Newspapers are often full of stories about morbid or intrusive subjects. TV doesn’t shy away from blood and gore. But sex, which is a bigger part of our lives than sensationalist foreign affairs, remains a taboo subject.
Sex Week exists to change that. The event is put on every year by the Students’ Union, the Wellness Centre and the Women’s Resource Centre. It started as a way for students to learn and talk about sex.
There’s a Sex Week carnival with costumes and cotton candy, as well as seminars on topics like Trans Sex and Pleasure and Islamic Sexuality.
Sex Week is helpful, but we shouldn’t limit our education to a handful of workshops in MacHall. The need for designated areas to learn about sex speaks to just how little we talk about it in our day-to-day lives
There are few subjects that make people as uncomfortable as sex. This is unfortunate but understandable. Sex is intensely intimate and personal. Coupled with the insecurities many of us have about our bodies, it’s a difficult subject to broach.
But our reluctance to talk about sex has a negative impact on our sex lives. It means that we tend to get our ideas about sex from pop culture, pornography or the Internet. Movies and porn present unrealistic caricatures of intimacy. The Internet can be a useful learning tool, but you have to know what to ask and where to look.
This is what makes events like Sex Week so important. It provides students with realistic information they can trust. But it’s safe to say this isn’t the only week of the school year that students are having sex.
What should we do the other 51 weeks of the year? Should we go back to relying on movies, porn and the Internet? Of course not. I suggest we try talking to each other.
Though it might be uncomfortable at first, talking about sex with your friends and significant others is the best way to learn about the subject.
Asking your friends about sex gives you honest answers from the people you trust. The discussions you have are often frank and anecdotal. While it’s still best to talk to a doctor if you have concerns about contraception or STIs, the more fun parts of sex are a good conversation for the people you trust.
Discussing the anxieties we have about sex helps us get over them. We all share similar insecurities and worries. And if we don’t talk about them, they’ll remain a deep-seated worry.
Also, sex is fun! We all know communication is an important part of any good relationship. But the conversation shouldn’t stop when it comes to the bedroom. Communicating with your partner about sex on a regular basis will make you more comfortable and your sex life more enjoyable.
Sex is a big part of life. This week is a good starting point to learn more about sex, but it can’t be the end of our conversation.
Fabian Mayer, Gauntlet Editorial Board