Do you prefer your fish broiled, fried, or blackened? How about your steaks? Do you like them rare, medium, or well done? What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Are you an early riser or do you prefer to sleep in when you can? Do you tend to be attracted to slim people or someone with a little meat on their bones? I doubt that these questions or the way someone would answer them would be judged and would raise any eyebrows.
Would you agree that answers to these questions would be considered preferences? Would any of the responses be right or wrong? Would these be moral issues? All of what I have referred to is common to human experience. We would all feel comfortable discussing these things with people we know and not be concerned about being ridiculed or judged.
What makes sex and sexuality so different? The vast majority of people would be uncomfortable discussing their sexual preferences and sexuality with most of the people they know. Most would be concerned about what they said and how they said it. If they felt what they did or thought about sexually was not considered “normal” they would be even more uncomfortable discussing it. Some people are uncomfortable when the topic of sex is even brought up. There is a great deal of guilt and shame associated with sex. Even though we are all sexual beings, so much meaning is given to it that open conversation about sex is discouraged.
For centuries governments and organized religion have attempted to control and limit our sexual behaviors. This has not stopped people from engaging in sexual activity even if it is outside of what is accepted or seen as “normal.” Many laws and religious edicts have tried to restrict sexual behavior. This has created a great deal of shame about sexuality. It has not stopped the behaviors that come naturally. Before all else, we are mammals and have strong instincts around sexuality.
One of my goals is to take the discussion of sex and sexuality out of the shadows and encourage open discussion and healthy attitudes toward sex. I believe that many of the social ills we face can be more easily overcome if human sexuality was honestly discussed and shame free.
The process of taking the subject out of the shadows and into our everyday conversation is done one individual at a time. It can begin with you and taking some risks and having discussions about sex, sexuality, and preference in an open and honest manner. Many people believe they are abnormal due to how they think. If we were more open and honest people would find that many others have similar likes and preferences for sexual behavior.
“Normal” is not a single dot on a graph. “Normal” covers a large slice of the continuum of human behaviors. Start with yourself and you will find a lessening degree of shame and guilt and even a boost in feelings of self-worth.
I am a Life Management and Relationship Coach as well as a board certified sexologist. I have been counseling individuals and couples for nearly 20 years. I have also worked with clients throughout the country via the internet on Skype for several years. Distance counseling and coaching is becoming more accepted and is as effective as face to face. My focus is to provide solution focused and judgment-free counseling/coaching.
My Masters Degree is in Mental Health Counseling. I have both experience and training in sex therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma resolution, and addiction counseling. I continue to add to my skills. Prior to having a full time private practice I worked in both Inpatient and Intensive Outpatient programs. My goal with all my clients is to help them achieve a more rewarding and fuller life.
Please visit my website for more information. www.alttherapist.org.