Despite all that has been published about psychology and sexuality, the cultural influence perpetuated by television, commercials and the mass media in general still influences our beliefs about how we should live our sexuality. Today we live surrounded by a distorted hypersexuality through which, above all in young people, the appearance of a desire that prevails over that of the other is strengthened , which is why we professionals have to approach the subject of sexuality with a gender perspective.
The truth is that our beliefs and fantasies about what life as a couple should be like and how we should live our sexuality are closely related to the difficulties that we psychologists encounter in the office.
Living a better sexuality
Silvia de Béjar quoted in the book “Your sex is yours”, that the most powerful sexual organ is our brain . Therefore, if we live our sexuality by focusing on thoughts that feed guilt, prejudice and stereotypes, we are condemned to sexual dissatisfaction. The renowned sexologist also reminded us that we live in an era where we all have televisions at home but, even today, there are many women who do not know what it means to have an orgasm.
What to do? The 5 Principles for Enjoying Sexuality
Once we have contextualized the path we have to follow and the cultural influence that conditions us, we will focus on the solutions . The 5 basic principles to enjoy a full and healthy sexuality are the following.
Principle 1: Your Sexuality Starts with You
This is a principle that points us directly to women, since we have a history that puts us at a disadvantage in relation to men, in which our predecessors could not choose and lived their sexuality according to the dictates of a patriarchal society, so they barely knew their bodies and listened to their needs. The only messages they received related to the subject of sex were about their menstruation, and in some cases not even that, and their duty to please their husband, in an intimate atmosphere, yes, but also clouded by the prejudices and misgivings of the time.
Today, certainly, more and more women have practically the same knowledge about their own sexual organs as men , and this self-knowledge is key to be able to talk about orgasm. This is principle number 1, which states that, whatever gender you are, you must know your own sexuality, and know and accept your body (self-confidence is key). And yes, it also includes the option of practicing autoeroticism, masturbation, self-stimulation… whatever we call it, it all starts with our own body and our pleasure.
Principle 2: Always subject and never object
To objectify is to “treat/convert” a person, a living being, into an object, an inanimate being, for its use or even for its abuse. It is true that there are sexual fantasies in which one person is used by the other, but they always imply a consent of the supposed “object”, so that he or she enjoys that sexual use. The emotions and desires of both people count, and when that is the case, we would not talk about abuse or violence.
Concepció Garriga, a renowned psychologist, in her article Goodness in female subjectivity: Implications for the clinic and for sexuality reflects the influence of patriarchy in the construction of our sexuality , emphasizing the goodness that was expected of women, and that materialized in caring for and pleasing the other, putting the emotions, desires and needs of the other above those of the woman herself. Evidently, this concept of sexuality has been transformed, but as I introduced in the article, there are still cultural creepers that slide under the door of our bedrooms and enter our intimacy, which we have to identify in order to enjoy a healthy sexuality.
To be a subject means to be free, to be a protagonist and to listen and attend to one’s own desires . The two people who make up the couple (man-woman, woman-woman, man-man) have to be subjects and therefore both needs, subjectivities and lusts have to be heard.
Principle 3: Full sexual awareness through Mindfulness
Mindfulness is becoming increasingly well known, but little has been said about how much it benefits sexual practices, the regular practice of techniques such as meditation or Mindfulness.
The rational and cognitive pressure that our mind can exert if it is not controlled during sexual relations can generate automatic thoughts of insecurity (“I’m not doing too well”, “I’m sure he doesn’t like it”) that are triggered in the absence of an erection (erectile dysfunction) in men, or difficulty in reaching orgasm (anorgasmia) in women.
Exercise your mind . Don’t let it stop you from enjoying a full and satisfying sexuality.
Principle 4: Sexual generosity, shared pleasure
If both people can be subjects, it means that both can choose what to do, what to desire, what to experience, what helps us to enjoy and what we can share . To desire, to decide, to experience and to enjoy, four verbs that lead to orgasm.
But it doesn’t mean not pleasing the other party. Sexual relations must be reciprocal, two-way, selfless and generous. That means that to enjoy a healthy sexuality in a couple, the pleasure of the other person has to increase your own pleasure, because for you the enjoyment of the other party counts and yours in reverse, there is reciprocity . Only by thinking about relationships in this way can we talk about satisfactory relationships.
Obviously if we are not mentalists we cannot guess what excites the other person, so it will be important to continue reading the next and last principle.
Principle 5: Communicate, express and trust yourself
Joan Costa, communicologist and business consultant, author of the book “Communication in Action: Report on the New Management Culture”, makes the following statement: “Communication is action and action is communication”. Naturally, Costa uses it in business practice, but personally I believe that we can also apply it to Sexuality and Human Relations in general. To communicate during sexual relations is action and to act is to communicate .
Complicity will be determined by our ability to communicate to the other person what the path to our orgasm is, to observe, to experience and our ability to listen to them. Express yourself without prejudice. Without taboos, having confidence in yourself is decisive.
We acquire confidence through self-knowledge and experimentation. Both experiences lead us to feel safe, and for this reason many experts place sexual fullness at 35 years of age or older . But as a psychologist, I disagree and consider that the reality is that today, thanks to cultural changes, and above all to advances in psychology, it is possible to enjoy sexuality with maturity well before the age of 35, and these five principles are the key to this.