Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Fri 9 Nov 01 09:23
I address it, and I undress it I guess: Shame. that's the biggest problem people face. Shame of sex in general, of our particular desires, of wanting to engage in activities we've been led to believe are "unnatural" or "perverted." Shame about being attracted to people other than our main partner, having been told if we really really loved him or her we would never want anyone else sexually. Shame about our bodies. Shame about desire towards "inappropriate" people, whether because of their t age or gender or ethnicity. Even people who think of themselves as liberated, and are to a certain extent, find that when they want to act on desire shame rears its ugly head, usually disguised as something else, like: I shouldn't fall in love right now; I shouldn't sleep with someone I don't love; I shouldn't take the time away from my kids/school/profession. Shame permeates every aspect of our sex lives.While all kinds of taboos can enhance sex, I don't think that shame ever does.
Berliner (captward) Fri 9 Nov 01 10:37
I've got about 15 ex-girlfriends who need that sermon. Too bad I don't buy them Christmas presents.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 9 Nov 01 14:26
> Shame permeates every aspect of > our sex lives.While all kinds of taboos can enhance sex, I don't think > that shame ever does. I've been pondering that, Marcy, and I'm not sure I'd agree. For example: People sometimes have sex in public places because there's an added element of excitement at the prospect of getting caught doing it. Getting caught would be embarrassing and it would be shameful. And that shame is being used to heighten the sexual experience.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 9 Nov 01 16:03
I wonder if Marcy means self-shame. Resisting showing up at your own party.
JaNell (goldennokomis) Fri 9 Nov 01 17:47
Dr. Ruth actually said "women don't care as much about having orgasms as do men"? Come again? Pun intended. My limited experience has been that, after it's been established that you will have sex with a man, he's free to go back to things he's more interested in. Whereas I, and the women I talk to about such things, are the frustrated ones... And then you turn thirty and things really rev up. I fantasize more now than ever before... Men, though... I think Robert Heinlein was more on the mark when, in "to Sail Beyond the Sunset", I believe, he had a female charector say something like "if we (women) didn't just plain lead them by the hand, the human race would die out."
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Sat 10 Nov 01 10:21
flying jenny (jenslobodin) Sat 10 Nov 01 11:46
I too am a "woman of a certain age", <castle>, and there are definitely some differences in how I respond, sexually. But, not nearly as many nor as profoundly as I'd been led to expect. My behaviour changed long ago, well before these hormones began to change my life in truly drastic ways. I enjoyed a wonderful time of sexual freedom when I was a young woman, and then began to take other's feelings more into consideration, as well as know myself better and understand my own emotional attachments. These two factors modified my behaviour to a great degree. I fantasize just as much as ever (and, yes, some of the old ones don't do it anymore), but don't act out the fantasies as often with others. Mostly because I am more and more protective of my time and with whom I keep company. But, I can definitely be aroused, hormones or not. BTW, I have been assured by many women that this period of being less interested in sex which some experience passes - one comes through it in time and out into new day. Or night. <29> sounds right, about the shame issue. People are turned on by flouting taboos, but true shame about one's body, sexuality, fantasies is a shame. It's harmful amd hurtful. Anyhow, back to the interview...
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Sat 10 Nov 01 14:19
Yes, exactly. The shame that one might feel about "being caught" having sex in public is way different than the shame women of some ethnicities are made to experience about not being a virgin on their wedding night. The former isn't really shame, or maybe it's that the latter is "self shame" as someone said. I wish I could articulate this better; I will think on it and hopefully come back with some more about it later. The Dr. Ruth allusion about women's and men's feelings around orgasm was something I read quoted in a review of a book she wrote on erotic art; this was several years ago. I believe she said it less blatantly; it was more like, women need cuddling and affection more, whereas men are more focussed on having a climax. There's truth in every stereotype, and some truth in this one, but perpetuating this as if it's inevitable is damaging to both men and women. The women here who are talking about how sexuality changes with age: exactly what age are we talking about? Someone mentioned 30, which to my mind is the first blush of youth! At 55, women who speak of 30 or 40 as if it's "old" sound so deluded to me--like, poor babies, if you only knew what's a-comin! And yet, my 83 yo mother keeps telling me that I'm young, and when I protest I'm sure she sees me as hopelessly deluded too.
Big wet kissey flakes of (goldennokomis) Sat 10 Nov 01 14:30
I'm 37, and very happy to be.
flying jenny (jenslobodin) Sat 10 Nov 01 16:35
Good. You should be. _I_ was talking about menopause, of course, as I assumed was <castle>. I am 52, and not UNhappy to be, especially given the alternative.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 11 Nov 01 00:36
Well, actually, I wasn't talking about menopause, although I suppose that's playing a role here, too. I feel less and less sexy because I've gained an enormous amount of weight in the last few years. I don't see myself as sexy, and I don't feel that people respond to me as if I were; I assume it's my weight. On the other hand, I feel better about myself and more comfortable about myself than I ever have before, and care less than ever before about what people think of me. Also, I'm on anti-depressants, which have just about killed my sex drive, and I suppose that plays a role in my not feeling very sexy, and in fantasizing. I just can't get interested. In fact, from this sexually-deadened point of view, I sometimes think in amazement about how much time and energy I once spent in one way or another pursuing sex or obsessing about sex or fantasizing about sex and I wonder how I ever had any time for anything else.
Big wet kissey flakes of (goldennokomis) Sun 11 Nov 01 08:26
Actually, if it's not under the "too much information" category, I have been through menopause. And back. It was chemically induced as part of treatment for endimetriosis; I got shots for six months. I was, I guess, about 27 at the time, and it was hell. Forty pounds on in six months. I aged so much, and didn't get back to myself until I got pregnant about five years later. Strangely, my mother was being chemically brought out of menopause at the same time... We didn't visit much. Linda~ anti-depressants will do that. I've had much better results from St. John's Wort myself, but you have to go with what works.
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Sun 11 Nov 01 10:55
So Marcy - what haven't we asked that you want to talk about??
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Sun 11 Nov 01 11:03
I know another young woman who went thru menopause at an early age; she and I talked all the time about it. In fact, she was easier to talk to than women my age, bc the latter are of course associating menopause w/ aging, which can depress them; some women even try to hide it so nobody will know they're "over the hill." Linda, antidepressants will do that to you. I have a question, tho: you don't think about sex so much, or desire it out of thin air--but have you tried actually engaging in sex (partnered) despite a lack of desire? Because I found that once I got going, the desire kicked in. Orgasm was still harder to reach, but I still had a damn good time (hm, Dr. Ruth is right???) I've been mulling over the shame thing all night and morning. And still don't have a clear conclusion. In my personal experience, I've been made to feel ashamed of certain sex practices while younger, and it didn't get in my way as an adult. Conversely, some practices, when I first tried them, brought a wave of shame, seemingly from nowhere. Jack Morin in THE EROTIC MIND (highly recommended) came up with this equation: Atrraction + Obstacles = Arousal. He points out that sometimes obstacles heighten arousal, but sometimes they can distract. I consider things like adultery, no access to a bed, neighbors peeking thru the curtains, for instance, to be obstacles that more likely enhance rather than distract from arousal. But shame about one's body, or about showing someone what you like, no, that certainly interferes with sex. Anyone have any other thoughts on this?
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Sun 11 Nov 01 11:04
Melisse slipped in. As I said, I want to talk about sexual shame. This, of course, doesn't exactly fit into the format of me being interviewed about my book--but I'm more interested in learning more than in touting my product!
Lena M. Diethelm (lendie) Sun 11 Nov 01 22:34
What do you wish you'd said about sexual shame in yoiur book?
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Mon 12 Nov 01 03:21
I guess, now that I'm finding there is so much more to say, that I'd just gone into it a little more thoroughly. But, the book isn't meant to be a heavy psychological analysis, so what I did say is probably enough. In fact, everything about the book itself is pretty much a refutation of sexual shame.
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Tue 13 Nov 01 13:56
What sex books haven't been written that should be? What aren't we willing to talk about that we should be? I'm interested in the secrets of sex - which is in itself so secretive to start with.
flying jenny (jenslobodin) Tue 13 Nov 01 18:22
Very sorry for the assumption, <castle>.
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Tue 13 Nov 01 22:42
Re #43: Well, one thing I think people rarely talk about honestly is their fantasies. The down and dirty, shameful, raunchy, bizarre stuff that is so revealing. Another thing we don't want to look at is the sexual tension within the family. Children's and teen sexuality in general: we try to pretend it doesn't exist and if it does, then to stomp it out: a problem to be solved. These are scary things to look at and talk about, and sometimes I'm not even sure it would be a good idea to get them out in the open; at least, I'm not willing to go first! But it's those issues that we repress and deny that contribute to some of our deepest social problems.
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 13 Nov 01 23:08
I want to know more about the book and what's in it! For example, since I don't have a copy, what's in the table of contents?
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Wed 14 Nov 01 13:54
The book is divided into five main sections: Know Thyself; Show Thyself; Be Thyself; Be Thyselves; and And Beyond.each section has three chapters, to wit: Sexploration: Getting to Know Your Sexy Self Overcoming Embarrasment and Shame A Little Help (toys and sexual aids) Exposure = Comfort Learning to Talk About Sex The Mating Game: People are Animals Coffee, Tea or Herbs? ( varieties of sexual relationships) The Five Components of Great Sex The Senses Talking Dirty Role and Fantasy Play with Partners Get out of Bed! Steppin' Out (sex clubs and other sexual entertainment) Beyond the ABCs Experience Yourself Then there's a short epilogue, a resource list and bibliography, and an index.
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Wed 14 Nov 01 13:55
Oops--I forgot the Introduction: How I Went from Clueless to Clued-In
Dr. Leda Horticulture (leroy) Wed 14 Nov 01 14:15
What about Sex for the Jaded?
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Thu 15 Nov 01 14:13
That won't sell; in fact, that's the title of my personal diary.
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