Sex. You can’t avoid it. Between 50 Shades of Grey and surveys about what your favorite sex position says about your personality, our Facebook feeds are filled with it, yet, we still have trouble talking about it. We use metaphors to describe the acts and euphemisms which mask our true feelings. The model we have been using to talk about sex in our lives has been steering us wrong all along.
We have been talking about sex all wrong. Now we are in danger of passing an outdated metaphor onto our kids.
Al Vernaccio knows all about misinformation. He teaches sex education to 12th graders. His TED talk and book on the subject, For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health, reveal the misleading metaphors that undermine women and all partners involved in the bedroom.
So, first we need to talk more about pizza and less about baseball. Got that? Additionally, our lack of conversation is leaving a void that is being filled with sexual objectification, (see latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition), rape culture, slut-shaming, and just plain misinformation. Without overstating the issue, the glut of un-vetted internet falsehoods posing as facts, rampant playground gossip, and the sheer lack of information on normal human sexuality are a slippery slope when you’re young and impressionable. Cindy Gallop had a unique perspective on sexual misinformation in her TED talk, and started a website to do something about it. (Caution: NSFW – Adult Language):
So, can we please talk about sex? In real terms, not just euphemisms. Let’s talk to each other about what we like and dislike. Let’s talk to our partners about our needs and desires. I want to live in a world where Yes Means Yes makes more sense than No Means No. If we are going to teach the next generation of women to love and respect their bodies, talking about sex will have to be part of the equation.