Its 2019 and we still don't like talking about sex.
Except we do. When it's not personal. We enjoy pornography and sexual love affairs in film. We like seeing and talking about sex when it's not us. And when it's perfect and planned. We can joke about sex too, like all these tweets at the moment stating 'yeah sex is cool but have you ever..' We can talk about sex as a disassociated topic. Yet we all feel a little bit uncomfortable talking about our own sex lives.
I'm a very open person if you ask me I will probably tell you. But this is something I even struggle with. I think it is so important to talk about sex, and sexual health in general. As a society, we hype up sex in relationships. We teach each other that our sexual relationships have to be perfect, with the right person, at the right time, with the right contraception. We romanticise sex so much that a 'normal' sex life or sexual experience doesn't feel like enough.
The female orgasm.
Quite explicitly it doesn't happen a bloody lot to a lot of women, why ever that may be. Yet in the movies, it's happening all the time. Every time. Without fail. And this just doesn't correlate with reality. In some way, it is the complete opposite. I mean 9 times out of 10 a woman in a film will orgasm during sex, it is very very unlikely to be through foreplay. Which isn't really what happens in real life, within average only 18% of women saying they orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone. That's quite a lot of female experiences that the media just ignore.
Moral of the story - TALK. Talk about your sex life, with your partner, your friends, your colleagues or just with anyone that you trust.
I cannot stress how important I think it is to talk about sexual health. I think we struggle to see sexual health as a necessity. It matters, just as much as physical or mental health. It matters because we have so many things in place in our society that tell us how our bodies 'should' work and sometimes that doesn't always add up to how our bodies actually work.
If something isn't working for your body, tell someone. Talk to people, see what their advice is. But, and this is the biggest thing, do not be discouraged if what works for someone else doesn't work for you. Bodies are different.
When I first started looking at contraception I was 18 and I didn't know a lot. The one thing I did know was that I didn't want to be on the pill. I didn't want to forget and if I'm being honest, I did not want pregnancy to come back to my forgetfulness. So when I went to the clinic they suggested the injection, which lasts 12 weeks. I thought that sounded great, simple and easy. I was told that my periods may become irregular and that most women don't get any periods whilst on the injection.
I missed my first period. My second period lasted 3 weeks. At the 14 day point, I had a lot of blood loss, I actually thought I could potentially be miscarrying. I wasn't, I just bled a lot. I was told this was normal and given pills to slow down my bleeding by my doctor. Next month I had a normal period. Then I went to get my second injection. I was again told that my body had to settle into having the hormone. So I listened.
I missed my first period again. Then I bled for 8 WEEKS. 8 WEEKS and 4 days. After 14 days I started taking the pills, which clearly did not help. At some point during this time I was also given an ultrasound scan by my GP because they were worried about internal bleeding, there wasn't any. After 8 weeks and 2 days, I was due to have my 3rd injection. Again I was given the exact same advice and due to some travel circumstances at the time I opted to have the injection for a final time. I am convinced this is the only reason my bleeding stopped.
Please do your research and talk to people. I now don't use contraception, I've found it just doesn't work well with my body. My boyfriend and I are 1 year into using just natural family planning, and we have no baby! So I'm taking that as a win.
Because here's the tea. I needed someone to talk to. Someone to tell me actually no that's not okay. I tried to have the conversation, with two of my closest friends at the time (both women). Both of them shut me down. Telling me that sex and contraception was something we just 'don't talk about' and that it was actually making them feel sick with me talking about my bleeding. Yes I know, it's not the nicest conversation but it is necessary.
But the truth is we, as a society, have an issue with periods and blood and the fact that women bleed every month. It is 2019 and we have only just started using red liquids in adverts for sanitary towels. What is so taboo about the female body? What makes us so uncomfortable? Whatever it is, it needs to leave. 2019 is the year of forcing open conversations that should've been had many years prior to this.
So talk, because when you talk you learn. Learn about what you like and enjoy sexually. Learn what works for you. Learn to love your body and your experiences for what they are and not for what you're told they should be.