Scarleteen: Safer Sex… for your Heart
I love Scarleteen! I know I’ve mentioned them before and even though their content is aimed at teenagers, there’s some good stuff on there for everybody. Trust me, I’m 29 and I can still learn a thing or two from their website.
I was just reading Heather Corinna’s article on taking care of your emotional wellbeing when it comes to sex. I thought it was an interesting read, because when it comes to preparing people for sex there’s a lot of focus on safe sex practices, as well as advice on only having sex once you are ready, etc, but there’s hardly anything on how to handle your emotions once you take the plunge or how to identify risky behaviors.
Just like using condoms, gloves and dams, and having regular sexual health care is preventative medicine to do your best to stay physically safe and healthy; being on the lookout for high emotional risks, hurtful or unrealistic situations, or potential sexual and emotional trouble is preventative medicine to stay emotionally healthy, and help those you’re involved with do the same.
The first issue tackled in this article is how dishonesty and secrecy can be harmful to your emotional health.
While on some level, sex being taboo or shameful goes way, way back in our culture, and for some makes it seem more exciting, it’s really not all that healthy, personally or globally, to house our sexuality or sexual relationships in an environment of shame or lies. Sex surrounded by lies, dishonesty or secrecy tends, especially long-term, to be disastrous and debilitating.
I really like how the fact that taboo sex can be a turn on was touched upon, although briefly, in the previous quote. I think there’s an interesting distinction to be made there. Between engaging in a sexual activity that turns you on, in part, because it is taboo and the destructive force of shame.
The scenarios that involve dishonesty and secrecy read like a check list of thing to avoid when entering into a relationship.
- Lying to parents, friends or family about sexual activities, experience or feelings, or hiding sexual relationships.
- Engaging in sexual relationships “no one can know about,” such as because one or both partners already has another partner, or because one or both partners may be disapproved of by family or friends, or in GLBT relationships when one or both partners are not yet out.
- Lying to a partner about sexual history, such as saying one is a virgin when one is not, saying one had been STD/STI tested when one has not, or stating one has had more or less past partners than one has actually had.
- Faking or pretending orgasm, arousal or sexual interest.
- Being dishonest about what one is seeking in the relationship, such as stating a relationship or hookup is casual or “only friends” when you want or feel far more, or stating a relationship is seriously romantic and intended to be long-term when you do not have those feelings.
From recent experience I know that not talking to your friends of family about your relationship with someone is a sure sign that something is wrong. In my case, I wanted to avoid the disapproving look in their eyes or the reproach in the sound of their voice. I know they were on to something, I just wanted my next mister x fix without feeling any sense of remorse. All bad signs.
Seriously, go read it now. I can’t do justice to all the nuances of this article. IT WOULD TAKE FORVER. Make my life easier, just read it.