What are your primary sexual scripts? Most of us have a few scripts that guide the majority of our sexuality. It may be a role or archetype that you try to fit into. It may be a peak sexual experience from the past that you are trying to recreate. Our sexual scripts are informed by and in relationship to the culture we live in. Ever since we were born, we have heard stories, seen movies and witnessed sexual scripts all around us.
Most of us can recall a scene from a movie that permanently shaped our sexual development – a scene that effected us so deeply that we try to emulate it, or capture the emotions of that Hollywood scene. TV shows, rock stars, books, and celebrities can all serve as fodder for the development of our own unique sexual scripts. For some people, sexual scripts are heavily influenced by our family life – either trying to live up to our parents model or trying hard not to recreate our parent’s failed marriage. Most people have a sense of what a man “should” be like – handsome, successful, powerful, muscular, charming, funny, daring. . . the list of “shoulds” goes on and on. We also have a story about what kind of partner we “should” love and what that relationship “should” be like.
Against this cultural background, our own sexual scripts are formed early in life and many of us never even notice that our relationships begin playing out like rehearsals, trying to fit ourselves and our potential lovers into roles that will satisfy us. With the easy accessibility of pornography online, we can narrow our sexual turn-ons into the most specific category as we wish – you can easily find a site of red headed cheerleaders if that is what turns you on. Or librarians with glasses. Online, it is easy to peruse page after page of explicit images and videos and discover new turn-ons – and yet many people stay within a narrow range of stimulation, living out their scripts in fantasy as well as in their real life.
Our sexual scripts are not just about roles, romance and relationships. We all have sexual scripts hardwired into our bodies – ways of being touched or touching ourselves that are our quickest routes to orgasm. Some of these scripts begin with childhood masturbation – if you masturbated under the constant threat of parental discovery and punishment, you may masturbate quickly and quietly long into adulthood, even when you have your own place and can be as loud as you wish. Most of us masturbate in basically the same way every time, or have sex with our partner using the same sequence of events.
The “porn classic” of a few seconds of kissing, followed by sucking on the female nipples, leading quickly to oral sex as a warm up for intercourse is one of the more common sexual scripts that couples find themselves repeating again and again. Our bodies respond to repetition. This can be a good thing, providing a sure way to get aroused quickly and providing a direct path to climax. But these patterns can also be too dependable, landing us in a sexual rut that is too much of a sure thing to try anything new.
Scripts can be comforting and useful – if we are truly in touch with who we are and what we desire, it can be comforting to stay within your self-determined script and seek satisfaction. The problem is many of us never take the time to examine our sexual scripts and ask if we are truly being fulfilled, or if a wider range of pleasure is possible. We do the same sex acts over and over again, with the same fantasy in our heads, and then wonder why we are still dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
By examining your arousal patterns, you can map more consciously that which turns you on. If you choose, you can begin paying attention to a wider range of stimulation and arousal so you can feel even more pleasure. You don’t have to give anything up – your major turn ons and desires can still play a large role in your sexuality. But by widening the sense of what is possible, and taking a close look at your routines, you can enjoy a wider range of relationships and pleasures, and possibly discover something even more satisfying