It is crucial for every sexually active man and woman to actively educate themselves about what is true and what is not. And then to liberate themselves from mythology that unnecessarily suppresses sexual expression.
9) Double Standards
It still continues to surprise me when I hear a couple talk about what might be okay for one of them but never for the other, or that one partner’s reasons are more legitimate than the others.
Society’s teachings are the most powerful contributor. The media routinely demonstrates which gender is able to do what and when, and why that is, or is not, acceptable. There are also power differentials, available options, personal values, cultural expectations, biases, and condemnations. All of those contribute to a difference in behavioral acceptability.
“Sexuality is one of the biggest parts of who we are.” – Carla Gugino
There cannot be enough written to emphasize the effect of sexual trauma on the ability of its victims to be sexually healthy in the aftermath of these violations. That is especially true when children are used that way. Those that have had repeated sexual violations learn that helplessness and submission in the face of boundary violation is the only option.
But I have also had patients of both genders who have been assaulted as adults. They, too, suffer from the symptoms that trauma creates. If added to childhood victimization, the summation is often crucial.
It is very difficult for those harmed by sexual abuse to trust that any partner who desires them will not also take advantage of them in some way. They often expect that a current lover will transform at any moment into an abuser.
Though the sharing of one’s internal sexual world is important to all couples, the ability to share trauma is crucial to healing the past. Current partners can be trained to not trigger the prior anguish and to offer new ways to help a prior victim find pleasure without the expectation of harm.
The more open and honest sexual partners can be with each other about who they are and what they need, the better a sexual relationship can become. It is only when intimate partners are willing to know and accept themselves with self-honor and respect, that they can offer that beloved self to another.
If you are feeling shy in owning your sexuality and expressing your sexual desires in front of your partner, here’s an advice- DON’T. There is absolutely no shame in being unapologetically yourself in your relationship. Sexual desires are as normal as they come. Own your sexuality with confidence.
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