Ian Kerner - Emboldening the Erotic Imagination

Dec 11, 2019

Ian Kerner, Ph.D., LMFT is a psychotherapist and sexuality counselor who joined us at Sessions Live 2019 to talk about "Emboldening the Erotic Imagination", which was about how to overcome challenges in creating an erotic atmosphere and merging relational and recreational sex. He has also appeared on the Sessions Platform, where he and Esther address the question - how important is sex anyway? 

To find out more about Ian's work and upcoming projects and events, visit www.iankerner.com.  

It was a blast to participate in Sessions Live. Just a day earlier, I was in the ER with a kidney stone, and I was texting Nick and Esther that they might have to go ahead without me. I think some of my energy and enthusiasm on the day came from the exhilarating feeling of escaping an inferno of pain and just being alive. It was wonderful to be part of such an energized community. To spend a day digging into the topic of Eros and accessing the topic through many compelling entry-points. 

I'm a bit neck-up in my work, so it was great to try to drop down into my body in a deeper way -- emphasis on try. Living in a culture where we’re often compelled to lower our standards to the common denominator of mass-market entertainment, it's a joy to work with Esther and to be challenged to elevate the level of discourse. That's what really gave me energy. 

During my session, I mentioned a few books that I wanted to highlight now: 

These are all excellent works to explore different dimensions of psychogenic stimulation. 

Remember, a sex script can be reduced a sequence of behaviors -- and for many of our patients, that's what it sadly has become. Cultivating "psychogenic-sexual intersubjectivity" is a powerful way "to fatten and thicken the sex script, to sheathe it in the psychogenic and skin it in the erotic" and imbue it with the immediacy of aliveness. 

Thank you again for the time and attention. It was wonderful to speak, but also to mingle and chat with so many interesting people. Signing books is always fun and rare, too. It creates a nice juxtaposition to life at home on a Saturday, where I'm generally walking dogs, doing laundry, and cleaning up after two teenage boys. Back to reality, but I shall recall fondly the erotic dreamscape of our time together!

Ian Kerner, Ph.D., LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist and nationally recognized sexuality counselor who specializes in sex therapy, couples therapy and working with individuals on a range of relational issues. He approaches psychotherapy from an integrative perspective, which seeks to explain human behavior by bringing together physiological, affective, cognitive-behavioral, neurobiological and systemic approaches as they apply to the natural stages of human development and the wide range of human functioning. 


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