Adults are always surprised when I say I work in sex education for adults. They ask “do adults need to learn??”
Let’s see. What makes us believe that adults already know about sex? Having genitalia and knowing where to put them? Feeling the urge to have sex and acting on that?
There is a perception that by the virtue of being born male or female we already know what to do in sex. And that if you are looking for extra guidance there is something deficient about you, you are below some basic level of skill and it is embarrassing.
If the idea is just to shake off some sexual tension or make babies, then rubbing the genitals and getting an orgasm (or not even that for a woman) will suffice.
But you are not born with the knowledge of how to make sex good, how to make it last through your relationship, how to get true fulfilment and happiness out of it, how to know what your sexual being needs to receive for this, and what your partner needs for this, how to transform sex into something truly joyful and beneficial for yourself.
Just having genitals is not enough. Imagine you need to run 25 metres. Do you know how to do it? Sure, and you will make it with no problem. Now imagine you want to be a professional runner, or you want to run a marathon for charity, or you want to get fit by running. Do you know how to do it? You have legs don’t you? So what’s there to learn?
Obviously, plenty. How to build up your training programme, how to feed your body correctly to sustain it, how to breathe well, how to move your legs correctly to sustain the pace and avoid injury, how long the rest intervals should be, how to stretch before and after to keep yourself well, how to choose the right trainers, etc. Lots and lots of things – do you know them just by the virtue of having legs? If you don’t educate yourself you will either get an injury or work out inefficiently which will make you suffer and you may never make it. You will most likely get a trainer because you recognise the need for expert advice.
It is the same in sex but as a culture we treat it with the utmost disdain. Sex is very complicated and multi-dimensional, it happens on all levels – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. There are many nuances and huge differences between men and women that need to be bridged. The disappointments that most couples experience are testament to that.
There is simply no reason you should feel that you have inherited all this knowledge from birth. Experts are needed, like in everything else. They are people who dedicate their lives to gathering knowledge about this area to transmit it to you. You do your job, they do theirs. Just like they are not experts in your area, you are not an expert in theirs.
This attitude should be encouraged and people shouldn’t be ashamed of looking for guidance any more than they do when looking for a sports coach.
There is no need to take it personally, as if this makes you inferior to others. Learning more is not an admission of the fact that you are a bad lover – just a recognition that things can be learned and they can become better for anyone. It is not like everyone else around you is a great lover and you are worse than them. Most people have plenty to learn. At least you are one of those who is doing something about it rather than avoiding the fact.
Anyone can do something basic, but true mastery and real quality comes from conscious learning.
There is also another side to it – educating yourself from the right sources is not enough. Then you have to educate your body. It has its own memory, its own habits. Just reading something doesn’t mean you can immediately feel those sensations or have your body do everything right. It carries lots of conditioning and entrenched patterns.
For example, you may want to relax more into enjoying sex but your body is used to chasing an orgasm as soon as possible. When you learn to dance just listening to someone is not enough, you then have to train your body consciously to do the moves until it becomes second nature. Again, you need an expert to take you through the steps. There are particular practical ways to educate your body and professional guidance can help you.
Tantric sexuality teaches us about this exactly – conscious exploration of ourselves to expand our sexual potential, instead of taking what there is from birth as the limit. A professional can take you through the steps and then you can keep exploring yourself. If you are a woman you can visit me in London for a tantric massage session or Yoni massage therapy specifically and that it also lets you see those ideas happen in your body, it educates your body, not just the mind, to help you on this journey.