GSRD = Gender, Sexuality, Relationship Diversity
I believe there are variations of sexuality, gender and relationship diversity which are best accepted and integrated into a person’s core identity.
Instead of attempting to repress and shun these variations because of societal pressure, if they pose no risk of becoming a paraphillia then they should be included and accepted into a persons intimate relationship.
Mental health professionals are now affirmative. Sadly, many are not affirmative of other variations of sexuality or gender – such as bisexuality, polyamory, or the enjoyment of BDSM or erotic fetishes and they could impair intimacy.
This whole process can be easier if you are working with a therapist like myself who is anti-oppressive and comfortable working with diverse identities.
There are many ways for consensual adults to express and enjoy intimacy, sexuality and gender
Kink / BDSM / leather / fetish / bondage / chastity/non-monogamous / open relationship / polyamory / threesomes / swinging / dogging / cuckholding
For many people self-acceptance of their atypical erotic or gender orientation is essential for both peace of mind and intimacy. For example just as self-acceptance of being gay is essential for a gay man to be intimate, self-acceptance of a fetish is often essential for a kinky person to love intimately.
Anything you ever do should be consensual and you should be using a system such as R.A.CK, S.S.C, Traffic lights or other system.
Therapy directed at repressing such behaviours often creates shame and self-loathing, and this reduces a person’s capacity for intimacy.
Negative attitudes toward gender and erotic variation (and non-monogamy) are fairly widespread among mental health professionals, even though a version of the Diagnostic manual for the field (DSM-V) does not consider these variations mental health issues – unless they cause distress for the person.
Because people with these less common erotic and gender identities are often discriminated against, they frequently internalize shame, have difficulty coming out, or have difficulty accepting these parts of themselves. This is often the case when negative attitudes toward a person’s gender identity or erotic identity is internalized at a young age. Something similar might be said by most persons who at a young age realized their gender or erotic fantasies were disapproved of. These internalized negative attitudes can impede the development of friendships and intimacy, and treatment can help heal some of this damage.
That being said, there are certainly some sexual turn-ons that do not work well, or work poorly for some people.
Unwanted Sexual Fantasies and Behaviour. Enjoyment of pornography can sometimes get in the way of friendships and intimacy. Some people obsess about sex as a way of avoiding intimacy and other difficult feelings like sadness and anxiety. Some may try to “sexualize” all aspects of all relationships, when it is inappropriate to do so. Or, a person’s sexual turn-ons may be so refined that it is difficult to find a partner, in which case they may want to work on expanding their sexual repertoire. Or, an erotic preference may be enjoyed by one but not both of a couple, causing great conflict within the relationship. Or, a person may have difficulty in self-acceptance or coming out to potential intimate partners. Clearly, sexual behaviour that involves non-consenting adults is a problem.
There are some erotic fantasies which you may decide are best left as fantasy.
Erotic fantasies which are truly dysfunctional for a person, or sexual behaviours which need to be changed or abandoned, are often complicated with layers of guilt and shame. Coming to terms with these fantasies and behaviours requires setting aside the shame in favour of self-understanding. As long as shame obscures the understanding of unwanted behaviours, working to change them is like working in a dark fog.