‘Am I normal?’ Sexologist tells Australians to relax when it comes to sex and relationships

Dr Nikki Goldstein is a sexologist with a desire to educate Australians on sex, love and relationships.

She advocates letting go of the idea that there is such a thing as normal when it comes to adult sexuality.

“[Sex] really is that one subject that everyone’s ears prick up when they hear it,” Dr Goldstein told Melanie Tait on 936 ABC Hobart.

“They have a question about it, they have a curiosity about something, yet at the same time we’re so scared of it.”

Dr Goldstein said this fear of talking about sex meant people often did not know if what they felt, desired or experienced was unusual.

“Most of the questions come down to: ‘Am I normal?’

“The problem is there really isn’t such a thing as normal.

“When we try to fit into what I call the should-do curse — how we should have sex, how we should have relationships — often we end up not happy.

“It’s not black and white, there is no norm and it’s not straightforward.”

Sex is life

Dr Goldstein said outside of human biology and facts around things such as sexuality transmitted infections, there are no rules when it comes to what an individual wants out of sex or a relationship.

And while there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to sex and relationships, Dr Goldstein said it was an important part of just about everyone’s life.

“People think sex is just penis and vagina — I see sex as life.

“When you look at how important [sex] is in our lives, we do some crazy things in the pursuit of it and we will sacrifice a lot for it.

“It goes to show you that instead of it being a niche, it’s right up there … everything impacts it and it impacts everything else.”

Australians ‘fearful of sex’

Dr Goldstein said the taboos surrounding sex and sexuality in Australia could be damaging.

“That fear around sex is growing … we’re even now more fearful of kids knowing about sex than we were a few years ago.

“We’re becoming that society where them hearing the words … penis, vagina, is possibly the worst thing in the world.

“Being fearful of sex is still a way where we are controlled.”

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