‘not -talked-about’ themes in Human Sexuality – normalizing


Quick summary – the topic of ‘normal’ or ‘day to day’ sex is perhaps not always given as much attention as could be helpful to the masses. As sexual education slowly decreases while pornography and celebrity gossip increases we find ourselves in a society that does not always know if they are more different or more the same as every one else. I will not pretend to tell you what normal sex is (though I could use a bell curve and list a bunch of stats), instead I am using this space to write about topics with brevity that happen in most people’s sex lives… to normalize events that people might go through.


note -there can be biological causes that lead to the below instances and there can be sexual difficulties that result from more involved psychological themes such as trauma – you can assume that I am not talking specifically about issues that arrive from those two disciplines in this blog post. If such is the case for you, it is a good idea to seek the help from a medical professional, a sex therapist, or a therapist who is trained in trauma recovery (most therapist are – but to different degrees).


Orgasm does not always happen – Many women seem to be aware of this as it pertains to female orgasm, but men and women alike can be unfamiliar that this can happen to males as well. Lack of orgasm can result in males and in females from: a need for greater emotional intimacy, hormone and libido cycles, normal aging, stress, and technique and duration of foreplay to name a few.

–         Foreplay is a misleading term as many women need continual clitoral stimulation throughout the sexual experience – so for some it is not the “before the sex play” it is the sex.

Not every woman can have a vaginal orgasm (penetration alone) – many women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, this can also change during the female’s life (some women require more stimulation later in life).

There is no “one size fits all technique” – different people need different methodologies to reach optimal satisfaction – this can also differ for the same person at different times. “Too hard” one day can be “too soft” on another day = keep communication lines open.

Many men and women cannot locate the clitoris– Even bookstore chains now have sections on human sexuality that can offer education in many different forms. “I will look at a diagram or ask my partner but about where is it?” – The vulva is the female genitalia – the vagina is the actual canal (can’t usually see it from the outside) the labia are the “lips” that cover the vagina (and sometimes the clitoris – all vulvas are different) the clitoris is the bean shaped entity above the vaginal opening and below where the two sides of the labia meet.

Women can orgasm second – as has been noted, clitoral stimulation is perhaps the more effective means for a woman to reach orgasm – so (if the woman so desires) she can attain orgasm through clitoral stimulation after the penis has found itself flaccid.

Many men have had or will have a time when they can’t get an erection – There are many cognitive factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction? One answer to this is very simple – many men can’t get an erection if they are “trying to get one.” This is like the walking phenomenon – try to walk “correctly” – you will find that you don’t know how to – which will make you walk funny. The same is true with the penis – an erection happens somewhat automatically… thinking tends to get in the way.

–         Stress and anxiety are huge culprits – this is a feedback loop as not getting an erection can cause stress and anxiety – which makes the erection less likely to happen – which increases the stress yet again.

–         The guy worries about what his partner thinks and the partner worries that it is his/her fault = more stress. Suggestion? – don’t over think it – it happens. try talking about it to relieve some of the anxiety – explain what you think the reason is (your partner will appreciate this) – “sorry I had too much to drink” …”I’m in my head…I’m over thinking it”… “I think I need to wake up more.”

–         It is a cardiovascular phenomenon – a muscle loosens and blood flows in.

  • So if you are having an ‘over-thinking’ problem… don’t think “flex” think “release”.
  • If your heart rate is low (morning or alcohol) – you might have trouble.


Not every one can “model” while having sex – Sex in the movies can give viewers the perception that people having sex can maintain Zen like physiological composure. Most people that are giving themselves freely to the sexual experience will not look like they are posing for a photo-shoot when they are mid-orgasm.

Sex is great sometimes, ok sometimes, bad sometimes, and good most of the time (relatively speaking of course) – It is normal for us to focus on the great and the bad (just think of the nightly news) – despite the stories that people tell, no one cooks up perfection on a regular basis – ups and downs are a natural part of life – someone would not have the reference to tell you that their sex life was great if they didn’t know what it was like when sex was not so great.

Most male penises are the same size (6 inches-ish) – In sexually explicit material they often prefer extremely large penises or else it is difficult to video both genitalia during penetration.

The female Vulva (genitals all together) looks very different from female to female – pubic hair, the labia, and the clitoris etc. all very in size, color and shape naturally.

People of all different body types are sexually arousing – We, as people in a society; vary in the degree to which our perception of “beauty” or “sexy” is determined by social influences. We all can struggle with accepting that how sexy we are in the eyes of our partner is separate (and perhaps more important) than how sexy we are in relation to current social trends – which are just that – trends.

People have very healthy sex in their later years – we as a society have an unfortunate prejudice against people who are older having sex. For many, sex continues their entire life.

Many people in relationships do not talk about sex specifically or openly with their partner – no one every taught you how… don’t be hard on yourself because you can’t give anatomically specific direction to your partner… and if you would like more open and specific communication, the resources are available (books and specifically trained therapists).

Many men and women in and out of relationships practice masturbation – female number are getting closer to male numbers in terms of percentages.

Sex means something different to everybody – ask ten people what it is and you will get 10 different responses.

I could go on but this blog is getting too long – you may comment if there is another theme that you would like me to cover.


My next blog on the topic of sex will be about why misinformation is quite understandable… or I will write about how expectations influence the experience…

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.
William Hambleton Bishop
William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

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