The Never Ending Sex Talk…

“True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most intimate sources. In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.”
Wendell Berry
I have been thinking a lot about erections.

I hear myself saying scrotum, vulva, erection, ejaculation, and just all the words so much lately. We have four kids, and our sex conversation is constant these days. They are smart kids. I want them to have smart information about their bodies. That’s part of growing up in our home, a sex positive environment, welcoming all of their questions and curiosities. In that case, I must welcome mine as well.

For a good chunk of their lives, poor things, they have gotten terrible information from me.  My answer to the classic, “How do babies come out?”  was a swift and sturdy tunnel-like hand motion from my stomach to my knees with this narration: “Down by the legs, honey. They come out down by the legs. God does a miracle and they come out down by the legs.”

“Uhhh…how do they get in there in the first place?”

Me: reversing tunnel-like hand motion, sticking with the very same, yet strange, script. “Up through the legs. Just right up through the legs. God does a miracle, honey.”

I’d repeat it  several times with repeating and reversing hand motions and an occasional, “God does a miracle, honey.” It was just oh-so-bad. The looks on their faces confirmed the failure of the conversation.

So bad.

Our conversations have evolved as I've evolved. In order to do so, I have enrolled myself in an independent adult sex ed course. Self paced. I am making up for my own ignorance and forced lack of interest. I thought my ignorance was called purity.

I don’t want to leave sex ed to the media to teach that they are never really gonna cut it because they have to be ridiculously sex crazed, big boobed, decorated with skimpy fashion or bulky muscles. I don’t want to leave it to the purity culture to teach them that sex is immoral or that their body is the very most sacred thing they could ever offer, yet evil and certain to cause sin. Then magically at marriage that sacred, yet dangerous body belongs to another. What? Yeah, no not that either. I don’t want to teach them  -BEWARE-  sex only results in gross infections or unwanted pregnancy and possible hell. I don’t want us all to get lost in this scary sea of weirdness and negativity. God made sex, right? How am I even a grown up?

It’s a doozie of a topic that I need to untangle for myself.

I’m reading and studying all kinds of topics, learning a vast scope of beauty in humanity – our very own as well as our shared humanity. I am making it up to my kids, committed to teaching a doozie of sex positive information.

My goal is to communicate that we all three parts: body, heart, and mind. This is true of our sexuality. When we forget that we are all three, and that all people are all three, we hurt each other. We are careful not to take in messages that separate our three parts. That’s why porn is a bad idea – only bodies. That’s why so much of religion is a bad idea. Remember all the  parts – body, heart, and mind. If we live dissected, humanity dissected, we are a long way from intimacy, wholeness. Intimacy is when we remember we are all three, invest in all three, connect with all three inside ourselves and as well as all three in others. And intimacy is such great pleasure.

This doesn’t have to wait another minute to be true and relevent to the kids.

So back to erections…

I’m explaining to the kids about erections and ejaculation, and the function of the prostate, and how the sperm gets into the vagina where the sperm team can meet the egg.

The kids said, “Mom, why are there so many sperm on the team that get ejaculated? Doesn’t it only take one? What a waste for all the rest of them…”

First of all, wow! That’s a great question, and they asked it with such ease. Sex positive conversation is still super awkward to me, but they were just so chill. Yay!

My sweaty armpits and I tried our best to carry on.

I said, “A waste?!?!! No way!”

I went into a long shpeel about how all of those sperm show up, stand up straight and tall, and participate in their favorite thing to do! They get to have sex!!! That counts. It doesn’t always make a baby. Sometimes it does, and there is extra, EXTRA! who just show up to be a part. It takes the team to get the one there. That counts, too. It’s like anything we love to do. We don’t have to win the bike race to have a great time joining in. We don’t have to have our poem published to write what’s in our heart. Both are letting out what’s inside, being aroused and doing something about it! That’s called living, thriving.

Arousal. Why does it always have to be sexual, exclusive, dissected?
How often do we show up, stand up straight and tall to do our favorite things?
Do we show up only when we know the results will “count”?
Do we spend minimal effort and expect results? Starve our own three parts and expect others to fill in the emptiness?
Or are we delighted at the very presence of what makes our hearts erect? Minds erect? Dare I say, bodies erect?
Do we even pay attention?
What art could we make if we did?

Dante says that nature is God’s child, art God’s grandchild. God infused the divine into us, and we likewise infuse God into the world through art, through showing up, through making love to our muse. Shouldn’t that mean we look for our muse, listen for our muse, and move in as close as possible? Sounds erotic to me.

As a wife, I want my husband’s involvement in the home, in my life, to be ERECT, fully present, alert, strong and tall. It melts me when he shows up like that, full and ready to please me. It brings life into me, along with the tingles. He doesn’t always have to be like that, but I sure do like it when he is.

I want to live my life ERECT to my own muse, actively listening to my heart, moving closer and closer to what I might create today, even if “nothing” really results. Pleasure counts as a result.
Humans are made to be aroused. Pay attention when little goosebumps erect themselves. That’s a big clue! Get swept away by the music of the wind through the pine needles. Loose breath over the cocktail of cold water and warm sunshine splashed together on tingling skin. Become intoxicated with sweat on the brow, heart pounding in the chest.

What arouses our body, heart, and mind? It’s not just sexual, and it’s not separate, either. It is the way of being whole, of being human – creative, natural, triune, complex. We have something to offer, something from the inside of our being, and it is a delight to let that out. Intimacy connects us.

What do you do to create a sex positive environment in your homes? Let’s take on this doozie together.


Sarah Clark.jpg

Making a handmade world with Peter Clark and our four kids. I love to make and make and make and I make bags. 

Carla Ewert