Americas Secret (but not really) Obsession with Sex

Posted on: September 1, 2012

Over the last few days I watched 3 very strange and very different movies about sex.

First I watched one about a teen girl who moves to a small town where she seduces her teacher. She then ends things when she realizes that they are both just using each other and that she is developing a real connection with a boy from her class. She then has to deal with the drama that comes with those choices.

Second came the story of a couple in their late 20’s navigating an open relationship when their relationship begins to unravel as they lose their connection, intimacy and communication. They each get more engrossed in their outside relationships, and are  in denial about the fact that they no longer have much of a relationship with each other.  

Lastly I watched a highschool girl begin a babysitting prostitution ring; stumbling into becoming a madame for her peers. Trying to stay afloat in it all as it begins to crash down on her.

What struck me as I pondered these stories was the common themes of desire for control, power and freedom. All three think at the beginning of their tales that their choices are leading them to those things, but by the climax of each film it is clear that not one character actually feels like they have achieved any of them. Why do we think that sexual freedom makes us free and means we are in control of ourselves and our lives?

Here is one of my theories. People so not actually think about what it means to them to be free and to have power or control in their own life. Add to that societies simultaneous taboo and obsession with sex and one can see why people get so confused.

Let me address something about sex and our society. Sex is very powerful. It is one of our biological drives. When you realize what that means, the power and influence that sex has over us, it is staggering. We don’t have to be run by our biological drives any more in our modern society, but we often are. I believe this is mostly due to us not acknowledging the fact that they are powerful forces.

It’s kinda like the whole elephant in the room thing; the more you pretend it isn’t there the more impossible to ignore it becomes. If we actually wanted sex to have less power we would need to acknowledge that it is powerful and then make conscious choices not to give in to the drive. Instead we pretend that we are more evolved now so the biological effects of sex and our drive for it no longer affect us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen how well that works out for people.

In all three stories you observe the characters going from feeling empowered to lost and overwhelmed. It seems as if they can’t imagine how they got to where they are. All of them do or say they are ok with things that don’t really work for them. American culture tells us so many contradictions about sex it isn’t surprising that things happen the way they do.

Real power and freedom come from being true to oneself no matter what it looks like to others. Easier said than done, I know.

What would happen if we checked in with ourselves about how we really feel about our choices and then acted based on that? Moment to moment. One thing at a time.

There is no rule saying what we chose to do yesterday dictates how our today has to be. Why do we let it? Why do we wait till things get so bad that we can’t stand it, to take action towards what we actually want? Who does that do any good for? Why don’t people believe they are worth more than that?

There is always a choice. How often do you make the one you actually want to make? The one that moves you towards what actually works for you and what you want in your life?


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