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Mar 1, 2023

Join us for part two of our episode with Doug Braun-Harvey. Doug is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapy supervisor and certified sex therapist in San Diego. He has taught and consulted on sexuality and sexual health with Widener University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Minnesota. Doug is also the co-founder of the Harvey Institute, an international education, training, consulting, and supervision service for improving healthcare. 

Good Christian (3). “I grew up in a very Christian world. And so for me to say I wasn't a Christian, took me 35 years. To be honest and open and say, no, I'm not a Christian. I do not identify as a Christian, and that was a tremendously liberating for my sexual health.” Doug shares the liberating experience of just saying I am not a Christian. This phrase can be a challenging hurdle for many people, because of the Christian central country we live in. 

Deconstructing Narratives (18). “One of the things that stood out to me is also part of being a man, part of being a successful man is knowing shit. So when you're thinking, when you asked a question, what is your vision for sexual health? My initial response even was like, well, fuck, I don't know how to answer that question. And some of the shame then that comes up for me because part of the narrative around being a man for me is, well, I know the answers to things. That's how I'm successful as a man” Jeremiah opens up about the effects of toxic expectations that come from manhood and strives to redefine what being a “successful man” means and looks like, and sometimes it means not knowing all the answers. 

Toxic Masculinity (23). “Toxic masculinity I think is really saying living in a male-identified body that gives you the privilege of remaining unconscious about how you move in the world and the consequences of how you live the world. I like to think about who do we ask to be more conscious or not in our society, and who must be conscious in order to live in the society and thrive, or at least not suffer horrible things” Doug covers how a majority of men do not realize their privilege, a simple thing such as walking alone at night may never be a second thought for men. He explores how many people are forced to be conscious of this out of safety. 

Sexual Debut (25). “The church is a lot to say and churches have a lot to say.  Now, the example that's the most pervasive in the entire planet is the sexual debut. And the sexual debut is really a heterosexually defined experience of penile vaginal, penetrative, intercourse. And that's supposed to happen, and it only has moral value if it happens in a marital relationship that has been contracted and established. That's it. If intercourse happens anytime before that, it is not a morally correct sex act after marriage. It is. That's an example of an act-centered value system. Now, the principle-centered value system is one where you ask yourself, was it consensual? I was conscious and avoiding exploitative interactions in order to be sexual with this person. And was I aware that the person was also not exploiting me? Is there honesty?” Doug discusses the idea of the sexual debut through the Christian lens. This lens can be very damaging for those who do not fit the Christian moral standard for sex, and how that in itself can harm our views of ourselves and sex.

Male Sexuality (39). “I work with some unpartnered men and they have talked about how lonely it is not to have the permission to discuss sexuality in the same way that women might, and I had one client come back to a session and he said, oh my God, I had a conversation about sex with my best friend for the first time. And it was, it was such a liberating experience for him. And I remember my own like emotions coming up in that interaction as well.” Julia opens up about a healing conversation she had with a client and how many men do not have ways to openly discuss sexuality in the same manner most women do, and how liberating that can be for men to have those avenues.