Why Talking About Your Sex Life With Friends Is So Important, Because Sexuality Shouldn't Be Shameful

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"Aren't you embarrassed?" "You're so brave." "I didn't need to know that." "TMI." If I had a dollar every time someone told me one of those things, I'd be talking about sex even more than I already do — because it's bound to elicit one of these reactions. And after hearing them again and again, I've come to the conclusion that they're really about the other person's insecurities. There's nothing rude or unpleasant discussing about sex, and in fact, we should be discussing it more.

As a sex writer, I've become my friends' go-to person for sex questions. And it never ceases to amaze me how little all of us know. I've met women in their 20s who didn't know where their clitoris was. I've talked with friends about sexual phenomena that were so little-discussed, we thought we were the only ones to experience them. There wasn't even any information online about the vaginal contractions you sometimes have before orgasm until I talked about it with my friend, discovered I wasn't the only one who had them, and wrote an article about it so other people knew, too.

"I think talking about sex with your friends can help normalize interests and behaviors and it can also spark your imagination," Sarah Watson, licensed professional counselor and sex therapist, tells Bustle. "Friends can encourage you to try new things and expand your horizons. In my experience most people aren't educated on how to talk about sex so starting with your friends in a loving and safe environment can be very helpful!"

These conversations are crucial if we want to increase our understanding of our sex lives, our relationships, and our health. Information, after all, is a good thing, and I don't see how there could be too much of it. Here's why I won't stop talking about my sex life, no matter how grossed out people act.

1Because Sex Ed Doesn't Do Enough

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If we don't talk about sex, the bulk of our knowledge about it will come from either sex ed, which teaches most of us very little, or mainstream porn, which teaches us horribly inaccurate things. If we have no alternative source of information, we might go around believing that masturbation is wrong and that people with vaginas should orgasm through intercourse. The more we talk about sex, the more myths we can bust and the more accurate information we can bring to light.

2Because I'm Tired Of Everyone Feeling Abnormal

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I used to think I was abnormal for masturbating as a teenager. Then, I confessed to this habit during a "truth or dare" game when the "truth" was "what's your biggest secret?" and my friend said, "me too." Later in life, I was ashamed of not orgasming with my partners. When I finally told one of my friends, he said, "welcome to the why-haven't-I-come-yet club." I imagine I'm not the only one who's gotten tremendous relief from learning others shared my sexual proclivities and insecurities. If we don't talk about these things, we'll never get that reassurance, and we'll keep feeling abnormal when we're really not.

3Because Sexuality Shouldn't Be Shameful

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When we tell people not to talk about sex, we often imply that sex is disgusting, wrong, or embarrassing. And that implication can be dangerous. It can lead people to be ashamed of their bodies, closed off with their partners, and at war with their sex drives. When we teach people their sexuality is bad, we send the message that they're bad — because their sexuality is a big part of them. I want people to know their sex lives are OK to talk about, because their sex lives are OK, period.

4Because It's Good For Your Sex Life

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One of the best parts of talking about your sex life is comparing notes. Instead of relying only on your own experimentation, why not add others' tried-and-true tricks to your growing database of sex moves? I've learned way faster knowing what works for my friends that I would've figuring everything out on my own.  

5Because It's FASCINATING

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The same way I'm curious about outer space or art or neuroscience, I'm curious about sex. OK, maybe not quite the same way, because learning about distant galaxies won't exactly make me wet. But seriously, sexology is a fascinating field! Did you know there's a whole hidden part to the clitoris? Or that slugs have sex while hanging from threads in the air? There's a whole world of knowledge we're missing out on if we can't discuss anything sexual.

Look — if you specifically request that I don't talk about sex with you, I won't talk about sex with you. But I will go find someone else to talk about sex with. Sex is just way too fun, informative, and important a topic to stay silent about. And silence on the subject hasn't gotten us very far.