Sex is like food? … take a moment to consider my reasoning, and perhaps you can begin to change your diet into a gourmet’s adventure.
When writing and speaking about sex, I often espouse the motto: better sex through learning. Phrases like “there’s so much more” to our sexuality, or that sex is something to be learned rather than simply experienced are often met with little more than a raised eyebrow, gentle nod or blank expression.
After all, what’s to know? The process is so simple: there’s basic attraction and desire, followed by foreplay (perhaps), fingers, oral and intercourse. Sure, there are subtle variations, and most learn that there are, for example, hundreds of positions to choose from, yet most are content with a limited selection from among all of the possibilities. We settle into what we know, what we are comfortable with, and what worked well before.
So I will try another tactic; another approach to encourage more readers to take an active role in learning about their sexuality. I will take what might be unknown, and compare it with something we can all identify with – Because,
Our relationship with sex,
is very much like,
our relationship with food!
This may seem to be an obscure analogy, but take a moment to consider my reasoning, and perhaps you can begin to change your diet of fast, convenient or “same ol'” food into a gourmet’s adventure.
From the beginning…
When just starting out, we know nothing about food, what’s available or where it comes from. Our dining realities are a culmination of innate desires, limited by what is made available to us. Of course, we will have our preferences, enjoying some foods over others, even forsaking some; but we will never miss any food we don’t know about, regardless of how much we may come to enjoy it once, or if, we do.
Our foray into the wonderful world of sex is much the same. Fueled by natural instincts that grow stronger over time, most of us learn about sex on a trial-and-error basis, fumbling through the mechanics, while even less prepared for any emotional consequences.
Variety is the spice of life …
Adults have nothing but free choice when it comes to what, how and when to eat. And options abound. Yet many are content to dine on the foods, spices and cooking methods they grew up with. Add in those all too convenient fast food providers along with a favorite restaurant or three, and you have the totality of the average diet.
Adults will likely approach sex in much the same way: repeating what they know from a limited gene-pool of ideas. Sexuality shared is sexuality known, and like the “average diet”, can be satisfactory, even fulfilling. More than likely, however, average is anything but satisfactory, as indicated by surveys, divorce rates, orgasm deficits and nearly every other measure. Average sex clearly needs some help.
Bound by convention …
So maybe you’re curious or adventurous, the type of person who seeks out new culinary experiences, or perhaps you put in the individual effort to become a good cook or fine chef. Regardless of the level of refinement, all but the most unencumbered gourmets will be bound by convention. What is considered ordinary to eat for some, would be out of the question for others. Lamb chops or brains, cow, pig, and chicken or horse, rodent and insects.
Sex is also bound by convention, convention that comes in the form of the lessons our culture provides. And without individual effort that goes beyond the norm, we too will succumb to the influences of our culture – a culture in which the predominate images for modeling sexual behavior come in the forms of distorted or inappropriate images of sex in porn, or any combination of sex-negative factors that engender guilt, shame, and ignorance.
Cause and effect …
Supersize Me is a documentary that chronicled the outcome of an adult man eating nothing but what came on a popular fast food restaurant’s menu for 30 days. Any time asked if he wanted to “supersize that?” he would say, “yes”!
Whether you have seen the film or not, no spoiler alert is required because we can all guess the outcome: ill health. Sure he felt “full”, even enjoyed the flavors, but the diet simply failed to meet all of his body’s needs.
Eating nothing but fast food is an extreme example, but we are what we eat and unless we bow to a higher value than taste alone, say, for example, nutritional value, ill health will surely follow.
Sex plays out in much the same manner: sex based solely on friction, based solely on physical attraction is the least satisfying, and therefore, the most short-term variety. Sex that also involves intimacy, understanding and communication can last a lifetime.
Not what, but how …
Give a bag of vegetables to the average omnivore and you may get a salad. Let a vegan chef step in and you will have a multi-course meal that would satisfy any appetite.
Knowledge is the key through which ordinary sex takes on new meaning. It is the key to solving nearly every sexual issue, problem, question or concern – as well as being your best proponent, for all of your hopes and dreams.
If not now, then when …
Changing your diet, being more mindful of what you eat and when you eat it all takes considerable effort, despite how good it would feel to shed some pounds and get back in shape …
And it’s here where the analogy ends!
Learning about sex is painless! No sacrifice is required! And the benefits are immediate!
So take the time and put in the effort to learn more about your sexuality. Start with a current book on anatomy, and get beyond any mysteries of why and where everything works. Then share what you’re reading about sex with your lover as an easy way of learning how to talk about it! Communication, another skill to master!
Photo copyright: 123rf.com/ Olena Kachmar