"Am I Normal", the Sex edition- my thoughts

Having a psychologist analyzing sexuality and sexual taboos on TV (the show "Am I Normal?") is... interesting, to say the least. There's no doubt in my mind that when Dr Tanya Byron says "if it's sex between consenting adults, who can judge?" she's mentally adding "Me. I can."

It's a lot in the way her voiceover responds. When talking to a man about cottaging (sex in public toilets, for those not in the UK) she nods, but the voiceover says "why would you want to have sex with strangers in a place that smells like piss?" It took me 2 seconds to think of the following-
-some men like the smell of piss
-some men feel it's degrading and get turned on by that
-some men identify as straight and don't know where else to go
-some men aren't ready for intimacy with other men, or don't want it
-some men are closeted
-some men think homosexuality is disgusting but still feel pulled to do it, so they punish themselves or reflect their inner thoughts about it in their surroundings
And that's just a start. How could a psychologist not have picked up on at least some of these things? You can even find nights devoted to watersports in any area with more than 3 gay clubs. It's not that hard to figure out... is it?

Or when she talks about dogging. Sure, sometimes people want to have public sex because they want attention. But sometimes, it's just fun to have sex with other people watching. Sex in a car gives some clear boundaries, for example... washable boundaries. :)

I've gotten a pretty clear impression that Dr Byron thinks that men just feel the need to have sex as often as possible with as many people as possible, but that women, if sexually liberated, won't need sleeping around... or want it.


Ok, so sometimes women don't want sex as much as their male partners. But guess what? Sometimes women want sex more than their male partners as well, and there's not a lot of support for women who do want more sex... or men who want less.

I like what this article said:

"In the hard-core rendering of inherent male-female discrepancies in promiscuity, gay men are offered up as true men, real men, men set free to be men, while lesbians are real women, ultrawomen, acting out every woman's fantasy of love and commitment."

The whole article is good, but I think that that sums up what this show was implying. Another excellent quote:

'"It seems premature ... to attribute the relative lack of female interest in sexual variety to women's biological nature alone in the face of overwhelming evidence that women are consistently beaten for promiscuity and adultery," the primatologist Barbara Smuts has written. "If female sexuality is muted compared to that of men, then why must men the world over go to extreme lengths to control and contain it?"'

I think, if I wasn't so busy ranting, what Ms Smuts says is exactly what I spent this show thinking. Maybe women have lost their sex drives because they get beaten, killed, vilified, and told constantly that "good women don't really like sex".

Dr Byron is obviously looking to confirm her suspicions. This show could've been great, but instead, she's making snap judgments. I think it says a lot that she keeps asking about intimacy- not everyone CARES, lady. I don't. I enjoy casual sex for completely different reasons than I enjoy intimacy. I can have both, and it pisses me off and seems ragingly anti-feminist that I keep hearing this implied belief that if I was truly liberated I wouldn't enjoy women showing off their bodies, or "molding my sexuality to match that of a male stud". I guess i'd lie back and think of England. What complete bullshit.

I also think that it's interesting that it sounds like everyone Dr Byron speaks to, from a paedophile to a dogger to someone uninterested in sex, have thought long and hard about their sexuality and their sexual choices. Therein is what I think is the secret- knowing about your sexuality, looking at it within the tint of your culture.

I like what Lindsey Ashford (the paedophile) said in his interview- he informed her that it didn't matter what her degree was, after an hour she isn't qualified to make these assessments of him. I think that could be said for anyone she interviewed. It seemed like she went digging for trauma to justify sexual deviance... not much change from the beginnings of sexual studies like Krafft-Ebing, frankly. Or like when I was told that I was kinky because I was raped- a trendy theory that didn't fit, as I can date my first fantasies to around 5 being about knives, 7 years before anything happened.

Why are people so reluctant to just encourage education? Convents and similar "protections" have never worked. Education, a supportive environment to explore your sexuality, and access to safer sex supplies and information has. Am I really the only person who sees this...?

(I just wanna point out that when she talks to British 11 year olds, they seem to be vocal about fake boobs being weird and variation in sexuality being normal, even if there are pole dancing kits being advertised in the kid's toy section of Tesco.)

So, there you go- I think if kids and teens are given the tools to make informed sexual choices, access to adults who are open to discuss sexuality with them, they can lead healthy and varied sex lives, and become adults who enjoy sexuality in many forms.

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