Hello all, this is a bit of a different post. However, I think it is incredibly important to talk about, and I am all for breaking the stigma. I also really enjoyed watching this video but it’s up to you guys if you want to watch it because it is long haha.
Go ahead and check out the NHS website, it does have loads of information about sexual health so you can have a read. Also this year’s “theme” is “relationships, sex and disability”. I am going to suggest going and watching this video because I think it is amazing and probably sums it all up perfectly. The video features individuals with disability’s talking about misconceptions and things people assume about those with disability’s and their sex life.
However, I personally don’t have a disability so I don’t think it would be fair or right for me to talk about that topic myself. This is why I linked that video to let others talk about their experiences and life. But I will be talking about the importance of sex and sexual health for ALL.
Firstly, my sex education class at school was shit. To sum it up I believe my teacher went “you should really think about it before you have sex before marriage” and “if you have sex you will get pregnant and you will probably get STI’s”. You are probably thinking what kind of teacher did I have, and you are right it taught me nothing except how to put a condom on and that I shouldn’t be having sex. I had to google and that is pretty much where I got all my information from.
In reality what should be taught is how to have safe sex, to be informed of different contraception’s (including positive and negative’s about the pill), talking about the first time, talking about consent, talking about STI’s, talking about how important it is to get checked out, LGBT relationships etc. I don’t think the right way is to attempt to scare teenagers, because they will end up doing it. Therefore, we need to educate them so they are fully prepared for when that time comes. By September 2020 the sex ed for schools is improving including all the things I just mentioned and this is a massive step!
I feel so strongly and passionate about this because I know I wasn’t ready for my first time. The world can be so stressful and pressurising, and we need to educate our young people so they are prepared.
Let’s talk and start with sex (I am no expert, I just want to encourage people to talk about sex and sexual health). Firstly, communication is key. Communicating with your partner about sex is important so that both of you are on the same page and both of you are ready (consent is a big issue nowadays which I think is great that it is being talked about). You need to be completely honest with yourself and your partner, and don’t be afraid if you are not ready. I think when the time comes you will know and you will be ready, and there really is no rush. On the other hand, it is incredibly important that you appreciate the honesty if your partner is not ready, and let them know it is ok and support them on that. There should be no pressure. Sex is not only a physical thing but it is a mental/emotional thing as well. You can read more from the NHS about first time sex here. The main thing is don’t be scared, for women if you are having penetrative sex is there may be a bit of bleeding and it might hurt but you can stop at any time if you are uncomfortable remember that.
Secondly let’s talk about contraception. I will put the NHS again here for all information. I think the main thing is to do your research and find out what contraception (this is for women) you want to use and whether it’s for you. At the moment the only contraception for men is the condom so make sure to always use that (unless you can’t medically or I don’t know). You just want the best protection you can really, so ask professionals and do your research. I am currently on the pill, but I have friends that have the implant and friends that have just got the coil. Also doing your research will inform you of the side effects as well which I think is important to read about.
Lastly, we need to talk about STI’s. Again here is a link to the NHS for all the information. STI’s are sexually transmitted infections, which can be passed between individuals through sexual intercourse or through oral sex. The important thing is STI’s don’t discriminate, anyone can get them and they can be passed from man to woman, from woman to woman or from man to man. This is why it is important to get regular checks if you are sexually active, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. The professionals work everyday with many individuals so they know what they are doing. They are there to help you and make sure you are receiving the best treatment (if you do have an STI). Don’t worry if the results come back and they are not what you expected, most STI’s can be treated with antibiotics. Getting checked means you can catch it early and get treated as quickly as possible with the best professionals who know what they are doing. One STI that has no cure as of yet is HIV, but it can be treated to prevent from getting worse. I honestly believe that it is worth a couple of minutes of feeling embarrassed to know that your body and health is good. It is a good thing to check on your health.
This post is already long and I apologise so I think I shall leave it there. I have put a lot of links in, but I think its important as I am no expert so there is information out there that can do a better job than me. However, I think it’s important to talk about sex, so ask questions and talk to adults and people around you.
Feel free to discuss, or talk about your experiences or any advice you have in the comments or if you have any questions! I now have the song “let’s talk about sex” stuck in my head. But, thank you for reading, and Happy Sexual Health Awareness week!