Sex is all in our heads, quite literally. Our brains are involved in all steps of sexual behavior and in all its variations, from feelings of sexual desire and partner choice, to arousal, orgasm and even post-coital cuddling.
You know, it’s interesting that many of us will face certain things that feel very difficult to manage; emotions and triggers and things that, whether it’s a sexual nature, anger management or it’s the urge to use a substance or whatever, there’s a lot of similarities in terms of how the brain is operating.
The brain tries to reconcile essentially two different things.
It tries to reconcile instinctual urges or triggers that come from the limbic part of the brain, and it tries to reconcile that with the logic and the values-driven part of the brain, kind of the executive part of the brain, and the prefrontal cortex. And so, there are times when the prefrontal cortex, the logic part of the brain, will tell us
“That behavior is not what you want”.
And you would try to make choices to not engage in that behavior, meanwhile, the battles with the instinctual urges that may come. and they’re built into a different part of the brain.
So you have sort of a tug-of-war going on between those two parts of the brain, and because the emotions are tied into the limbic part of the brain that also has the instincts processing along with it, they’re tied very closely together.
If we engage in an instinctual behavior, such as a sexual behavior, the emotions that come with that, whether good or bad, will be tied together very strongly. So that’s why there’s such a powerful challenge in trying to manage those things.
So certainly, number one understanding that is a huge help, and number two, being able to just simply process the emotions that come along with that struggle can be very beneficial.
Why therapy is such a huge help
And that’s why therapy is such a huge help. It can really bring out the emotion itself and really target that. And we develop what we call emotional intelligence, which is understanding, what drives our emotions and why we act the way we do based on having those emotions. And simply having the understanding can really help us to have more peace as we understand that it’s a human condition, it’s part of being a human being to have those emotional things.
And while it’s difficult to have that tug of war there is definitely the opportunity to find greater peace within that and abilities to manage not only the emotions but also the behavior and find that peace and that reconciliation.