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As complete human beings we are composed of many parts, each of which is complemented by others. Sexual feelings and responses are important parts of ourselves; being aware of and understanding them can be a very valuable part of our self-discovery.
This book was designed to help you become aware of and understand your sexual feelings and responses, to accept these feelings in yourself, and to enhance your life. It is designed to assist you on your own sexual journey. It includes information on a variety of sexual topics, as well as sample questions from other college students just like you.
As you will see from reading the questions in this book, sexuality goes far beyond sexual intercourse. It is the complete range of our ideas and feelings in dealing with others and being comfortable with ourselves. Satisfaction concerning our sexuality is a lifelong process that is built upon self-esteem and mutual respect.
Thus, sexual expression is an experience that is fulfilling when it is performed by partners who are mutually willing to accept responsibility for their actions. This includes an open discussion of not only when it is agreeable to become sexually active, but also of pregnancy and disease prevention prior to sexual intercourse. It's important to remember that sexual intercourse always involves the risk of pregnancy and disease since nothing is 100% effective. Mature partners take this into consideration.
Sex, in these terms, is not something that should be connected with guilt. There is nothing wrong with expressing one's feelings sexually in an equal, open relationship. Sex with just anyone, on the other hand, can be emotionally unsatisfying, becauseit is, at most, a temporary means of satisfaction.
We should never allow ourselves to be used as sex objects or to be pressured by girlfriends, boyfriends, or peers. We owe it to ourselves to share this intimacy only with people whom we truly care about and who care about us. If we share a caring relationship, we'll understand if one of us is not ready or chooses to abstain.
Overall, sex can be a wonderful shared experience between mutually caring partners. The best way to a good sex life is to accept our own sexuality, to realize that all of our fantasies and thoughts are normal, and to share ourselves with our partners.
This book serves as a road map to help you enjoy your sexual journey. It contains the most frequently asked questions I have received over my many years of college teaching. As a professor of human sexuality, I have had the opportunity to study and work with these issues directly. A strength of this book is that it contains questions obtained directly from students-both males and females-and covers the range of classes from first-year students to seniors in college. The questions have been organized into sections by topic areas. The book uses traffic signs to delineate the various sections. Each sign:
Sandra L. Caron, Ph.D.