Good afternoon, fellow Kings and Queens. Earlier this week, we touched at the immense joy that having a fully-fleshed out sexual experience can do for an individual.
We also started talking about some of the greatest obstacles in the way of Americans receiving a kick-ass Education about sex. And when we can overcome those obstacles, that will in turn lead to a kick-ass healthy sexual society. As a Whole.
And I promise, more of the posts will be on the former, but first we have to diagnose the causes of pain before we can prescribe a remedy.
4) When Contraception IS Discussed, It is Not Shown Favorably
Last time we spoke of Abstinence only education, and the actual damage that it can cause, against which it was originally supposed to protect.
Some schools however, are taking a brief moment to talk about other forms of contraceptive.
That’s good, right?
Well… Yes and no.
While some schools are taking the time to mention other contraceptives, like condoms or birth control, they are mostly glossing over the information, only to emphasize how INEFFECTIVE they are.
Schools may say “condoms are prone to breaking” or “XYZ contraceptive can cause fertility problems further down the road,” with a greater emphasis placed on abstinence in place of these other methods.
TO BE CLEAR…
These statements are simply not true.
Many contraceptives, when used properly, have an effectiveness rates between 90-99%, and even when used improperly, reduce your risk of pregnancy or STIs by 75% or more.
To liken to the metaphor from last installment, where we said abstinence only education was like sending our youth into battle without armor, this is again like teaching them briefly that “Armor and weaponry exists, but it wont save you from 100% of sword attacks, so forget that and charge forward bare-breasted into the world.”
There is a disconnect.
For those of you that see this, and wish to educate and defend yourselves, Bedsider.org has a great resource to visually observe what contraception options are out there, the pros and cons of each, and their effectiveness.
5) Stick of Gum
Let’s pop back in time a bit.
On June 5, 2002 a forteen year old girl named Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home in Utah, and held for nine months against her will, during which time she was repeatedly raped and threatened, until she was finally rescued by police on March 12, 2003.
Fast forward several years later, and Elizabeth is now an advocate for victims of human trafficking and abduction.
If you want to see a young lady that has faced her demons, learned to love herself, and grown into a Queen, look at Elizabeth Smart.
During one of her speaking engagements at Johns Hopkins (I’ve included her full speech here, but the moment I am focusing on starts at about the 10 minute mark), she mentions that when she was in school, she was taught that having sex before marriage was like being a chewed up piece of gum.
That if she engaged in sexual activities before marriage, she was automatically DEVALUED as a human being.
“And who is going to want [me] after that?”
Imagine the heartache that it must be for someone who, in a situation like that, has no control over what is happening to their body…
But the trauma does not just stop with Elizabeth Smart.
Countless metaphors taught all over the country illustrate how premarital sex makes them less valuable.
From a piece of tape that loses is “bonding power” after sticking to multiple people,
To even a pair of dirty sneakers…
How would you feel if you or your child were compared to a set of dirty sneakers?
The rhetoric that revolves around premarital sex is not only ineffective (the average age of first sexual contact is around 17), but is harmful for their continuing sense of self worth.
Sex should not be a Shameful activity.
One should be able to have a healthy sex life, and their sex and relationship with society or even spirituality can coexist peacefully.
But this rhetoric around how Sex DEVALUES someone has to end,
and then we can all move towards a new understanding about what it means to be human.
6) There is No Talk of what a Healthy Relationship Looks Like
Just like how many young people turn to porn to learn about how sex is “supposed” to be, many others learn about what an ideal relationship is through…
you guessed it.
Film and television.
They see their teenage heartthrobs on screen, the passionate woahs of their high-and-low, on-and-off onscreen romance.
And they believe that is what a relationship is “supposed” to look like!
I am guilty of both.
A few years ago, I had a penchant for BDSM porn and a little TV show called “How I Met Your Mother,” during which a young man, in pursuit of finding his soul-mate, falls hopelessly in love with just about every woman he encounters. That was my templates for how my life should have been.
If that seems like an odd combination, that’s because it IS.
And it didn’t work well for relationships either.
It wasn’t until I could separate what was fiction from reality, which included actually cutting back on my consumption of both material, that I could begin to have a healthy relationship.
Here’s the thing…
I had to discover it on my own. I was never taught the dynamics of a healthy relationship in school.
And I would guess to say that many of you didn’t either.
If your High School was anything like mine (And keep in mind that I went to one of the largest, most progressive schools in the state of Texas) the only real talk about relationships we received was for the week in Health Class freshman year, when they teach you “Having sex will put unnecessary strain on your relationship.”
That was it.
And while I agree that there is definitely some wisdom in waiting until you are mature enough to process the feelings that will inevitably go along with sexual exploration, a more thorough explanation is merited for teens and young adults.
Explanation that includes:
“Should you choose to have sex, here is what a healthy approach to it might look like.”
“This is what informed, enthusiastic consent looks like.”
“Acknowledge the fact that your partner is human. They are not perfect. Have patience for them.”
Sex, as it is today, is simply taught as a barrier to a healthy relationship. Not only is that not true, but can help bolster and strengthen a healthy relationship…
IF we know what a healthy relationship looks like.
That is where it starts.
This list is far from comprehensive, and is so far only limited to MY perspective and experience. There are issues of LGBTQ inclusiveness that I haven’t covered, and countless more.
The truth is, I could write a dozen Blog posts over each and every one of these.
That will come with time.
For now though, I think this is a good start.
If we as a society can tackle some of the issues presented here, with the overall health and happiness of our youth in mind, we can start to move towards a society brimming full of Kings and Queens that are excited to share their love with the world.
If you think this will add value to somebody: Like, Comment, or Share to spread the Love.
And if you have any topics in particular you want covered, or questions you would like answered, drop it down in the comments below or contact me through the portal here, and I will work on an answer for you.