Ready? We're just going to treat this week's Sex Stories We Love like a band-aid. It is all about the painful side of sex - personal and social. So here we go: Three. Two. One ... rip!
We Must Talk About Sex
I don't agree with all of the statements about pornography in this editorial on the need to have difficult conversations about sex, but that is not the point. Instead, I admire how Roe McDermott writes passionately about the need to have conversations about sexual and sex-based topics. Those topics, such as pornography, misogyny, and consent, that swirl around our collective society consciousness (but still remain largely undiscussed). McDermott is spot on noting that we are fine with "shock," but we just can't handle "uncomfortable." It is important to note that conversations around uncomfortable sexual topics usually happen in the aftermath of a crime committed against a woman or many women. These conversations must be had to stop that pain.
The Death of Sex on the Net?
Perhaps if we were already involved in these painful conversations, governments would be less inclined to push through legislation such as the FOSTA-SESTA bills in the United States. It would be disingenuous to deny that human trafficking for sex happens. It does. Yet, the rhetoric and hyperbole that gets swept up in discussions of human trafficking deflate and disregard the very real existence of legitimate sex work. These bills, which aim to clean up the Internet of the potential for human trafficking, are so broad and vague that they will, and already have, put huge fear into the individuals and companies that use the web to conduct sex work away from the streets. Because these laws are so vague, the opportunity to talk about sex online is being threatened. How this plays out will need to be watched closely by all of us.
Ce N'est Pas Bon!
So, where can all of this lead? We don't want to talk about sex, and we don't want sex on the internet. This is really just a continuation of the trend to get sex out of our lives altogether. For all of the good that advancing sex education is making these days, we are still living in a painful time where people want sex out of our view and off our sites. One way we see that is in the continued gentrification of our physical landscape. I've often been told that I'd have loved Times Square back in the day, with all of its sleazy sexiness. Toronto's Yonge Street used to boast a fairly slutty facade as well. It appears that Paris is now suffering the same fate. Among other businesses, sex shops are disappearing from the Paris streetscape. Sure, what is replacing them might be awesome. The New York and Toronto versions of the past might have been garish. But sex needs to remain on the streets of our lives. We can't push it to the side or off the grid. Out of sight means out of mind. Out of mind leads to the two previous stories discussed.
Understanding Sexual Anxiety
So, the world of sex is shrinking around us. Less on the internet, less in the streets, and less conversation. It is no wonder at all that people are having issues with sexual anxiety. This wonderfully reflective piece provides some excellent tips and advice on how to deal with the worries, fears, and confusion that may lead to difficult or unfulfilling sex. Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways for different people. However, much like sex, discussions of mental health are also a challenge in current society. Combine the two and you may have nowhere to turn. Take heart in these ideas. If you need more help, reach out and we'll do our best to find the right people to help you.
The Difficult Truth
Of course, sometimes sex itself is painful. No, really! All too often the picture painted of sexual touch is that it is a purely pleasurable activity. Sure, we've idealized sex to be something that everyone loves all the time. Yet, the human body doesn't work like that. Dyspareunia, or painful sex, is a concern for some people, particularly if they have a vagina, vulva, cervix, ovaries, or a uterus. It is important to be aware of your body and the pain it feels. If you suffer from the symptoms noted in this article, please consider seeking medical attention. If you are ever pressured to have sex even when it hurts, you can stop and you can say no.
Finally, some say our twenties, you know - that age when you're really gettin' it on and fumbling around like fools, is a difficult time. Whoa boy, turns out sex in your thirties might be far more painful.