Life Advice



Single File: Views of Sex

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: When sex is mentioned, I don't think so much of being ashamed of my body as I do "our needs," and that's when my upbringing comes into play. Responsibility, religion, the Golden Rule, role models, friends, my experiences with the opposite sex all shaped my view of sexuality. It's not so much guilt but rather right and wrong that stems from my upbringing. Are we to have sex just to fill our needs, or must/should there also be feelings? Then, too, I have those feelings about women having sex with men. So I'm rather confused myself when it comes to sex.

DEAR BLOGGER: Who isn't confused about their bodily urges?! With all the influences and mixed messages in early years, interspersed with personal hormonal pangs and urges, there's a lot to misunderstand. So what's a person to do with the accumulated jumble of urges and counterurges? It's a wonder more of us don't walk around in concentric circles when it comes to the other sex. Oh, yes, that other one that's reputed to be totally different from us in every way (sigh). Yet somehow, most of us muddle through and enjoy our sexual selves. Still, here we are, courting that other sex and convinced we're OK. Until, of course, we're not. And then we (if we're wise) head to the nearest therapist to hear ourselves -- and them -- discuss the most private and personal part of our being. Why, oh, why, isn't sex a must after the age of (fill in the blank). Most of us learn about our sexual self from another person, someone not qualified to fill in the blanks. You're rather confused about sex? Join the club.

DEAR READERS: Self-doubt can spiral downward and become a way of life, which certainly limits one's life terribly. But Marni Battista has trained professionally in noted institutes and recommends identifying doubts and asking yourself questions to help dispel this destructive part of human nature. She says that doubting yourself is human nature, but it shouldn't keep you from doing the things you want to do, from questioning whether you merit a raise to whether you're good enough to ask someone out. ere are the uqestions shse suggdesgts: HHere are the questions Marni says you can ask yourself to get to the bottom of your self-doubt.

1. Where did I learn this? Did someone say you weren't smart? Is it because you had a hard time in a certain class? Or did you come up with it on your own?

2. How true is it really? More often than not, your belief isn't rooted in fact but assumption! Maybe you assume you're not so bright because of one insignificant incident.


3. What is the unconscious gain? What is your self-doubt protecting you from? (This is a killer.) Maybe it's really just a fear of taking risks and experiencing failure. Whoa. Answering these few questions can enable you to manage the worst of your doubts and achieve some much-needed confidence. Think about it, and then think about it some more. Then, write to me.


We've uncovered another treasure trove of "Single File" paperbacks -- in perfect condition, signed by Susan, ready to enjoy. Send $15 and your address: Susan Deitz, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at




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