We talk about it all the time, yet at the same time we don’t really talk. Jokes and discussions about sex can be heard in every nook and corner amongst every age group; some held openly while most held in shushed whispers and giddy giggles. However, when the subject is up for serious discussions, there’s a silence that almost screams shame and embarrassment.
A woman may talk about issues pertaining to her sex life to her peers but may adopt silence when it needs to be addressed with her partner. Parents may suddenly seem unnerved as a condom advert appears on the living room TV with their kids staring blankly at the screen, affected by the awkward energy in the room. Now, blocking subjects like these is natural for us to do when all along, the same has been considered a ‘taboo’ while also being deemed as a natural necessity. Sex is a natural and a necessary process, not just for men but also for women equally. It’s just as crucial to our existence and survival as food, water and air.
It is also an expression of love and yet it is regarded as unethical and immoral in most cultures.
While growing up, some people are fortunate enough to have sex education in school along with approachable teachers to be able to discuss things with. So while they have a reliable source to learn the correct basics from, others may not be exposed to that kind of open knowledge. They draw information from Biology textbooks, novels, Google and of course, pornography instead. Now, we definitely don’t need a Eureka moment to realize that the information received from all the sources other than your school text-books may or may not be correct and ethical to say the least. Of course, the concept of sex-education in schools didn’t even exist years ago yet they all did learn about sex anyway. However, they didn’t learn about it in an open space with their other peers, girls and boys, both the genders present together.
The simple act of talking about it with hundred other people around you transitions the taboo subject into a casual space.
The same space open between a growing individual and their parent/guardian is the gateway to decreased communication gap between the two generations and increased trust on a reliable figure. Denying growing kids the right knowledge from the right source tampers with not just their sexual voice but also their self-confidence. Talking about sex in the right terms broadens that space, redefines gender roles and expectations in turn. It wipes off any hesitation that people have when it comes to sex related issues, sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. Lack of open conversations with peers and parents and reliable sources about it, on the other hand sows seeds that grow into a plant of wrongdoings.
Teens are curious and zealous. They want to know things and sex is the one topic they want to know about the most. When reliable sources shut them, they don’t stop until they find out all about it. Wrong knowledge then leads to wrong actions and they can’t exactly be blamed for it. Wrong knowledge or lack of it may also lead to women not opening up about sexual harassment done to them because of its taboo nature. Men thereafter, may not develop the right attitude of sex and accept the fact that it’s natural. Correct knowledge and thereby, open conversations with family and peers on it is the key to not just erasing the hesitancy but also to bring in equality of sorts that everyone has been striving for since centuries.
Sex is not a taboo. Talking about it is not shameful and most of all, keeping this conversation open in the society is a dire need now.
Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash