Article originally posted on The Love Life Blog
There are many aspects to moving forward sexually, one of the key ones is to ditch all the myths that plague us.
Our society is full of myths about sex. It’s because we don’t talk openly about the details of sex and because there have been so many moral issues associated with sex for so long that so many beliefs are taken for truth.
I’ve discussed three of these in recent posts:
- Men have not evolved to ‘sow their seed widely’ and therefore are not necessarily ‘naturally’ non-monogamous
- Women are not ‘naturally’ monogamous
- Monogamy is not necessarily ‘naturally’ innate to humans
These can be challenging beliefs to let go of, but until you do, you’re hampering yourself unnecessarily. If you buy into a belief then you’ll think there’s something wrong or bad about being a certain way, you’ll be judgemental about yourself and others. Judgement is the biggest impediment to growth in any area, including sexual.
Which doesn’t mean that you have to be or act a certain way. I’m certainly not saying for instance that we shouldn’t be monogamous, monogamy is a very good thing. But it’s not the only way of relating sexually, it’s not the only ‘right’ way of relating, and if you’re constrained by a belief that it is, then you’re limited. If you accept that monogamy is a choice rather than an innate state, then that frees you up enormously. You’ll ditch all the negativity that surrounds the beliefs and the ‘shoulds’ and allow yourself to be honest with yourself about what is really right for you sexually. That freedom and honestly will also enable you to be free and honest in your communication with your sexual partner(s).
It’s not just about big things like monogamy though. I find that people often hinder themselves with small beliefs, such as:
- sex has to be last thing at night
- you can’t have sex if the children are still awake
- you can’t have sex when your parents/guests are staying
- having regular ‘nooky nights’ is unspontaneous and therefore bad.
Then there are age related myths such as:
- sex naturally gets worse as you get older
- people reach their sexual peak in their 20s (they reach their reproductive peak then, not sexual)
- women dry up and become unsexual after menopause men only like young women
- your sexual partner should only be a few years older or younger than you women with younger partners are ‘cougars’ and somehow ‘bad’
There are plenty of myths around homosexuality vs heterosexuality (even if we’ve let of the big one that homosexuality is unnatural and wrong):
- if you’re primarily heterosexual you shouldn’t find people of the same sex in any way sexually appealing
- you’re either completely homosexual or completely heterosexual
- women are more naturally bisexual than men
- men who cross-dress must be gay
There are countless myths about male versus female sex roles, too many to go into here, but here are a few:
- men are gagging for sex all the time
- men want to have sex to get off, rather than to pleasure their partner
- men don’t like foreplay or sensual sex, they’re only interested in the ‘main event’
- women should have obligation sex with their partner or he’ll lose interest in them
- men should initiate and lead the way sexually
- there’s something wrong with a woman if she has a low libido
- you need a hard erection for good sex
- you need a penis for good sex
Then there are all those myths about what you should or shouldn’t do sexually. To quote from my book ‘Sex Secrets for Busy People’:
“If you think oral sex, anal sex, sex toys, erotic videos, crotchless knickers, latex catsuits, bondage, swinging, pain and pleasure or any other activity is wrong, evil, immoral and takes you straight to hell, well, it’s time to loosen up and push those boundaries a little.”
[Note: There are laws around sexual activity, for good reason, fortunately these days they are less based on morality and more on protection of innocents. So as long as it’s between consenting, living, adult, humans, then it’s your personal choice.]
Human sexuality is a wonderful thing, with so many possibilities, and so much potential for self-expression, self-knowledge and personal growth, not to mention bonding, pleasure, stress relief, well-being, better physical and mental health, and plain old fun!
To be able to make the most of your sexuality, start by ditching the myths that hold you back.