Yesterday was World Sexual Health Day and it got me wondering about how healthy our attitude to sex and sexuality is. What is the status of our collective sexual health?
Every day I am confronted by some bigoted, misinformed and uneducated person who believes that sex is a sin, that it is ‘private’ and should not be spoken about. That it is not in their ‘culture’ to talk about sex.
Sex is everywhere. On television, radio and school yard but it is uninformed, not real – a Hollywood and pornographic version of sex. This type of sex doesn’t help anyone.
So here is what I have to say, we’ve tried it this way and this is what we’ve got: People are having sex regardless, unwise, unsafe and unpleasant. Rape statistics are too terrifying to face, as is sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies, HIV and other STD infection rates and abandoned babies!
Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, vaginismus and a plethora of different psychological issues continue to prevent us from having a fulfilled and happy sex life. So I would argue that this way has failed! Dismally!
I know I sound like a broken record but sex education from day one is key. Dispel the myths, shine light into the darkness and talk about sex as a normal, healthy bodily function.
As most of you know by now, I run a small business that sells sex toys, lubricants and books. Please note that I did not say pornography, children, prostitutes or sexual favours!
Apart from the products we sell what we really offer is so much more.
We offer a service, a place to talk, learn and discover new things about yourself and your relationship. We will guide you in finding professional help if you need it. We’ll help you design a play and give advice on how to talk to your partner and your children about sex. We explain how the toys work and how to introduce them into your relationship and why you should.
On World sexual health day our mission is to normalize sex.
To some I am a hero and to many more, the villain, the devil incarnate. A title I am quite happy to bear in the name of progress.
Yes there are very dark places that sex can take you to. There will always be the lunatic fringe but they will be there regardless and if us, the normal garden variety sexually active folk don’t talk and shine light, then they will continue to give sex a bad wrap.
If your arm was broken, would you go to the nearest doctor and get it set? Of course you would. You may be a bit shy to admit how you broke it but you’d attend to it regardless. But let there be anything wrong with our genitals or your relationship and we would rather suffer than seek help, just because we are too shamed to talk about this natural part of human nature.
The 10 year old daughter of an acquaintance was raped last week. Her rapist was an 18 year old man. I call him a man because that is what he is to a 10 year old! The police think that he has been responsible for several rapes in the area including a little girl of 7! My immediate response is – why is he still on the streets? My next question is why is he doing this and how could we prevent it?
I know that rape is more about power and humiliation than sexual satisfaction but I have to believe that sex education can help. The police allege that they have been unable to arrest him because these young girls do not want to talk.
They believe that it is their own fault. The guilt and shame attached to these feelings will affect their sexuality for the rest of their lives! The parents’ sometimes don’t know and if they do, also don’t want their daughters talking about what happened. I think I understand why. I would also want to protect my child from reliving the trauma of rape. I cannot say how I would react in this situation and pray that I never have to but somebody has got to stop him.
Sexual Health is more than just about healthy genitals. It’s about a healthy attitude towards sex and sexuality. It should be fun and safe. It’s a vital part of a healthy relationship. It’s a human right.
We have to work at it to keep it fresh and intimate. I can spot a relationship that is sexually intimate and functional a mile away and I have to say that they are very few and far between. Sex is also the way we procreate and ensure the survival of our species. So best we get it right.
It’s my opinion that our sexual health is in very bad shape and it’s up to the likes of you and me to change it. For those of you who just pulled up your nose remember that you are only here because your parents had sex, healthy or otherwise, so get with the programme.
World sexual health day is on 4 September every year. What will you do to ensure that you maintain your sexual health?
For any comments or questions you can email me Sharon@lolamontez.co.za