The Age of Attraction

What is happening? I was recently discussing sexuality, which I think isn't discussed enough, with some friends.  We were talking about vaginas and the power of owning your sexuality.  The discussion led to the fact that shame is prevalent whether we admit it or not, in relation to sex and sexual expression.  There are so many rules, roles, assumptions that it is difficult to know what we actually want.  Admitting what we like, where we are in our sexuality and what we think about it is something that is shunned aggressively.  We are, after all, a society that will fine someone for flashing a nipple (at the same time we cover our children's eyes from seeing the .00005 seconds that it was shown) but watch news footage about 26 people, many of them children, being gunned down.

Like the universe works, I perused Facebook where a friend posted an article about a 6-year-old being in love with a character from Glee.  Sexuality seemed to be in the air tonight.  The 6-year-old is a boy and the character on Glee is a boy.  The article goes on to discuss how the mother and father love their son and have no problem if he is gay or isn't.  I think that it is great that parents will love their son even if he is gay, I just look forward to the day we don't have to announce that parents will love their kids even if they are gay.

So, after reading this I then scrolled down to the comments and stopped at one that touched on several things in regards to the article.  First they were not pleased with a 6-year-old watching Glee, then with the idea that a 6-year-old was obsessed about anything especially liking someone.  Third that, even at 11, that would be too young to have attraction.  Ok, I had to breathe after reading this, and after having had the conversation about shame that had happened earlier in the evening.  I know that attraction is as natural as breathing.  If you are a part of a family you (hopefully) see love, coupledom, partnership.  Children mimic adults.  It is how they learn to talk, walk, think, behave, love.  How in the world are they too young to be attracted?  I liked boys and girls for as long as I can remember and I certainly had attractions to all manner of things before the age of 6.  I liked certain colors, foods, music, and people.  The idea that attraction has an age is a funny, funny thing.  Babies are attracted to certain colors and sounds.  We are attracted to love and repelled by hate.  When we see something that resonates with us we are drawn to it.  This is being human.  The idea that we would want to discourage this natural way in others due to them being younger than we think they should be to have the feelings that they actually are having is ridiculous (yes, I am totally judging).

As a parent you may be nervous, because of your own hangups and judgments, around the truth of your child being inherently sexual.  I mean, the damn person was made while you were having sex.  How in the hell can we not be SEXUAL.  What is the problem people???  Let's take our heads out of our asses and start discussing sex, sexuality, love, desire, attraction in a way that doesn't make it shameful, scary, wrong, or inappropriate.

Here is a story that I love to share:  My sister is a massage therapist.  Her son, Miles, used to love to be massaged and loved to give massages, and he was very good at it as well.  There is nothing better than little hands on your shoulders massaging away your worries.  So sweet.  Anyway, during a massage she was giving him he asked if she could massage his penis.  Instead of getting all weird (which I think many of us would) she told him that she wouldn't because that was his to massage.  She let him know that he could massage it in private and that no one else was allowed to until he really wanted them to.  Or some such lovely message like that (I am sure my sister would correct the verbiage).  Either way, the message was clear:  She didn't make him feel that what he asked for was wrong, bad, inappropriate.  She used that moment to let him know the boundaries of his body.

Let's stop being craycray and start empowering one another in love.  Can we do this please???

xo

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