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Making the world a better place

January 12th, 2008

Dr Petra

A while back one of my heroes Cory Silverberg emailed me and asked if I could tell him why sex made the world a better place.

He’s been collecting different people’s answers to this question, and so far has had a range of responses from folk including
Miriam Kaufman
Carol Queen
Buck Angel

I have to say when I was asked the question it threw me a bit. Which is strange really since someone who works in the area of sex and relationships ought to know immediately why sex is a good thing – and how it makes our world a better place.

But as I tried to write my answer I kept finding I was talking about all the problems sex causes in the world. I kept coming back to issues like sexually transmitted infections, lack of sex education, sexual coercion and abuse, anti-sex campaign groups, commercialising and medicalising sex, and the general problem of our culture being widely sexualised – but sex still not being seen as an important topic.

It’s perhaps not surprising though. A lot of our work in sex education, research and therapy hinges around ‘problems’ and as a result we tend to see life through a sex negative lens. Even if you’re in favour of people enjoying their sex lives you still have to work with many of their problems – or the unethical behaviour of dodgy practitioners in your field.

It becomes a habit to be negative about sex, and that’s a problem since if we’re researching, teaching or providing therapy from a negative standpoint we’re inevitably going to ignore the many positive things sex has to offer.

Finally I decided to forget about all the baggage behind this area of work and write about how I’d like sex to be. You can see my answer to Cory’s question here.

If you’ve got any thoughts on why sex makes the world a better place, feel free to add them over at Cory’s place, or email me your views and I’ll forward them on your behalf.

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