Imagine what life might look like if we all had a good, solid dose of comprehensive sex education. Imagine shame and guilt – the two constant companions of countless sex drives – replaced with open-minded curiosity and wonder.
Pleasure of all kinds would become a welcome respite, and our capacity to combine long-lasting relationships with our own personal language of intimacy would thrive. I daresay if our kids believed we wanted them to have healthy and vital intimate lives, they would be getting a better education of what healthy sex looks like just from growing up at home.
Imagine if great sex was celebrated as part of the journey of growing up over a lifetime. Maybe porn would even get boring and clandestine affairs would seem not worth the price. A little sex education could go a long way to revolutionizing how we live and love.
Here are a couple of simple practices that are useful in all aspects of life, but when applied to sex education, they could help bring more understanding and intention to this most mysterious aspect of our humanity.
1. Open Up to Curiosity
Education – erotic and otherwise – is only possible for a mind that is open.
Being open to learning about the countless ways there are to express and experience your sexuality is a creative act, perhaps one of the most procreative aspects of living in a human body. This does not mean that you give up your values or relinquish all your boundaries to have better sex, but it does mean that the view gets more expansive.
Curiosity can also be curative and plays into our natural capacity to expand our sense of self, explore, and go beyond our own limits. The opposite of curiosity is judgment which explains why so much sexual behavior that we don’t understand is not really questioned as much as it is judged. It also explains how so many people get to a place where they deeply believe that there is only one way to have sex – the way they know, which is a guaranteed path to sexual disappointment and boredom.
When it comes to sex education, our curiosity is how we transform shame and guilt.
2. Add Some Creative Energy
Creativity happens in us when we can make something new out of what is already in front of us. When it comes to our sexuality, creativity can be as simple as offering our undivided attention and becoming present to our sensations and interactions.
In fact, creative practices that employ wonder and expansive thinking can transform not only your sex life, but revitalize how you eat, dress, and spend time with the people you care about. Too often we sequester our sexual life as something unique and distinct from the rest of who we are. But truly it is more of a reflection and serves as a mirror into the way we live.
Being more creative and open-minded about your entire day will bloom into sexual creativity in the bedroom.
3. Balance Entertainment with Education
Using what we think of as sexual entertainment as a guide for a better sex life is like eating junk food as a primary source of nutrition. A little sex entertainment can be fun, like the occasional hit of junk food, but it isn’t education or nutrition. Sex entertainment can add a little spice to a sex life that is already open and curious, but it is not curative when you are stuck in a place of judgment and fear.
There are so many incredible resources for real sex education in video, books, virtual, and live therapy and counseling that there is no excuse not to seek out real help. Some of the most memorable and important moments of my life happened in a therapist’s office, in part because when I got there, I was truly curious and interested in learning how to think differently so my mind was totally open.
Even in the most distressing moments of recognizing how we have made our own boxes that limit our life experience, there is the light of education that cuts away at what has kept us from our best life, our best self.