What is Mapping?

map it!Desire Mapping is a reflective discovery process that helps participants claim the power of their desire. By moving through a series of questions, meditations, exercises, and suggestions, Mappers re-examine and reflect upon significant moments and relationships in their sexual history, gaining new knowledge and strategies toward embodying a more authentic sexuality.

Developed by Jaime M. Grant, Ph.D. after decades of research, teaching and coaching in gender and sexuality, Dr. Grant began offering Mapping workshops in 2008 at national leadership conference and on college campuses. The foundations for Mapping grew out of collaborative work with Amelie Zurn, MSW, in the crucible of feminist organizing for women’s health and LGBTQ lives during the height of the AIDS crisis in Washington, DC.

In the introduction to her forthcoming book, Great Sex: Mapping Your Desire, Dr. Grant notes:

I have had so many conversations about sex at this point that I can see fairly quickly when clients are selling me a line that masks a more complex, even contradictory truth. Having helped many people discover and Map their desire, I’ve also seen a range of clever avoidance techniques, from bragging to fainting to lies so elaborate and convincing, it’s clear that the liar himself believes them.

It’s hard to tell the truth about sex. Great Sex is sold to us by the minute as the measure of our beauty and success – of our very worth as human beings. And yet this oversell and overkill only cheapens the value of real sexual connection in our lives.

Mapping Your Desire workshops help participants find the courage to discover and act on their often buried true desires. The Desire Mapping tool has been offered to as many as 150 participants in an all-day institute, and to as few as a single Mapper in a series of 1-to-1 coaching sessions. Campus anti-rape organizers have hailed it as a dynamic sexual empowerment tool. Youth development experts have used it to develop self-esteem and boundaries among adolescents. HIV prevention leaders employ these exercises to build awareness and negotiation skills toward long-term health for their clients. While individual Mappers report transformational impacts on their social and sexual lives.

Over the past 6 years, Mappers from nearly all 50 states, China, Hong Kong, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Egypt have moved through a series of simple Desire Mapping prompts to make dazzling changes in their lives. Through the Workshop, we’ve helped participants bring to light pivotal moments in the formation of their desire so that they can build compelling, vibrant relationships and sexualities.

Dr. Grant will soon launch Great Sex: Mapping Your Desire, a book version of this transformative workshop, for individuals, activist groups, mental health providers, book clubs, youth workers, gender and sexuality courses, and other social and educational collaboratives. Stay tuned here for publication dates.

Word Art from Jaime Grant's Great Sex: Mapping Your Desire