Recently, I was asked by a columnist to answer the question: Is sex an important part of our lives? Why or why not?
Here’s what I wrote in response:
Sex is Naturally a Part of Who We Are
There are many parts to each of us—the emotional, the physical, the cognitive, and the sexual. Each of these is an important part of our authentic selves, and it’s important we find healthy ways to express our naturalness in all these ways.
The more we’re in touch with our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our sexuality, the better. And more we can express these parts of ourselves in healthy, vital ways, the better.
From a sexual perspective, it’s healthy for all of us to be in touch with our sexual selves—to know ourselves as sexual beings who long for contact with one another in this very connecting way.
Sex Connects Us
If we’re married and have a partner, sex can be an important part of our bonding with one another, increasing our desire to be together and increasing our willingness to give to one another both in the bedroom and outside of it. Sex draws us together and makes us more willing to compromise, to understand, and to care for.
If we’re not in a committed relationship, finding healthy ways to express our sexuality can sometimes be more difficult. But it’s no less important that we remain connected to our sexual selves and find healthy outlets to express ourselves sexually, be that in fantasy, in art, or through healthy and safe sexual experiences.
There’s no one right way to express our sexuality, and it’s important that we allow ourselves permission to find our own unique ways to express ourselves.There is a great deal of shame around sex in this culture, and we want to work to avoid collapsing into a shame-based experience around sex. Rather, we want to allow ourselves to have our own voice and our own experience with sex.
Discussing Our Sexuality
If we’re uncomfortable with our sexuality, or parts of our sexuality, it’s good to find a person—be it our partner, our friend, or our therapist—to talk with about our sexual selves.
For many of us, talking about sex has been taboo, and that has kept us from learning and growing sexually. Just like it’s important to express our feelings and not repress them, it’s important to express our sexuality in words with trusted people first.
We’re always learning and growing, and our sexuality is no exception to that rule. Sexuality is a wonderful, liberating, and exciting part of ourselves. However, for many of us, it’s become repressed, feared, or even hurtful. The more we can work through our issues with sexuality, the more we can reclaim this important part of ourselves.