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Sat Tara Kaur Khalsa,MS,LPC
Presentation for
May 18, 2011
Background and Credentials
Master of Science Degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling
Licensed psychotherapist in Colorado
35 years experience in the mental health field
Certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Advanced training in (“Brainspotting”), EMDR, Eriksonian
Hypnotherapy and other techniques
33 years teaching yoga and meditation
Workshops in Women’s Sexuality
44 years experience in spiritual practice
CDs on various topics: Emotional Intimacy, Fear, Anger, Motivation
On the staff at Thayer Group for Women’s Care
5-time presenter at Interface
Myths and Misunderstandings: for
Men and Women
What are some of the myths and
misunderstandings that women have and that
men have about women’s sexuality?
Differences in Sexuality
Recent advances in neuroscience and brain
imaging provide valuable insights into the
differences between male and female
These can inform our understanding, and help
therapeutic strategies and interventions.
Women’s Sexuality Diagram
Men’s Sexuality Diagram
A lady goes to her priest one day and tells him,
“Father, I have a problem….
I have two female parrots, but they only know how
to say one thing.”
“What do they say?” the priest inquired.
“They say, 'Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have
some fun?‘”
“That's obscene!” the priest exclaimed.
Then he thought for a moment.
“You know,” he said, “I may have a solution to your
I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to
pray and read the Bible.
Bring your two parrots over to my house,
and we'll put them in the cage with Francis and Peter.
My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship,
And your parrots are sure to stop saying . . that phrase . .
in no time.”
“Thank you,” the woman responded, “this may very well be
the solution.”
The next day, she brought her female parrots to the priest's
house. *
As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were
inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying.
Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with
After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison:
“Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?”
There was stunned silence.
Shocked, one male parrot looked over at the
other male parrot and exclaimed,
“Put the beads away, Frank. Our prayers have
been answered!”
All kidding aside, sex can be:
The answer to your prayers
The Hidden Need: What Your Clients May Not
Be Telling You… Unless You Ask
• 33 to 50 % of women experience orgasm infrequently
and are dissatisfied with how often they reach orgasm.
• Performance anxiety is believed to be the most
common cause of orgasm problems, and 90 % of
orgasm problems appear to be psychological in nature.
-- Orgasmic Dysfunction, Medline Plus Medical
Encyclopedia, September 2002. (Various studies differ.)
The Hidden Need (continued)
• 10 to 15 % of American women have never experienced an orgasm.
• Only 35 % of the female population will orgasm during intercourse.
• Reasons for failure to climax include: sexual ignorance, sexual
anxiety, and fear of letting go.
• A sexual response is a complex blend of many physical and
psychological variables.
• What a woman expects, how she believes she should respond, and
how she thinks she should act, will all impact how she experiences,
behaves during, and reports her orgasmic event.
-- Pathways to Pleasure, Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., Sexologist and Adult
Sexuality Educator, 2000.
The Hidden Need (continued)
• 15 to 20 % of couples have sex no more than 10
times a year, which experts define as a sexless
marriage. — Newsweek
• 20 to 30 % of men and 30 to 50 % of women say they
have little or no sex drive. — USA Today
• 65% of Americans rate their sexual satisfaction as
only just above average. 30% are generally
“dissatisfied” - PRNewswire
A therapeutic model that incorporates 17 factors that affect a woman’s sexual
response as an overview.
An approach that is spiritually respectful…results-oriented...comprehensive
These 17 factors interact, overlap, and change over time. Some are important
to the client, some are not, but it’s important to assess each one.
Most of the factors are above the neck.
The model creates a systematic way of looking at all the overt and subtle
factors that affect sexuality in complex ways.
Though it is a simple model, clients often find it surprisingly helpful.
Possible Goals
Resolve issues of self-doubt and betrayal
Understand what is right and comfortable
Identify areas for personal work
Serve as a springboard for further work
Create a healthier sexual relationship
Improve the overall relationship.
The Therapeutic Process
During the assessment phase of the process with the patient/client, as
the therapist, I:
• Establish rapport
• Gain understanding of what the client is experiencing now
• Help the client define what they would like to experience
• Gather information about their personal, sexual, relationship, and
trauma history that affects their sexuality
• My primary therapeutic modality is Brainspotting.
Factor #1: Time, Privacy and Environment
• This is a pretty simple factor but one that is
sometimes overlooked.
• Is the couple making time for sex in their
• Is the environment conducive to intimacy?
• Are they worried about the kids knocking on
the door?
• How does the issue of spontaneity v. planning
come into play?
Factor #2: Pregnancy Issues
• Does either partner fear pregnancy, even if it
is not logical?
• Does the choice of contraception distract?
• Any past experiences of pregnancy or abortion
that create hesitation or trauma?
Factor #3: Health and Vitality
• Good sex requires good cardiovascular health.
• Does each person feel energetic and alive in
• Is it possible that drugs, alcohol or
prescription medications are affecting the sex
• What are the stress levels and how does it
affect sex?
Factor #4: Hormonal Issues
• What are the client’s hormone levels and
could this be a factor?
• Is the client pregnant or nursing?
• Is the client in perimenopause or menopause?
Factor #5: Physical Attractiveness
• How does the client feel about her body?
• How does she feel about her partner’s body?
• How important a factor is this for either of
• How does culture affect this?
Factor #6: Knowing Personal Sexual
What kind of sexual stimulation does she like?
How has this changed over time?
Does she understand her libidinous cycles?
What is the best/worst part of lovemaking?
Are each of them open to learning more?
Factor #7: Knowledge of Each Other’s
Sexual Needs
Are they sexually compatible?
Does she feel he is a good lover?
Can they talk openly about sex?
Personal empowerment
Sexual options questionnaire to elicit more
specific information.
Factor #8: Is He a Considerate and
Patient Lover?
• This has to do with “sexual good manners”
• Is sex too rushed for her (includes male lover’s
ability to delay orgasm)?
• Is her lover sensitive to her needs?
• Does sex feel safe and cozy?
Factor #9: Playfulness
• Sex can be relaxed, light, silly, goofy.
• Is there freedom to move sexually, to
experiment, to relax?
• Are they playful in other areas of life?
• Can they laugh about things?
Factor #10: Comfortableness with
What are the client’s fears about sexuality?
Is there any trauma associated with sex?
What aspects of sex are embarrassing?
What were her family’s attitudes about sex
that were internalized?
• Cultural messages?
• Religious messages?
Factor #11: Family History
• What is the parents’ relationship like?
• Was there sexual abuse in the patient’s history
or extended family history?
• Were there conflicting or negative messages
about sexuality?
• Any skeletons in the closet?
Factor #12: Physical Trust
• Is there cuddling that is enjoyable to both?
• Is the partner’s touch relaxing?
• Does she intuitively want to open to him?
Factor #13: Emotional Trust
• Is there consistent kindness in the relationship
outside the bedroom?
• Do they like and respect each other as
• Are there any affairs or betrayals?
• Would she want her best friend to marry
someone like this?
• Is she trusting/mistrusting in general?
• Does she think she can disconnect sexual
response from emotions (“3 date rule”)?
Factor #14: Feeling Loved and
• Does the client feel free to “be herself”?
• Can she openly share the different facets of
her personality with him?
• Does he make her heart sing?
• Does she feel radiant and beautiful with him?
Factor #15: Feeling Loving
• Does she love him?
• How would she describe her feelings for him?
• Does her anger towards him about anything
else interfere with being sexual?
• Are there any other unresolved issues?
Factor #16: Committed Relationship
• Does the relationship feel safe and stable to
• Are there overt or subtle fears of being
• What could break up the relationship?
• What is the history of keeping relationship
Factor #17: Vibrational Harmony
• Is there an easy flow of energy between the
two partners?
• Are they on the same wavelength?
• Does it feel good to just be together?
• What about the intangible quality of the
Relaxation and Excitement
Physical relaxation
Emotional trust
Comfortable environment
Stress management
Committed relationship
Confidence in
• Sexual knowledge of each
• Surrender
• Abundant hormones
• New relationship
• Freshness of existing
relationship (mindfulness)
• Experimentation
• Exciting lover
• Physical vitality
• “Forbidden fruit”
• Building and holding a
sexual “charge”
More thoughts on the
Relaxation/Excitement model
• Yin/Yang
• Notice how both are important for orgasm
and sexual satisfaction.
• The balance may be different with different
• The balance may change over the course of
the relationship.
• The balance even changes during one
lovemaking session.
The Therapeutic Process
• Going through this therapeutic process helps the
client identify the causes of their sexual
experience being less that optimal.
• The focus of the therapy is determined by which
of the 17 factors need healing. It may shift as we
continue the process.
• “Optimal” is a life-long quest.
• “I’ve had a scream inside my head for 54 years beginning
with being sexually abused at age 5. After gentle work in
one Brainspotting session, the scream is finally silenced. It’s
a miracle.”
• “…Release of sympathetic overdrive” (Fran Hamilton, M.D.)
• “I definitely noticed a reduction in…pervasive anxiety.”
• “The process itself was amazing. I really felt my brain repatterning and balancing itself physiologically”
Sexuality Manifesto
• Sex is an important part of my life.
• I have the right to say “no” at any time and for any
• My sexual experiences are safe…physically, emotionally
and spiritually.
• I deserve to be cherished and honored.
• I will work towards my sexual healing.
• True sexual freedom occurs in the present moment.
• Sex is a natural, healthy expression of love.
• Sex is an integral part of my spiritual life, a gift from
Where do we go from here?
• I believe that Integrated Women’s Sexuality offers a broad perspective
that includes many aspects.
• If you believe your patients, clients and parishioners could benefit
from my approach, I invite you to share with them the “healing wheel”
and my article on “Low Libido”.
• On a personal level, you can discuss these 17 factors with your partner.
• I invite you to visit my website:
Thank you
• Sexuality is a beautiful and important part of life and
relationships, and it deserves our focus and attention.
• I hope this presentation has been helpful in clarifying the
various factors that influence a woman’s sexuality.
• Thank you for attending this presentation and for your kind
Sat Tara Kaur Khalsa, MS, LPC
Women’s Integrated Sexuality
Topics for Further Consideration for
the “Afterthoughts” from 9:00 to 10:00
• What did you learn today?
• Can sexuality support spiritual practice?
• How does religion support or not support healthy
• What are areas of growth for you?
• What would you like to ask your partner?
• When and how should sex begin in a
• How has your sexuality changed over the years?