Adult attempts at discussing sexuality typically devolve into one of two schools. There are those like the creaky old shock jocks (Hi, Howard!) who embrace limitless vulgarity because they can and because, frankly, that's all they have to say about this beautiful part of our humanity.
On the other hand are the religious for whom discussions of sex lead inevitably to a moral diagnosis and the prescription, "Sin, feel guilty, repent, and repeat." For them the phrase "Thou shalt not" is the fix for what ails all of us in every single (truly blessed) circumstance.
Myself? Well, shucks. I'm embarrassed to admit, I have been in both camps—sometimes simultaneously. But, for the last three decades I've been counseling people with sexual problems in their marriages, including those convicted of sex crimes, those with a history of sexual trauma, and a lot of folks with an "all of the above" sort of background. With that experience I've learned there is a third option open to all of us, regardless of our love of a dirty joke or our interest in religion. We could approach our sexuality with the goal of managing it, get this, intelligently.
In this newsletter, you have this third option that is open to everyone and that is not based on 7th grade humor or a religion where the rules are more important than you are. Trust me when I say there is nothing like it anywhere. We're talking essays, book excerpts, politics, religion, the arts, health, relationships, and all of it about sexuality. Not "doin' it" so much as the full spectrum of how sexuality intersects our everyday lives. If you have a religion, you may find it coming up short. If you have a favorite target for hate, you'll likely get past all that. If you just don't know what to do, you're going to know very soon. Not so much what to think about sexuality but how to begin thinking about sexuality in a whole new way.
Welcome to Managing Sexuality Intelligently.
Class is underway. Please take a seat, take out your sense of humor, and join us. All sexual futurists welcome. School is now in session.
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Steven Ing is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who thinks about sex. A lot. His greatest fear is becoming famous for single-handedly making human sexuality boring.