Journaling Through Relationships: Sex and Sexuality


NO EXPLORATION OF RELATIONSHIPS WOULD BE COMPLETE without an honest inquiry into our attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality, as well as how we express that aspect of our beings in our romantic relationships.

Everyone has sex. That’s part of being human. Yet it remains a relatively taboo, “delicate” topic of discussion — even in a world in which romance novels and books about sadomasochism make big bucks, and in which sexual images are used to sell everything from farm tractors to hairspray. In this world, sex is a voyeuristic sport.

Yet sex is a real and important part of all of our lives. And to truly understand our romantic relationships in all their complexity, we must also understand, on a true and deep level, our relationship to our own sexuality.

Where else can you discuss such an intimate and private topic without fear and with as much complete freedom as in your journal? Where else can you get to such a deep and emotionally truthful place, allowing you to achieve more clarity about your sexual self as well as help to heal sexually-related wounds from the past?

As you use the following journaling prompts, be as detailed and honest as possible. Take an open, playful approach when you can. Writing about sex and sexual relationships can be fun or it can be challenging, depending on your life experiences.

If a topic seems painful, explore it gently and give yourself permission to back off if necessary. Try to come back to it when you can get a little emotional distance from it. Or try writing about it in 3rd person — a technique that can often help provide emotional perspective.

If you feel a strong emotional response to any of the prompts because it triggers memories of a hurtful experience, write about your emotional response, how you are feeling now, and as much as you can about the trigger, instead of responding to the prompt itself. And always be gentle with yourself.

 

Journaling Prompts

  • What were you taught about sex growing up? What attitudes and beliefs were conveyed to you by your parents and religious influences if any? Which of these attitudes and beliefs did you internalize?
  • Perform a word association exercise with the word “sex.” Write a poem using the keywords and images that arose.
  • When was the first time you experienced feelings of arousal and what triggered those feelings? What did you think of it at the time? What was your emotional response to those feelings?
  • Describe your first sexual encounter. How old were you? Was it consensual? If not, what resources have you used to help heal from that encounter? If it was consensual, what did that experience mean to you at the time?
  • Who was your first romantic, sexual partner? What about him or her appealed most to you? What did you hope would happen with that relationship?
  • Do you believe that sex and emotional intimacy are linked, or is it possible to have a sexual relationship without emotional attachment? What experiences influence your answer?
  • Would you say that you have or have not had a strong sexual drive in your life? How does and did this level of sexual drive affect your intimate relationships?
  • What struggles have you had with your sexuality?
  • In what ways do you nurture your personal sense of sexuality, and/or sexual relationships?
  • If you could have the perfect sex life right now, what would that look like?

 

I hope you have found these prompts helpful and enlightening. Exploring your personal relationship with sexuality and how it has affected you is important to understand the most intimate relationships in your life.

In the next article in this Journaling Through Relationship series, we will begin to explore our longer-term partnerships and their impact on our lives.


 

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