Have you ever tried having ‘casual sex’ and wound up feeling bad about yourself or the experience later on? Well, that may have been an experience of not having identified shared values with a partner before engaging in sex with them. Not having shared values can make the difference between being in a state of sexual health and not being in that state, as well as relationships that work and those that don't.
The Sexual Revolution Was a Bust
Once upon a time people thought they could go out and have sex with anyone they liked and it would be fine. This was at its high point in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s during the ‘Sexual Revolution.’ It was a time of great social upheaval and it left alot of people disillusioned and downright depressed. If you or your relatives got caught up in this, then that was just what was happening at the time. It was like a giant sinkhole that alot of folks got stuck in, maybe multiple times until they realized something was missing. That thing was shared values.
Know Shared Values, Know Sexual Health!
Later on, and organization called the World Health Organization talked about what is important for sexual health, and one of the things they identified that would help people was called ‘shared values.’ It’s exactly what was missing about 50 years ago with all the ‘casual sex’ people were having that was leaving them feeling empty and depressed. I’m not saying that all casual sex is bad, but unless it’s a value that 2 or more people share about the experience of sex itself somebody is likely to feel sad or disappointed afterwards. The thing is once you talk to somebody and find out all they think is important in the area of sex...or life in general, you don’t have a chance to find any shared values. Maybe after such a conversation you realize you don’t have any values in common at all. Well, that means it’s time to look somewhere else for a sex or relationship partner. It’s as simple as that!
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Some people go out and meet people in bars or other public venues and wonder why they feel disappointed by the partners they meet. Well, if you’ve had a few drinks and make a lot of small talk with others, you certainly can have a good time; but unless you compare notes on what your values are you are not going to find a relationship that could be considered to be sexually healthy. That takes time and alot of conversation, like I mentioned above; it’s rarely an overnight thing. I’m not saying it can’t be determined in a shorter period of time, it’s just not likely.
Getting Your Foothold on Sexual Health
Beyond finding someone who turns you on, some of the deliberate work of attaining sexual health involves figuring out how to talk to others about what’s important to them: either in the act of having sex or in life in general. I can be a help in figuring out who are the candidates for good partners for you or in finding ways to get around to talking about values. Alot of people have told me that their ‘picker is broken’ in finding suitable partners. If you’re one of these folks, then I’ve got good news for you. You can find suitable partners, but you have to figure out some criteria for who’s qualified and who’s not. The filter focuses on sexual health principles and your own criteria for a partner. The more you have objective criteria, the less you have to rely on a ‘broken picker’ that hasn’t served you up to this point, anyway. You can call me at 512-374-0100 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 15-minute phone consult to get a better idea of whether I can help you or not. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, particularly your sexual health!
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults of all ages in private practice.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with sex addiction.