Doing it, fucking, the deed, the dirty, say it like it is – SEX! Why does one miniscule, tiny wee word make so many of us cringe? Why does this unspeakable thing force our grannies to smack our bums if we say it in front of them, whether we’re a cheeky 10-year-old or a mother of 40 with 4 kids? Most of us have done it, most of us know what it entails. So the sheer embarrassment and, dare I say, sense of shame attached to this word seems ridiculous. Like it, love it, hate it, loathe it there’s no denying the importance of sex when it comes to our continuation as a species. Till the day when a stork flies out the sky carrying a wee screaming bundle of joy, we’ll need to keep having and talking about sex.
I’m forever lucky and grateful to have been raised by parents who don’t shy away from tricky topics. My questions were always answered honestly, unlucky for my mum as I was a very inquisitive child. Having a liberal upbringing has left me with less of a sense of shame when it comes to thinking and talking about sex. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone. And if you ask me, this shying away from sex is rather ironic because look around you – our culture is made of sex! Films glorify it, musicians are always singing about getting some, most books have steamy parts. There’s no getting away from it. Notably, this external pressure from media, cinema and so on can actually skew our perception of sex and influence how we speak about the act. In fact, our vision can become so skewed that this can actually endanger us.
How many of us were fed silly names for our ‘private parts’ growing up? I think you’ll find it’s yet to be scientifically proven that a flower grows between a woman’s legs, and last time I checked Willy is short for William or the first name of everyone’s favourite fictional chocolatier. Teaching children the right names for all of their body parts is crucial for their own safety. Skirting around the words associated with sex creates a barrier of shame that we must breakdown. A shushed attitude towards open discussions around sex can lead people into abusive relationships, without them even realising it. Being taught to treat sex as taboo and the constant discouragement of an open-ended discussion around what is right, what is wrong, boundaries, preferences etc. leads many into a state of mind where they are naive on the subject, thus making them vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation and ill treatment. We are constantly encouraged to grow and to learn about what we like and don’t like, what we want and who we are. Why should our relationship with sex and our individual expression of sexuality not be encouraged as a natural part of growing up? I challenge you to open discussions around sex, using all the proper words of course. A spade’s a spade. Sex is sex. Say it like it is.
[Beth Cook – she/her – @beth__cook]
[Photo credit: alleksana]