You are a prude. Do not try to refute it. I do not care if you are a porn star and have sex for a living. Prude. So am I, for the record. We are the product of our surroundings, which have given us a pretty skewed perspective when it comes to thinking about sex. I mean, even ads for laundry detergent are saturated with subliminal messages. We began processing these images the second we were able to understand shapes and colors. Simultaneously, however, sex is considered a taboo subject that is off-limits and not meant to be talked about. Ever. It is avoided by parents, condemned by religion, and policed by political agendas. At what point will we address the elephant. I distinctly remember a moment when I was about six years old at the grocery store and I saw a greased up celebrity in some netting smiling at me, urging me to learn about 69 positions that will make him go WILD. I almost cried.
Fast-forward 12 years later and I am a freshman in college in the exact same scenario. Well, not exactly the same. Everything was completely different except for the crying part. I had just ventured into one of my first sexual misadventures. It did not go well. Let us just say that I was not entirely unconvinced that sperm could not resurrect itself from the sheets and impregnate me—which, in hindsight, is a pretty great metaphor for my sex education growing up. Sex does not exist, but Christ did rise on the third day. Repress, repress, repress.
It was all about the chastity game until I was 18, at which point I was handed a few condoms and told to “be smart.” I was thrown from one extreme to the other. The mental imagery I currently have is someone ripping off a habit to reveal red sequined nipple tassels. I think it fits.
Sex should not, and absolutely cannot, be categorized into a crude binary of abstinence and near prostitution. So, why is it presented to us this way? It is similar to why college students binge drink. Drinking responsibly is not taught; adolescents are instead told that it is entirely off-limits and the conversation is left at that. This is why when we finally acquired some cheap keg, we literally did a hand-stand and chugged till we woke up the next morning with a bad reputation. It is the same with sex and college hook-ups. It is the first time you have a room to yourself and access to people just as curious and interested as you are. It is why one night stands happen. I am not saying they cannot be a good time, but they limit the possibility of intimacy and further understanding of your own sexuality. We have one night stands because we do not know how to talk about sex. We are embarrassed to mention what we like or do not like while feeling the tremendous pressure of knowing that nearly the entire campus is doing it. We are vulnerable, and that makes us more susceptible to making bad decisions and following along with the status quo in exchange for a sense of security. We need to start initiating conversations about sex at age appropriate levels to better our mental and physical health.