People are often consumed with thoughts of sex and preoccupied with sexual problems, questions or dysfunctions. And I’m not just talking about 13-year-old boys. Sex interests and confuses almost all of us at one time or another.
In response to our overwhelming curiosity, drkoop.com introduces Pega Ren, Ed.D., a certified sexologist. In her weekly columns she will explore everything from sexual communication to masturbation. Find out about her sexual philosophy in this question and answer session.
What interests you about sex therapy?
I love my work. It affords me the opportunity to offer people accurate, non-judgmental information about a subject shrouded in myth and shame. After struggling for months or years with sexual difficulties, clients brave and wise enough to seek therapy can embrace a healthy sexual attitude and lifestyle and enjoy enhanced communication within their relationships. It honors me to be part of that process.
Why did you begin writing about sex?
When I mention that I am a sex therapist, there are usually two distinct reactions: either people blanch and move away, or they approach eagerly, curious and hungry to discuss a topic so alluring and taboo. Public presentations relating to specific sexual concerns are invariably well attended, signaling me that people want to know more about sex. Writing provides me a medium in which I can reach many, and can do so anonymously, supplying the information not only to the eager but to the reticent as well.
And of course, there is just so very much to say….the topics are seemingly endless!
What is the most important thing you try to convey to your clients?
Each of us is entitled to healthy, happy, lifelong sexuality. We can make choices about how we experience and express that gift. With information and an unbiased perspective, we can determine what we like and learn how to find others who share our desires.
What role should sex play in a healthy adult’s life?
Celebratory, joyous, intimate, affirming, bonding, creative, grounding and fun.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
What has challenged you the most?
It is draining to work in a field which much of society views as “naughty.” Sexual silence and taboo impede our growth and development; give birth to unnecessary self loathing; and restrict an important vehicle for making, enhancing and expanding social connections. The powerful forces that insist sex is sick, wrong or sinful keep me and other sexologists forever fighting an uphill battle, witnesses to preventably unhappy individuals and relationships, unwanted and unprepared parenthood, and life-threatening disease epidemics.
Tags: epidemics, sex, sexologists