As teenagers, there was always one word that was bound to cause the giggles, sex because it seemed like such a strange and foreign concept.
Yet, that can quickly turn into a shameful sense of confusion, as people start to witness their bodies and sexual interests changing.
Being a teenager can be a traumatic and confusing time, without adding sex into the mix. And if we want to help teenagers to navigate this journey, we are going to have to get better at how we discuss all things related to reproduction.
We have to talk about it
If you’re anything like us, you probably dreaded watching movies that had sex scenes in with your parents, as they were enough to reduce you to bright red, embarrassed mess. Despite sex being a normal human experience, there’s still a stigma and embarrassment that leads people to avoid talking about it.
If we are to create a community that is ethical, appreciative and aware of sexual health and other related problems, then we have to start actually talking about sex. And doing so in a manner that normalise sexual relations. Until we challenge sex related stigma, we’re probably never going to get past this blush inducing stage and so, it’s going to require a heck of a lot of effort.
It’s already changing, as younger generations are learning more for themselves and therefore becoming more confident with addressing such conversations.
And if we all do our bit, by talking to other people about sexual matters, eventually it’ll just be another conversation like everything else.
One size fits all
These days young people are receiving most of their sex education from the internet and more specifically, the porn industry. And yet whilst it can encourage a healthy relationship with sex in some regards, it can also be misleading and damaging for a young person’s emotional well-being.
Aside from advocating a full-on ban, which is never going to happen and not something that we would ever support, it’s time to accept that accessible porn is now part of most people’s lives. So, like most things in life, we have to change how we treat porn and educate young people on how to use it responsibly.
We have to remind them that, like many other arms of the entertainment industry, porn is a product and it is therefore not meant to be entirely truthful. There are certain parts that are designed to reflect real life, whilst other aspects are entirely unrealistic. It’s important to remind people of this, so that they are able to address any feelings of inadequacy and to reality check their expectations.
This includes making them aware that some activities are best kept within the porn world or with a consensual partner, but that these are never things that people should be pressured into. What’s more, it’s important to remind people that there are many different body shapes and types and there is absolutely no right or wrong way to look.
If we want to ensure that all young people feel able to address their feelings or concerns about sex, we have to change the way that we actually talk about it
As people become more and more accepting of varying relationship styles or sexual definitions, it’s no longer justified to use outdated, old-fashioned terminology.
If we all embrace these subtle changes, eventually we can ensure that we change how we talk about sex. And in our opinion, that can only be a good thing.