Sex Ed in Bed
Sex: Casual and Important
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).
John Heidenry’s book What Wild Ecstasy, outlines the events surrounding the 1970’s sexual revolution. He makes a case (as others have) that this revolution was actually one wave in possibly several sexual revolutions. If this theory is true and if we are to evolve, it’s not a matter of if another sexual revolution will occur, it’s a matter of when. One factor that I believe is keeping our society from moving toward a revolution of more healthy and educated sexuality is a fearful hysteria that we have allowed to surround our understanding of sex.
The best example to demonstrate how we hold ourselves back is to look at how parents talk to their children about sex. It’s safe to say the majority of us grew up with parents who were uncomfortable talking about sex, or with parents who didn’t talk about it at all. Even when we asked innocent questions like, “Where do babies come from,” often, we were met with embarrassment, shock, or even worse, we were told a white lie. Long after the “answers” to our questions are forgotten, the negative experience we had talking about sex has a lasting effect. It’s this negativity that keeps us afraid to talk and educate ourselves further about sex. Thus, the stigma of sex being a taboo and controversial subject is perpetually passed on from one generation to another.
Conversely, sexologists recommend a different approach for parents to talk with their children about sex. To avoid a child developing negative associations to sexuality, a parent can answer a child’s innocent questions just as they answer any of their child’s questions honestly and casually, in the same tenor the child asked the question. Without the obstacle of making their parents uncomfortable, kids are able to be more informed to make wiser and safer decisions as they get older. Unequivocally, this kind of informal honesty needs to happen in our society and it’s way over due.
Instead of using fear tactics to educate the masses about STDs, we need to make the facts known as much and as “matter-of-factly” as possible. I’m proud to say the LGBT community is already doing its part to bring about this positive revolution. Take note of all the LGBT positive shows on TV today, like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It’s not like these shows are grabbing homophobes by the collar and yelling, “You’re badly uninformed and you gotta’ change your ways.” On the contrary, these shows often show us simply being ourselves and doing our “thang,” well, along with some glitzy, ratings-grabbing entertainment, of course. So as the homophobe channel-surfs by us, he (or she) may only stop for a second, but that’s one second that we have to harmlessly enter their homes and make them just a little less fearful of us. The public sees us as human beings, not scary stereotypes to be feared. We might even get in one of Carson’s (that blond from Queer Eye) hilarious zingers and get the public to chuckle a little. As a matter of fact, humor can be an incredible tool for diffusing sexual fear. I don’t think Ellen’s coming out would have been half as effective if she was in an action/adventure show.
Discovering our sexual attractions, be it gay, straight, bi, and so on, is an important rite of passage. Coming out as part of a sexual minority can be a difficult if not a negative experience for far too many people. While more high schools are trying to become LGBT sensitive, this culture is still highly acrimonious regarding its queer youth.
There will always be gossip rags that will make dramatic hysteria out of a celebrity’s most minute (if not completely fabricated) sex-capades. There will also always be religious fanatics that at the first hint of sexual freedom will predict hell-fire for us all. But I’m not going to let these negative extremes coerce me to hide what’s good and unique about my life including sexuality. After all, wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone felt good about their sexuality? Talking casually about your sexuality is only scandalous if we treat it that way. After all, don’t you hope coming out will someday be as commonplace and positive as someone realizing they are straight? So don’t worry too much about censoring yourself at the expense of being yourself. Start an educational revolution by letting the genuine you flow as unconsciously as breathing.
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