If you are a regular reader of this column you know that it is written to inform and invite you to greater awareness and knowledge in matters that elicit positive mental health and quality relationships. I do not shy away from topics that may be embarrassing or controversial to some. There is value in spirited discussion about things that matter. My research and clinical experience are motivators in trying to touch your life with depth, utilizing pragmatic studies, principles, and guidelines.
Sex is one of the most discussed topics in my practice. Sex in its many manifestations is at the central core of our being. How we understand our own sexuality and share it appropriately and ethically is important to our physical and mental health, as well as in our primary relationship. As fundamental as sex is in our life, it is amazing how shallow its understanding is by so many people.
Sex Education in this country rarely is done well. Thus, lack of knowledge, poor communication, media distortion and expectations, low self esteem, addiction and other factors have contributed to this deficiency. Most people think they know more about sex than they actually do. Dirty jokes, giggles, embarrassment, braggadocio, all contribute to misinformation and distortion.
SEX MATTERS FOR WOMEN: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TAKING CARE OF YOUR SEXUAL SELF is authored by Sallie Foley, MSW; Sally Kope, MSW; and Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D. These three individuals are highly distinguished Sex Education professionals. Their credentials are impeccable. This book is exceptional. It is written for women from teen years to twilight years. It also should be read by men because it has a very informative section on men, in addition to helping men understand a woman’s sexuality.
Chapter topics include basic biology, conception, puberty, body changes over time, sexual response, reproduction, illness, disability, and pain related to sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, trauma, partnering, sexual nurturance, problems, low desire and arousal issues, orgasm difficulties, etc…
The book concludes with a description of sex therapy and exercises to assist the reader with personal knowledge and practical guidance to enhance sexual capacity. An exhaustive list of suggested resources gives the reader an opportunity to get into more depth in a particular area of interest.
For further reviews of the book, Google it. I did and found rave comments from prominent sex educators, mature women, and university students. It is the best book of which I am aware that concerns the sexual “facts of life” in a very informative and readable style. I hope that you read it and give it to your children when they reach pubescence. Understanding your sexuality is an important part of knowing who you are and how you function.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates