Becky Knight has a Masters of Public Health in Human Sexuality and is certified as a sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Her private practice focuses on women's sexual health and satisfaction. Read more »
I am home today, enjoying the warm rain and relishing my last two days before my new position at Presbyterian Hospital begins. I have been working there part-time for six months, and recently I was hired to be the full-time Office Coordinator for the Patient Relations department. (And no, “Patient Relations” is not a euphemism — I won’t be doing anything even remotely related to sexual health.)
I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at Sensovi Institute for the last four years. I began as a volunteer because I wanted to help other people access quality sex and intimacy help. Once in the Sensovi office, I realized that I wanted to be even more involved so I went back to school for my Master of Public Health in Human Sexuality degree. In 2008, I became the Director of Education and Programs, and I truly loved leading groups and meeting one-on-one with clients. I can’t say enough about how much I learned from Dr. Lisa and the other professionals I got to know and work with.
But this feels like the right time to make a move. I need some new challenges and a new environment. I was hoping to find a position in sexual health, but (no surprise) there aren’t a plethora of opportunities out there right now. Presbyterian is a pretty good “Plan B” — great pay and benefits, an office with a giant window overlooking the courtyard (one of my few requirements for work is that I must have a big window next to me!), and a very sweet team of people to work with.
One thing that has surprised me about working in a hospital is the diversity of people I encounter on any given day. We can have Olympic athletes visiting the Children’s Hospital, a family that doesn’t speak English desperately trying to locate a loved one that was in a serious accident, a woman giving birth in the elevator, and CEOs rooming next to homeless veterans. I really appreciate Presbyterian’s emphasis on Excellence — not just an expectation of excellent medical care, but the insistence that each and every person has an excellent experience at our hospital. It’s going to be my job to ensure that!
About the Sex Stuff…
I am going to continue speaking and writing about healthy sexuality. I will also continue blogging, so please let me know what kind of content most interests you.
Tis the season for making whoopee. According to David Lam of the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center, “the holiday urge surge also expresses itself as a peak in U.S. births in September.”
I admit, I have a daughter born in September.
I assume the other peak month for births would be November? Nine months after Valentine’s Day!
A Charlotte woman, Charla Muller, wrote a book about giving her husband quite a 40th Birthday present – 365 days of sex. The book is coming out in July.
Today, the Charotte Observer did a write-up on this book, but you have to be a member of the mom’s forum to see it.
Lisa Terrell, the senior therapist at Sensovi (where I work) was mentioned:
Today, the couple no longer have daily sex, but they have a lot more than they did pre-gift. And they agree their year of intimacy improved their marriage.
That doesnâ€™t surprise Lisa Terrell, a senior therapist at Charlotteâ€™s Sensovi, a private practice and online education resource for relationships and sexuality. When couples take time to connect every day, she says, relationships benefit.
But that connection can be talking, touching and cuddling, as well as sex, she says. And she cautions that women risk becoming disengaged if they always feel theyâ€™re doing their husbands a favor when they have sex.
Eroticism can best be understood as the multifaceted process through which our innate capacity for arousal is shaped, focused, suppressed, and expressed. We’re born sensuous and sexual, but we become erotic as we receive both overt and subtle messages about ourselves from our primary caretakers and gradually integrate these messages with our experiences of touch, as well as the highly personal mental images and emotions that go with them. As we grow, the demands and ideals of our culture, along with the interpersonal dynamics of our families and communities influence our responses profoundly.
“Our task as women is to distinguish our own personal truths about our sexuality from the distortions that we’ve inherited from the culture. Our first step in defining our sexuality from the inside out is to consider ourselves as sex subjects rather than sex objects. What makes up your sexuality? Which of your ideas have you inherited from society and absorbed into our psyche and which are your own? When we reclaim our own sexuality, we find that it doesn’t look anything like what the culture has led us to believe.”
Source: Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup MD
In doing research on the McMartin Preschool Sex Abuse scandal of the 1980s, I came across an article on The Suggestibility of Children. In fact, I wrote one of my papers on the systematic methods used by interviewers to get all of the children they interviewed to allege sexual abuse. Not only were the children manipulated and coerced, but the parents created a whirlwind of increasingly bizarre accusations. Granted, sexual abuse is a serious matter, but the point of this research was to examine what happens when false accusations are made. (I say false because the teachers were not convicted)
The tactics used by the (biased?) interviewers were similar to what Derren Brown says are the tactics used by popular televangelists to perform miracles and healings.
“Everyone else has said the teacher touched them, why are lying to me?”
“Everyone else here is speaking in tongues, why aren’t you – what sin are you hiding?” (that was a personal story from my Bible camp days)
“Bad things were happening at the school, right”
“You feel bad when you don’t pray, don’t you?”
Thankfully I haven’t been involved in any interrogations, but I have been told that without believing/praying/attending/worshiping/tithing…. I was going to feel bad. Well, I have stopped doing all of those things and the sky has not caved in, I haven’t contracted a terminal illness, I’m not in a depression and my marriage isn’t failing. It has been “suggested” to me since I was in preschool that other people were right and I just needed to trust them and do what they told me to do. And there was a fear put in me that if I ever stopped following then something terrible was going to happen. I know the Church would argue that their “tactics” are based on love, but I think they use fear and suggestibility all the time.