Why You have the Right to Choose to Think

Sexuality is a fundamental part of being human and alive. It is powerful, even in its distortion it carves our lives in the same way that flowing water engraves the planet. As we struggle to harness hydropower for its best use, so it is with our sexuality (in the best cases). This is not a result of some philosophical hiatus; it is the effect of day-to-day choices. So is it really so arduous to accept that thinking humans should view their choices around sexuality in a larger context?

Take honor for instance. Honor and its sister Integrity are issues normally presented as side dishes on the buffet of religious dogma, untimely asides to the cornucopia associated with sexual bliss. I often wonder why this happens. Am I the only one who feels these issues are essential to an individual really being attractive enough to be considered sexy? To me, this means going beyond the (dehumanizing) objectification of persons towards (humanizing) evaluation, to place "sexiness" in a holistic framework. How can the presence or absence of the substances which make us really human be regarded as "irrelevant"?

In my own experience with human services, I have witnessed levels of denial that boggle the mind. For me, the cold water in the face has been to see actions, even among health educators specializing in STD/HIV prevention, that totally contradict the prevention-based behaviors they advocate publicly. If love is what you do not what you say, then I hold that the same applies to who you are?and who you will be. Who we are is the result of accumulated choices. The right to choose for women, however, is usually thought of in terms of termination of pregnancy. Yet, the power of freedom to choose can serve us as women, but only if we view it in extended terms. The right to choose needs to begin with a number of fundamental issues that we really think about. This should mean thinking in searching ways about partner selection and thinking about consequences, irrespective of the socially hyped up emphasis on sexuality as being only about "feeling", an emphasis that makes us ignore the effects of sexual stimulation and feeling with regard to, for example, integrity, procreation, or STD transmission.

The right to choose in the sexual arena begins with partner selection, and whether there will be one at all. The reality that between 34-46 million people are living with HIV/AIDS indicates the truth about people's choices, despite what many would claim about how they live and who they are. Globally there were between 4.2-5.8 million people newly infected in 2003, so there are definitely some people to whom what I am discussing here is very relevant.

Among my friends, one of the consistent patterns I have witnessed in their relationships is the total lack of thinking about partner selection, even when offspring was the result. It seems that time and again people settle for less and then wonder why they don't get more. The extreme consequences of disconnecting judgment from sexuality seem so obvious that I am amazed that the patriarchal myths still have so much influence. I blame this largely on the trend of making thinking "unsexy". Commercials, mainstream movies, television, music, and the deluge of input from the Internet are all mission-driven to titillate by employing the most superficial elucidation which, combined with the passive acceptance of the audience, almost invites the spoon feeding of skewed truths. It is an attempt to package sexuality in terms of everything that is superficial, involving only surface seeing, feeling, and experiences.

Ironically, many of the purveyors of pleasure and everything that's supposed to be hedonistic and liberating end up echoing the usual divisions between the "serious" and the non-serious, between thinking and feeling, between thought and pleasure. One of the most obvious manifestations of this has been the elevation of celebrities to demi-gods. Would everyone cease knowing how to dress themselves, without celebrity wardrobes to mimic? Would we stop knowing what it means to have fun, to find and achieve sexual pleasure, without advertising? Would we have no idea of how to relate to each other, or how to choose not to relate, if that is where our sense and instincts lead us? I for one, think we'd all manage just fine. Think how many emotional calamities (romantic and otherwise) could be avoided if issues that are so often defined as "non-sexual" (integrity, honor, political judgment) were a part of the sexual evaluation criteria.

It may seem like an unfashionable thing to talk about, but I will continue to point to this truth?Thinking is sexy. Which makes issues like honor, integrity, and politics sexy, too. All those repressive ideas that pigeonhole human experiences into what is fun and what is staid are actually the heart of the idea that thinking is "unsexy". Waking up to that may make us realize just how much the dominant myths about "pure feeling and pleasure" are based on patriarchal ideas that are far from fashionable.

Yvette Dubel is the founder of Enhancement Consulting. If she had to select one speciality it would be relationships. She is the creator of Clear Strategy and Clarity, software products that assist users in making better relationship decisions:http://www.enhancementconsulting.net/sim pleplan.html As a business consultant she helps clients maximize relationshps with CRM strategies to drive profits.

In The News:


Will sex education help school children? - Zambia Daily Mail (blog)


Zambia Daily Mail (blog)

Will sex education help school children?
Zambia Daily Mail (blog)
The ugly truth has prompted Ministry of Education, UNESCO and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive sexuality education framework that will be infused into the school curriculum. The new curriculum is coming into effect in 2014, and only pupils ...

Quality sex education vital for combatting rape culture - Scoop.co.nz (press release)


Quality sex education vital for combatting rape culture
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
To address this issue, Ms Walker has created a sex education programme called GET A GRIP teenz which aims to assist parents and schools to partner together to talk about sex in a healthy way and address abusive sexual behaviour head on, helping ...

and more »

UF not responsible for drop in sexual health rankings - The Independent Florida Alligator


UF not responsible for drop in sexual health rankings
The Independent Florida Alligator
“Stanger-Hall and Hall discovered that the states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates institute 'abstinence-plus' sex education, ensuring that abstinence and information about sexual health and contraceptives are both covered,” PolicyMic stated.

PEI guide for parents: 'healthy' for kids to masturbate, touch genitals of ... - Lifesite


PEI guide for parents: 'healthy' for kids to masturbate, touch genitals of ...
Lifesite
The 7-page guide, titled “Children's Sexual Behaviours: A Parent's Guide”, put out by the Provincial Child Sexual Abuse Advisory Committee, provides a standard for what experts consider normal sexual behaviour in children from preschool to grade four.

sex ed guidelines start at Year 1 - New Zealand Herald


sex ed guidelines start at Year 1
New Zealand Herald
Teachers of students as young as 5 will soon have access to new sexuality education guidelines addressing issues such as identity and relationships. The guidelines commissioned by Family Planning are designed to help teachers of students in Years 1 to ...

and more »

'Sexuality education' for 5-year-olds is 'not about sex at all', NZ Planned ... - Lifesite


Lifesite

'Sexuality education' for 5-year-olds is 'not about sex at all', NZ Planned ...
Lifesite
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, November 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The New Zealand Family Planning Association is trying to save face after public backlash over the Association's plan to release a sexuality resource for children aged 5 to 8 later this month.
If College Students Can't Say What 'Consent' Is, Then We...The New Republic

all 2 news articles »

Texas School District Sex Education Compares Non-Virgins To Chewed Gum - Huffington Post


Texas School District Sex Education Compares Non-Virgins To Chewed Gum
Huffington Post
Sexual health advocate Katie Gustainis Vela recently obtained what appears to be an instructional worksheet meant for teachers who lecture on sex ed. Vela tweeted a photo of the worksheet -- which likens people who have premarital sex to pieces of ...

and more »


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