Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
December 07, 2022, 02:32:33 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Once Removed, I Am RedeemedTurkish
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, Kells, Mutt, SinisterComplex
  Help!   Boards   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
Poll
Question:   As a one who read the book, how do you rate this book?
Excellent - 0 (0%)
Good - 0 (0%)
Fair - 0 (0%)
Poor - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 0

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Passionate Marriage - David Schnarch PhD  (Read 433 times)
BPDFamily
Site Director
***
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 221



WWW
« on: October 09, 2016, 07:07:52 PM »

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
Author: David Schnarch, PhD
Publisher: Beaufort Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2011)
Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN-10: 0825306108
ISBN-13: 978-0825306105




Book Description
This book is about David Schnarch's unconventional approach to sex and marital therapy. It discusses how a passionate sex life requires each person to face the anxiety of defining himself/herself while getting closer to their partner, a process known as differentiation. The book offers explicit discussion of sexual behavior, practical tips, and details of couples going through the people-growing crucibles inherent in emotionally committed relationships. The author tries to help the reader learn to love on life's terms, and to develop an invigorating adult sexuality.

About the Author
David Schnarch, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the Marriage and Family Health Center in Evergreen, Colorado. His textbook Constructing the Sexual Crucible is used as a primary text in some graduate training programs. He was the first recipient of the Professional Standards of Excellence Award from the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and chair of professional education for eight years. Schnarch currently serves on the editorial board of AAMFT's Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy.
Logged

VitaminC
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 717



« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 06:16:14 PM »

I found this part of his book most useful in thinking about the physical aspects of a relationship - not just an r/s with a pwBPD, but in general. Schnarch has identified three, of what he calls, “sexual mindsets”.

“There are different depths and ways of focusing on your partner. Each reflects how you relate in general. The tone of your connections may vary from event to event, but the overall character tends to be stable; it is determined more by your personal development than by how you feel about your partner at any given moment.”

He divides them into three categories: Sexual Trance, Partner Engagement, and Role Play. He says that “each has its own preferred physical technique, emotional tone, and style of engagement.”

  • Sexual Trance is about a preference for focusing on bodily sensations and your own sensuality. For those whose preferred mind set or mode is Sexual Trance, the emphasis is on touching, on taking turns “giving or receiving”, on enjoying an almost altered state of consciousness which is comparable, Schnarch says, to “a drug high”.  This mindset, as he calls it, generally involves a fading away of the real world - a diminished sense of everyday reality. People for whom this mindset, or mode, is the preferred one generally do not like to talk during sex and tend to have their eyes closed more so than open.  

    “Trance state sex can be intimate if both people enjoy it and are good at it. But it can just as easily leave you feeling “used” and ignored—like your partner is using you as a fleshy sex toy—and he just tunes you out and focuses on his (or your) body”

  • Role Play is the preference to experiment with different characters -  to inhabit different roles much the way a method actor might do. Costume, technique, voice, facial expression are important. Schnarch says “Just as your ability to maintain a clear sense of yourself allows you to get closer without fear of losing yourself, it also gives you the flexibility to take on a variety of roles without running into the awkward feeling, “That’s not me! And I won’t do it!” The clearer you are about “who you are,” the easier it is for you to take on, temporarily, a different persona—you can “blur your identity” without feeling phony. “

    Again, this can be intimate if both parties enjoy it and are happy to “go with the flow”. If one or the other does not, it can feel false, disturbing, even humiliating. If one does not want to play a part that goes outside one’s comfort zone, it can feel that whoever we actually are is not appreciated.

  • Partner Engagement emphasizes your emotional bond with your partner. Physically, this involves foreplay with lots of eye contact, kissing, and hugging, face-to-face positions, sharing and mutual touch.

    If this is your preferred style, sex is about union and connection, and happens during one night stands as much as in tender and caring relationships. If you have a curiosity about a potential partner, you may be interested in how they will express themselves sexually. Within an established relationship, a sought afer ideal is to share something deep and special about each other, perhaps to merge in some sense and experience a mutual and heightened sense of aliveness.
Logged
Skip
Site Director
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 8630


« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 08:30:35 PM »

David Schnarch's work is interesting. He argues that what we think is intimacy is actually often wanting “someone else to make us feel acceptable and worthwhile. We’ve assigned the label ‘intimacy’ to what we want (validation and reciprocal disclosure)” Schnarch points out that “Intimacy should involve the inherent awareness that you’re separate from your partner. With parts yet to be shared... ." He also says that intimacy seems to develop through conflict, self-validation, and unilateral disclosure. Being intimate and vulnerable with someone doesn’t mean you’ll get the response you want.

He warns that sex can be a powerful substitute for true intimacy as it allows for some feeling of connection with others often without the problems of an intimate and vulnerable relationship. "Sex can be transformed into a “drive” with the need to relieve sexual tension rather than about wanting a partner. We can get to the point of not wanting to want and at the same time, wanting to be wanted. "

Logged

 
VitaminC
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 717



« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 08:31:08 PM »

According to Schnarch, there are different depths and ways of focusing on your partner. Each reflects how you relate in general. He says: "The tone of your interactions may vary from event to event, but the overall character of your interactions tends to be stable; it is determined much more by your level of personal development than by how you feel about your partner at any given moment, because you feel about your partner will in large part be determined by your level of personal development."

We conducted a member survey on the various innate sexual styles:


Click graph to enlarge
https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=299932

By understanding the many faces of partner engagement we can more fully comprehend human sexuality and develop more respect for when it is beautiful and uplifting.

  • Sexual predators who focus on their partner’s reactions but for purely sadistic reasons. Their own arousal and satisfaction depends upon specific desired responses elicited by particular means. The other is not seen as a separate human being whose individual reactions are of themselves interesting or arousing – only specific reactions are met with interest by the so-called predator. Generally this involves the pain or fear of another and a sense of control by the predator


  • Opportunists are primarily focussed on their own sexual needs and having those filled by another. Sometimes it is likened to just preferring another body to masturbating. It can be fun and satisfying to both parties to have their physical needs filled without much emotional investment in the relationship or the outcome of a sexual meeting. This is not a problem, as long as both parties are on the same page about what is happening.


  • Narcissistic Engagers use their partners to provide “ego strokes”, a way to get a reflected view of themselves as having sexual ability and being attractive. Our partners are, in this case, less important than how our sexual ability with that partner makes us feel about ourselves. If we manage to arouse our partners and satisfy them, we feel powerful and good about ourselves. If we don’t, we might feel angry ( or disappointed, or like failures, if we look a little deeper) and / or seek out another partner who does help us feel the way we want to about ourselves.  


  • Other-validated people place a greater importance on others in their own right – we want to give pleasure and the ability to give it and see it’s effect on our partners makes us feel good. Making someone else happy in bed, makes us happy.  If we don’t see our efforts bringing about results, we may feel sad or like failures or somehow not good enough.  This might be the sexual equivalent of what we call co-dependency. In this mindset, we may find ourselves open to experimental sexual behaviour that our partner wants – but we do not feel entirely comfortable with, as one example.  We may find ourselves doing things that do not, in themselves, feel good or “right” to us, but our partner’s evident pleasure in this supercedes our own needs. Our partners matter more than we do in this case.


  • Truly Connected - Here we see our partners as “a bona fide separate person” whose satisfaction is as important as one’s own. If we are truly connected, we are able to manage our sexual (and other) anxieties and insecurities, we are able to soothe ourselves. We are able to be intimate both emotionally and physically – to share ourselves openly, to accept the “core personality and potentials” of our partners and ourselves.   Our sense of self – sexually and otherwise – is our own and sexual expression (however experimental or playful) is just one aspect of how we are with our partner.

    There is trust which enhances our openness to our own sexuality and our sexual relationship. We are excited by the other person physically, emotionally, and intellectually. They matter to us and we are sure that we matter to them in the same way. Significantly, we matter to ourselves as much as they matter to us.


  • Spiritual Union - The highest form of Partner Engagement, according to Schnarch, in which  we recognize completely that we are separate from our partner and yet can connect deeply and meaningfully. In this connection, we have a sense of something new being born – “Sex becomes a form of spiritual communion celebrating the mysteries of life."
Logged
Sunfl0wer
`
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: He moved out mid March
Posts: 2583



« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 11:02:59 AM »

I am not thrilled with the concept of the categories presented reflecting Sexual Styles... .

I have seen elsewhere, pre defined labels regarding sexuality and personally feel that categorizing sexual styles may (in some instances) cause the opposite of what it is intended.  When self reflecting on anything, sometimes it is best to think in our own words and thoughts first.  If we feel there are five or ten options of how to exist with ourselves, and told to pick, we are likely to pick an offered box out of the five or ten, maybe even trying to squish into one and use it as a goal, rather than presenting our actual reality of a box that is completely self defined, based on our inner reality.  On the other hand if we are asked to make connections with things, explore how our relationship dynamics relate to our sexual behaviors, then one may arrive at greater self understanding.

Personally, I find myself mostly
Sapiosexual and then Demisexual
I most appreciate a sharing of sexual energy that is somewhat tantric but not necessarily so.

I can dabble in a variety of ways of expressing myself sexually.  Sometimes this feels "wrong" or sometimes a "kinky" thing actually feels "healing" to me.  For me, what is most important is not the outward behavior or act.  I feel that fulfillment and peace and health can be found in a variety of experiences/behaviors, but it matters more where our mind is at and if we are honestly and openly connected to ourself than it does the behavior that is taking place.

I just don't generally relate to most of this this part.  However, I admit, I am just reading this thread and I have not read the book. It is possible that the context of the book lends to making use of these labels somewhat relevant.
... .
Logged

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.~Anais Nin
Sunfl0wer
`
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: He moved out mid March
Posts: 2583



« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 11:15:10 AM »

Now the part on Sexual Mindsets I find extremely relatable and helpful!
I'm quite grateful to read about this, thank you!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

[Speaking as a person who has a history of abuse, learning and understanding my sexuality has been a complicated journey.  It has been pretty complicated due to my tendency to dissociate and in the past ~8 years I finally realized what was happening and mostly self taught my way into learning to remain present with my partner and manage triggers.]

I have never been one much for Role Play generally.  I get stage fright in some ways, and attempting such can cause anxiety.

So Sexual Trance is what I had known most of my life and enjoyed.

However, in the past ~10 yrs, I had found a partner that was very much more Partner Engagement like.  He insisted on a lot of eye contact and I came to really enjoy bringing this type of connection into sex as well.  

My partner after him, (most recent ex) we did combo Sexual Trance and Partner Engagement and I can certainly say that I felt most real and present with Partner Engagement type interactions over Sexual Trance ones.  

Sometimes Partner Engagement type interactions felt scary as there felt like there was more risk involved.  It felt like a mistake could more easily be made to turn other partner off or to loose the connection, but if we succeeded, then it was really wonderful.

On the other hand, Sexual Trance like interactions much less risky.  We could have any flow of private thoughts so long as we remained in our sex bond, all was ok, focusing on sensational aspects.  Now, some overlapping seems to exist.  Seems there are always some elements of both Sexual Trance and Partner Engagement, as we may be connecting and engaging in the way we try to please the other and using non verbal communication... .but I do recognize that when we felt insecure with each other or such, always felt safer to connect via Sexual Trance.  I do feel the level of non verbal communication is important for satisfying  trance sex, which sort of brings it a bit closer to Partner Engagement sex anyway.

Anyway, I think it is quite helpful to have Sexual Trance vs Partner Engagement on a continuum of some sort.  I do feel as my emotional growth has matured, with it came the ability to choose to incorporate more Partner Engagement type sex. I can definitely relate to this type of sex requiring me to be most honest and present with myself first, and then that connection of being present, available, and engaging, certainly causing a most satisfying connection, all while we also appreciate the sharing of the trance sensations together.  Makes a whole lot of sense to me. Smiling (click to insert in post)
Logged

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.~Anais Nin
gotbushels
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1586



« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 07:04:49 AM »

 Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) Skip I found your choice of quotations really interesting. Thank you for the bit about conflict and unilateral disclosure actually building intimacy. I do think the substitution of sex for true intimacy is a real concern for persons in dysfunctional relationships too. Thanks everyone for the reviews.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Links and Information
CLINICAL INFORMATION
The Big Picture
5 Dimensions of Personality
BPD? How can I know?
Get Someone into Therapy
Treatment of BPD
Full Clinical Definition
Top 50 Questions

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENTS
My Child has BPD
My Parent/Sibling has BPD
My Significant Other has BPD
Recovering a Breakup
My Failing Romance
Endorsed Books
Archived Articles

RELATIONSHIP TOOLS
How to Stop Reacting
Ending Cycle of Conflict
Listen with Empathy
Don't Be Invalidating
Values and Boundaries
On-Line CBT Program
>> More Tools

MESSAGEBOARD GENERAL
Membership Eligibility
Messageboard Guidelines
Directory
Suicidal Ideation
Domestic Violence
ABOUT US
Mission
Policy and Disclaimers
Professional Endorsements
Wikipedia
Facebook

BPDFamily.org

Your Account
Settings

Moderation Appeal
Become a Sponsor
Sponsorship Account


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2020, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!