Straight Talk On Sexuality
Sex and sexuality are taboo subjects in many sections of our societies. It most certainly is not in this corner.
Sexual wellness is a matter that was not discussed in my house although my mother was quite forwarding thinking on the subject. If my memory serves me correctly, one of my birthday gifts, when I turned seven years old, was a copy of the book, “On Becoming A Woman.” My mother said she was preparing me for the world, however, aside from handing me the book we never discussed sex and sexuality in a “mature” or even mother/daughter way.
That was ironic as by then a couple “perverts” had already had their way with me. Had my mother done more than hand me a book and actually had a conversation with me on the subject, a third, fourth or fifth sick predator might not have had a chance to further muddy the sexuality pool that I swam in.
From a very bitter place, I swore that my daughter would not share my experience with sex and most certainly not in the way that I did. It was a battlefield for me as while I became very open with her from as early as she could understand, my behaviour was hawkish and I was an hovercraft over her friendships and life. That was my way of protecting her.
Coming of Sexual Age
The words sex, sexuality and wellness for many years were never part of my vocabulary or in one sentence. Until I turned 40, sexuality, wellness and my spiritual path were in minor conflicts. Sexually, I was very unhealthy not in a diseased kind of way but emotionally. As I walked along a spiritual path, seeking my connection to The Divine, my sexual healing began.
True confession – many months and at one point a few years would pass and I intentionally abstained from sex. I heard from friends that they were enjoying porn from websites similar to www.dosexvideo.com and it was alluring but I still abstained. This decision was made not due to any religious belief, as I have none such. My sexual healing began, tentatively and tearfully, in 2000 on the floor at a spiritual retreat in Tennessee, USA. The retreat leader shared her story of sexual abuse and it felt like every inappropriate touch to her body was made to mine. I finally broke down when she said that the hardest part for her, as she tried to heal, was forgiving herself for responding to those touches.
One day I might write a post on that. That moment, I cried as I would only one other time in my life so far. The tears that flowed, no poured out of my body and left me emotionally dehydrated. In the next few days, as I sat with this teacher, I began the long and winding walk to sexual wellness. It was not an easy trip and one that continues to this day. Many people had to be forgiven, but the biggest lesson of forgiveness was how to forgive me.
The Sexual/Spiritual Connection
In 2014, I finally did. As I read articles such as one by Karina Velasco’s, “Exploring the Connection Between Good Health and Sexuality, I nod my head in agreement and my heart bow in full understanding of what she writes:
“You might have grown up in a society in which sexual education was very basic, and our parents, schools and religion condemned our sexual selves. These factors create fear, guilt and repression around sexuality. The lack of touch, communication and information in this very important area of our lives has created a lot of blocks that affect not only our sexuality, but also our emotional and energetic being.”
Where and when I was growing up, sexual education was not a part of the school curriculum until I was in high school. We had what was called “Guidance Counselling,” sessions and in those classes as well as in Biology, the rudiments of sex, the biblical warnings about fornicating and the problems of teenage pregnancy were whipped into our consciousness. The wrath of God would not be pleasant we were told, yet a few girls tested the theory.
No one taught us, however, the emotional and very important spiritual side to sexuality. Many of us grew up thinking and behaving as if sex was merely a function of relationships – preferably marital ones but coupling nevertheless. In September last year, this very point was the focus of a post that on my former blog.
“Sex is not a sin. It can be a mistake:
- With the wrong person
- When participated in at an inopportune time
- Engaged in exchange for financial or other material benefit
Sex outside of marriage – here I go – is not a crime: moral or otherwise.
Sex without deep emotional attachment can be fun but can be painful for one or both parties.
Children, teenagers and even emotionally unstable people ought not to engage in sexual acts until they are of age, mentally prepared for the inevitable responsibilities and/or emotionally capable of handling the act not going past what it is – an act.
Love and sex combined form a most “splendorous” expression. Yet, speaking for myself and all those who are too shy to, you can deeply love someone (husband, wife, lifelong partner) but sex between you has lost its zest.”
Wellness means different things to different people. The starting point for each of us could depend on the place of our deepest wound. Many of us bear our woundedness for a very long time. What I dare say is that for many women, that wound is associated with their sexuality and it gets poked almost every day by society, its norms and need to control our bodies. Velasco sums it up well:
“Healthy sexuality is all about loving yourself, accepting your body, and learning to communicate and maintain your boundaries. It is about experiencing the sensual pleasures of life to create healing not just in your body through orgasm, but also in your emotions and your energetic body. Healthy sexuality allows you to become one with all…”
Here in Canada, we are among the many places in the world with a healthy and progressive approach to human sexuality. It is one of the many reasons that this country has become my new home. Admittedly, when we first migrated here, the information that my daughter was exposed to went way beyond my liberal way of discussing life with her. Now, as I watch videos and read reports from various parts of the world, including my country of birth, grateful is the word that comes to mind.
Information is power in my view and getting that information from people who have your best interest at heart, who love you and support your journey, is priceless. That is how I hope my daughter sees what I have shared with her over the years about sex, sexuality and her wellness. My prayer is that she will do the same for her daughter. And this can extent to everyone, regardless of age. A friend was telling me that elderly people were practicing sexual wellness by showing off their body on websites like sexmature and if that is how they choose to articulate their self appreciation then I support them.
Are you helping a loved one on their sexual wellness journey? Do you need support along your own? Leave a comment below and let us see how we might be able to help them, you and each other directly. Our short story series, “The Unfortunate Life of An Interesting Woman,” touches on this subject as well of sexuality, femininity, and women’s right back in the 1930’s. Have read of past installments and watch out for Part IV tomorrow. Subscribe and you will receive the update in your email.
The University of Calgary Student Union Wellness Centre’s website has a great resource for anyone who might be needing a little help to have “the conversation,” with a young person or even adult who has “lived a sheltered life.” This is not about promiscuity – it is about prevention (of diseases and abuse), freedom (of choice and expression) and, as they say, “Healthy is Sexy!” Check it out here.
Have a great rest of the day. Please share this and other posts from our blog and do take part in this survey on wellness: