Sex is surrounded by a plethora of social norms, religious restrictions and moral taboos. Jamie Goldenberg, an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, and a variety of colleagues, have empirically tested the relationship between mortality concerns and sex concerns in a variety of studies. The basic finding is that when people have been thinking about their own death, they show less interest in the physical aspects of sex.
Many couples have never had a serious conversation on this subject. People, who are educated and mature, having no problems discussing religion, finances and even politics; find it difficult to openly and candidly discuss their intimate lives. Sex is the number one subject about which couples have trouble communicating.
Many people find sex too embarrassing to discuss. Some are even mortified by the thought of talking about it. Sex is the surest subject to elicit embarrassment from otherwise mature and intelligent adults. This embarrassment can stem from negative teachings or conditioning regarding sex. Embarrassment should not be the automatic emotion associated with the subject of sex.
As children grow and begin to learn about their bodies, parents often over-react to the child’s innocent exploration by shaming them. They send a message that certain behaviors or body parts are bad, dirty or immoral period! These parents often times forget that there is a proper time and place for certain behaviors and body parts to be celebrated. These actions alone cause children to be naïve and misinformed, with regards to things pertaining to their bodies and sex.
Then there is the religious point of view: Satan has pretty much claimed the subject of sexuality as his territory because so few are willing to counter with light and truth. Unfortunately we feed into Satan’s strategy when we only counter his attacks with negativity, shame and fear. We have forgotten that it was God that created sex, not Satan. Sex as an expression of love and as a means of mutual enjoyment and pleasure, to strengthen a marriage, is a foreign concept to many.
Sex is sacred, but the sacredness of sexual relations in marriage can lead some to believe that sex should not be discussed at all. Sex is no less sacred. But when sex is seen as so sacred that we can’t talk about it, the result is many brides and grooms who are woefully unprepared for their first intimate interactions in marriage. Another result is couples who fail to find enjoyment from their intimate relationship even after months or years of marriage. When sacred becomes secret, or unspeakable, sacredness has been misconstrued.