sex ed

i recently created an okcupid account, largely to learn more about a boy a good friend has started seeing.  but then i got sucked in and found myself embellishing my profile.  and while i struggled with some self messaging stuff, mostly i’ve been able to enjoy the exploration of it all.  and yesterday i got a most unusual and refreshing message.

it was written by a young man who claims to be questioning his faith and just beginning to explore his sexuality.  he makes it clear that he does not want any sort of emotionally connected relationship right now, but is seeking a sexual guide and teacher.  now i am not sure that i am really a suitable fit for him, i feel young in my own sexual evolution, but i am definitely intrigued.  and i have to admit i love the request: both in a self flattered kind of way and in a mad respect and appreciation kind of way.  in a world where men are taught to be sexually dominant, i have super love for a man who is vulnerable enough to admit he doesnt know everything.

it reminds me of an old comment thread about  creating a society of priestesses who teach young men about sexuality.  the current cultural programming around heteronormative sex is pretty fucked up and unhealthy.  my story is certainly unique but i do not think by any means an outlier.  i grew up curious about my sexuality.  in high school i explored some sexual freedom but still found my boyfriends of that time frame self centered in their sexual attention.  in fact my first real sexual experience involved me performing oral sex on a boy i liked, it happened multiple times without any thought on his part–or mine even–of reciprocation.  the sexual story is still strong: sex is for the pleasure of boys and girls are there to serve the pursuit of that pleasure.  yuck.

then i backed away from my sexuality through the first part of college, feeling unsafe with male sexuality.  i held onto my virginity, in that limited vaginal penetration sense, and waited until i felt safe and trusted my partner to honor my body and my pleasure too.  years passed and i thought i had found someone i could trust, i was working up the courage to be vulnerable with him.  and before i could, i was raped by another man.  and i spiraled again, feeling like no matter how much older my partners and i got, there was no escaping the reality that sex was something that would happen to me.  that was something like three years ago now, and i am healing, but it is a tricky process made harder by my well trained inability to ask for what i want, my fear of stating boundaries, my slowly shedding mistrust of male sexuality.

and as i think about how enthusiastically sexual i am now, and how hard that journey has been, how violent and violated, i think of my younger sisters, of the girls in my life.  and i know i dont want any of them to have experiences like mine.  i dont want any of them to feel like the tool of someone else’s pleasure; i dont want them to have their boundaries crossed by boys who may or may not realize what theyre doing; i dont want them to be afraid to state boundaries or ask for what they want.  in fact, imagining any of them in that position makes me want to punch these future, unknown boys.  makes me want to scream and smash things.  makes me want to cry bitterly.

so how do we change the sexual story?  i think boys seeking sexual guides is a brilliant first step.  the idea of a young man really seeking sexual wisdom from a woman makes me effusively happy.  we need to teach our boys that sex is as much about their partners pleasure as it is their own, we need to introduce them to the secrets of a woman’s body so they can be attentive lovers.  but we also need to teach girls that their worth is not determined by their ability to please and attract a man, to keep a man.  we need to teach her that her sexuality is a wonderful, healthy thing, a thing to be celebrated.  that she deserves to feel safe and celebrated by her partners.  that asking for what you want and saying no when you want to say no are both important and acceptable.  we cannot let women continue to fear the repercussions of stating their own needs and boundaries.

so i may have to defer the request made on okcupid, because i dont yet feel capable of teaching others, but i will certainly consider the role of sexual educator in the future.  and relish it as a future possibility.  and until then i will work with the girls in my life to deconstruct these bullshit stories about our sexuality and our roles as pleasers.  what will you do?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. joyce
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 16:21:42

    as always, extremely articulate and powerful. proud to be your aunt. something i haven’t shared with you or your mom, yet…is that i am studying to become certified in the emotion/body code, what’s that? simply stated healing by releasing trapped emotions…and removing heart walls. opens all kinds of doors for all of us, since we all have trapped emotions which distort our energy field and get in the way of “progress”, stop us from becoming all that we can be and ultimately healing the planet as well. part of the certification process is to work on 26 people and 4 animals, yes animals have trapped emotions too. so if you are up for it, you can be one of my “guinea pigs”. we can do the work over the phone. knowing what you have accomplished thus far in your life, i can’t even imagine what awaits you…if we can release your traumas, trapped emotions and tear down your heart wall. found out about this through a friend who included me as one of her 26 people to get certified. have been working on myself now…the combination of dar’s work and my work on myself, my heart wall is almost gone. another bonus is i could teach you how to do the work and you could help your girls too. love aunt joyce


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