For those of you following along with this year’s theme, section 7 focuses on the “sex” category from the twelve categories of shame list created by Dr. Brené Brown. Her research on shame-resilience and vulnerability demonstrates for us all, how and why to live a wholehearted life.
Sex can be a loaded topic on so many levels…whether we’re talking about the act of sex or sex as in gender…and every combination in between.
Regardless of age, sex affects everyone to some degree. As children little brothers and sisters sometimes become aware that they have different body parts…they compare notes…so to speak. Children find out early on that depending on their sex/gender their toys, their clothes, and their colors are usually different. And, depending on the household environment they also learn how little girls are to behave and how little boys are to behave…also different.
Over the years some of these differences have begun to blur. As more parents become open to allowing their children to be who they are regardless of society norms, the separation of toys, roles, clothing and colors has diminished.
I know for me as a girl, I wanted the lincoln logs, the airplane models, and other “male” type toys. Instead I received kitchen sets, dolls, and “housewife” toys…which may explain my aversion to my role as a typical “housewife”…much to the dismay, I fear, of my husband.
This brings up the whole issue of sexual orientation and how that factors into how we relate to each other as individuals and in relationships. How does this figure into your life experience?
Then we come to the “act of sex”, sexual intercourse, making love, sleeping with someone, and all the other names we give it. How we were raised around the idea of the “act of sex” definitely figures into our attitudes and perspectives on sex.
I learned about sex from one of my girlfriends who learned about it from a boy down the street. My mother, unfortunately, had trouble even talking to me about menstruation (which I learned about from a girl scout mini-movie)…how could she bring herself to talk to me about sex? From her (the Catholic Church and the nuns) I learned that sex was dirty and bad until you got married. So when I got married for the first time, I expected the Holy Spirit to appear and magically make something that was bad now be okay…needless to say, it didn’t happen that way. Adios to my first marriage.
I’m sure we all have our stories to tell on how we learned about the birds and bees and our early to current encounters with sex. Feel free to share in the comments below.
So while coloring this month’s section of the MotY, I’ve come up with some questions for you to ponder and explore:
- How did you find out about sex?
- What was it like for you growing up as a girl/boy?
- How does your current age factor into the idea of sex?
- Do you feel like you’re treated differently because of your gender or sexual orientation?
- What does it mean to you to be straight?
- What does it mean to you to be gay?
- What does it mean to you to be a girl/female/woman?
- What does it mean to you to be a boy/male/man?
- How did your parents relate to each other sexually? Was it open? Was it “not in front of the children”? Somewhere in between?
- Does religion factor into your perspective of your gender?
- Does religion factor into your attitudes towards the act of sex?
- How important is sex to you? and in your relationship(s)?
I realize we could do a full year mandala on this topic with each section representing a different aspect of sex (gender and act). For now, it’s only this one section.
Hopefully you’ll be able to have fun with this one as you color “sex”tion 7 of the 2013 Mandala of the Year.
Maureen, The Mandala Lady
Be sure to download/color the July 2013 Mandala of the Month.