Breaking Down the Barriers

As teenagers we go through a period of sexual awakening becoming aware of our bodies and exploring what potentially turns us on. It may be that we question our sexuality, indulge in some experimentation and masturbate. This is of course perfectly natural except I can’t actually remember it happening to me. I was aware of my sexuality from quite an early age but what I don’t recall is any kind of sexual awakening. I fancied girls but didn’t learn much about how I physically reacted to that attraction until I was actually confronted with my first sexual encounter. My own body was off limits, in other words I didn’t masturbate or at least I don’t recall indulging in any kind of self love.

There are I think a number of reasons for this. Firstly guilt and the understanding that masturbation was wrong, this is so firmly instilled in me that I still struggle with it now. Not only the physical act of masturbating but also talking about it. I sometimes wonder if I got caught as a child and was so shamed that I blocked it out but allowed the guilt to still haunt me. I’ll never know if this was the case but somewhere along the line I have picked up these strong and lasting feelings about touching my own body.

Coupled with that was an underlying belief that sex is wrong or at least sex is not something to be enjoyed. My parents were not up front about sex and the sex education I received from them was virtually non-existent. What I did know was gleaned from more sexually aware friends or sex education classes in school. All of which included zero information about being genderqueer, transexual, kinky or even lesbian for that matter. Confused information from other teenagers mixed with clinically presented knowledge about straight sex does not make for an enlightened baby butch. Instead it makes a sexually fucked up one.

However I think the main reason for my lack of sexual awakening was not understanding the body I lived in, having a female body but innate masculinity was too confusing for me as a young adult. I didn’t explore my own body because I didn’t have the right bits to explore, I was cockless and therefore clueless. I had no outlet for my sexual feelings so I buried it all and stumbled through the next twenty years having adequate but never completely satisfying sex. I lived in sexual unawareness.

It’s only in the past few years that I’ve begun my sexual awakening, or been aware enough to allow myself to feel it. My (very) late start in some ways hasn’t mattered because you don’t miss what you haven’t got. I could have gone my whole life without waking up to myself, been forever blind to my real sexual self. I am delighted I didn’t but it does make me think about how important sexual awareness is, how so many people can and do live without really being in tune with themselves and their bodies.

Embracing sex, in whatever form works for you as an individual can involve breaking the ingrained barriers which may well stem from childhood. It also means ploughing through societies general negativity about sex, particularly any form of sexual diversity. It means re-educating or even educating yourself from scratch about what sex is and how your body reacts sexually. That can be and often is very hard work

Living in the society we do with it’s screwed up ideas about what is acceptable and isn’t acceptable I’m sure makes it hard for a lot of people to find their sexual selves. Anyone who is ‘deviant’ in any way lives without seeing themselves portrayed positively in the media or the education system or even in their own families. While things are very different now to when I was growing up there is still a long way to go.

I’ve started now to learn how the body I live in deals best with desire and by accepting that I can work with it. As I become more aware I’m also realising how important sex is not just in a physical way but also emotionally and spiritually. Pleasuring the body is as valid as pleasuring the mind and in fact the mind can (and in my opinion should) be as involved in sex as the body. Accepting sex as natural, delightful and normal surely has to be part of being a well rounded and well adjusted adult.

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