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Re: Arousal in therapy » Dinah

Posted by Tamar on May 22, 2005, at 16:07:36

In reply to Arousal in therapy, posted by Dinah on May 22, 2005, at 9:07:21

I sometimes wonder if I get aroused more than average, and whether it’s too much (we’re talking sexual arousal, yes?).

I know it happens more on some days than others, and it seems to be partly dictated by hormonal changes. I definitely get more aroused before and during my period than at other times. When I was pregnant it was basically nine months of constant horniness… which was very distracting at times! And I was doing therapy while I was pregnant, so I was aroused in therapy quite a bit. In fact, I was very attracted to my therapist (and with good reason; he’s a very attractive man!) and I was sure he could probably tell.

I remember one session in particular, in which we talked fairly generally about feelings of desire, and I will admit that by the time I came home I definitely needed a cold shower (but instead of taking a shower, I thought of something more interesting to do…)

But in any case, how much is too much? Being aroused doesn’t do anyone any harm and it’s much more pleasant to accept it and enjoy it than to try to shut it down.

I think there are good reasons why feelings of physical (non sexual) arousal, like anxiety, can prompt feelings of sexual arousal. I guess it’s a survival instinct: danger seems to signal the importance of procreation.

And also, it’s perfectly possible to feel aroused in the company of someone you don’t want to be sexually intimate with, like your therapist. I suppose one question I’d ask is how you might feel if he too became aroused, for example if it happened in response to your arousal. You might notice it, since you’re very sensitive to emotional atmosphere. Would it ick you out? I know he’s a eunuch and all, but even so…

It seems clear to me that there’s a difference between experiencing physiological sexual arousal and having a desire for sexual contact, so I guess arousal in therapy doesn’t need to be a big deal. I suppose difficulties can arise if you feel physiologically aroused but distressed about the circumstances in which it happens. I think it’s great that you can talk to your therapist about it, and that he’s thoughtful and sensitive about it.

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that it’s quite a nice thing to be aroused a lot. I used to feel quite guilty and uncomfortable about it but more recently I’ve been trying to relax and enjoy it. Much more fun – even in therapy!




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