Column: Let’s talk about sex

Hannah Smith, Staff Writer

Hannah Smith
Hannah Smith

Sit down America, it’s time we had the talk.

Let’s admit it, you’re reading this because you saw that big “S” word in the headline and your heart jumped a little and you thought, “oh my gosh, we can’t talk about that! Sex is a bad thing. But wait… will there be pictures?”

Those three little letters have caused more anxiety for young adults than midterms and finals combined. When a professor mentions the topic we all giggle a little and suddenly hope no one in class can read minds, but when it’s brought up on television we’re all so shocked and upset because they’re filling our minds with these “evil” ideas.

I can’t think of something that would ruin my day more than hearing my mother say the word “penis.”

But why?

Why is something that is so natural so taboo? Something that is crucial for giving us life being treated like the worst crime you could ever commit?

Because society is trying to pretend that sex, something that is an enormous part of everyone’s life, doesn’t actually happen.

Growing up in America I’ve learned that we all pretend to be so sheltered and naïve, but any parent who honestly believes their kid hasn’t at least thought about doing the dirty deed obviously doesn’t remember anything about their pubescent years.

It’s a perfectly normal and healthy way of thinking and those parent-to-child talks—while they might seem horribly awkward at first—are so essential for starting off your adult life on the right foot.

Okay okay, so you don’t want to talk about sex because you’re choosing to be celibate, which is perfectly respectable.

But for the rest of us, let’s think back to Smokey the Bear for a second—the best way to prevent a forest fire is to… not talk about fires?

No.

The best way to prevent anything from happening is to open up the conversation and be able to talk about it and make a logical and mature decision on your own.

According to Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association, Teens in the United States and Europe have similar levels of sexual activity. However, European teens are more likely than U.S. teens to use contraceptives generally and to use the most effective methods; they therefore have substantially lower pregnancy rates”

In Europe, sex is a far more common topic of conversation. They can talk about it as though it’s a human behavior rather than a sin against humanity.

These open channels of communication often lead to better decision-making in the end.

It’s sad that when we hear people openly talk about sex and we just assume they’re one of three things: a skank that sleeps around with everyone, an overconfident douche that has to compensate for a lacking member or a creep that sits at home in front of a computer all day.

We yearn for a time and place where it’s “socially acceptable” to talk about sex, especially in college when so many of us are just beginning to explore in this grand new territory.

We have questions! We need confirmations! We just want to talk about how great last Saturday night was!

Johnny curves a little to the left, is that normal? Sally fell asleep half way through, is that good?

We need to find groups of friends and not be too shy to start a conversation about sex. Just ask each other questions and don’t worry about being embarrassed because chances are, someone has gone through the exact same thing as you.

We can’t let society blind us with false innocence any longer.

Hey, it’s just sex! So sit back and enjoy the ride.