I collect motivational and interesting comments. That has been part of my life since university when I kept a folder titled “beautiful things”. That’s a collection of interesting, snappy, motivational and just beautiful quotations and pictures, photos and stuff. Later on, the file became a computer file of screenshots and downloaded pictures that I collect and review most days. I set the pictures to slide-show and get on with my morning.
Yesterday this picture came up. “People like sex, get over it”. I don’t know who wrote this and searching has brought up no insight; nevertheless, I value the statement. Certainly, I enjoy sex. And in the broader context of sustainability and just good intimate relationships, I think openness and honesty and knowledge will move us forward. Hiding our need for physical and emotional intimacy, or blocking it because we have been taught that sex is dirty or sinful is dangerous.
Serendipity is a thing. The same day this article was in the news. This heading was in the news, “Too many young women suffer through painful sex”. The heading went on with, “As a GP, I see a steady stream of uneasy 22-year-olds, underwhelmed by their sex lives and ashamed of it”. To me, that is shocking especially as the claim was that the insidious influence of porn was the problem. Really. More likely, the result of a lack of knowledge and lack of communication between the lovers. The author goes onto tell of the solution: time together, intimacy training and lots of non-penetrative touching. None of this is new. I knew before I met my wife almost thirty years ago of the need for slowness and gentleness and communication. My point is this, although I wince at the headline, the central challenge is honest clear communication. How is a man, particularly a young man, supposed to know how his partner is responding without words? Both partners speaking clearly and honestly. Additionally, is it realistic to expect amazing joy every time?
In New Zealand, we are lucky, at least our children are taught sexuality in school. In Myanmar, that doesn’t happen. My next link is to this article, “Sex, taboos and #MeToo – in the country with no word for ‘vagina'”. Here we find a report on the work of Dr. Thet Su Htwe in Myanmar. Although sex education is part of the curriculum, it is not taught. The teachers too embarrassed and without training and knowledge, or support. This is changing with her work but slowly. Dr. Thet Su is reported as stating, “Education is the first step to building respect for each other’s bodies, learning about the similarities and differences, leading to respect for women’s rights: “We need to educate women, what are your rights? And raise awareness, not only among women but nationwide, and among men.”” That sounds about right to me.
Much better what I found from the USA this week. The most recent Story Collider podcast. Here we have two stories on the theme of, “The science of dating: stories of sex and romance”. Comedian Josh Gondelman reports on a penis numbing spray, and neuroscientist Heather Berlin and rapper Baba Brinkman decide to use science to decide if they will become a breeding pair. Josh tells of his adventure with the spray. He tells that after picking up the spray from the commissioning editor he had a date, a woman he had not slept with, just getting to know. He tells of telling her about the spray and asking if she would join him testing it. She declined. But what honestly. Heather Berlin and Baba Brinkman tell of their initial relationship. Baba honestly questioning Heather on her personality using the big five model to discuss their compatibility. That on their first date. Both stories are upfront and honest, brash as only Americans can be. Clearly honest communications lead to clear relationships. That’s what I’m selling here.
As I have stated in earlier blogs, sex that is sustainable and beautiful leads to more joy and fewer children, both what we want moving forward.