I couldn’t even really say the word sex out loud until I was 14. Even then it was whispered, or mimed or camouflaged as “banging” or “IT”.
Growing up in a semi-conservative African family, sex was one of those things that no one really wanted to acknowledge or talk about. I remember perfectly the awkward moment when my mom walked into the room just as Noah and Allie decided to consummate their love (on the floor) in The Notebook; I froze not knowing whether I should change the channel or not.
It is funny how the absence of dialogue is also what makes it more necessary.
Sex, much like everything else in life is a journey that can only be defined by the individual. We have to be sensitive to people’s bodies, to the most intimate parts of their physicality. We have to grow towards a society where virginity does not exist and the naked female body is not a commodity; where consent is nonnegotiable and mutual understanding the foundation. Where there is respect of female and male bodies and we are not condemned by our communities because of our sexuality. Where sex is not the only reason for conversation, but part of the conversation.
I think one of the things that get to me the most is the over ‘sexualization’ of nakedness. Being naked DOES NOT equal sex. Unfortunately, people see a nipple and freak out; a nipple is a nipple is a nipple, get over it. Please.
Perhaps we are all just the product of an oversexed and over stimulated generation? I don’t have the answers, but I do have some questions.
- Cosmo Mag, as a teenager reading your magazine I always wondered why most of your content was centered around pleasing a man and satisfying his needs. Why wasn’t there more content about our needs and our pleasure?
- Why is someone’s sexual orientation the business of the government or the law? Like really? It’s not as if the economy will fall just because two men want to be together.
- How do 98% of the half-naked women on Instagram have that waist to hip ratio. It’s stressful -__-
All jokes aside, growing up African, and Christian and a woman, my relationship with sex has always been a little bit blurry and probably why I struggled so much to now think the way I do. It took me a long time to not associate sex with feelings of guilt or as something “sinful”, it took me a long time to open up my mind about the different views and practices around sex, and it took me a long time to accept myself as a sexual being, a definition which changes from person to person.
In my opinion. Sex and sexuality is one of those things that is at the essence someone’s identity. We all have our own different encounters and experiences with sex and the most important practice is to be sensitive to each other and to stop marketing set ideals around sex and sexuality, especially in ways that it appears vulgar. It is a way of expression that should not be categorized, exploited or vilified.
Sex. Let’s talk about it in our households, in our communities and even in our places of prayer.