5 harmful cultural myths about sexuality

Wake up from the matrix of sexuality!

You grew up in a world with a specific idea of what sex is. Your indoctrination into your culture’s sexuality didn’t happen overtly, with clear cut rules to memorize. Your culture’s views on sex bled into you covertly through norms: through the media you ingested, through your parents attitudes, through your own sexual encounters.

The problem is, our culture’s idea of sex is crap. It involves specific pressures of what you should desire, who you should have sex with, and what your sex should look like. But what if your authentic sexual expression doesn’t perfectly map onto the mainstream ideals? Then you feel the friction of coming up against norms – which usually feels like shame, guilt, fear, or insecurity.

I know as well as anyone the shame that accompanies having sexual desires that nobody told me were permissible to have. One of my earliest sexual memories was when I was about 8 years old, and my friend’s older sister wrestled me into submission, and then proceeded to put me in a dog cage. Sex-ed never mentioned that one to me!

But even if you’re not as kinky as I am, you’ve likely encountered pressure in your sexuality. Maybe you’ve felt pressure to be more aroused, or to be less aroused, to orgasm more quickly, or to hold your orgasm off, to want more sex, or to want less sex, to prioritize your partner’s pleasure over your own.

When we ascribe to the mainstream norms ideas about sexuality (and most things in life!) we are doomed for suffering. We’re doomed to follow a sexual script that does not lead to true intimacy, self expression, or growth. The stakes are real – to pursue a life of self actualization, personal liberation, and authentic connection, you must pop out of the sexual matrix you were born into.

Below are 5 (of many other) sexual myths that mainstream culture has indoctrinated into us. By questioning these myths and developing your own beliefs around sexual normalcy, you are headed towards sexual liberation.

Myth # 1: Sex must happen with other people, not just by yourself

People seem to think that masturbation is something horny teenagers do. Or something partners must shamefully hide from each other to avoid bruising the others’ ego.

Let’s do away with that heap of crap right now.

Solo sex is a valid and highly fulfilling form of sex.

I started to study tantric self pleasure a few years ago, and it fundamentally changed the depth of my connection with myself and my erotic energy.

I now self pleasure 3-4 times a week. Sometimes I explore my own world of creative, erotic fantasy. Sometimes I rub my cock as slowly as I can and mindfully soak up the healing effects of pleasure. Sometimes I use Taoist practices to circulate energy in my body. Sometimes I use my self pleasure to release stuck emotions – sessions that result in grief, rage, and catharsis. Sometimes I watch porn for the sheer pleasure of it, or to get inspiration for my own fantasies or play with my partner. Sometimes I don’t touch my genitals at all, but just caress my body with gentle touch. Sometimes I’ll create erotic photoshoots with myself and try on different sexual personas.

I mention all these practices as creative inspiration; developing a sexual relationship with yourself is a crucial ingredient in developing intimacy with yourself and is a powerful tool in unlocking your authentic sexual expression.

If you want to learn about your sexuality, your pleasure, your desires, and your erotic energy, your relationship with yourself is a great place to start.

I also have a glorious sexual connection with my partner, which feeds my erotic energy and needs for intimacy in a different way. But I get so much satisfaction out of my solo sex, I feel like I can approach other sexual partners with a full cup.

Myth #2. Sex must occur with folks of the opposite gender and biological sex

Ugh. There are two problems here.

First, this myth assumes a gender binary (that you’re either a woman or a man). Many folks feel that the gender-binary is a broken model that creates more arbitrary limitations than anything and that it only perpetuates stereotypes on which the patriarchy is built. Regardless of if you take that stance, assuming that sex must be between a cis man and a cis woman is alienating for many.

Second, this myth perpetuates heteronormative culture.

I’ve held many men’s circles over the years, where I create a space for cis men to talk candidly about their sexual desires, challenges, growth, and shame. It is SO common for heterosexually identified men to be terrified of attraction to other men, because of what it might mean about their sexual identity.

So let me smash this one right now. Regardless of what your sexual identity is, all humans are sexually fluid and dynamic. You have the capacity to experience sexual energy with people of different genders and biological sexes. And your sexuality changes throughout your life. Because our culture stigmatizes gayness, queerness, and pansexuality, there is often a layer of fear that folks must work through to discover the full spectrum of their desires. I’m definitely still working on it myself.

Though even if this were true, that underneath your conditioning, you were sexually fluid, you can still have preferences. You can still only want to sexually play with certain gender expressions or genitalia. And you can still use whatever sexual identity labels feel good to you.

Myth #3: Sex must end in orgasm, or else it’s a failure

Our culture’s idea of sex is that two people must foreplay to arouse each other, and then march steadily towards orgasm. There’s a mission to accomplish, so no smelling flowers along the way!

First, I do want to empower orgasm as a beautiful aspect of sexuality to explore. It feels fucking amazing, and watching a partner surrender control to the throes of orgasm can induce a unique combination of reverence and horniness.

And sex is SOOOOOOO much more than just orgasm.

Think about going on a hike. It’s undeniable that getting to the peak is gratifying. Taking in a marvelous view, after hours of strain, while nomming a PB+J is a great experience.

But sometimes it’s cloudy at the peak. And some hikes don’t have a peak. And that PB+J lasts a few minutes, whereas the rest of the hike took several hours. What about the magic of the hike — when you leapt over the stream and barely avoided falling in, when you inhaled the floral bliss of those pink hyacinths, or when you got lost in the woods and then found your way out?

Pretty much every sage, guru, or self help teacher has said something like “the journey is more important than the destination.” That shit is a platitude because it’s damn good advice.

Sex is no different.

You can have sexual experiences with a partner that just involve tracing your tongue over their entire body. You can mesh your bodies together, sync up your breathing, and through sexual energy release a maelstrom of emotion. You can create a hot kinky scene where you kiss your partner’s feet, let your arousal build ferociously, until they make you beg desperately for them to touch your genitals.

Sex is an intimate energy that allows you to connect with your partner. Orgasm is not the point. Being present with each other and journeying into the unknown depths of your connection is the point.


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Myth #4: Sex means means penetration

Remember the whole “first base, second base, third base, home run” thing?

I remember learning in elementary school that:

First base means making out.

Second base means genital touching.

Third base means oral sex.

And home run means intercourse.

Ok, let’s break down this norm.

This norm implies that sex = intercourse. That if you’re not having intercourse, you’re not having sex. That everything else is just preparation for intercourse. This implies that kissing on its own is pointless if it doesn’t lead to genital penetration.

I’m going to redefine sex between two people:

Sex is when two or more individuals exchange sexual energy.

That’s it.

That could mean a body part of one person enters an orface of another person. It could also mean acting out a sexy role play scene together. Or it could mean giving an erotic massage.

Assuming that intercourse is the only (or the best) type of sex sucks so much fun out of the game! Have you ever had intercourse that was unattuned, uninspired, and unenjoyable? And have you ever had a hot kiss that felt timeless and full of erotic electricity? What type of fool would claim the former to be a greater degree of sex than the latter simply because a sweaty flesh beam entered into slippery meat hole?

If you can allow sex to be the exchange of sexual energy, it will open up so much damn possibility in your sex life and dissolve so much sexual pressure. It allows sex to be something that is more about creativity, connection, attunement, and pleasure than about a very specific act.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy penetration. To allow someone into your body can be an immensely deep act of surrender and intimacy. Intercourse can be intimate, animalistic, and beautiful. And it’s not the only way to enjoy sexuality.

Myth #5: Sex must be spontaneous

Many people assume that sex must happen without planning it. That if you plan time to be intimate, it sucks the magic out.

Bologna!

As a writer and creative, I learned from Stephen Pressfield that if you only write when you are inspired, then you are don’t stand a chance. The creative muses reward consistency. You must show up at your creative station every day. Some days you’ll produce nothing short of a turd-sandwich. But other days, the sparkle of your genius will emerge. The creative muses would never gift beautiful ideas on those who won’t show up to create them.

Now, imagine that intimacy is an art form that works the same way. If you only show up for intimacy with your partner when the sparks are already flairing, then in a few months or years, your relationship will likely feel as dry as a mouth full of Saltine crackers.

But if you intentionally set aside time to craft intimacy containers with your partners, then you are proving to the muses-of-connection that your relationship is worthy of magic.

Mystical frameworks aside – setting up intimacy containers will create powerful connection experiences. And the increased intimacy will also leak into spontaneous sexual and intimate connection more often.

Here are some possible ideas for intimacy containers:

-You massage your partner’s genitals for 15 minutes

-You play the 3-minute game

-Make eye contact for 10 minutes

-Get naked in the bath tub and squirt olive oil all over each other. Let the slip n’ slide commence!

-Make out for 15 minutes (you can even explore particular energies. EG one of you being the seducer the other being the seduced. Or exploring a playful makeout, or an animalistic one. Get creative!)

Sexuality and intimacy are practices. Setting aside time to practice will actually create more magical experiences while making you a better lover.

Step out of the sexual matrix

Any time you do feel any discomfort in your sexual journey, it can be helpful to investigate if you’re coming up against any norms of what sex “should” look like.

But if you continue to question what your culture told you sex is supposed to look like, and strive to create a sexual life that is simply your own beautiful expression, then I have no doubt that a life of freedom and incredible intimacy awaits you.

❤️ Mike

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