Why are we so afraid to talk about sex? This is a question that I’ve found myself contemplating a lot lately. This past weekend wrapped up the student written, directed and produced “Genital Monologues” and I found myself involved for the second year in a row. Two of the three shows hosted a talk back that directly followed, and at the talk back that I participated in, I found myself in a room full of people who were willing to openly, unabashedly talk about sex. I quickly surveyed the crowd, to gauge body languages and people seemed pretty calm and relaxed, as if it were completely normal to talk about sex so openly, on a Saturday night in an academic building. But why isn’t it? Part of the allure to monologues such as these (including the Vagina monologues) is the usual taboo associated with it. College students, professors and faculty alike undeniably get some kind of enjoyment from participating in such a controversial event.
I work at the Center for Women and Gender Action, which means as a staff member, I handle condoms and lube so frequently that it becomes second nature to ask our boss to order some more dental dams or condoms from whistler. We host events such as “Sex Discussed Here” and “I <3 the Female Orgasm” so for us, talking about sex is as normal as discussing the weather outside, but this isn’t the case for everyone. We live in a society where discussing sex is a taboo that makes many squeamish and uncomfortable. Most parents dread having the sex talk with their teens just as most teens would rather do anything else than discuss sex with their parents.
There are ways to talk about sex in “tasteful” ways. It is important to promote healthy sex, especially to our older teens and those entering college. Not talking about sex is not going to stop people from having sex, but it will make them extremely uncomfortable with it. Promoting safe, healthy sex is important in college, especially when we live in a time where sexual assault is prevalent in high numbers on college campuses. One of the reasons that I continue to participate in V-Day and the monologues year after year is because it is a promotion of safe, consensual, healthy sex. Lets step outside of our comfort zones, start taking openly and honestly about safe, healthy sex and maybe, just maybe that will directly help combat the rising numbers of sexual assault and rape in our society. Lets get comfortable with taking about sex, and how one should ask for sex and even how one should turn down sex. Transforming our society into one that has people who are comfortable asking as well as denying sex, without consequence would greatly help. Lets face it, consent is sexy.