OK, I know... no women really wants to think about her mother and sex in the same sentence. But you wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t “done it” at least a little bit. There have been a lot of changes in sexuality over the years. Attitudes have changed dramatically, and because of these changing attitudes, sexual behaviors have also changed.
My mom and I have had some pretty frank talks about sex over the years (she’s cool like that). She was a child of the sixties, but was also raised by strict Irish Catholic immigrant parents. In her opinion, sex was like the elephant in the living room when she was a teenager. Nobody wanted to talk about it or admit it was sitting there, but everyone knew about it. It’s not that teenagers weren’t having sex; they were just pretending they weren’t.
Today's Sex Life
1. Taboos Lifted: So I did a little research, and found that women have, in fact, become more sexually active over the last 40-50 years. In 1992, the National Health and Social Life survey discovered vastly changing social mores. Acceptance of premarital sex had become widespread, and the average age of teens having sex for the the first time had declined from 18-19 to 15-16 (men-women). No longer is sex considered nearly as taboo as it was in the 1960’s and prior.
2. Adventure: All those statistics of the growing acceptance of sex might lead us to believe that we’re getting more adventurous. I think that’s true. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that 80% of women now are bisexual or at least bi-curious. While I don’t believe that 80% of women are truly bisexual, I do think that the “girl-on-girl” sexual taboo has been largely eliminated and replaced with a sense of adventure that accepts women engaging in sexual behavior together while remaining largely heterosexual.
3. Power to the Women: What has also changed dramatically is that as women are stepping into our power more and more each year. Part of owning your power is to own your sexuality without shame or judgment. It’s a far cry from how our mothers were raised, which in my opinion is a very good thing. Stepping into your power as a woman takes time. We have a lot of stories to sift through and overcome about our bodies, our beauty, and sex. The older you get as a woman, the more comfortable you are likely to be in your own skin (even if you wish you still had the skin of a 20 year old).
Related: 4 Signs You're Using Sex as a Weapon
4. Sex and Spirituality: One of the biggest and most important shifts in sexuality that has occurred recently takes us way beyond our mother’s sex lives. I’m talking about the link between sex and spirituality. While people have been having transcendent sexual experiences since time began, the concept of using sex to get closer to your spiritual essence has been cloaked in mystery for centuries. Recently, those cloaks have been removed and the connection between sex and spirituality is becoming more common. This connection steps from an eastern Indian philosophy called Tantra. While it is far beyond the scope of this article to define Tantra, I will share just a little bit. If you want to read more, you can do so here.
Tantra is a non-dual philosophy. That means that there’s “not two;” or that everything is really part of the same Oneness. It’s a tough concept to wrap your head around in our world of apparent duality. Think of the ocean being the Oneness. A wave is an individual aspect of the ocean, but it’s not truly separate. The same is true if you were to take a jug of ocean water, or a drop. They seem separate, but they are still the essence of the ocean. Tantra says that everything in the world is like that.
What does that mean for sex? In a nutshell, it means that you can use any and every experience known to womankind, and use it to get closer to that Oneness that some people call God, Source, Spirit, or any number of names. From a practical standpoint, you use your conscious awareness and your breath during sex to bring you not only closer to your partner, but closer to the source of this Oneness.
Related: Why You Should Out for Better Sex
I can tell you from personal experience that, even if you’re not trying to get closer to that Oneness thing, using Tantric breathing and exercises can make for some crazy hot sex. My husband doesn’t really care about all that spiritual stuff, but when I dragged him to a Tantra workshop a few years ago, he wasn’t complaining one little bit.
Here’s one simple suggestion from Relationship and Sex Therapist Maria Merloni. “Do anything that puts you in a "Zen" state: do yoga together, meditate together, or get massages together, then go home and have sex. You'll find that being in an altered state of consciousness (that's naturally created, not through drugs or alcohol) is a great place to start for hot, connected sex.”
No it's not your mother's sex life... it's yours-- so make it a great one!
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Johanna Lyman is a published author, an internationally known speaker and teacher, and a Spiritual Love Coach. She is a certified life coach (CCUG) trained by CoachUniversity. Johanna combines personal experience and esoteric studies in a humorous, practical and accessible style that empowers her clients to live the fullest expression of their lives.