How has society shaped our ideas of sex, sexuality and relationships?
In the run-up to the first in our series of discussions on Sex, Sexuality and Relationships on Friday the 10th December, we are encouraging you to use this forum to frankly share your experiences around sex, sexuality and relationships — your ideas, your fantasies, lessons you have learnt, things you have struggled with, things that make you feel good, or not so good. Names can be changed to protect your identity.
Thinking Africans Allowed invites you to an open discussion about Sex, Sexuality and Relationships on Friday, December 10, 2021, from 05:30 pm.
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5473799732
#IKERInstitute #ThinkingAfricansAllowed #voiceofthepeople #TrinidadandTobago #SexSexualityRelationships #reasonings #peoplecentered #groundingswithmybrothers #africanpeople
16 thoughts on “Let’s talk Sex and Relationships”
Many of my early sexual experiences took place in secluded areas of very public spaces or in seedy hotel rooms. While I generally do not regret these experiences, I am aware that where I chose to have sex or to let someone engage in intercourse with me said a lot about me and the value I placed on my body. I was young, naïve and more focused on pleasing my partner above anything else. I do not think I enjoyed sex at all during these times.
Sex. Some of my best memories are those with my past lover, enwrapped in his arms, and most of all, the comfort and safety I felt. I still crave that intimacy I had with him. In fact, the only real lover I ever had, if I’m honest.
But it’s also the thing that haunts me. Waking me up terrified from nightmares that I’ve been raped and gang-raped, by friends I know. Being chased, being sold for nothing; it’s a scary thing.
This relationship, given its complexity and beauty, I find reflect life in its truest sense. The good in the evil, the evil in the good. Where I’ve learnt that it’s not the smoothest road that leads to the most fulfilled destination. My mistakes and impulsive regretful decisions conjure my strength in this life.
The work is necessary, this confusion is also necessary, albeit frustrating. But I’ve done some things that bring me shame, I’ve slept around and did not honour myself in ways that I regret now. The denial of self is such a helpful practice in my faith, and yet taken and abused leads to the destruction of a soul. And that humiliation stops me from ever attempting those thought and behaviour patterns again.
Boundaries have also been one that I struggled with. And the reminder that it’s not selfish to ask for what you want. Desire freely, be authentic, be brave, because that’s sexy.
Growing up in an Indian household, the topic of sex was always taboo, so what I learnt about sex was through mainstream media such as movies etc. So my idea of sex was always seen or thought of as an act of service, to show someone that I was genuinely into them.
Sex was never an experience for me, where individuals can relax and enjoy themselves; exploring different positions, figure out their likes and dislikes and even using toys.
It was very black and white; I like this person, they like me back…let’s have sex so I can show them I like them, to be honest, I don’t even recall having an orgasm with my first partner in our 2 year relationship (they always did though).
It was only until I got older, I became more interested in sex and decided to figure out what I like and even figure out the various experiences I would like to have within a sexual realm, this was done by reading various books and at some point, pornography.
In hindsight, my outlook on sex was very naiive and….boring. There are so many dimensions to sex that can be experienced.
1 Corinthians 7:2-4
New Living Translation
2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
The Scripture clearly identifies the role of the human body as an instrument of pro creation. Not as an object of lust to devour every meal that a man or woman sees.
The sexually unsatisfied male will be tempted to engage in available “side dishes” to satisfy the sexual hunger that exist in humans. That temptation does not diminish in a marriage but only increases.
Past relationships lends itself to the devaluation of the human moral standings because of the law of diminishing returns. The female body and the male body was built to enjoy the most satisfying and intimate expression of humanity. I believe that a man could truly enjoy a woman. However, the marital bed has been broken because of the comparative mindset that no man could fully achieve given the strong passionate experience that a woman can bring to the bed. Especially in her lose teenage years where human sexuality tend to peek.
Our mental frame is built on one sexual experience and then the subconscious mind works throughout our lifetime to build on that, trying to duplicate it as much as possible. Every experience thereafter is not essentially new rather it is a hunger for that first experience to relive its joy. An example is the honourable P.M. who enjoys whining on 17 year old hunnies. His first experience as a teacher relived.
Spouses should seek to satisfy each other. When needs are not met the door of immortality is flung wide open. The pain is immeasurable. Women raising children absent father, psychologically deformed young men who find love elsewhere, and promiscuous or A sexual young ladies. Indentity crisis.
Definitely agree. Thinking back on the concept of man made in the image of God, the act of sex is us participating in the act of creation, holy and sacred. A beautiful thing.
Let’s NOT talk sex and relationships!! Please.
There are other fora for that kind of talk. T&T News has been about other issues. Let’s not change its branding.
Just my two cents!
OR… are we under new management?
The issues created by sex and relationships are what plague our society. I suppose it may have been digested better if this topic was introduced based on a news article, though this issue has continuously affected various individuals both in and out of the public eye. Why should we wait to have this discussion after a tragic story breaks the news, why is it that individuals are always reactive and not proactive? We can draw reference to the front page of T&T News where a woman was found dead after an argument with her boyfriend over a hickey or when a grown man was granted BAIL after sexually penetrating a boy. These situations have always taken a backseat to political dramas. However, it contributes to issues such as low self-esteem, anxiety and depression which is being fostered by a lack of “uninteresting, controversial” discussions such as this.
So instead of asking for these discussions to be censored or moved to another forum, let’s be grateful that a safe space is being created where discussions can be facilitated and issues addressed.
The titles and links to those stories are as follows:
Shadie beaten to death after ‘love bite’ argument
$5,000 fine for sex with girl, 13
Bail for Tobago man charged with sexual penetration of boy
Girl 15 missing
I do not discount the importance of the topic.
Nevertheless, I would suggest that this is a topic better treated on another forum, perhaps one dedicated to such discussion, or created for the purpose.
I respectfully request the Moderator to rule on this matter.
Sex was always regarded as a shameful, unmentionable thing by everyone I know growing up. But moreso for females. There is alot of unfairness in that regard. If two people engage in sex, only the female can be shamed for it. Further, the male can choose to be boastful if he so desires. It took alot to break free of such programming to make sex a choice that I make as a female, a choice that is not shameful or unmentionable in itself. It became a process of identifying and releasing any feelings of shame programmed into me. My body is not shameful. The word vagina is the name of an organ of the body, and just like the heart or the lungs, there is no shame in this word or this organ. My choice to have a sexual experience is not shameful.
Quite true! Females cannot have too many sexual experiences. It is surely frowned upon. My upbringing also did not allow for sexual conversations and it really didnt make it easy for me to discuss since i felt ashamed. Good thing i have gone past the shameful phase.
I remember my first sexual act which was giving oral and it being done to me and this was when I was around five or six years of age I can’t remember how it began but I can surely tell how it felt which was very natural and comforting and as a child looking at it as I’m and adult now I question a lot of things like what had driven us to do these things was I awakened and just continuing on from my past life and why was all of this feeling so natural to me like but rather than having to enjoy the experience I had to study fear as we were caught in the act but not by my mother but my sister and she had explained to us we should not be doing these things and when we get older then we can experience those sort of pleasure of life and in the back of my mind I was amazed that lick and blow a was not sharing but rather a conscious discussion and at that time I knew what angels were and that’s just one of the many in my young sex life that I have experienced that led to so many questions being unanswered and still feeling like there’s pieces to the puzzle that have yet to fit into place,I’ll leave it here for now and wait to share more in the discussion to come
I fascinates me how much people talk about sex and yet know so little about it. Rather people talk about the act on a superficial level but much is missing because wider issues are not dealt with. As a male I think this is the case although for different reasons than with females. My Christian upbringing led me for sometime to avoid full intercourse. While the basis for this avoidance(steeped in narrow ideas of morality) was flawed, it gave me time to consider some things about approaching sex, at least intellectually. This may have well been ways of furthering the avoidance but I considered how I go about choosing persons to engage with and simply how practical relating with such a person would be, beyond the act. When I did start engaging, I had no guilt about crossing societies taboos around it for the most part but tried to at least managing what harm or discomfort I was causing with those I engaged(physical as well but mostly emotional and otherwise). I also realized that people’s surface or projected feelings about sex often disguises other things that manifest after. I realized as a male that many of us were either oblivious to some aspects of how we experience sex as it is masked or maybe not upfront to ourselves and others about it. In the first part of this discussion, someone asked about how we should educate children about sex. I know a few things as an educator. The mechanics, chemistry and biology of sex is useful, however issues of respect, understanding and generally how to relate in a healthy manner can really aid in not only approach sex physically but in other dealing with people generally in other spheres of life. A lack of respect for others is embedded in our societies around the world based on ignorance and bias and unaddressed this cannot but colour how we engage people generally and how we sex.
People are in different positions on gender, hormonal, emotional and other spectra; even our thoughts exist on a spectrum. These variations in being are discouraged in many societies, (particularly those that have encountered colonialism, or which experience religious fundamentalism) and tend to function within limited ideas of who we are. But people are not identical beings and so individuals think and feel differently about things even within the broad or narrow political and other social groupings in which they associate or identify.
Modern-day constructs of gender and sexuality are equally problematic as they attempt to box and label every expression and feeling of difference. While exploring our differences can certainly allow us to appreciate our diversity and creativity, the problem is that often, people who put themselves in these boxes think that all others should accept these labels and ways of viewing things.
This is a difficult road to navigate because while in a box, one may assume that the way she views herself and others is the sum of how to be. But others in their own boxes may feel the same way too.
How are we to navigate these differences in a way that respects others? I suppose we can look at managing our collective rights. People’s ideas about who they are and how they should be should not restrict others from the same; we should be able to coexist harmoniously where people can freely move along various spectra to experience life in different ways.
Let me try to apply this practically: Persons who consider themselves heterosexual were taught to view people in a particular way. They were taught that homosexuality is an abomination, and, in some societies, homosexuals were persecuted because of this. Today, we are exposed to a wider range of ways people identify — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (one’s sexual or gender identity), intersex, and asexual/aromantic/agender. What if these differences are just snapshots of who we are or who we can be along life’s spectrum?
While employed at a hotel and restaurant years ago, I remember searching for someone to teach me how to prepare certain dishes. I sought out the best chef, and he happened to be gay. He was generally alone with very few interactions. Before reaching out to him for help, I considered what others could think if I interacted with him and then I thought, why should I be so bothered? I then asked myself whether his lifestyle was doing me any harm or preventing me from being who I am? After concluding that I had nothing to fear, I asked for his help and learned quite a lot from him. He did make a pass at me once and I simply stated that I was not interested; it never came up again. I thought that it was very natural for him to assume I was interested, and I was not phased at all. I suppose he felt that if I was willing to deal with him that I too was gay…an understandable supposition. Perhaps if I had not been propositioned by him, I may have wondered why he did not find me attractive. Would my race and colour have been the issue? Even after that experience, he remained pleasant throughout our dealings and shared quite a lot with me.
What if we can agree and disagree about differences without being hateful? What if we consider that our biases and prejudices limit us in unimaginable ways? How can we develop to our greatest potential if we do not at least engage perspectives that are different from ours? Maybe we can consider how our prejudices limit our sexual (and other) experiences of everything, including our choice of partners.
As a regular contributor to this Blog I was skeptical about the introduction of sex as a topic of discussion, since the political debates dominated the discussion. But ,I am totally impressed by Ayinde’s insightful and introspective contribution.
Maybe we should heed your warnings and recognize how our prejudices limit our political opinions also, including our choice of political parties.
Thank you ,Ayinde for your thought provoking contribution.
I concur with TMan. Sex is an extremely important part of who we condition ourselves to be. For example, Mamoo makes the point of how christians perceive and indoctrinate sexuality. Internet observers have reported that Trinidad was amongst one of the nations with the highest rate of pornography watchers in the world. Doctrine sometimes inhibit our natural inclination toward sexual desires. Religion, culture, courtesy, literacy, myths and exposure to sexual literature are all influencers that impact our views and habits on sex. So yes, it is an easier topic that is very personal to everyone of us and one in which people are more likely to be honest in their expressed views. Plus it is also universal and everyone have a view on it.
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