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September 26, 2018

Sex is a milestone

Alphonce can we have someone getting some kind of award and a crowd cheering?  Think: the olympics... world cup... graduation ceremony and so on with a caption like congratulations on your sex life!!!

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A few months ago, my mother and I were talking about a gay relative of mine and she stated that ‘sex is not an achievement’. She was making the larger point that she does not understand why gay people have to tell the world that they are gay; so I did not argue with that statement in particular. But recently I have been thinking about it and I disagree: sex is an achievement. 

So there is the kind of hum-drum sex that can happen to anyone, the kind of sex that you simply say yes to. You only need to turn up physically for this type of sex. Your mind and emotions can be elsewhere. In fact if cheating men are to be believed, there is so little of yourself in this type of congress that it means very little. We’ve all heard the adage “it’s just sex!”  That is not what I am talking about.

I am talking about a fully self-expressed sex life. That is an achievement. Let me explain:

Self-expression means that you are going to be vulnerable about how you truly feel and what you really want. The expression of these needs, wants, desires and feelings takes courage. Think about the last time you wanted to tell your partner that you enjoyed something s/he did for or to you… did your words catch in your throat? Did your heart skip a beat?  What about the last time you wanted to request that your partner stop doing a certain thing? Or you wanted to get your partner to try something new with you? It takes courage to push through those feelings and speak.

For many of us women, the very acceptance of pleasure takes a mental shift. A shift from ‘bad girls enjoy sex’ to ‘I enjoy sex’ or whatever other mantra works for you. Learning how to give pleasure to another person and not self-flagellate with a Christian, Hindu or Muslim stick is another major hurdle for most people.

The introspection it takes to acknowledge what you like, the courage it takes to make that declaration, first to yourself and then to others, the guts to be honest about who you are in this particular realm… An achievement.

Just yesterday a friend asked me what I am writing about this week and when I told him he said, ‘hmmmm Valentine, a pHD is an achievement.’ I agree with my pHD holding friend, but I also think sex can be on a person’s list of achievements, especially because there is no road map to sexual success, whereas the road to pHDs and promotions is usually somewhat marked out.

Even our parliamentarians recognize that honesty in the sexual realm is difficult. So difficult in fact that they allowed for the creation of polygamous unions through guile and duplicity in the recently passed marriage bill. Telling a woman that you will marry again…telling your husband that you do not want more children… confirming to your mistress that you will never marry her, well before her child-bearing years are over so she can find someone else… letting your parents know that you do not intend to marry or have children…letting your children know that they have other siblings…telling your parents that you are in love with someone from another tribe, religion, social standing…These are not easy conversations to have.

I admire and acknowledge the people who have the guts to tell the world, their families and their sexual partners who they really are; so yes to me, sex is an achievement.

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