While working on my master’s degree in counseling and human relations, we were given a series of in-depth tests designed to reveal every aspect, nuance, nook, and cranny of our personalities. One such test was the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) where almost 600 questions had to be responded to with only “yes” or “no” answers. The test proctor declared, “At no point during this test are you allowed to ask any questions of me or anyone else. If you need clarification about a particular question, you must simply use your best judgment and interpret it as best you can.” Clear enough.
However, several minutes into the test, one young man raised his hand and blurted out, “Sir, this question asks, ‘Do you have any kinky sex practices?’ Can you define ‘kinky’ for me?”
Honestly, we tried to contain our laughter. The professor, obviously horrified that this student was so blatantly breaking the rules, stood there in silence refusing to respond. However, one elderly woman on the front row couldn’t resist the temptation. She retorted, “You’re normal if you use a feather. You’re kinky if you use the whole bird!” Not even the professor could contain his laughter at that point.
We’ve probably all wondered at some point in our lives, Am I normal, or am I kinky? Is my husband normal? Is what we like to do normal? When it comes to sexual expression, “normal” can be extremely difficult and even detrimental to define. What is normal or pleasurable to one person or couple isn’t necessary normal or pleasurable for another. I agree with Dr. Alex Comfort, sexologist and author of The Joy of Sex, when he said, “There is no norm in sex. Norm is the name of a guy who lives in Brooklyn.”
Indeed, our sexuality is as unique as our fingerprint. No two people have ever had identical sexual experiences, desires, repulsions, fantasies, etc.
to be continued…
by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.