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Sex (part 1): Is it a Need or a Strategy?

In Nonviolent Communication (NVC) discerning the difference between a universal need and a strategy to meet that need can mean the difference between staying stuck or getting unstuck in a conflict.

Let’s look at a simple example.If you believe your need for peace is the same as time alone, you back yourself into a corner.You can only meet your need for peace if you get alone time.Getting regular alone time is a popular strategy for meeting the need for peace so it’s easy to forget that it’s not the only strategy.

When you’re aware your need for peace is up rather than having the idea that “You need to be alone” a world of options become available to you.You can focus on your breath in the middle of a crowd.You can internally recite a mantra while standing in line.You can think of five things you are grateful for at a stoplight, etc.

In deciding whether sex is a need or strategy, for me, it’s not finding the right answer or the most true answer.It’s about relating to it in a way that creates the most connection with yourself and others (sound familiar? J ).

If you decide that having sex is a need, you back yourself into a corner, in that, you require a very specific set of circumstances to meet that need.Without those circumstances you are powerless to honor sexual energy when it arises for you.

If you shift, and relate to sex as an energy like any other need, a world of options become available to you.You can channel the energy into sensual paintings or sculpture.You can express the energy through dance.You can channel the energy up your spine as is done in Kundalini Yoga.You can channel it into a creative building or gardening project, etc.

Relating to having sex as a strategy you can also work backwards naming the needs it might meet for you:touch, intimacy, discovery, reassurance, affection, bonding, connection, love, communion, acceptance, and creativity.Given this list of needs, it’s clear why sex is such a sought after activity.

Naming these needs opens the door to other strategies besides sex.This becomes critical in a partnership where one partner is more interested in having sex than the other. I will write more on that in the next gem.

You can take a step towards relating to sexual energy as a basic need energy by just noticing it in your body.Try to feel the sensations of sexual energy in your body before you get lost in thoughts about it.Alternately if you find yourself lost in thoughts about sex you can drop your awareness into your body and look for the sensations. See if you can stay focused on the sensations for a few minutes, watch what happens to the sexual energy as you do.

***click here for a list of feelings and universal needs

Next Gem
Sex (part 2): Talking about Sex
Previous Gem
Control: A Universal Strategy

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