How we learn outdated messages around sex
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Sex. it can be such a taboo subject, especially for girls. Young women who like sex are far too often instantly branded as sluts. And those who don’t? Prudes. This classic double-edged sword, first referenced by Molly Ringwald within 'The Breakfast Club'. The problem is that movie is from the 80s and this problem surrounding girls and women and sex has made small steps but not an overwhelming amount of significant progress since then. We wouldn’t continue on other trends from the 80s such as the hideous neon legwarmers and bad perms, so why do we carry on the equally outdated opinions towards sex.
Truth is women enjoying or not enjoying sex has always been such an issue in modern history and it’s problematic for so many reasons. Women and girls have been taught for way too long that sex means giving up a part of themselves, that once they have sex, they have given a part of themselves away. This idea instilled in young women can be so toxic because they can begin to feel as if a part of them is lost forever after sex, this is not the case. Sex should be thought of as a mutual thing, as you sharing something with another individual, not as you giving something to them that then becomes theirs.
When you choose to have sex, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about that decision, it is yours. If you choose to not have sex, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about that decision, it is yours. Having or not having sex should be a decision that is yours and only yours. Sex is indeed intimate, you are choosing to give access to your body to another person, but remember that as long as you and your partner both have a firm understanding of consent, it is fully okay to decide you're ready for sex.
Irish Catholic schools are great for many things, but sex-ed certainly isn’t their specialty and so the information these teens and kids are provided with about sex is often incredibly outdated. Sex and what sex means is also growing in many different ways too, the original act of penetrative sex does not have to be your idea of sex. For some people, it is many other things and this can depend on your sexuality or just your personal preferences and what you and your partner prefer. When it comes to sex there is no normal, you choose what your normal is. Sex doesn’t have to be a big deal, but for some people, it can be. it’s all about finding out what works for you and being comfortable enough with yourself and your partner to try what you feel works for you.
As a society, we need to work to remove the taboo from sex. Because at the end of the day, if you don’t want sex, fantastic, don’t have sex! And if you do want sex, fantastic, have sex! As long as you remember sex should always be safe and consensual sex.
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