So, is there a way for one person to understand their sexuality without having sex?
I read something about how a person can learn more about their sexuality by suppressing sexual urges and I have spent some time thinking about this statement and I believe I agree with it. Here’s why.
For the purpose of this topic, I will be comparing having sex to eating. One reason is that eating and having sex are both natural urges. A child is born wanting to eat and so he eats when he gets hungry, no one has to teach him how to. At first he eats only milk but his diet soon changes as his appetite grows.
The mother tries different solid meals. Some the baby receives eagerly and others he spits out in disgust. As the baby grows and begins to speak, his taste buds develop too and he can talk about foods he really likes and those he doesn’t. There are foods he doesn’t like which he will eat anyway because it is healthy and good for him.
Some people are more adventurous with their food. They have a natural instinct to try out new things. They will be willing to give a meal a try even if it is something they haven’t eaten before. Others are more conservative and can’t stomach anything they are not used to.
As I mentioned, I am using food as an analogy for sex because they are both naturally occurring urges. When a person gets to a particular age, he begins to experience sexual feelings. A boy/girl notices that their body responds to external/internal stimuli.
The inclination is to satisfy the hunger for sex when one feels it. But, this may not be the best thing to do. One reason is that having sex comes with responsibilities. Having sex leads to outcomes a person needs to be prepared for? It could be physical-they could get pregnant or be forced to be a father.
It could be psychological. Oxytocin and vasopressin released during sexual intimacy leads to bonding. This may cause and has caused psychological damage especially for young girls when the relationship is transient. The cycle of bonding and leaving each sexual partner can leave the girl with a shattered self esteem.
So, just as when a baby is born it can only eat milk, when a person’s sexual appetite is born, the person needs to first eat the milk of understanding. How does suppressing ones appetite serve as a milk of understanding? It helps foster strong values and helps you master yourself in ways that giving in to your cravings would never teach you.
Three of the most valuable traits one learns is patience, self control and long suffering.
These are important qualities that are valuable in future relationships as they help with the commitment and resilience needed in happy longterm relationships.
When you have sexual cravings, the inbuilt tendency is to satisfy it. But there is a reason you begin to feel sexual impulses at the transformational age, the age when you are letting go of childhood and learning qualities that will make you a responsible adult. The reason is that acquiring patience, long suffering and self control in this matter will make you an overall better adult.
Babies cry and get instant satisfaction. You do not want to be a baby anymore, so when your body cries in sexual tension, you say no. You control and master it. You tell it: It is not time to satisfy this feeling. But before you say no to your feeling you first have to identify it, you have to know your feelings.
Truth is, before a girl can suppress this feeling, she needs to know it. Identify it clearly. An example, the girl will know she is wet in her vagina, she will know her nipples are more sensitive. She will know what she feels like doing to make the feeling go away. For example, if she touches herself in certain ways it will go.
She knows all of this before she takes any action. Not taking the action is what self mastery means. She makes a conscious decision not to satisfy the craving directly or to find someone who will help her do it. So she decides, what can I do instead of this. She will find out what helps.
She learns also to put her feelings into words as she talks to people who can help her understand the changes her body is going through because they have gone through the same process. She becomes self aware through questioning herself and talking to more experienced people.
So by suppressing her sexual urges she has
1. Identified her feelings.
2. Discovered how she could satisfy those cravings.
3. Made a conscious decision not to satisfy them.
4. Learnt how not to satisfy them.
The same principle applies to a boy. He learns exactly the same way and learns the same things. In addition, they learn external stimuli that awakens their sexual senses, the smells, the kind of touch, what they see or hear that heightens the mood, what they eat that can effect them and so on.
The question most people ask then is: how will the two find people with whom they are sexually compatible. One reason often cited for having premarital sex is that you need to test your sexual compatibility with a potential partner before you decide on marriage.
Compatibility means liking or sharing the same likes in activities. The general belief is that you cannot know if you like or don’t like something unless you have tried it. Two people who are sexually compatible have tried the same things and decided that they like it.
But as we have seen, before suppressing their sexual feelings these individuals have come to know what they like. What turns them on. They have also learnt how to talk about their sexuality. So when it is time, they can discuss openly with the person they love the what’s and how’s.
This is generally what happens when two people meet and are exploring the possibility of a sexual relationship, they often talk about their likes or dislikes based on their sexual experience. These two have had ‘experience’ learning about themselves too.
Now, let’s go back to our food illustration. From milk to semi solids to solids to trying news things as the appetite develops. Psychologists will tell you that the more compatible sexual partners are people willing to try new things in the relationship in order to please their partners.
They will tell you that you can tell whether a person will be a good sexual partner by how willing they are to serve you and pay attention to your needs in non-sexual contexts because we usually carry over our traits from everyday life to sexual contexts.
A man who will not notice a change in your mood while you are having dinner will not suddenly start caring about how much you are enjoying having sex with him. A woman who does not maintain eye contact with you while you are taking a walk, will not suddenly start looking into your eyes during sex.
A woman who hates trying anything new, who hates adventure and is uninterested or disinterested in learning new things will not suddenly want to explore new sexual styles with you. A man who won’t ask your opinion before he makes a decision will not suddenly start asking you what sexual style you’d prefer when you are married.
A man who will insist that you should cook for him when it is very obvious that you are tired, will not suddenly begin to care about how tired you are when he wants sex. If anything, sex can be quite distracting and make you not notice traits in a person that you may not be able to deal with.
What about stuff like sexual positions you prefer, whether you are vanilla or kinky and the like. These will all naturally fall into the realm of exploration. Sexual compatibility in marriage is said to be a learned behaviour (acquired taste over time) and requires willingness of the couple to accommodate each others feelings.
Even people who had sex before marriage, may enter marriage and discover they are incompatible and then what? For people who have sex before marriage, they may go through multiple partners if they do not stop to learn about their sexuality much as defined above, they may keep running into and having sex with people they are incompatible with.
So at the final analysis, knowing oneself and acquiring self control which are prioritized when one suppresses sexual desire are key to learning ones sexuality and eventually finding a partner with whom one will be sexually compatible. And as research has shown, people who hold off having sex have happier relationships and happier lives.