Whenever we hear “sex education,” most people imagine a high school health class teacher outlining the basics: monthly periods, the human development cycle, birth control, and maybe an uncomfortable informational film. However, the topics in these classes barely skim the surface of the depth and breadth of our human sexuality.
For each individual, sexuality is a process of self-discovery, and it can be one of the most invigorating journeys of your life.
Did you know that both male and female genitals come from the same embryonic tissue and are identical in the first stage of fetal development? During the whole first stage, the sex of the fetus remains undetermined. After the first stage, the addition of a Y chromosome produces testosterone, which leads to the external and internal sexual differentiation of a male, or an additional X chromosome will prompt production of estrogen, leading to a female.
Some theories espouse that these hormones actually encode our brains before birth—and that the many external social factors we experience during childhood development do not determine our sexual and gender identity. Some medical researchers even theorize that our sexual orientation—whether we consider ourselves heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual—is something that is hard-wired into our brains.
As I was deciding to become a professional dominatrix and fetishist, I asked myself, Can I handle other people’s judgmental attitudes about my sexuality? Can I accept another person’s sexuality without judgment? In the end, I decided I could—or at least that I would try. It was a slow process that required me to first deal with my relationship to my own sexuality, and then to practice my free will enough to choose how I wished to express and explore it in my everyday life.
One conversation that never got old at the dungeon (the BDSM/fetish club I used to work in) was sexual preference. It was actually very empowering and freeing to hear a group of women speak openly about their sexualities. Never before had I heard women express with such confidence their gender preferences, curiosities about sex, and interests.
On my second day of work as a Mistress, we sat around the lounge creating my image. I had no clue how I was going to present myself as a Mistress, but I knew I wanted to operate with class and dignity. Seeing my hesitation, Mistress Deborah chimed in: “I’m going to tell you exactly who you are. You are the sexy cougar, mommy, aunt, school teacher, and so on. You are so sexy, I would fuck you myself, and I don’t even like white girls!”
Well, hot damn! I thought to myself. I’d never heard a woman speak so openly about her sexual preference for the ladies in public! Lesbian, bisexual, straight, formerly lesbian now bisexual, formerly bi now straight—the attitude around the dungeon was “change happens.” In other words, whatever floated my boat six months ago may not be working for me anymore, and that’s okay.
What it boils down to is personal growth, personal progress, and personal choice.
Sex education really doesn’t begin or end in high school. Instead, it’s a lifelong process that begins and ends with you. One of the most important things we can learn is the almost unimaginable variety that can happen in our sexuality and the sexuality of others. Likes, dislikes, turn-ons and offs, wants, needs and desires can be exceedingly different from one person to the next, and our desires usually change and develop as we do.
It’s incredibly freeing and empowering to truly experience, express, develop, and embrace our sexuality without judgment. In fact, it’s healing.
So, I challenge you to ask yourself the same questions I did when I first started exploring new forms of sexuality as a dominatrix—Can you be authentic about what you feel and desire even if others may not understand you right away? Can you let go of assumptions, judgments, and fears about how other people express their sexuality and instead learn from others with an open mind? I can promise from experience that if you decide to answer “yes” to both of these questions, you will experience freedom, personal growth, and healing like you’ve never felt before. Let your curiosity be your sex education teacher, and you will learn more than you ever thought possible.
Sandra LaMorgese Ph.D. is an expert in bridging the gap between sexuality and a lifestyle that focuses on holistic health of the mind, body and spirit. Her professional specialties are life transformation, interpersonal communication, beauty, health, wellness, and sexual intimacy. She is an author, a featured Huffington Post blogger, podcast host, motivational speaker, a sexpert, metaphysician, holistic practitioner, and ordained Reverend.
Sandra has been featured as an expert on The Howard Stern Show, Dr.Oz, New 12 To Your Health, Artrepreneur, Medical Daily, FORTUNE Magazine, Alternet, New Jersey Life Magazine, POSE Magazine, and The LYFE Magazine, among other media highlights, in addition to writing and publishing articles on the topics of life transformation, health, beauty, vitality, intimacy, and sexuality.
Photographer: Craig White