Informed Consent Opt-in for the Discover Your Personal Erotic Myth 2.0 Sex Research Survey
*You must be 18 years or older to complete this survey and participate in this research study.*
What is the PEM survey? Purpose of this research study?
The Personal Erotic Myth (PEM) 2022 survey (IRB# 2022-005) will explore and gather data regarding people’s varied sexual experiences and fantasies that may indicate they are operating from their own Personal Erotic Myth(s). I view a Personal Erotic Myth (PEM) as an inherent psychological structure stored within the personal unconscious that for some, is foundational to their sexual inclinations, fantasies and sexual interests. A PEM contains the who, what, where and how, that are the recurring elements and themes that weave together within someone’s sexual fantasies.
This survey also gathers data on the major struggles people face to honestly express and enjoy their sexuality. These can include sexual shame, fear, embedded moral or religious judgments or past sexual violations and trauma that prohibit or shut down sexual expression altogether.
The PEM 2022 survey will help us learn more about the nature, origin, frequency and themes of sexual fantasies and map what seems to be the prevalent archetypal personas, dialogue, attire, intensities, props etc., that populate someone’s Personal Erotic Myth.
Your participation in responding to the PEM survey is anonymous and voluntary. By choosing to participate, you will help contribute to ongoing research to develop a deeper, more nuanced and objective view of sexual fantasy in general and Fetish or Kink based sexuality specifically. Completing the survey may help you shed more light on your own desires, and be able to better consider how to engage them consciously in your life and your relationships.
Also, if you are at a place where you could use some support and encouragement on your own journey to sexual authenticity, and are ready to untangle what may be holding you back from your sexual birthright, please use the following contact information to reach out for support. Please contact Galen Fous at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**This online survey is part of a FREE and anonymous research study, and no one will be able to link your answers back to you. The survey includes 68 questions consisting of multiple choice and write-in answers. You may skip any questions you do not want to answer or do not feel comfortable answering, or stop taking the survey at any time. The survey generally takes about 30 minutes to complete. There is no risk or cost to you. Please do not include your name or other information that could be used to identify you in the survey responses. Once you take the survey, you can opt-in via email to review the fascinating, anonymous statistics and revelations of previous responders. The opt-in email address will be found in the thank you message that appears after you hit the submit button at the end of the survey.
PLEASE NOTE: This survey asks pertinent, but also very personal questions about sexual desire and history, including a few general questions about any history of sexual mistreatment that may have occurred in one’s past. Please proceed or not as it is right for you at this time.
For more details about the study, read on for further context, OR…
TO CONSENT TO PARTICIPATING IN THIS STUDY, CLICK BEGIN SURVEY
Why this research is important?
Understanding your core sexual desires and fantasies or what I call your Personal Erotic Myth (PEM) can be helpful to open you to unimagined sexual ecstasy, deepen intimacy in your relationships, begin to address past shame, fear and trauma around your sexuality, and help you avoid erotic mismatches in long term relationships.
The PEM 2022 research study is part of a larger therapeutic framework I am developing called Sexual Integration Therapy (SIT). In order to be able to integrate your authentic sexuality into your everyday life in a way that is in integrity with your values, agreements, responsibilities and relationships, it is also necessary to examine and address all the internalized fears, shames, traumas and harsh moral judgments about your sexuality embedded since childhood, that inhibit or resist its honest, ecstatic sexual expression . The Sexual Integration Therapy model allows you to address both these important aspects to becoming sexually empowered and healed.
The PEM survey will help to provide data-driven scientific evidence to support Sexual Integration Theory, providing academic grounding for SIT; and the survey is designed to be an aid to help bring your deepest sexual yearnings and desires into a more clear, nuanced and high resolution view of this very integral aspect of your humanity.
From my experience working with clients for over 20 years, and from the data from the original PEM survey with nearly 7000 participants, it appears people fall along a spectrum of from little to no sense of their sexual fantasies, to already quite elaborately engaged.
With this new PEM survey I am further researching the concept that people whose sexuality is driven by a PEM involving Fetish, Kink and D/s-BDSM have a life-long, inherent sexual orientation that I term Fetishsexuality.
Fetishsexuality, like other sexual orientations such as Homosexuality, fulfills current American Psychological Association’s (APA) criteria for a sexual orientation: has particular sexual preferences for sexual partners, seeks sexual and lifestyle compatible romantic life-partners, and desires to join with others in community via social and support organizations (American Psychological Association, 2020b). However, what I’m seeking to expand upon and move forward with this study is that the APA limits orientation to gender attraction only, but should add attraction to particular sexual expressions such as power exchange, as a valid criteria.
The specific elements of a PEM distinguish what turns one on from what does not. A PEM is often expressed in Fetish, Kink and D/s-BDSM oriented sex and may be involved in a much broader range, if not all sexual desire.
For those who have a PEM as part of their psychological sexual makeup, it often contains paired archetypal sexual personas engaged in some level of sexual power exchange (such as Dom/sub and a thousand variations.) One leads, one follows, one takes, one is taken, one controls, one is controlled and all such iterations of power exchange are possible.
Through solo masturbation or with a consenting partner(s), people are enacting and getting off to their mythic sexual fantasies. These core fantasies can also include specific arousing dialogue, props or implements of all sorts, particular attire, setting, emotional intensities, symbolic actions and all manner of detail. Taken together these elements combine into one’s PEM.
Some of these myths may stretch deep down into the instinctual layers of our psychological structures inherent from our mammalian (hot-blooded, alpha/beta pecking order – dominance and submission) ancestry and reptilian (cold-blooded, predator/prey – sadist/masochist) phases of our biological and psychological heritage. These wilder, primitive aspects of human biology/psychology often show up in the sexual fantasy myths, archetypal personas and primal physical expressions related to Fetish, Kink, and D/s-BDSM sexual expression.
Some people are quite aware of their PEM. They may have caught glimpses of it, or more, well before puberty, even if they have yet to share it with another. Some may have already crossed the threshold of secrecy their sexual desire may have been held in, and are actively engaging their desires with a partner or partners. Some will have PEM’s that ebb, flow, evolve or shift throughout their sex life, or someone may have several distinct PEM’s. For many others, it is still an unconscious but compelling force, just below acknowledged awareness, that drives their sexual desire. It is an aspect of their Erotic nature that they may not have looked at, nor engaged in consciously.
But during sex, in the moments right before orgasm, a profound shift can occur. I believe those blasphemies and primitive groans expressed just before orgasm are often just a “sound byte” from one’s PEM. The PEM is like a zip file, stored in the unconscious. It contains hours of content, that includes all the elements of a mythic erotic story, archetypal personas, counterpart personas, setting, history, attire, dialogue, body language, and props, among other things. It is as if their authentic sexual persona can no longer be held back and floods into the body, evoking wild, fierce gestures such as clutching, scratching and grabbing, accompanied often by gutteral groans and invectives or even snippets of overtly profane sexual dialogue (sound-bytes from the PEM).
People knowing their PEM, and having the tools to communicate that honestly, may be able to create stronger bonds in their overall relationships, as well as a fulfilled and well-
expressed sexuality. Therefore, this PEM survey can help people learn to communicate their sexual desires more honestly and have better understanding of themselves to find compatible partners for their long term relationships.
Therefore, I believe this research into the nature of Sexual Fantasy and Fetishsexuality is important for several reasons:
It supports and encourages peoples to recognize and claim their sexual birthright and be true to, explore and freely express their authentic sexual nature.
It lays a foundation for people to begin to resolve past experiences that entangled fear, shame and trauma around their sexual desire in a way that now inhibits or represses its fullest expression, or shuts down sexual desire completely.
We are in a time where outdated dating protocols still operate in the culture at large. People are partnering and marrying without ever having discussed, let alone know what each others sexual desires look like, or how frequently or what kinds of sexual expression is central to their erotic nature. This leads to devastating erotic mismatches, which may lead to all sorts of shadowy, hidden, dangerous or deceptive behaviors eventually going on behind partners’ backs, or shows up in other harmful ways that disrupt if not destroy the relationship.
In this era of unprecedented sexual exploration and interest, this research contributes to the emerging effort to provide updated theoretical models of sexual psychology. This will help the academic and clinical fields of psychology to be better prepared to meet the demands of sex therapy for the 21st century.
If you wish to learn more about your own PEM, take the Personal Erotic Myth Research survey below.
READY TO TAKE THE SURVEY? CLICK BEGIN SURVEY
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