Sunday, December 20, 2009

What is normal?

Many Canadian newspapers carry a certain syndicated advice column. This agony aunt won the position in a competition that was held after the previous columnist retired, and let me tell you, she's no Ann Landers. I often disagree with her advice, but at least she's more creative than her predecessor, whose stock answer for any situation was "see a therapist".

A recent column made me think. Here it is:

Dear Robin: Aren't there any sexually normal people left? You know, the kind who can enjoy sex year after year without the use of artificial stimulation? I know of at least one and that's me and I am just curious. -- NOT A DEVIANT

Dear Non-deviant diva: You have posed an interesting question, one I would like my readers to weigh in on.

I think people are obsessed with getting the kind of sex that is being advertised, and sometimes may no longer be satisfied with what is offered up to them. I liken it to being fed prime rib for a week straight, and then having a minute steak placed in front of you. When you consider the images thrown at us every day, is it any wonder people may start to think of themselves in that way?

Well readers, what do you think? Has sex gone off the rails? Is it a case of too much in your face, or sliding morals causing an acceptance of things once taboo?

Well, readers, what do you think about Robin's reply? (And why did she change the pen name of the person who asked the question?) What about the reader's question? Do you consider spanking to be artificial stimulation? Does being "sexually normal" include those of us who enjoy spanking?

From Hermione's Heart


daisy said...

I still believe there is still such a thing as sexual morality, even if many choose not to acknowledge it. However, the use of toys and 'accessories' has nothing to do with it in my opinion.

Sara said...

Ok, this ticked me off...BOTH the original question and the answer! "Normal"? Yes there is a range of normal, but it has nothing to do with toys or positions or activities. In the 1800's women did not perform oral unless they were a prostitute. In some cultures anal sex is just another option, no big deal. "Normal" changes some from culture to culture, and generation to generation. This is even reflected in our medical diagnostic manuals. 30 years ago Homosexuality was a mental condition, a perversion. Today it is not. Children were psychically tied down at night if they were caught masturbating. Today we healthy parents explain to our little ones to just keep it private. I think our concept of "normal" has much more to do with our sexual repressions, our fear of the impulses we all have and hide within us, and our shame at our very normal sexuality. How we express it is very individual within a very wide range, and unless we are harming ourselves or another, it is "normal".

Bonnie said...

Hi Hermione,

That's a great question. My first blush response is "Who cares?" I decided years ago that measuring our sexuality against the standards of others was a fruitless endeavor. While I don't fault people who cannot understand spankophilia (or vibrators for that matter), neither would I ever consider adopting their norms.

Sex is, for me, about sharing pleasure with one another. As such, there are many, many valid permutations that vary based upon the tastes of the participants.

To expand on Sara's excellent point, I define immorality as violating an implied or explicit trust. Examples include involving a non-consenting party or cheating while in a committed monogamous relationship.

In the absence of such a violation of trust, I say let the good times roll (in the hay, that is)!


Em said...

I find it amusing that in her response, the advice columnist equated "not normal" sex with prime rib. I'm happy to consider our sort of play/sex the prime rib of the sexual world :)

Fabsterrant said...

Hermione, You always ask such difficult questions. The case for to much in your face and sliding morals is exemplified in cartoon fashion on the blog page xxxRed has posted. The greeting to the lady on the couch no doubt is the start of French polishing. Its great to be in the company of those that appreciate such a perplexing situation. Gulp.

Hugs, Fab

Widgets said...

What ever the participants consider normal between themselves IS normal. What we do with each other is our normal and not anybody else's, All of us have our own personal standards that we have agreed to with our partners.
Rachel and aj

Ashley J said...

My opinion isn't significantly different from Sara's or Bonnie's. If someone's point of view is that missionary position sex is the only type of sexual activity which constitutes as "normal" and morally righteous, then my viewpoint is this person is out of touch with reality and probably themselves. Sexual activity has such a wide range of possibilities and the only thing that should determine whether or not it is normal or abnormal is whether or not the participants enjoyed themselves and each other. To be even more open-minded, I think you could say that "normal" is a state of mind not being. Personally, I get tired and even angry with the number of people carting themselves around as experts and yet clearly not understanding even the most basic of human urges and emotions.

ps, Hermione, I meant to leave you a link to the image with Kirk spanking Uhura the other day but it apparently didn't work so here it is in the more basic format;

Anonymous said...

I think an even more interesting question is, "Would it be as fun if it WERE normal?" I remember very fondly the first few months Anne and I were experimenting with out DD and spanking relationship. I was so new . . . and so naughty! While it still is a significant contributor to the quality of our relationship, that little extra sense of naughtiness that accompanies something that is both new and taboo kept me hyper-stimulated and aware in a way that, unfortunately, tapers off after awhile as what was once devilishly degenerate inevitably became our "new normal"


Anonymous said...

Though my comment comes from a lifetime of vanilla sex, I believe that as I've aged and my taste buds have dulled, I need some spice to make both food and sex exciting. Different people like different kinds of spice, and I don't think it's for me to cook for them! Willy

Anonymous said...

I like Sara's answer, too. What's normal?

There's a part of me that wants to quiz the "non-deviant diva" on all the details of her sex life and then evaluate each act and each feeling on a normal/deviant scale--1 being completely normal, 10 being outrageously deviant. Maybe I could make faces in response to each answer.

Also, I wonder how her partner(s) feel about her completely normal sexual activities.

Hermione said...

Thank you everyone for your responses. I will keep an eye on the column and if a collection of her readers' replies is ever published, I will share it with you.

Ashley - Thanks for the Kirk/Uhura picture. Very (de)motivational!