Sexuality – Get this right
- We are all sexual beings. We may be sexually active or not, yet we are sexual beings.
- Sexuality includes our thoughts, feelings, perspectives. It is not limited to the sexual act alone.
- Sexuality can be expressed both positively as well as negatively.
- When sexuality is positive
Why Talk Sexuality?
Benefit to our selves. Talking about sexuality, is in other words talking about our bodies, our feelings, our likes, loves, and attractions. It is also talking about our dislikes, fears, and doubts. What is it that gives us pleasure? What is it that gives us pain? Which people do we like to be with? Are there those who make us feel uncomfortable? Why?
Are we able to explain to a health practitioner exactly where we have pain, or a discharge, the nature of an itch? How long is it before we even begin to talk about it? Are we able to talk about / to persons we are attracted to, to those we love? How open can we be about sexual preferences? About relationships? About marriage?
Talking about sexuality openly to a friend, family members, people we love is important. It helps us understand our selves, and others better. It clears misunderstandings, and ensures healthy behavior. As children itself we learn that matters related to sexuality are better not spoken of at all, or if they are then it is in hushed tones. The media, through advertising, movies, and television serials also portray sexuality norms and roles, which we mimic inadvertently. This too results in confusion.
As a result, we are unable to understand and communicate matters of sexuality very well.
Each person needs to understand without shame or guilt, the changes that take place in their own body with puberty, with sexual activity, with pregnancy, menopause, old age etc. When, we clear doubts, and misunderstandings, we are able to live life more fully.
Benefits to our families and communities: An open discussion about sexuality within families and communities opens channels of communication and also supports us to live healthy lives. It is important for children and young adults to be able to voice their confusions, and be able to understand what values such as respect, equality and diversity really mean. This also helps in comprehending acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Open discussions about sexuality lead to better self image, and confidence in young people. It also results in less violence.
Benefits to Society in general: Almost every single day, the Indian media reports, cases of sexual violence on women and on children. An open discussion on sexuality is important to address this issue. Violence is indicative of a lack of discussion on such matters. The matter of clothes, of public spaces, of restrictions on women, young adults, sexual preferences etc make life unbearable for a vast number of people. These are issues of human rights, and need urgent discussion.