“There is nothing ignoble, or unholy, about having sex. You have to get that idea out of your mind, and out of your culture”
– Neale Donald Walsch
In part 1 of this discussion “Can We Talk About Sex?” I speak to the introduction of sex into a girl’s life, well…. My life… but I know it is very similar to that of other women. The piece that is so extremely important is, what we – as women learn about ourselves and about expectations in regards to our own sexual interests and behavior.
Sex is one of the parameters that we use to label ourselves. Often those labels break down to simply good or bad. We tend to associate any sexual activity outside those that we personally are comfortable with as ‘bad’. The following are thoughts that I have had and/or feelings expressed by friends or from clients through the years:
I like sex.
I like bondage.
I want sex every day.
I prefer to masturbate.
I hate sex.
I could live without sex.
I have had group sex.
I enjoy sex ‘toys’.
I like to be watched.
I am a swinger.
I am voyeuristic.
I am sadistic.
I like anal sex.
I have had dozens of sexual partners.
I’ve only ever had one partner.
I fantasize about women.
I fantasize about men who are not my partner.
Ok. There you have it – items from the entire spectrum of sexuality. Do any of them sound familiar? Have you found yourself judging yourself or someone else because they expressed one of these opinions?
In The Complete Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Neale Donald Walsch writes:
“Sexual expression is the inevitable result of an eternal process of attraction and rhythmic energy flow which fuels all of life.”
Who determines the definition of ‘sexual expression’? Many of us feel that it is church, family, culture, etc. that cements the confines of that phrase into our understanding of acceptance. When we allow someone else to dictate what is good for us, we open the door for feeling rejection, disappointment, etc.
YOU are the only one that needs to define what works for you sexually!! It is YOUR body – if you like it, great. If you don’t – fine. YOU determine your sexual parameters and they are NORMAL if they fit inside YOUR comfort spectrum. What fits inside my range may or may not be the same for you. That will never make it wrong – it makes us different!
I completely buy into the common belief that sex better when it is the culmination of love between two people. A ‘spiritual’ experience shared with a person with whom you feel emotionally close. Truly – sharing yourself with someone in that intimate manner is a wonderful, beautiful thing. And… it’s true. Eventually we all realize that good sex with someone you love is magical!!
Sex is can ALSO a physical experience that may have nothing to do with love.
I am saddened that so much of our culture places emphasis on sex without love as a ‘bad’ thing. We propagate the notion that people who experience, and God forbid – enjoy – sex outside of love / marriage have somehow violated our standard of honor. When what we hope for people we care about is that they enjoy the ‘magical’ experience I mentioned above – what we are teaching is a value statement about them as a person if they don’t adhere to our more knowledgeable perspective. Each one of us needs to determine what is right for us as individuals and I encourage everyone to foster a spectrum of support and an absence of judgment in order to create a healthy environment in which to experience our sexuality.
The only truly important part of this discussion is what YOU as an individual – determine what feels respectful and authentic. Yes – the word respectful is necessary here. You need to respect yourself sexually. Far too often I am sitting with a client talking about shame and sexuality. I remember having so many of those feelings.
Too many of us are taught that sex is ONLY about love and if/when we experience sex without love, we assign a judgment. We judge ourselves, we internalize, we assume others judge us (sometimes not an assumption). Because of the sex/love correlation, some of us think that if someone wants sex with us, they must love us – WRONG. Others think that if we love someone, sex with them should be great – WRONG.
I have seen plenty of couples through the years that are incompatible sexually and struggle because they really love one another. Generally, it’s because one of them remains sexually frustrated – the physical parts are not being fulfilled. Likewise, there are couples who are suited perfectly from a physical perspective but fail to experience respect, trust, and commitment. In a perfect world of course, there is a beautiful combination of both.
When it is all said and done, the most important element is the ability for an individual to experience a relationship that exhibits RESPECT in regards to sex and sexuality. If your partner wants to experience sex in a way that is uncomfortable or unpleasant to you, he/she may not be the right partner.
There are few things worse than attempting to fit a size 14 body into a tiny g-string and a push up bra that your partner saw on a Victoria’s Secret model in the fall catalog. Really…. It’s NOT going to look like that on me!!! I will feel stupid and fat wearing it. It won’t matter if you tell me I am beautiful! I will be judging the fact that I don’t look like that 21-year-old model – no matter what you say. Sorry guys. It is the exception to the rule that a woman feels pretty and sexy in that kind of lingerie if she is not young and skinny. We generally want the light to be out and feel like we’ve been successful if we don’t cringe while you run your hand up the side of our baby fat roll. (The fat roll we got when we created and birthed those babies.)
Rocky used to tell me that touching that part of me reminded him of the love he had for what we had created together. After he died, I was petrified that another man would never be able to experience that fat roll in the same way. Oh brother – the things we think about!!
I’m sure that I will integrate more sexual commentary as posts go forward but it was necessary – again – to set the stage for my perspective here. The way that we each identify and define ourselves as sexual beings is uber important in the decisions we make as adults. As you will see…
I appreciate comments below…. if you are so inclined.