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Love, Sexual Relationships & Communication Human Sexuality NSG 3403 Marie Ahrens.

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Presentation on theme: "Love, Sexual Relationships & Communication Human Sexuality NSG 3403 Marie Ahrens."— Presentation transcript:


2 Love, Sexual Relationships & Communication Human Sexuality NSG 3403 Marie Ahrens

3 Love Quotes n Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual. Octavio Paz n Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old. John Ciardi n The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich

4 Love Quotes n When hes late for dinner, I know hes either having an affair or is lying dead in the street. I always hope its the street. – Jessica Tandy on her husband Hume Cronyn

5 What is love? n Difficult to define – can mean different things to different people – difficult to measure

6 n Rubins love scale – 3 components n attachment: desire for physical presence & emotional support n caring: concern for each others well-being n intimacy: desire for close & confidential communication – some validity to this measure n weak lovers made less eye contact than strong lovers

7 Types of Love n Passionate love (infatuation or romance) – intense psychological feeling – physiological arousal – typically, strong sexual desire – early in relationship - avoid conflict, overlook faults, complete fulfillment – short-lived transition to different love, or ending of relationship

8 Types of Love n Companionate Love – friendly affection & deep attachment – extensive familiarity & thoughtful appreciation with tolerance for short-comings – commitment to nurturing & problem-solving – richer, more meaningful sexuality

9 Types of Love n Sternbergs triangular theory – 3 components n passion - motivation that fuels romance, attraction & desire n intimacy - sense of bondedness, warmth, sharing, closeness n commitment - conscious decision to love & maintain relationship

10 Types of Love – passion builds, intensifies, then fades: intimacy & commitment continue to build – presence or absence of different components account for variations in kinds of love – research limited, but some support especially for intimacy & commitment as predictors of stability

11 Lees Styles of Loving – Romantic (eros): physical beauty, tactile pleasure – Game playing (ludus): fun, casual, conquests – Possessive (mania): obsessive, jealous, roller- coaster Ups & Downs – Companionate (storge): slow to develop, enduring, peaceful & quiet – Altruistic (agape): selfless, caring, compassionate, no expectation of reciprocation – Pragmatic (pragma): rational, practical, shared interests, mutual satisfaction

12 Lees Styles of Loving – Research is limited n eros & agape had + correlation with satisfaction at all ages n ludus had - correlation n storge had + correlation only for couples with children at home n mania & pragma unrelated

13 Falling in love: Why and with whom? n The chemistry of love – neurotransmitters in brain like amphetamines n norepinephrine n dopamine n phenylethylamine (PEA) – body builds tolerance for PEA diminished giddiness & euphoria – endorphins may be responsible for deeper attachments: produce sense of tranquility, security – loss/potential loss of loved one may be similar to drug withdrawal

14 Falling in love: Why and with whom? n Proximity – familiarity breeds liking: mere exposure effect – familiarity breeds predictability greater comfort n Similarity – share similar interests & activities – communicate better – confirm own views & experiences – supportive of values & beliefs

15 Falling in love: Why and with whom? n Reciprocity – when someone shows they like us, we tend to like them back! – Positive reactions to flattery, compliments, attention – s likelihood of rejection n Physical attractiveness – aesthetically pleasing - infant studies > early preference for attractiveness – whats beautiful is good belief – status by association – most important in early stage of relationship

16 Development of Intimacy n Self-love – genuine interest, concern, respect for self – prerequisite for satisfying relationship with others n Phases of relationship inclusionresponse caretrust affectionplayfulness genitality

17 Issues in loving relationships n Relationship between love & sex – several possibilities – questions to ask n does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship? n Do men & women have different views of sex & love? n Does sexual orientation affect views of sex & love?

18 Issues in loving relationships n Sex & relationships on your terms – each person has to decide how to express own sexuality – steps to take n knowing what you want n asking for what you want n saying not yet to sex n ending a relationship n managing rejection

19 Issues in loving relationships n Jealousy in relationships – definition= an aversive feeling in response to real or imagined relationship between ones partner & another – jealousy prone person n low self-esteem, high value on wealth, fame, popularity, attractiveness – negative consequences n precipitates violence, stifles developing relationship & pleasure, anxiety, depression, anger – numerous gender differences- triggers, coping, experiences

20 Maintaining relationship satisfaction n Ingredients in a lasting love relationship – self-acceptance – appreciation of others qualities – commitment – good communication – realistic expectations – shared interests – ability to face & deal with conflict

21 Maintaining relationship satisfaction n Sexual variety – communication is critical – vary times & places – be open to spontaneous experiences – plan time together, dates – discuss what is comfortable vs normal – read & discuss books, videos on sexual techniques

22 Communication

23 Importance of Communication n Key = Mutual Empathy n Why sexual communication is difficult – socialization: messages that shame & discomfort re: sexuality; lack of +role models; - role models – limited vocabulary: too clinical,harsh, juvenile – gender-based differences: M inform or gain status/power; W achieve intimacy/closeness – anxiety: more vulnerable

24 Talking: Getting Started n Ice breakers – talk about talking- it is hard to talk – read & discuss - may be easier, less threatening – share sexual histories n Listening and Feedback – Active listening > genuine interest – Feedback > interest & understanding – Acknowledge communication efforts > mutual empathy, trust – Unconditional positive regard > Caring no matter what is said – Paraphrasing > understanding & can correct misunderstanding

25 Discover your partners needs n Questioning: yes-no > structured, information; either-or > some structure, information; open-ended > structure, ++ information n Self-disclosure: elicits disclosure; small disclosures then build; back off or slow down if partner threatened n Comparing notes: before sex (avoid slow or frustration trial & error discoveries); after sex (reinforce pleasurable activities & intimacy) n Giving permission: before (encourage & support efforts to talk); after (reassure & reinforce)

26 Learning to make requests n Responsibility for own pleasure (partner -not guessing or doing all work) n Make specific requests (to clarify, understand, compliance) n Use I language (assertive, not selfish, try non- sexual 1st, if during sexual situation > try again when relaxed)

27 You versus I messages n You – You make me so mad! – You are such an inconsiderate jerk! – Cant you ever be sensitive to my feelings? – I feel like are always criticizing me. – Stop being so sarcastic. n I – It hurts me when you hang up the phone & do not say goodbye. – I get frustrated when I have dinner ready at 6 and you dont get here till 7. – I feel like I dont matter to you. – That hurt when you called me chunky last night. – That sounded sarcastic to me. Was it intended to be?

28 Giving & Receiving Criticism n Constructive criticism strategies: ? your motivation- STOP if hurt, humiliate, blame, ridicule, or getting even; choose time & place - STOP if public, angry, time, stressed, impaired, preoccupied: praise & criticism - ask for feedback: small steps > change: why questions: One complaint at a time: express anger appropriately> appreciation for partner, focus anger on behavior not person, use I not You statements (=blaming) n Receiving criticism: take deep breath, count to 10; empathize, paraphrase; acknowledge a basis for complaint; ask clarifying questions; verbalize feelings about criticism not act out; focus on changes possible

29 Saying NO n Reasons this is difficult – fear of hurting other person – fear other persons anger, aggression n Three-step approach – appreciate request (thanks) – clearly define (I prefer not to) – possibly offer an alternative (how about) n Avoid sending mixed messages – consistent words & actions – if receive mixed message, clarify

30 Nonverbal Sexual Communication n Facial expressions > pleasure or displeasure; anger, anxiety or interest; enthusiasm can misread - clarify n Interpersonal distance > signals desire for intimacy & contact OR rejection & withdraw n Touching & sounds > tempo, pressure, location = signal desires: total silence or raucous sounds may offend or inhibit; discuss preferences

31 Impasses n Talking may not solve every problem or guarantee desired change n Additional steps to try – validate your partners view, maintain legitimacy of your own (agree to disagree) – take a break from each other; agree to revisit the issue at another time – grant each other the right to live by own beliefs – consider counseling if impasse threatens relationship

32 Resources n Websites: – n Diversity Boxes chapters 7 & 8


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