Sex as a Taboo – How to Create Awareness?

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By Guest Writer Ayushi Bhatnagar

Sex is an act, not a definition of who you are and who god created you to be.

But oftentimes, teenagers at the brink of attaining adulthood are fed the notion that sex is a taboo. Maybe because they have curious minds and maybe because they want to experience the new things that come along with adulthood.

Doesn’t matter, whether you are a girl or a boy, discussion about sex remains a far cry, even for well-grown adults. However, virginity, tradition, pre-marital sex, post-marriage sex, and love are topics that are tirelessly repeated in rhetoric.

When it comes to sex, we are not allowed to speak about it, discuss it and think about it. The ‘S’ word is a ‘bad’ thing. In extreme cases like in an orthodox family, it is also referred to as cheap and vulgar. But as soon as it falls under the marriage parameter, sex discussions become pure and holy and a nuptial bliss. Elders advise the newbies to prepare them for the wedding bed.

So, a question pops up, till when shall we continue living in the same old dumpsters? Trust the antiquated ideologies and practice forever? Despite being independent, educated, career-oriented and modern, why is sex still a taboo?

Hush – ‘Sex’

Murder, rape, and abduction are discussed in open, but not sex. Why? Some people say that morality and religion don’t allow it. One reason is that throughout the centuries, sex was filthy and somehow sinful. However, some might be just too embarrassed to talk about it. Some people also infer that talking frankly about sexuality may somehow promote or condone promiscuous behavior.

Simply put, you can shamelessly enjoy movies that scream of blood, guts, and gore. But if a breast or vagina is exposed, it becomes X rated. Masturbation, porn, vagina, penis and so forth are terms that still need to be hushed and hidden under the covers. In this case, sex education or sex awareness is a lost goal.

At present, sex knowledge is a reluctant conversation idea. Some of us spread the sexual awareness messages through horror stories. Teenagers are still being educated to learn that pre-marital sex is dirty and immoral. And, that abstinence from sex is the only possible way. This again raises the question, why do we need to paint sex in such a bad light?

Only because of the fear of being judged by the society? Or because we want to preserve a good image? Whatever the reason may be, that doesn’t change anything. And certainly, the absence of sexual awareness is leading to unwanted pregnancies, rapes, sexual harassment, and abuse.

How to Create Awareness?

Firstly, every one of us needs to understand that sexual desires are basic needs. Just like food, water, and shelter is necessary, fulfilling our physical needs is important to remain mentally healthy and stable. The absence of healthy sexual intercourse leads people to dungeons of frustration which further results in forced sexual relationships or other experiments. Therefore, it’s no shame to express your sexual desires. However, the condition is – the other person must approve of it. Other than this, here are some keynotes that explain how to create sex awareness.

  1. It Begins at Home

Just like charity begins at home, so does sex awareness. If from early teenage you educate your children about little-little things, it will be easier for them. Besides, they will be able to easily discuss with you the problems and the questions that ring their mind. As per facts, in 2011–2013, 70% of males and 78% of females talked with a parent about topics likes: STDs, how to say no to sex, how to prevent HIV infection, methods of birth control, and how to use a condom.

  1. Consent Is the Everything

Another way to create sexual awareness is to teach what consent means; what good touch and bad touch are. If someone says no, you are NOT allowed to have sex with them.

And, that rape can occur even in a relationship or marriage. The more presentable and practical way of explaining consent is through skits and street plays.

  1. Referral to Advertisements & Videos

Media offers opportunities to youth to gain information on sensitive topics. And thus, it is a likely source of sexual health information for young people. Other than putting it in a bad frame, the advertisements and videos can be used to create awareness. Besides, it is better than any other source because auditory or visual messages are far more engaging and interactive ways of communication.

  1. Campaigns and Blogs Are Another Way

If videos and advertisements do not work or cannot be arranged, then you must certainly switch to blogs and campaigns. For instance, Advocates for Youth,  GSA Network and so forth are really good examples of sex awareness and education platforms. Project SAFE (Sexual Awareness for Everyone) is another initiative taken for creating sex awareness. This project focuses on different components like:

  • STI clinic-based behavioral intervention to reduce risk for HIV
  • imparting culturally specific information
  • STI screening, counseling, treatment and so on
  1. Parental Engagement is Equally Important

Unless parents create a comfortable environment for children, kids can never truly learn. Sometimes, even parents lack the right knowledge. The only way to fill this gap is to engage in conversation with your kid.

Tell them that sex is not a taboo. Do not mistake it as an encouragement. Share with them how waiting until they feel ready is important. Never say they can only have sex when married. A great way is to remind them that it’s they who can determine when they’re ready to start having sex.

  1. Open up About LGBTQ Community, Guide Them Too

Keeping a broad view about different sexualities is a major part of sexual awareness. Depicting their side of the story through screenplays and documentaries is a way to create awareness.

Also, generating awareness amongst their community is imperative. Since a homosexual couple can’t get pregnant, that doesn’t mean they should not know be aware of unprotected sex, consent, and rape. It’s important to note that they need precise medical information as much as straight students.

Amidst the stereotypes and interdicts, we do have people who are taking initiatives to bring the change. Modern relationships and unapologetic party culture are setting new examples and bringing a breathable change. Let’s make the change work, leave behind the covers of orthodox ideologies and say it loud, Sex is not a taboo anymore.

Ayushi Bhatnagar

January 13, 2018

Contributor Bio – The blog is presented to you 9ightout, an application that brings exciting party offers and experiences. The essay is written to highlight the importance of sex awareness to create a healthy and inclusive society.

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