Category Archives: alternative sexuality
April 3 at 8 pm CST you can listen to me, along with Jay Blevins, be interviewed about our work as alt-sex therapists on the Spycey Buzz Possecast. Spycey is an “Erotic Edu-tainer who’s mission is to inspire through song, laughter, and honest discussions. She starts dialogues about sexuality in order to take the shame and guilt out of our natural instincts.“
Her podcast can be heard the first Friday of every month on Playboy Radio’s Spice 103 on SiriusXM (8 pm CST) or at www.spyceybuzz.com. Be sure to check it out!
JSJ Therapy and Awen Therapy have been selected to present at the 2013 Wisconsin Association of Marriage and Family Therapy conference. Jasmine St. John MS, LMFT and Jay Blevins MS, LMFT will be presenting on the topic “Myths of 50 Shades of Grey: Talking about BDSM with Clients.” We will provide other therapists with information and education on BDSM and certain misconceptions from the popular book. Our hope is to present a sex-positive and non-judgmental discussion that allows therapists to learn more and provide their clients with an accurate look at this part of alternative sexual expression.
Latest advice video for MadisonKink.com.
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Jasmine St. John, LMFT
I recently spoke to a room full of Systems Therapists. They were specifically come to listen to me talk about how work with Alternative Sexuality clients. This workshop presentation matters a great deal to me because this is the state conference. It is an opportunity to teach therapists around Wisconsin how to be more open and accepting of differing sexual mindsets. Like most people, they were not exactly sure what that means. I tend to define alt-sex as any sexual expressions (be it words, ideas, feelings, actions) that are not currently openly accepted within Western culture.
So there I am standing up there as the token ambassador of kink and open relationships. Many of these people are by nature a bit more accepting, or they wouldn’t be at my lecture, but I still had to provide the foundations of what this all means. They realize it is not all about what they see in the media but they also don’t really know anyone that publicly talks about alternative sexuality. Hence, it is my job (and belief) to educate.
Now here is the thing, this field of Alt Sex Therapy is a new creation. We have evolved to a place where such a thing can exist but there is really no governing body of approaches. CARAS is the closest thing I know of in the country. I’m happily directly involved in the organization and most likely presenting at the Alt Sex conference this year. Still while we are working on a curriculum for graduate level classes in therapy and creating ethical standards, there is a lot to be done in basic information for those that are not looking to work directly in the alt sex therapy field.
Hence my presentation discussed how to come from a strength based sex positive approach to working with clients. The ability for therapists to know when they need to refer specifically to an alternative sex therapist and the overarching needs of using power dynamics and differing models with open-relationship clients. Two hours later the questions about abuse vs consent, feminist considerations, and legal concerns were all addressed.
I wondered if the therapists were freaked out. I was concerned that what felt like basic information to me was too extreme for the audience. I wanted to present beyond all else that those that are involved with alternative sex expression are clients just like any other that deserve respect, understanding, and legitimacy. These are people’s lives and the core of their sexual being matters deeply to me. I wanted these therapists to be able to relate and look beyond the stereotypes and their personal fear to embrace these individual clients with knowledge and consideration.
I realize that this is a lot to ask of any group after two hours with a basic introduction to Alternative Sex Therapy, however I still had this hope. It wasn’t until the evaluations came back later that a smile passed over my face. The response from the traditional therapists were extremely positive. They expressed how important they felt this emerging field was, that they were really excited to learn more, and that the ideas challenged them greatly but they found themselves more equipped to work with or refer these clients to someone else. To me, this is a victory!
It may sound dramatic but if I can touch just one person out there that can help someone positively embrace their sexuality within a therapeutic setting, then I feel like maybe things are changing. I know what it is like to feel like you can’t express huge parts of your life to a person that is supposed to be there to support and help. Hence, I find myself brimming with joy at the understanding that there are more therapists out there that can help and even more on the way that are specifically focusing on Alt Sex.
I encourage you to support anyone you know in the health field that wants to learn more about Alternative Sexuality. Yours may be the only voice they hear and so what you say has influence. You can be a positive force for change within your community by being open (as much as you feel comfortable and safe with of course) about how alternative sexual expression is a healthy way to live ones life.
I was out and about and saw a new magazine. I picked it up and to my surprise there was an article about polyamory. While none of this is really too new, the fact that this magazine is created right here in Madison… does make the topic choice all the more fascinating.
“To me, polyamory has the same values as monogamy,” she says. “We just make the conscious choice to have more than one relationship at a time. We still treat our partners the same, we don’t do anything that is much different from monogamous people. We still have to pay rent and go grocery shopping and deal with jobs and taking care of a family.”
I spoke with the article’s author J. Braun about the work and providing a few more resources for the Madison (and the local surrounding area) individuals interested in learning more about polyamory. Mr. Braun expressed he is happy to support those who are curious to understand more about non-monogamy.
I personally see it as a positive step when an emerging UW Madison publication is willing to look at alternative approaches to relationships in a positive open manner. I look forward to seeing more of what Curb Magazine creates! And just in case you are a reader of Curb and coming to this blog seeking more you are welcome to contact me to speak further about differing approaches to love, relationships, and sexuality. Also you can seek out information at the following local links:
If you are aware of other local groups online or that meet in person that are not mentioned above for the Madison area please do let me know! I’m always happy to help people connect with one another for support and education.
JSJ Therapy is proud to announce another presenting engagement at the annual WAMFT conference in April. The two hour workshop topic is:
Sex Positive Therapeutic Approaches to Alternative Sexuality.
This seminar will be providing other therapists with innovative ideas and approaches to working with alt-sex clients. This discussion is expanding off of the many years of work that JSJ Therapy has done with clients to support and encourage growth towards accepting themselves and others within the scope of love, relationships, and sexuality.
For a brief overview of these ideas you can find them in the CARAS organization website.
I’m looking forward to helping others within the field to better understand and work with alt-sex-clients.