The Sexual Life Re-examined

Recently, I was consulted by a married couple in their mid-30s about a sexual problem. At one point in the interview, she said: “I was raised with the idea that women aren’t supposed to be assertive. If you were, you were a floozie, a shameless hussie — I wasn’t supposed to have those feelings.”

To which her husband remarked: “I like it when a woman does her share of seducing, enticing, initiating. It throws in a bit of variety.”

There is nothing unusual about the differing attitudes to sexual behaviour expressed by this couple. The great thing is that they are able to talk about their feelings. Nor should they blame themselves for having these views. In fact, by the age of 5 or 6 most children’s sexual attitudes are set. Learning from example, children are extremely adept at perceiving what their parents consider right or wrong. These attitudes are then often not re-examined, unfortunately. People just accept some sexual behaviours or acts they feel comfortable with, and with others they don’t. Or with some people they are comfortable doing certain things with, while with others, they would never think of going beyond a certain point. It often takes a major life crisis, like divorce (or widowhood), to cause a person to undertake a conscious re-examination of their sexuality. Yet such a review could go a long way toward finding the path to sexual maturity and contentment.

Informal poll:

I would like to hear your experience or opinion about the effect of watching or reading XXX explicit sexual material on you, especially when you were still sexually inexperienced…

(Add your comments in the form below.)

– Dr. Frank Sommers