This week's sex tip is foundational. It may change the way you have sex, but not because it offers a new sex technique, fantasy scenario or communication tool. Instead, it's about helping you figure out some basics about your relationship to sexuality in general and your sexuality in particular.
This week's tip is all about turning inward and exploring why and how much sex matters to you.
No matter where you grew up, you have been exposed to messages about sex and sexuality. The messages include cultural and social rules and norms about sexual behavior, sexual orientation and sexual identities. And they also include fuzzier, less specific messages about the place that you should give sex in your life or how important sex should be.
For example, in most communities in North America, there is an expectation that sex is not important to people when they are very young. It becomes more important as we age. But at a certain point, when we become "old," sex no longer is important. The specific ages that this happens and the way it can feel when you move from too young to just right to too old, can differ greatly from community to community. But the messages are there, and we can't help but absorb them.
This can make it very difficult for us to figure out just how important sex really is to us at any given time because almost before we even ask the question, we may be aware of social expectations. And yet, this is an important question to ask - and a useful one to know the answer to.
At some point in the coming week, take some time and think about the following questions:
- How much does sex matter to you right now? How important is sex in your life at this very moment?
- How would your answer have been different five years ago? 10 years ago? Do you imagine it will be different in the future?
- Finally, make a list of reasons why sex matters to you now. What do you get (or hope to get) from sex and sexuality?
There are no right answers to this question, and your answers may even contradict each other. You may feel like sex is very important in some ways and completely unimportant in other ways. That's okay! The point is to take some time just to think about this. And if you find it useful, you may even want to write down your answers.
As you're doing this exercise pay attention to thoughts you might have that are coming from other sources. If you're thinking about what your friends or partner or family would say, take note of it but keep it separate from your own feelings as best you can.
Once you've made your list of reasons why sex matters, take a few weeks to reflect on your list. Have a look at it a couple times a week and see if you still agree with what you wrote. If you have things to add or change, go ahead and make changes. The point is not to come up with a list that never changes. Part of the point is to remind yourself that there are reasons why you may be more or less interested in sex at this time in your life. And you may decide that those reasons deserve some consideration as well. Or not.
If you are in a relationship you may want to ask your partner if they want to try this sex tip out as well. Don't commit to sharing your responses. Start by just doing this tip on your own. But once you have your answers, you may want to consider sharing them with each other or even just sharing one or two points.