Is Sex The Be All And End All?
For those of you who read my most recent post 'Let's Talk Nigerian Weddings!', you'll know that my sister recently got married (woo!) and whilst I shared loads of pictures of the event and some context behind traditional marriages represent in Igbo culture, one thing that I didn't talk much about was her Hen Party.
Being the anal and overly organised person that I am, I planned everything from start to finish. Being a Barbie theme, the whole room was filled with pink balloons, streamers, a huge barbie cake, a barbie photo prop box and of course a lot of pink themed drinks, cupcakes and food to go around but the best thing of that evening was one of our special guests - a sex therapist (the other was obviously a stripper, what hen night is complete without one).
Anyway, I didn't know what to really expect. I mean you don't routinely meet sex therapists in your casual day to day settings, but that said I wish I had met one sooner and based on the reaction to the session by the other girls I can tell that I wasn't the only one who thought so.
Essentially the session focussed on ways to better know your body and your partner's body, some top tricks to increase pleasure during sex and then also some nifty tips on how to make your partner go crazy (with you putting in a lot less work than you think). What's really interesting though is that although everyone was on the edge of their seats, hanging on every single word that this lady said so many of the girls in the room (myself included) wouldn't ever really talk about sex so casually except in the company of her closest girlfriends. Yet the number of questions anonymously submitted that evening for the sex therapist to answer show that there is a lot that we as women want to know about sex and are yet too afraid to ask.
Why is that women are nervous or embarrassed to speak openly about sex?
The interesting thing is that the questions asked are probably things that we all wonder about anyway! From 'how best to please a man' or 'Is it weird I don't always climax' and even one or two about threesomes. Even then, it seems like no matter there will always be a stigma associated with women who are comfortable with talking about or engaging frequently with sex. After all during our session with the sex therapist we weren't allowed to take any photographs due to her fear that as 'a single woman and her close associate with sex and talking about it would affect her chances of finding a partner'.
Not that I agree that this should be the case, but I can can't blame her for thinking this way especially in Nigeria where things are a little bit more conservative. Personally, when it comes to intimacy I'm pretty low key. This isn't because I believe that you will be shunned public if you do choose to sexually free, I just personally feel that two people should have a connection before taking that next step. Although that said, the word 'connection' is obviously open to interpretation. Some people may feel a connection after a couple of hours with a person whereas others may feel it over a period of a few months, it isn't to say that one is right over the other but I do believe that one (the latter) is more socially acceptable than the other.
If any of you have watched Sex and the City, I'm sure you can recall the episode where Charlotte disapproves of her brother entering a relationship albeit casual with Samantha because she, in not so many words, thinks that Samantha is a slut. It just goes to show that while you can support your fellow girlfriend for being sexually liberal, you wouldn't necessarily embody this behaviour yourself as you deem it as undateable. Again, I know I'm not speaking on behalf of all people but I think that most people, even if it is on a subconscious level, do think this way and the men are no exception to this.
I remember once talking to my friend about the guy she was dating and she told me that her and this guy finally had the 'body count' conversation aka how many people they had each slept with, after she told the guy she was up to guy number 7 he said that was pretty high and he didn't expect a girl 'like her' to have been with that many people. Before you ask, nope they didn't continue to date, as my friend should, she stuck up for herself and said that she couldn't be with someone who believed in such double standards.
Although, in saying all this the sex therapist did leave us with one very important message. She said that in her experience, or anyone else she had met/counselled 'sex does not equate love'. This was coming from a woman who clearly knew how to throw it down in the bedroom but had found herself left on more than one occasion because her partner felt that the relationship wasn't right at the time. So, sure be sexually free to the degree that YOU want to and that YOU are happy with, it's normal and healthy but it is also important to remember that other things matter in a relationship and these can't be fixed with the bandaid of 'good sex'.
This takes us back to our title 'Is Sex The Be All and End All?'..... well, no I don't think so. I do believe that we as women we definitely need to become more comfortable with discussing what we like and don't like in the bedroom and we definitely shouldn't be 'slut shamed' for enjoying sex to the same degree as men. But I also think that sex doesn't define a relationship as either good or bad. I don't think sex is the same as intimacy and because of that I don't think that it is the be all and end all, it is more about the relationship between the two people and how they choose to explore it - physically or emotionally.