So what does sexuality mean To You ?

Recently I attended a seminar on Sexuality. It provoked a huge debate on what is right, wrong or happens in the age care sector. This prompted me to really explore my own attitudes and beliefs around it.

You see, I also teach children, usually boys, what happens to the body at puberty. I deal with the physical and the emotional changes they will experience with these bodily changes. I also teach them that, while they may think the hormones raging through their body have one purpose, in fact they have multiple purposes and affect us all through our lives.

For instance, testosterone plays a huge part in the drive, focus, stamina, muscle and bone strength and, essentially, if we look at the big picture, has designed males to provide food (or nowadays money) for their family. Likewise with females, oestrogen also has more functions than to enable us to bear children; on a practical level, it helps us to multitask, give us muscle strength and do all the things a woman needs to do for a family.

Male and female hormones are present in both sexes. As we get older, and no longer need the high levels of hormones in our body, they start to reduce. Yet this does not stop our nature as sexual beings.

Why, then, do we avoid this subject like the plague? It is fraught with myths and misconceptions, not to mention the butt of jokes and innuendos. And all of this is handed down to us through the beliefs of our parents! Some parents are open about it, and freely talk and express their sexuality; others make it smutty and dirty, while there are those who ignore it (hoping it will go away) and keep it all behind closed doors.

I am not passing judgment on people here. I am merely stating it how it is.

In society today, people have been given permission to express their sexuality through the channels of lesbianism, homosexuality, trans-sexuality, and bi-sexuality in addition to heterosexuality. However, the majority of people are geared toward heterosexuality.

In New Zealand , Civil Unions have been approved, and same-sex couples can openly declare their relationship and commitment to others, causing huge debate and division in some communities.

So where is all this leading? Well, in the age care sector, we are heavily geared towards heterosexuality. Various opinions and judgments are made when relationships develop. Some are negative, some positive, and mostly there is a bit of a giggle about it. I personally think we handle this area very badly as a rule. I don't believe we consider same-sex relationships, trans-sexuals or cross genders, but we are going to have to face it in the future. With our society now more open, we can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand.

I have made a decision to run workshops on this subject to make sure that we offer a better service to our clients in the future. We will never do that unless we have a good understanding of where each and every one of us stands on our own sexuality issues. You see, sexuality includes intimacy and relationships, and we all have different needs. Some are very happy to be on their own, while others have a need to be close to a member of the opposite sex or the same sex and, dare I mention it, some people have the need and desire to masturbate. We are all different, and who am I to judge whether it is right or wrong? There is a saying "do not judge me unless you have walked a mile in my shoes". Well, quite simply, I have never walked a mile in anyone's shoes but my own, therefore I do not know what the needs of others are - all I know is what my needs are. And when it comes to sexuality, people are reluctant to talk about it or disclose their needs and desires - it is a taboo subject.

So let's open this up for debate. I know there are many of you who will not agree with anything I have said, and that is okay. All I am suggesting you to do is look inside of yourself and be honest with who you are and your sexuality. You cannot deny it - you are a sexual being and you have needs just like everyone else Tolerance of our fellow men and women will only prevail when each person identifies honestly for themselves their own sexuality needs.

For anyone who is interested in the forthcoming sexuality workshops, see below.



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