The Dirty Secrets: What No One Says about Sex and Sexuality.

Let’s Get Uncomfortable Shall We.

In my 25 years of life I have discovered that sex is probably the most taboo and socially uncomfortable topics imaginable. And there are a plethora of reasons why that is. But for this post we are going to just kinda ignore that for a bit.

Because whether you want to believe it or not, sex is a part of daily life. Our entire existence is based off the fact that people have sex. It’s a natural part of the history of humanity as a whole.

Sorry. Not sorry.

It has become apparent to me that because no one talks about sex – at least not if you grow up in a moderately conservative family like I did – there is so much health and social issues that we are becoming blind to. So many things that can either be avoided or better understood if we only took the time to discuss a natural and healthy activity that consenting individuals take part in.

Did I emphasize the “consenting” part enough?

So that’s what this post will be about. If it makes you uncomfortable then you are welcome to leave. But if you stick around and read through this I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you in the comments if you leave feedback!

So… Here it goes.

 

Sexuality and You.

How does one define sexuality? Google has two definitions for the term:

  • capacity for sexual feelings
  • a person’s sexual orientation or preference

Essentially it is what drives us to perform sexual acts and who we perform them to/with. From the dawn of puberty this hormone driven force pushes and pulls us in a variety of directions from establishing friendships – with or without the “benefits” part – to, and most obviously, our romantic/life partners.

The best part is that sexuality does not look the same to everyone. To some the act of sex and identification of their sexuality is nothing beyond the act of reproduction and “marital duties”. To others it is a form of free self expression and self love. There is really no right or wrong way to express it.

The only wrong belief one could ever have about the expression of sexuality is to degrade someone based on the way they partake in their particular form of expression.

In other words: Don’t be a fucking cunt.

On the subject that sexuality can be used to describe sexual orientation is where I actually find most of my personal interest. This is primarily because – for those of you who are not awaremy partner Dallas actually falls on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. He is moderately open about his identity as pansexual/bisexual – he is still grappling with which he feels he most identifies with – and he has honestly taught me so much about how sex, sexuality, and self expression can be such a unique and beautiful thing. Most importantly, it does not have to be solidified into one particular image or definition. It can, in fact, grow and flourish and be ever changing and developing.

 

Sex versus Gender.

Here is where we will begin the more “hot button issue” part. And while I understand that there are going to be quite a few of you who disagree with me – which is fine – I really kind of wanted to bring this up because this is one of the few things that actually was taught to me in my grade/high school health classes.

Sex and Gender are two different things.

Did you all get that? Or do I need to repeat it?

S e x    a n d    G e n d e r    a r e    t w o    d i f f e r e n t    t h i n g s.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sex as: “either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures; the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction marked by the union of gametes and that distinguishes males and females.”

In other words, one’s sex is determined based on the reproductive organs that they possess based on their reproductive functioning. Previously, this was an label that couldn’t be changed or altered. But due to modern medical advancements, significant and amazing work has been done in order for one to change the reproductive organs that they were assigned at birth.

On the other hand, Wikipedia* defines gender as: “the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex, sex-based social structures, or gender identity.”

The key word in that is “range”. It needs to be understood that gender is not a black/white, male/female thing. Gender is actually a spectrum that is comprised of influences from one’s personal social interactions, personal characteristics, life influences, and most importantly their particular chemical makeup and hormone levels. 

Therefore, while someone can be born female due to biologically being given a vagina and ovaries at birth, their internal chemical structure could promote them to identify as male, gender fluid, or even non-binary depending on where they fall on the spectrum. And it is because of this that transgender individuals have an internal struggle with not identifying with the reproductive organs they were assigned.**

TL;DR: gender identities – whether they are the same or different from your sex – are valid, and anyone who says otherwise needs to consider that there is a difference between “sex” and “gender”.

 

Being Sexually Healthy.***

I really wanted to end this post on a few sexual health tips that I have learned since becoming an adult. These may very well be common sense to a lot of you, but they are all things that were not told to me when I started to become sexually active, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who can get something from this.

The first – and probably more obvious one – is to pee after sex, especially anyone with a vagina. Now you all have a fairly accurate judge of how much sex was NOT discussed in my house growing up. Your urine is naturally sterilizing and can help to protect you against bacteria that can cause Bacterial Vaginosis or Yeast Infections.

On this same note, the two infections that I mentioned above are incredibly common, and should not be viewed as no different than getting a cold or sinus infection. If you are really concerned, talk to your primary care physician or OBGYN about starting a probiotic specialized for feminine health. I personally take AZO Complete Feminine Balance Daily Probiotic which you can find on Amazon for less than $20.

As a continuation, it is incredibly important to establish a relationship between yourself and a primary care provider (PCP). This is to not only treat you when you are sick, but keep you healthy when you are feeling good. Also, routine pap smears, physical exams (for men and women), breast exams, and prostate exams are important for this, as they give you a baseline for if anything was to happen in the future. And it always makes it slightly more comfortable if the instance of possible STD were to ever occur.

Or at least better than talking about it to a complete stranger in a immediate care clinc….

….Not that I would know.

And lastly, keep in mind that STDs happen. Ones like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis affect hundreds of millions of people a year worldwide. The most significant of these infections is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is literally the most common STD in the entire world. It is believed that 1/4 – 1/3 of the population either has HPV or is a carrier for it.**** Most of these STDs can be treated with simple antibiotics or anti-fungals and you will be good as new in no time.

What is important, however, is how you approach the situation. Keep honest communication with every partner if you can. And if an STD does happen, don’t be a fucking dick about it. It takes courage to admit when someone has caught something.

Don’t make them feel fucking worse.

And wear a goddamn condom. No excuses.

 

 

And I think that is where I will end all of this. Because “don’t be a dick” is the general theme of this post as a whole. Don’t judge how they express their sexuality. Don’t judge how they sexually identify or the gender they identify with. And don’t be a fucking douche canoe and degrade someone who had to work up the courage to tell you that they recently were tested positive for an STD.

Sex and sexuality are real world, adult life things. And if you want to participate in them you need to grow up a bit and approach it with some general maturity.

 

XOXO Nykole

 


I liked the way Wikipedia worded their definition because it was closer to what I was taught in school.

** I do not speak on behalf of the transgender community. I’m just giving a perspective. I’m sure this paragraph will later be edited after I get informed of my misunderstanding by my friends within the trans community.

***I am not a doctor. This is not to be seen as fool-proof medical advice, and all questions should be directed at a physician not to a 20-something year old on the internet. 

****It is actually medically significant to note that even to this day that there is no accurate test to discover HPV in men. This generally means that most men in the world’s population are carriers of HPV and do not know it. 


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