If circa 1990 movies were your sex ed – you are not alone. My area of counselling speciality is in sex and intimacy and I’m constantly amazed by the information I’m learning. Research is shaping our understanding of sexuality and yet for most, it’s an unspoken topic – ironically, especially among couples in long term relationships.
Most of today’s adults sexual education ended at about 13 or at the onset of puberty. Many never received any education on sex and even more were deeply shamed about it. The vast amount of sex education was focused on the demonization of sex, highlighting the “dangers”, scaring and judging.
Even in 2021, sexual education focuses very little on desire, communication and healthy acceptance and more on physiology. Yet most adults will have sexual relationships, usually multiple. And this content alone will result in many scrolling past this post. We are a culture caught in shame and discomfort about something nearly 100% of us do – or have done.
The predominant framework that we have for sex in our culture is that of young, white and heterosexual relationships. Movies, television, books and pornography set the expectations of what “sex is”. Like all movies, the content is curated. We see this example and think that is what “normal” is. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet this becomes the standard of sexuality and “doing it right” creating unrealistic expectations, dissatisfaction and emotional distress. Having an orgasim, not having one, how they look and sound – all judged against Hollywood standards.
Roles, rules, interests, positions, timing, size, place and orgasim are all unique to a person and a pair.
Just get curious. Learn. Ask. Consider. Challenge assumptions. Start with information, the rest it turns out, is natural.