Sexual learning, in a super-small nutshell, is the process of putting together all of the pieces to become a fully-actualized sexual person. This process happens differently for everyone, at different times, and we all learn different things. Sexual learning is more than just learning how to have sex. It is about how we develop an understanding of ourselves and our roles in relationships and the world.
Sexual learning is self-discovery about our desires, our sexual identities, and our boundaries. It is understanding the roles of pleasure and intimacy in our lives and as sexual people. It is having the ability and knowledge to define your own boundaries and communicate or defend those boundaries. Sexual learning is about understanding your emotions, the emotions of others, and processing your beliefs and feelings before and after sexual experiences (with yourself or others). It is understanding your sexual values and sexual ethics based on personal, familial, and religious beliefs you might hold. It is all of these things and many more. Sexual learning is not about learning how to have sex. It is learning what sex is and what it means to you.
All of that learning happens from a young age. Sexual learning can be how we learn about our gender, gender roles, and gender expression. It can be how we accept or go against those roles, and how we treat others based on their gender. These are things that we learn in our families growing up, from our teachers, our friends, and our community spiritual leaders. Sexual learning is not always about learning how to have sex.
Sexual learning is understanding when you will be ready for sexual activity. It is feeling confident in your decision to say yes, or to say no, at any time. It is knowing your own emotions and your own body to know when it will be a good experience for you. It is about learning one thing at a time and not jumping head first into the deep end. Sexual learning is the holistic process of understanding yourself and others. It is all of you and not just this “other part” of you that you tuck away and bring out when you are naked with someone else.
If you are interested in learning more about the different parts of sexuality, Denis Daly has a comprehensive model called The Circles of Sexuality that describes in detail all the different parts of our sexual selves. If you are interested in knowing more about healthy sexual development and incremental sexual learning that improves the chances for a more fulfilling sexual adulthood, that happens to be my area of expertise. Email [email protected] or call (856) 812-4141 today.