Sex-in-Relationships: It's a Good Thing


Sexuality is a life-long journey. It's a very important part of being human, and can be enjoyed from birth through old age. Sex is a part of our development and can give us pleasure even as babies. Sex can be a passionate and sharing commitment, it can be a way to pleasure ourselves, and it is a vital, exciting part of life! It is important to affirm the sexual part of ourselves in order to reach our full potential as a person.

Society shapes and can limit our view of healthy sexuality. For example, since the so-called "sexual revolution" of the 60's, sex for women is now seen as more than a way to become a mother and to create a family. This is a good thing because sexual interaction with sexual pleasure as a goal is now a positive expectation for both men and women. Orgasm is now talked about as a satisfying goal for both sexes. Beginning with the work of Alfred Kinsey in the 50's, human sexuality has become the topic for many articles and books and has been legitimized in the professional literature, taught in universities and medical schools, and is the focus for a new discipline, sex therapy.

Sex-in-Relationships: Sex Therapy, Common Problems In sex therapy, sexual problems are discussed openly and treatment is provided. Sexual issues have their place in the professional literature as well as in the mainstream media. Documentaries that address serious aspects of sexuality can be viewed on public television. Today,it's clear that healthy sexual functioning is an important dimension of marriage and other intimate relationships.

Parents, physicians, therapists, and others are now capable of addressing sexuality questions. Sex education has been taught in the schools as well as in the home. While there has been some debate regarding where children should learn about sex, there is no longer an argument about if they should be taught. Sex education is valued as an important part of raising healthy children. How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

Another major breakthrough in awareness has been the recognition that biological sex, gender identity and sexual orientation are three separate components of one's sexual makeup.

Out of this awareness, further study has been done on gender dysphoria (transsexual/transgender individuals),and sexual orientation, that is, heterosexuality,bisexuality, and homosexuality. Today, the influence of the gay/lesbian/bi/transexual movement continues to promote the acceptance of alternative ways of expressing one's sexuality. On the psychological front, homosexuality has not been seen as a psychological disorder for a long time.

Currently, the diagnostic catagory,Gender Identity Disorder refers to the difficulty one might have in identifying one's gender identity. Societal influences, however, still prevail in creating emotional distress for individuals who fall outside of the socially acceptable norm. Transgendered or Transsexuals, most especially, internalize cultural hatred and fear. And out in the world, transgendered men and women are by far the largest group targeted for hate crimes in this country. Unlike gays and bisexuals who differ in their sexual orientation, transsexuals have difficulty with their gender designation. This has often been described as "a man or woman trapped in the wrong body." Transgendered individuals wish to have a body that matches their gender, and many times their goal is to have sex reassignment surgery to make this happen. Transsexuals often find support from the Gay and Lesbian Community because of their acceptance of individuals who are "different" than the norm.

Even though about 10-20% of the population is gay, because of homophobia it is taking a long time for Gays and Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered to reach equality in our culture. The intolerance of difference (manifested in racism, sexism, ageism, and other "isms")contributes significantly to psychological issues because of internalized homophobia, and also because of anxiety and fear on the part of those who are "different".

Certainly, it is imperative that those in the helping professions educate themseves so that they can become GLBTG supportive in their work. How to Find a Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Affirming Therapist

Unfortunately, sex is also used as a weapon in our society. Violent crimes like rape, sexual abuse, and certain pornography which degrades women, are acts of aggression and power. This is not sex, but violence. The uncovering of rampant sexual abuse against our children truly has been a blessing and a shame; a blessing because abused children are now getting help, and a shame because we live in a society which conceals and, at some level, condones sexual abuse. How to Talk to Your Child About Sexual Abuse

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