Sexuality, Communication and Relationships
This research paper investigates the literature that is available on sexuality and relationships, as contained in “Sexuality Today” by Garry F. Kelly. It elucidates different aspects of the subject, including biological, physical, as well as psychological aspects of sexuality. In compiling his literary works, Garry integrates up to date research findings and real life issues, thereby making his work both fascinating and educative. In the entire book, the writer appears quite accommodating, especially, towards young people who obviously form the main part of his readers. He attempts as much as possible to use neutral thoughts and voice, so as to appear less intimidating. According to Gary F. Kelly, the whole idea of sexuality and relationships starts with physical attraction, then psychological closeness, and finally emotional attachment (Gary 209).
Sexuality is the ability to experience erotic scenes and respond to them appropriately. It has been quite a challenge on when one should start exposing themselves to such scenes. While some parents and opinion leaders believe that such subjects should only be taught, not experienced, only after marriage, Gary F Kelly thinks that sexual education should start as early in life as possible to prevent young people from making wrong decisions concerning their sexuality. According to him, social research indicates that humans are conditioned to make right decisions and that by properly educating the youth about sex, the society is essentially giving them right tools for making sound and informed decisions. For instance, it would help young people appreciate their physical attraction towards other people and respond to them in a respectful manner. In some instances, it could help someone understand the reason why they have little sexual attraction towards other people and, therefore, learn to accept who they are. Gary notes that while some inadequacy in sexual attraction is genetic or medical, social environment also plays a key role. Thus, people should be able to understand these social issues and appreciate effects that they have in their lives (Gary 214).
Human sexuality has a tremendous impact on different aspects of life, including people’s spiritual, moral, as well as ethical standing. In Gary’s book, he emphasizes the idea of using sexual education to shape up people’s social lives. For instance, what does a teenager do when he or she feels sexually attracted to an older person without looking out of place? This would certainly be a difficult situation for someone without much experience in life, especially considering moral and ethical issues that would arise. In many cases, the youth would rather keep their feelings for themselves for fear of retribution or being viewed as perverts. However, through sex education they can learn how to express themselves sexually to persons older than themselves without sounding disrespectful. According to Gary, the first thing one should do in such a case is look for the most appropriate environment where the older party would not feel embarrassed. For instance, secluded place away from the office would be ideal. This is because the older party would not feel that they are being stalked or fear that cameras are on them and that it could be used against them in the future. A secluded place will also help the younger person to tackle his or her fears confidently and get enough confidence to express his or her feelings in the best way possible (Gary 209).
In addition, sex education would help young people to appreciate themselves even when they seem more attracted to persons of the same sex that they are to persons of different sex. In the United States and the world over, this is an immense challenge to youth as they are never sure if they are doing the right thing with their lives. Although, law gives them absolute power to self-determination, young people usually wonder what impacts homosexuality would have on their lives. Thus, they may feel compelled to keep it away from everyone for a fear of rejection by friends or family. However, sex education enables them to fully understand themselves early enough and make informed decisions concerning their sexual orientation without a fear of rejection. According to the book “Sexuality Today”, there is a strong connection between sexuality and culture. In fact, all decisions relating to one’s sexuality are viewed more from the social angle than they are viewed from a legal aspect. Thus, sexual education would certainly help the youth to understand what their society expects form their sexuality and use this information to make stronger relationships (Gary 210).
The other common challenge to sexuality is the degree of sexual activity. While some people become sexually active early in life, other people do not have interest until much later. It can certainly be a source of worry, especially to young people, when their age mates appear to be more sexually active than they are. In other cases, it is the opposite of where younger people become more sexually active than their older colleagues. According to Gary, sex education would help such people understand that sexuality is determined by genetics, as much as it is shaped by the social environment. In this regard, they should not think of themselves as being abnormal when they feel sexually attracted to other persons at a time when they still feel young. Essentially, the knowledge of sexuality helps people to appreciate effects of nature and nurture on their sex lives, as well as their sexual orientation (Gary 209).
Sexual communication is considered one of the most difficult aspects of sexual relationships. In fact, it is where most relationships go wrong, such that they are not able to survive for more than a few weeks. It takes an enormous deal of patience and honesty to develop the right attitude in as far as sexual communication is concerned. According to Gary, it all starts by appreciating that one cannot know everything about their partner and that they two have to communicate for a better mutual understanding. People get sexually aroused from different amounts of sexual stimulation and this has to be communicated between partners. For instance, while some women would orgasm just from mild stimulation during their sexual intercourse, other women would only orgasm from extra stimulation using toys. It is the reality of the matter that a male partner in a relationship would not know unless they are told. In addition, it may be hard for a man to accurately pick a woman’s hot spot during the foreplay, so that they can give them the best stimulation. In fact, the trial and error game could turn irritating rather than stimulating. This shows why communication is essential in a relationship (Gary 209).
The other vital aspect of sexual communication is the type of questions one asks his or her partner. For instance, it entails the type of questions that one would ask a potential partner the first time they meet. According to Gary, a man should not rush into asking personal questions, as this would make the other person start feeling uncomfortable and lose interest too early. However, decent communication should focus on general questions or jokes, as they are mainly meant to create a serene environment for future engagements. Even for those who are already in a relationship, asking the right questions is still a key, especially during sex. For example, one may have to ask his partner how she feels when he squeezes nipples or nibbles the neck. This would certainly help to know the amount of pressure that would best stimulate them. However, knowing it should not mean one stops asking similar questions in the future, because some things change over time. While it is an admirable thing to keep asking one’s partner how to stimulate them best, it may be a turn off when she begins to feel that one forgets too soon. That is why one has to know how to communicate and the type of questions to ask his partner (Gary 192).
Apart from wanting to be heard, people also like to be understood, as they are and not unfairly judged. In this aspect, the greatest challenge is the use of toys for sexual stimulation. Some women only feel sexually satisfied after they have been sexually stimulated with sexual toys, like vibrators and dildos. However, it is how their partners view their sexual desire that is most essential. The biggest mistake a man can do is to appear disgusted at a woman’s desire to be sexually stimulated with these toys. They mainly want their male partners to understand them and respect their feelings. It is understandable that in any relationship it is the woman that loves with all her emotions. In return, they want to see that their male partners genuinely care for them and respect their choices. Thus, feeling comfortable with their sexual desires will convince them that one cares enough for them to give them anything that makes them happy. It is from the same reasoning that Gary argues that one should not draw one another’s attention to their flaws, but make them feel good about themselves. It is quite easy for one to lose interest completely when one feels that his or her partner is being too judgmental (Gary 209).
Relationships are built on strong foundations of mutual trust and care. If one feels that his or her partner perfectly cares from him or her, he would most likely be free to share any information that he or she deems fit, because they would not have any fear of betrayal. That mainly defines what a relationship is made of. According to Gary, people like to stay close to persons who will listen to them, learn about them without passing judgment against them and develop a more pleasurable sex life through sharing. Sexual communication is the richest fodder for any successful sexual relationship, as it leads to the development of mutual trust between partners. The fundamental idea is for one to feel that any information that they share with their partner will not reach their friends and that it will be kept between the two of them. In addition, trust develops with time, especially when it becomes eminent that one’ partner would not use his or her secrets as a weapon against them during a slight disagreement. It is usually thought that relationships where partners constantly disagree are not the best relationships. However, Gary emphasizes that disagreements are healthy for the development of mutual trust. For instance, it is true that one would get the best idea about what his or her partner thinks when they disagree. That is why disagreements are essential in relationships, as they help partners get to know what their partners have in a store for them when they are not in a “bedroom mood” (Gary 219).
In conclusion, Gary expounds on the psychological, biological as well as emotional aspects of sexuality in explaining the concept of sexuality today. This enables him to communicate the right information about sexuality, right from one’s sexual attraction to other persons to how best they can communicate it, in order to achieve the best in a relationship.