The Challenges & Gifts of Sexual Pleasure

by | Aug 2, 2017

The Challenges & Gifts of Sexual Pleasure

Sexual pleasure which can be the most challenging and controversial of all pleasures. We’re going to begin with reflecting on the social and cultural influences on our sexuality and sex lives and how these affect us. Then over the coming months we’re going to explore various aspects of sex from communication to Tantra, breath to touch. My intent is to offer you ideas and tools to bring more awareness and consciousness to the inherent beauty and gifts of our sexuality. A recent blog post sums this up the challenges of our current sexual paradigm. Carsie Blanton so eloquently writes that we live in a paradigm that says sexuality is dangerous. She says:

“I understand that bad things happen to people because of sex…I’m not interested in sugar-coating the issue. I’m interested in this idea: the experience of ourselves and other people as sexual beings is not inherently dangerous. Nor is it shameful, or shallow, nor does it rob us of the ability or opportunity to engage with people in other ways. The act of expressing our sexual selves can be empowering, fun, and pleasurable. The act of experiencing someone else’s sexual expression can also be empowering, fun, and pleasurable.  Furthermore: sexuality is a built-in part of the human experience, and there is no avoiding it…Sexuality is everywhere – within you and without you…Your sexuality is a superpower. It can be a force for good in your life, and in the lives of others. Just like your intelligence, your ambition, your talent, and every other aspect of yourself, it’s one of the things that makes you who you are. It’s not a weapon; it’s a gift.”   

Sex as a superpower is not just about pleasure. Its discovering the power of our sexual energy for healing, growth, magic and transformation.

Yet sex is not celebrated in our culture as a healthy part of our human beingness. The paradox is that although sex is visible in our every day lives from magazines through to bill boards, it’s also invisible in any meaningful way.  For most people our sex education is appalling focusing on how not to get pregnant or catch STIs rather than how we can get to know our bodies and our pleasure, take responsibility for this and learn to communicate with each other. Our formative years create an imprint in our system that can deeply affect our adult lives.

Even with adult sex education, the focus on sex and our bodies is functional and mechanical such as ‘how to give the best oral sex’ rather than how to create intimacy and connection with our sex, heart, spirit and soul.

We have very few positive sexual role models, the media and porn continue to distort what is natural ranging from bodies to sex and relationships with little diversity and there is a multitude of mixed messages about what sex and relationships “should” be like feeding unrealistic expectations. Is it any wonder that many people believe that there is something wrong with them and are uncomfortable talking openly and honestly about sex?

Vena Ramphal, The Passion Coach argues that:

“From my perspective our main cultural myth is STILL that sex is forbidden fruit. Garden of Eden and all that. When we analyse our collective fear around sex – expressed in all dialogue from casual conversation to official policy – I would argue that the underlying issue is that we haven’t yet figured out how to dialogue sex in a way that’s uncontaminated by shame.”

(From Facebook conversation, October 2013)

This key. That to varying degrees we carry shame about sex so we can’t talk openly and honestly about it. Often not even to close friends and partners.

I see the impact of sexual issues on peoples lives daily in my Sex Coaching practice. I see people with specific sexual concerns such as erection problems or painful sex, people who are worried if they are ‘normal’ and those who don’t feel sexually confident or feel that there has to be more to their sex lives.  Whatever relationship model you are in, whatever your age, background, sexual orientation or gender identity, the impact can be huge. The affects can ripple across all areas of life from relationships to work, health to happiness. When you’re experiencing sexual issues or concerns it affects your self esteem and your perception of your self worth. This breeds shame and secrecy. And, there is a stigma seeking help and limited places to get support.

It is time to reclaim our sexuality back as a gift. An innate power that can be harnessed for beauty and pleasure and that has to start with ourselves.  Next month, I’ll be writing about an emerging paradigm of sexuality, focusing on pleasure, not performance.

Till then,

Sarah Rose Bright


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