As we grow into the young adults we are becoming, it is normal for us to be inquisitive about sex. I mean, hello, that’s how we got here. Sometimes sex can be seen as a taboo subject that is swept under the rug and staring at us like a big red button that screams NO! But there are a couple of things about sex that shouldn’t be looked at as taboo such as: respect and consent. Let’s get into it!
Personally, I thought sex was a subject that most of us, especially as young people, found very awkward and a “please, not today topic,” but after speaking to a close friend, she enlightened me that some people may have different perspectives. She explained how some people may not see sex as such a “scary” thing to talk about because media influence normalises sex in relationships. I’m referring to romantic comedies, soap operas, sitcoms etcetera. I am no expert in sex, but there are a few things that I know, and I know they will help you.
In any relationship, respect is very important. Respect is a verb, a doing word, so it means that you appreciate the person in their abilities, qualities and achievements. If you feel like your being persuaded into sex and don’t know if you are ready then here are a few tips:
*Respect is the foundation of a relationship. Having mutual respect for one another helps each of you to know that you’re on the same page in regards to feelings and beliefs which makes the relationship easier to progress. I believe sex should be put on hold until two people have built a relationship were they know one another well and have established that mutual respect.
*Many people can say that they respect you as their boyfriend or girlfriend but there is more to just saying it. It is expressed through actions. For instance, if you have highs and lows about having sex and your partner gives you an ultimatum or embarrasses you about things you have or haven’t done sexually in front of their mates, then they don’t actually respect your decisions, even if the decision isn’t concrete. (Baby! Know your worth and know the power in your worth.)
*Is there enough respect and appreciation in your relationship? Ask yourself, “Do I really think she/he is the right person for me?” Deep down you know. Appreciation is not always gifts or material things, it can also be through listening, simply being present, changing some things you don’t like and vice versa.
*All of this leads into consent. When respect is given then consent is a standard approach when having sex. Alert! Although, there’s respect it doesn’t mean that’s automatic consent. Your partner still needs to ask you, my sisters and brothers. Okay! Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to ask questions like “Do you think you are ready to be sexually active?” or “How do you feel about sex in our relationship?”
*Your body is yours. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured to have sex then make sure you talk to your partner. Don’t feel rushed into it because your friends are doing it or social media makes it seem like a fantasy. Everyone’s experience is going to be d different. Most of the time sex is not actually how the media portrays it.
*Love is respect. Don’t let anyone have the ability to take your choice. When someone shows who they are the first time, believe them. Make sure your relationship makes you feel comfortable, appreciated and loved before making any choices.
*If you have a faith, pray about your situation, meditate and receive peace.
By Emmanuella Alausa, Bishop Thomas Grant High School, London