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Our sexuality is often reduced to simply what we do with our genitals, or perhaps to our social identity labels. And not much consideration is given to what we think, imagine, or feel as sexual beings. As such, we’re often lost as to how to grow our sexual selves in deep and meaningful ways. And this limits our ability to embody our sexuality as vehicles of love. 

To be sure, the particular behaviors we engage in do makeup part of our sexual selves. But these behaviors cannot be divorced from the deeper movements of our heart and soul. And we’re left in the shallows – just chasing one novel technique or experience after another when we do. 

Who we are as sexual beings also consist of our basic thoughts and understanding about sexuality. What is its purpose? Why does it exist? And how do we understand the sexual ethic that guides our choices? 

And more than just our thoughts, our heart attitudes also play a significant role in the development of our sexual self. What is our sexual esteem? Do we honor and delight in our sexual expressions? Or are they a source of shame and disgust, or possibly dismissed and repressed in fear altogether? 

Likewise, our sexual imagination, dreams, and fantasies help to shape our sexual character.  This is where we develop our sexual vision – both in cultivating creative approaches regarding practical matters, as well as harnessing our generative powers outside the bedroom. 

Of course, our thoughts, feelings, and dreams will all influence the choices we make in many subtle and unseen ways. But we must still actively steward each dimension of our sexual selves. This allows our sexuality the maturity and freedom needed to be used in the serve of love, rather than just robotic pursuits of shallow pleasures. 

In the end, develop your sexual self by exploring and cultivating the sexual thoughts, feelings, and imaginations behind your behaviors. Who you are is more than what you do. And it’s through this sexual formation that you’re able to grow in your practice of love. 

Photo by Nikki Rowaan on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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