Understanding relationships is a crucial aspect of human interaction. One concept that can greatly enhance this understanding is emotional and physical sexuality. In this article, we will explore the significance of emotional and physical sexuality, the differences between partners, and the impact on romantic relationships.
The Role of Dichotomy in Relationships
In every relationship there is some amount of dichotomy.
When you sail in the sea of relationships, you may have to go through some murky waters as there will always be differences between partners.
The boat sails smoothly till both the partners understand the differences and yet row towards the same direction in a coordinated manner.
The key operating words are ‘understanding‘ and ‘coordinating‘.
Understanding and coordination can only take place if there is effective communication between partners.
The Importance of Effective Communication in Relationships
Communication becomes an essential ingredient in any relationship.
Since communication includes:
- giving out information and
- receiving & interpreting information,
for effective communication, it is important to understand both.
In our suggestibility article we have already covered how people can receive and interpret information either literally or inferentially. Let us focus on how people give out information in this article.
When it comes to giving out information in a relationship, some people:
- Express more
- Express less
Most people believe that people express more do so because they feel more and the ones who express less do so because they feel less. This however is not necessarily the case.
We may notice, that in each relationship, one partner is more comfortable verbalizing, touching and living by feelings and one who is more comfortable thinking, retaining his or her own counsel, and living by logic and reason. One is heart-ruled, one head-ruled.
In reality both are equally capable of thinking and feeling, and both possess an ability to act out logically or emotionally. Yet each is more comfortable with a particular behaviour than the other is.
E&P – Emotional and Physical Sexuality: Exploring the Theory
As per the theory of Emotional and Physical Sexuality generally covered in hypnotherapy, the ones more comfortable expressing their feeling are termed as Physical Sexual (or PS) and the one more comfortable with thinking and logic are termed as Emotional Sexuals (or ES). People with Emotional Sexuality may appear not to have any emotions. However that isn’t true, they experience emotions but they don’t express it, they prefer dealing with emotions through logic instead.
Note: The term Physical and Emotional used here are not based on how we use them in our day to day conversations. Also none of us are completely physical or completely emotional sexuals, we are a mix of both with a tendency to move towards extremes during conflicts and intense stress.
Interplay of Emotional and Physical Sexuality in relationships
Now that you have a fair understanding of Sexuality, let us also take a look at how these different sexualities function in a relationship in different areas:
- During Conflict: When there is a conflict, a PS feels the need to talk about it & resolve it immediately. On the other hand an ES needs some time and space to mull over it. This need for space and time on part of ES is interpreted as rejection by PS. Feeling of rejection creates more emotional discomfort which leads the PS to talk more, which in turn makes the ES feel suffocated as they are not getting enough space to think. This makes the ES withdraw even more thereby creating a vicious cycle.
- Physical proximity & Sex: This is another area where the differences in sexualities is very evident. PS are more comfortable with physical proximity & feel that sex is an expression of love. If they have sex with their partner even during times of conflict, they feel loved & accepted. ES on the other hand perceive sex as a biological need and not necessarily as an expression of love. They generally need less sex and express less physical affection than PS. Also the way they react during and post the act of sex is quite different from the way PS react. PS prefer being cuddled, hugged post sex whereas ES would prefer to avoid post sex cuddling and hugging. When the PS tries to cuddle, the ES feels he / she is not getting enough space. This again makes the ES withdraw. Withdrawal by ES for space gets interpreted as rejection by PS thereby creating a vicious cycle again.
- Money: PS, spend for feelings & for attention. e.g. I feel good if I have an expensive phone, people will compliment me and that’ll make me feel even better. On the other hand, the ES will be focusing on value for money & practicality. Taking the same phone example, the ES will think, ‘do I need an expensive phone if I get the same features in a cheaper phone, no I don’t’.
The above mentioned pointers are just some of the many areas on which PS and ES differ. All of this & a lot more is covered in our practitioner course & also in our relationship program.
Originally the theory of sexuality was based on the work of John Kappas. We in our courses have further built up on the theory and its applications.
Other Applications of the theory of Emotional and Physical Sexuality
Along with improving our ability to communicate and build happier relationships, Sexuality completes our understanding of human behaviour. This becomes very useful in other areas like conducting a training program, taking therapies & coaching.
For example, in any training program or workshop there are many people who come from different brackets of life and are very different from one another. Some maybe more overt in nature whereas some maybe more withdrawn. Thus, for enhancing the effectiveness of the program, it becomes very crucial for a trainer / facilitator to be able to appeal to all sorts of people. The content design, its delivery & debriefing needs to be a good mix of both the worlds, which when accepted by participants will lead to the desired shift in the participants level of knowledge, skills, attitude or even the belief as the case maybe.
When it comes to therapy or coaching, physical and emotional sexuality can not only help you in understand you clients and their behaviours but also help the clients understand their partners more effectively. The beauty of the theory of sexuality is that it is just not limited to understanding but can actually act as a manual for developing happier and healthier relationships.
Whether you are a trainer or a coach or a therapist you must learn to incorporate the understanding of Physical and Emotional Sexuality in your practice. Our comprehensive program for mental health practitioners: Cognitive hypnotic psychotherapy™ and Coaching Certification program can help you in that.