Updated: Dec 14, 2017
I always find it awkward being in college, since the question I get asked almost daily is: "what are you majoring in?". I can use the blanket term "psychology"which makes those around me think I am doomed to be a underpaid shrink, but I like to be more upfront. I definitely turn heads when I tell those interested that I want to major in Human Sexuality/ Sexual Relations/ Sexology: whatever you want to call the study, advancement, and act of having sexual relations in the modern day and age.
This has greeted me with many mixed reactions: some think its absurd and taboo, others assume a sex therapist/coach is also a sex worker, and some think work in sexology is not needed in society. Well let me tell you something- everyone has sex or else you wouldn't be here, sex therapists/coaches are not prostitutes, and if there is anything the world needs-especially America- its to learn how to have better and more empowering sex.
I grew up in what I would call a sexually normalized and open family- what does that mean? Both my parents are from Argentina, where sex, nudity, and sexuality are not taboos and are considered a part of a normal, healthy, and thriving life. In my house we were all used to seeing each other naked- yes including my parents- because we were taught that our bodies are the most natural things we could have and were not to be sexualized. Although we aren't official nudists, you have probably seen someones boob when coming to my house if you become part of the family. My parents never beat around the bush when it came to questions about my body or what sex was- I never got some sugar coated "the birds and the bees talk". That being said, at age 4-5 I was fully aware where babies came from and that sex was something enjoyable adults did with each other to bond, and that all mammals had sex to create babies. I was never phased by seeing naked people on TV, nor did my child self cringe at the words "penis" or "vagina" like some of my fellow classmates.
Once I got older and ready to have sex, I had enough trust with my parents to let them know so I could make educated decisions. Upon losing my virginity, my mom and I had a really great talk on the beginning of my sex life, female health, and we got set up on birth control. Since my parents educated me so much on sex, how to protect yourself, and what circumstances should be ideal- I made the choice to have sex with someone I loved, with protection, and fully aware of the process.
lacking education, shitty sex, low self esteem- we need a change
The thing is, my situation was ideal- but most peoples awakening and introduction to sexuality and your body/genitals isn't. Growing up in heavily LDS Utah, I have seen some sexual disasters unfold due to the lack of sexual/anatomical education or normalization of human sexuality- this can be a result of religious or taboo views on sex/body. To name a few of these "What the fuck" moments:
- Breaking the news to a class mate in high school that no, you do not urinate out of your vagina (she was 17 and her parents never let her take the sex ed class. She was unaware of her anatomy below the belt).
- An LDS girl getting married, and running away from her husband on their wedding night because he tried to have sex with her. She had no clue how sex happened and what it would entail, or that they would be having it- that babies were truly gods gift (insert face palm).
- A very religious classmate telling me that anal sex was acceptable because it wasn't real sex in the eyes of religion.
- Multitudes of kids being told that masturbation is wrong and immoral.
-Schools teaching abstinence based sex ed and that having sexual feelings is wrong.
- A handful of kids who's parents told them you can only have sex if you're going to conceive a child.
- Many LDS friends getting married and realizing they hate sex with their spouse (since sexual relations before marriage are not permitted).
-Many couples getting married and being afraid to have sex since they grew up with the idea that its "dirty" and so are their bodily functions/parts.
I am grateful that so many people have felt safe enough to trust me with their stories and questions in regards to their sexuality, and what is normal or not: which is extremely subjective. From all these stories, I see that the society around me has painted sex, sexual relationships, enjoyment, and health in a very negative light. As a society this is setting us back, and dooming us to a life of naivety, super shitty sex lives, and even shittier self esteem.
sex should be a really great and empowering part of your life.
This is really where my future work will come in. Sexuality is something so painfully normal and primal, that I cannot fathom how someone can live their entire life not tapping into the joys of human connection and pleasure. The human body is programmed for you to have sexual want and desire- because it is natural. The minute you are born, you are destined to be a sexual being- and we are one of the lucky animals that have sex for fun and pleasure. Healthy sex keeps our relationships/marriages alive, our happiness high, our immune system strong, and our self confidence glowing. Over the years I have heard it all:
"I want sex but Im afraid to express it" "sex with my partner is boring" "my sex life is not satisfying" "I am afraid to enjoy sex" " I am self conscious about my sexual desires" "I hold shame around my sexuality" " I don't feel pleasure from sex" "I am self conscious about my body" "I want something my partner doesn't" "Im conflicted about my sexuality" "I haven't had sex in months" "My marriage is sexless" "I am afraid to touch myself" "I hold guilt around masturbation"
As a future sex therapist/coach, these are issues I wish to address. I want to help people discover and enjoy their sexual relationship with themselves and others, channel their sexual energy into all aspects of life, as well as explore different approaches to sex- because lets face it- life would really suck if you only had missionary sex silently in the dark for the rest of your life.