Whether the news of Trump’s acquittal this morning made your kissy-face-day chocolates taste better or worse, let’s just take another opportunity to talk about sex….
Today I’m on the rampage! I just ran into an issue of censorship regarding the sexual content of my website, affecting the mail service for my newsletter, and wasting countless hours of my days.
That’s an in-your-face example of the systemic phobia of sex we have on our hands.
Using the political moment to reflect on our sexual reality…on NPR the other day I listened to interviews with school teachers about how they are teaching their students about the chaotic, violent events around our recent presidential election.
The common chorus sounded like this: “Give these youths as much information as possible”; “Equip these kids with the means to understand as much as possible”; “Empower them through generous transparency; they are the future of democracy”; “Listen, pay attention, understand, and hold space for their fears, concerns, and confusion.”
How moving to hear adults speak with such urgency about the need for openness, responsibility, and compassion!
I found myself drifting into a fantasy world where we project the same enlightened, exuberant national public attitude toward educating our children about sex.
While our democracy teeters upon the ledges of free and fair elections and peaceful transfers of power, our society totters upon the humanity of our human relations. Sex shapes every layer of those relations, and yet we still shy away from such urgent public discussions about our own responsibility to educate and empower our children about sex in order to carry forward the grand hopes and dreams of humankind.
Because we’re just afraid, and we’d like it to go away. (And I can’t emphasize this enough!)
The result is our living experience, the ongoing disaster we call normal from the comfortably numb position where we stand in relation to sex. People (children and grown-ups) are confused. They’re concerned. They’re frightened. They’re suffering.
But you won’t hear anyone cop to it. Not in the same breath as society and democracy. Those are sacred domains, much too dignified for the messy taint of sex.
Meanwhile, our corporations wind up censoring content (like mine) actually aimed at solving this problem with an indiscriminate wand of sexual phobia. There’s a systemic lack of sexual intelligence because we’ve all been raised with a general lack of open, transparent, responsible, compassionate education around the matter. Nobody ever held space for us to learn and understand ourselves and one another sexually. Not as adults and most certainly not as children. We’ve been taught to be really dumb.
Our embarrassment around sex makes us all guilty of undermining our own cherished dreams and values, like democracy and societal well-being.
Enough of the Dark Ages. If we can turn a day of bloodshed into candy and roses (see the history of Valentine’s Day), then we can do this too, if we apply ourselves! Indeed, if we want a rosy, humane future, we must consider it our responsibility and demand from ourselves to act accordingly.
It begins with each one of us individually, and the choices we make every day. How we choose to relate to our own bodies and desires. How we choose to communicate with others about sex and sexual issues. How we handle our children’s sexual existence.
How honest are we? How responsible? How open are we? Are we embarrassed about sex, and why?
Are we doing anything about it? If not, why??
2 thoughts on “21. Sex, Democracy, and the Future of Society”
I had a recent experience of a highly annoying form of censorship / corporate prudishness. I went to review your book, Hot Blooded: a sexual resurrection, on B&N.com. I was not allowed to use the word sex in the body of my review. I had to change it to sexuality. Ugh. Talk about stupid.
This is exactly what I’m talking about! We go about our business as if everything is copacetic and then something like this happens, we cock our heads and go “Huh?” and realize that the Dark Ages is still in our midst. It’s a real wake-up call.
Thank you for your comment, Virginia, and thank you so much for reading and posting a review of my book!
Rock on, sister!!