QUESTION: What's the most frequent question you get asked?
ANSWER: That's an easy one. When I take a client's sex history, the most frequent question people ask at the conclusion is "Am I normal?".
So, let's begin examining a few things people do sexually. The primary sexual behaviour is masturbation, or self-stimulation for pleasure. Male fetuses have erections in utero. Girl babies lubricate soon after birth.
The first stage of a child's sexual development is from birth to approximately 6 years of age. The physical body is primary; and sexual interests, curiosity, arousal and behavior are spontaneously expressed unless or until the child is taught to repress or inhibit her/his pleasure orientation. Socialization is a process of creating inhibition.
Masturbation is normal from most of the criteria I cited. It is statistically normal, appears in many different species, is not illegal, is not socially forbidden, but is still considered morally reprehensible and abnormal by some people. The preponderant attitude, though, is that masturbation is normal. The same can be said for pre-marital, non-marital and oral-genital sex.
Go ahead, try it on your own. Consider some activities using the five criteria above. What about same-sex behaviour, heterosexual intercourse, sexual exclusivity (It's not the same as monogamy.), anal stimulation, rape, prostitution, cross-dressing? I'll give you a hint, don't put too much emphasis on statistics alone.
Another criterion you might consider is how various sexual activities have been viewed throughout history. Social acceptability changes. There have even been changes in moral acceptance of sexuality through the ages.
Legality also changes, and varies in different places and at different times. Here in Canada there is a new debate over the age of consent. Our current government would like to increase the age of consent from 14 to 16. I'd like to point out that the age of consent in the Vatican is 12.
So, are you normal? You decide. Also decide on how important normality is in your life. Can you march to the beat of your own drum?