10 reasons we often think negatively about sex

Something about being really sexual, even when it feels so great… is often frowned upon. But why?

Most societies are very confused about sex. There are all these taboos about sex that cloud up real understanding about it and actually make it very hard sometimes to enjoy for what it is. Here are a few reasons why:

  • We don’t talk about it nearly enough. It’s much too hard to talk about. One big reason is because…
  • Bad sexual experiences are extremely traumatic. If bad sex were as bad as falling off your bike, it wouldn’t be such a serious, taboo topic. But a bad sexual experience can leave emotional scars for years, even if no violation is involved. Kind of like being a witness to/part of war and murder is often too traumatic to talk about.
  • There is no consensus on what sex really is. Think about it: conventional wisdom says “if penetration occurred, it was sex,” following from the traditional “sex makes babies” school of thought. But there are all kinds of sexual acts that do not involve penetration which would still be considered sexual… if your significant other french-kissed another and fondled their genitalia but no penetration occurred, would that not be considered cheating [assuming you are in a monogamous relationship]? The vast majority of people would say it is cheating–because it is sex. Or is it? Tough to try to talk about something you can’t even nail down.
  • Sex can lead to life… and life changing. Penile-vaginal sex, throughout history, was not generally protected, and if a child was born, that was a big deal in terms of the families involved. Nowadays, though we have protection, we don’t always use it, and it’s a bigger deal than ever, in some ways. But moreover, the intermingling of people from all over the world has meant that STDs have also become ubiquitous… and, of course, life-changing, in many cases (and not in a good way). With all this complicated and very critical info out there, many societies feel that it’s a whole lot easier to just promote abstinence [until marriage] than to bring up all the messy details. This sets the stage for almost never talking about it.
  • We are vulnerable when we have sex. We are usually naked. We are bare. We are weak. For very masculine types, this is something you do not simply do. Naked weakness is thought to be unmasculine. A man often feels a pressure to hide the weakness part of sex, which is impossible… so you have to hide the sex act itself. Feminine types face many of the same questions, though generally in different ways; femininity involves a balance of strength and weakness, and in sex, that balance has to be shared with the other partner. All autonomy of control is given up. Just talking about being willing to be vulnerable can already be too suggestive for anybody, for these reasons… so it’s often considered best not to be too open about it. Plus…
  • The genitals are sensitive, physically. You don’t just let anyone touch you there. But there is also this implicit thinking that if you are so insensitive in these sensitive parts that you can just screw at the drop of a hat, you will lose your cultural sensibilities generally and become more brusquely animalistic/less refined, because…
  • Our thought processes are often sharply altered when we lust. This is a big one, and I think gives a lot of insight into the widespread fear of sex and sexual desire. It’s like a demon just takes over… like the bogeyman comes and possesses you, and you lose control and all hell breaks loose. And you do things that you shouldn’t do, that you would never do otherwise… (this isn’t how it has to be, especially if you have some good sexual guidance and education; but without the education, this perception tends to become very prevalent).
  • The organs and secretions involved in sex remind us of human waste. It’s more than likely that you make a complete and utter distinction between ejaculate and vaginal secretion on the one hand… and urine, on the other. Nevertheless, both kinds of wetness happen in the same place, coming from more or less the same organ, and it actually makes a lot of sense that this association would pop up and aid the growth of cleanliness taboos, if you think about it.
  • We attach so much value to it, in spite of not talking about it so much. When you get a new car (or other valuable object, take your pick), you are extremely careful, and you don’t want to ruin it! Sex is the same way for many of us. It’s such an ultimate feelgood experience that we often attach a hell of a lot to it and take great care to make it right. The same way we don’t want many people handling our new car (or other valuable object), we don’t want too much to muddle up our sex. So we privatize it. But still…
  • There’s so much about sex that we can’t control. Funny how something that felt so good last time doesn’t feel the same… or how you desire something very different this time than last time. Is there any way to predict this with certainty? Generally… no! And what if we’re inadequate? What if we don’t do/have what the other one wants? This can all be scary to think about, let alone talk about.

Just as we can handle sharp kitchen knives and never stab anyone, we can talk about sex and get past the negative things associated with it. If we know why we have the hangups we do, we can call them out and deal with them, rather than letting them make us miss out. It’s ok to do what feels good–just be safe, honest, and responsible, and nobody can have any grounds to stop you.

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8 Responses to 10 reasons we often think negatively about sex

  1. Shamona says:

    You give so much insight in your posts that its hard to comment. This was another good post.

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  4. Maggy says:

    This was a very thoughtful and sensitive piece. I just discovered your blog today and I am pleased that I did.

    • Thanks! Yeah, a lot of personal reflection went into writing this… stuff I’ve been through, ways I’ve seen others act… it’s an intimate experience for me to write about sex, because it sets in motion films in my mind of past interactions that now play back again and remind me of how I felt.

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