“Sex that works depends on our being able to trust ourselves, and our ability to trust ourselves depends on understanding who we are and how we relate to the people around us.” Wendy Strgar, Sex That Works.
It bodes well for my new book, Sex that Works, to launch on the first day of Pride month. For nearly 5 decades, the LGBT community has commemorated the Stonewall Inn Protest of 1969 each June. Over the years the Gay Pride marches for equal rights and protection under the law have grown into huge celebrations of identity expression. Their iconic rainbow flag offers a symbol of inclusion for every form of sexual love and urges all people everywhere to take pride in their sexuality and gender identity. In many ways, the struggles that the LGBT community has endured and their persistent courage in defending their sexual right to be themselves, as well as to love and marry as they choose, has encouraged them to more deeply embody both the gifts and challenges of their erotic souls in community.
One of my favorite chapters in Sex that Works is called ‘Finding Your Normal’, in which I discuss how to build a context to better understand how we relate to each other sexually. Often the utter lack of context for our sexual reality complicates the question of ‘what is normal?’ for so many of us. In addition to an extremely limited formal sexual education, the rarity of authentic conversations about our sexual behaviors contributes to a lack of context for our sexual selves. In other words, most of us don’t experience our sexuality in community. Here lies one of the greatest gifts and most important lessons we can learn from our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community.
Annual Pride celebrations show us all how creating strong communities around sexual and gender identities throws the question of normal to the wind. Their beautiful rainbow flags flying high gives us all permission to consider what our sexual life can mean to us when we allow ourselves to deeply identify with and enjoy the many gifts of our sexual identity. Their beautiful rainbow flags flying high gives us all permission to consider what our sexual life can mean to us when we allow ourselves to deeply identify with and enjoy the many gifts of our sexual identity and liberty. The Pride Communities show us that we all have the right and even the duty to relate more deeply to our sexual selves and sexual liberties without shame. They teach by example that the more that we all learn to integrate our everyday identity with our erotic selves, the less reactive and afraid we are not only about our own sexuality, but also that of others. It is within community and dialogue that our sexual nature becomes clear. The questions of normalcy that often hobble our sexual curiosity can open up to a rainbow of sexual choices.
If you have never attended a Pride event, consider including yourself this year in the ongoing fight for sexual liberty and identity expression for all. I know that basking in the strength, joy and power that comes from a community dedicated to the sexual liberty of all is both inspiring and healing. Each individual who releases the secrecy and shame from their sexual identity nurtures their individual capacity for sexual freedom and pleasure. In turn, expanding the collective consciousness of sexual truth. No matter where you fall on the vast spectrum of sexual identity and preferences, having the courage to overcome your own sense of sexual isolation by joining or making community is essential. Finding resources and answering questions of identity replaces fears of sexual abnormality with a genuine curiosity which is sure to build more sexual pleasure. Once we stop asking, “Is this normal?” and start asking, “Is this working for me?”, and “Is it working for my relationship?” a whole new world opens up.
Here’s to a sex life that works for everyone… and embracing our sexuality with pride.