I read an article in Psychology Today that claimed that the reason we don’t talk about sex is because we’re ashamed of it. I’m going to respectfully disagree. Shame may be part of it, but that’s not the whole picture.
Sex involves admitting to being in a physical body which has needs. A body that wakes up and says, “Hey there.” More than eating, drinking or sleeping all of which most humans are willing to do in public. People fall asleep at airports and in airplanes freely admitting to the world, that like everyone else, they need sleep. We eat, we drink, many of us have gotten sick in a public toilet when people in the area certainly knew what we were doing in there. But most humans do not admit to anyone but their partner that they need/want sex. The sexual act is private.
Anne Sexton wrote famously about that awkward feeling when you sit down at the breakfast table after sex. We all know that feeling of awe in the morning, sitting there drinking orange juice, passing the cream, slicing the toast into triangles in spite of what one was doing the night before. You look up at your breakfast companion who says, “Can you pass the jam?” And you think, “Seriously, here we are in the light of day, eating toast and jam?” And there you are.
We don’t talk about sex because—for most of us– our private selves move in the dark only for and with one person, and that’s what you get when you fall in love with someone and you get to be with them, a special piece of them that isn’t shared with anyone else. Maybe that’s why cheating seems so horrible, because you thought only you got to share.
I don’t think we don’t talk about sex because of shame. I don’t believe that. I think it’s because our sex lives with our lovers are the gift we give them, only you and I share this. Only. Us.
And also, there’s this.
What separates us from non-civilized people is that we have filters. We have filters that govern what we will say in public and what we will not say. What we will say to our friends. What we will speak of and when we will shut our mouths. Families have secrets, lovers have stories, habits, wishes, dreams, threads, gossamer threads, and those threads must be kept secret or they will melt in air.
Why would you let go of any piece of the story behind closed doors. It belongs to you two or you three if you’re that crazy and god bless you, keep your story, don’t let it wander out by itself, it won’t know what to do without you. Keep your secrets, you won’t be lonely.