Couples Who Talk about Sexuality May Have Healthier Marriages
Byline: Ken Potts
America is one of the most sexually-charged cultures in the world, yet Americans are among the most sexually ignorant people in the world.
Sexual problems rank among the most prevalent and threatening in American marriages.
These observations are reported time and again in journals and texts that deal with human sexuality. I don't know if we will ever be able to fully understand the relationship between our cultural obsession with sex, our sexual ignorance and our problems with sex, but I'm sure a relationship exists.
We find sex everywhere - television, the movies, books, magazines, fashion and advertising. Yet sex is used in these arenas primarily to entice us to tune in, attend, listen, read, approach and especially to spend money.
When it comes to knowledge about sexuality and its positive expression in human relationships, however, we are hardly so well versed.
Sex education is often barely that. When we talk about sex in our families or our schools, we tend to concentrate on what not to do, or speak in vague generalities about sex as some mysterious element reserved for marriage.
Of course, most of us do learn about sex. We talk about it incessantly in our peer groups, where the rule is always to pretend we know more than we really do, and pick up what we can from magazines and movies. Somehow it always looks a lot easier when "they" do it. All in all, what we do learn is usually both inaccurate and overly simplified.
It's no wonder, then, that when men and women do express their sexuality in long-term, intimate relationships such as marriage, confusion, misunderstanding and problems often arise. When not dealt with positively, these problems can severely threaten the health of any relationship.
Though there is an awful lot about human sexuality that we don't comprehend, there are some things that we can do to help us express it more positively.
-Add to our knowledge - researchers have learned a good deal about male and female sexuality in recent decades. Most of this knowledge is now readily available in any number of good books on the subject. We may be surprised what we'll find out.
-Develop self-awareness that each of us is unique. If we are to enjoy to the fullest our sexuality, we must learn how we as individuals experience it. …