The Importance of Sex
Sex is important. Especially when we are in a relationship. It’s a basic human need and it’s designed to bond us to each other. Many of us have experienced the pain that comes from feeling distant from the person that we love, the person that we’re in a relationship with, the person that we should be having sex with but we’re not.
So why are so many couples not having sex? It’s embarrassing and most people don’t want to admit it, much less talk about it. The fact of the matter is that sex is both an action and topic that people want to avoid. As a sex coach, I’ve had clients who have been so uncomfortable with sex that they have break downs or anxious fits. So if you’re one of them, you’re not alone.
Levels to This
It’s important to understand that there are three stages to love. Dr. Helen Fisher has dedicated her career to studying the science of love. The first stage of love is lust. Yeah, even though that word has gotten a bad reputation, it’s an important part of the process. Lust is derived in the sex organs, it’s testosterone driven and it’s what gives us the desire to get out there and find someone to procreate with.
Once we find someone, love moves into the romantic love stage. This is when love moves to the brain, and it’s driven by dopamine highs and adrenaline rushes. This is the head over heels feeling of love. We don’t see clearly. Everything is beautiful. The red flags are a pretty pink. This is nature’s way of enticing us to have plenty of sex and procreate. This stage lasts from four to eighteen months, in most cases. It’s too much for our brains to handle the intense hormones for longer than that.
During this time of intense lovemaking, the chemical oxytocin is created to bond us to the person that we’ve hopefully mated with. We’ve evolved to have these oxytocin bonds for four years which is long enough for our offspring to be at a survivable age. Many couples find themselves feeling confused at this point in their relationships. They don’t understand what has happened. Where has the passion gone? Why aren’t they having sex anymore? Why do they feel disconnected from the person that they love?
Biology, The Homewrecker
Biology has designed us solely for the survival of our species. Once we’ve completed the cycle that we’re here to create, we begin to face the realities of our past and we have the opportunity to decide what we want to create for our future.
Many couples split up and start the process again with someone else only to find themselves in a similar situation several years later unless they’ve learned some lessons and made changes. Others stay in the relationship and numb themselves to the pain and often look outside of the relationship for the passion that they once had. Sexuality is life force energy. With it, we feel alive. Without it, we feel dead. We’ll do anything to feel alive.
During this time, the pain that we have with sexuality usually shows up strong. It was there before but often the intense hormones block the pain. We are able to ignore it for awhile but it comes back and now we may have a spouse and children and major responsibilities. We don’t have time to deal with the pain so we shut down and numb out – all at the expense of true connection and happiness.
Why do we have pain associated with sexuality? 1 in 2 women have been sexually abused but even the 50% that haven’t still struggle. Science has shown that what our ancestors experienced is passed down to us in our genes. Women in particular have a history of not being able to experience sexuality safely. For the last ten thousand years, in western culture, women have been taught that sex is dirty, it’s something to tolerate with their husbands, it’s not to be discussed and women that enjoy it are dirty and should not be accepted in society. For women, to not be accepted by society meant death. They could not survive without a man.
Women that have openly expressed pleasure in sex have been called whores, prostitutes, witches and have been killed for this. It still happens today. Women are still being killed because of their sexuality. We carry this in our bodies even if we have not experienced it ourselves. There is fear in the collective as women hear stories of other women that have been harrassed, shunned, injured or killed.
Most women that grew up in religious households learned from an early age that to be sexual was not acceptable. We heard stories of Jesus being pure because he was a virgin and because his mother was a virgin. We heard stories of wicked women that used their sexuality to seduce men. We heard stories of women that were stoned because they had sex with multiple men.
We were taught to not have sex outside of marriage. It was a sin and sin could get you sent to Hell. We were taught to prize our virginity and when puberty hit and our hormones began raging, we felt betrayed by our bodies. Our natural inclinations towards sexuality were shut down in shame, denied, suppressed, a facade of religious purity shown instead.
We heard rumors about the girls that didn’t. We didn’t want to be one of them. We didn’t want to be associated with them so we judged them instead and became numb to our own desires. We judged ourselves for feeling anything at all. We began to hate our bodies. The breasts, the menstrual cycles, the pubic hair were all reminders of the bodies of women that wanted sex but shouldn’t.
A Familiar Scenario
I grew up in this environment. I remember the days of early adolescence. I was turned on by boys. Lots of them. I wanted them and I wanted them to want me. I was the pastor’s daughter, the ultimate taboo. They knew to stay away from me. I learned to control my hormones and not act on my desires. I knew the rules and what it took to belong. Our reptilian brains are only concerned with survival. When we lived in tribal societies, we depended on our tribe for survival. Without our tribe, we would die. That is still imprinted into our reptilian brains and as children, we will do anything to belong and fit in with those around us in order to survive.
I was allowed to have a boyfriend when I turned 16. Sweet 16 and never been kissed. I wanted to be kissed. I wanted to have sex but I knew I never would until marriage. When my first boyfriend and I kissed, I felt all of the stress and pent up energy release from me. Like a good baptist girl, I refrained from penis-vagina penetration to keep my virgin status. I was a pure one.
I had incredible amounts of sexual energy but I also wanted a husband, a marriage, a house, kids. Those things did not go along with being sexually promiscuous. Being a virgin until marriage was the way to get what I was programmed into believing was the ultimate goal of this human existence.
Accepting What’s Natural
Our sexuality is a normal part of being human. To be human is to be sexual. To deny our sexuality is to deny a part of who we are and that causes pain in our bodies. It causes the pain that women have when they have sex as adults. It causes the numbness that prevents them from being able to orgasm.
The imprinting and programming that we receive as children stay with us into adulthood unless we do healing work to create new neural pathways in our brains that connect pleasure with sexuality. When we do this, we can thrive. We can have sex that feels good, that is connected, that is intimate and loving. And you can too.
Unfortunately, being a sex coach wasn’t very popular when I was going through all of this. I didn’t have any resources immediately available to me to guide me through. But today, there are more than enough resources available. Including me, Sarrah Rose. Whether you’re curious, scared, excited, or interested in developing your sexual mastery skills, both mental and physical, drop me a line. We’ll see if I can’t point you in a new direction.