Friday, 13 January 2012

Ashamed of sex?


In this TEDx presenation Alyssa Royse talks about sexuality and how societal shame about sex is causing lots of problems. How naming and trying to shame what is different is eventually self destructive. By pushing people away out of fear of being a part of their scary world would just damage your own view of sex. Limiting your possibility for sexual enjoyment. But by embracing what is different and accepting people your own self esteem improves. Working in sexual health I often feel myself falling into the trap of mainly talking about the possible negative consequences of sex (which yes is my job to explain STIs) but my job is meant to be more then that. My job is meant to be about helping young people develop safe and healthy sexual attitudes, that translate into safe and healthy sexual behaviour. Now I may not agree with absolutely everything Alyssa Royse says but the core message of acceptance is really important. 


One of the greatest privileges of my work is when I get to help young people when they are at some kind of key point in the sexual maturity. That may mean talking with someone about their concerns about the body image, explaining that they do deserve respect and can say no, helping a young person thinking about their first crush on someone or that they should not feel pressured into having sex. Although my job's aims seem to focus on negative prevention issues I hope I get to help young people develop healthy positive attitudes. Rejecting the idea of shaming someone's sexuality should be a core part of this.