On all my fingers & all my toes, I couldn’t count the amount of times someone has said
“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how on earth did you get involved in sex therapy?”
And this is what I tell them:
I was always a very curious kid. I was the kind of kid who waited until my mum and my two sisters were all locked in the car before asking “Mum…what is a penis for?” or something of that nature.
I was the kind of kid who knew where all the books in the house with nudie pictures resided, and showed them to all my friends (one was an art book in my mum’s house with lovely fleshy ladies, and the others where sexology books in my dad’s therapy office).
I was the kind of kid who loved the sex-ed seminars that my primary school ran and made my parents buy all the books from the “Where Do I Come From?” series. And then I was the kind of teenager who decided that christianity was no longer on the agenda because its messages about sex, love, womanhood and intimacy did not satisfy or persuade me.
I entered my late teens and early twenties with a great sense of sex-positivity. Because I was so open about the subject of sex and relationships, I soon became the go-to person for sex-related conversations. Much to my naive surprise, I couldn’t help but notice that many of the questions and stories from my friends and acquaintances centred around sexual anxieties and insecurities, feelings of disgust towards their own bodies and genitals, fears of being rejected and ridiculed, and a great focus on performing well rather than seeking mutual pleasure and sweaty good times.
And, that they were comparing themselves, rather disappointedly, to the sexual pleasures and delights that Hollywood and/or internet pornography promised.
It soon became apparent to me that our society was encouraging terribly unhelpful messages about sex and sexual relationships (not to menton relationships in general!). Not only are these messages very limiting, but they are consistently reinforced by sex education, movies, books, magazines, adverts, pornography and the way that we talk about sex (or don’t) in our day-to-day lives.
It was at this point that I decided I wanted to work in the area of sexual counselling and education.
I wanted to provide another point of view, a different message that would allow individuals and couples to explore their own sexual needs and preferences. A message that focuses on intimacy, connection and playfulness, as well as pleasure. A message that is realistic, individualistic, and also optimistic. And a message that allows people to continue seeking sexual satisfaction and connection throughout the different stages of their life and their relationships.
And that is still my mission today.
Plus… I should probably mention that I may have been slightly influenced by seeing Gaylord Focker’s mother in Meet the Fockers during my undergraduate years…
Dr. Alice Hucker
Clinical Psychologist & Sex Therapist