Sex remains as a taboo subject in many countries, especially in Asian countries. If I were to talk about sex openly, I would get many stares, gasps, and a refusal to join in the conversation. Many would consider that prudish. I consider that ignorant.
Of course I don’t actually think those people are ignorant in a bad way, I think they’re ignorant because of how they grew up, and how people around them treat the subject of ‘sex’. But we really need to talk about sex. Why?
Condom is the most basic contraceptive method that everyone knows about, but even then, many do not buy them because of the connotations that comes with it; you’re promiscuous and you bring dishonor on yourself, dishonor on your cow and dishonor to your whole family.
This leads to unsafe sex, which exposes you to many types of STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and many, especially teenagers, do not know of STDs. By not using condoms, you are putting yourself at risk by getting many types of STDs such as bacterial ones (e.g. chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis), viral ones (e.g. genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, genital warts) and even parasitic ones (e.g. trichomoniasis).
The problem with this is that STD tests are easily available in developed countries but are more difficult in developing countries like ours. And since many teenagers and adults still consider talking sex as a taboo, STDs become very easy to catch.
2. The solution isn’t abstinence.
The solution is in education itself.
If people talk about it even more, whether in school or out, people will learn more about sex as a whole. Sex education is extremely important. You can’t tell sexually charged teenagers to ‘keep it in their pants’ because sometimes, it may not have even been something they wanted. Instead, you can tell them that if the situation ever happens that there are ways to ensure their sexual health is disease-free, whether with contraceptives or the healthcare that can come after.
3. What is it?
And it’s not just about condoms. Every time I tell someone I’m on ‘The Pill’, I get two reactions; a face of confusion, disgust, shame, terror and scorn, OR a face of ‘wow she’s actually talking about it’.
Yes. Many women take ‘The Pill’. Most of the time, it’s not because they’re being ‘promiscuous’ or want sexual freedom. Being on ‘The Pill’ can sometimes mean that you’re regulating your period. But even if you take it because you’re having sex, it’s not wrong. In fact, I commend you on that effort. Not everyone can handle taking a pill daily, at a certain time. And not everyone can spend RM20-RM50 on pills every month just to make sure they don’t get pregnant.
Sadly, in this country, we don’t have affordable or free methods of contraceptives. And many do not know what other methods there are. Everyone knows about condoms, and most women know about ‘The Pill’, but there are many other ways:
- Female condoms
- Cervical caps
- Morning-after pill/ emergency contraception
For more on contraceptives and birth controls, read here.
So talk about it. Help inform your fellow friends, male or female about these methods. Maybe one day, it’ll help someone make better, more well-informed decisions relating to their sexual or reproductive health.
4. Rape happens.
I’ve known about too many rape cases where women were too scared to talk about it that they end up getting pregnant without knowing till they shove a baby out, women who are too scared to ask for help because sex is ‘bad’, whether they wanted it or not.
How many times have we heard about our friends getting raped, but they just tell you “I was drunk” or even “I said no, but he wanted it. There was no way out of it, so I just gave in.”
All of those are called ‘rape’. By talking about sex, women know what is rape and what to do if you got raped – and the answer to both is not “don’t talk about it”.
Rape is when someone forces you into sexual intercourse without your consent and it can happen to men too.
Rape is when you say no and they do not listen, even if you wanted to have sex with them before that.
Rape is when you can’t say no because you’re intoxicated or unconscious and can’t make informed or controlled decisions.
Best Asian parenting ever.
It didn’t happen because you wore a low-cut blouse or a short skirt. It didn’t happen because your butt looks nice in your jeans, a little too nice that people can’t seem to control themselves. It didn’t happen because you were flirting. It didn’t happen because, maybe for a second, you wanted to have sex with them. It didn’t happen because you had a few drinks and were unconscious on their bed.
So here’s a message to everyone, male or female…
By talking about sex, we can help victims of rape (which could be us or anyone else) be more comfortable talking about it, and with this, help each other become a source for comfort, help and support.
5. Abortions / Baby-dumping
I know we’ve talked about it before on this site. But we’ve got to talk about it again.
When someone talks about having unsafe sex, the subject on pregnancies comes up. If you’ve never had the “if you ever got pregnant, what would you do” talk, then you need to have one.
Abortions are taboo to talk about but it happens often. And because of this, many go through unsafe abortions that can sometimes be fatal.
Everyone needs to know that safe abortions exist and that they have a choice. Women everywhere around the world have rights but if we don’t exercise those rights, we put ourselves in great danger. Abortion should be a right for every woman but many women in Malaysia do not think that they have those rights, or that it’s illegal. I’m here to tell you that it is an option.
“Abortion is allowed under the exception of Section 312 of the Penal Code so long as it is performed by a doctor registered under the Medical Act 1971. An abortion can only be done under the following circumstances:
- Risk of life or injury to the physical health of the woman.
- Risk of life or injury to the mental health of the woman”
“The Malaysian Penal Code includes risk of injury to the *mental health* of the woman as a legitimate reason for allowing a termination of pregnancy. If you are clearly distressed and upset by an unintended pregnancy, then you are legally entitled to ask for an abortion. However, if the doctor you consult is not convinced of your distress, then you can seek a second opinion. Most doctors, unfortunately, do not consider the fact that being forced to continue an unintended pregnancy may be a very distressing situation for some women. This interpretation of the abortion law in Malaysia is similarly interpreted in the UK, which has a similar clause in their penal code.”
TL;DR: You can have a safe abortion at your doctor’s/ gynaecologist’s discretion.
For more information, visit http://www.rraam.org/
When you know more about these things and is willing to talk, you might save a girl from harming herself when there’s clearly a safer option out there. Learn, talk, help. Which brings me to my next point…
6. Knowledge & Sexual Maturity
Knowledge is power. Once you go through the uncomfortable situation of talking about it, you’ll realize that these things need to be talked about.
You know that time you got your first period? Or for men, the first time you woke up with a boner? Or for both sexes, the first time you find something sticky in your underwear?
Yeah. Those are normal things. And when not talked about, panic ensues. I’ve heard stories of some men panicking about their first boners – some believed that their penis was going to explode. I’ve heard girls having a massive panic attack because they’re waking up with a puddle of blood on their bed and they didn’t know what was happening to them (see the movie Carrie).
And pointing back to my point before about rape, if we don’t talk about it, many wouldn’t know that they were raped. Many women and men view ‘getting wet’ or getting a boner (respectively) as feeling horny or wanting sex. But both genders can sometimes even orgasm during rape. But the truth is entirely biological.
“Quite simply, our bodies respond to sex. And our bodies respond to fear. Our bodies respond. They do so uniquely and often entirely without our permission or intention. Orgasm during rape isn’t an example of an expression of pleasure. It’s an example of a physical response whether the mind’s on board or not, like breathing, sweating, or an adrenaline rush. Therapists commonly use the analogy of tickling. While tickling can be pleasurable, when it is done against someone’s wishes it can be very unpleasant experience. And during that unpleasant experience, amid calls to stop, the one being tickled will continue laughing. They just can’t help it.”
– Popular Science
You can read more about this here.
What’s more fascinating is that we can be aroused and have an orgasm without even having sexual intercourse. Some people can orgasm just from having their eyebrows stroked. Some can “think” themselves into an orgasm. People with spinal cord injuries (a physical brain-body disconnection) can still experience orgasms. Both men and women can even be aroused whilst unconscious.
See how fascinating our bodies are?
Want to learn more? Here’s a few sites you can visit: