SSHES said what? Communication is the Key to Sex Positivity

4 mins read

Written by: Jess Reid

Sex is something we all know about but is it not something we all understand.

If you’re relying on the sex education you got in school, then I can guarantee most of you are missing out on a whole chunk of what’s out there.

To kick off this semester the Stirling Sexual Health and Education Society (SSHES) had a meeting called Deep Dive into Sex Education. Did you know that sex education was only brought about following World War II due to the increased spread of STIs as soldiers travelled across Europe during the war years?

What this means is that sex education is less than eighty-years-old, and in the grand scheme of education, it’s still in its infancy.

Therefore, our assumption should be that it is not yet fit for purpose and in fact, it’s nowhere close to being as inclusive, accurate or as in-depth as we need it to be.

Now, you may ask what is sex positivity and where does it fit with sex education?

Sex positivity began in the early 20th century and continues to grow in popularity with the message of pleasure, health, and inclusivity at the forefront of the movement.

It means not just thinking about sex as something we’ve been told to enjoy or partake in, but about taking your pleasure seriously, knowing what feels good, how to take care of your sexual health and for all of us to appreciate the individuality of our preferences and desires.

A key focus is to continue to improve sex education. Not for us to experience better sex and relationships, but to challenge the stigma surrounding sexuality, gender, race, class etc. And it continues to be evaluated within these intersections as we, within our society, begin to understand its importance.

Spreading sex-positivity, therefore, remains a goal for SSHES and underpins discussions within many of our meetings and collaborations. What we want is to destigmatize ideas that we have been conditioned with and ensure pleasure is the goal.

And how do you do this?

Communication is the ultimate way to practice sex-positivity. By having clear communication both with yourself and your own sexual preferences as well as with any sexual or romantic partners, you can ensure that your enjoyment will come first.

Over the years, I have heard so many stories of people feeling confused or dissatisfied within their sex lives. Whether that’s because they haven’t communicated with their partner or partners over what brings them pleasure in bed or believing that they can’t be honest about their feelings. Overall, aiming to pleasure their partner, or partners, over themselves – this dissatisfaction often lays a bitter seed.

My first sexual relationship went something like this. For every time we had sex I never came once. But I looked good doing it: I pleasured him, I made sure he felt satisfied at every encounter, however, that is as much my fault as it was his.

I should have told him that it was a bit sh*te, that it felt like almost scratching an itch, but missing every time. However, I did not communicate that. I just left it because we’re not taught how to communicate in a sex-positive manner.

Featured image credit: Stirling Sexual Health and Education Society

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