The Difference Between Sex and Love

A BBC documentary ‘The Human Body’ presented by Dr Robert Winston films a sex education class.

The teacher, after writing up the word ‘SEX’ in large letters on the blackboard, asks the teenagers to suggest other words associated with sex. Some time later, the teacher asks the class for the one word that is missing and, after a pause, writes the word ‘LOVE’ on the board.

Despite modern contraception, sex still involves the risk of pregnancy, sexual disease and considerable emotional turmoil (!). So we promote the link between sex and love to ensure that young people understand the responsibilities associated with a sexual relationship.

A girl of sixteen came out to the South of France one summer. On her first night she met an Australian whose self-confessed ambition was to lay every woman in the resort. She fell for his chat and blond good looks and lost her virginity. The next day he moved on (mission accomplished so to speak) and she was devastated.

Fathers are protective of their daughters for this very reason. They know that sex drive causes a young man to be highly focused on his own orgasm and that any idea of a relationship is likely to be the last thing on his mind. Since a woman does not get the same easy pleasure from sex, she offers a man short-term pleasure in the hope of longer-term companionship, mutual support and family (or a sense of belonging), sometimes referred to as ‘commitment’.

If young women are hoping for more than a ‘one night stand’ then they are best advised to make a man wait (at least a date or two) for sex. It won’t do a man any lasting harm to wait and if he is interested in you as a person then he will be willing to allow time for trust and respect to develop.

Casual sex is usually about the ego trip
In the long run, most of us find that having sex with someone we know and love adds something special to the experience. But that does not mean that sex and love are the same thing. Sex is raunchy, exhilarating, orgasmic and fun. Love is caring and nurturing. The two can go together or side-by-side but they are different. Women’s sexual expectations in our society are often confused with softer images of love and romance.

Sex education for teenagers (especially girls) should cover not only the reproductive facts but also how they can enjoy a sexual relationship. Most women who experience orgasm do so through masturbation or oral sex. Telling teenagers to limit their sexual experiences to intercourse makes it less likely that a woman might learn how to enjoy her own orgasm. Vaginal intercourse may lead to family but it was never intended to facilitate female orgasm, either physically or psychologically.

“In some cases, it was not even clear to the woman herself whether there had been an orgasm or merely high levels of arousal.” (p199 The Hite Report 1976)

Not every woman is attracted to eroticism and so many women miss out on the sexual fantasies that lead to women’s sexual arousal and orgasm. Shere Hite referred to women’s experience of heightened arousal as ’emotional orgasms’ to differentiate them from real female orgasms. Perhaps the term ’emotional orgasm’ is unhelpful.

Another way of differentiating between women’s experience of orgasm is by asking about the impact of the relationship. Some women explain their experience of orgasm through their relationship and the idea that their partner finds them sexually attractive. Many women never learn to explore their sexuality either through masturbation or through activities other than sexual intercourse and so they miss out on enjoying sexual pleasure and their own sexual arousal and orgasm.

A woman who enjoys orgasm through masturbation can enjoy orgasm quite separately from her relationship because her sexual psychology is driven through sexual fantasies. Each of these experiences is no better than the other but simply different.

Why Pornography Should Be Introduced and Critiqued In Sex Education Programming At All School Levels

The phrase love that dare not speak it’s name was coined by Lord Alfred Douglas. It first appeared in his poem, “Two Loves,” printed (in the Chameleon) in 1896. It’s a reference to homosexual love, in Lord Alfred’s case, of Oscar Wilde, who was subsequently charged with gross indecency. Homosexuality was a criminal offense in England and just about everywhere else in the 19th century. Today, there is another sexual outlet not so much forbidden as not addressed in polite or other society – a new form of love the name of which sex educators dare not speak: pornography.

This is most unfortunate: a new study suggests that while parents may not be aware of the fact, pornography is the leading sex educator of the young. Alas, the porn industry has no interest in serving a sex education function and certainly does not do so, at least not in a positive, constructive or healthy fashion.

Porn is pervasive, particularly where it is most highly censored. China, for example, is the world’s leading consumer of porn. Jerry Ropelato, author of “Internet Pornography Statistics” at the research website Top Ten Reviews, notes that $3,075.64 is spent on pornography every second of every day. In this one-second period, 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography and 372 internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. Two of the top twenty search terms are teen sex and teen porn. The pornography industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined. Data from 2006 reported worldwide pornography revenues at $97.06 billion.

Australian researchers David Corlett and Maree Crabbe filmed 140 interviews with young people in what was called “The Reality and Risk Research Project.” They discovered that teens are increasingly turning to the net for sex education. (Source: Denise Ryan, “Teachers urged to address porn factor,” The Australian Age, February 13, 2012.) Porn sex education exerts a destructive influence in the lives of the young. One of the investigators said, “Every young person we interviewed told us that pornography is a significant part of youth culture and particularly of young men’s lives.” She added, “Pornography has become harder, rougher, more hardcore.”

Porn, as you might expect, does not commonly offer instruction in matters relevant to conventional sex education (e.g., the nature of contraception, the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, the value of intimacy, principles of effective relationships). On the contrary, what it inadvertently communicates to young men, according to “The Project” research group, is reckless, coercive and abusive treatment of women. There is an absence of realistic perspectives and a dearth of respectful treatment of sexual partners. In addition, sexual practices of an unsafe nature are commonplace. While informed adults may have the maturity to manage such depictions, teens with little or, more often, no sexual experience clearly do not.

Since parents usually cannot keep porn from being accessed one way or another or one time or other by their children, the more likely best strategy is to include porn awareness in sex ed instruction. This is the focus of efforts by “The Project” team. Several grants have provided the resources to prepare and test programs for use in training sex education teachers for varied school grade levels. While teachers need skills to address this issue, teens need exposure to effective critiques of pornography’s representations of gender and sex. Among the objectives of the Project team is to develop teaching materials that present diverse scenarios for classroom discussions that will enable young adults to distinguish between what they see depicted in porn and reality.

The overwhelming majority of parents believe their child has never seen pornography. However, a 2003 Australia Institute investigation citied in the Australian Age article cited above reported that 84 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls had access to sex sites on the internet. A 2006 Australian study of youths aged 13 to 16 found that 92 per cent of boys and 61 per cent of girls had been exposed to pornography online.

Of course, Republicans in this country might favor a simpler solution: Pass new laws banning pornography or otherwise make it nearly impossible for young people to gain access to it. Given the widespread availability of social media of all kinds in the wired culture of our age, a reliance on censorship does not seem promising (not to dwell on the consistency of such a Draconian tactic with that troublesome First Amendment in America). Good luck cutting off porn – shy of creating a police state. Better sex education is cheaper and quicker, more likely and better suited to personal liberties and sound education.

Everyone, including the young, needs a broad set of knowledge and critical thinking skills to reject a sexuality that eroticises degradation and violence, glorifies unrealistic body types (particularly large breasts and out-sized penises) and undermines relationship elements founded on respect, courtesy and the common decencies.

It is hard enough in the current climate of Right Wing evangelical Republican culture war wedge politics to gain acceptance for sex ed of any kind, let alone adding porn assessment to the mix. If a school board or individual educator in this country tried to address pornography, he or she would be cited by Santorum, Romney or Gingrich as an example of what’s wrong with Obamacare. Try dealing with this crisis only if willing to deal with a firestorm of controversy from the Right.

Yet, all evidence and the lessons from Prohibition and the Comstock era suggest that ignoring or trying to repress the pervasiveness of pornography as it affects youthful sexual expectations and behavior is pernicious and irresponsible.

In my view, we need to make clear as part of sex ed that porn has nothing to do with love. We dare not NOT speak its name – and dare NOT ignore the reality of pornography’s dreadful influence on the sexual miseducation of the young. If this upsets Republicans, well, that’s just too bad. If they had enjoyed better sex education, they might be more sensible about such things – and probably less interested in porn, as well.

Be weller than well, give ’em hell and try always to look on the bright side of life.

Sex Tips During Pregnancy

In some cultures, having sex during pregnancy is forbidden. However, medically, there is no harm in making love during pregnancy especially when there are no complications associated with the pregnancy. Many will opt not to have sex during pregnancy due to self consciousness and the thought of making love in the presence of their unborn children.

Many will have different reasons to justify why it is not right. But, during pregnancy couples need to know that it is perfectly alright and the following are top things to be kept in mind.

1. No harm can come to the baby through sex because the baby is protected by amniotic fluid as well as a wall of mucus that seals the cervix to keep away all possible infections. However, it is important for those with difficult pregnancies to check with their doctor for advice.

2. During pregnancy, women will have elevated libido. However, this will vary from woman to woman. In the first trimester, the sex drive will be low due to nausea caused by morning sickness as well as affected mood due to hormonal changes. During the second trimester, many women have the highest sex drive.

3. Men have the power to change the mood of women during pregnancy. Understanding and love will show caring and women will be more responsive. Therefore, regarding sex, avoiding simple conflict will help during this time.

4. Although some men will not want to have sex with pregnant women, many men will find their pregnant partners pretty attractive. Men have to rise to the occasion for success. Talking to a doctor about it will shed light.

5. Sex positions during pregnancy can make all the difference. There are good resources available online that can guide on positions that will not cause discomfort to women.

6. Sex has the power to induce labour and many times, women who are late on delivery can be advised to have sex. Having said this, it is important to follow your heart during pregnancy and do what you feel right to suit you and your partner. Making love after all is more than sex.