Why We Should Talk About Sex More

We need to talk about sex.

Admit it, even the title of this post made you squirm, or sparked your attention. Either way, even the simple word, sex, has this ability to spark an immediate reaction on people. Ever stop and think why that is?
I did, and you are about to read my thoughts.

For some reason, society has decided that being a woman who talks about sex is controversial. When talking about potential subjects for future posts, someone said to me “ladies don’t speak like that”, as if sex is some kind of dirty subject that must not be mentioned out loud for fear that the moral police might jump out of a corner and brand you with a big bright scarlet letter.  After all, being an adult capable of making decisions, birthing and raising children still does not make it ok for me to discuss the basic sexual needs that are part of the human condition. Apparently, sex is only to be discussed as a means of procreation, lest we mention pleasure or passion, for they are not morally acceptable topics of conversation.

There was no talking about sex growing up. The only exposure we had to the subject was either sex education at school, and the random article in Cosmopolitan magazine about “how to reach your sexiest self” or some other guide that involved the word orgasm, which forced you to hide it because lord forbid someone found it anywhere in your house, as if you were reading a guide on how to join a cult. And can we discuss sex education at school for a minute? It doesn’t matter that we were (thankfully) split boys and girls so you only had to endure the awful video about your period with your girlfriends, it was still some of the most uncomfortable situations any teenager was ever exposed to (as if teenage years weren’t awkward enough).

We were never taught about intimacy. Yes, we are taught that sex is to be something between two people who love each other (we are going to come back to this one in a bit), and that it’s something special, but that is it. We are never taught about the psychological implications of the very act, of what it does to your relationship with your partner, or even more importantly, what it does to your relationship with yourself. After all, sex will change you. It will define interpersonal relationships, and to an extent, how you define yourself. It may have a direct effect in your inhibition and redefine passion for you. That first time may end up being horrible and uncomfortable and scar you for a sizeable amount of time; or it may be beautiful, and life changing, and may lead you to your soulmate or even to discover who your own sexuality. In any instance, sex becomes one of those moments in life that will define you.

Which is why we NEED to start talking about it.

The part about sex education that I am referring to isn’t how to put on a condom, or a diaphragm, or discussing birth control options, or even abstinence (say these a few more times, we are getting comfortably uncomfortable after all). What we need to be talking about is the psychology of it all. We need to talk about intimacy, about how sex and sexual desire are not something to be ashamed of. Because the second we make this perfectly natural part of ourselves something to be ashamed of, we are making it something negative. You know what happens when we make something that should be natural to all feel as something to be ashamed of? We break people, we create stigma, we open ourselves and those we love to unnecessary pain and suffering.

The first example I want to give you is someone very close to me (who gave me permission to share their story, and I’m eternally grateful). She had been in a lesbian relationship prior to dating the man she was currently in a relationship and living with. He was aware of this, and yet, during one of his anger outbursts, he decided to use her past sex life as an excuse to beat her. Why? Because, in his mind and the mind of many other people, there are parameters for sex. It is to only happen between a man and a woman and follow sexual attraction towards someone of the same sex is unacceptable, since sex is an action, not a feeling. What is worse is that, in many instances, this type of argument stands in a court of law. She is now happily married to her wife and have a beautiful son. They are gay rights advocates and have participated in many media opportunities. And while they are championing love above all, there are still people in social media who feel they are entitled to judge them (many as far as incorrectly labeling them as bad mothers) because of their sex life. Because, lets face it, what bothers people the most is that there are two women having sex. Sex, something that everyone has, and yet they feel entitled to judge how someone else has it.

Sex, that “dirty” thing that we shouldn’t be talking about and yet most adults are having it.

Let’s now talk about the #MeToo movement. Women across the world are fearful of reporting sexual assault because of how they will look. Them, not the assailant. It is on the abused to carry the burden of proof, as if the psychological burden wasn’t enough. In college campuses, we are seeing an increase in sexual violence. According to RAINN, “11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).” Students, not just women. Moreover, RAINN also reports that only 20% of cases are reported for students between the ages of 18 to 24. Just so you can do math (because, as we discussed in a previous post, I can’t to save my life), in 2019, college enrollment reached 19.9 million students. Now, I don’t know, nor can I find what the percentage of reports are for say robberies or car thefts, but I am going to venture and say that is significantly more than just 20%. So, my question to you is, why do we not question reporting those crimes, but we struggle with reporting or even admitting to friends that we have been victims of sexual assault?

Because sex is “dirty”, and we should not be talking about it. And this needs to stop now.

I have had the whole “what should our children call their genitals” conversation with fellow adults a bunch of times, I have heard many adults tell me how they don’t use anatomically correct wording because it “sounds wrong”. I will tell you now, my daughter is 3.5 years old and knows exactly what a vagina is, and I will answer every single question she has about it no matter her age. Why? Because I need her to understand that there is nothing wrong with it. Because I want her to know that if anything ever happens to her, she knows the exact words on how to describe it when she tells another adult. Because I need her to know that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Because I need to protect her.

So, dear reader, repeat after me: Sex. It is what two consenting adults do. It is their prerogative, their private space, their moment of passion. It is not for you nor I to have an opinion about it or pass judgment against it. Sex is normal and part of life. It is not dirty; it is not wrong. We should not be ashamed to discuss it when it is enjoyable or report it when it’s against our will. Sex is not to be used as a tool for someone to exert power, but to express passion and desire between two adults. It is not a burden for us to hide. It is not “just to make babies”. It is a part of our lives. And the more we normalize it, the more we help those who are victimized come forward. Our words and actions can enact more change than we realize.


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