The year is 2019. We are far from the days of English Victorian’s placing trousers on piano legs because they were deemed too risque for the men of the house to deal with. We are also far from the days where an exposed ankle was perhaps the most shocking and steamy flirt a woman could exercise.
However, even in 2019, where the conversation surrounding intimacy and sex is stronger than ever, it’s important to know that there are still many blind spots that society shares. More and more young boys are getting their education in intimacy from hardcore material viewed online, while sexual education in schools seems less prioritized than ever.
This means that all of us of an appropriate age and inclination should be having healthy, constructive, and somewhat open discussions about this. Of course, this is still a private matter, so no one should ever feel forced into speaking their mind fervently regarding this topic. But the more the debate opens, the more people can feel more comfortable in their bodies, and can understand what is and isn’t acceptable.
Let us consider how that can be achieved, and of course, what it might achieve.
Discuss Sexual Health
Sexual health is an important part of this kind of discussion. It’s both important to lose the stigma surrounding these issues, to promote good practice and to ensure that everyone is in-the-know when it comes to seeking solutions or talking about issues they might be having. Sexual health is not something nice to have, it’s a must to exercise each and every time. We must feel comfortable about discussing where to source medication for genital herpes as well as how to practice safe sex effectively. We must also understand that being adventurous must always be tied to being safe. If we can all accept this as the norm, then grandstanding and problems that occur due to miscommunication, or those that suffer from health issues due to this can be well taken care of.
It’s a shame how we have to have these discussions almost 20 years into the 21st century, but then again this is a topic that will never stop being relevant. It is important to always discuss how consent is important. Why? Because as mentioned before, more and more young people are getting their first vision of sexual contact through online footage, footage that very rarely discusses topics such as these. But it’s important for even those young folks who are not as well-parented as they should be to know that before any kind of intimacy comes the human. Promoting consent is not something that should be considered optional, it is a must. For that reason, any discussion around sex and intimacy is not complete should it forgo this essential topic.
Take The Stigma Out
Of course, this will never be a conversation you can really have at the dinner table with your family members, unless you have a very open family or no one really minds. In other words, you’re never going to fully take the need for privacy outside of intimacy. There’s nothing wrong with that. Again, just because some of us have open attitudes does not mean we have to force those who do to discuss it. That would be extremely wrong of us to do.
However, we can take the stigma out. As long as we’re speaking respectfully and consensually, we can make progress here. After all, everyone feels attraction. Everyone wants to express their love. It’s important for us to do so, just as important as eating or drinking. However, something happens when we take the stigma out – taboos become less and less powerful than they might once have been. Remember, there’s more to intimacy than just the normal way we imagine it.
Emotional connection, presence, care, all of those things signal intimacy. They can be methods of explaining and expressing love. For example, someone with a physical limitation does not simply lack intimacy with a partner because they might have trouble consummating their love. That’s simply not the case. Taking the stigma out of the main issues around intimacy can help direct people’s minds away from the ‘most visceral’ things we imagine to something more akin to comfort and reason. If you can do that, then things start to get a little more topic, and the heated nature of the debate changes.
With this advice, we’re all sure to have healthier conversations surrounding intimacy – and that can only be a good thing.