Goddesses and Sex
Have you ever had the sense that you were not in charge of your thoughts, and that your brain had been hijacked by some alien force that rendered you useless until you did as you were directed to do? When I awoke this morning, at 3:31 am, I had no intention of getting up and writing this blog, but it would seem that the Universe had other plans for me. Oddly enough, I just had this conversation with a fellow Goddess and Yogini the night before. We shared the same feelings about being a conduit, or channel for thoughts, at various times in our lives.
She and I had both recently felt as though we really had no choice in the matter; ideas were flowing freely and innovation and motivation were in abundance. The right words came forth and if we didn’t put pen to paper immediately, all would be lost; at least they seemed like the right words at 4:00 in the morning! We’ll leave it up to you to decide the latter, but nevertheless, here I am at 4 am giving Universe (and my subconscious) a voice.
This is what occurred to me this morning:
Are men really more sexual beings than women? Is it possible for women to be just as sexual as men? It was once reported that men think about sex every seven seconds, or around 8,000 times a day. You should know that that actually isn’t true; there is no evidence to back up this claim. Every study except for one has relied on self-report after the fact (how many times a day do you think about sex?). Honestly, people aren’t very good at assessing information like that, and their reports are likely to be influenced by what they have heard in the past regarding expectations for their gender or their own sporadic desires. The reality is that the frequency with which people think about sex is not even in the double digits, which may surprise more than a few people.
According to one study in “Psychology Today,” statistical data revealed that the median number of sexual thoughts for men was 18.6 and for women it was 9.9 per day. The test subjects were also asked to record the number of times they thought about food or sleep, and it was found that the number of thoughts about sex were not statistically larger than the number of thoughts about food or sleep. Men had more thoughts about all three of these areas than did women. This is a vastly different picture than that painted by urban legends of men thinking about sex every few seconds.
As women, we can only speak on our behalf, but we did wonder: Could it be that the reason men think about sex more often is they are reminded of it at nearly every turn? After all, society does its best to sexualize women in nearly every conceivable way. Look around; women are on most magazine covers; posing provocatively and wearing little to no clothing. The content inside the cover does little to improve the image or the status of women in society, either. No wonder men think about food and sex more considering the placement of these magazines in the checkout aisles of the grocery store. It would seem that we are merely on this planet for men’s pleasure and possession. We are to compete with one another for their attention, and ultimately, they choose youth and beauty over age and wisdom.
Think about all the places men are reminded to sexualize women and view them as objects: Cheerleaders at sports events, and on Nationally televised sports, in particular. Men are reminded to sexualize women at restaurants, and adult bookstores, equally. From book covers to clothing; the music industry to movies and pornography; women are misrepresented and devalued. There are cars designed to mimic the curves of the female body; and, lest you forget, there are even mud flaps with unrealistic images of women on them, for God’s sake! We don’t need to explain to you why this is (patriarchy), and frankly, you do not want to get us started on that, because we can go hard on that topic, but suffice it to say we aren’t fans!
This led us to question ourselves; how many times a day did we think about sex, food or sleep? Also, were there outside influences that had an effect on the frequency of these thoughts for men and women? While we aren’t true Scientists or researchers, these questions did lead us to inquire about our own thoughts, and to reflect on what might cause the larger median number for men than women.
I’m not really sure we came up with any specific number of times we thought about sex, food or sleep during the day. Of course we thought about all three, and more than once, but we didn’t click a counter or ticker every time we thought about any one of the three (as we said, we aren’t true scientists and we also aren’t very reliable test subjects). We did notice that we talked about food and sleep more, in terms of needs and desires, than we did sex. We also noticed that we are more aware of our sexual thoughts now than when we were younger. Perhaps this is because we are in stable, mature relationships now, and sex no longer seems dangerous or difficult to arrange. We no longer feel inhibited by thinking sexual thoughts as we may have when we were younger, which was completely liberating.
The frequency of our thoughts regarding sex, in particular, were sporadic and dependent upon other factors, largely. For example, when we had little to do, and our partners were around, sexual thoughts were more frequent. When we had long lists of things to do, sexual thoughts were virtually non-existent. Around the time of ovulation our sexual thoughts increased significantly; only to be replaced by thoughts about food and sleep two weeks later during our menses.
One of the interesting things of note in this particular study was that there was some evidence that at least some women were reluctant to report certain types of thoughts. The Researchers administered a measure of social desirability, which is the degree to which a person is more concerned about looking good to others than telling the truth. Social desirability didn’t have any relationship with the recorded frequency of men’s thoughts, however. Women who were higher in social desirability tended to report fewer thoughts about sex and food. Their social desirability scores were not related to their reports of thoughts about sleep, however, and it can only be assumed that there are no stereotypes about women and sleep the way there are stereotypes about women and sex and women and food. In other words, women aren’t supposed to think about sex or food in the same way that men are.
Of course, there’s that whole ‘social desirability’ thing; which makes complete sense to us.
If women’s sexual desires have not been taken seriously, nor their sexual needs addressed, how can we expect them to admit to thinking about sex? Just because we think about sex doesn’t mean we’re going to get our needs met, after all; presumably not in the way we would like for them to be. Have we, as women, simply denied ourselves the pleasure of thinking about sex because we knew the odds were that we wouldn’t be satisfied with getting those needs met?
If you ask most women about their sexual experiences or history, you will find stories akin to a battlefield. Not stories, actually, but truths, about the parts of themselves they left behind. Remnants of their being scattered and left for dead in many cases; events and traumas better forgotten. We become disfigured by our history, seeing only tattered holes where our whole being once existed. We become dismembered, shattered shells of who we thought we were, and it is only through persistence and determination that we piece back together those parts of ourselves that were lost on the battlefield. We rise, again and again; determined to heal those parts of ourselves that were torn apart; to reclaim our spiritual, sexual, divine feminine selves.
The aftermath of the #metoo movement and all of the sexual harassment and assault “allegations” (we hate that word, by the way), have left us wondering how to reclaim those parts of ourselves that were lost in the fire. The process of reclamation will be different for every one of us, and it will come in varying degrees at unpredictable speeds. We do know this, we are all inherently sexual beings. That’s how we all arrived here, after all. We can begin by acknowledging this and leaving the shame behind. We can no longer afford to feel ashamed for our sexuality, or for trespasses we incurred during our precious lives. We can’t continue down the same path and expect different results. We have to rightfully own our sexuality, and refuse to deny ourselves pleasure any longer. We should proudly exclaim, “I’m thinking about sex right now, and it brings me great satisfaction and joy to know that I will not only take care of my needs, but I will do so with wild abandon and zero guilt or shame!”
Start there, and know that we all must begin again. Start from where you are, and summon the Goddess within to help awaken those parts of yourself that have been denied and devalued. We WILL rise again, for we are divine Goddesses, if only we are willing to begin.