Right To Satisfaction

Audio version:

Sex is a human right.

And not just sex. Satisfying sex. Not going through the motions sex or compulsory, mundane, perfunctory sex. Great sex. The kind often described as mind-blowing, but that I would call “poetic” and “connected” and “soul calming.” You should [cough] insert your own adjectives and adverbs here. I’ll wait. Fantasizing is also a human right.

Welcome back.

Sex is a biological imperative. Despite the best efforts of feminists, outspoken LGBTQ activists, sex educators, sex-positive talking heads (heh) and other cultural norm challengers, this basic fact seems to be escaping a large swath of our population. I’m not even talking about the Rick Santorum/Tony Perkins/Pat Robertson followers with the distorted perspective of sex as mandatory, procreative and guilt-ridden. (Also missionary, cis male on cis female and with the bare minimum of orgasming required to produce offspring — i.e. from the male only.)

Right now I’m talking to almost everyone in this country. If you shy away from the idea that sex is a pleasurable experience that connects the people involved and — when consensual — provides a release and a high and a firm functional reset that affects your entire perspective and ability to handle the bullshit life flings about constantly, then I’m talking to you.

We are so damn Puritanical in this country. I know — I grew up in small town U.S.A. with a Bible on my nightstand and an intense need to repent when I enjoyed making out with my high school sweetheart who was just as virginal and just as religious as I was. That guilt doesn’t reside purely in the religiously devoted — it’s simply how mine manifested. The roots of our ancestors who fled to this country to practice a much, MUCH stricter and more judgmental form of Christianity is pervasive and infects every corner of our culture no matter your religious background or upbringing.

It’s high time we knocked that nonsense off. We are pent up and frustrated as a people who largely attempt to cram ourselves into boxes not designed for us simply because we’re uncomfortable exploring what we do want and are too afraid to let others know we might be atypical. Even though there isn’t much typical when it comes to sexual desire or preferences. There is only compatibility and we should be seeking that without apology.

It is ok for you to seek fulfillment. You should maybe hear that one more time. It is ok for you to seek fulfillment. Whatever that means for you. That doesn’t mean you simply must have what the media is pummeling you with or what your parents have or what your crazy upstairs neighbors have. It means exploring what you need and want and might enjoy. It means stumbling headlong into “Nooo….that is not what I’m into” and “WOW, who knew that was going to be amazing?!” It means finding respectful partners who dig what you do and want to explore connecting and sharing explosive moments and laughing and letting go and experiencing pure abandon.

Absolutely every single person needs to let go. It’s why we ride roller coasters and jump out of planes and eat ridiculously bad for us desserts and dress up at Halloween and cheer at sporting events. In those moments, you give up control and give in to the NOW. As children, we ran outside and played in the rain, created make-believe worlds and accepted that our teeth would bring us cash because a fairy creature snuck into our room and swapped our teeth out for quarters over night. Outgrowing those particular acts of abandon and fancy doesn’t mean we shed the desire to play.

So go play. Right now. If this whole idea makes you nervous because you’re lugging around the Puritanical ideal, don’t be mad or disappointed in yourself. It took me 13 solid years of not living in a small town to realize that getting married and having kids was the affirmative, active choice — one I could decide against (and have). We all must shake things from our pasts and snap out of deeply engrained neurosis. Feel free to flashback to your childhood and start by building a pillow fort in your living room and crawling in with a book and a flashlight. Then bake something this weekend that you’ve always wanted to try. Attend that event in your neighborhood even though you didn’t find anyone to come with you. Respond “going” to the Facebook invite for the new kickball league.

Do a thing. Give yourself permission to step out. When you discover that it isn’t just ok, that it is, in fact, fantastic, transfer that attitude over to the way you view your body and intimacy and partnership. Then allow yourself some room to breathe. There will be an adjustment; you will over-analyze; you might even identify a smidge with a Woody Allen** character. That’ll wear off.

Start using your own words to describe yourself and what you like. Create your own vocabulary if you want. Then share it with a close friend you know will be supportive. (You probably have a friend you describe as “crazy” that’s been waiting for you to come around.) Look for people who gravitate toward your interests and initiate with them or integrate your new thought patterns into the relationship(s) you’re in already. Communicate. Work through it. When your partner(s) sees how much freer and happier you are, they’ll be on board. You might even inspire them to do the same. If you think you’re enjoying each other now, just wait.

If you need practical reasons to take my advice about unleashing the you that’s always been just under the surface, seek therapy. I’m not really kidding. In the meantime for those that need motivation, sex is — for once — precisely as advertised in the “good exercise” department. It also releases chemicals that are good for everything from your teeth (the kissing) to your heart (duh, blood flow) to your brain (hello, endorphins!). People who have sex regularly are happier and live longer. So, do it for health reasons at first, if you must. We’re approaching the holidays; they’re high stress and most people obsess over weight gain (thanks, impossibly annoying holiday shopping commercials). Make this the year you implement a New Year’s resolution ahead of time; you aren’t going to keep the others anyway.

Ok? Ok.

I used the word SEX a lot in the paragraphs above, so possibly some of you got distracted and the underlying point may have gotten lost. For those folks, and anyone else to whom it hasn’t been made completely clear, allow me to be plain and frank: sex that’s satisfying to your body and soul (or whatever you call it) is a human right. As in, for every human no matter their socio-economic status, gender, orientation, location, history, biology, or {insert any damn thing here}.

So, to you, Dear Reader, I say: welcome to humanity. Now, go forth and enjoy.

If sex positivity sounds overwhelming or pariah-inducing, shoot me an email and I’ll connect you to some great resources. I’m open and, though I’m a straight cis woman, I have overflowing empathy for people who don’t fit the heteronormative box. I know what it’s like to try and figure out who you are, what you want and what that means well into adulthood. Happiness is there for you. ❤
**I wrote this before he was a well-publicized abuser.

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2 replies

  1. Couldn’t agree more; the only thing I would add is that we seem to have gotten more uptight and more puritanical in this country over the last ten years, and certainly within my living memory. It is thus incumbent on us, besides decrying it, to change attitudes as much as possible.

  2. This is a great post that I 100% agree with (and act upon when the moons align). But it’s also much harder than it sounds. I tend to meet guys (I’m a straight, single 40-something woman) who are either “alright” (nice and nonoffensive) that I don’t find sexually attractive. Or I meet hot guys who ONLY want sex, and don’t care so much about it being “mind-blowing” or “connected.” And please don’t say the words “online dating” to me. If you do, I will cut you. Also, as much as I enjoy sex, I would also really like to be in a relationship. I know, I’m old-fashioned.

    I recently had “connected,” amazing sex with a short-term lover abroad. He cared about my pleasure: attentive, tender and relentless. I don’t want to go back to what I know now were lesser sexual experiences, as fun and enjoyable as they were. But finding that perfect lover is a RARE experience, especially for straight women. As liberating, healthy and necessary great sex is, we need to be honest that for many women, especially those over a “certain age,” it’s not as common to find as say, a Starbucks. And masturbation, at least for me anyway, can only take you so far.

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