The Trouble with being sexually open
February 13, 2010 1 Comment
My mind is programmed to take all possible quotes in a sexual way. You’ll know when it happens because I’ll be snickering like a schoolboy. Beware.
Today I want to talk about sex. This quote, from my facebook, may cause people to believe a number of things about me, including that I’m immature. I can believe that. I am, after all, a twenty-one year old college student. But no. My choosing to put this on my Facebook is not a demonstration on my immaturity. It’s a conscious choice that I’ve made, to demonstrate that my sexuality is simply another part of who I am (as well as having a sense of humor about it).
Some allege that the U.S. is a very puritanical society. Others that it is a very sexually charged society. I would argue that it is neither. Aspects of American culture are either one or the other, I would say, but sex and sexuality is still left in a shroud of mystery, especially to the young and inexperienced. And they are left to figure it out among themselves, and they do. We all have, in one way or another. Mostly, however, we learn by trial and error. With a lot of error.
I was one of those youth. I don’t like being in the figurative dark any more than anyone else does. Nor do I like keeping a part of myself secret, hidden and locked away, like a dirty, shameful thing. Sexuality isn’t a dirty, shameful thing, and it isn’t something that should never be spoken about.
Currently, our dialogue about sex and sexuality in spoken in the abstract, with euphemisms, or with 30-second soundbites. What would life be like if everything we talked about, in our personal or political lives, was in one of these three ways?
Life would be very confusing.
So I don’t.
Sometimes, I slip, and use abstract language. Unfortunately, I’m as much a product of my upbringing and surroundings as anyone else. But I won’t go back to hiding an entire part of my humanity, though it makes some uncomfortable.
We also take sex and sexuality very seriously. Sometimes, in my opinion, too seriously. There’s nothing wrong with cracking a joke every now and then (however, using someone’s sexuality to make fun of them, is not something I do, or approve of).
By being open and frank, accepting, honest, and humorous, I am trying to do my part in moving sexuality from being a hidden, taboo, mysterious thing, to simply being just another aspect of our humanity.
By doing this, by working from the bottom up, in addition to taking traditional avenues to change the world we live in, I think we can solve a lot of our problems. Because, we have to change the little things, to change the big things.
Naturally, by doing this, we open ourselves to more criticism and harassment. There is always a risk in doing something that general society disapproves of. My choice has not been without consequences, either–partly because of general attitudes in regards to being open about sexuality, and partly because I sometimes forget that not everyone knows or remembers that I’ll talk about sex or sex-related topics to just about anyone (whoops!). It’s made for some awkward situations. But for the most part, I’m pleased with my decision, and I hope that just by being open, honest, and frank, that others will become just a little more comfortable with sex.