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Unity: The Integration of Our Sexual Selves

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It's a superficial historical construct that "sex" is its own subject akin to "fiction." The separation of sex from the rest of our personalities has caused tremendous repression and a splitting apart of the self between the waking, or non-sexual, socially appropriate self and the sexual self, the hidden self, the taboo self.

Carl Jung, the pioneer of the idea of archetypes in the human experience, conceptualized the idea of our buried fears, anxieties, taboo thoughts and feelings, our "darker selves" as, literally, our shadows. Carl Jung realized that this shadowy part of ourselves must be acknowledged and somehow integrated into our adult personalities in order for us to become truly whole.

Please read more about this here: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html. For a list of books by Jung, please follow this link: http://www.bestwebbuys.com/Carl_Gustav_Jung-mcid_3135042.html?isrc=b-authorsearch.

What is the benefit of incorporating our sexuality into ourselves? As Jung describes it, the life cycle will not come to a satisfying point in old age if one has not made peace with one's choices and decisions. Being older is, in a healthy person, a period of reflection and coming to terms with one's life. Knowing one's self at the deepest level would make for a more profound experience in later life, when taking stock is in direct proportion to feeling, knowing and accepting what one's life has meant and what one has learned.

By cutting sexuality off from the rest of ourselves, we fool ourselves into thinking that we have two of us living simultaneously in the same body; that we make decisions without any of our sexual nature involved and that sex is indeed completely separate from love, from rational thought and from being considered an adult.

Women are the first to blame men for this division, complaining endlessly that men can treat sex as a romp, a sort of entertainment with no strings, love or emotion attached.

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Only sex is not necessary to save any marriage relationships but both of the couples must have respect, mutual understanding, faith and friendship for healthy relationships. Often more and more sex without any feelings or avoiding other partner desires and interest can cause marriage relationship conflict. Sometimes marriage problem become hard to recover and couples look for divorce. if you are having such problems then please look for marriage counseling and don't feel shy to discuss your personal and intimate relationship with a marriage counselor.

August 10, 2009 - 12:49am
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks so much for the informative and caring comments...I know we all struggle with these issues as women and as caring members of our communities.. I am a mother of two boys ages 10 and 7 and wrestle with the media, attempting to keep balance in their lives all the time and it is truly exhausting; and at times extremely confusing and depressing, as well.
I also work with teens and see the abundance of imagery they have to contend with.
Having never been a fan of extremes, I have struggled with the issue of whether or not to raise my boys completely without television, completely without junk food, or completely without inappropriate language in their lives.
Having realized pretty early on that this level of extreme living was going to pose its own set of problems, I have mostly opted for moderation in all things; you can have ice cream but not every day, and not unless you eat healthy food; you can watch television and play video games but I have to know what you're watching and playing and you have to have social and intellectual activities to balance it out....(not to mention great behavior, fantastic grades and good reports from friends' parents, teachers, etc)
There have been many days when I felt completely frustrated with myself for ever having allowed this and felt that I had failed completely as a parent.
So I understand the place that people are in emotionally when they make the decision to steer their children in the direction of abstinence and I don't think for one moment that they mean any harm to their young people.
However, the description of young menstruating girls not really understanding their own bodies and cycles is truly saddening. As you said, this brings us so far from our goal as women of having a say and having control over our own sexuality and our own lives, ultimately, that it is no wonder we have the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world.
I don't have any answers, but the essence of this issue feels, to me, like we need to move back into a slow, profound message of inherent value and teach not only our young women but our young men as well that they are valuable as human beings simply because they are - that their development of intellect, humor, empathy, hobbies, interests, connection, friendship, loyalty, honesty, integrity, caring... that the development of these character traits and ethical values are MORE important than being popular, being cool, being thin, being a reflection of the media images they are bombarded with.
I suppose we need to stay in connection with our children and keep talking to them, keep them willing and open and able to keep talking to us, as well. After all, if they can trust us enough to come to us with their questions and problems, they stand a far better chance of actually getting useful information and not feeling so alone in the process of growing up.

June 19, 2009 - 9:37am

I do not know if the boys have benefitted, but they did learn that name calling, especially the really ugly words used for females, was a big "not-going-to-happen" with their mom.

It's sad when the "not until your marriage" advice is all that girls are given, and abstinence does not answer the problem either. You cannot stop a chocolate lover from eating chocolate, and the hormones of a teenager are not disuaded by abstinence. Honestly, I assumed that the women who would use the marriage-bit had gone the way of the Do-do, but guess not.

With my girls, I simply told them to let me know if they thought they needed birth control pills, and condoms, and we would talk. It wasn't permission to do, just the sense that they knew we could talk about it, and it worked, they graduated high school without becoming mothers. It was my answer, but each child is different and I assume it requires different answers.

June 19, 2009 - 9:15am

This is a fascinating SHARE, Aimee. Thoughtful and relevant for almost every generation.

We all understand that past generations were different, and that information about our sexual selves was less forthcoming. As a moderator for EmpowHer, however, I worry that the generation of kids today who have had abstinence education are actually moving backward in their knowledge of themselves and their bodies. The sheer number of questions we get from young girls trying to figure out their periods, for instance, or if, how and whether they could be pregnant (or have an STD) is astonishing, and most of them don't have a clue about these things, or even the proper names for them. One girl had sex two periods ago and still worries she could be pregnant. Another girl had sex two nights ago and because she is sore "down there" she thinks she could be pregnant. Yet another girl has found her cervical mucus for the first time and believes that something is wrong with her.

These are teen girls who will soon be adults, who have been told that sex is bad unless you're married. Their "shadow selves" are not only not integrated in this generation, they are moving in the opposite direction, I think. And that seems worrisome at best.

June 19, 2009 - 8:24am

Thanks for your insight, wisdom and intelligent commentary. Hats off to you for standing up to your sons! I have two boys and, even at their young ages of 7 and 10, I know holding your ground as a mother and a woman to be respected is no easy feat.

They will surely benefit from your courage and make wonderful partners because of your strength.


June 17, 2009 - 6:05pm

I had to overcome the lack of teachings on my mother's part (she's 78 and her generation did not talk about sex) to realize that sex was alright, the feelings that I had were not emotionally disruptive, etc. My daughters, both grown women, were a big help in my sexual revolution.

My sons, both grown men, were none to happy when their sexually aware mother who asked, "just how many little male sluts does it take to make a female slut," when they were talking negatively about girls in their school. I don't think that we have a right to judge a life that is not ours to live, but I do agree that we--women in particular--are prone to doing so.

June 17, 2009 - 12:11pm
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