Let’s Talk About Sex

I think it is time to change directions and begin discussing sex and sexuality. I try to write about the things I am dealing with in my life and in my practice. It seems that some weeks have themes and the same issues come up throughout the week.
This week the issue came up in sessions with couples. Sex, or the lack of it, is an issue I see repeatedly over the years. Currently the issue that seems to be presenting itself has to do with how women are socialized with regard to sex and their sexuality. There is a double standard between boys and girls. Boys are expected and in some ways encouraged to experiment with sex. There is a boys will be boys attitude. The general advice boys get is to be careful and avoid STDs and getting her pregnant.
Girls are told not to have sex (remain pure, save yourself for marriage, don’t be a slut) and sex and sexuality come with a great deal of shame. This belief system goes back to a time when women were looked at as having less worth than men and were practically the property of the men they married. In many ways, attitudes toward women have changed but the double standard remains. This causes many women to have great difficulty having pleasurable and healthy sexual relationships. The internal conflict can be debilitating, destroy self-esteem, and contribute to the destruction of marriages.
Once belief systems are in place they are very difficult to change. It requires a great deal of work to overcome. I will be writing more about sexual issues.