Let's talk more about sex

in sex •  2 years ago

After my post on how I missed my calling as a sex coach, @lukestokes shared a post of his own on the taboo of talking about sex and posed some great points about why we should talk about it more. I want to share a reason why I believe sex talk shouldn't be taboo. It's a story about a woman in my life who is very important to me and whose life might have been incredibly different if sex had been an acceptable topic in her home.

My friend, let's call her Ray, got pregnant when she was 16. She was an incredibly smart young woman certain to break out of the poverty she was raised in. She has multiple athletic accolades and was being early scouted for university scholarships with thought to her future representing the U.S. in the Olympics. I have never seen anyone sprint like she could. She was gifted across the board, and still is, but she never got her chance as an athlete.

Ray was taught that sex is an all-access pass to Hell and was beaten regularly for being a sexual creature. We used to live quite close to one another. She always guarded her modesty as she was taught, but somehow ended up pregnant by her first boyfriend. Why?

Well, she didn't know she was having sex. Her family considered sexual knowledge in youth as evil as sexual activity. They believed that if you don't know what sex is, you can't do it.

I'm going to say right now that is some stupid, fucked up shit.

Ray didn't know what sex was because she was pulled out of every sex ed class and was made so embarrassed of sex and sexuality that when it came up among friends, she would excuse herself. She had no TV, and books were limited. She didn't even know the names of the parts of her body. Like me, she was taught to ignore/be afraid of everything lower than the belt. So when she was making out with her boyfriend and he made his way up her skirt and inside her, she didn't look. She just wondered why making out hurt so much. And when she started throwing up and told another friend she missed her period, the girl made fun of her until she realized Ray had no idea she was pregnant.

"Stop playing," was what we told Ray.

She wasn't kidding around though. She was serious. She swore she'd only made out with her boyfriend. We asked her what making out meant and she described sex. Can you imagine how horrified she was? She was going to Hell AND she was having a baby.

Poof! All her scholarship opportunities disappeared. She did manage to make it through high school. Determination got her through college. Now she manages a successful business she help set up, but those intervening years were unkind. She did not get to follow her dreams.

We can't say she wouldn't have had sex and gotten pregnant if she had known what sex was, but I guarantee you she would have used protection had she known it existed or how sex worked.

Her sex education was sex, and hers is not the only story like this I know. Many women I've worked with were molested or raped without knowing what was happening because talking about their bodies and knowing the difference between sexual touch and nonsexual touch isn't part of their lives.

We need to know what sex is, how to protect ourselves during it, what the parts of our body are, what types of sexual touch there are and what other acts are sexual versus nonsexual in order to be able to make decisions about sex and our bodies.

What do you wish you had known about sex before you had it?

images from pixabay.com

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Most boys are learning about sex through hardcore porn and think that's what making love is.

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That's very scary.

Not only young man think that way but also many young women are watching porn and think that's what sex is all about... There is actually a porn crisis where people forgot what respect in sex means.

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This is even more frightening. Respect, boundaries, listening--communication is the heart of pleasurable sex.

What a sad story. I was talking to my brother today (he's 11 years younger than I), and he talks about how his religious friends view sex very differently today. They celebrate it and talk about it as something God loves. He made an interesting comment about how religions change, adapt, and often follow many other cultural attitudes in place at the time.

Either way, I agree with you and hope more people will talk openly about something so important to us as a species. Thanks for the shoutout. :)

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I'm very glad to hear there are religious communities where sex is celebrated. It is a beautiful act of sharing and has long been a form of worship. If there is a god, why make sex pleasurable if it isn't meant to be celebrated?

Thank you for publishing this post and continuing the conversation on one of many "uncomfortable" topics. This is an incredibly important and relevant topic in today's society, especially as we see massive shifts in public acceptance towards non-hetero sexualities and the trans community. But the changes are experiencing growing pains, and we're seeing social wars between feminist extremist groups and traditional masculinists, philosophical arguments around political correctness, the legality of binary restrooms, more vocal campaigns against rape culture, sexual assault policies at universities, abortion laws, etc. These can all be mitigated by education, as you've noted, but that's a discussion for another post.

As for me, I wish my sex ed had included more discussion about STIs and their prevalence in Western societies (such as the 80-95% herpes afflication rate, *stats varying depending on what source you read). I also wish there was more discussion about abortion and backup birth control. I was lucky to have been brought up by parents who were (somewhat) comfortable with talking about the subject and were very open to us kids having boyfriends/girlfriends sleep over and enjoy healthy teenage relationships without feeling like we couldn't talk to them about the sexual aspect of it (we never did anyway, because we ourselves were shy).