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In this episode of Sexplanations, Lindsey uses her own life experience to talk about how to stay curious!

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I was not always sex positive. I grew up thinking you should wait until marriage, using the word gay as a put-down, and hating my vagina for years of painful sex. 

Surprised? I was curious though, so I started experimenting doing what felt good and asking questions. I listened to my classmate Matt when he explained that saying gay like that was hurtful and immediately stopped. And, I researched my body with the help of over a dozen pelvic exams and learned about dyspareunia. More on that another time.  

Curiosity has always played a part in my growth as a person. It's what moves me from the stagnant, rigid, terrified, afraid-of-the-unknown person  to a more helpful, inspired one. And this goes for politics, racism, sexism, the environment, finances; If I'm curious, I can learn about what I don't understand and then relate to it. 

I was not always a sexologist. My first job was landscaping. After that I worked as a prep line cook making pizzas, then a custodian cleaning toilets at the university where I ended up teaching human sexuality for almost a decade. It didn't matter that I wasn't working in the field of sexology, I could still be a great employee and I could still prepare myself as a person for the career I have now. 

Landscaping, I learned about maintenance. Grass grows, cut grass, grass grows, cut grass. In sex this is very applicable. We maintain our hygiene, our reproductive health, romance, desire, passion. New partner, get tested, new partner, get tested. 

As a prep line cook I could pepperoni a hundred pizzas in an hour with the help of a crew. I learned how to be part of a team, to care about doing a task like evenly dispersing mozzarella. In sex this applies to teamwork, yes, but also the reminder that even the most mundane tasks are important to the product too. I want to shake hands with you so you know I really care about you. I don't have a career without you! You can do this too, create a product people care about. You can be the Dr. Doe of your own community. 

Two steps. Step one, be aware. First, have a sense about you. What prejudices do you have? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you know really well? Hell, what turns you on? I use this quick assessment on the brochures of my private practice. 

I feel comfortable touching and exploring my body. My sexual education is adequate. I feel good about the degree of closeness I have with all genders. I think it's okay to engage in sexual behaviors and thoughts that do not harm. I am content with my level of sexual activity. I communicate honestly, get tested, and protect myself to reduce my level of sexual health risk. I feel secure with my sexual knowledge and abilities. My sexuality is free of discomfort, fear, stress, shame, guilt, and pain. I understand the changes in my body and emotions related to sex and love. I am proud of my sexual identity. I can resolve sexual conflict appropriately. I am able to negotiate what I want/will and won't do with my body, and my sexuality is where I it to be. 

This video may also be useful in considering biases. Once you're familiar with your strengths and shortcomings, step two; Stay curious. Before attending my doctoral program, I was like Dorothy of Kansas; a Midwest girl with traditional values, a white middle class perspective of the world. 
So, as part of my training, I enrolled in a course called SAR. (Sexual attitude restructuring) The instructors guide us through behaviors, and identities, and relationship dynamics. That's probably why my eyes are so wide. I don't wanna miss a thing. It was incredibly fascinating. Then they sat us down for what is playfully called "The Fuck-o-Rama", maybe thirty square feet of about a dozen screens playing short clips of pornography from the largest collection in the world. 

Sitting below this wall of images was like going to a Sex Play IMAX, and that was the point, to desensitize us to anything out there. Bucket sized butt plugs penetrating assholes, orgies on the beach with frosted cake going into all sorts of orifices, vanilla sex, BDSM, kink, poly, mm.

After forty five minutes my brain was exhausted. It just couldn't. It was at that point I was ready to sit beside people and listen to their sexual experiences without taboo, shame, disgust, or stigma. The Fuck-o-Rama certainly isn't for everyone. That's okay! It's another thing you can be aware of. I still hope you stay curious. 

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