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Sextopia: an insight into what influences our sexuality

Photo by Maria Talks for Pexels

Sexuality is fluid. That’s a fact. And no, my friends, I am not talking only about sexual orientation and gender identity: in the crazy world of sex, there are so many factors involved that they might make your head spin like the smoothies maker sitting in my kitchen for the last 2 years.

Hormonal changes, age, libido, specific times in our lives… you name it! Sexuality is different in every stage of our life and reflects us while we grow and our needs and values change.

Being aware of our needs and how we, as human beings, change is essential to have a self-conscious approach to sex and make the best of this experience. But what shapes all these factors we talked about?

The first, which deserves the place of honour, is sexual education, essential if we want to have a sex life in which we know how to put on a condom or clean properly our sex toys. Lately, there have been issues about whether to use an approach to sexuality in schools which do not derive from the Midlle-Age. And the answer is yes, we need modern and up-to-date protocols for sexual education, involving also points of view that were not so common in the past, which include gender identity, fluid attraction to the same or other genders and, drum roll, the transgender community.

Another important element which can shape our sexuality is the perception of our body. Fat, thin, with pimples, with saggy tits or hairy armpits, the way we perceive our body can strongly affect how we approach a partner, of a night or of a life, in bed.

To be more specific, about 60% of women have been recognised as suffering from Body Dysmorphia (BDD), a disorder characterised by spending lots of time comparing your body to others, as well as avoiding mirrors scared or disgusted by your reflection, trying to hide what might be considered horrible defects. This can impact our life to the point that social relationships and daily routines might be altered.

Ok, in this scenario we are talking about an extreme, despite a very common, situation, but be honest and tell you never worried about your appearance before, during or after a sexual encounter.

Last but not least, my friends, here we are to what needs to be always mentioned when it comes to sex and what affects it: stereotypes, whether related to age, gender and social decisions. Our judgement towards ourselves, in fact, is often accompanied by the kind and cuddling one of society.

Photo by Michael Prewett for Unsplash

In particular, the roles we have in society affect how we should sexually behave. Virgin Mary or Magdalene? Make your call. Do you have kids? You are a mother, not a woman with sexual desire. You are 22? You are too young to understand what real sex is. You don’t want children? It is only so that you can sleep around. We must fit into the roles we have been assigned and it is essential to make sure we do not try to go beyond them.

In conclusion, my friends, it appears that, whatever we do, is never good, or appropriate or right enough. I suppose, at this point, the only option left is to continue to go on our way. At least, when we make a mistake, we know that the terrible idea that brought us to desperation was coming from our brilliant (and independent) minminds


To have a better insight into the crazy and amazing world of sexuality, listen to the first episode of my Podcast “Sextopia”.

Podcast by Stefania Del Sette, music and sounds copyright free provided by Francesca Lalor and Pat Proctor, Lecturers in Griffith College
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