Sex is Healing
If you accessed this site prior to this year, you may have missed my entry about the dark side of sex and how a parent can handle that territory. Thanks to the response from a few concerned parents, I have addressed that concern in this revision of “Sex is Healing.” You might ask what I’m referring to, don’t be concerned or alarmed: you’ll know it when we get there. The response from those who are concerned has been very gratifying; I’m convinced, you’ll be pleased when we cover it.
To continue: The third component of the critical three is SEX. It rests upon the axiom that the human mentality is designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. This is where it often becomes difficult to separate feelings from logic, because sometimes what we think should be painful becomes pleasurable. Likewise, what we think should be pleasurable becomes painful. This element of the critical three can be a fooler because it often is cause for severe problems later in life. The care-giver should be very careful to treat this issue of sex very carefully because, it is the most volatile of the critical three.
Have you ever observed an infant crawling on cement or cinder blocks with no apparent feeling of pain? Have you heard of adults walking on burning cinders without getting burned or feeling no pain from the intense heat? Conversely, have you heard of individuals gaining pleasure from being beaten? These are not unusual events.
The fact is, the mind determines what is painful and pleasurable based upon the needs of the individual, and, little by little, needs are constantly changing. Keep in mind that primarily, feelings of pleasure and pain are derived from the five senses: what we see, hear, smell, taste, and/or touch (feel). However, what titillates one person might irritate another. In fact, the same thing that titillates/irritates a person at one time might irritate/titillate the same person at different times.
Input from the five senses is the same for all of us: however, when it comes to the reproductive organs, there is a universality of pleasure; we call it sexuality and sensuality.
Every normal human being has sexual feelings; however, a good, clean, healthy outlook about your Little One’s sex and his sexual role is formed from the minute of birth. In her extraordinary book titled, “Your Child’s Self-Esteem,” Dorothy Corkille Briggs talks about the wedding of sex and love, and how a child’s attitude toward sex is formed from birth.
She doesn’t use the term “hugs and kisses” exactly, but her meaning is the same. Obviously she and I are in agreement when we say each time you provide hugs and kisses, rock, pat, bathe, and feed your little one, you provide an experience in taking in love. How he is touched and treated affects whether he finds physical contact pleasurable or not; it influences his future capacity to enjoy intimacy. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Hugs and kisses and respect for your Little One’s body and his needs are his first exposure to love, and therefore to sex education.
Before I continue, let me say this: in my mind, there is no better, more enlightened book about your Little One than Dorothy Corkille Briggs’ book titled, “Your child’s Self-esteem,” all I can say is, it is super extraordinary.
To continue: If the attitude towards sex is distorted, the sexual pleasures derived from associations with others can be misinterpreted and often create immense mental and physical problems. Separately, sex and love are emotions with many sides, shades, and colors; however, the most intense and burning of all kinds of sex, is that experienced in the blending of love and sex. With that in mind, let’s take it from the beginning and consider that the concept of pleasure and pain, relating to the reproductive organs, has a significant core that rests upon physical hygiene.
From the very beginning, clean your little one at least once daily; during the cleansing, when appropriate, teach her how to clean herself, and teach her what each part of the body is reserved for, especially the reproductive organs. That part is extremely important; however, it is also extremely sensitive; in fact, so sensitive that the parent or primary care-giver should be the only one to engage in the sexual phase of education. Later, it will be easier to support a foundation of physical and mental health, plus sexual awareness, power, and responsibility.
Parents have been taught that the time to talk to their offspring about sex (“the birds and bees”) is during puberty; not so, that’s too late. Sex is a natural part of the human psyche, so we should approach it in a natural way. The importance of this phase of development cannot be over-stated: it is the most sensitive and far-reaching of any in the lifetime of your Little One. One more thing: the key to sexual development is to treat it as a natural occurrence, and do it from the beginning.
It is also important that we instill in him the idea that the size of a person is not necessarily indicative of strength, including the reproductive organs. Just like everything else, strength emanates from the mind. If the mind is clean, everything else will fall into place in a welcome sequence of events. The most important strength is not sexual strength, that’ll come automatically if one pursues strength of character.
Now, the big question: why should a book on parenting be concerned with the matter of sex? Good question and here is the answer: the two commodities of emotion are love and sex: the world is ruled, and the destiny of civilization is established, by human emotion. When we talk about Love, it is without question life’s greatest experience. It brings a person into communion with infinite intelligence and is the umbrella that shields and supports everything we do; however, if not integrated with eternal and traditional love, sexual gratification is the emotion that can invade and interfere with the overall strength of your Little One. In other words, sex can distort the purity of love and cause your Little One to mistake the senses-altering matter of sex with love. Admittedly, the matter can be complicated; nevertheless, in my mind the bottom line is, you should be seeking to mold your Little One into an individual who possesses the balance of emotion with reason, controlled by self-discipline.
In addition, there is no doubt that the most powerful of all human emotions is sex. In his powerful book, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill said, and I agree, there is no doubt that there are other mind stimulants, but not one of them, nor all of them combined, can equal the driving power of sex. The major difference between the emotion of love and the emotion of sex is that love is spiritual while sex is biological. With your guidance, as your Little One progresses naturally, both the biological and spiritual can blend into a powerhouse of individual dexterity.
When the emotion of love is mixed with the emotion of sex it will tend to guide a person’s actions toward greater balance, sanity, and reason. There is no doubt that love and sex are both emotions capable of driving individuals to heights of super achievement, and when we add a passionately idealistic attachment of two people (romance) to the mix, a person can become unstoppable.
When combined, those three emotions (love, sex, romance) may lift a person to the position of super-human. Then when the three are combined with the aid of discipline, it will lead your “Bundle of Joy” far up the ladder of creative effort and success. The result is an achievement-building mastermind. Why? Because when the emotions of those three are combined with discipline, the obstruction between the finite mind of man and infinite intelligence are removed. When that happens, we can expect a powerful, unstoppable yet caring individual.
Teach your Little One that her reproductive organs are “private,” because that part of her anatomy is reserved for her and her alone: not her parents, not the embodiment of her religious faith, not her brothers, sisters, or neighbors, but for her alone. Teach her that her “privates” are designed to reproduce a human being just like her, and that her Creator was kind enough to provide pleasure during the act resulting in reproduction. The key to this and any other lesson is to keep it simple, keep it natural, and keep it with an element of fun. Parenting is a serious matter; however, don’t be too serious, be ready to laugh, but only when appropriate.
Teach her that everything in existence is good; on the other hand, everything can cause bad results if used inordinately past their practical usefulness (abused). In other words, things are simply objects, they are neither good nor bad. They become good or bad as a result of their use: misuse nearly always ends with unenviable results. An example might be that even though food is necessary for maintenance of bodily functions, over-indulgence without the attending useful production of caloric energy will cause the body to be unbalanced (obese). The result will limit the body’s ability to perform normal pleasurable activities.
Of the “Critical Three,” The matter of SEX is the most volatile. Sex is healing, not because it is pleasurable (there is no doubt about that), but because the Creator made it that way so we would seek to participate in the process, that way we would be more inclined to procreate, thereby maintaining and increasing our kind (the human race). The optimum association is that we would do it under the umbrella of LOVE. It so happens we humans seek to place our own little spin on quite a number of things in our lives: sex is no exception. No problem, it’s just that we have identified love as an emotion, sex is also an emotion, both of them tend to interfere with purity of heart and mind. Sex is healing; nevertheless, regardless of age or gender, when we talk about sex we’ve got to be very careful to keep it in perspective with an event.
Before we get too wrapped up in this sex thing, let’s keep in mind we are talking about your little “Bundle of Joy.” Oh yea! You almost forgot about that didn’t you? You probably don’t remember a comedian named Flip Wilson, he was a riot, had his own TV show back in the mid 1970’s. His favorite line was “The devil made me do it.” Well, I don’t want to point fingers, the point is, don’t allow you or your Little One to entertain that phrase [we know that that negative image (“The devil made me do it”) might always hover around us; nevertheless, that reason is an excuse: unacceptable].
Your Little One has no idea of the meaning of love, money, sex, or any other thing we take for granted, he’s just trying to establish his identity. He doesn’t know if he is male, female, dog, cat, sock, shoe; he’s just a sponge, soaking up the reality of life. He is looking to you to guide him in the paths of self-awareness. You have a choice: walk away from your parental obligation and allow someone else do it, or you can decide to be a parent and do it yourself (DIY).
The number one thing your Little One should know is his/her gender: that’s why we clothe our little boys in blue apparel and girls in pink. That color rampage is not for the infant, he doesn’t know his head from his toe, his rear from his front, he simply wants to get started with his new life. The reality is, he is totally dependent on you (or someone like you) who can “show him the ropes.”
You might say, “So what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that you can step up to the plate and be the hero your Little One sees, or you can lower your head and allow someone else to replace you in his hall of fame. It means if you decide to take up the gauntlet and be that hero, you must seek to be as good a you as you can be. In other words, it’s not just about your Little One, it’s about your total family package, it’s about building a tradition of excellence of whom your ancestors and progeny will be proud with whom to be identified.
“That makes a lot of sense,” you say, but “What does sex have to do with it?” Good question, and here is the answer: determining one’s sex is the first step in self-identity. It’s quick and easy. The most important thing is that “Mother Nature” provides a tremendous supporting role, all we need do is cooperate with her lead. Now, the fact that we are talking about sex, leads us to talk about the perversion of sex (“In a book on parenting?”). Yep! Let’s cover that beast and put it to rest.
When it comes to sex, your Little One was created with a clean and uncluttered mind: he had no idea about perversion of it and its lethal effects. We know one of our goals is to enhance the value of self and how we relate to others: we also know that sexual perversion, AKA pornography, distorts the value of creation and its relationship to self-worth. With that in mind, I think it would be a pity to not cover it.
Remember when we were talking about your child and the birds and bees? We said talking about sex at puberty is too late. Remember that? We just glossed over it at that time because you were not ready for it, it’s just that I was so convincing (modest me) that you just accepted it and said, “That makes sense.” Now, let’s enter the inner sanctum of sexual awareness and worm out the details as to why it is true.
Your child (male and/or female) is going to discover that when he touches his genitals, he is going to become aware of a tingle of pleasure: you want to be sure that that natural sensation does not come as a surprise to him and that he understands why it is true. Allow me to reiterate that this is one of the most critical acts you, the parent, will ever encounter: the timing must come as a result of observation, intuition (gut reaction), and exposure of your child to the world around him; in addition, it must be a one on one encounter. That means, generally the optimum timing would be somewhere after the first year, but before the third year (I know that’s a wide span of time, but it’s not cut in stone: it’s up to you to be the judge).
To continue: you want your child to understand that our Creator loves us, his omnipotent genius reveals the truth that He made the act of re-creating the human body pleasurable, and that He did it for the distinct purpose of procreation, and to appreciate and revere the act of sexual intimacy. You want to be sure your Little One is aware that when he arrives at the juncture where he can mate with a being of the opposite gender, he will be able to cause nature to produce a person just like him. The idea is to foster an inner resolve that the desired result of sexual activity will be so special and overwhelming that the world will proclaim him a parent (just like you).
I know what you’re thinking, and you’re correct: it won’t be easy, the timing will be suspect, the wording must be carefully phrased, and a host of other things. However, the sexual education of your Little One probably is the single most important phase of your parenting experience.
The bottom line is, you want your child to understand that sexual perversion is a dishonest attempt to gain pleasure at the expense of honest evaluation of self. In other words, when a person is honest, he knows he is special, he also knows that he is no more special than anyone else. What that means is, he will be able to perform some things better than a great number of other people: it also means a great number of people will be able to perform some things better than him. That includes all feelings: physical and emotional. The point is, when we attempt to fool “Mother Nature,” we are unknowingly asking for pain. When we are dishonest, pain will surely follow, either from reduced pleasure (compared to the natural pleasure of nature), or increased pain.
Here is the key: a person’s body is intricately designed by our Creator to provide us with utmost pleasure in and of itself: all parts of our bodies are connected in such a way that individually they can provide pleasure and/or pain. Honesty is the purveyor of pleasure, dishonesty is the purveyor of pain. In your own inimitable way, you want to share that to your “Bundle of Joy” in a passionate manner. On the other hand, don’t overdo it, but do be consistent in your support of “Mother Nature.”.
Enough said about sexual perversion. However, I do want to add one final thing about sex and your Little One: he has no idea about the ravages that pornographic events can provide, he simply knows that some things cause him pleasure and some cause pain. Just as is true with all of us, we seek pleasure and attempt to avoid pain (mental and physical). That’s one reason corporal persuasion (when used judiciously) might be effective; on the other hand, when used in excess or as a means of punishment, it can be detrimental to the relationship with him.
You may disagree, but I guarantee you, there is never a need to punish your child (strong, but true statement). However, when the need arises, your responsibility in molding him to expect to be accountable for his actions is to activate painful consequences of his actions. Now, pay attention! (I know I shouldn’t say it quite that way, but this is really an extra important point): when the need to activate consequences arises, an explanation of the cause of the event should be exchanged with your Little One. The major key is that it should be completed in such a way as to solicit acknowledgement from him that he understands your action and the need for invoking consequences.
That interchange will do at least three things: it will reduce the need to invoke consequences in the future, it will reduce ill-will with him, and it will cause a ripple effect (a tradition of parental activity); what I mean by that is, when he becomes a parent, he will be inclined to say to his Little One, “Here are the consequences of your action, and this is the reason why. You do understand that, right?” You don’t have to be there to know that the interchange technique can be magical!
Just as an aside (to close out the idea of identity): there was a piece in my local newspaper a few years ago that seems to nail it in place. It was about a racial matter that really shouldn’t have been a matter at all, at any rate I’ll quote it here. The writer said, “I’m an American. My skin is darker than many other Americans; in fact, some people call me black (my preference), some call me African-American, others call me Negro or colored, still others have other names for me (some nice and some not so nice). However, the names people use to identify me in their minds have nothing at all to do with who I am.” He went on to talk about the issue at hand at that time.
True, it had nothing at all to do with your Little One except that it illustrates the idea that others can identify your Little One in their minds, but that’s really not extremely important: what’s important is how your Little One identifies himself. Male or female is not a question, it’s just that identifying one’s gender is simply the first step on the path to self-identification.
I repeat: regardless of age or gender, Sex is healing; nevertheless, when we talk about that subject, we’ve got to be very careful how we handle it.
That, my friend, wraps up the critical three and leads us to the primary thing that can interfere with the successful development of any one or all three of them.
Just as an aside: I don’t want to get us into trouble here, I just want to highlight that within the covers of this site, I use two different phrases referring to the concerns of child development. Specifically, I talk about the “critical three” and the “factor of five.” The critical three involves Love, Money, and Sex. Your little “Bundle of Joy” has no idea what those critical three elements are all about, so why should we care. Good question! I use both because they are both important, but in different ways. The critical three are the elements we must concentrate on and plan our critical positive attack, the other two wrap up the factor of five in that those two are the Road-bumps that are lurking to interfere with our progress. Those last two can slow or even stop the progress of our little “Bundle of Joy.” With that in mind, we want to highlight the entire spectrum and put it in perspective.
That my friend, wraps up the third of our Factor of Five and leads us to the primary thing that can interfere with the successful development of any one or all of them — The Silent Spoiler: Fear! Please continue by accessing the fourth step in our travel along the Bridge to Success: the “Silent Spoiler.”