that will occur for males and females; so, it’s an integration.

In terms of emotions, we have relationships with other people and interdependence is what we are learning, and of course we need to survive and that’s our intellect. Our spiritual area has to do with our intuition, our hunches, our introversion, which guides us in life. Our hunches as to what I need to learn in life and so the love that comes from the spiritual is emotional support and empathy, as opposed to the affect or the affection that we have for others from our emotion area. I know people from my emotions, these are my friends, my family, people I am close to and so I share affection.

But we also can relate to everyone else in the world, other humans, and that’s more of our spiritual area where we can recognize the sameness in other people and that would be the emotional support and empathy that we have and that’s what spirituality, I mean, and that’s what sexuality is actually. And I think sexuality can enhance spirituality because getting to know a partner and feeling close and sharing a life together can be a very spiritual experience.

So, it’s the integration of these four aspects of us that enhance life and so, dropping off the physical, and of course as we age we have physical problems. We have all the diseases, ailments, pain that occur, but trying to find a way to express that, whether it’s through intercourse or other means of affection and touching and stimulation, if that’s what the couple wants, I think it adds to the relationship, and I think we have our sex drive our whole life, you know, people in their 90s are interested and beyond that too. I haven’t interviewed too many people, but you know, the body can live past a hundred. I think they have interviewed people when they are 120s, so, and may be even longer because we certainly are finding that.

So to have an addition to the excitement that we have with sexuality we also have the comfort and caring that has to do with our parasympathetic which increases desire – the touching and the stimulating our senses, and then of course the excitement part, which comes from the adrenal – the sympathetic side that the excitement and the pleasure.

So, both of those aspects of our neurotransmitters, our autonomic nervous system support the calming and the pleasure that we have from our body, and, you know, and why not use our body our whole life? So that’s the compliment and the integration that is supported, and of course it helps the mood.

Depression is, you know, the definition of depression is lack of pleasure in everyday life and certainly sex is pleasure and so, it very well integrates that with staying in a good place and you know, also the challenge of overcoming any diseases or physical obstacles or pain that we have and that leads to more interdependence, which most of us adults are learning how to do and that involves our emotional self as well as overcoming problems with your partner. And so there is a challenge I think as we age to continue our sex life and I think it’s well worth the effort.

About Dr. Mary M. Clark, Ph.D.:
Mary McGinn Clark, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist (PSY17897), Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC17748) and an AASECT Certified Diplomate in Sex Therapy with over 25 years of experience working with people. She addresses sexuality, relationship and intimacy concerns for individuals and couples. She has taught at the University of San Diego, SDSU, MiraCosta and Grossmont Community Colleges and presented material at UCSD and at professional conventions.

Visit Dr. Clark at San Diego Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital

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