Is sex overrated?

 By Isis Win
Sex has been the talk no one “should” ever have for centuries. Good sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. But certainly everyone without exception thinks about it. Good, sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. Everyone wants and enjoys good sex, but at some point bad sex comes through the door and we don’t really know what to think about it. Try it again? Or simply ignore it? Men do not think about sex the same way women do. Men do not have sex the same way women do. So what is it with this thing about sex, that regardless of what we do, good sex, really good sex is hard to come by? The puzzling starts by: We find great sex and at some point it goes bad. Like milk! After a long while of having sex with the same partner it becomes monotonous, at times undesirable and often rare among long-term couples. Most couples invariably will fail in their partnership once sex goes bad. Well, that! next to economical troubles. Whys isn’t it that the older sex is, with that partner   doesn’t get better like an old wine? Oh! Old, old wine goes bad too! So what’s the deal with sex?

There are more myths about sex than true facts in the minds of mainstream people. Thousands and thousands of books have been written about sex and most sell like hot cakes. Some books have even survived millennia! When a new book come out with some interesting facts, mostly educational stuff, most people get excited (even aroused?). Just kidding! Many try what they learned from them but as well, all that becomes old at some point. Should we be reading more books about sex all the time to keep it roaring? Who wants to read books about sex when we have videos? The number one industry in the internet is sex! And how about all the millions of photos in the net that one way or another one, are loaded with sexual overtones?
In the old days (40s/50s), a photo that was considered provocative would never made into a family magazine. But today, even the billboards of metropolitan cities contain more than provocative photos. Not to mention many fashion catalogs! Did you have the chance to peruse the early catalogs (80s) of the now internationally famous brand name Victoria Secret? They were sooo sexy! Borderline between provocative and the content of most men’s magazines of today. Isn’t strange that those catalogs made this brand name a staple in the bedrooms of the mainstream world? When sex is so mystified? Many more catalogs and brand names came out after the success of VS. Television and cinema as well, are heavily loaded with sexual and provocative images. Ratings simply describe it “Sexual content”. No wonder why we think so much about sex! Like if we need reminders!

The history of sex is a confusing one. While sex is a normal and needed human activity, sex has been subjected to stigmatizing, ostracism, judgment and all the negative adjectives anyone can throw at it. There is no need to delve into what the reasons are. We all know them quite well. For starters, when young, our parents gave us at least one warning about sex. Some parents even threatened their kids if they would ever knew they were having sex . . . Aah! This is history that will never change. One irony of the case is, many of those parents indulged their sexual life quite well when young. Take for instance, the Baby Boomers. The 60s and 70s were the times of sexual liberation. Not that such liberation never happened before, but this time, it was public and highly eloquent. “Make Love, Not War” was the slogan of the times as a demonstration against the war in Vietnam or was it just for the sake of making love? I betya! Young people wanted to indulge their interest and attraction to sex freely.

We can’t ignore as well that celebrated thinkers had something to say about sex too. Freud was one of them among many. And his words were concerning and alarming to the mainstream. According to Freud, sex represented many not so cool things about the character or psychological issues. I will not get into that. In the 40s/50s, Dr Kinsey had something to say about sex too. But his message was exactly what the mainstream could not manage: The truth. He stated things like: Women and men of all ages, masturbated and fantasized often if not daily, and had at least one homosexual experience. But not your grandmother and mine, right? How can we think about our grandmother playing with herself? And having sex with another woman? Can you imagine finding a dildo in your grandmother’s bedroom? Oh no! That is not possible! This is how confusing sex can be.

Recently we read at xQsi magazine an article by marriage and family therapist Roberto Olivo talking about sex addiction. Sex what? Addiction? Not me! Not you! Not anyone we know, right? Well, it is not easy to understand sex, period, much less to understand what sex addiction might be. Yes, it exist! And what is it? Good sex, bad sex, and lots of it? All of the above? Sex is an act of instant gratification that anyone can indulge in and it can come with the biggest and hardest hangover anyone can experience – when indulged irresponsibly. Hangover? People with the “ability” to drink heavily and regularly can stand a hangover. Can they do the same with irresponsible sex? Oh yes! Just like alcoholics, they must seek for more alcohol to recover from that hangover. Same with sex. More sex takes care of it. So why do people drink again and again? Because of the very same reason sexually addicted people must have more sex. They need that instant gratification, they need their “fix”. However, although one may recover from sexual hangovers, the consequences will not go away! Unwanted pregnancy, venereal diseases, tarnished reputation and many more. As well, such “fix” does not fix anything but creates the illusion, a temporary illusion.
Frequent masturbation, multiple partners, anonymous partners, unprotected sex, all that and lots of it are among the symptoms of sexual addiction. The more the merrier, right? Well, there is a true reason for it and it is not precisely a humorous one. Sexual addiction happens because of an emptiness in-within – at a core level. Sexual addiction becomes a coping mechanism that will allow us to keep going on and on – when things are not right. Things like poor self-confidence and self-love, frustration, guilt and stress, among many others. But it turns our backs to responsible sex once it happens, turns that sexual experience into bad sex. More emptiness, more void happens and we are back to square one. Then, we get hangover! But the interesting part about addicted sex is that most people fail to recognize addiction to sex. As well, they are not able to recognize the hangover, not even bad sex. But they can recognize sex much easier! And always as an imperative need that needs to be fulfilled immediately and regardless of its cost. Is sex just sex, nothing more?

Looking into our inner self is not an easy chore. And there is no instant fix either when we find something that is wrong. The tribulations of daily life, the interpersonal crisis, financial limitations and complications, plain lack of fulfillment and happiness tend to make us seek for that fix somewhere else. There is no difference with alcohol or drugs abuse, greed, an obsessive quest for power or appreciation and an obsessive need for validation. Bottom line is, when we are missing something in within, we seek for it somewhere else. And that is not right! It just doesn’t deliver. But this is the not the problem that our parents warned us about. They just meant not having sex, because our judgment may not be grounded, period!. As well, all those moralistic and religious minds that claim sex is only for one exclusive purpose . . . Give me a break! Clearly when we indulge that is not our purpose. Ours, is to feel good about our own selves (physically and emotionally) and to unwind our pressures, frustrations, stress, etc. But it doesn’t work when it only serves that purpose -> for a quick instant. The Petite Mort as the French call it, is no more than an orgasm, which even though it is almost always nice to have, may leave an emptiness after all. A spiritual and emotional death.

The reality about sex to most, is that we know so little about it. But we seem to act it as if we were experts. We just feel the hormonal call or an opportunity to prove our selves or to fix something that is broken. Even all those books written through history will not teach us the level of importance sex has in our lives and selves. Sex is the most innate intimate activity we can share with someone else. When indulging into sexual activity we fully strip ourselves down to the bare bones! And I am not referring about physical nudity. Sex as well, can be the most gratifying experience one can experience with another individual when done responsibly. We hear about it all over the place and at all times: Making love is generally acceptable – having irresponsible sex, comes with all the wrongs. Making love is an action that we perform with somebody that we respect and love. Someone that we like so much that we harvest and expect having a steady – long-term relationship with. When we make love to that person, we go to a very different place than when we just have plain sex. Don’t get me wrong! Plain sex can be great too! But granting at least some quantity of true personal intimacy, will come with quantity of quality. I bet you that there are some among your old experiences, experiences that you will remember and treasure forever. Yes, that’s it! Intimate loving sex is something that we will always remember so we don’t need to go into more once indulged. We do not need anyone else. As well, we don’t need to have sex with that partner without the proper regards for that appreciated person. For starters, when we make love or have intimate loving sex, we love our own self too. After all, besides of becoming attentive to the needs and desires of our partner, we are taking care of ours. Question: When you masturbate, do make love to yourself or just take care of that need in a brief instant?

Getting addicted to anything is easier than anyone can imagine. And when we get addicted to something, it comes silently and almost invisibly. All we see is a way to fill that hole of void and inadequacy in our selves and lives. The instant fix! Addiction, as you can imagine, is not a good trait to have. Any kind of addiction! Because addiction is dependency. And we should not be dependent on anyone or anything but our own selves. If we become self-sufficient to all of our needs, we will be able to rely on ourselves forever! And we must exercise good judgement and courtesy to others when we exclusively depend on our selves. Although we must observe our independence, we must observe and respect the independence of others. That is the best of all vaccines to anything bad! As well, being self-sufficient/independent will help anybody to determine if she/he is prone to become addicted or not, because she/he are able to face reality as it comes. And that reality always will come with respect and common sense when we responsibly face everything it in real-time and as it comes. But if you are addicted, there is no need to feel worse about yourself, that you are doomed, or your life is finished. Although you should depend on your own self, it doesn’t mean you can’t rely on someone else. Reach out, do the leg work and to whatever it takes to reclaim yourself! There are programs and services to aid everyone with any kind of addiction. And the fun in life will not end if you do so! In fact, fun becomes better, will last longer and you will remember it for as long as you live. When we responsibly indulge into any of our choices, we not only enjoy those much more and better, but there is no hangover or negative consequences once indulgence passed. Then, you can live longer, live happily and live in company of others like yourself.

Sex is overrated and underrated by the standards of that we see in the media, by the myths that circulate around. Indulging in responsible sex requires a level-headed approach, not just like what we see in TV and the movies and we simply throw ourselves into it and all comes out OK. That is fantasy! A pregnant young woman or a venereally ill person is not going to fix the problem as it happens in movies. Although life will not end there, reality will set in and we may end up feeling that our days are over. Yes, this can be a life changing experience and not necessarily for the best. And many of the normal and expected goodies life offers may become much more difficult to reach. Sometimes even becoming impossible to do so. But making love is not the same. Having responsible sex is not the same. Instead of getting fixated in instant gratification, live and love, love and live. That is much better than just having plain sex with anyone and without care and regards. It becomes a lasting experience!

Primary shaping up, election showing clear signs.

By Isis Win

We are into the fourth year of one of the most difficult times in history of the USA and the American people. The impact of a failing economic system threatened by a crumbling banking and mortgage industry, the largest deficit in history, unparalleled levels of unemployment and sub-employment, and two wars that, although delivering some desired results, in more items failed the “strategy” to address the real issues that prompted them and have created the largest division between American people. For the sake of truth, the start of this tough times are not correlated with the actual regime of Democrat President Barrack Obama. These issues are the result of the previous administration that failed to act timely, to develop infallible strategies, acted impulsively, denied losing ground on any of those issues and lied to the American people from the very start.

Considering that in the political world all sorts of manipulations and lies can take place, it has been extremely difficult to most Americans to arrive to a consensus that could lead to an absolute resolution than will straighten our path. On the contrary, we are more divided than in any other period of the American history and the Republican Party no longer is what our ancestors experienced.
The party became fragmented much before the elections of 2008. During the two regimes of the Bush – Cheney administration, the party failed to address all of the above issues as they were happening. This previous administration achieved the heaviest and strongest power an American regime ever had. Democrats could only challenge Republicans in the arena of debate but in the long run, the administration always presented a “reality” based on their “facts”. Facts that time has shown many important speeches from Bush, were fully false and deceiving. But do not ask a Republican if the previous administration failed at large. They will blame Democrats for any and every single mistake that took place during those 8 years and now. But the facts don’t lie and today, we all are facing the disastrous results of the lies and mistakes that only benefited some of the largest corporations in the country. But the American people still are at bay and hoping that this coming regime will save us from this long agony, something that the Republican primary front-runners have been exploiting to their “advantage”, blaming Obama and his party for the actual reality we face today.

In 2009, Obama’s place was to fix all the inherited problems to prove that he is the rightful person to lead the nation. However, although those problems mentioned above didn’t collapse into further disaster. These problems prevail, something that was expected from academics and analysts because the severity of the simultaneous conflicts. But as well, Obama’s initiative to address one of the most important issues of the country, an issue that has not been addressed for decades, an issue even when Republicans and Democrats put all their eggs in the nest at some point, never happened: The Health Care issue. Obama’s bill has been heavily criticized by the Republicans as a failed and insolvent program to address this toxic situation and has been taken into the public opinion arena – as a sign of failure of his administration. However, the irony of this case is that several of measures included in this bill, are the exact measures that many Republicans presented (including McCain and Romney), supported and advocated in favor of for the last two decades. Yet Obama’s compromise is used today by Republicans as an example of an eroding aspect of the American future.

It takes no effort to look back into our recent years of political and government history. The evidence never disappeared from the popular view but Republicans filtered these facts and pointed them against Obama. Obama’s mistakes. Nevertheless, they override the undeniable facts such as: The attack to the Trade Center. It was a failure of the Bush administration to recognize any possible validity of this attack and they let it happen. As well, the warnings about the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein in a pre-emptive way. Also, the failed policies to return Iraq post-invasion to normalcy by integrating most of what could be, in a heavily and historically ethnically divided nation. That, instead of integrating a nation with centennial history of division, has taken place with uncanny violence against each other. As a consequence, many of those Arab enemies are our enemies now. Today, Iraq has a weak and unprepared army (when it was the strongest in the region) that the US has been training to bring up to speed and will continue doing so for decades to come. It takes decades to train an efficient army. Another undeniable fact is that Bush assured the American people Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction when the UN repetitively said the contrary, that Hussein had close ties with Al-Qaeda and as well said “the invasion would be short-lived and presents no threat or real loses for the American military power”. Five thousand deaths later, a massive cost, and Iraq still is in shambles, we have the real facts on sight.  We know the truth. Just about any Iraqi says they were better off when Hussein was in power. If these facts don’t suffice to account for the failed and fallacious previous administration, the one responsible for the problems we face today, then there is no argument to figure why we are where we are. However, Republicans blame Obama for these problems. But in reality this is an eloquent statement about a divided, biased and arbitrary way of looking our old and known America.  The America that no longer is as remembered before the start of the 21st century. We need to get back to that America for the sake of our future generations.

Not everything is Bush’s fault. On top of the list are: The American people who didn’t question any of those facts as they were happening. The legislative body that failed to obligate the administration, based on the exercise of their – democratically provided – power to demand the evidence and written plan of action. The US armed forces and all politicians that spoke on behalf of the Bush administration failed too. An interesting fact is that among  the top of that list is Sara Palin, that divided many folds more the American people with her biased, uneducated, angry, hostile and extremist “political” rhetoric. The very reason Republicans lost the election. Instead, they gave room to Democrat Obama whose rhetoric was based on providing for the middle class people and taking away power from the corporations that as well, are responsible for the actual status of our nation. It is true, unemployment is rampant because the mortgage failure, but we can’t ignore the fact that millions of jobs moved overseas due to cheap out-sourcing. Those jobs were already missing when we needed them so badly and this displaced a work force that never got the proper training to take high-tech jobs, as Reagan suggested would be the case. Although the Tea Party was born as an alternative movement to the Republicans whose party looks nothing moderate, because of its ambition to seize power, in reality it did more damage to the far right and to the country, than a conscious political benefit to the nation. A clear manifestation that the American people are not happy anymore by being neglected for a long time, left and right Americans are exactly in the same place, and share a place in the same boat.

Today, the American panorama is one of the saddest in American history. Republicans and Democrats fail to join efforts to overcome the shortcomings of a global financial problem, the environmental threat of global warming and ozone depletion, the energy crisis that somehow “disappeared” <due to blindness> right after the oil crisis of the early 70s, our failing educational problem that places us in 20th place ranking world wise in the 2009 Human Development Report – 13th according to the Education Policy Institute (and never even among the top ten any other ranking organization), threatens our fragile safety at home and abroad by terrorists, as well the massive abuses of large corporations that get away with murder and at the cost of tax dollars, the lack of confidence in the American people and the weakening of an economy that still provides the tax cuts from the previous administration. Tax cuts that were put in place when the cost of all our initiatives far exceed our gross product. Isn’t this some kind bribe from our Republican government that blinded us from the truths of what we were getting into? But we “can” blame Obama for all that, as if doing so will fix any of the above problems.

Republicans insist they are the only ones able to address and fix the country. But they throw dirt on each other and accuse each other of unprepared, inexperienced,  unpatriotic and plainly ambitious for the sake of personal benefit and ego trips.

If you take just a quick glance at Wikipedia and their description of the Great Depression, you will find that the solutions to our failed economy of today, compared to those times (massive lay offs and the failure of many banks if not most), are ahead of schedule and we are on the right track. During the next four years we will witness the benefits of this administration initiatives and all of the above will drastically improve regardless of who is in power, but only if the issues that triggered our actual situation never happen again. Romney has clearly shown lacking of any vision and experience to manage this, but his word. He never presented any evidence to the case even when challenged by his own peers. Recently Gingrich accused him of “being a liar”.  Gingrich was asked two or three times the same question and he asserted it. The next presidential period will demand leaving politics behind – to address, really address – what is needed to get back into our pre-21st century status. None of the primaries’ front-runners offer what it takes to do so. Perhaps Obama doesn’t either, but it is a fact that Obama is several folds more promising that ALL the Republicans together. In other words, the upcoming election has been already decided because the American people do not suck their thumb anymore. The American people are fed up with this vitriolic situation created by the Republicans. That is something that the Republicans can be blamed for and they should take responsibility for it. This past year has been clear enough to represent the poor status of the American politics and this effort has been lead by the Republicans and just because they seek to seize power at any cost. But if I am wrong, what a serious situation we will face if the White House lands on the hands of Mitt Romney. Through all my years witnessing politics and all I’ve extensively read, Romney most champions the realm of “out of touch” among all politicians ever in the US landscape. His image, to anyone who is capable of seeing the truth, is nothing less than the same image of several presidential runners that African countries had! Countries that crumbled by a poor notion of patriotism, lack of experience, and vision, with corruption and a lack of a political view that was necessary in their countries. Today, they are worse than ever in their history. Are we heading that way? Lead by deceit, lies, coercion and a promise of a place that will take years to recover?

Although all mentioned is important, what is on top of all, is the sole fact that when we think and talk about the American people, American people means every single law-abiding American. Ethnic groups, sexual and gender orientation, gender, education, financial and social status should not bear any importance when we consider the country. After all, we all are Americans and although our personal well-being matters to most of us first, our well-being depends greatly on the well-being of the nation. For as long as we are divided, we are no longer civilized, and progress only will be a view in a desert that no one habitats, Just like the different Arab ethnic groups that are destroying each other and their countries, as Iraq and the other nations facing social revolutions are. This is what the previous administration left us behind. Division, division, division! Division in Iraq, division in the Arab world, division in American politics and division among us. It is time to truly listen to Obama and make a true and solid effort to conciliate our bi-partisan differences, regardless of anything. What is at stake is our entire nation, and I hope that no one is unable to see that today, the world and our nation is in a fragile state. At some point, hopefully before tragedy strikes again, we will be together so we can become the heroes that have made this is a wonderful nation: the most democratic, healthiest, smartest, richest and most powerful one in our entire world’s history. We are not ready to give up that place yet. This is not the best possible time for it but more importantly: There is no other country prepared to take that place.