To err is human, to have “normal sex” is for the birds! Simply put, there is no normal sex.
“Normal” is what makes many people think they are “weird” in life, in love, in family, and in bed! Think back to when you first learned about sex. What did you learn? Did anyone say, “OK class, it’s alright for you all to explore and experiment what turns you on?” Did anyone ask, sans judgment, “Do you want to be tied up, spanked, wear sexy outfits or watch someone wear sexy outfits, or roll around in jello?” I wonder if anyone said, “Yeah, it’s cool that watching erotic videos is sexually stimulating.” Would the word “partner” have even been used? Unless you grew up in a home or community that supported sexual diversity, this is probably not how you learned about sex.
Thinking back to my 8th grade year of school, I clearly remember the experience of “sex education.” This was an all girls class with a female teacher, and the curriculum taught consisted of anatomy, reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases, abstinence, and how to protect yourself from peer pressure and rape. Although this was my experience, I have found that many people share the same experience. Many children learn that “normal” sex solely involves the male and female anatomy. Often sex education is taught in separate rooms, with separate curriculum. Personally, I have yet to figure out why boys and girls had to be separated for this course. You also might have learned about sexually transmitted infections or STIs (formerly called venereal disease or sexually transmitted disease), and why STIs are “bad” or “dirty” and that “not having sex is the best way to prevent them.” Some of you reading this were probably told that only “two adults who were married and in love have sex.”
Many people grew up with a set-in-stone definition of “normal” sexuality and “normal” relationships. When one decided to go outside that definition, they were “deviant,” or “weird,” and “we can’t talk to them (because it might rub off, Heaven forbid!). This mindset does not allow people to openly talk about sexuality, explore their interests in sexual behaviors, or explore their own body. “Problems” arise when we are not allowed the opportunity to explore our unique definition of sexuality. These “problems” have been given names such as “erectile dysfunction,” “low sexual desire,” and “vaginismus,” to name a few. Although these “problems” are real, they can be treated, AND, sometimes, they can be prevented.
So, what IS normal sex? Sex is what YOU (and your partner or partners) want it to be. Myjob is not to tell clients what his/her/their sex life or sexuality should look like, but help them discover and embrace their own sexuality. When given the time and space to openly explore sexual interests and learn about one’s OWN sexuality, you not only improve your individual self, but also your relationships improve as a whole.
So, if there is no “normal” sex, does this make us all normal?
Photo Credit: Big Thanks to Lorrie Lynn King and 50 Cents.Period for the use of the lovely photos! First photo is a class of Burmese, refugee women attending Women’s Circle class to learn about physical and emotional health. Please visit www.50centsperiod.org for more information. The second photo is Crimson Forest in Gryfino, Poland.