Sex Ed in Bed

After-school practice has never been so fun!
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).

“Practice makes perfect.” It’s a saying that is applied to every skill imaginable. Yet, when it comes to sexual enjoyment (much less procreation), our culture often believes the exact opposite. Take a look at sex scenes in movies (if they’re not censored out). When the lighting goes fuzzy, characters perfectly synchronize effortless sex. Furthermore, we seem to think that planned sex is contrived, and certainly talking about it ahead of time will take the fun out of it. Our society’s commentary on the topic sounds something like, “Only the stupid would have to practice at sex,” or, “If someone practices such activities they’re either sluts, whores or sex addicts.” Wow! Need I expound on the many levels of bullshit in these statements?

One reason this myth is embraced is that we’d like to believe if we don’t prepare for a given experience, we’re somehow less responsible for our actions. Tell that to the many people who did not know they were going to fuck without a condom and were infected with HIV, nonetheless. I believe the main source of this classic misconception comes from the old fantasy that saving one’s virginity until the wedding night will then make sex magically understood and overwhelmingly spectacular. Puh-lease! Again, need I expound on how few people experience this?

Granted, while the sex urge may be instinctual, the art of lovemaking is not. If a young guy wants to play basketball, the coach doesn’t first give an anatomy lesson about how the muscles and bones work together. No! The coach just has him practice the sport, over and over again. When I am asked how I learned to play the piano, I say, “Practice. Time with the piano. Life with the piano!” Of course, lessons will greatly accelerate the learning process. But no one can excel at basketball or music, unless the time and energy is taken to practice. Furthermore, practice provides an environment to experiment with a developing skill by trial and error, involving all of our mind, body, and spirit, and exploring it with all our senses, whether alone, or with someone else.

Actually, the motto should read, “Practice makes better,” because I don’t care if sex is perfect, but I’ll sure do my damnedest to make it as hot as possible. Practice in this context is not about enforcing unpleasant regiments out of fear that you’ll fail some sexual test. Practice is about accessing more freedom and pleasure, not less.

Sex can be best described as a kind of amazing connection and communication. Doesn’t it make sense that it may take some time, effort and practice to learn the language? Of course it does. And how about those study labs? “Oh, dang! I gotta study up for that ‘oral exam’ on Friday night!” Therefore, for those of you who would actually like an activity to practice (not to mention those of you who really sprout wood from being told what to do), here are some fun exercises to try:

Bookstore. Go to your biggest local bookstore and park yourself in front of the sexuality section for at least 20 minutes. Confidently pull out every manual and picture book and examine them thoroughly. No huddling in the corner. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. After a few minutes, you’ll get a kick out of the passersby. Some of them will actually look on with envy.

Mirror. Completely undress before a full-length mirror and thoroughly examine every detail of your body with your hands as well as your eyes. Let the experience take its own course, but take ample time with the rest of your body before you jump to the genitals. This is more about acceptance than it is about getting off. So a really bold step would be to occasionally look yourself in the eye and say out loud, phrases like, “I love you. I accept you. You are a beautiful and sexy person.”

Your 15 minutes. This one is for two or more loved ones. Each person gets 15 minutes to tell in detail his/her most favorite way to experience sex. The listener(s) will in no way show any negative or positive responses—no body language and no interrupting. The speaker’s challenge is detailed vulnerability. The listener’s challenge is focused hearing. When everyone has had a turn, gently share your insights from both, hearing and talking.

So I suppose all of this can be summed up in another adage, “Know thyself.” Plain and simple, the more you understand the nuances of your own sexual pleasuring, the better you are at enjoying it, not to mention the more you can communicate this enjoyment to a partner. It seems to be a win/win arrangement to me!

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