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Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T.

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The Year in Good Sex: 20 Defining Moments of 2011

Posted: 12/29/11 07:29 PM ET

Here are the top 20 stories of the year that inspire good sex, which we define as conscious and conscientious sexual impulses resulting in consensual activity that positively impacts our communities, our relationships, and ourselves. Good sex is never abusive or exploitative. While ego-driven sex results in arousal that is short-lived, good sex results in eroticism that endures, awakening our souls by connecting us to life. This inspiring list was compiled by me and my fellow clinicians at Center for Healthy Sex, who provided their professional therapeutic slant for these paradigm-shifting stories of 2011.

Sex is more than just an act, a thing to be had. The gift of sexuality shows us a deeper way of being in the world. The values and behaviors we practice in our daily lives become the skills that we bring to the bedroom. There can be no other way: how we are is how we'll be. If we're not true to our own hearts, there's a likely chance we won't be true to our partners, because we can't give what we haven't got.

"I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt."
--Maya Angelou

People who practice power over others instead of with them might very well experience sex only as a power dynamic, which is rather like chugging expensive wine. The gift of the greater subtleties of sex -- and daily life -- are lost on such a person. Sadly, as we often see, addiction to power often results in highly addictive forms of insatiable sex. The sex is insatiable, because if we are serving our own pleasure at the expense of serving life, it is like caging a bird to enjoy its freedom in flight. Sex, like the bird in flight, becomes nothing more than an idea disconnected from a quickly atrophying reality. For sex to be meaningful, that is to say truly satisfying and empowering, we must release expectations and control to bear witness to the flow of healthy, interconnecting love energy that is always at the heart of sex. To commit to good sex, is to commit to shared humanity, a way of life that contributes to the greater good.

"If sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities, it's because they lead to the knowledge that you own your own body (and with it your own voice), and that's the most revolutionary insight of all."
--Erica Jong

What healthy sex headlines would you like to see in 2012? Please let us hear from you in the comments. And be sure to vote for your favorite news stories here that embody the principles and values of good sex!

'Glee' Airs Its 'The First Time' Episode
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In parallel storylines, two of Glee's teenage power couples -- Rachel and Finn, Kurt and Blaine -- experience their first time "going all the way." For both Kurt and Rachel, this is a major decision resulting in the loss of their virginity. This controversial episode explores their positive and negative motives and expectations, as well as out-of-control moments of heightened arousal. In the end, these heterosexual and homosexual pairings are intercut in a sweet and sexy montage as the two couples consummate their love, showing both sexual orientations as equally natural expressions.

How did/do you imagine your first time to feel? The exact moment is not always clear for everyone. Traditionally, going all the way refers to penile-vaginal penetration. But certain sexual partners, like lesbians and gay men, may consider losing virginity to be frottage to climax, oral sex, or penetrative vaginal or anal sex, active or receptive. Survivors of sexual abuse may decide to define their first time as consensual sex with the partner of their choice. How much do any of us really make consciously driven choices rather than submitting to the circumstances? It's possible that any and every sexual activity steers our individual psychological patterns toward definite habitual expression and resulting experience. After all, the first impression of any new event sets the standard, and while this will certainly change over time, the very first impression might still overshadow subsequent experiences. I wonder what kind of sexual footprint we are making on our paths.

--By Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., C.S.T., C.S.A.T., Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex
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