Am I Normal?
Over the last 12 months I have had the privilege of hearing the tales of women and men all over the world, from the Congo to Sweden, the US to the UK. Each person has a unique experience to share. What has it taught me? Sexuality — the way we experience and express ourselves sexually — takes so many different forms. There is no right or wrong way, so long as we aren’t hurting anyone.
Yet this isn’t the narrative most of us know. Instead we believe there is such a thing as ‘normal’ and if our expressions and experiences fall outside of those norms then we must be broken or weird. This belief does not serves us. It damages our well-being and prevents most of us finding real, unadulterated pleasure in our sexuality.
The problem is, as humans, we like definitions. It’s easier when we know what the rules are and how to follow them. So how do we create a new narrative, one that allows us the freedom to explore and experiment until we settle on the behaviours and practices that do serve us?
I believe it’s time to revisit what we think we know about sexual norms and ask ourselves ‘Sexuality: What does that mean in 2018?’.
‘Get your freak on’
Through the eyes of others, I have seen the new and exciting ways people are exploring the depth of their sexuality. One such practice is Kink, the colloquial term for non-normative sexual behaviours. These ‘behaviours’ include choking, dominance & submission and at one time may have included anal sex, amongst others. Yet over and over again, whilst sitting quietly and hearing the stories of others, similar themes kept popping up. These ‘non-normative sexual behaviours’ are described by individuals that would consider themselves ‘vanilla’ or ‘mainstream’. It would appear that this fringe practice, that was once so frowned upon, is increasingly becoming part of the ‘new normal’.
The way we interact between the sheets (or on the streets, if that’s your thing) is changing but so are our relationship dynamics.
For many of us, the idea of loving more than one person in a romantic capacity may seem impossible yet we are seeing a rise in polyamorous relationships. A few years ago I’d never heard of the term, now I have multiple friends that are in loving, supportive polyamorous relationships built upon compersion (the opposite of jealousy). A principle I think we should all try to practice more! Is polyamory the next monogamy? The ‘new normal’?
The Future of Sex?
Sexuality — the way we experience and express ourselves sexually. It feels like the tide is turning with a new wave of practices and behaviours that are gaining momentum. These things have always existed on the fringe but are the mainstream becoming bolder and braver? Are we ready to explore the way we experience and express ourselves, redefining our sexuality? Could this lead to increased sexual satisfaction and confidence in ourselves?
Words by Co-Founder + CEO, Billie Quinlan