Jensen-Coon: Good Old-Fashioned Sex

Jensen-Coon%3A+Good+Old-Fashioned+Sex

By Kelcy Jensen-

The birds and the bees, shaking the sheets or maybe the hanky panky. Regardless of its nickname, sex is important to understand and talk about as we go through the different phases of life. Unfortunately, there is always an awkward air that forms around discussing sex, and sometimes it’s difficult to determine exactly why. The avoidance of this topic probably has a lot to do with the fact that sex is personal, and it makes us vulnerable. Yet, that hasn’t been enough to stop people from engaging in it with recreational attitudes that come with little respect for the act.

With sex becoming a more casual occurrence, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unexpected pregnancies have become more prevalent. It is time we take a new stance on sex and the education we administer surrounding it. For the sake of health and safety, it’s time to start understanding and re-embracing more traditional views on sexual relationships that emphasize the respect the act deserves.

Currently, if someone states that they think sex is something only done within a marriage they are considered old-fashioned by people with more modern perspectives. Others say those traditionalists are shaming people who do not believe in the idea of waiting. What if there is something more to that way of thinking than wanting the world to feel bad by trying to criticize their progressive outlooks? Education and understanding may solve the issue of false assumptions surrounding traditional values and allow for more adherence to those “old-fashioned” practices without so much criticism.

Studies suggest someone who has earlier sexual experiences will engage in more deviant behaviors, like drinking or drug use. Clearly, if this is the case, we need to be more careful about sex education. More importantly, we need to be cautious of how sex is displayed, discussed and what attitudes are formed. We now have an extremely lenient way of thinking when it comes to sex. The things we do with our bodies create feelings, emotions and thoughts that stick with us. Treating one of the body’s biggest sources of releasing oxytocin and endorphins so aloofly is dangerous, yet that is exactly what is occurring today in our media, in our social circles and even in our homes.

Dr. Zhana Vrangalova gave a Ted Talk on casual sex called, “Is Casual Sex Bad for You?” She believes sex should be casual and sex has benefits regardless of single or married status. I could agree that some of the benefits of sex could occur in a casual situation with things like stress release and an increase of oxytocin. However, the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy, infection and the emotional turmoil that can come when sex is treated lightly do not outweigh those minor benefits. There are other ways to find oxytocin releases — it’s irrational to think the risks outweigh the benefits of casual intercourse.

In this Ted Talk, Vrangalova also mentioned communication is key in casual exchanges of sex because those who participate may not always be looking out for the other’s best interest, especially if they’re under the influence. It seems to me casual sex under these circumstances is obviously a bad idea. I don’t think someone should engage in something so personal and serious with someone who doesn’t care about them.

Can anyone else see the desperate help our world needs in understanding and respecting the power of sexual interactions? Pornography, sex trafficking and rape seem to be on the rise as a serious risk to women and men everywhere. Over sexualization is rampant in the media, and there is a lot of disrespectful speech about sex in daily conversations. Dealing with sex should not create hurt and shame; it should create love and connection.

Something that may encourage honest education might be allowing individuals who have experienced teen pregnancy or the negative effects of sex at young ages to act as advocates, telling stories not just to provide facts, but to illustrate the emotional stresses that come with casually engaging in something that is naturally very serious. Storytelling is effective, and if there are individuals willing to share their personal experiences about sex, not just the disconnected facts that make teens feel removed from the consequences, it could change the way young people think about, feel for and treat their sexual interactions.

No matter the change that comes through education, it will not have enough of an effect if we do not implement these transformations in families. More than ever, we need parents to have more open relationships with their kids about sex. We must learn how to create an environment of trust and security so kids can feel like they can go to their parents with these sensitive topics without turning to unreliable and potentially dangerous sources.

Even with that said, understand that I am not naive. I know that even if we implement better sex education and even if parents are more involved, sex is still going to be something humans crave and engage in irresponsibly. Sex is a biological need we have been bred and wired to want. Perhaps it could be considered a human right, but rights can still be used inappropriately.

I realize not everyone believes sex should be saved until marriage, and I don’t wish to shame anyone. I ask all to consider a more respectful and cautious attitude toward this vital component of our lives; let us view it as more than something to be demanded, treated lightly or misused. More respect in media, but most importantly in the home and among close friends, can help us remember why this act is special and that only someone special should have access to that part of us. Even if sex could be considered a human right, the access given to someone else’s body is a privilege and should be treated with the utmost respect. It would be wise to reflect on who we give the privilege to and why we are exercising our right choose.

[email protected]

@TheChrony