I am hoping that in 2013 we can stop telling ourselves lies about sex.
We are still dancing around the lies we tell ourselves about sex. We are sex-obsessed. We are obsessed with wanting it in all its flavors, deny that we want it, and then hide it when we get it the way we want it. It takes a lot of guts to be a normal real person in the real world living a fully integrated life, i.e., embracing your sexuality.
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Even though sexual desires are absolutely normal, as soon as we have the nerve to admit them, even to ourselves, we immediately have to plaster it over with shame and denial. Take Kathy, one of my sexuality coaching clients, who called me the other day filled with frustrated longing.
“I want to be shameless,” she cries. "'I' the professional, 'I' the parent, 'I' the daughter, and 'I' the secret slut ... I have denied myself so much for so long, that I don’t know what I want anymore. I want to be shameless. Yet without the scaffolding of shame, self doubt, second guessing and fear of failure, I don't know who I would be. Some days shame feels like all I have.”
Kathy’s misery echoes exactly the same anguish I hear over and over from women and men. We are confused by society’s multiple conflicting messages. Give into your desires; don’t you dare. Be faithful; try swinging. You don't need a partner; you are nothing without one. Be monogamous; try polyamory or open marriage. Then there’s the old standby: cheating.
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It’s making us all a little crazy. We’re fragmented. We’re taught to box off our sexuality from the time we’re little kids. I mean, we’re talking about cutting out the core of one of the most basic and necessary of human behaviors from the rest of our lives. That leaves most of us isolated, angry, anxious or in therapy trying to identify what’s wrong and then attempting to reconnect to what’s been sealed off. No easy feat. Most of us ping pong between salacious voyeurism and repentance and repression. We’re programmed to fear our desires, to treat them as alien invaders that threaten the very fabric of a “normal life.”
We don't have real language or real live people to help us even think about this in a rational context. All we have are fetishized images that keep us in perpetual heat while the gatekeepers of ‘morality’ slam the door on sex ed and information. We are a country at war with sex. Keep reading ...
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