Response Paper to Journal Entries
Where there are strong similarities and differences, please describe. 2. Let’s say (imagined or real) that your gender identity is closely aligned with the sex opposite to your biological identity, what does that feel like? Where is there release/freedom; where is there discomfort? 3. Take a few minutes to reflect on the gender roles you most often subscribe to in daily life. Which of these have you chosen with intentionality, purpose and/or pleasure? Which of these do you feel were chosen for you and, perceivably, by whom? Please write 2-3 pages as a total response and bring it with you to class on Jan 27 (paper or digital) to share excerpts if you wish, or to show that you have a completed entry in an appropriately designated journal space.
Journal #2, Sexual Desire/Response
Please reflect on your individual patterns of sexual desire and response. How do your patterns align (or not) with prototypical gender-based differences? What do you notice about sensitive variables for you in promoting a level of desire and response that is comfortable and fulfilling for you? Are these variables also active for your real (or wished for) partner? Where do the arousing-sensitive variables overlap (or clash) between you and your partner during sexual times together? If conceptually resonant for you, how do you differentiate "having sex" and "lovemaking?" Do you find a continuum for you with one partner or across partners? (Auto-eroticism counts here, with yourself as your partner.)
Journal #3, Sexual Disorders
Perhaps you/a friend/a lover is having anxiety regarding desirability and/or sexual performance with a short- or long-time partner. Preferably from real-life instances, please identify a few potential
–causes/ correlations for this anxiety
–behavioral and psychological symptoms/ complaints
–effects on/ changes in the partner relationship
–hopes/ wishes/ strategies put forth
Journal #4, HIV and STDs
How has HIV affected your life, directly or indirectly?
Do you protect yourself from HIV and STDs, now and ongoing? If so, how?
How do you rate your awareness and comfort on a scale of 0-10 (with 10 the highest level) regarding safe sex practices and being at particular risk for HIV and STDs?
Sexuality and Spirituality
a. Do you experience yourself as a communicative friend with your body, respecting your body’s senses and signs, simply as it is most days? How and how not? What has your body told you recently that surprised you? Did you listen? Did you hear it right away or "after the fact"? How will you use that information going forward?
b. Do you feel successful at integrating feelings and spirituality into your bodily/sexual self? If so, how does that work for you? Perhaps you notice in yourself an urge to experience more integration? Perhaps integration would be stronger for you… with a partner committed to a long-term relationship? or with auto-eroticism?
c. In two examples of (a) optimal and (b) disappointing sexual experience, please comment on the real-time interaction for you of sensory pleasure, emotions and spirituality. Perhaps the experience of your partner during these examples is a key factor? What helps you stay present to all three dimensions at once?
d. During partnered sexuality, how do you know if your "perceptions of other" reasonably reflect your partner’s experience? What kind of errant human assumptions are likely for you, with what consequences, and how do you practice catching yourself when you are making them? Describe some ways you "check in" with your partner during sexual time together that enhances your connection. Do you feel safe making missteps with your partner; why or why not? Are you okay with your partner’s missteps? What are some ways you bring loving, supportive humor into "the dance" of your sexual time together?