Thinking back on the semester as I whole, I must admit that my personal presence throughout the semester was at times extremely critical and specific and on-point. However at other times I was checked out, both physically and mentally. This semester has been very trying for me and I would be lying if I said that this class wasn’t a source of stress for me. That isn’t the fault of the material but rather, my thoughts, morals and engagement with the material. As I have discussed previously, I grew up in a culture where sex and sexuality was not discussed. Discussion of sexual desire was certainly frowned upon, and basically it never happened except in very private and safe situations. I never in a million years imagined myself taking a class on sexuality, sitting in a room full of strangers and discussing losing our virginity or talking about our bodies and feelings surrounding sex. It was all very new and intriguing and scary to me. Eventually though I got comfortable enough to share my thoughts and experiences with others, but for the most part I attempted to keep the work I was doing for this class private. I even had a hard time explaining to my parents what this class was about and the work I was doing in this class. Now, I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination. It is just that my parents, but especially my mother, taught me that sexuality and expressions of sexuality was very unbecoming and un-ladylike. Overtime I’ve adapted to that mode of thinking, causing me to put up walls when it comes to discussing sex and sexuality. But this class has been eye opening to me, especially when hearing the experiences of the other people in class, that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my sexuality and sexual thinking. I understand now that it has been my parent’s presuppositions that they probably learned from their parents and their community that caused them to teach me about sexuality the way that they did. Because of this, I tried to learn the material in this class, rather than try to engage with it for a while. At first I never thought of sex and sexuality as “communicative”, nor did I really understand what the big deal with people equating sexuality and sex to love. It confused me, during one of our class discussions, as many of the women in our class talked about sex and love being inherently tied to each other. They talked about these love/sex experiences and viewed them as natural when I viewed them as directly the opposite. I have never in my life connected love and sex. The people I have loved, I have loved without an aspect of sex and the people I have had sex with was in a relationship built on trust rather than on love. However, their interpretation of their sexuality made me think about the way the sexuality is in face communicative. We communicate meanings and interpret the information through our presuppositions and lived experiences. This helped me when listening to others’ stories and really understanding or attempt to understand their stories and experiences. I began to see that I was viewing (and in a way, judging) their experiences because I viewed them through my own experiences, experiences that I had learned from, lessons I was taught by my mother. All of these culminated in my world view that I was then imposing on classmates. However as the semester continued, I developed my thinking so that I was able to suspend but not completely set aside my presuppositions to listen honestly to their stories and to feel for them. My thinking, as I stated a little before, has moved from just being stagnant and trapped in my own presuppositions and lived experiences to actually understanding or attempting to understand others’ experiences and through them, trying to break down my own chains that were holding me back from experiencing and doing the work of this class. It was difficult for me, because being raised in the environment that I was raised in, I was taught not to trust or go with sexual...
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