Suggestibility AND Sexuality

Chaplain Paul G. Durbin">

Suggestibility AND Sexuality

Chaplain Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D.



For books by Dr. John G. Kappas Professional Hypnotism Manual, Your Sexual Personality, and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis, and information on their very excellent video extension courses go to  Use of material from these book are used with permission of George Kappas, son of Dr. John Kappas. George Kappas, M.A. M.F.C.C., is Executive Director of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute. 

Suggestibility Questionnaire and Sexuality Questionnaire and how to score them can be found in Professional Hypnotism Manual and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis. The Sexuality Questionnaire can also be found in Your Sexual Personality  and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis.  I use the Suggestibility Questionnaire with all out/patients and clients. I also ask a few question from the Questionnaire to get an idea of the suggestibility of the in/patients that I work with. You can write for information to the following address: Hypnosis Motivation Institute, 18607 Ventura Blvd. Suite #310, Tarzana, CA. 91356 or Phone: 1-800-634-5620 or go to HMI's  Website 


No matter what objective use is made of hypnosis, whether it is in therapy, clinical research, relief of symptoms, or merely for amusement, we cannot get away from the fact that none of it would be possible without the use of suggestion. Suggestion is used to induce the hypnotic state, suggestion is used to control the responses while the person is hypnotized, suggestion is used to attain responses after the session has been completed, and suggestion is used to get the person out of the hypnotic state. (NOTE: If something happened to the hypnotherapist before the count out, the client would come out of the hypnotic state even without the suggestion by the therapist.) Except for the exception give, the entire procedure of hypnosis, from pre-induction to attainment of the goal one is seeking to attain after being hypnotized, is all founded on suggestion. Therefore the proper use of suggestion is the most important aspects of hypnosis. The word "suggestion" used in the hypnotic context, is the acceptance of an idea or belief to the point of causing changes in an individual's actions, body responses, attitudes, emotions, or characteristics.

Over the years, I have discovered the power of suggestion. Stop for a moment to consider the power of words as one method of conveying suggestion. By words, the preacher proclaims the Good New of Faith. By words, the politician conveys his agenda. By words the sales person sales his goods. By words, the teacher teaches. By words, thoughts are imparted from one person to another or from one generation to another. There are words that make us laugh and words that make us cry, words that bless and words that condemn, words that wound and words that heal. The old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." is a false statement.

Some people respond better to direct suggestions, while others respond best to indirect suggestions. Most of us can respond to both direct and indirect suggestions but generally have a preference for one or the other. Because I believe in the importance of an individual's suggestibility, I have everyone who comes into my office for counseling fill out the John Kappas suggestibility questionnaire which will generally give an indication of that person's dominate response. Dr Kappas calls the persons who responds best to direct suggestions, a "physical suggestible" person. The individual who responds best to indirect suggestion is an "emotional suggestible" person. I use the terms "direct suggestible" and 'indirect suggestible' because I believe that the client is more familiar with the meaning of these terms than the would be with "physical suggestible" and "emotional suggestible."

Some hypnotherapist say that only a certain number of people can be hypnotized because they use on direct suggestions. To the question, "Why do some subjects respond to hypnotic suggestion and depth, while other do not?" The answer was discovered back in the 1967 by Dr. John Kappas and published in his book Professional Hypnotism Manuel which is still in print. He recognized the existence of two distinct types of suggestibility "physical and emotional" which I call "direct and indirect." Before that Dr. Milton Erickson had shown that some people responded better to direct suggestions and others to indirect suggestion. He was such a master at using indirect suggestions that many of his disciples tend to go to the extreme with indirect suggestions. Dr. Kappas was the first to show how to use a person=s suggestibility to get the best results.

Our suggestibility usually comes for our primary care giver (usually our mother). If the child experiences his mother as saying what she means and meaning what she says, he will usually be more responsive to direct suggestions. If the verbal and non-verbal parts of her communication does not express the same thing, the child begins to search for the real meaning. She begins to look for the implied meaning rather that what is actually said. Balanced suggestibility comes when in certain areas, the mother is consistent in what she says while in other areas, she gives conflicting messages.

I tend to be close to the middle with a slight dominance for direct suggestion for when my mother told me to do something, then I should do it. If she told me not to do something, I knew she meant it. There was a cause and effect. Mother laid down the law and I followed it or I reaped the consequences. On the other hand, mother could be indirect in her request. She might say to me, "Paul, don't you think you should go visit Mrs. Smith. She is sick and she gave you a Christmas present last year." Now that sounds like I have a choice but I did not. She meant for me to go see Mrs. Smith and if my answer to her was "No.", she would let me know in no uncertain terms that I was to go.

An interesting aspect of our suggestibility is that there is a tendency for a person who hears direct to speak indirectly and for the person who hears indirect to speak direct. I learned this with my communication with my wife. Bobbie and I have been married since 1958 but it was not until the 80's that I learned about suggestibility. When I began to study how people communicate in regards to direct and indirect suggestions, I remember an incident that had occurred a few years before. Bobbie was cooking supper and we were having meatballs and spaghetti. She was preparing the French bread by buttering the bread and putting garlic slat on top. I don't like garlic salt on my toast and she knew that I did not like dry toast. I always wanted my bread buttered before it was toasted. When I saw her putting the garlic salt on the toast, I said, 'Don't put any thing on my toast." When we set down at the table to eat, I noticed that Bobbie had put dry toast by my plate. I asked "Why do I have dry toast?" Bobbie said 'You told me not to put anything on your toast." I said, 'We have been married for more than 20 years and I have never wanted a piece of dry toast."  She said "Well I just did what you asked me to do." She hears direct and speaks indirect.

Bobbie likes the room temperature warmer than I do. She may say "Does it seem cold to you?" For many years, I would say, "No." and in a short time she would be angry at me and I would not know why. I would say "What is the matter?" and she would respond, 'Nothing!" You seem to be upset about something. "What is the matter?" 'You know." "No, I do not know." After we went through that exercise for a while, she would say, "I asked you to turn up the air condition and you didn't do it." "Well, I finally learned that Bobbie's questions were really request. Now when she says, "Does it seem cold to you?" I respond, 'No, but if you would like for the air condition to be turn up, I will be glad to do it." Or I say, 'No, can I get you quilt so you can be warmer?"

For books by Dr. John G. Kappas Professional Hypnotism Manual, Your Sexual Personality, and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis, go to  .You can write for information to the following address: Hypnosis Motivation Institute, 18607 Ventura Blvd. Suite #310, Tarzana, CA. 91356 or Phone: 1-800-634-5620. Suggestibility Questionnaire and Sexuality Questionnaire and how to score them can be found in Professional Hypnotism Manual and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis. The Sexuality Questionnaire can also be found in Your Sexual Personality. I use the Suggestibility Questionnaire with all out/patients and clients. I also ask a few question from the Questionnaire to get an idea of the suggestibility of the in/patients that I work with.




Much of the following are from Dr. Kappas' books: Professional Hypnotism Manual, Your Sexual Personality, Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis, and my own experiences and interpretation of the those resources.

wedding photo

Ever since beginning of time, sex has had the potential for pleasure and pain. It is our most intimate of human relationship but used incorrectly can be among the most degrading experiences. It can be used for recreation, procreation, and fun. At other times, it can be uncomfortable, painful and degrading. Sex is an enormously powerful force. In our responses to the sexual drive there are conscious and subconscious factor at work. To some degree social and religious beliefs influences our response to the sex drive. The way an individual responds to the sex drive is dependent on his or her own personal history, environmental impute, social standards and religious influences. Sexual activity can bring joy and pleasure, birth, or pain and destruction and death.


Dr. John Kappas with                                                                                                                                 wife Florence Henderson                                                                                                           

As therapist, people come to us to help them overcome problems. Included in these problems are those which are sexual in nature. Many times the presenting problem may be something else, but when the real problem is discussed, it turns out to be a sexual problem. To be better prepared to help those people, we should aware of physical and emotion sexuality. As there is physical (direct) and emotional (indirect) suggestibility, there is physical and emotional sexuality. I will use physical and emotional in reference to sexuality because sexuality differs from suggestibility. A physical suggestible may be an emotional sexual person and an emotional suggestible may be a physical sexual person.

When I was in college, I read many books on sexuality and how to please the female sexually. Most all the books dwelt with the physically sexual female. Of course, at that time I was totally unaware (as were most experts on sexual behavior) of the sexual behavior of physical and emotional sexuality. An illustration of misinformation is revealed in that all those books said that when the sex act was over, the female wanted the male to continue to touch, caress and be affectionate. As we shall discuss later in this seminar, one of the characteristic of an emotional sexual person of either sex is that when the sex act is over, he or she wants go on to other things such as go to sleep, go to the bathroom, get dressed, etc. Well, it so happened that I am a physical sexual person and my wife is an emotional sexual so that when I wanted to continue the courtship, she wanted to go on to others things. My response to her reaction was that I felt rejected. When I learned about physical and emotional sexuality, I understood her reaction was not rejection but just her built-in response. There are a lot of other differences between physical and emotional sexual people which if know can prevent a lot of misunderstanding between sexual partners

The two categories of emotional and physical sexuality, with the one subcategory called intellectual sexuality, fits all human beings. As mentioned earlier it is important to recognize that a person will not necessarily have the same type of sexuality as he does suggestibility. An emotional sexual man or woman can be either physical or emotionally suggestible, and vice versa We have found that suggestibility has a strong effect on sexuality, but the two should not be confused. Suggestibility is created by the mother; sexuality is created by the father. As a rule, a child will develop "physical sexuality" if he raised in a home where the father is more outward and open in his demonstration affection. If the father is passive and undemonstrative, or if he is absent all or most of the time, the child tends to become "emotionally sexual.'

Physical sexual persons project their sexual responses outwardly. They dwell on sex and desire and need physical sex often, usually as a token of acceptance or to prove that they are adequate. They cover up or repress negative emotions with this extreme sex drive. Emotional sexuals, on the other hand feel their sexual responses inwardly. They protect the physically body by projecting emotions such as fear or embarrassment to defend or repress physical feelings.

Many marital and relationship problems deal with sexual misunderstandings which, in many cases, lead to a total lack of communication between men and women. In the beginning of the relationship, when the newness and excitement of sex are present in both male and female, each seems to communicate sexually. They build expectation, stimulating the suggestibility to sex. As their honeymoon stage wears off the tendency for their dominate sexuality come to have a greater influence.. Their true sexual response is then evident. Communication sexually and verbally becomes less and less frequent until the inevitable takes place -- they look for something new or close their minds to sexual response with their partner.

It is generally acknowledged that 60% of all females lean toward emotional sexuality and 40% toward physical sexuality. It is interesting to note that among men, this same 60/40 balance seem to exist in the opposite direction. 60% of all males that have been tested prove to react to physical sexuality and the other 40% were more susceptible to emotional sexuality. It is also interesting to note that the old saying that opposites attract is certainly true of human sexuality.

In discussing the characteristics of the physical and emotional sexuals, I will discussing the extreme behaviors (from 90% to 100% physical or emotional). Of course, the closer to 50% one comes the more the extreme characteristics change. It is important to keep this in mind and to be aware that the majority of people have a combination of physical and emotional sexual characteristics and do not fall into extreme categories. However, it you are aware of the extremes, some of the experiences you have or your sexual partner have or your clients share with you can be better understood.

Understanding your own, as well as your partner's sexual response factors can improve your relationships, enhance your sexual relationships and reduce the possibility of misunderstandings. When the understanding of your client's sexual response factors are needed in the therapeutic situation, the knowledge can improve your counseling. A proper understanding can and will allow you and the people you counsel to change direction from a possibly disastrous pattern to a happier and more successful way of life. It can also help you to improve or eliminate certain sexual traits that have caused you to lose or to hurt in a past relationship.

To be a physically sexual female does not mean that she does not feel emotions, but that she places her physical body in front of her to protect her emotions and therefore requires a great deal of physical attention. There are basically two reasons why a female becomes a physically sexual person. If she receives a lot of affection from her father and a lot of physical attention, she becomes a physical sexual person. On the other hand if she is abused or feel emotional rejection, she tends to become a emotional sexual person.

The information that follows are for extreme personalities. That means that they would rate between 70 and 100 percent either physical or emotional on the Sexual Barometer. The purpose in sex therapy is to lead them to a downward adjustment of this extreme sexual temperament to the safety zones close to the fifty yard line on the playing field of sexual activity. When a person effects an alteration of their sexual personality to a lower percentage point on the same side of the Sexual Barometer we refer to this as a personality adjustment. These conversions should not swing all the way from one end to the other like a pendulum. Sexual personality extremity is just as unhealthy and unhappy at either end of the scale. Even though a person during a period of adjustment therapy may cross over the 50/50 dividing line he, or she, should strive for an ultimate converted rating as close to the midpoint as possible, no matter which side of the scale it be on.

Some special aspects of the physical sexual:

1. She has a free and easy social attitude and is easy to know.

2. She is outspoken, frank and forthright in stating her opinions.

3. She is an interesting, often witty conversationalist.

4. She is generous, often to a fault, but usually in ways she dictates.

5. She is physically attentive, back-rubber, foot-massager

6. She is demonstrative of her affections, i.e., hand-holder, patter.

7. She flatters her man continually and caters to his sexual ego.

8. Being possessive, she craves marriage and emotional enablements.

9. She is quick to apologize if she thinks she is wrong or has hurt.

10. She will often use sex as a means of making-up after a fight or argument.

11. She revels in the role of "sex slave" to her mate but will often demand the same attitude from him in return.

12. She is versatile, as well as prolific in her sexual activities.

13. She is readily available, even after a fight, rejections and periods of neglect...none of which she can cope with.

Some visual characteristics of female physical sexuality:

1. In standing, or walking, her toes generally point outwardly, duck-like, rather than straight ahead or pigeon-toed as observed in some emotionally sexual females. This outward pointing of her feet represents her outward acceptance of the physical. In effect, it indicates that she is completely opening herself up sexually as would be the case in a physical attitude to accept intercourse.

2. Perhaps because her heartbeat is faster and her circulation more rapid than her emotionally sexual counterpart, she is usually a deep breather. She gives readily discernable indications of this by the fact that she is often a mouth-breather, gulping in air through her open mouth, or by the fact that her nostrils will dilate perceptibly each time she inhales.

3. Her skin and body temperature are higher than that of the emotionally sexual female. Her hands and feet are warm, sometimes even damply so. The soft fleshy areas of her breasts and buttocks are usually warm, rather than cool to the touch. During hot weather she tends to display tiny beads of perspiration, notably on her forehead and upper lip and in the valley between her breast.

4. During even the most luridly suggestive conversation she will lock eyes with the male, rather than dropping her gaze, self-conscious, as is the habit of the emotionally sexual female.

5. When she is the recipient of little attentive gestures, such as refilling her glass she will tends to stare directly into the face and eyes of the male who is offering these attentive gestures rather than at the glass which he is filling, as is the subconscious habitual physical reaction of the emotionally sexual female.

6. During even the most innocent and innocuous conversation, the emotionally sexual female will look at her male companion and divert her eyes when he answers; the physically sexual female will do just the opposite. She will stare directly at her male companion, often scanning his face, while he answers her or speaks to her. In so doing she is, subconsciously, desperately seeking signs of his acceptance of her and fearfully alerted to any possible danger flags indicating potential rejection

Some of the characteristics of the emotional sexual female:

1. The emotionally sexual female has a slower heartbeat.

2. She has lower pulse rate than the physically sexual female.

3. Her body temperature is lower because of the reduced activity of the circulation.

4. She perspires less than the physical.

5. Her hands and feet are almost always cold. (Is this where the old saying, "Cold hands, warm heart.' originated?)

6. For the emotionally sexual female, sex is far more a function of the heart and the mind than it is between her legs. From arousal through simulation plateaus to climax, it is all a function of the mind since her habitual emotional protection of her physical body shields her from actual physical arousal which could lead to a more satisfying climax.

7. Often her buttocks and breast will be cold to the touch. Her restricted circulation which causes the skin to be cold, likewise indicates that insufficient blood is bought to the skin surfaces that cover the sensitive nerve endings of the thirteen erogenous zones of her body.

8. Because the skin is cold, any rubbing of it may create irritation. This can cause frustration to set in and may cause a negative reaction to the mates's attempts to crate a positive sexual reaction.

9. Most emotionally sexual females have an inner feeling of sexual inferiority and inadequacy.

10. Once she has experience a climax further stimulation results in irritation. She usually want no more touching. (What had all those sex manuals told me which I read to become a good sex partner? They told me that the woman wanted to continue to be touched after her climax as a means to show her that her mate loved her after sex as he had before. I happen to be a physical sexual male and my wife an emotional female. As mentioned earlier we have been married over 41 years. For over 20 years, I questioned my abilities as sexual partner because when sex was over with, she wanted to stop all touching, kissing and caressing. It was like she was saying, "kiss me and go to sleep." Once I knew about physical and emotional sexuality, I knew that was just the way emotional sexuals react. Know I can say, "Gee that must have been good for her because she just wants me to kiss her and leave her alone.")

11. Like the emotionally sexual male, the emotional female is more prone to participate in sports than to observe. She prefers an element of excitement or danger in her hobbies or sports.

12. She dresses more conservatively than her physical counterpart.

13. She tends to bottle thing up inside her. When she seems to be upset about and her mate ask her what is wrong, she will say, "Nothing" or "You know." The mate may not have an idea of what is wrong. He may be completely surprised when she finally tells him.

what is wrong, she will say, 'Nothing' or 'You know." The mate may not have an idea of what is wrong. He may be completely surprised when she finally tells him.

14. Emotional sexual females have a sexual cycle. Her individual sex urge sex urge may assert itself every 3 days, every 7, every 30.

15. The emotional sexual female may have some difficulty in expressing verbally her love for her mate. Remember the play and movie, "Fiddler on the roof." In that play, the wife could not say, "I love you." Her husband says something like, "You never say, 'I love you.' Do you love me?" She replies something like, "Of course, I do. I cook your food, I keep a good house for you, I have your children. Of course I do." She was obviously an emotional sexual female and he was a physical male

Do not let these basic facts cause you to jump to the conclusion that the emotionally sexual female is frigid. The emotionally sexual female is often capable of a high level of sexual suggestibility and sensual arousal. She must, however, be led into the mood for sex -- she cannot be pushed into it. In many cases she is infinitely more susceptible to verbal suggestibility as an overture to sex than to physical stimulation. Unless and until she becomes emotionally aroused to sex she will prove almost totally passive and unresponsive. Because of this and as further defense mechanism against emotional hurt, she will often resort to faking her orgasm.

Characteristics of a physical sexual male:

1. Has a tremendous sex drive and thinks about sex most of the time.

2. His partner is almost always the dominate member of the partnership and he seem content to let her assume that role as long as she responds to his sexual needs.

3. He is very attentive to his mate. He will open doors or pull back a chair for her at a restaurant.

4. He likes to express public displays of affection.

5. He is less likely to be unfaithful than is the emotional sexual male.

6. He tends to be very possessive of any female with whom he enjoys sexual intimates.

Characteristics of the emotional sexual male:

1. He is more career oriented than the physical sexual. Career tends to be more important than his mate or children.

2. It is not unusual for the highly emotional sexual male to have one or more mistresses.

3. He has a tendency to display a totally selfish attitude towards his sex relations.

4. His sexual desires runs in cycles.

5. The highly emotional sexual tends to pursue a seemingly endless procession of sexual escapades.

6. In the early stages of relationship his desire for sex is strong and frequent, but the passion diminishes rapidly as the newness wear off.

7. Once he climaxes, he has no more desire to continue the touching, petting, kissing, caressing.

8. He often experiences resentment when his mate becomes pregnant.

9. He see children as a deterrent to his business or professional objectives.

10. He usually follows a carefully schedule and regulates his life to an appointment calendar.

11. He feels a compulsive need to carry an excessive amount of cash to provide him with a sense of security.

12. He is financially generous with himself while being frugal with mate and family.

13. He is more than likely interested in sports that he participates rather than spectator sports.

14. In his sexual relations he is inclined to blame his partner or partners for his own physical and emotional sexual shortcomings and inadequacies.

15. The emotional sexual may have some difficulty in expressing verbally his love for his mate.

Some years ago, I was working with a couple and one of the main problems was the husband's difficulty in saying, "I love you." He was a good husband and father who helped her with watching the dishes, taking out the garbage and such things. He brought her flowers on special occasions and surprise gifts from time to time. She said, "Do you love me?' He said, "Yes, of course."  She responded, "Well, please tell me so." He replied, "You should know I love you because I wash the dishes, I take out the garbage and bring you flowers." They had completed the suggestibility questionnaire and the sexuality questionnaire. She responded better to direct suggestions and was a physical sexual. He was a physical suggestible and an emotional sexual. I suggested to her, "Every time he washes the dishes, hear 'I love you.' Every time he takes out the garbage, hear 'I love you.' Every time he brings you flowers or a surprise gift, hear, 'I love you.'" I saw them several months after they had completed counseling and they were much happier.

Intellectually sexual men and women functions essentially like emotional sexual in the sex act, but with one added trait; they see their sexual experiences as experimentation to point where sex becomes almost a mental exercise. The intellectual sexual individual usually end up with an intellectually sexual partner.

Characteristics of the intellectual sexual person:

1. Intellectually sexuals of both sex function like emotional sexuals with the exception of one trait:

they see their sexual experiences as experimentation.

2. For the intellectually sexual, sex becomes almost a mental exercise.

3. The intellectual sexual individual usually ends of with an equally intellectually sexual partner.

4. They tend to think that they have a superior attitude about sex than others who are controlled by the animalistic need for sex.

5. They tend to substitute the physical aspects for some form of meditation.

6. The focus on the mental is an excuses for their inability to function well sexually

For information on homosexuality and sexual personality, I refer you to Dr. Kappas' books: Professional Hypnotism Manual, Your Sexual Personality, and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis. I will say that the majority of male homosexuals are physical sexuals and the majority of female homosexuals are emotional sexuals. Dr. Kappas once said that he was asked, "Do all gay people come to therapy for the purpose of getting out of the gay life?" He said that something like 70% come to work out personal and emotional problems and to learn to function in a healthier manner in their relationship. Only about 30% come in for conversion to heterosexuality. Another question that is asked, 'Can anyone who is gay go straight?' My answer to that question as was Dr. Kappas is 'Yes.' [Durbin: There may be a small percentage of homosexuals who have internal organs of the opposite sex or who have a hormonal imbalance that would make it difficult to change, but they are few in number.]

The first consideration must be the homosexual's own personal attitude toward her/his homosexual tendencies and practices. In any consideration of conversion or adjustment, the homosexual must first arrive at the moment of truth in which she/he makes the personal decision and commitment to either abandon or embrace a future life of homosexual activities. If the wish of the client is to go straight, she or he can be helped to do so with proper therapy and the understanding one's personality. A therapist should work with a homosexual to change his/her sexual orientation only if that is his/her desire. At any rate one under hypnosis can not be made to do anything against her/his will or desire unless you use hypnosis as a brainwashing tool and as far as I am concerned that is unethical.

For books by Dr. John G. Kappas Professional Hypnotism Manual, Your Sexual Personality, and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis and information on their very excellent video extension courses go to  . Suggestibility Questionnaire and Sexuality Questionnaire and how to score them can be found in Professional Hypnotism Manual and Improve Your Sex Life Through Self-Hypnosis. The Sexuality Questionnaire can also be found in Your Sexual Personality. You can write for information to the following address: Hypnosis Motivation Institute, 18607 Ventura Blvd. Suite #310, Tarzana, CA. 91356 or Phone: 1-800-634-5620. I use the Suggestibility Questionnaire with all out/patients and clients. I also ask a few question from the Questionnaire to get an idea of the suggestibility of the in/patients that I work with.