As a society, we are really confused about sex. The results are these outdated sex "rules" that keep us constricted and approaching sex from a place of fear. We think that we can anticipate what the other person is going to say or how they are going to experience us. We think that, by keeping our feelings to ourselves, we can keep another person around for a longer time. We think that by engaging in pleasurable pursuits privately, we are doing something that other people would look at with disdain. At once, we place too much and too little value on sex. We think that the amount of sex we are having somehow determines the quality of a relationship. At the same time, we don't always approach sex from the place of reverence that it deserves.
We were not put on Earth in order to feel constricted, but to experience all that life has to offer. Respecting another person's boundaries and our own are important, and so is understanding the places where our own personal boundaries are coming from. Are we behaving out of a place of authenticity, or are we trying to impress another person?
The key to living a good life is making every encounter a genuine expression of self. And sex is no exception. These are some old-school sex "rules" that are preventing us from living authentically.
1. The Idea That Sex Is The Most Important Aspect Of Relationship
We simultaneously place too much and too little weight on sex as a society. It is a valuable experience and ought to be treated with a degree of reverence, but it's nothing to obsess over. Obsession over sex is what creates the concept that it's a contractual exchange. You don't "owe" anyone sex, nor do they owe sex to you. Sex is about sharing your body with another, and there's no reason to engage in it other than for sheer pleasure. Sex is something to engage in completely willingly, and it doesn't have to happen all of the time.
I remember that, when I was still a virgin, I somehow thought that other people were screwing all the time. But you can have a stable and loving relationship where there isn't any sex at all, as well as a completely volatile, chaotic relationship where you're having the most amazing sex of your life. In order to be sustainable, a relationship has to support every aspect of your life — not only the part that takes place in your bedroom.
2. The Idea That Masturbation Is Lonely
Speaking personally, my background was so repressed and my access to sexual education so limited that I literally had unprotected sex before I learned how to properly masturbate. And I know I'm not the only one. A lot of women friends of mine have shared with me that they didn't know how to properly pleasure themselves until they were in their late teens or early 20s. As a result, we had unsatisfying sex with people who didn't know how to make us feel good, because we didn't know how to feel good in ourselves.
Masturbation is not lonely, pathetic, shameful, or dirty. It's a way of exploring and embracing your body. It offers release from stress and even release from physical pain. It relieves cramps during painful periods. And with a variety of sex toys out there, it introduces you to different sensations and experiences that enhance your sex life with or without a partner. Just because you're not in a relationship, doesn't mean you can't be having amazing sex with yourself.
3. The Idea That You Can't Talk About Your Feelings With Casual Flings
For some reason, we think that, unless you are in a committed relationship with someone, you can't talk about your emotional lives. But sex brings emotions to the surface. You can choose to embrace them, or you can squash them down underneath the bed, but they're going to come out one way or another. If you can't share your feelings with the person who is sharing your body, there's a high likelihood that those feelings can turn to bitterness, resentment, and even jealousy. That's why it's better to talk about your feelings, even with one-night stands, if you need to. If someone feels like they can share their body with you, then they should have the stamina to share feelings, too.
Having feelings doesn't mean that you're bound to act on them. Feelings are the natural product of having an intimate relationship with someone. They don't mean that you are supposed to spend your life together, but rather, that you are learning something from the encounter. Suppressing what's happening might keep things light for the other person, but you owe it to yourself to be authentic about your experiences. Otherwise, what's the point of feeling at all?
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