Living a Self-Actualized Life…Sex Life That Is

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maslow's heirarchy of needsI recently listened to a great **and FREE** audio from Amy Jo Goddard called Sexual Evolution: the 5 Stages of Sexual Need.  I love Amy Jo and her ability to express around the topic of sex and intimacy.  While I’m not going to give away all the juicy goodness (you really need to go get the full audio from her using the links above), I really felt a desire to share my thoughts on the subject.

I love how she talks about how sexuality plays different roles for different people.  I find this to be true and, so often, to be the reason people don’t have a satisfying sex life with their partner.  If you don’t want the same things or aren’t trying to get the same needs met, it can be a challenge to truly come together fully.

She is all about the “more.”  I am too 🙂  One of my favorite commercials features a group of kids and one of the girls says it’s good to like something a lot because when you like it a lot, you want more and more of it.  I find myself constantly saying in my head…yes, please…more of that please…when something is juicy good.  More fun…more sex…more laughter…more great experiences…more great people in my life…more of everything yummy.

One thing that made me sad was her comment about how most will never choose to work on their lives in this area.  They just go on about their life as if everything is fine, even when it isn’t.  I can’t imagine a much sadder state of being in this world…of showing up (or not showing up) in your own life.  Doing work in this area can bring about so many wonderful changes…all the mores I mentioned above!

She uses a system based on Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs to evaluate where you are at in your sexual development.  If you aren’t familiar with Maslow’s work, basically it’s a theory in psychology that people need to have certain needs met before they can move into the next phase of development and ultimately reach self-actualization – the desired phase.  He believes only 1% of the entire population will ever achieve this.  Let’s hope he’s not right on that one.  Again, you’ll need to get her free audio above to get all the details but here’s my takeaway on the phases of reaching a self-actualized sex life.

Phase 1:  Survival

Sex is for pro-creation only and not to be enjoyed.  Often carries a great deal of shame and guilt.  It fills a physiological need only.

Phase 2: Security

People have sex to feel safe and secure.  Like a wife may do with their husband to minimally satisfy their man’s needs so the relationship stays in tact.  They often choose a sexually unavailable partner because that eliminates some of the “duty sex” since their partner isn’t that interested or is unable to perform.

Phase 3: Love + Belonging

People feel loved through sex.

Phase 4: Self-Esteem

Once people feel loved, their self-esteem and confidence grows.  They may also be a “score keeper” because they are measuring how loved they are which in turn boosts their confidence.

Phase 5: Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is not a destination but rather a way of being…the ongoing journey.  It’s the energy of potential.  It’s who we want to be and we are always looking forward rather than back.  People in this state of being don’t want to wake up one day and feel like they didn’t live their life fully.

Amy Jo shared several aspects of the traits you must possess to achieve Phase 5 fully and live a self-actualized sex life.  Here’s a few:

  • You must be willing to explore.
  • You must be willing to do what you like to do…what’s important to you rather than what others want you to do or think you should do.
  • You must be comfortable with solitude.
  • You must be able to laugh.
  • You must want to grow in all areas of your life.

Most people would say (I think) that they’d like to live in that self-actualized state of being.  I know I would.  Definitely some of the traits fit who I am and yet I know I’m not completely there.  I see myself going back and forth between the phases, which I find fascinating.  I think it depends on where I’m at in my personal growth, which if you’ve experienced any part of that journey you know some days are better than others.  Some days I feel like I’m totally living in my power and yet peaceful and full of grace at the same time and other days I feel like I’m in a super shitty place and everything bugs me and I’m likely to verbal vomit all over you if you cross my path.  Keep plugging away and moving forward, right?  That’s all we can do.

What I know to be true for myself is that I absolutely have a desire to move forward and explore and grow.  I want to live a fulfilled life…and sex is a part of it.  I want to show up every day aware and consciously choosing my path and acknowledging both the areas that need work and the areas I totally rock it.

What do you think about these phases?  Did you listen to the full audio?  What are your thoughts?

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