Trusting the Child, Inside and Out

[This is potentially triggering. I feel these ideas are very important to discuss and yet our world has taboos even about this conversation. I ask that you approach this person’s experience free from what you have been programmed to think about the topic and instead consider their experience from their perspective.

I received a very specific e-mail which I am going to quote and discuss. I recommend caution if you do not want to be confronted with themes of sexuality and youth.]

I have some questions:

  1. When are we old enough to have ‘preferences’? To know what we want and don’t want?
  2. When do our preferences count? And when should they be overridden by society and family?
  3. Are there topics that society is so much wiser about that we need to bow to its authority and fall in line–regardless of whether we agree or enjoy or not? Which ones? And why?

A friend wrote me this mail:

“Well this is an odd thank you email that you’re probably going to laugh about. When I was 13 I had sex with an older guy. I was so embarrassed I hid it from everyone. I buried it deep. I denied it. It caused me so much pain. Well, when I was using one of your videos (I believe it was called “The Pleasure Room”.) [He’s mentioning a guided meditation I once created that suggest recalling a pleasurable past experience with no other context.] I actually could smell him and taste him again. And I relived the experience. What it taught me is I was NOT molested. I was not a victim. I was a victim of my upbringing, not of the relationship I had with another male. It took many years of therapy that never worked and then couple of your videos that so worked. You changed my life for the better. Just wanted to say thank you. No longer a victim.” – D.

This is an adult man speaking.

In our world, we include sexuality as one of those things that young people’s preferences don’t really matter about. We know more than they do.

Is that true, though?

What percentage of adults have sex with the exact right people all the time for their growth and happiness or any other goal they might have?

How many adults can tell another adult exactly the right person to engage with sexually for their happiness and success?

When does this magical information suddenly infuse into them?

What is the evidence?

I want to propose something that might seem blasphemous:

The degree to which we don’t trust anyone (age irrelevant) to know their preferences, wishes, and desires is the the degree to which we do not trust our own [inner child’s] ability to know what we want.

This goes along with the entire violence-based paradigm that we live within. In our world, it is acceptable to use shame, blame, guilt, threats, punishments, and rewards to keep people in line. And yet, do we end up doing more damage fighting and punishing the behaviors we ‘know’ are bad than we are preventing?

200 years ago, it was clear to ‘civilization’ that black people aren’t really people, so we can use them as property.

100 years ago, it was clear to ‘civilization’ that women weren’t really people. They were property–either of their fathers or husbands. We knew what was best for them and it was OK to punish them if they got out of line.

Today, it is clear that children aren’t really people–yet. They are property of their parents. We know what’s best for them and it’s ok to make them do things or punish them if they get out of line.

See the progression? What do you think we will all know in 100 years from now?

Despite the fact that we have child prodigies and inventors and 12-year-olds attending college, we don’t consider children to be able to know what they want in the field of touch.

Nor do we have any structures or training to help them find out.

Instead we have demonization and shaming and guilting and pearl-clutching whenever the subject is broached.

I remember my mother intensely castigating me whenever I ‘touched myself’ as a child. What kind of message do you think I got about my sexuality and my genitals?

Now, do they need information? Sure. They will ask questions and look for it.

Remember the three questions above? When do they apply to the field of touch? (And sexual touch is another form of touch communication.)

When do people become free or enlightened or wise enough to choose what should happen with their own bodies?

I see newborns powerfully object when their physical and touch needs are violated. I see them respond powerfully when they are.

Can it be that we are born knowing what we want and what is good for us? And that society denies and takes away our right to ask for and get what we want in this most important area of life?

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