Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sexuality in our daily lives

written by Rita Gendelman

In my previous blog I have touched upon the subject of sexuality, and the role it plays in my work with children on the spectrum. I was very pleased to find out that many of you enjoyed the blog and wanted to hear more on the subject. So, I decided to share my personal experiences of sexuality in my life, as well as what I have observed from the people around me.

I believe the way we relate to our sexuality, for the most part, is strongly influenced by our culture’s identity, our religious beliefs, and last but not least, our individual upbringing. Given that I am from Ukraine, basically a Russian culture, I have observed both differences and similarities on how sexuality is viewed in American society.

An Uncomfortable Attraction by Tim Nyberg
As a child in the Ukraine, my impression was, for the most part, that adults pretended that sex didn’t exist! To express that you might be enjoying or having fun in bed to your partner would almost be a crime. Sex was something to be done under the blankets with lights off. I personally remember growing up in Russian, and never once hearing my parents speak a word of sexuality. I am not sure exactly what shifts or lack there of have occurred in the Russian culture today, but even if the younger generation is more opened sexually it doesn’t mean that they truly have an understanding of their own sexual identity in an empowering way. Frequently, I meet beautiful Russian women who proudly identify with their sexuality but are unable to provide a nourishing sense of love and intimacy that can lead to a substantial partnership.

When it comes to the American Society, I believe that it has not evolved any further from the Russian culture. From my perspective, American society, as a whole, follows a very puritanical moral-based point of view on sexuality and would prefer to teach sexual abstinence over a deeper understanding of human intimacy and how it might integrate procreation, love, and sensual pleasure, as an organic process of life. This is truly ironic since the American society portrays it self as a land of freedom and self-expression.

I have often wondered why I was seldom attracted to American men whose families have been here for many generations. I was always aware of the flatness, the withdrawal, and lack of ownership of their sexuality. It was obvious by the way they walked, talked and related to me. I felt depolarization, no pull and push, no possibility of a turn-on at all. It was like being with your brother. I believe that this can be attributed to all the cultural pool of religious shame and guilt these men carry handed down to them by their parents and the culture they were brought up in. This is a generational repression of sexuality on a grand scale. We have come a long way from explaining to our child that the stork brought them at the foot of the door, but we need to go further yet in expressing sexuality as a force of creation inspired by both love and sensual pleasure.

In summary, I find the subject of human sexuality fascinating painted in our minds by so many different beliefs. I wish one day to be able to speak more on the subject of sexuality to groups of people and help individuals expand their understanding and application of sexuality in their daily life.


  1. We have to express our sexuality to the ones we love not to the groups or the world. Otherwise it will lead to what is going on with these Russian women the author is mentioning about.
    It will only lead more cheating, divorces and suffering.
    What kind of subject it is, Sexuality in our daily life? what is sexuality? Sexuality has three stages: Desire is an interest in being sexual. Excitement is the state of arousal that sexual stimulation causes. And orgasm is sexual pleasure's peaking.

    I think the author is kind immature.

  2. Dear Anonymous
    Who is included in what you call "the ones we love"? is one intimate partner or?
    and how did you conclude that expressing sexuality to the groups or the world would lead to cheating, divorces and suffering?

    I find that there is a big difference between expressing sexuality and being sexual. I find that people who are openly expression their sexuality are often very respectful towards other people - which includes not being sexual with other than their intimate partners.



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