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Why it’s important to talk about sex

Sex is not something we can always avoid. It’s everywhere in our society, on TV, in films, in advertising, fashion and music. By the 21st century, you’d think we would all be open and relaxed about talking about sex, but more often than not, we still run a mile from discussing it. For many, it can be an awkward and embarrassing subject that might bring on feelings of inadequacy, anxiety or shame.

As we grow up, we receive many negative associations and messages about sex. Combined with a lacking sex education, most of us pick up our information from playground banter and movies. Sex remains a taboo subject for many people. However, silence keeps people ignorant so it’s vital to start opening up as a society and better educating at school level.

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Communicating about intimacy is risky for us and that’s what puts many people off. It leaves us vulnerable to potential criticism, judgement or even our worse fear – rejection. Revealing your thoughts, desires or needs can leave us humiliated or embarrassed if our partner doesn’t react positively.

Everyone seems to have a belief that everyone else they know is enjoying an amazing love life so who would want to listen to or understand their concerns or problems? We grow up believing sex is a natural occurrence that we’re just supposed to be good at. We learn many things growing up – how to do a job, how to study but no-one teaches us how to have sex. It doesn’t come naturally to many people. What people fail to realise is that the secret to being a great lover, is communication.

Sex is the most intimate act and as such, can leave us feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable, making it even harder to talk about. Many anxieties surface – fear of rejection, insecurities about our bodies, concerns over perceived unusual desires and performance doubts. All of these prevent us from communicating freely and openly.

Our health can suffer too but not opening up about sex and sexual health. If we don’t discuss safe sex and the prevention of STIs, people will continue to contract infections and spread them. For an STI test London, visit checkurself.org.uk/plus/

The only way to have better sex? Talk more about sex. Try to educate yourself through reading about sex, anatomy, techniques or anything else you wish to learn. Try to avoid using pornography, as this presents a very unrealistic and warped view of what real sex is about. Learning about sex and finding the right vocabulary will help you to communicate better.

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By becoming more intimate with a partner, you can develop an incredibly enriching, passionate and connected relationship with each other. Don’t brush it under the carpet or trivialise it – sex is important. It gives energy to a relationship, cements intimacy and boosts self-confidence.

Too many of us don’t know how to approach the subject of sex, with our friends, partners, doctors or children. The result being a lack of education, a lack of intimacy and potential health problems. Everyone, but particularly young people need access to strong, accurate information about sex, both emotionally, mentally and physically.

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