Sexuality – Religions Society

Sexuality is a topic on which have been already written volumes of books, about which we can discuss through different prisms, so will sexuality in this text processed through some common features.

To even be able to talk about sexuality, it is necessary to define what is sexual intercourse. All we use to mean by sexually is penetration. However, ask yourself what your value system mean by sexual intercourse.

Research shows that 80% of anal sex considered sexual relations, but only 40% of oral sex is placed in a sexual relationship. Given the foregoing, it is clear why many controversies arise when discussing sexuality and it is therefore difficult to provide for unique definition of sexual relations.

Sexuality is made up of all the stimuli, emotions and experiences that leads a person to physical sexual arousal, and thereby contribute to increasing sexual desire and / or behavior. The majority of leading experts from this field agree that it is not only about the instinctive, physiological and physical phenomena.Human sexuality is very complex psychological and sociological phenomenon.

Recently sexuality attracted increasing attention, which are particularly contributed to changes in social norms, the influence of feminism, the rise of sexually transmitted diseases, among which occupied a significant place HIV / AIDS and increase care for reproductive health. Sexual intercourse has long tabooed, is reserved for the intimate area of each individual and we will find it difficult to talk openly about sexual intercourse, and not to mention the specific difficulties that arise during the relationship.Why this is so, we can observe several major influences that we are exposed from the very childhood.

Religion and sexuality

Religion is a big influence on each individual. Religion aims to define the moral rules in a sexual relationship. According to the religious concepts of sexual intercourse is the sole objective of the extension types. Any other form of sexual relationship represents the amoral behavior. So it is understandable why homosexuality, sex during menstruation, contraception and sexual relationships for pleasure as impermissible in the religious sense and in violation of the moral (religious) norms. I personally consider the religious type of lifelong repressed sexuality to be the most destructive kind of self abnegation.

Society and Sexuality

A society in which every individual grows up also determines what is a sexual relationship and what it should be. The Company aims to develop standards, rules and norms. Norms are shared by the people in “normal” and deviant-”abnormal”, depending on whether the norms and standards of society or not. Every company is subject to change throughout its history, including the Victorian era, “immoral” woman was identified as one that experienced an orgasm, and today women seeking help for the inability of reaching orgasm. It should be emphasized that the sexual norms of relative and subject to change and vary from society to society. Violation of these norms can lead to different social reactions. What is sexual conformity in a society, the second may be a sexual deviation, the “violator” of norms may experience different destinies in a way that the behavior may be condemned as immoral, such as crime and disease. Sexual behavior and attitudes related to sexual life were strongly shaped by the culture in which we live, and determined the influence of parental education, the influence of peer groups, schools, books, magazines. Sociological studies show significant cross-cultural differences in gender, sexuality and sexual relationships.

Cross-cultural differences

Polygamy in the Islamic world and in ancient time of India is not prohibited, but only for men (a man can have four wives simultaneously, and in practice to decide only the second marriage to men who are financially afford it). With polygamy, the Qur’an mentions temporary marriage for pleasure. Divorce is accepted in some Islamic countries.

After the arrival of Mao Tse-Tung came to power in China comes to big changes – the repression of sexual conduct with the aim of directing all human forces in the “revolution”. 1980th The manual was published by the government authorized that to 74 by explaining the essential “sexual knowledge” (eg, recommendations for frequency of sexual relations between young couples).

In China, the government’s primary concern is control of population growth, which automatically affects all aspects of relationships and marriages in China.

In ancient Greece the love is seen through the dualistic concept: the spiritual love of agape (the highest form, spiritual, altruistic love), and a natural love of eros (erotic love, the love that comes from physical attraction).

Pre-Christian philosophers and Christian era, taught the values of life are excluded sexuality. With the advent of Christianity, there is the ascetic view of sex and other pleasures.

The Protestant Reformation made the first change in the views, sexual relations not only serve the purpose of reproduction but also for pleasure.

Research shows differences in the frequency of sexual intercourse. Gebhart 1971 states that in Western societies a few times a week (two to five times), while members of the tribe Lapcha five to ten times, but during one night. (sounds good isn’t it):)

Days of the New Guinea have sex once every two years.

Different cultures in different ways to perceive and extramarital sexual relations.

Aboriginal extramarital sexual experience as a welcome experience for the husband and wife, because it kills the boredom and routine, and thus increases the mutual ties.

Tribe Marques from Polynesia, certain Eskimo tribes do not have anything against extramarital sex, believe that offering sexual services to guests-chance part of the behavior of a good host.

For some communities extramarital sexual activity are acceptable for men.

Culture has also impact in terms of sexuality of children and premarital sex.

In some vedic hindu religion and most sub cultures,it is allowed sexual intercourse solely (not other aspects of sex) once a month in a presumed fertile day of a woman between a married couple,and after a sacred ritual. Sex is consider sacred solely if for purpose of begetting a religious children, otherwise considered a sin. Sex for pleasure only in Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition is considered illicit, and thus a sin.

A large number of tribes on the islands of the South Pacific, particularly approves child sexuality (eg, one of the children’s games is a common masturbation).

Chewa Tribe (Africa), early sexual life among young people consider to be essential for future fertility and he also approved. Lepcha tribe (southeastern part of the Himalayas) believe that the girl should be sexually active earlier (most girls at 11 or 12 years sexually active).

However, the tribes Kwon (New Guinea) forbidden for boys to be caught with an erection, so that boys of this tribe go so far as to learn how to pee without having to touch the hands of the penis.

In Middle Eastern cultures (the majority of the Islamic religion), disclosure of any part of the female body is strictly prohibited. In Malaysia, if it is on TV a man and woman (both clothed) show themselves in a room longer than 3 seconds, it implies that they had sexual intercourse. Showing these scenes is prohibited, except in the case of the married couple.

Laws and sexuality

Do not forget the laws that attempt to answer the question what is normal and what is deviant behavior. Of course, the laws vary among cultures. The laws have two objectives, namely the prohibition and protection; goals are linked: the need to ban most “wrong” behavior in order to protect “weaker” members of society.

Finally we can summarize: the area of human sexuality is extremely complex phenomenon which can not be viewed separately from the culture in which we live and which exist certain rules of conduct. The concept of sexuality is subject to change in so far as changing norms, attitudes and behavior of society. Social impacts on human sexual behavior can be approached on several levels:

Macro-level – the impact of society as a whole, powerful social institutions:

Religion – clear shapes and forms of sexual behavior, setting standards, (eg, attitude toward premarital sex and illegitimate, homosexuality,masturbation, sex for pleasure…etc.)

economic conditions – the nature and structure of the economy affects the human sexuality

family – the socialization processes

Medical – doctors determine what is healthy and good for us

legal system – the law determines the standard (what is required by law only correct) mechanisms of social control.

Subcultural level – social background, class or ethnic group, (unwritten, but not negligible, rules and norms that influence behavior)

Interpersonal level – socialization processes, the relationship with your partner.

Individual level – denied by the personal thoughts and desires, sexual orientation and sexual scripts that we learned.

If we are believers in God,or members of some social community group where sex solely for pleasure is prohibited, should we embrace our sex desires and enjoy with our partner anyway knowing that we are not doing any harm to others or ourselves with it? Or should we artificially repress our sexuality due to the given norms?

To bring this to an end: it remains that sexual energy is the strongest energy we posses in this world. I stand that it should be enjoyed, somehow it should be regulated, we should not suppress it, is not sinful because it is part of our body and mind, and as such can be used or abused like everything else in life.

P.S. During years of my research on the topic, I came to definitive conclusion that repressed sexuality can lead to various of serious mental disorders or rage and frustration..etc. We better beware and learn more about ourselves as spiritual and material beings.

Sexually Suppressed Societies and Internet Pornography

Google enables anyone to quantify almost anything – what people are worried about, what people want to buy, what they do buy, what they want to learn, etc. And then, you can cross that information with almost any other parameter, such as geography. So if you want to know where people consume the most pornography, Google can actually supply that information – within seconds. A trend that has been noticed concerns the search for porn and sex related Internet content. It is commonly understood that pornography content is one of the most sought after types of Internet content worldwide. But in which regions and countries is it MOST searched?

While the answer may surprise many, it does not surprise psychologists and researchers. At the top of the lists for porn related search are Muslim countries like Eqypt, Algeria and Pakistan. In the US, there are more searches for porn in States such as Utah. In societies that tend to be more repressed in their sexual attitudes, it appears that people are driven to seeking information and exposure online.

In a study done by a Harvard University affiliated group in 2009, it was found that in the US, states where a majority of residents agreed with the statement “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage,” bought 3.6 more pornography subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed with that statement.

“Over half of internet users in Iran have admitted searching for porn and about one third of them do it every day,” says Saeed Madani, a sociologist in Tehran. Note that in Iran, pornography is illegal and just last year, many arrests were made of suspects accused of running pornography websites. Iranian boys and girls are banned from socializing freely and demand for online adult content has exploded there.

Psychologists in these kinds of communities, where harsh laws are enacted to try to eliminate sexual content or access to it, find that many people suffer from extreme sexual problems caused by years of suppression and fear.

So what can be concluded or from this information? On one hand, it appears that enacting laws to try to prevent access to pornography is not working and is likely increasing the public’s demand for the pornography content. On the other hand, the availability of pornography and the widespread exposure is undoubtedly a danger to society’s sexual and mental health.

In societies that ban open relationships and do not allow any discussion of sexuality, even if it is educational, normal and healthy, the population is driven to seek information elsewhere. If the only available source for learning about sex, is pornography, the results can be catastrophic. So the conclusion is that indeed, something has to be done about eliminating access to pornography. But in parallel, it must be ensured that children, teens and adults all have access to the right kind of information at the right time in their life and in a highly accessible format. That would include parental guidance, sex education in school and Internet content that can enhance their understanding and remove the element of embarrassment they may be facing.

Sexuality and Body-Image – How Improving Your Body-Image Makes You Better in Bed

Yes, there is a direct connection between the health of your our image and the amount/quality of pleasure we derive from sex.

Let’s face it; women buy into the multiple messages from our culture in regard to our body-image and this is a trap! Our culture’s perception of what is or what isn’t considered attractive and sexy has changed several times during the past century.

The flowing hairstyles and rounded figures of the early 1900s gave way to the boyish haircuts and bodies of the roaring 1920s. The hourglass figures of the next two decades, such as Marilyn Monroe, changed to the slender bodies of Mia Farrow and Twiggy. Then came the perfectly-tanned, toned and athletic bodies of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

With all the changes in society’s perceptions of what sexy and beauty is, women often judge themselves by its capricious fancy and find themselves lacking. This affects body-image, which in turn affects the ability to enjoy sexual intimacy.

The internal monologues that dominate the thoughts of women with negative body images include: ‘My body is not good enough,’ or ‘I am forgotten by God or Mother Nature.’ These are draining forces of women’s intimate sexual experiences.

When a woman is preoccupied by how bad her body is perceived, she may not be able to focus on pleasuring herself or the other person. This preoccupation will use up the energy she would have had for uninterrupted playfulness, seduction, mutual eroticism and the pursuit of sexual satisfaction.

Understanding the connection between body-image and sexual intimacy is the key in improving your sexual performance and therefore sexual pleasures.

Here are several background events that can make a woman feel negative about her own body:

o Being raised by a critical parent

o Being trapped by appearance obsessions

o Experiencing physical/emotional/sexual abuse as a child, including molestation and/or inappropriate relations

o Loss of a parent(s) that was nurturing, and never replacing them with a significant caretaker

o Abandonment, neglect, absent parent – physically and/or emotionally

o Feeling of powerlessness due to the fact they were born females

o Messages from industries of fashion and media about what is desired, attractive and sexy and identifying with these messages; leaving you unattractive, undesirable, etc.

In overcoming these body image issues, it is necessary to clue your spouse or significant partner in on how you are feeling. Choose a time when you won’t be interrupted to discuss the problem, assuming that your partner is supportive and not a part of the problem.

Perhaps you can open the discussion with:

o “I know why I feel so bad about my body and I want to fix that perception.”

o “Teach me to love myself just like you love me.”

o “Come inside my head and see how come I am not responsive to your loving gestures. I
want to change that.”

This is a journey that will start with realizations.

A woman with poor self image needs to tell herself: ‘Some things outside of me and out of my control made me feel that way. I don’t have to stay in this predicament. I can learn to love myself in spite of how I feel about myself right now.’

Understanding why you feel the way you do about your body is the first step in changing how you perceive your body and thereby increasing the quality of your sex life. For the woman who feels good about herself, anything is possible, in the rest of her life, her sexuality and her body-image.

Denying Senior Sexuality and Intimacy

Many residential facilities are denying seniors their right to have sex, to have intimate relations with others and even the right for closeness!

Just because you are over age 50 doesn’t mean you stop being a sexual being. People don’t operate on an ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch for the need of sex and intimate closeness due to age. In fact, the need for touches of friendship and caring, and intimate contact and companionship as we age is great as seniors tend to have fewer opportunities for it.

Why I’m up in arms is because of how many residential facilities and even hospitals have set up rules or blocks for seniors on having sex, intimate relations with someone, companionship and so forth.

Example: Assisted Living – many facilities will not allow someone to stay overnight if a senior had a boyfriend or one-night stand. The doors are usually locked in the evening until morning too. If the boyfriend were a resident, there would likely be no problem but if the boyfriend is not a resident, it all of a sudden becomes an issue. How much time can he spend visiting, eating or participate in activities with his girlfriend can become an issue too?

Second example: husband dying in the hospital and wife by his side holding hands from her chair. Her need is for closeness but the hospital will not allow her (no medical reason why she can’t) to get up in bed with her husband and just quietly hold him and sleep together as they had for decades. Fortunately, relatives took matters into their own hands and locked the door and helped their Mom up onto the bed where she slept and held her husband. Many believe her ability to live well after his death was because of that closeness at the end.

Third example: nursing home not allowing residents to have sex together or with visiting spouses. No cuddling in bed, either! Even prisoners get conjugal visits but our seniors can’t?

Fourth example: if family is caring for their aging parent or elderly relative, most of the time, no thought has been considered for how the senior can continue to be a sexual being. It actually seems to be a thought most caregivers want not to consider but they need to.

As I said before, just because a person is a senior, the sexuality switch didn’t just get ‘turned off’. It has been proven that people, who are in relationships or married, live longer. So what is everyone doing to make sure the quality of life is good for seniors in the sexuality and intimacy department so they can live a happy and long life?

Also, why aren’t more residential facilities allowing couples to live together while receiving different levels of services? Is the issue of money, services and so forth so difficult that they can’t find a way to allow the basic physical right of seniors to have sex and intimacy not only made possible, but encouraged and supported?

Psychological studies clearly show that people need touch in order to be mentally healthy but also physically healthy. Denying Seniors their rights to be sexual beings, to have closeness with spouses/significant others/friends, just because they live in some type of facility is not OK and not in the best interest of the residents.

Many seniors are likely not to move to a residential option when they would like to or need to, because they may not be able to stay together or because the rules of the facility would deny them their rights to intimacy. Residential options, hospitals and State licensing boards need to address this important issue. Family caregivers need to address this issue too.

We are sexual beings, even when well over age 50 but our society doesn’t seem to want to address that need and make it possible for seniors to have intimacy easily, even when we know that it promotes better mental and physical health and leads to living longer and having a better quality of life.

Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Gender identity disorder is generally called transexuallism. Transvestism refers to the practice of obtaining sexual pleasure by dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex. Today the term cross-dressing is more commonly used because it does not allow for a mistake of transsexualism, which is a complete gender change from the original sex. Transvestism is a paraphilia for which the essential feature is intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies involving dressing in clothing of those of the opposite sex. It is extremely important to note that just because an individual is classified as a transvestite does not mean that they are necessarily homosexual. Extensive studies have been conducted to show that transvestites are not homosexual in many documented cases. Many psychiatric concepts have been used to try and explain why transvestism is prominent in certain individuals, such as the constitutional predisposition of unknown origin known as degeneration. Degeneration referred to an innate neurologic weakness that is transmitted with increased severity to future generations and produced deviations from the norm. Despite there being many theories on transvestism, there are no commonly accepted ideas because human sexual disorders can be extremely difficult to understand. In some cases, transvestism can become so prominent in an individual that they become transsexual. An individual who is transsexual usually begins with taking hormone injections and undergoes plastic surgeries in order to change their sex organs to the opposite sex. While transvestism is not widely accepted as a norm today, society has generally learned to accept the idea that some individuals are born with this sexual disorder.

Sexual sadism could as well be identified as paraphilia. Someone who delivers sexual sadism is called a sadist. The administered humiliation, pain and suffering could either be psychological or physical. The pain, humiliation and suffering may also cause injuries or death to the person receiving them. During a sadistic behavior, the person who is receiving the pain or humiliation may not be a willing partner. Though, sadists usually live their daily lives in agony and impairment because of the aggressive behaviors or cruel fantasies.

There are many assumptions to the cause of sexual sadism; some are branching from the psychoanalytic group. For example, the psychoanalysis method implied that childhood trauma such as sexual abuse or major childhood incidents can reveal itself in nonsensical behavior. Because of the test results finding by neuropsychological and neurological from sex offenders, some psychologists tend to believe that sexual sadism might be genetic or due to biological factors. Even though the desire for sexual sadism could begin during one’s infancy, the commencement of active sexual sadism normally take place throughout early adulthood. However, the real cause of sexual sadism is still unknown. Also, sadists are not easily diagnosed. Some are forced by family members, friends or court order to seek therapy, which often helps with the treatment of sexual sadism.

In addition, sexual masochism is the opposite of sexual sadism. The masochist feels excited when receiving humiliation, pain and suffering. The physical actions of a masochistic could involve several different activities such as: cutting, piercing, beating, blindfolding, electrical shock, being urinated or defecated on, forced to bark, verbally abused, and forced to cross-dress. One could be identified as a masochist after receiving these symptoms for at least six months; however, it is known that men are found to be more sexual masochists than women. The cause for sexual masochism is also unknown. Based on learning theory, sexual masochists were initiated because of suppression from unsuitable sexual fantasies. In today’s society, most of the sexual fantasies are derived from the conscious and unconscious state of mind. Some psychologists believe that masochists enjoy receiving the pain and humiliation in order to feel empowered.

Very few sadomasochism search for help with a therapist or a social worker. Sadomasochism that tends not to seek help often gets into trouble due to sexual variations. The level of tensions by society increases toward people with bizarre sexual preferences. Although, the cause of sadomasochism is unknown, the disorder can be treated. Similar to other types of paraphilia, treatment is mainly dependent on the person’s desire and willingness to change. Numerous forms of therapy such as: psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, aversion and positive behavioral therapy approaches, reality therapy, medications, hormonal treatment, reconditioning and restructuring techniques have been found effective in treating sadomasochism. An additional method that can be used to treat sadomasochism is social skills training. Social skills training is one of a kind that needs to develop within healthy family relations; however, it could be that some people who developed sadistic and masochistic behavior may perhaps in part, because they do not know how to form healthy relationships, whether sexual or nonsexual, with other people. Even though, social skill training is not a substitute for medications or psychotherapy for sadistic and masochistic, but it sure can be useful as an adjunctive treatment.

In comparison, a sadist is one who enjoys giving pain during sexual intercourse while a masochist enjoys receiving the pain giving by the sadist also known as sadomasochism. According to several psychologists, including Sigmund Freud, most sadomasochism is upper or middle class men and women who are highly educated and hold professional jobs. The necessary element is not the pain or repression itself, instead it is the facts that the sadist most of the time has more power or controlled over the masochist.

Another known sexual disorder is forced sexual behavior, which is generally broken down into three different areas: rape, sexual abuse of children, and sexual harassment. Rape is generally defined as the act of forcing sexual activity on an unwilling person. Over the past few decades rape has become increasingly prominent in the United States, so much so that a reported one in six women have been raped. Rapists generally do not have a distinct profile, but several theories exist as to some of the reasons why men choose to rape women. Others believe in a cycle of abuse in which men that were abused as children are more likely to engage in acts of sexual misconduct such as rape. This theory is especially prevalent when talking about the sexual abuse of children, which includes incest, child molestation, and pedophilia. Incest refers to sexual relations between relatives. Incest is prevalent in many cases where there has been a cycle of abuse and a parent sexually abuses their own child. Child molestation refers to the sexual behavior with a child without force or direct threat of force. This form of forced sexual behavior is still considered forced because a child can’t legally consent to the act. This form of forced sexual behavior can be equally as damaging to a child simply from the mental distress it puts the child through. Pedophilia refers to the persistent sexual interest in children who have not reached puberty. Most pedophiles are men while the victims are young females, but there are still plenty of reported cases where the victim is a male and the pedophile is a female. Many pedophiles also commit the other acts of forced sexual abuse and continue the acts throughout their lifetime. Sexual harassment is the final act of forced sexual behavior that is included in this discussion. Sexual harassment refers to the unwanted sexual advances, comments, or any other form of coercive sexual behavior by others. Sexual harassment is so prevalent in the United States today, especially in the workplace, that most jobs promote sexual harassment awareness within the first week of being hired. Just because an individual has not committed the actual act of touching another person does not mean that it can’t be equally as damaging.

In today’s lifecycle, people have different ways of expressing their desires as a voyeur or exhibitionist. In most cases, they are harmless. Voyeurism and exhibitionism are two sexual activities, but the two are both engaged with different meanings. Both voyeurism and exhibitionism are considered paraphilia. Voyeurism is when one individual watches the other individual undress his or her clothes during a sexual activity, such as taking a shower or getting undressed for bed. The term voyeur comes from the French, and means “one who looks”. Men are the main the suspects to be called a voyeur. A person is considered a voyeur when he or she is caught sneaking to watch a person undress, and he or she gets aroused by watching the person take his or her clothes off. Most victims are complete strangers to the voyeur. When a person is listening to a sexual conversation over the telephone, he or she is performing a type of voyeurism also. A stranger may never know that he or she is being watched by a voyeur. Women can be caught being a voyeur throughout life too. Voyeurs are in the dark people. They rather stay hidden, and never be seen because of the embarrassment, but they love to watch a stranger take off his or her clothes. Most men who struggle to fulfill their own sex life, are the main ones diagnosed as a voyeur. A voyeur must want to better his or her behavior in order to let go of the bad habit.

A person could have multiple types of fetishism going in his or her life. Amputee, breast, sexual, foot, etc. are all different types of fetishism. When a person has a sexual fetishism, this act can be very dangerous and scary to the innocent bystander. Fetishism is a disorder that is characterized when there is a pathological assignment of sexual fixation. Fetishism can be looked at as harassment by many different people. Harassments can happen at any time, place and by any person. Fetishism is found primarily in heterosexual men. The male gender outnumbers the female gender when it comes to voyeurism, exhibitionism, and fetishism. The male gender is always trying to find a quick way to get aroused. Anyone can be a victim when it comes to voyeurism and exhibitionism. People still do not understand the actions of either behavior. Although voyeurs and exhibitionist know that they are risking their life with their actions; however, they still feel like they cannot control their behavior. They rather get in trouble for their actions, rather than seek help.

In almost every sexual and gender identity disorder case, the exact causes of these disorders are not entirely known. Some researchers believe it is biological and genetic causes, while other researchers believe people start developing sexual and gender identity disorders throughout their adulthood. While people would like to believe that these disorders are made up in a person’s unconscious mind, it is truly hard to believe; especially when people go to extremes of having sex changes or setting up dungeon rooms to play out their fantasies. Most societies are not accepting of people who prefer abnormal sexual practices, but hopefully researchers will have a breakthrough to help determine the causes of these disorders and help people better understand the abnormal.