Anything you ever do should be consensual and you should be using a system such as R.A.CK, S.S.C, Traffic lights or other system.
I do not have the space to cover every sexual activity that adults induge in, however I have listed some so you can get a flavour of how diverse a sexual landscape we live in.
You deserve to work with a professional who is knowledgeable, experienced, respects your gender, sexual orientation, and erotic preferences.
There are many ways for adults to express and enjoy intimacy, sexuality, and gender and should be free to away from the judgments of others.
- kinky / BDSM / leather / fetish / bondage / chastity
- non-monogamous / open relationship / polyamory / threesomes
- Swinging / dogging / cuckholding
Holding this open, anti-oppressive liberal view means I differ from some mental health professionals.
This whole process can be easier if you are working with a therapist like myself who you know can be comfortable with these issues.
I am affirmative of all these orientations and identities.
You can read my NCSFreedom listing here
This means I believe that these are normal variations of sexuality and gender, which for the most part are best accepted and integrated into a person’s core identity.
Instead of attempting to repress and shun these variations because of societal pressure to confirm to the ‘norm,’ if they pose no risk of becoming a paraphillia then they should be included and accepted into a persons intimate relationship.
Mental health professionals are now affirmative. Sadly, many are not affirmative of other variations of sexuality or gender – such as bisexuality, polyamory, or the enjoyment of BDSM or erotic fetishes.
Many mental health professionals believe, for example, that the enjoyment of a fetish will necessarily impair intimacy.
I generally takes the view that it is not until a person’s inner erotic life is embraced and affirmed that he or she can be intimate with another.
For many people self-acceptance of their atypical erotic or gender orientation is essential for both peace of mind and intimacy. For example just as self-acceptance of being gay is essential for a gay man to be intimate, self-acceptance of a kinky fetish is often essential for a kinky person to love intimately. Therapy directed at repressing such behaviors often creates shame and self-loathing, and this reduces a person’s capacity for intimacy.
Negative attitudes toward gender and erotic variation (and non-monogamy) are fairly widespread among mental health professionals, even though a version of the Diagnostic manual for the field (DSM-V) does not consider these variations mental health issues – unless they cause distress for the person.
Because people with these less common erotic and gender identities are often discriminated against, they frequently internalize shame, have difficulty coming out, or have difficulty accepting these parts of themselves. This is often the case when negative attitudes toward a person’s gender identity or erotic identity is internalized at a young age. Something similar might be said by most persons who at a young age realized their gender or erotic fantasies were disapproved of. These internalized negative attitudes can impede the development of friendships and intimacy, and treatment can help heal some of this damage.
That being said, there are certainly some sexual turn-ons that do not work well, or work poorly for some people.
Unwanted Sexual Fantasies and Behaviour. Enjoyment of pornography can sometimes get in the way of friendships and intimacy. Some people obsess about sex as a way of avoiding intimacy and other difficult feelings like sadness and anxiety. Some may try to “sexualize” all aspects of all relationships, when it is inappropriate to do so. Or, a person’s sexual turn-ons may be so refined that it is difficult to find a partner, in which case they may want to work on expanding their sexual repertoire. Or, an erotic preference may be enjoyed by one but not both of a couple, causing great conflict within the relationship. Or, a person may have difficulty in self-acceptance or coming out to potential intimate partners. Clearly, sexual behaviour that involves non-consenting adults is a problem.
There are some erotic fantasies which you may decide are best left as fantasy.
Erotic fantasies which are truly dysfunctional for a person, or sexual behaviours which need to be changed or abandoned, are often complicated with layers of guilt and shame. Coming to terms with these fantasies and behaviours requires setting aside the shame in favor of self-understanding. As long as shame obscures the understanding of unwanted behaviours, working to change them is like working in a dark fog.