I’ve been watching the series ‘Masters of Sex’. For those of you who don’t know it’s the story of William (Bill) Masters and Virginia Johnson, who pioneered research into the nature of the human sexual response. This research commenced in the 1950’s and I don’t think it has ever been completed.
They published two books out of the research, 1966 and 1970. The only other researcher that had as much impact was Alfred Kinsey who published his findings in 1948 and 1953. Since Masters and Johnson no one else has ever come close since.
This was research like no other. They had to fund it themselves, as a result of which they could and did break all the rules. The series concentrates on the research and how it impacted on their private lives. What is fascinating is how people reacted to them as individuals and how terrified institutions and individuals were by their findings.
They were vilified, humiliated, fired, avoided and disgraced because they dared to talk about and study sex.
This was 50 years ago and my point this week is that as much as we think we’ve grown, changed or become more enlightened we have actually not changed at all.
My neighbours have brought an interdict to prevent me from trading because and although the papers don’t say as much, I dared to bring a sex store into their suburban bliss. I personally am more often than not avoided at social functions (it may be my stunning personality) but I think it has more to do with what I do. One board member objected to me serving on the board of an NGO because someone who works in sex shouldn’t be a representative.
A person walked into the shop the other day, I hesitate to call him a client because the purchase of anything other than a call girl was not on his agenda. He spoke to me as if I was an idiot with lower morals than him. I usually shut this type down with a look but his disrespect was so great that I couldn’t be polite. I advised him that although I now changed the lives of hundreds through the sale of sex toys and sex education I had once been an attorney and that he should be very careful of the next words out of his mouth. He left!
Comments like: Do you have a husband? Do your children know what you do? What do your parents say? Are now met with – What do you mean? And then the backtrack starts, Not me, I’m very open minded but…
The moral of this week’s story is that it’s about time that we grow up and normalise sex or we will still be dealing with the same issues 50 years from now!
A College recently shut down a student’s project which focused on a self pleasure workshop, encouraging students to explore themselves and toys rather than have inappropriate and unprotected sex. From what I understand the owners of the college do not want to be associated with this smut! The HIV workshop is however allowed to continue. I need to add that this is the same college where an aborted fetus was found on the grounds not so long ago, so we know that sex is definitely on the student’s agenda.
I was approached at a talk I gave recently by a woman who LOVED my talk. She wishes I would talk I her daughter’s school because my message of self respect and making informed sexual decisions is so powerful that every woman should hear it. I advised her that I would love to speak at her daughter’s school and that she should arrange it. And then she blew me away with her response.
‘Oh I could never, what would the other parents say!’
The message was clear, she would rather their daughters make inappropriate sexual decisions than be associated with trying to educate them about sex in a real and meaningful way. Of course, she was open minded, but…
I laughed, nothing has changed. We still can’t talk about sex, masturbation, fantasies, fetish or dysfunction without a great deal of anxiety. Most people still giggle and blush when I talk about a penis, vagina or clitoris. We cannot speak to anyone, not even our partners about real sex.
Fear is the overriding emotion when it comes to sex education. Somehow we believe that giving our children real information about sex is going to turn them into raging nymphomaniacs. The reality is that our children are being subjected to the sex education you don’t want them to have because the one thing children have these day is access to the internet.
Sex is either romanticized as ‘it’s love’ and has to be had, or it’s pornographic and for those of us who do have sex know that neither is true. We have sex to feel pleasure so why is pleasure left out of the education equation.
Education is the answer to a great sex life but nobody will allow it to happen because ‘it’s not that they are narrow-minded, but…
So this week, be brave, talk about sex with a complete stranger if you cannot talk to your partner but make a start and who knows we may actually change the way we see sex in the next 50 years.
For more information you can email me Sharon@lolamontez.co.za