Sex ‘s Us

UnknownSex is a bad thing, I learned growing up. I don’t know that anyone directly told me that, but that sure was the sense I got.

The religion I grew up in has the highest level of sexual dysfunction in America. My parents and friends came out of that religion and I didn’t talk about sex with any of them. I did notice squirming when “things” came up. Sex ed at school was about contraception and disease. And nasty whispers spread about girls who got pregnant.

Maybe John Harvey Kellogg grew up the same way. He created Kellogg’s Cornflakes in hopes of weakening the sex drive.

By the time I had an orgasm I didn’t know what it was. But I was embarrassed and determined to never let that happen again, no matter how good it felt.

I sure could have used Rohan Healy’s book, SEX, Not as a Separate Subject, which could also be called, “Things I wish I’d learned in middle school – or at least college.”

Not a separate subject?

“We don’t become sexual. We are sexual,” says Healy.

Yes, sex is us.

Healy muses:

Sex, which you must realize, is as banal, ordinary, functional and necessary as any other bodily process, be it eating, excreting, breathing, exercising and simply living! Could you imagine if the same approach was taken to the function of eating?

Speaking in hushed tones about the lovely pasta you made for yourself while everyone was out. Everyone sneaking off to always eat alone, and never, EVER, talking about food in polite conversation.

Yeah, actually I could, kind of. I developed both eating disorders and sexual dysfunction. Now I have to unlearn both.

Actually, Healy researched and wrote the book because it contains all the stuff he wishes he had known a whole lot earlier.

“SEX” gets into things that come up a lot in my blog comments, like overcoming sexual dysfunction, gaining confidence and losing the fear of rejection, finding great people, and learning how attraction works.

He gets into how we must love ourselves, and even learn to enjoy great sex with ourselves, if we want to enjoy great sex with others. I like how he relates fast food to fast sex.

I also appreciate his discussion of sex and rape as two different things, because I have been pushing this idea, myself.

And, so much for slut-shaming! He points to research that suggests the reason guys can orgasm within a few minutes, while women require extended foreplay and have multiple orgasms, is sperm competition. “Put simply,” he says, “it means a lot of guys having sex with a single woman and letting the sperm fight it out for the available egg.” And let the best sperm win!

It’s controversial, but it makes sense.

“SEX” overviews a broad range of subjects, including the effect of thought on our body, outercourse, erotic massage, Tantric sex, anal, oral, masturbation, increasing sexual energy and vitality, non-monogamy, BDSM, body image, and more.

And the story about the Kellogg’s Cornflake guy? That’s in there, too.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on August 14, 2013, in men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Why does “it make sense”? Men could orgasm once a lifetime and still all sleep with the same woman one after another… (Seriously)

    • The point is to get the best genes. So if several men ejaculated into a woman and the best sperm won, you would end up with children with the best genes.

      What does that have to do with this: “Men could orgasm once a lifetime and still all sleep with the same woman one after another…”?

      • Upon further review, I see that I misread the time difference as recuperation time (men need 15 minutes, women can have multiple orgasms), not time it takes to orgasm/ejaculate. My mistake. Overall, it caught my attention because it is similar to Howard Bloom’s discussion on men as the more expendable sex in “The Lucifer Principle.”

      • Ah, thanks for the clarification.

  2. I’m absolutely in love with this article. It reflects truth we so often deny. Although S. Freud is controversial, his work emanates beauty and truthfulness. “Sex ‘s us”, is perhaps identical to Freud’s libidinal sex life drive instinct theory. In his paper on narcissism he explains how we all begin with a primary narcissism, a self-love, which he calls the ego libido. The primary narcissism is the foundation of all our functions, which includes an ego that can love itself and go on to love others. Part of the ego libido goes on to become an ‘object-libido’ which allows the energy to direct outward, onto others and to become in love.

    It’s so unfortunate when we compromise on our existence.

    I’m well aware of this inhibitions and guilt ridden neurosis you refer to. Coming from an extremely ultra orthodox Jewish community and family, I can overly identify with what your portraying. I had friends that like you mention lived with ideals of asceticism, and not only was masturbation,sex, etc… believed to be an act of disgust, eating and chatting were also considered lustful and sinful. What an unpleasant way to live. Perhaps suicide is better than a life full of self torture and guilt.

  3. Great review, and I totally agree with your title: “Things I wish I’d learned in middle school – or at least college.”, I wished I had known things a lot earlier, but hey never mind, it is never to late to try out things. The book makes me feel good about what I think about sexuality and is so open and honestly written. Rohan is a great writer and it was so interesting and easy to read!

  4. Rohan 7 Things

    Reblogged this on rohan7things and commented:
    Awesome and thoughtful review of SEX, Not As A Separate Subject by Georgia of Broad Blogs! Thanks again Georgia, so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    Rohan.

    • You are very welcome.

      I’m hoping to put the review on Amazon too. I tried but I haven’t bought a book there in so long that they told me to buy a book, first. I did and I was still getting the same notice. So I emailed them. I’ll keep trying.

      (I noticed that I could write a review from my husbands account — he uses Amazon all the time – but that would be kind of weird.)

  5. It’s funny to see two blogs I follow crossover like this. Rohan really seems to know what he’s talking about. As a new adult it is nice to know I have a place to go to for reliable information that I can use when the time is right. Thank you for being open and honest about all sorts of topics.

  6. When I was growing up in Scotland, I was taught that sex was good. Intercourse was something that was beautiful. In complete contrast, my Catholic friends were told the opposite. They had to ask for forgiveness for masturbating, because it was a “sin”. It was something I found quite bizarre.

  7. Rohan 7 Things

    Ah thanks for the awesome write up! It means a lot coming from you 🙂 So glad you found many points of interest. And yes, food does have many similarities to the way sex is treated. And indeed it is another natural function that has been hijacked and distorted by religions, pseudo-science and marketing with equally bad results!

    You rock Georgia 🙂

    Rohan.

    ps. If it’s not too much to ask, when you have the time could you paste a version of this post as a review on Amazon? That would be great but please, no pressure 😉

    • It’s a book that covers a lot of issues and I think would be especially helpful for young people. Though older people could use a lot of this stuff too.

      I probably noticed the similarities between food and sex because I’m female. A lot of us girls and women have learned that food is bad, too.

      And sure, I’ll paste the review to Amazon!

  8. An old Scottish sitcom featured a lovely monologue from the protagonist, a working class man with a taste for alcohol and introspection. It went like this: “Now, my wife says she wants an orgasm. An orgasm! What do you want one of those for? She says the woman next door had one. So I said, well, can’t you just borrow hers then?”

    Vivienne.

  9. I have this book on my Kindle, and this review makes me want to put it at the top of the list. Love Rohan’s honesty and directness. I also love your honesty in relations to your sexual upbringing, Georgia. I know that you have affected a lot of people’s sex lives with your blog and teaching. Keep up the good work, both of you. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. Hmmm. Orgasms. First time I had one, it shocked the hell out of me.

  11. overcoming depression

    “By the time I had an orgasm I didn’t know what it was. But I was embarrassed and determined to never let that happen again, no matter how good it felt.” That express the depth of the problem. Me too thinkt that discussion of sex and rape has to be considered as two different things. Nice post.
    Hug,
    Niranjan

  12. Thanks for re–blogging!

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