It's stating the obvious, but none of us have been to sex school. To make matters worse, we’ve been touched by other people who haven’t either, so we’ve all experienced connection without too much skill, variety or loving communication.
It's no wonder sex becomes a battleground or a place of shame, confusion and isolation. This is tragic, because our hearts have such high hopes for love and connection.
While I haven't been to sex school as such, I have spent years of my lift studying Tantra, sacred sexuality, sexological bodywork and conscious kink. I’ve learned so much about myself through these teachings. I've learned to connect with my body, my feelings and my underlying drivers. My learning wasn't focused on sex as it’s generally thought of (penetration), but on a broader picture of connection, developing increased confidence in knowing what suits me and an ease and willingness to talk about it. I’ve picked up some wonderful sensual touch and pleasuring skills on the way, but that’s almost been incidental.
All of this has got me wondering: if sex school did exist, what could we all benefit from learning?
Firstly, we could learn about how our own bodies work and how arousal works, and this involves a focus on our breath. We could study what we need in a wide range of situations, from healing to nurturing, and from sexual to erotic touch.
It would be useful to learn about our erogenous zones. You might be surprised to hear your skin is your greatest erogenous zone.
We’d go on to learn to be responsible for our own pleasure, rather than being focused on someone else’s. And above all we could learn useful vocabulary and ways of communicating to express our desires in any given moment.
Once at ease with all that, we might go on to learn about other bodies that are different to ours, and how to accept this in people. Rather than assume they are exactly like us and desire exactly what we want them to want, it’d really help us to understand when they might want something different. We’d learn how to ask others what they need for pleasure and arousal. In this way, we could expand our sexual repertoire and find the fun and relaxed pleasure with others that we might long for.
Most of all we’d learn that we’re not responsible for knowing, as if by magic, what someone else might need.
Then we could move on to learning to connect on different levels. If you’re one of the many people who find it hard to talk intimately about feelings and emotions, this level can be tricky, but it is vital if we want to exist peaceably and sensually together. We could safely explore tricky unconscious topics like shame, guilt and fear, which often stop our capacity for connection.
Finally, we might move to specialist skills. What erotic areas would you like to explore? What fantasies do you have and how can you understand these and bring them to life? What sort of person would you like to be if you felt safe to explore and express all of who you are?
Keeping intimacy alive in our relationships adds so much to our happiness and creativity, and offers us a sense of being loved and loving. This can give us purpose and connection, love and freedom.
Sex school for grown-ups might just be the opportunity we all need to heal our wounds and return to new possibilities for love.