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Sex and Society

Sex happens every day, every hour, every minute, in every country, every city, every small town. So why does society hold so much stigma against sex, sexuality and pleasure?

It's no surprise that conservative views on sex have stemmed from Colonial-Christian views and concepts. Before western colonisation, many countries had much more liberal views on sex, sexuality, and gender identity.

Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman societies had a relaxed view on sexuality, homosexuality was widely accepted and even acknowledged in art and literature. Some ancient Hindu and Tantric traditions celebrated sex as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment, you might have heard of the Kama Sutra, a classic Hindu text on love and sexual behaviour. In Pre-Colonial Indigenous cultures, many tribes recognised 'Two-Spirit' people, who embodied both feminine and masculine traits and held important roles in their communities. The Etruscans, an ancient civilization in Italy, were known for their open attitudes toward sex and their belief in the importance of pleasure, their art and artefacts often depicted sexual scenes. Some Pacific Islanders, such as the Tahitians historically had very relaxed attitudes toward nudity and sexual expression. In some Pagan civilisations, a female orgasm was seen as a way to sacrifice to the fertility gods.

As European powers expanded their reach in the colonial era, they often carried with them conservative interpretations of Christian doctrine which emphasised sexual purity, monogamy, and procreation within marriage. Concepts such as modesty, shame, and sin, were used to fuel the narrative that sex is shameful.

These views were imposed on Indigenous cultures, leading to the erasure of diverse sexual practices and identities that had existed for centuries.

Even in today's society, these concepts of shame and modesty still hang over us. Sex is seen as something that should be kept private, behind closed doors, and not discussed.

People are constantly shamed for their sexual preferences, whether they be queer, or kinky, or both.

Feminine presenting people often have this added expectation, to save themselves for marriage, to remain chaste and pure. But equally, to be willing to have sex on demand at their partners request. To submit to their partner and disregard their own comfort and pleasure.

Asexual people and 'Virgins' are shamed for not being sexual enough, while bi/pansexual people and polyamorous people are told they are too sexual, too open minded,

Sex workers are shamed most of all.

The only way that we as a society can normalise a more open-minded and less shameful approach to sex, is to start having these open and regular discussions about sex and pleasure, self-expression, and self-pleasure, sexuality and gender identity. Normalise consent, normalise pleasure, normalise having sex as much as you want, or not having sex at all.

When we don't have these discussions, we leave people isolated and uninformed. Many feel like there is something 'wrong' with them when they have sexual preferences different from societies expectations, if we had these conversations about sex and pleasure, more people would realise that everyone has different sexual preferences and that's normal!

It starts in our homes. It starts in our schools.

We need to teach children the anatomically correct terminology for their body parts.

We need to teach children about boundaries, and privacy, and consent.

We need to teach children about love, acceptance and tolerance.

We need to raise a generation who knows how to speak up, and how to listen.


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