This week's Sex Stories We Love is a discussion. Well, really we hope every week's Sex Stories We Love prompts some chit chat about sex, but this week we're diving deep into what we think about sex and how we talk about it. The lines are open, callers!
Thinking about Sex
How often do you think about sex? Can you even quantify such a thing? And I don't mean you think about sex so often that you can't count that high (ba-da-boom!). I mean how does one even track something like that? Pen and paper? Is there an app for that? Regardless of your recording method, it seems Americans think about sex an average of eight times each day. The poll that produced this number provided some other interesting samplings into the minds of folks. As it turns out, people are more chatty about their sex lives, for the good and bad, than we sometimes might believe. Are the gags coming off (or, uhhh, on)? More talking about sex is a positive step in the right direction.
All Night Long?
I wonder if the above poll considered sex dreams. I know we can't really control when we have sex dreams. Is there a correlation between how often we think about having sex during the day and how often we think about it at night? Regardless, there is a more pressing matter. Do sex dreams matter at all? Well, maybe yes and maybe no. Really, we don't know much about what triggers dreams. As a prime example, you'd think a sex writer reading countless articles about sex each week might have some sexy slumbers, but nope. They are very rare. TMI?
Oh, Kids DO Know
As a parent and a sex advocate, I wholeheartedly believe some of the most important conversations we have about sex are with our children. However, this is still something people find challenging because of societal stigma and the ongoing debate about the place of sex education. And I tell ya, the first time you hear one of your kids react to, understand, or tell a sex joke with a specific sexual meaning can be quite a shocker. My eye-opening event came when my kids and younger family members demanded to play Cards Against Humanity. The youngest of the bunch understood way more than I expected. This wasn't as young as the kid described in the story. I do applaud Chantal Saville with how she handled the situation and hope all parents can learn something from it.
Too Much Sex Talk?
While you can surely guess which camp I subscribe to, some folks do not necessarily believe that our growing openness to talk about sex is the best thing. Instead, philosopher Jeanne Proust believes we might be eroding intimacy with our willingness to be frank about sex. Jeanne is also quick to point out that increased discussion has helped some folks, such as those with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community. I understand her point. However, given the dangerous sexual ideas that have pervaded culture throughout the last bunch of centuries, I am not sure that modesty is the way to go. Sure, you can play modesty games with your partners, but we can only progress past the dangers with true, open communication
Mental Health and Sex
And what is one of those dangers we need to get past in our sexual thinking? It is that sex and mental health can be intrinsically linked. No, this isn't a "If I don't get some, I'll go crazy!" proposition. Sex affects many parts of our lives, whether we're talking about desire, reproductive rights, parenting, consent, gender, sexual identity, or the host of other identities and circumstances. Because of the pervasive nature of sex, an approach to sex education that considers a multi-faceted discussion is key to righting the wrongs of the past, attempting equity, and providing the young, the old, and everyone in between with the knowledge that they are being heard, listened to, and respected. Here's hoping that this is remembered and acted upon as sex ed (hopefully) becomes adopted in all jurisdictions. And, hopefully, parents will do their part, too.
Honour Your Words
Finally, if you say you're going to wear a condom, wear the damn condom! The justice system definitely got this one right.
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