Sexually Repressed in the Midwest: Growing up in Middle America

Nothing changes in Nature’s beauty – it is always beautiful!  Imagine the view of vibrant green rolling hills, populated with massive fields of varying crops, wheat, corn, hay and more.  Additionally, clear water streams satisfied any appetite of a fly fisherman. It was a hunter’s paradise.  The Midwest produced an incredible number of commodity crops that were distributed around the world to feed the hungry.

Contrary to what the New Yorker’s had to say about us; “there simply was nothing between N. Y. and Los Angeles.”  In fact, the truth; the Midwest has always been a stabilizing force for the USA.  We were proud to feed America and provide sanity for city folks retreat.  Remarks such as these were further damaging to my own self-worth.

Being a young farm girl and growing into a teenager, time passed ever so slow, filled with frustration, misery and pain. It felt like wearing a straight jacket, and I dreamed of having wings to move on to a happier and freer lifestyle.   All the pent up emotions and feelings from being restrained would later need to be undone for me to be happy and live a rewarding life. Family support was minimal, and few other children to play with.  Rag doll, orphan Annie was my trusted companion.  I loved her and my other best friend was a little dog named boots, who loved to escort me through the fields on the way to catch fish. She and boots went everywhere with me.  Our favorite country song had lyrics that said” somehow we will get by.”  Our song to inspire us! The second song lyrics to keep us going; “love makes the world go around”.  What eluded me was the feeling of love.  I was starved for touch, pleasure and play!

Positive for me, I was born before Dr. Spock recommended all babies should be bottle fed.  Years later the dangers of bottle feeding became known, it hindered bonding between mother and infant, further destabilizing childhood development.

It was a hard life being a farmer.  Always concerned about whether the crops would grow to maturity or be wiped out by drought, freezing or heavy rains. There were many chores to be done on the farm and my dad needed a boy and mom needed a girl so I filled in for both of them.

So much suffering and misery existed because everyone was sexually repressed!  The subject of sex was taboo!  Even hugs were off limits—it may lead to something??? Everyone was deprived of love and could not discover the remedy.  Under my breath I said someday I will work to diminish sexual repression and a few years later in 1969 I led the sexual revolution from Sandstone Retreat in Topanga Ca.. I am proud of this accomplishment!

Healthy Living in Alternative Lifestyles

There is a greater humanity than the individual can achieve. We were designed to network and cooperate. Our emotional needs would seem the primary cause, yet the real culprit is our species’ greatest strength–diversity. Each of us is a piece of a puzzle, ideally suited to provide a unique contribution to the social fabric of greater humanity. While we are fulfilling that role, we become more than a person. While we shrink from that role, we become less than a person.

Back in 1971, while appearing on the Dick Cavett’s television show I made what was even for him an uncommonly frank statement. From my perspective as a Sandstone alumnus, living in a sexually free community was a banquet that fully satisfied one’s Maslovian needs while most poor souls were starving to death.  The audience responded with disturbing disapproval.  John and I struggled against our society’s reluctance to put the nature back in human nature. For some entrenched and absurd reason, our culture substitutes competition for intimacy, driving a wedge between loving hearts.  Why do we continue in this futile hamster wheel to make a living which at the end of the day is not a life?

Our relationships with one another have been built on false assumptions throughout history, a built-in limit to our potential as social beings.  Traditional relationships are possessive, a quality that makes all secondary relationships competitive, secretive, and discrediting.

Naturally, if secondary relationships are relegated to “cheating,” we are forced to lie to our primary relationship, loving in the shadows and feeling riddled with guilt. End result, scandal, separation, and divorce.  Even if the relationship is not broken, it forever loses its wellspring of renewal—mutual trust and respect.

Look how many high profile people have been swept up in scandals, their lives ultimately destroyed because they were bound to one person who failed to meet their full needs and dared to chafe at the restrictions society demands.

It is human nature to encounter desirable and attractive people throughout our lives.  Christopher Ryan, PHD and author and researcher of “Sex at Dawn” says that humans are hypersexual beings, likening us to the Bonobo monkeys and their communal emotional and sexual relationships.  In looking at how far we have diverged, we see the level of our sexual repression in a mirror crafted by unprejudiced hands…those of Mother Nature.

A positive alternative approach to rectifying this sorry state would be to engage in honest, mature, respectful and open dialogue with your primary bond about how to build your lives together, including new people in the relationship without jeopardizing what you already have.  It is important to show respect towards our partners and protect the relationship rather than risk wasting it on some unknown situation.   Building trust and loving relationships with others delivers each of us real power. Relationships cannot be bought with money!