Why sex has a bad reputation
Throughout history, sex has been equated with pleasure and excess. Pleasure and excess have been deemed negative and the opposite to modesty and restraint, virtues more accepted in many religions and cultures. As sex progressed to be more associated with sin, deviance and lack of self control, the word has become almost unspeakable. In stark contrast, sex is the most transcendental aspect of the human experience.
Sex is not the enemy
Sex can be one of the healthiest and most enjoyable aspects of being human. But sex also comes with risks so its mastery should come with information and the empowerment to make healthy choices that will lead to living one’s sexuality ethically and responsibly. How do we accomplish that? By putting sex at the forefront of health conversations, paying it the respect it warrants and giving it the prominence it deserves. Elevating the word and the meaning of sex to give it a more positive light is in the best interest of all. The opposite has always proven to lead to negative outcomes.
Sex myths that people don’t question
Every family, society and culture has a vast array of myths around sex that are not only false, but also detrimental. Some myths we have to debunk are:
- Only certain individuals have the right to sex: False. Enjoying a healthy sex life is a universal human right.
- The less we know about sex, the better off we are (especially children): False. Having the right information about sex equips individuals to make informed and empowered decisions regarding their bodies, their health, their pleasure and their sexuality in general.
- There are only few right ways of having sex or being sexual: False. Sexuality is as individual as every human being in existence. Therefore, sexuality can take many forms and configurations and the individual differences do not invalidate one’s sexuality over another’s.
Awareness is very powerful when it comes to change. Therefore, it is important to be objective and see the topic of sex with an open mind. Here are some strategies to have a better relationship with sex:
- Reexamining our attitudes about sex: We all have ideas that were seeded in us from the outside. But do they make us grow or keep us in a tiny bubble? The ability to challenge our belief system and acquire new paradigms allow us to be understanding, compassionate and open to differences. Being open does not mean adopting what we don’t want; it means not imposing our values under the false belief that these are the absolute truth.
- Comprehensive sex education for all: Everyone deserves to know as much about human sexuality as they possibly can. Sex education is something ongoing, not a conversation that happens once in a lifetime, and something that children and adults alike can benefit from at all times.
- Sex throughout the life span: Understanding human sexual development and accepting that we are sexual beings from the time we are born until our last breath help us embrace our right to sex. As our bodies mature and change, understanding and rearranging the role of sex throughout all cycles of life ensures a healthy life.