For all the sexual freedoms we claim in our culture, the amount of real conversation about all things sexual is almost non-existent. Formal sex education is limited to body part naming if it exists at all; in many states kids don’t even get that. Adult entertainment content is the substitute for real sex education for most kids and even most adults. Our collective discomfort about the mystery of our sexuality is proportional to the lack of both language and meaningful conversation about our sexual selves.
Archive for the 'Diary' Category
One of the most powerful, yet rarely considered gifts we bring to our capacity for love is right in our hands; literally. Sir Charles Bell wrote, “The human hand is so beautifully formed, its actions are so powerful, so free and yet so delicate that there is no thought of its complexity as an instrument; we use it as we draw our breath, unconsciously.” Nowhere is this perhaps more true than in the archaic, almost prehistoric manner that we often touch each other intimately.
If ever there was an emotional state that we idealize it is love. We want nothing of its dark belly underside; we demand that it always show only its shiniest side to us. Many of us are unprepared for the battles that the heart must be willing to carry on in the name of love. We would more willingly dispose of the container and our promises of forever than have to sift through the stench of disappointment and hurts that are the products of love, as surely as are the moments of glorious connection.
“How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,
Like softest music to attending ears!” -William Shakespeare
Remember the hushed make-out sessions of your youth? Rarely did we allow ourselves to sound out our pleasure lest our parents would hear. For many of us, not wanting others to hear any evidence of our intimate encounters still carries some left over shame that keeps a heavy lid on our ability to experience our own pleasure decades later. After our parents, it was the neighbors, after the neighbors, it was the kids….
“Sexual pleasure in woman is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon.” -Simone de Beauvoir
Driving my son and his friends in the car the other day from a basketball game I overheard the question that made me cringe decades ago: “How far did you get?” asked one to the other with an elbow to the ribs. I shouldn’t have let on that I was listening, but I felt obliged to tell them they were thinking about it all wrong.
Most of us share a common mis-perception about happiness. We expect to identify it through how we feel rather than viewing it as the perceptual frame of reference that it is. Oddly you could be quite happy at a work task and not feel happy at the moment at all. You may be satisfied with your effort and persistence but frustrated by the problem solving that most projects demand. It may well be happiness but doesn’t make you smile.
It is understandable that we mistake the daily work of thriving for happiness. Advertising consistently misrepresents happiness as bliss. We think “real’ happiness is smiling and laughing together with other like-minded, attractive people in nice cars and clothing. In actuality, bliss, like acute anxiety or deep sadness, is a rare moment in the texture of our daily lives. Intense emotions, whether positive or negative are the threads in the complex and mysterious fabric of life. They teach us how to find our center and provide a guide by which to navigate.
On my way home from the adult entertainment trade show, my positivity was not only intact, but improved. I haven’t attended this tradeshow in the last five years, focusing my marketing efforts on educating the natural and medical markets about the importance of healthy and clean intimacy products, as well as clarifying the steps for a healthy libido to thrive.
Five years ago, before all the free view internet pornography consumed the viability of so many small porn houses the show was huge and driven largely by the small adult video shops and their consumers. This year, it was a totally new scene. I was one of many high end, quality conscious manufacturers who are providing tasteful and progressive solutions to a definitively more evolved, couple-oriented adult experience.
The first question that most of us have about our sexuality and often one that follows us through life is “Am I normal?” Throughout the short history of sexual studies, mostly what has been uncovered is that “normal” encompasses an incredibly wide range of sexual preferences and behaviors. In the most recent comprehensive study of human sexuality conducted by researchers at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University- (think Kinsey Institute), the results from a survey of close to 6000 participants ages 14-94 confirm what we already know–that the variability of sexual behaviors in adulthood is still enormous, with more than 40 combinations of sexual activity described.
The true test of our life is whether we go to bed at the close of each day and know that we have done as much good as possible and that we have followed our instincts towards our sense of self respect instead of self interest. This seems like it should be a clearly demarcated path, but these instincts are easy to confuse. Driven by needs- whether emotional or material, can rationalize many behaviors, that if pressed we would find impossible to justify to our own hearts. Just read a few pages of the newspaper and this is the story line that dominates not just how many businesses drive themselves into the ground, but even the stalemates that we call governing of late.
I was so excited to have a preliminary interview on the Oprah radio network for my trip to Chicago. This chance to share my new book in a place where so many people could learn about it seemed too good to be true. It turned out that it was too good to be true. They rejected me- and I remembered again just how much rejection stings. It is a sticky experience too, like the super glue of negativity that has a cutting edge of self-doubt. It seeps into all the places where the residual scars of painful endings and disappointing events linger. It makes you question all of the goodness and assurance that seemed so strong in you just moments before.