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For generations, we’ve been made to feel as though speaking about sex, as well as our reproductive and sexual health is something that should happen in the dark of night, with absolutely no one around. It’s the unfortunate truth for many men and women around the world. Even the word sex is regarded are being such a social faux pas to utter out loud, one would think it were a curse word.
Even in 2021, people all across this beautiful blue orb that we call Earth, still find it difficult to address issues surrounding sex and sexual health. It’s a dangerous road to walk. Imagine not wanting to know everything that there is to know about your heart, liver, kidneys or brain. How would we progress? How would take care of our health? Well, the fact of the matter is, we wouldn’t. The very same goes for our reproductive organs. We should want to know more. In fact, we should want to know as much as there is to know.
According to an article in the Journal for Preventive Medicine and Hygiene(1), in 2019 they had consistently recorded 500 million sexually transmitted infections across the globe every year in the years leading up to the publication. Some of these infections would have been avoided if there had been adequate knowledge around reproductive health amongst some of the subjects. It’s safe to say that even amongst populations where sex is considered taboo, there is still an immense amount of sexual activity. Instead of engaging in sexual activity from a place of knowledge, power, and pleasure, people in these regions are forced to engage in it with the little knowledge that they have.
Not only should we want to know as much as there is to know about our physical make up, we should want to know just as much about our mental and emotional connection to sex. There is nothing more naturally occurring to us than sex. It’s a beautiful and enjoyable act, and if entered into by two cognizant and consenting partners, it can bring an immense amount of pleasure, joy and relaxation for both partners. The key to engaging in deep and meaningful sex, is to talk about it. More often than not, one partner may feel that the pop has turned into a fizzle, and they struggle to find a reason as to why. This leads to feelings of unfulfillment, resentment, and even an urge to look outside of the partnership for sexual gratification.
Before you veer off into the wrong direction it’s important to understand how your own inhibitions or ideas around sex may be hindering you from receiving the pleasure that your partner is so lovingly trying to give you. You also need to understand how psychological and physical problems can lead to a feeling of reduced fulfilment.
Stress can play a huge role in reducing your libido. This often leads to the incorrect idea that your partner has lost their shine, or that you’ve lost your spark for them. If you’ve been under psychological duress for prolonged periods, the reality is that your cortisol levels may be decimating your testosterone levels. Testosterone is directly responsible for your libido, irrespective of gender, so it’s very important that these levels are maintained. Significant reductions will undoubtedly lead to poor sex drive.
The best way to alleviate your stress and pick you libido back up is to exercise. Even light walking or jogging everyday can work wonders for both your libido as well as circulation to your genital area, and erogenous zones.
Ultimately, if you struggle to discuss your sexual needs, or feel embarrassed to address your sexual health in the presence of a medical professional, chances are you are just as uncomfortable to discuss sex with your partner. Don’t feel down about it. If you’ve been taught that sex isn’t spoken about, you can also teach yourself just the opposite.
A part of understanding what might be affecting you personally, is understanding your own desires and kinks. The problem with creating the idea that sex is taboo, is that we often suppress our deepest desires out of shame. It’s important to start having general conversation about sex with your partner, working your way up to the more intense topics as your comfort levels grow. Think of it as a path to learning about each other all over again. It can be an exciting and rewarding journey, depending on the mindset that you both undertake before going in.
Be open to exploring one another as intimately as possible. Build up a level of trust with each other – and experiment! It could be the turning point that you’ve desperately been looking for in your relationship. When they say communication is key in any relationship, they really mean it. Communicating all of your needs, including your sexual needs, will shift the conversation from being a taboo subject, to being a vital part of your relationship going forward.
(1) Notes: Citation – Visalli, G., Cosenza, B., Mazzù, F., Bertuccio, M. P., Spataro, P., Pellicanò, G. F., DI Pietro, A., Picerno, I., &Facciolà, A. (2019). Knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and risky behaviours: a survey among high school and university students. Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene, 60(2), E84–E92. https://doi.org/10.15167/2421-4248/jpmh2019.60.2.1079