Freaky Friday - Are We A Sexual Oppressed Society?
Freaky Friday - Every Friday a new post discussing love, relationships, dating...and anything else the human soul may need answered.
Are we Sexually Oppressed Society?
I would like to share a passage from a book I’m reading, Sexual Intelligence. “…there is a powerful force within our culture – in the form of old attitudes about sex – that enforces silence, shame and repression. If we open the door to sexuality with one hand, we seem to slam it shut with the other. As a result, many people are left feeling confused and ashamed about their sexual desires and behaviors, as well as ignorant about their partner’s.”
I’m always thinking about sex. Ok, not really. I’m always thinking about relationships; how we relate to ourselves, how we relate to others, romantically, sexually, every sort of relationship and so on and so forth. I find myself being curious about our human nature; the learned, natural and adopted. I think about the saying, "lady in the streets, but a freak in the sheets." The society we live in wants a woman to be good in public, but bad behind closed doors. Or a woman should be sweet and innocent, yet have sexual prowess. We want a woman who's never had sex before, but she somehow knows how to give a great blowjob. No wonder we have people hiding their sexuality and fetishes!
This past year, I've been contemplating a John Lennon quote, "We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight." Isn't it the truth?! Especially now. Turn on any news station and there are people fighting. All people can talk about is the current shooter. In fact, sadly, we have become numb to the violence. I say ‘current shooter’ because it seems to occur all too often. We rarely hear of the victims for very long. We rarely hear of their lives. But we hear about the shooters- usually male, usually mentally ill. Another topic for another day.
In our society we want sex between married couples to be private. Yet, the effects of sex in a marriage show up in public; unhappiness, cheating, divorce, and so on. It all comes down to a lack of being and feeling connected to each other. A lack of being connected to our sexuality and feeling ok with desiring whatever we may desire.
The whole reason I began writing about sex was because people were offended by talking about sex, yet at the same time people are fixated and curious about the topic. I have received countless messages over the years from people that love my posts, but they didn't want to "like" or comment publicly. I understand this. Even just the word sex in the title causes people to retreat, while at the same time piquing their interest. I've seen people cringe at some of my subject matter, and then moments later little old ladies have stopped me on Main Street to say they love sex in the shower, or whatever else I happen to be writing about that day. One thing this shows me is as you age, you tend not to care as much what others think of you, and therefore you are less hindered in communicating about certain 'taboo' topics. Why can’t we all have this level of confidence in ourselves while at the same time being accepting of others?
When I was younger, I was told to save myself for marriage but even as a child I knew that didn't make sense. As a child you are a sponge. People think they can speak around you without you noticing. As a child you also pick things up without realizing what they are or what they mean. For me, I knew cheating and unhappy marriages happen because of sex. And I didn’t grow up in a house where there was infidelity. I am not even sure where I picked up the notion of cheating…perhaps a past life. But because I didn't want my husband to cheat on me and because I wanted a happy marriage, I began to research and become obsessed with sex. I wanted to be the best for my future husband and I didn’t want him to cheat on me. That is what brought us here today, my combination of curiosity, desperation and education.
After years of writing about relationships and sex, I write more about love these days. I've oppressed myself. It takes time to write about sex in a manner in which does not shake the societal feathers or passing the point of no return, while still effectively getting the message across. Essentially, trying to be respectful with every piece, while still being open and helpful. That's the hope. I have to live, work and go to the grocery store on this small island, so I strive to be aware of what I write about and the sensitive nature of the material. I feel it has hindered me in a way. If I lived in a city where I had a greater sense of anonymity, maybe I would be as open as I prefer to be. I do prefer to be more open and get a dialogue going. I don’t have all the answers. I have found when we are all engaged in healthy conversation, we are all educated and eventually we find our way. Of course, regarding the perception of sex within our society, there is no overall blanket cure. Much like everything else in this world. When it comes down to it, there’s no right way and no wrong way. It’s all perspective.
And when I say society, I'm referring mainly to the USA, but also across the globe. We live in a world of contradictions. Sex is sacred in many religions. The religious texts leaves the sexual act open in a way. It doesn't state the difference between making love and what is considered not making love to your partner. These texts don't go into detail of how to please your partner or how to please one's self. Why? Because we all have different combinations to be unlocked sexually. A lot of our sexual fetishes are ways we can heal. One fetish may not last a lifetime. That's something for you to research on your own and draw your own conclusions. What works for one person is not necessarily going to work for another. We all know this. Maybe you're someone whose significant other has yet to be able to unlock that combination. Maybe they don't even want to. Maybe they've lost interest. Maybe you're the one who has. When I watch people talk about sex , and it happens a lot in my presence, it is fascinating how some people come alive while others look confused or turned off by the conversation. Those where it's uncomfortable for them to discuss sex; either because they have the thought, consciously or subconsciously, that sex is bad. Or because sex is supposed to be a secret between two people that just stays between them. I've also seen a few people out there that become uncomfortable talking about sex and the reason they give is because they're good in bed and don't need to talk about it. But what about the rest of us?
We as humans do to sex what we do to everything, we put a label on it and call it a day. We need a reason why. We need an explanation. We need to know what’s the appropriate amount. What actions are appropriate. We are not open to just being. Most of us are not open. I'm not saying it's good or bad, I'm just reviewing the current circumstances; we have a lot of unhappiness in the world. A lot of people in sexual hiding. A lot of troubled marriages. A lot of single confused people looking for love. A lot of sexually angry people. Maybe this trouble comes from our general lack of sexual openness? Maybe some of the trouble in the world comes from talking about it all? Maybe the world would be better if we never spoke of sex again? Maybe the world would be better if we had an open sexual dialogue with no judgment or fear of judgment? I don't know the answer. I do believe in balance and I do believe God speaks through all of us in some way shape or form, although I don't know to what degree. I will say, I have seen the relief on someone’s face when they can be open about their sexuality. When they do not feel judged for who they are or their desires.
In most religions, it's an important part of the marriage to have sex. I personally believe it's an important part of being human to have sex. I think a healthy sex life is an integral part of overall health. I think masturbation is a beautiful form of self love. I think people should have as many orgasms as possible. The health benefits are real! (Link to sex benefits) God designed our bodies right; sex and pleasure within the body were designed beautifully!
I also believe we live in a current dating world that is sexually confused. People are looking for connection but forgetting to love. People are not feeling safe to love but safer to have sex. People are being afraid of love and afraid of sex. People being afraid of love. We shouldn't fear neither love nor sex. They are both very simple. We humans complicate things.
Love doesn't hurt. Love is simple. It's accepting and treasuring someone else for who they are. Life complicates love.. Love isn't what hurts you, it's expectations. Sex isn't the problem, its lack of connection. I don't know where the lack of connection occurs. In my personal opinion and experience from digging deep, my issues with sex and love came from a disconnect from God. I always believed in God but I was hiding my faith. I've always believed in certain things, even as a child, but growing up in the Catholic Church those beliefs were not supported. It wasn't until I began digging around where I felt more comfortable in my faith and in turn my sexuality and how I express that sexuality. More so, I became comfortable allowing other people to express themselves.
My God doesn't judge. My God doesn't say you're a no good rotten person. My God wants us to love and learn and remember what real love is. Have you ever put conditions on your love? If she/he does this or didn't do that, I would love them? Or If she/he did this or didn't do that I would have sex with my significant other. Love and the love I think God has for us and wants us to learn, remember and express It's been stated in the Bible; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."
My favorite portion of this passage is the record of wrongs. I know I’ve done it in relationships and with people I’m close with, I have kept a record or wrongs. In the past, I used it as a way I would show the level of my love. What this passage is teaching us is how to love. And the example of not keeping a record of wrongs is just one way to love. I believe we are all beings of love. That at our core, we are love. I believe sex is a way for us to honor the love within us and within others. I believe sex looks differently for everyone.
My goal here was to put out several strings of thoughts regarding the perception of sex in society, and to begin a dialogue. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. Maybe you have a different point of view. Share it! By moving these conversations into the light, on a larger scale, we take away some of the 'mystery' of sex and hopefully make it more approachable. Please be respectful of others and respectful of their beliefs, especially if they differ from your own. There’s a way to be opinionated while being respectful. Our goal in conversations, not just about sex, should be to create a space where everyone can contribute in a constructive way and feel like they've been heard, while also listening and being open to considering other points of view. I'd love to hear from you!
Peace, Love & Hugs!
Dorothy is 7th Generation Nantucketer. Everything she does in life, she does for love. She guides yoga at Dharma Yoga Nantucket. Matchmaker at Tawkify, helping people across the country connect and find love. Have questions about love and life or want to give feedback? Email her at [email protected]. Her personal website can be found at www.DorothyDStover.com.