Taboo Sex Culture

We’ve all been there as a kid. You’re watching TV, and right as your mom walks in the scene changes to passionate love making. Shit. The first thing you feel is utter embarrassment, and a little bit of awkwardness. But why? Our culture is one that monetizes sex, and some adults do a really great job of hiding the truth to kids growing up. More than anything “taboo” sex culture focuses solely on the “bad”, and whatever’s “good” becomes a hush-hush topic of conversation. Thankfully, there’s been a huge culture shift in the past 5-10 years into one that is a little more accepting of sex and sexuality. Sex and intimacy are natural and necessary for the human body, but there are still gigantic flaws in the system that prevent healthy sex-talk and proper sex education for people of all ages. 


Even though it has become easier to be more open and honest about sex on social media, it still hasn’t necessarily shifted into a dinner-table conversation just yet. Sexual education is not starting early enough and the conversations aren’t happening in the places where kids should feel the safest to be open: their own home. Parents and guardians all over the nation continue to censor sex scenes or down-play sex questions that children are curious about. Real talk: we need to end stork culture! (you know-- the myth that makes children believe that they were somehow brought into this earth by a bird). This kind of diversion tactic leaves kids in a state of confusion, with so many unanswered questions. 

Growing up in a Catholic household, we NEVER talked about sex. Because of this, as a kid I was always scared of sex; it was the unknown terrain that I was never supposed to watch or talk about or even think about. I remember that moment when two people would kiss on TV, I would cringe and put my hands over my eyes shouting, “EW!” My parents thought it was hilarious. Looking back though, I wish that someone would have told me that intimacy and connection wasn’t supposed to be an “ew” moment but that it was normal for people to display affection towards one another. My parents were always quiet on the subject but some parents go as far as shaming their kids for exploring their body and sexuality. Both types of communication create a negative social construct for children as they enter the world. They feel fear and rejection as they begin their journey to explore the world around them, and it all starts with how they are taught to view themselves from an early age.


Studieshave shown that children become aware of their sexual development as early as their first years. With most children aware of their sexual orientation early on, parents and trusted adults are a child’s only guide into the world. With this in mind, facial expressions or tones of voice can really make or break a child’s confidence in expressing their sexuality. Women especially feel a lot of shame when it comes to talking about sex and their experiences. Generally, if a man talks about his sexual life he receives praise but it’s not always the same for women. In an article written for the Huffington Post, Erin Moynihan speaks about a condition that many women have called Vaginismus. She talks about her and many other women's experience with a largely misdiagnosed condition that causes extreme pain in the vagina during intercourse. The reason why a lot of women never figure out their diagnosis is because many doctors continually “minimize women’s pain, especially when it’s related to reproductive organs.” It’s not really safe or fair for women to be treated like they can’t speak up about things that they experience during sex just because religious and social systems set in place want to paint a virginimage of a woman. No matter who you are, you are entitled to personal sexual liberty. 


Sex is a beautiful thing, it’s natural, it’s fun and it should be addressed in ways that continue to normalize it. Improving the standards of communication in homes will eliminate shame for many people who are open to exploring their sexuality. At the end of the day, being open and honest about sex helps everyone understand their own bodies better! It also creates more educational opportunities for students, doctors and all people to engage in. To be curious and challenge the “taboo” quality of sex is important if we want to begin to have better discussions on it.  


I leave you with one of my favorite sex jokes:


What do you call a herd of cows masturbating?

Beef strokin’ off.