Why is talking about sex so hard sometimes? It's hard not to envy those people free to discuss their sex lives - the good and the bad. One of the many aspects of our growing sexual culture is our growing acceptance of easily talking about sex. This week's Sex Stories We Love explores just a few of the many sexual conversations you really should be having.
Sex Stories We Love: How to Get Back in Sync, Doctor Talk, & Talk to Your Kids
What Are We Even?
For some, this isn't even a conversation. For others, the defining relationship talk(s) can be a challenging and difficult process. Back in the day, there wasn't this type of struggle. And, boy oh boy, were those times so simple and so very naive. The expectation was meet + fall in love + get married = soulmates forever. This may have been the expectation and the norm...but it was far from reality. Relationships have always been fluid and mutable. Relationships have always been complex and varying. I don't think it is a stretch to say that everybody's romantic and sexual relationships have necessarily unique and special characteristics. The cookie-cutter model was never, ever possible. Fortunately, we're now exploring different relationship expectations and models. So, while this conversation might be hard,, it is necessary and will, hopefully, help everyone to find their happiness.
How to Get Back in Sync
So, there you are. You've got a great relationship. Everyone's happy and you're feeling good! You think everything is going along tickety boo, but then you notice there's one aspect of being together that just isn't clicking. I mean, if a relationship is going along great, you should be having awesome sex...right? The realty is that sex is just one part of a relationship and can be both intertwined and standalone. Just because everything is going well otherwise doesn't mean your sex life can't fall out of sync. Is this a reason to panic? Not likely. Everybody's sex is completely individual. It is unreasonable to think we'll always be aligned with our partners all of the time. Stress, illness, family work, diet...so many different parts of our lives can impact our sexual desire and interest. Being open and honest is key to ensuring everyone knows what is going on and assumptions aren't then made of why things aren't the best at that moment.
Back in Action
Now, you've set the relationship in motion. You're feeling good and in sync. It is then possible that you might want to become parents. For some folks, this means that someone is going to give birth. That is a rather momentous life experience. Emotionally and physically, having a baby means major life changes. Fortunately, some are usually just short-term. So, where does sex fit in? How soon after having a wee baby are folks becoming sexually active again? Is this a sex-related conversation you've had? Depending on your medical circumstances, there's no right or wrong answer of when you should or shouldn't start having sex again. Check out these shared experiences.
Recovering from childbirth is just one of the circumstances that can cause pain during sex, particularly for women. Unfortunately, like many aspects of women's sexuality, the reality of sex being uncomfortable or painful has been overlooked by the medical community. Women have long struggled with doctors and the medical establishment to get their sexual health needs recognized. That struggle is far form over. Hopefully, a new breed of physicians is emerging who are keep to have important conversations with women and then provide them with the best possible care.
Talk to Your Kids
Those who decide to have kids recognize that the inevitable birds and the bees conversation will happen sometime in the future. It is key that parents take an active role in the children's sex education. Schools also play a significant role in helping kids understand the many complexities of sex, sexuality, and gender. For all of the conservative bluster around the world, we're learning more and more that actual sex education can help and abstinence-only sex ed causes harm. Giving out condoms in schools makes great sense. It's helped reduce the instance of sexually transmitted infection and does not "promote" sexual behavior. On the other hand, it seems abstinence-only sex ed could reduce kids' ability to recognize sexual signs of sexual abuse. The choice seems pretty clear - talk to and teach kids about sex.
Bring a Sleeping Bag!
Finally, would you let your gay kid have sleepovers with kids of the same gender? This is an interesting question that some parents must consider.
Jon Pressick is a sex-related media gadabout. For more than 20 years, Jon has been putting sex into our daily conversations at his long-running site SexInWords—as a writer, editor, publisher, sex toy reviewer, radio host, workshop facilitator, event producer and more. These days, he focuses on writing for Kinkly, GetMeGiddy, The Buzz and PinkPlayMags and editing Jason Armstrong's series of Solosexual books. You can find him on Twitter at @Sexinwords.