Sex - Lust or Love
We have to deal with sex if we are going to talk about relationships and romance. It is interesting that something as simple a biological process as sex can become a subject providing such diverse prospective. In animals, sex is simply an unconscious desire to reproduce. In humans, this is also part of sex, but there is obviously more to the definition than simple reproduction.
From a psychological perspective, sex is the highest level of vulnerability within our evaluative makeup. The act of sexual relationship places two individuals in very vulnerable positions with potentially negative evaluations. We keep our sexual organs buried beneath cover to be sure that we are not judged about our ultimate statement of masculineity and femininity, then suddenly, in one moment, we expose this vulnerable place to another person. That is very scary.
One of the reasons pornography and other fantasy sexual expressions are so popular is the lack of vulnerability they provide. A person can have a sense of sexual vulnerability, but maintain full control of the environment, thus limiting the potential of pain and rejection. It is not the pornography that is the problem; it is the addictive tendency we all have to go to a place of pleasure with seeminly no potential risk.
So what are people in relationship supposed to do with sex? We could make a flippant statement and just say "enjoy it", but that is not only too general, it is too dangerous. Our social and moral societies have certain norms and expectations as to what is acceptable. Obviously these rules are evolving and what was norm 30 years ago is very different today. But we didn't invent sexual activity as a modern society. Read about the Greco/Roman concepts and you'll see we still have a lot of latitude to go before we proclaim we are a sexual society.
As we explore this topic of sex, consider these things and jot down some notes for your own use:
1. What are my expectations concerning sex?
2. What fear does sex bring to me?
3. How do I see myself with sex, vulnerable or controlling?
4. What if my partner never wanted to have sex?
Share some of your thoughts on this subject. As therapist, we find that sex is one of the biggest problems in relationships, so we are certain many of you have thoughts and questions.What are your thoughts? Share your comment below.
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