Saturday, January 19, 2013

Opening Up To Sex

I didn't experience orgasm until I was 17. And it wasn't for lack of sexual desire. It was for lack of knowledge. I'm sure a lot of people figure out what to do on their own, but I was not one of them. I knew what it meant to get hard, and I knew that it felt good, especially the friction against my pants when I looked at pictures of scantily clad women in magazines and on the internet, but beyond that I didn't know what to do with myself. Sex ed didn't teach me how to masturbate; it didn't teach me how to have sex, it taught me how to have babies. As if there were no sex without babies - and god knows I didn't want to have babies right then (or now).

But there is sex without babies. I eventually figured it out, with help from a vague tip via some dirty song lyric. You could argue that such material is not appropriate for kids (reminder: I was 17) because it gives them "ideas", but many kids, as I said, figure it out on their own, and there's just no reliable way to keep kids from getting the information they want (I, on the other hand, was voluntarily sheltered from my dirtier peers - at least until high school). And who's to say they shouldn't have it?

What effect did "sexual awakening" have on my life? I had already undergone puberty. I was already "wasting" time thinking about girls, long before I understood in detail what I wanted to do with them. And even if sex is distracting, why should we not spend time thinking about it, and engaging in it? We "waste" time every day thinking about food and how to stay nourished. Sure, we can't survive long without food, and we can without sex (though not in the long run, as a species) - but in what condition? If sex makes us feel better, why should we refrain from indulging in it? Of course, there is a point which can be called "too much", but not everyone is an addict. Sex is a fundamental part of life, we ought not to expend much energy trying to forcibly keep people in the dark about it - which is exactly what we currently do.

Some people argue that sexual liberation leads to "loose" sex. For some people this might be true. But I don't consider it a necessary condition. Being sexually liberated may lead to me having more sex than I would otherwise have had, and, in a qualitative sense, "freer" (that is to say, "more fun") sex, but it hasn't caused me to drop my guard and open the floodgates to anyone and everyone. I am no less responsible nor careful a sex partner than I was before I started having sex. The only way this argument holds is if any sex is considered too much sex, and I've already stated my argument against that. On the other hand, being open and honest (rather than repressed and fearful) about sexuality is a great step towards having healthy and responsible sex.

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