Guest Post by Shannon Ethridge, M.A.
Imagine 8-10 women of all ages, from all walks of life, gathering together behind this door over a 4-day span with one goal – to sift through their sexual and emotional baggage. Why in the world would they want to do such a thing?
Some women come to my Women at the Well 4-day Intensive Workshops because they’ve acted out sexually and are desperately trying to break free from their first affair… or their fourth or fifth. Others have shut down sexually, avoiding their husband’s sexual advances for years… or decades. Childhood sexual abuse, body image issues, pre-marital promiscuity, emotional disconnection, or legalistic upbringings can make it seem too painful to “go there,” even in marriage. Or such trauma can actually make “going there” via an inappropriate relationship seem absolutely irresistible, as we seek to medicate our emotional pain rather than feeling and healing it.
I often describe female sexuality as a “pendulum swing.” Some swing too far to the left, crossing boundary lines they never thought they’d cross. Others swing too far to the right, isolating and insulating themselves from the very connection they once craved. Most women will swing back and forth to some degree throughout her lifetime – feeling like a “hot mama” on some days, and like a “cold clam” on others. Hormone levels and flirty feelings fluctuate as unpredictably as flash flood waters running through a dry creek bed. It can be rather scary, not just for the woman experiencing these peaks and valleys and pendulum swings, but also for the husband who has no idea whether she’s running hot or cold from one season to the next. Continue Reading