Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Uncomfortable topic 2: sex
I've been trying to figure out how to do justice to this issue that is crazy important to me and really should be to you too. Keeping with the theme of speaking openly about uncomfortable topics we have no choice but to find a way to get comfortable about this....it's life or death.
We are WAY too far advanced as a society to still have so many new cases of STI (sexually transmitted infections, bc nobody says VD anymore thank god) and unplanned pregnancy. Although I was raised in a very conservative home and taught that sex without being married is a no no this post will have nothing to do with religiosity or morality. I feel like that's where a lot of us go wrong when trying to reconcile sex v. safe sex. It matters not the parameters of a sexual relationship when talking about safety.
Just as an aside I do believe that young people should not have sex until they are able to understand that it means more than just something physical and also understand the idea of consequences; emotionally and practically (this is a tall order as most adults are still grappling with this). I also believe that having sex with many people leaves you less than whole as an individual. So many people believe that sex is just physical and no matter how hard you try to convince yourself I don't think anyone really really thinks this especially late at night when the world is quiet and you are alone. In the spirit of full disclosure I was a virgin when I got married and I never even kissed a boy before chris. This was probably bc of a lack of opportunity rather than some extreme practice in self control but I truly believe had I been with other people I would have left pieces of myself with those guys leaving me less than....well, me. I don't deserve any praise for this bc it's just the way it worked out since I was way too awkward and had such little confidence that no one dated me. I thought this was the end of my young and small world but now I thank my god for keeping me from heartbreak that would've changed me in bad ways.
Please don't see this at preachy or stuck up, I'm a modern and progressive woman who owns her sexuality and is not sorry for it, for knowing what I like and want and asking for it. I realize there is something to be said for equality it sexuality....women seeking what they want should not be labeled sluts while men doing the same are excused bc "that's just how guys are". That's not what this blog is about. What it is about is being safe.
Teaching kids about safety in sex does not make them have sex. I'd like for everyone to just read that line again.....and again. This is an especially hard concept for people governed heavily by religion. I'm not at all against abstinence but we should always be teaching a why; kids (and thoughtful adults for that matter) are very rarely moved to the core by rules with no explanation other than fear for not obeying. Abstinence is like a dirty word among progressives but it doesn't have to be. If you are not ready or not sure you are ready for sex then don't do it bc you can't take it back. That's a perfectly good reason to teach the A word. What about it being the only fool proof way of preventing pregnancy and STI? Another great reason. Above all lets give kids and adults some credit; give them all the information and let them make an informed choice. If you think that telling your kids not to have sex before they are married bc the bible says so is an acceptable sex ed speech you will have a kid who is learning from the Internet, their more experienced friends (most likely bad information) and experimenting dangerously on their own to learn about what you should have taught them. They will probably seem like "good kids" and you will think you did a great job until they become pregnant or worse get HIV (don't roll your eyes I am far from being dramatic) bc no one explained the reality of sex and consequences of ignorance.
We have the tools; there is access to more testing, so many more options for birth control and STI protection than ever that there is no excuse....seriously no excuse.
I going to make this a 2 part blog bc it's so important and there's too much information and I don't want to wear out my welcome all at once. Next time I'm going to talk about the icky details of STI and give you some startling statistics.