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The show on Showtime, Master of Sex, brings alive a true story about two scientists who revolutionized our understanding of human sexuality. Masters and Johnson, along with Alfred Kinsey’s research, opened the floodgates on human understanding of human sexuality and started a revolution that is still unfolding today. A revolution of sexual attitudes taking us from the Victorian Era that locked all forms of human sexuality in a closet, to where we are today.

Sexual freedom and sexual health has come a long way over the past 50 years, but the battle to free our sexuality from the shame and guilt brought on by the sexual oppression in western society still holds our sexuality in chains. The ills that were brought on by these social views on sex has had horrific effects on our sexual lives by creating irrational and negative beliefs about sex. When we see sex as a bad and shameful activity, those views create guilt about our sexual desires. Let’s face it, guilt is simply not sexy.

Humans are sexual beings with a complex sexual response that goes beyond the rubbing together of female and male genitals. Sex is a mental process controlled by our psychology. Masters and Johnson discovered that the brain, not the genitals, is responsible for the human sexual response. Our brains control our ability to achieve orgasm, arousal, and our overall enjoyment of sex.

Western society’s view that sex is bad, indecent, perverted, and dirty gets wired in all our brains. Sigmund Freud came up a term for this; he called it moral guilt that is caused by an over-powering Super Ego (the moral part of the mind). The effect of moral guilt reaches the genitals causing every sexual dysfunction imaginable. When we are overcome by moral guilt, it causes feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame. When we feel shame and anxiety about sex, it becomes overwhelming during sexual activity. For example, a 20-year-old man is anxious and feels guilt about make love to his partner because he sees sex as a bad thing. His anxiety will elevate not allowing him to relax causing the blood vessels in his penis not to dilate. He becomes turned on but his penis stays flaccid reinforcing his anxiety and then causes him to be more anxious the next time he attempts to engage in sexual activity. Another example is a woman who believes her body is disgusting causing her to be anxious when nude with her partner. Her anxiety turns into muscle tension in her pelvic floor. Her vagina tenses and instead of pleasure during penetration, she feels unbearable pain.

The impact of these views about sex goes beyond getting an erection or achieving an orgasm. These attitudes affect all aspects of our lives. Sexual pleasure has been found critical in maintaining a successful relationship with our partner/s. If we do not enjoy sex we avoid it or search fulfillment elsewhere. We need sex. It is biologically wired in our biology, it helps us heal and even keeps us healthier. It releases oxytocin, the hormone that is responsible for human bonding thus keeping us close to our partner/s. The pleasure we gain from sex is soothing and reassuring and helps calm a troubled mind giving us the ability to heal.

Western Society needs to change its attitudes about sex because if we do not we will continue to be a sick society filled with the violence we see on the news every night. I am not saying our negative attitudes about sex is the root of the violence and the ills of society.

I am saying that positive views about sex is part of the solution to society’s ills. When we embrace our sexuality we become more able to cope with the burdens of life by giving us the freedom to enjoy our one biologically pleasurable way to heal our weary souls. It allows us to live happier more satisfying lives, along with having a more satisfying and happier relationship with our partner/s. With happier lives and happier relationships we make happier homes for our children to grow up in.

David Fishman

One Comment

  • Matt Lemp says:

    Sex is one of the most special things two people can share together. It is different amongst all of us and means different things even within partners.