Are you ever worried that your most secret thoughts and fantasies aren’t normal? Let me tell you a little secret, Girlfriends. Working in an adult toy boutique has taught me more about human sexuality than most of the articles and books I’ve read over the past thirty-odd years on the subject; and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to libidos. If “normal” libido equals “the average” libido, I still haven’t found one. The variety of desires and expectations are practically limitless. I’ve witnessed a gaggle of giggly school teachers make a beeline for the BDSM wall at work … and not leave empty-handed. I’ve seen a tatted-up biker actually blush at the sight of a realistic vibrator.
If “a normal” libido equals “the average” libido, I still haven’t found one.
Please trust me on this one. I’ve discussed sex with people of all adult life stages, races, religions, genders, orientations, occupations, identities, and proclivities. And while quite a few of the men, women, and couples that I meet are already educated about the products and gizmos they want (thank you, Google), the majority are overwhelmed by all of their choices and earnestly want to be more informed about the specifics of toy options, lubrication options, sexual positions, arousal enhancements, erotic massage, which how-to books are most informative, and on and on the list goes.
I’ve discussed sex with people of all adult life stages, races, religions, genders, orientations, occupations, identities, and proclivities.
When I was only fifteen years old, I was desperately struggling with guilt and anxiety about my own level of sexual awareness. Especially as a girl. Especially as a not-grown-up girl. I was terribly afraid of being labeled as a weirdo, or even worse, as a sex freak. I was even more desperate to know that these labels wouldn’t turn out to be true. That’s a truly terrifying place to be.
Thanks be to God, the first truly informative literature on sexuality that I was able to slyly get my hands on was my own mother’s copy of Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. It was a compilation filled with the thoughts and fantasies of a vast array of women, both young and old, presented with neither shame nor blame.
When I was only fifteen years old … I was awfully afraid of being labeled as a weirdo, or even worse, as a sex freak. I was even more desperate to know that these labels wouldn’t turn out to be true. That’s a truly terrifying place to be.
The fantasies therein ranged from innocuous Earth Mother scenarios (well, these fantasies were collected in the late sixties and early seventies after all) to stories of seduction with a zoo as its backdrop — which I recall completely threw me for a loop as it conjured in my mind’s eye the dank and curious smells of our local zoo’s claustrophobic snake house. This perplexity notwithstanding, reading about this plethora from regular ol’ Janes given without shame or blame made me realize that my thoughts weren’t any more fanciful or all that different from lots of other women’s sexual thoughts. What a relief! It would not be hyperbolic to declare that this groundbreaking compilation rescued my emotional well-being.
Happily years later, I no longer struggle with guilt or anxiety about my sexual awareness. Well actually, I pretty much no longer struggle with guilt or anxiety about sexual anything. As a natural extrovert inclined to wear my heart on my sleeve, I’ve not taken this journey alone. I’ve consulted with friends, professionals, pastors, and priests whom I’ve admired and trusted. I’ve learned to fully embrace my female sexuality and grown to love my body and the God-given pleasure it brings me and my beloved spice … in all of its wonder and freakishness. Because as they say, knowledge is power.
If sex for you is complicated by feelings of guilt or anxiety, please do not struggle alone. I encourage you to reach out to your most trusted friend and test the waters about sharing your concerns with them. If you’ve no one to confide in, please consider contacting an objective, professional personal confidante or an adult sexuality and pleasure educator such as myself to speak with. All sessions are completely confidential and a Confidentiality Agreement is available upon request.