Talking about sex should be easy. Unless you’re talking about it with your parents, in which case it’s probably easier to remove your own molars with pliers. Sorry.
There are certain things in life that people don’t openly discuss. Things that are taboo. I myself do appreciate a certain level of privacy as I’m sure most people do. We don’t include details of our bowel movements into everyday conversation do we? (Unless you’re eight years old, in which case, go to bed.) That would be distasteful to many. If we had to make a list of the things we do the most but discuss the least, sexual activity (of any kind) would feature pretty highly on that list.
But why? It’s a very natural part of our existence. It’s been scientifically proven that sex benefits mental and physical health.* And lets not forget, it’s fun. There are those of you probably reading this feeling slightly uncomfortable. Awkward. Like the time you watched ‘Titanic’ with your parents and tried your best to keep your eyes firmly fixated on Kate Winslet’s eyes and not her…er… nether regions. Even though humans have been having sex for a very very long time, the majority of us are still bashful about honest and frank discussions of its significance in our lives.
The thing is, I actually think that’s okay. It’s okay to not go into work and admit the smile on your face is because you er, put the hot dog in the bun, put the snake in the bush, etc with the missus/mister. For me, sex is a pretty intimate thing. On a scale of prude to Rihanna, I’m somewhere in the middle. I will discuss it where I feel comfortable (like with you, judgemental strangers of the Internet 🙂 ) but not when it’s unwarranted or inappropriate. I have a friend who feels the need to discuss it constantly. She tells me details of her sex life that end up playing like a weird 70s porno flick in my head complete with cheesy saxophone music. And, as one of my other friends pointed out, the details she shares end up making others feeling inadequate and wondering ‘am I normal? Should I be having more sex? Am I fun?’ When really, it’s different for everyone.
Take a conversation I had lately. I was discussing the singer and ex-Smiths frontman, Morrissey, who has just released an autobiography. Morrissey has often alluded to his asexuality. My friend asked me what this means.
‘It just means he’s not motivated by sexual desire I suppose. He doesn’t experience much, if any, sexual attraction to people or is not particularly interested in sexual intercourse,’ I informed her (my definition is a supposition and I’m open to correction *narrows eyes at you*) My friend was incredulous.
‘What? No, that can’t be an actual thing, can it?’ was her reply. And so the lesson, we are all different. Some people have high sex drives, some are asexual, some people like men, some like women, some like both. Discussing sex is healthy and it allows us to continue learning. Repressed sexual feelings are dangerous and I am glad that I live in a society that has become more open to sexual discourse (although Ireland’s history as a conservative Catholic country means we still have a way to go before we’re up there with our more liberal European neighbours.)
Despite all this, it’s nice to have some level of privacy and intimacy. I can discuss sex frankly and openly with a select group of friends (wine also helps). There have been times in my life where I have found it almost impossible to be be open about it, like one extremely awkward trip to the doctor when I had a chest infection.
Doctor: Ok, do you smoke?
Doctor: Are you sexually active?
Me: Er, yes.
Doctor: Do you use protection?
Me: Er… I just have a chest infection. I think I need antibiotics.
Doctor: This is all relevant.
I’m sure it was, doctor. And even though this is someone in the medical profession who probably refers to sex as ‘copulation’, I literally felt like curling into a ball and shooting myself out the window. My discomfort is even more bizarre when you factor in that my mother was a nurse and explained menstruation with diagrams and props. Oh, mother.
So, my point? Talking about sex is important. You might or might not have sex, depending on whether you’re Morrissey/a nun/Ron Jeremy. There should be no pressure to have sex, despite what society says. It’s nice to discuss it, when you’re comfortable with someone. But you’re not abnormal if you find it a slightly uncomfortable topic. And if you do find it uncomfortable but are still just dying to talk about it, then have a few friends over, get a little drunk and the conversation will inevitably steer towards taboo subjects. That’s a mathematical certainty. Such mature advice.
I even had to get slightly drunk to write this. Not really, but now I want to go get slightly drunk. Go figure.
*I am far too lazy to actually back this statement up so you’ll have to take my word for it. Just picture me in a lab coat holding a test tube and you’ll automatically take me more seriously.