On an on-going basis, I ask sexologists, medical professionals, sex workers, gay men, lesbians, heterosexuals and anyone else, who might be assumed to be interested in the topic, to comment on my articles and quotes. Very few people comment, especially women. Some women get angry and defensive but they have nothing constructive to say. Some men think sex is always a topic that should be turned into a smutty joke. Most men make superficial comments. Some are supportive of the discussion. But very few can ever contribute in a meaningful way. Given the lack of sex education, everyone suffers from ignorance, embarrassment and a lack of confidence.
Why do we have so little sex education? Effectively we have voluntary censorship over the facts because so many people make money out of the fantasy view of sex. The political advantages for women, who support or condone the male view of female sexuality, are huge. A woman has nothing to gain by being honest. [i] Any woman, who is honest, is a threat to the many women worldwide who make money out of men’s sexual needs. We lack experience in talking about sex. We do not know where to start. We lack facts and explanations. We have no means of informing ourselves.
We have the idea that scientific method is defined by scientists. Foremost, we assume (incorrectly) that sexologists accept the research work that has been done. Many people, such as agony aunts and journalists in popular magazines, pronounce on sexuality without having any relevant qualifications in sexology. Such information is never challenged because of the embarrassment and lack of certainty. No one knows any better. We are left to decide for ourselves what new information we will believe on the topic.
It is a nonsense to suggest that scientists can discover something that generations of couples have missed. This is a basic misunderstanding of sex research. We cannot discover something new about an instinctive response that has evolved over millions of years (from before homo sapiens). We can only give explanations for those responses. Given women’s universal silence on sexual topics, men have defined their sexuality for them. Our universal sexual ignorance is due to pitiful sex education in every society.
In truth, to be an expert in sexuality one needs to have assimilated decades of experience of human nature and a long-term sexual relationship. One needs to have explored sex play. One needs to be an objective observer. One needs to be responsive, to know what arousal and orgasm feel like. One needs to be familiar with the research findings that give women a voice. One needs to be devoid of political bias and emotional prejudices.
[i] I can see no way sex is political, unless you mean the way that women have sex with their husbands if they’ll do this or that for them. I don’t believe that’s right, but I can’t say I don’t do the same kind of thing with my husband sometimes. (Shere Hite)
Excerpt from Understanding Sexual Response (ISBN 978-0956-894762)