Who gets to be sexual?
Culturally, we separate our sexuality from every other social role. This is done through the creation of sexual archetypes. These archetypes are Virgin, Mother and whore for women and stud/playboy, husband/father and cuckold for men. These archetypes define how we can be and limit our access to sexuality. They also create silences by making sex unspoken and unspeakable. When things go wrong we are often trapped by a socially constructed muteness. This muteness is all too often steeped in and maintained by shame, ignorance, frustration and anger.
Whose responsibility is to grow our sexual relationship?
Many of us grow up believing that our primary sexual relationship has to be with another person. A more helpful belief is that our primary sexual relationship is with ourselves. We share that part of ourselves with others. Each person is responsible for growing, nurturing and understanding their own sexuality. In order to know and ask for what you want sexually, you must explore your sexuality. That exploration happens through fantasy, masturbation, and sexual play. All these things help us to understand and explore how our particular erotic life is structured so that we can share that information with partners. So our most fundamental sexual relationship is with ourselves.
In my work with couples I try and encourage each person to explore their sexuality. Fantasy does not hurt anyone else and it helps you understand what is arousing for you. Masturbation helps you learn what brings you to orgasm and makes you responsible for your own orgasm. It prevents a dependency on partners to “give” you an orgasm and instead makes you responsible for your own orgasm as well as responsible for informing lovers about how you like to have an orgasm.