(Published originally at Educate Your Thought)
Sex has been the talk no one “should” ever have for centuries. Good sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. But certainly everyone without exception thinks about it. Good, sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. Everyone wants and enjoys good sex, but at some point bad sex comes through the door and we don’t really know what to think about it. Try it again? Or simply ignore it? Men do not think about sex the same way women do. Men do not have sex the same way women do. So what is it with this thing about sex, that regardless of what we do, good sex, really good sex is hard to come by? The puzzling starts by: We find great sex and at some point it goes bad. Like milk! After a long while of having sex with the same partner it becomes monotonous, at times undesirable and often rare among long-term couples. Most couples invariably will fail in their partnership once sex goes bad. Well, that! next to economical troubles. Whys isn’t it that the older sex is, with that partner doesn’t get better like an old wine? Oh! Old, old wine goes bad too! So what’s the deal with sex?
There are more myths about sex than true facts in the minds of mainstream people. Thousands and thousands of books have been written about sex and most sell like hot cakes. Some books have even survived millennia! When a new book come out with some interesting facts, mostly educational stuff, most people get excited (even aroused?). Just kidding! Many try what they learned from them but as well, all that becomes old at some point. Should we be reading more books about sex all the time to keep it roaring? Who wants to read books about sex when we have videos? The number one industry in the internet is sex! And how about all the millions of photos in the net that one way or another one, are loaded with sexual overtones?
In the old days (40s/50s), a photo that was considered provocative would never made into a family magazine. But today, even the billboards of metropolitan cities contain more than provocative photos. Not to mention many fashion catalogs! Did you have the chance to peruse the early catalogs (80s) of the now internationally famous brand name Victoria Secret? They were sooo sexy! Borderline between provocative and the content of most men’s magazines of today. Isn’t strange that those catalogs made this brand name a staple in the bedrooms of the mainstream world? When sex is so mystified? Many more catalogs and brand names came out after the success of VS. Television and cinema as well, are heavily loaded with sexual and provocative images. Ratings simply describe it “Sexual content”. No wonder why we think so much about sex! Like if we need reminders!
The history of sex is a confusing one. While sex is a normal and needed human activity, sex has been subjected to stigmatizing, ostracism, judgment and all the negative adjectives anyone can throw at it. There is no need to delve into what the reasons are. We all know them quite well. For starters, when young, our parents gave us at least one warning about sex. Some parents even threatened their kids if they would ever knew they were having sex . . . Aah! This is history that will never change. One irony of the case is, many of those parents indulged their sexual life quite well when young. Take for instance, the Baby Boomers. The 60s and 70s were the times of sexual liberation. Not that such liberation never happened before, but this time, it was public and highly eloquent. “Make Love, Not War” was the slogan of the times as a demonstration against the war in Vietnam or was it just for the sake of making love? I betya! Young people wanted to indulge their interest and attraction to sex freely.
We can’t ignore as well that celebrated thinkers had something to say about sex too. Freud was one of them among many. And his words were concerning and alarming to the mainstream. According to Freud, sex represented many not so cool things about the character or psychological issues. I will not get into that. In the 40s/50s, Dr Kinsey had something to say about sex too. But his message was exactly what the mainstream could not manage: The truth. He stated things like: Women and men of all ages, masturbated and fantasized often if not daily, and had at least one homosexual experience. But not your grandmother and mine, right? How can we think about our grandmother playing with herself? And having sex with another woman? Can you imagine finding a dildo in your grandmother’s bedroom? Oh no! That is not possible! This is how confusing sex can be.
Recently we read at xQsí magazine an article by marriage and family therapist Roberto Olivo talking about sex addiction. Sex what? Addiction? Not me! Not you! Not anyone we know, right? Well, it is not easy to understand sex, period, much less to understand what sex addiction might be. Yes, it exist! And what is it? Good sex, bad sex, and lots of it? All of the above? Sex is an act of instant gratification that anyone can indulge in and it can come with the biggest and hardest hangover anyone can experience – when indulged irresponsibly. Hangover? People with the “ability” to drink heavily and regularly can stand a hangover. Can they do the same with irresponsible sex? Oh yes! Just like alcoholics, they must seek for more alcohol to recover from that hangover. Same with sex. More sex takes care of it. So why do people drink again and again? Because of the very same reason sexually addicted people must have more sex. They need that instant gratification, they need their “fix”. However, although one may recover from sexual hangovers, the consequences will not go away! Unwanted pregnancy, venereal diseases, tarnished reputation and many more. As well, such “fix” does not fix anything but creates the illusion, a temporary illusion.
Frequent masturbation, multiple partners, anonymous partners, unprotected sex, all that and lots of it are among the symptoms of sexual addiction. The more the merrier, right? Well, there is a true reason for it and it is not precisely a humorous one. Sexual addiction happens because of an emptiness in-within – at a core level. Sexual addiction becomes a coping mechanism that will allow us to keep going on and on – when things are not right. Things like poor self-confidence and self-love, frustration, guilt and stress, among many others. But it turns our backs to responsible sex once it happens, turns that sexual experience into bad sex. More emptiness, more void happens and we are back to square one. Then, we get hangover! But the interesting part about addicted sex is that most people fail to recognize addiction to sex. As well, they are not able to recognize the hangover, not even bad sex. But they can recognize sex much easier! And always as an imperative need that needs to be fulfilled immediately and regardless of its cost. Is sex just sex, nothing more?
Looking into our inner self is not an easy chore. And there is no instant fix either when we find something that is wrong. The tribulations of daily life, the interpersonal crisis, financial limitations and complications, plain lack of fulfillment and happiness tend to make us seek for that fix somewhere else. There is no difference with alcohol or drugs abuse, greed, an obsessive quest for power or appreciation and an obsessive need for validation. Bottom line is, when we are missing something in within, we seek for it somewhere else. And that is not right! It just doesn’t deliver. But this is the not the problem that our parents warned us about. They just meant not having sex, because our judgment may not be grounded, period!. As well, all those moralistic and religious minds that claim sex is only for one exclusive purpose . . . Give me a break! Clearly when we indulge that is not our purpose. Ours, is to feel good about our own selves (physically and emotionally) and to unwind our pressures, frustrations, stress, etc. But it doesn’t work when it only serves that purpose -> for a quick instant. The Petite Mort as the French call it, is no more than an orgasm, which even though it is almost always nice to have, may leave an emptiness after all. A spiritual and emotional death.
The reality about sex to most, is that we know so little about it. But we seem to act it as if we were experts. We just feel the hormonal call or an opportunity to prove our selves or to fix something that is broken. Even all those books written through history will not teach us the level of importance sex has in our lives and selves. Sex is the most innate intimate activity we can share with someone else. When indulging into sexual activity we fully strip ourselves down to the bare bones! And I am not referring about physical nudity. Sex as well, can be the most gratifying experience one can experience with another individual when done responsibly. We hear about it all over the place and at all times: Making love is generally acceptable – having irresponsible sex, comes with all the wrongs. Making love is an action that we perform with somebody that we respect and love. Someone that we like so much that we harvest and expect having a steady – long-term relationship with. When we make love to that person, we go to a very different place than when we just have plain sex. Don’t get me wrong! Plain sex can be great too! But granting at least some quantity of true personal intimacy, will come with quantity of quality. I bet you that there are some among your old experiences, experiences that you will remember and treasure forever. Yes, that’s it! Intimate loving sex is something that we will always remember so we don’t need to go into more once indulged. We do not need anyone else. As well, we don’t need to have sex with that partner without the proper regards for that appreciated person. For starters, when we make love or have intimate loving sex, we love our own self too. After all, besides of becoming attentive to the needs and desires of our partner, we are taking care of ours. Question: When you masturbate, do make love to yourself or just take care of that need in a brief instant?
Getting addicted to anything is easier than anyone can imagine. And when we get addicted to something, it comes silently and almost invisibly. All we see is a way to fill that hole of void and inadequacy in our selves and lives. The instant fix! Addiction, as you can imagine, is not a good trait to have. Any kind of addiction! Because addiction is dependency. And we should not be dependent on anyone or anything but our own selves. If we become self-sufficient to all of our needs, we will be able to rely on ourselves forever! And we must exercise good judgement and courtesy to others when we exclusively depend on our selves. Although we must observe our independence, we must observe and respect the independence of others. That is the best of all vaccines to anything bad! As well, being self-sufficient/independent will help anybody to determine if she/he is prone to become addicted or not, because she/he are able to face reality as it comes. And that reality always will come with respect and common sense when we responsibly face everything it in real-time and as it comes. But if you are addicted, there is no need to feel worse about yourself, that you are doomed, or your life is finished. Although you should depend on your own self, it doesn’t mean you can’t rely on someone else. Reach out, do the leg work and to whatever it takes to reclaim yourself! There are programs and services to aid everyone with any kind of addiction. And the fun in life will not end if you do so! In fact, fun becomes better, will last longer and you will remember it for as long as you live. When we responsibly indulge into any of our choices, we not only enjoy those much more and better, but there is no hangover or negative consequences once indulgence passed. Then, you can live longer, live happily and live in company of others like yourself.
Sex is overrated and underrated by the standards of that we see in the media, by the myths that circulate around. Indulging in responsible sex requires a level-headed approach, not just like what we see in TV and the movies and we simply throw ourselves into it and all comes out OK. That is fantasy! A pregnant young woman or a venereally ill person is not going to fix the problem as it happens in movies. Although life will not end there, reality will set in and we may end up feeling that our days are over. Yes, this can be a life changing experience and not necessarily for the best. And many of the normal and expected goodies life offers may become much more difficult to reach. Sometimes even becoming impossible to do so. But making love is not the same. Having responsible sex is not the same. Instead of getting fixated in instant gratification, live and love, love and live. That is much better than just having plain sex with anyone and without care and regards. It becomes a lasting experience!