Sex tips are awful. If you don't fit a size 9 shoe, you don't need to saw off your toes to ensure a snug fit. Sexual differences are immediately seen as problems in our culture, as we are anxiously terrified of sex. Lists simply perpetuate absurd standards, and for that reason this isn't actually a list of tips, but instead a collections of quotes. These "tips" run contrary to may of the common ideas espoused about sexuality in the media and our culture at-large.
If you are really looking for a better understanding of sexuality, you can start by doing away with the idea that the answer is in a list.
The ideas that follow are meant to challenge you. If you strongly disagree with any of these points, consider reading the book they come from. Dr. Chris Donaghue's "Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture", released earlier this week, provides a great deal of context and research in support of these perspectives, and many others.
Don't want to buy it? I get that. I like this book so much that I'm giving away 5 copies of it here. And if you don't win instantly through the Amazon giveaway, you can share this article on twitter (or comment below), and be entered to win a second drawing for a free copy of the book! Here is the list:
"If you're a person with sex and relationship interests outside the norm, you've probably been made to feel like you're sick or a freak at some point in your life. Don't worry--you're not the sick one, your culture is."
"Sex education in our country today lies, misinforms, and sets people up for a lifetime of sexual problems. Built on avoidance and denial, it's an education in oppression and violence...Start by ignoring everything you've been taught thus far."
"Oppressive diagnoses such as sex addiction and intimacy disorders, and therapies for issues like fetishism and cheating (highly common sexual preferences that should not be treated as disorders) leave clients worse off and shamed by damaging treatments. These false diagnoses create suffering and illness, rather than curing or treating it. Mainstream therapists have institutionalized and reified a narrow, hierarchal, prejudicial-anxiety-based view of sex and relationships that leads to negative clinical consequences."
"Sexual compatibility is the most important attribute for relational success, coming before psychological, emotional, and social compatibility."
"Psychologically healthy people evolve and have ever-changing wants and desires. The relationships that serve us now may not in the future."
"Nearly everyone who has had sex has also had traumatic and painful sexual experiences. Naturally the best way to heal these traumas is through healthy sex. Sex requires "allowing a place for trauma within sexuality...to maintain a place for shame and perversion within...discourses of sexuality rather than purging them of their messiness in order to make them acceptable" (Cvetkovich, 2003, p. 88).
"Sexual dysfunctions don't exist. These diagnoses are attempts to pathologize diversity and standardize sexual functioning. Most issues are due to social reactions and misunderstandings and not the actual sex. The narrative of individuals with sexual-relational disorders should not be one about dysfunction and pathology, but instead about miseducation, stigma, and social shaming."
"Men are not from Mars. This concept, and all the related books, perpetuate misogyny (the dislike of woman) and misandry (the dislike of men), ignorantly perpetuating gender violence and confusion. The mythic assumed categories of "man" and "woman" are not as distinct and separate as believed. There are no 'opposite sexes'."
"Stop perpetuating the problematic idea of a gendered sexual battle where male sexuality is about perpetrating and stealing sex from females thereby making female sexuality one of victimization. Females have sexual interest and sexual desire, and do want non-relational hook ups. They are not just receptive and submissive."
- "When it comes to sex, 'normal' is not the goal."
Readers interested in reading more should note that each quote comes from the corresponding numbered chapter of Sex Outside the Lines. Published with the permission of the author, follow them on Twitter @ChrisDonaghue.
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