“The talk” should not be taboo

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By: Annie Sragner, Arts & Life Editor

Sex has become increasingly prevalent in mainstream culture. Back in the 1950s and 60s, the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” shocked the masses with its provocative message, and Elvis had a one-way ticket to hell for shaking his hips.

But now pop culture is super-saturated with sex. Most ads feature a scantily clad model, and most music videos, movies, video games and even cartoons contain heavily sexualized images. This overabundance of sex numbs our reactions to it, so much so that sex is expected and commonplace.

Although the media constantly distributes sexual images, individuals are often very hesitant to discuss the matter in person. Society often shames people who openly discuss sex by calling them “perverted” or “dirty” – especially women. This dismissal of sexual conversation leaves us to our own devices to figure it all out.

Take the pornography industry for example. People value the fantasy of porn, but its overabundance in society blurs the lines between what is real and what is entertainment. When we make these images our expectations, we are led to disappointment when the real thing doesn’t match up.

This is why it is so important for people to have the comfort of open and honest discussion. Talking about our experiences creates collective knowledge for us to learn more about the many aspects of sex.

We need to abandon our stork explanations and equip people with factual knowledge so they are able to pursue healthy sex lives. When we know more about how sex really works, we can apply that knowledge to our own lives and make informed decisions that match our preferences and needs.

Once we make informational resources readily available for people, we open the channel for conversation and abolish the isolation in a facet of life that affects everyone.

Whether you are sexually active or not, we all got here because of it. Sex is the driving force that perpetuates life and it is a power far greater than any of us. Instead of shooing the topic of sex away and choosing ignorance, we owe it a tremendous amount of respect.

Sex is a natural part of life and the more we know about it through proper education, the less we have to figure out on our own. Respect others for their perspectives and values, and know that sexuality is a spectrum, rather than a binary, regardless of the cultural norms.

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