When is SEX a Four Letter Word

  1. by Dr. Nancy Irwin
  2. As a therapist for couples as well as many sexual issues, I can tell you that the many times the root of a couple’s issues is that one or both partners has not really been honest about the kind of relationship they want. We live in a society that tends to hold one relationship paradigm as an absolute; all others are “wrong.”We like having choices. Imagine walking into a Starbuck’s, and having the server assume what you’d like to order….what you “should” want to have. No, you walk in there and tell them very specifically how you’d like your beverage, and you generally get what you’ve paid for. Not so in relationships many times! One person has not been clear (even with him/herself) and the other partner gets something he or she did not bargain for. They have consciously and/or unconsciously tried to follow what society says they “should” have.

    Now imagine going into Starbuck’s and having the server tell you that you are wrong for wanting your beverage the way you do.

    Why should we care what sexual behavior any athlete or politician chooses any more than we should care about their order at Starbuck’s? It is their own business, as long as it is safe, legal and consensual, and agreed upon with their partner(s).

    The menu for relationship style choices for both genders and all sexual orientations are:

    Marriage for life with one partner.100% fidelity.
    Open relationship.
    Don’t ask, don’t tell.
    Serial monogamy.
    Living together, unmarried.
    Co-parenting, unmarried, living separately.
    Single, enjoying sexual freedom and variety.
    Single, enjoying celibacy.

    …or any combo of the above, as agreed upon by both parties. If you don’t like one of the items on this menu, don’t order it. But please allow others to enjoy their choice. Of course, sometimes people change their mind about their choice. Operating from integrity and letting a partner know this vs. withholding and acting out behind their back can minimize the pain.

    Naturally, the heart is more complicated than a latte, but if those who prefer #4 on the menu above could shamelessly claim their choice and be allowed to enjoy it, then perhaps the media could get back to focusing on what really affects our lives.