Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby.
For one of the most progressive countries on earth, we sure are afraid of a topic that is the root of our existence. It’s in the discomfort felt when watching a provocative scene in a movie, the disgust some feel in the vicinity of PDA (public displays of affection), and the shame people experience when buying condoms. It is also in the negligence of households and the education system to obtain and share information about sexual well-being. Among other things, sex education has been the great divider in many senses of the word. Even what should, at this point, be called the sexual health aisle is still being called the family planning aisle, and obviously not for lack of a better word, but because that more clear and concise word to describe the contents of the aisle has been deemed too “offensive.”
This troublesome silence leaks into the bedroom, where people have a hard time communicating their concerns, needs, and desires. The human body and its infinite complexities can be simplified if you were to share what you are thinking with your partner. We’re then left as adolescents and adults to circumvent the shame we have of even using the word sex, vagina, or penis out loud. So, censor your unmentionables no longer, let’s talk about sex!
The question about why this shame exists in the first place is one we have to confront. Conservatives everywhere have tirelessly sought to inhibit sex education. When sex education is implemented, students are hit with a slew of information about their reproductive organs, accompanied by warnings and terrifying implications of ever even using them. As a result, the U.S. still has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world. What are other countries doing right? Studies show many of them have long-established sex education programs that set expectations for teenagers to use contraceptives responsibly, free family planning services and make low-cost emergency contraception. Better sex education and knowing our bodies in a more healthy way is great for a better sex life, but it also encourages:
- Honesty between young people and their teachers
- Safe sex to prevent STDs and youth pregnancy
- A better, fresher, and more honest idea about healthy relationships
- Mature sex lives
It’s simple biology… humans are innately sexual. So, until there is sexual education reform we have to find ways to inform ourselves, others, and fight for a future for sex education that entails shaping responsible self-governed sexual beings.
Maybe, that means overcoming the shame we have of confronting our own bodies and sexuality. It might help to imagine the body and the act of being sexual as a work of art or art itself. We consider art a form of self-expression, and like art, sex is an intimate act of liberation and connection to other beings and our own emotions. Art is passionate and the medium we choose to portray our passions is an embodiment of the people we are and the life we live . When it comes to sex and art, everyone in the world can have it, but the greatest sex will always be conscious, consensual, and well-informed .
There is an interesting scene in the modern sexuality bible Netflix Original Series Big Mouth, that offers a look into a healthy way to start your relationship with your genitals. Yes, I said a relationship with your genitals, because quite frankly it is! In the scene, a young girl experiencing puberty holds a mirror up to her vagina and holds a conversation with it, learning the way it works. First in the biological sense then, moving to the pleasure that comes from getting to know yourself physically.
The truth of the matter is most of us don’t have such a healthy first encounter with our vaginas, however, scenes like these represent the type of relationship we should be fostering with our bodies. Knowing ourselves better, in fact, allows us to better communicate our needs to our sexual partners in the bedroom.
Those concerns, needs, and desires extend anywhere from safe words and favorite positions to sexual health history and birth control.
Sex is supposed to be fun and when practiced safely has amazing health benefits. Sex reduces stress and anxiety, reduces your risk of cancer, keeps your heart healthy, and helps you sleep at night. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is to take into consideration you and your sexual partner(s). Your comfort and your safety are first priority. It’s okay to wait. Don’t let any pressure force you into what you aren’t ready or willing to do. It’s also okay to have sex, but not because anyone is pressuring you or because you think you have to.
Big Mouth | Jessi Talks with Her Vagina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6APF4Vb8Jw