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being sexual


Being sexual is more about being human than any particular behaviour or activity.

We are born sexual, although we don't usually start to perform sexually till our teens, or even later.  Therefore, sexuality is natural, desirable and always pleasurable.  It is only the distortions of sexuality, such as child abuse, incest, rape, and the adult power games and guilt trips which cause pain and a lack of pleasure in sex.  Outdated Victorian moral ethics still reign over many of our attitudes and make us feel guilty for enjoying sex.  This is a more common problem than we might like to admit and it affects the most 'normal' of us.  Perhaps deviant sexual behaviour is a backlash to these straightlaced values.

I think it's important to say here that I'm a very conservative, traditional and moral person, BUT I hope I'm not self-righteous and patronising.
A centred, secure person does not need to be threatened by what other people do in bed.  Frankly, I'm not interested, except in a clinical way, and out of mild curiosity in comparison with what I like myself.

I'm not suggesting that we should have a free-for-all society when it comes to sex, but I see so many men and women suffering unnecessarily because they can't relax and enjoy what should be a natural, pleasurable activity — non-orgasmic women, sexually dysfunctional men, people with gender confusion, performance anxiety, addictive behaviours and so on.

Sexual energy is linked to general creative energy.  That's why celibate people, who know the secret of channelling the power of sexual energy into other forms of activity, don't need to feel deprived or frustrated.  In the throwaway society that we live in, relationships are just as disposable as anything else, and so most of us will be in and out of them over a period of a lifetime.  Also, with the advent of AIDS, (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) more people are choosing a celibate life, either temporarily or permanently.  So, I think two things need to happen.  First, we need to learn to look after ourselves sexually and not feel that sex is only okay with a partner.  Secondly, we need to realise that sexual outlets do not only have to come in the form of genital satisfaction and/or orgasm — there are many ways in which to release sexual energy creatively.

sex is a serious business!
Why? Sex should first and foremost be fun.  There is a natural intensity about sex, particularly when there are strong emotions present, but levity, laughter and lightheartedness need not be discarded.

Sex doesn't always have to be the old 'in-out'.  There's massage and stroking and tenderness and tickling, which can all be part of foreplay of the sex act, or simply little extras.  One of the biggest complaints I get from women about their male partners is that there's not enough time taken.  It's probably better to spend one whole afternoon or evening in bed love-making once a week than to have 'quickies' three or four times.

But, most of all, enjoy each other — physically, emotionally and spiritually.

sex is a private matter
Yes, it is in terms of feelings, and what you do in bed with your chosen partner.  However, as an activity, a state of mind and a human characteristic, it belongs to us all.  Why on earth should it be talked about in veiled terms and whispered tones, as if it's something to be ashamed of?

It seems to me that people are divided into talkers and non-talkers about sex, with nothing in between.  There are the women who love dissecting their sex lives, airing their husbands' shortcomings and laughing about funny things that happen in bed.  Then, of course, we have the famous male locker-room conversation, which generally revolves around real or imaginary conquests, extraordinary feats in the bedroom and comparing equipment!  The sad thing is that very few people talk about sex in a sensitive way.  I was at a women's party recently and the subject got round to sex.  Some brave soul suggested that we tell each other about our first time.  We went round the circle and each told her story.  We were all screeching with laughter at the recounting of the fumblings and the letdown, but no-one spoke of the fear, nor the anxiety, nor the expectations and disappointment.  It's as if the topic was safe to share as long as it stayed humorous.

The main arena in which sex should not be considered 'private' is within a marriage, or other long-term relationship.  Communication is vital to good sex, before, during and after love-making, when things are going well and when they are faltering.

No, sex is not private overall.  It is on our billboards, in our advertising, in all forms of entertainment; it is, and should be, part of our daily lives and what we understand to be love, humanity and our relationship with others.  If we can do something, we can talk about it.  While I'm not keen on seeing tampons and condoms advertised on my television night after night, I know that it's only because I was taught by the nuns at school that tampons were somehow shameful, that they could take away your virginity or make you promiscuous.  Condoms were, of course, the work of the devil because they encouraged sex outside the sanctity of marriage.  Now I know that tampons are a clean and efficient way to deal with a biological function, and condoms are a device for preventing unwanted pregnancy and ensuring safe sex.  Nothing more or less than that.

Knowledge is power and education breaks down ignorance, so I say, let's talk about all these 'delicate' subjects even more.  That's why I present a sex advice show.  I'm quite amazed at the startling beliefs that people hold, and which they air on my show.  For instance, a man rang to ask me if he could catch his wife's cervical cancer from having sex with her!

The show aims to present information in a sensitive, yet entertaining way but, of course, I press a lot of buttons and anger people.  A woman in one of my classes said that she never listens to the show because 'that type of program only encourages idiots'.  I wonder how she could make such a judgement without listening.

I heard a good saying recently which seems appropriate to this discussion.

We have only two enemies — 'that which we fear and that which we deny'.

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