Category Archives: Sexual Health

The biggest wins for LGBT+ rights in the 2010s – and all the battles yet to be won

The biggest wins for LGBT+ rights in the 2010s – and all the battles yet to be won

2020-01-06

As the decade ends, we take a look back at the rights won by LGBT+ people across the UK in the 2010s, and the fights that continue on.

1. Legal protections against transphobic discrimination

At the start of the decade, on October 1, 2010, the Equality Act came into force, giving trans people explicit protection against discrimination. Under the law, “gender reassignment” is a protected characteristic, a move that James Morton  of the Scottish Transgender Alliance said has been”really effective in terms of encouraging employers and also service providers to take into account the needs of trans people.”

In 2016, Morton gave evidence for a Parliamentary inquiry on transgender equality, which indicated that protections for trans people “are not universally seen as legally complete and many trans people still face discrimination in employment and in other aspects of their lives.” It called for the act to be updated with a a broader definition of trans identities, one which uses more considerate language.

2. Same-sex couples in Northern Ireland can adopt children.

Same-sex couples in England and Wales have had the right to adopt since 2002, with LGBT+ people in Scotland given their rights in 2009. In Northern Ireland, same-sex adoption wasn’t introduced until 2013, after the ban was ruled to be unlawful.

In 2018 it was reported that just 30 same-sex couples had applied to adopt in Northern Ireland, with just two approved. This makes the success rate one in 15, compared to one in two for the rest of the UK. The Department of Health said that lower success rate may be because the adoption process can take several years to complete.

3. Equal marriage.

While same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil partnerships since 2004, giving them the most of the same rights as married mixed-sex couples, it took another 10 years for full marriage equality to be introduced – and even then, it wasn’t universal.

England and Wales were the first parts of the UK to allow men to marry men and women to marry women, with the first such unions taking place on March 29, 2014.

Scotland followed suit on New Year’s Eve that same year, while Northern Ireland will see its first same-sex weddings take place on Valentine’s Day 2020 after an intervention by the House of Commons.

4. Married trans people can legally transition without having to divorce.

Historically, married people who wanted to change their legal gender marker were forced to divorce in order to do so.

The introduction of same-sex marriage corrected this wrong, meaning that trans people are now able to legally transition while remaining in their marriage. But – and this is a big but – they must have the consent of their spouse before a gender recognition certificate can be awarded, creating an effective ‘spousal veto‘.

5. Men convicted for their sexuality were pardoned.

In 2017, MPs passed the Alan Turing law to right an historic injustice and pardon the thousands of queer men who were convicted for “buggery” and other archaic, homophobic offences.

Almost 50,000 were posthumously pardoned, while those who were living were invited to apply for a statutory pardon through the Home Office’s disregard scheme, introduced in 2012. However in September 2019, it was reported that fewer than 200 wrongful convictions had been erased – a failure rate of 71 percent.

6. LGBT-inclusive education.

The most recent win for Britain’s LGBT+ community is the legal enshrining of an LGBT-inclusive school curriculum.

In March, MPs voted overwhelmingly to introduce new relationships and sex education guidelines which mean that from September 2020, every child in the UK will learn about LGBT+ people, relationships and families

Stonewall’s director of education and youth Mo Wiltshire said that such lessons “have the potential to deliver real change in how LGBT families, people and relationships are taught about. This will help foster greater inclusion, acceptance and understanding in our classrooms, playgrounds and school corridors.”

LGBT+ rights that need to be won in the 2020s

1. Full and free access to PrEP.

Currently, PrEP is only available in England through a limited trial. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it can be prescribed by any NHS sexual health clinics.

Debbie Laycock, head of policy at the Terrence Higgins Trust, told PinkNews that restricted access to the drug is putting some men at increased risk of acquiring HIV.

“In parts of the country PrEP trial sites have closed to gay and bisexual men due to being oversubscribed,” she said, calling for a full roll-out of the drug.

Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all committed to giving universal access to PrEP in their election manifestos. The Conservatives and the Brexit Party both failed to make any mention of the drug in theirs.

2. Reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

When the Gender Recognition Act was introduced in 2004, it was a ground-breaking, trail-blazing piece of legislation. But 15 years on, it’s no longer fit for purpose.

In 2018 the government conducted a public consultation on reforms to the act, with most sensible people recommending the introduction of self-identification and legal recognition for non-binary people, among other measures.

Yet, more than a year after the consultation closed, we’re yet to see any results or official response. Again, the Conservatives failed to mention this crucial area of the law in its manifesto, while Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens have all backed reform.

3. A ban on conversion therapy.

In July 2018, then-Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to outlaw the “abhorrent” practice of so-called gay conversion therapy. However such a ban is yet to materialise.

None of the major parties mention the practice in their manifestos, however spokespeople for the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all confirmed that they would end the practice.

4. An end to the blood ban.

In England, Wales and Scotland, men who have sex with men can only donate blood if they have been celibate for three months. In Northern Ireland, the deferral period is still 12 months.

This effectively amounts to a ban for men who are sexually active. Stonewall says that while it is statistically true that “men who have sex with men face higher rates of blood-borne infections, it’s simply untrue to say that every gay and bi man is a high-risk donor.”

The charity is calling for a system based on individualised risk assessment, rather than the current, discriminatory policy.

5. Changes to surrogacy laws

For gay men, the route to parenthood is fraught with complications.

While same-sex couples are able to adopt, the laws around surrogacy are somewhat more complicated. Commercial surrogates – a popular option in the US – is illegal in the UK.

Altruistic surrogacy is permitted, but the birth mother remains the child’s legal parent until a court grants a paternal order, a process which can take months and leaves all parties exposed to the risk that one or the other will change their mind.

It also means that if the child is taken ill after being born, only the surrogate mother is able to make decisions. NGA Law, which has campaigned for surrogacy reform since 2007, wants the law to change so that the intended parents are the child’s legal parents from birth, along with clarifications that surrogates can be financially compensated.

What is the right age to lose your virginity?

What is the right age to lose your virginity?

2019-11-26

Having sex too soon is the biggest regret of young people losing their virginity, a survey of British sexual behaviour suggests.

More than a third of women and a quarter of men in their teens and early 20s admitted it had not been “the right time” when they first had sex.

People must be 16 or over to legally consent to sex.

The many people may not be ready at that age.

The Natsal survey, carried out every decade or so, gives a detailed picture of sexual behaviour in the UK.

For this latest work, published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at the responses of nearly 3,000 young people who had completed the survey between 2010 and 2012.

The findings

The responses showed that nearly 40% of young women and 26% of young men did not feel that their first sexual experience had happened “at the right time”.

When asked in more depth, most said they wished they had waited longer to lose their virginity. Few said they should have done it sooner.

Most had had sex by the time they were 18 – half had done it by the time they were turning 17.

Nearly a third had sex before turning 16.

Equally willing

The survey also looked at sexual competence or readiness – whether a person could reasonably make an informed decision about whether to have sex for the first time. For example, they had to be sober enough to have consented and should not have been acting on peer pressure.

Around half of the young women and four in 10 of the young men who responded failed this measure.

And almost one in five women and one in 10 men said they and their partner had not been equally willing to have sex at the time, suggesting some felt pressured to have intercourse.

Founder of the Natsal survey, Prof Kaye Wellings, said the age of consent was not an indicator that someone might be ready to become sexually active. “Every young person is different – some 15-year-olds may be ready while some 18-year-olds are not.”

Co-researcher Dr Melissa Palmer said: “Our findings seem to support the idea that young women are more likely than young men to be under pressure from their partners to have sex.

“Although the survey results yielded some positive outcomes, such as nearly nine in 10 young people using a reliable method of contraception at first sex, further efforts are required to ensure that the broader wellbeing of young people is protected as they become sexually active.”

She said sex education in schools should equip young people with the right negotiating skills to enable them to have safe and positive first sexual experiences.

When is the right time?

If you think you might have sex, ask yourself:

If you answer yes to all these questions, the time may be right. But if you answer yes to any of the following questions, it might not be:

Source:

Isabel Inman from the sexual health charity Brook said: “We firmly believe that age and stage appropriate relationships and sex education (RSE) should start early in order to empower young people to make positive decisions that are right for them. We hope the introduction of mandatory RSE will provide this opportunity.”

10 Benefits Of Having More Sex

10 Benefits Of Having More Sex

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enhance your sexual health and sex drive.

November 24, 2019 by Kathy Mitchell Leave a Comment

Please Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.

When we’re young, we feel like we would want to have sex forever. The sexual arousal is too strong in an adolescent period, but it’s not like that forever. In fact, people have a lesser desire to have sexual intercourse with their partner as they age.

According to this study, the level of testosterone in the body starts to decline with age. This study shows that 6 out of 10 couples are not happy with their relationship, and one of the major reasons for relationship dissatisfaction is sexual dissatisfaction.

When there is low sex drive among people, they do not want to have more sex with their partner. However, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to enhance your sexual health and sex drive.

Are couples who have more sex happier?

Having a satisfying sex life is one of the most important factors that determine marriage success. A sexless marriage can hamper a marriage.

According to this study, some of the happiest couples have sex at least once a week. However, excessive sex, more than once a week did not have much impact on happiness, according to the results of the study.

We can say that sexual frequency is important, but excessive sex is not what determines the happiness of the couples. There are more things other than sex that determines the success of the marriage.

How to achieve more sex power?

Before jumping to the benefits of having more sex, it’s important to know something about the ways to achieve more sex power.

It’s because without enough power and stamina, it’s impossible to have more sex.
Here are some of the ways to achieve more sex power.

1. Modify your diet

There are foods that are not good for sexual health and there are many foods that can boost sexual health. The foods with zinc, important vitamins and minerals can enhance the sex drive, fertility, and stamina.

Add dates, pumpkin seeds, oysters, eggs, and other foods that are capable of enhancing the sex drive and stamina. Omega-3 fatty acid found in oily fishes can also help to trigger sex desire.

2. Stay active

Staying passive won’t help in preserving energy. Be involved in regular workouts, and do not miss our cardiovascular workouts, as it helps in enhancing heart health. You will experience a tremendous boost after some time if you stay involved in regular workouts.

3. Reduce stress

Stress can impact many aspects of human health, which includes sexual health too. It can decrease the sex drive; create a problem in erection, and more.

Reducing stress helps in building a better relationship with your partner, which is key to have a better sex life. Moreover, less stress means more energy and stamina to enjoy sex.

This study shows that mental stress can take away physical endurance.

What are some of the amazing benefits of having more sex?

The people who do not have adequate sex are missing out on plenty of amazing benefits of having frequent sex. By saying more sex, I’m not talking about excessive sex, though. Let’s take a look at the benefits of having more sex.

1. Enhance brain function

There is a direct link to the brain with human emotions. The sexual desire of a person is an accumulation of various neural mechanisms, and each of them is controlled by different components of the brain. They are active at different times during sexual intercourse.

There was a study conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Pavia, Italy to find out the impact of frequent sex in the brain. The result obtained from the study showed that the people who are involved in frequent sex demonstrated an increment in cranial nerve growth.

2. Reduce stress

Are you struggling to manage your stress? The solution to your stress may be more sex. Blood pressure rises when a person is involved in sexual intercourse, but it can lower blood pressure and stress reduction in the long run.

3. Enhances the immune system

Prevention is better than cure. In order to prevent the body from various diseases, the immune system needs to be fit and strong. Having more sex may help in enhancing the immune system of a person, which will help the person in staying away from various diseases.

It’s not like a person with a stronger immune system never gets sick, but the risk of suffering from diseases significantly decrease among people with a stronger immune system.

4. Improves cardiovascular health

Cardiovascular health issue is one of the most serious health issues in the United States. According to the statistics, every 1 out of 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. The couples who maintain higher sexual frequency reduce the risk of suffering from various heart diseases.

5. Promote adequate sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for both mind and body. Sadly, there are many people who are struggling with sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can lead to many unwanted health problems. Couples who have frequent sex may be more likely to have healthy sleep. The chemical called, oxytocin is released during orgasm, which helps in promoting good night sleep.

6. Fights aging

For the people who are frustrated with many signs of aging, there is good news for every one of you. This study shows that having sex at least once a week can help in reducing the rate of aging among the people. It has various positive impacts on different parts of the body, which helps in fighting various symptoms of aging.

7. Pain relief

The pleasure from sex may help in driving out pain. Having more sex may be an answer for getting relief from back pain, migraine, and pain from arthritis. The hormone released during sexual intercourse, oxytocin, increase endorphins, which helps in reducing the pain.

8. Reduce the risk of cancer

The risk of prostate cancer may be reduced among men who are involved in frequent ejaculation. It’s recommended to ejaculate at least 21 times in a month to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

9. Improves the relationship among partners

The sex hormone oxytocin is also known as a love hormone. The release of this hormone helps in enhancing love and trust among the couple. So, it’s very natural that the more sex a couple has with each other, the better their relationship.

Conclusion

Now that you know about the numerous benefits of having more sex, the question is: Will you aim for higher sexual frequency? Search for the ways to improve your sex drive and do everything you can to spice up your sex life.

The study shows that the lack of frequency is one of the major causes of divorce. Have more sex; have more pleasure, and extract all the benefits of having more sex. If you’re facing serious sexual problems, then it’s better to consult with a doctor to get some valuable solutions to your problem

If you were a girl: Men, this is what you need to understand about women and violence

If you were a girl: Men, this is what you need to understand about women and violence

COMMENT

The body swap is an old Hollywood trope: Boy meets girl, boy swaps bodies with girl, boy has epiphany about love, life and patriarchy. Too bad that in 2019, this kind of empathy is still just the stuff of movies


The brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana by Luyanda Botha, a post office clerk, in August this year left us all shaken, battling to make sense of our excruciatingly violent world.

Mrwetyana went to collect a parcel from her local post office on Saturday morning and never made it out alive. The sheer banality of the circumstances sent shockwaves through social media.

She was wearing brown corduroy pants and a white t-shirt.
She was not drunk. She was not walking home late at night. She hadn’t been at a shebeen or a club. There was nothing about the circumstances that could be used to “victim shame” her.

Nevertheless, on social media, many commentators suggested what women could do to “avoid” being raped, for instance — taking self-defence classes, carrying pepper spray, sending live locations to friends when they leave a venue.

A tweet, posted on the official Government of South Africa account, read: “Violence and abuse against women have no place in our society. Govt is calling on women to speak out, and not allow themselves to become victims by keeping quiet. Women who speak out are able to act, effect change and help others.”

It received widespread backlash on social media. Black Twitter acted fast to offer a correction to the tweet, much like a schoolteacher would take a red pen to a student’s exam paper.

This was the correction: “Violence and abuse by men have no place in our society. Govt is calling on men to speak out, and not allow themselves to create victims. Men who speak out are able to act, effect change and help others.”

The post went viral.

Some years back there was a film called “What Women Want”, a romantic comedy which body swapped the male character and his female love interest so he could understand what she wanted from him as a lover and a partner.

While this would be great, it will sadly remain in the land of Hollywood.

However, if men listened closely to the outpouring of women’s grief, fear and frustration after yet another act of violence, they would hear not only what we want, but also what we urgently need.

Women do not have the power to stop rape. We cannot simply break our silence or act in certain ways to effect change.

What we need is for men to speak out boldly in public and private spaces.

We need all men, from all walks of life, to call out their male friends, family and colleagues whenever they say or do anything that condones or excuses rape.

When men do speak out against rape, they should counter the narrative that they are doing so because women are their mothers, wives, sisters or friends.

We want men to speak out because they believe women are people who have a value in society equal to that of themselves.

Fathers must teach their sons what enthusiastic and continuous consent means and that it is non-negotiable in all their interactions with the girls and women in their lives.

Today, begins the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which runs from 25 November, also known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women until International Human Rights Day on 10 December. This year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTe campaign against gender-based violence has run the theme: “Generation equality: stand against rape!”

But we need 365 days of sustained action in order to eliminate gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex or gender identity. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, financial and psychological violence or abuse, in public or private life.

Rape is rooted in the notion that women are inferior to men and motivated by the rapist’s violent need for power and control.

Women who are raped are more likely to contract HIV, less able to exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights and more likely to be exposed to other forms of gender-based violence throughout their lifetime than those who are not.

Exact numbers of rape and sexual assaults are difficult to estimate due a culture of impunity for perpetrators, stigma towards survivors and their resulting silence.

UNAids’ latest global report shows that around 30% of women in South Africa, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania have experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner in the last 12 months, according to surveys.

There are structural changes that we need make to achieve meaningful and sustainable gender equality, access to justice and human dignity. These will take some time and we will continue to advocate for changes in laws and policies in the eastern and southern African region that will help us reach our goal.

What we can do in the next 365 days, though, is write a scene in the script of our own Hollywood romcom, where this time next year, through simple and deliberate changes, we are living in a world a less violent than it is now.

Catherine Sozi is Director of the UNAids Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa. Follow them on Twitter at @UNAIDS_ESA.

This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. Subscribe to the newsletter.

Does Sexual Wellbeing Lead to Better Life And Leadership Skills? This Sextech Company Wants To Find Out

Does Sexual Wellbeing Lead to Better Life And Leadership Skills? This Sextech Company Wants To Find Out

The connection between sexual well-being and mental and physical health has been recently attracting more interest. Sexual wellness brands -many of which endure constant advertising censoring– advocate to position sexual health and wellness as part of the health conversation, to make it more accessible to all.

A rich body of research confirms that sexual satisfaction affects relationship satisfaction, which is key to earning potential. For example, in one longitudinal Harvard study, the data revealed that fulfilling relationships are the key to happiness, health and longevity. And not only that: Those with the most fulfilling relationships earned an average of $141,000 a year more at their highest earning point. 

This study, however, was focused exclusively on male subjects, and it inspired a recent study conducted by sexual wellness company Womanizer (WOW Tech) in partnership with The What Collective, a women-centered organization founded by dot com entrepreneurs Gina Pell and Amy Parker. The former co-founders of Splendora (acq. by JOYUS) recently hosted a gathering called The What Summit at the secretive and exclusive Skywalker Ranch. The survey was completed by over 200 high-earning attending women. 80% of respondents were ages 35-64 and in director, management and C-suite positions. 

The preliminary results showed some interesting insights: More than 50% of respondents perceived that having a healthy fulfilling sex and relational life would positively impact all other aspect of their lives, including their careers.

The Deficit in SexEd Addressed By Wellness Brands

When it comes to sexuality only 3% of respondents said they had learned at school or with their families. The majority cited the following sources of sex education: peers and friends (34%), magazines and books (28%), and the Internet (10%). In fact, 77% of women who received some sex education stated that it never mentioned that sex should be pleasurable and 70% say there was no discussion about consent. Additionally, 62% state that they have experienced shame around sex and sexuality.

Global expenditure on wellness products and services is on the rise, highly driven by women, and the women’s empowerment movement has added to the conversation issues such as the orgasm gap between men and women, and the right to body autonomy and pleasure of women. This context creates an opportunity for Sextech and Femtech businesses to create innovative solutions to educate and offer resources in underserved categories for people of all ages. Both industries have been estimated at $30 and $25 billion, respectively.

Stephanie Keating, Head of Marketing of WOW Tech, which comprises Womanizer and We-Vibe, said: “Womanizer partnered with The What Summit to facilitate conversations amongst women about pleasure and all that it brings our lives. For many women, experiencing self-pleasure builds confidence, comfort, and agency – yet 75% of us were not taught that sex should be pleasurable. Traditional sex education has failed us. For too many women, pleasure is associated with shame. That limits us in so many other aspects of our lives. The conversations that Womanizer and our experts are having with women free us to talk to each other about this essential part of our lives.  

Personal Fulfillment As A Source Of Confidence And Wellbeing

When asked about the impact of their personal sexual wellness in other areas of life, the majority of women believed that feeling fulfilled positively impacted how they showed up in other areas of their lives. Specifically, 51% stated that this translated into a positive impact on their professional lives. Many respondents pointed to the correlation between fulfillment and “confidence”, “lowered stress”, increased overall “happiness and motivation”, feeling “empowered” and “powerful”, and the positive correlation with overall “well-being”.

Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality, relationship therapist and author, says “Sexual wellness impacts body image, confidence, … These factors can put a strain on our mental health. If you are not connecting with your partner, it is going to affect your day to day life. Additionally, being able to ask for what you want is a skill that translates into other areas of life.”

Sexologist and relationship expert,  Dr. Jessica O’Rielly, PhD, said: “Sexual fulfillment, relationship fulfillment and life fulfillment are all positively correlated. It follows that investing in your relationships and sex life (however you define it) and fulfilling those needs leads to greater self-assurance, improved mood, increased motivation and even greater assertion skills — all of which can benefit your career.”

Educators, researchers, entrepreneurs… The business of sexual wellness is a growing one and the merger of Womanizer and We-Vibe, which is about to become the largest sexual wellness toy manufacturer, approaching $100 million in sales, wants to push forward a healthier narrative around sexuality: “ Our flagship products were created to help women achieve personal sexual fulfillment and their pleasure potential. WOW Tech’s mission is to be the premier provider of sexual health and wellness products — products that enable people all over the world to increase the satisfaction of their personal and sexual well-being,” concludes Keating.

Estrella JaramilloContributor ForbesWomenWomen’s Health Advocate and Entrepreneur.

Gay ‘Chemsex’ Linked To Rise in HIV Cases in Europe

Gay ‘Chemsex’ Linked To Rise in HIV Cases in Europe

2019-09-19

Chemsex parties, when people get high and have sex for days with a number of partners is gaining popularity in Europe, which has led to a rapid spread of HIV.

During chemsex, people use drugs such as crystal meth to enhance their arousal and pleasure, NBC News reported. Rusi Jaspal, a professor of psychology and sexual health at De Montfort University in the Britain who studies the spread of HIV and the chemsex scene, says the mix of drugs and sex increases the spread of viruses in groups subject to HIV, like the gay community.

“People are not scared anymore of HIV,” Ignacio Labayen de Inza, a chemsex expert who works at U.K. clinics said, according to NBC News. “Many people I see say they think ‘it’s only a matter of time anyway, so I might as well have some fun.'”

In a U.K. study, 30 percent of HIV positive men surveyed said they had participated in chemsex in the past year.

What Can Brain Scans Tell Us About Sex?

What Can Brain Scans Tell Us About Sex?

Men have a far greater appetite for sex and are more attracted to pornography than women are. This is the timeworn stereotype that science has long reinforced. Alfred Kinsey, America’s first prominent sexologist, published in the late 1940s and early 1950s his survey results confirming that men are aroused more easily and often by sexual imagery than women. It made sense, evolutionary psychologists theorized, that women’s erotic pleasure might be tempered by the potential burdens of pregnancy, birth and child rearing — that they would require a deeper emotional connection with a partner to feel turned on than men, whose primal urge is simply procreation. Modern statistics showing that men are still the dominant consumers of online porn seem to support this thinking, as does the fact that men are more prone to hypersexuality, whereas a lack of desire and anorgasmia are more prevalent in women. So it was somewhat surprising when a paper in the prestigious journal P.N.A.S. reported in July that what happens in the brains of female study subjects when they look at sexual imagery is pretty much the same as what happens in the brains of their male counterparts.

A critical need for sex education

A critical need for sex education

2019-08-22

In a prevailing society of silence and taboo on adolescent’s natural desires or habits, the assumption-based project of sexual ignorance appears to have failed its grade in streamlining the youth’s sexual well-being and state of mind.  In the contemporary era of helicopter parenting where parents pay attention to every aspect of their children’s lives, they somehow neglect or struggle to discuss and educate their teenagers about the one aspect of life – natural and beautiful habits of reproduction, as they frequently feel ashamed, or too shy to speak about its progression. However,  this wrong approach of neglecting household education in sex-related growth has resulted in severe impairment in the mental and physical aspect of a young adult’s sexual health, as this deprivation of knowledge has often led to people’s high school and college life to be driven with unwanted or uncontrollable sexual desires, which could potentially harm both life’s conditional growth and career’s prospects.  

When human species are living within the realm of adolescence, i.e., from the age group of 15- 21, the human body experiences a hormonal outburst; which explodes into a range of emotions, affecting many aspects of life such as personality, emotions, feelings, sexuality, self-acceptance and personal belief.  It is within this region of growing existence, where teenagers (adolescents) find themselves stuck in the web of vulnerability, due to imbalances in sensation and life’s intentions.

During this phase of hormonal imbalances, teenagers require critical assistance, as similar to how cruise-ships navigate past rough seas with the crucial aid of anchors and other facilities during long journeys, the social-human vessels, i.e., adolescents require additional anchors called parental support and guidance, to prevent them from sinking beneath the ocean of strenuous difficulties within life. This representation of parental streamlining requires careful and delicate crafts of care to not just extrinsic standards of living such as academics, or sociability, but it also requires a matured approach towards explaining, some of the crucial and delicate functions of intrinsic life such as sexuality in a responsible manner.  

If the educational discussion of sexuality remains boycotted between both generation of adults and adolescents, then the entire stand of guidance based on academics, physicality or sociability could fall into hindsight, as though parental advice on academics and sociability play a key role in one’s holistic development, the negligence of sex education from parents could damage teenagers and young adults’ lifestyle and entire existence. Why? It is because this negligence has seen adolescents taking a leap of pleasure through self-sex education by indulging in several life-destroying activities by being sub-consciously manipulated by stress imbalances and curiosity caused by hormonal activity.

Today, thousands of parents have been blinded by the innumerable ways where their children often attempt to educate themselves sexually and participate in several pleasurable activities (stress relieving).  The most common scenario for pleasure is in person; where youth enjoy sexual indulgences with unwanted and unfamiliar people by making college life a sexual paradise, where people visit unwanted attractions such as HIV, hepatitis, other Sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, and relationship issues.  Additionally, the internet is also another pleasurable hub where adolescents follow daily educational illustrations, carried out through webcam sex on Appear, Skype, Facetime, and many other portals. The reasoning for why these practices are carried out is due to sub-conscious possession and self-hypnotism based on curiosity whose original purpose of sexual relations, hasn’t been established by parental advice and intervention (the emergence of dangerous addictions).

Consequently, the aftermath of repercussion faced by victims of sex-related education-turned-addiction often results in the need for parents to dive deep down into treacherous waters, to find their incapacitated teenagers or young adults who drowned after being wrecked by their inability to fight off addictions.  This wreckage is a result of the burden formed by shame, depression, unbearable sensitivity, and self-inflicted guilt, which ultimately causes suicides, illnesses, and family damage. Eventually, this slow realization has been a norm due to a variety of factors, such as weak generative guidance from parents and growth of taboo related ignorance.  

Therefore, as parents in a sensitive and complicated world, it is essential to maintain a standard of personal respect and dignity in public, but it is also even more important to value personal space and expose private and intrinsic vulnerability (sex education) to teenagers (15-16 and above) and young adults.  Conclusively, as we continue to nurture the youth, we need to realize that though different people will have different opinions regarding sex education, I believe that with the constant rise in adolescent irresponsibility in sexuality, sex education should not be considered taboo in families, instead, it should be taught with the most responsibility. As not only, will its inculcation prevent the youth from going astray, but it will also help them genuinely recognize their maturity and responsibility in life. Ultimately, parents should realize that sexuality is not a self-learned subject for adolescents, but a sensitive subject which without intervention could destroy, but with care could flourish in the purest form.

“ I believe that, if parents genuinely value their children’s lives and future by doing whatever it takes for the child’s growth, then they should abandon the substantiation of taboo-related excuses of shame when discussing the crucial aspect of sex education, and instead consider it as the one significant lesson which forms a tight rope between the balance of success and a slip of failure into darkness.”DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

Author: Rohan Keni I am a 19-year-old student hailing from Goa, India. Over the years, I was raised in Dubai and have recently relocated to Missouri, USA to pursue a degree in. . .

It’s time to talk about sexual incompatibility

It’s time to talk about sexual incompatibility

2019-06-11

What happens if you meet someone kind, smart and funny, but erotically you just don’t click? Alix Fox explores the frustration of sexual incompatibility

On paper, Rohanna and Dan*, 26, were such a match they’d set the page alight. “I was totally disarmed by the chemistry,” she recalls. “He had a fascinating brain, a sweet soul, a fabulous job and he was as doe-eyed over me as I was over him.”

But when it came to having sex, the man who seemed destined to be Rohanna’s everything did nothing for her. “We both had so much enthusiasm, but it was like our bodies didn’t mesh. I kept waiting for something to kick in. It was a kick in the guts when it didn’t. We stayed together for six months then split up.”

When sex seems hexed in this way, it can be as mysterious as it is heart-wrenching. “Evidence is scant, but it’s been suggested there may be subconscious mechanisms at play in some cases of erotic incompatibility,” says Cynthia Graham, professor of sexual and reproductive health at the University of Southampton. “Evolutionary psychologists have posited that we might experience sexual clashes with people whose genetic complexes are discordant to our own, because it affects the ability of us and our potential offspring to fight disease.

But often, incompatibility comes down to a contrast in sexual tastes and appetites – most notably, a mismatch in libidos. Data from Natsal, the British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (one of the broadest and most detailed scientific studies of its kind worldwide) indicates one in four UK couples are imbalanced in their desire for sex.

“It’s common, but it can be devastatingly destructive,” observes psychosexual therapist Aoife Drury. “If the higher-libido individual pushes for sex, the partner with the lower drive can feel anxious or angry, thus losing desire further. The higher-libido individual may then stop initiating sex for fear of rejection or being seen to nag. Intimacy grinds to a halt, creating feelings of resentment or disconnect.”

A survey by dating site eHarmony found that 20% of Brits feel they’re somehow sexually incompatible with their partners. Problems cited include one person being more focused on the physical rather than emotional side of sex and differences in degrees of erotic adventurousness or allure towards a fetish. Yet there are two commonalities running through virtually all incidences.

“Firstly, people expect sex to be unrealistically harmonised in a way nothing else in relationships, or life, is,” says Kate Moyle, resident therapist on BBC Three’s new counselling series Sex On The Couch. “And secondly, perhaps because Brits find sex excruciating to talk about, they may write issues off as inherent, unfixable incompatibility and move on, rather than attempt to address them in any real, practical manner.”

Graham believes this second factor is key. “Natsal’s report showed the strongest predictor of sexual problems, short and long-term, to be a lack of effective communication,” she adds. Learning to communicate and collaborate is the best thing anyone can do for their love life.

But what does that actually look like? If you and your lover decide that trying to increase your sexual rapport is worth a shot, the following advice – while not comprehensive – is better than taking a clueless shot in the dark. Consider it a jumping-off point. It might give you hope that you don’t need to jump ship. Start by viewing sex as something most people work on, rather than something that should just work. “If we see incompatibility as inevitable, we can remove some of the shame and start to think creatively and constructively about it,” suggests Meg-John Barker, co-author of Enjoy Sex: How, When And If You Want To. 

SEE AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A TASK

A lot of what makes sex fun is exploring and playing. “The idea of consistently wanting exactly the same type of sex as your partner might ostensibly seem perfect, but as well as being improbable, in the long term it could even get boring. Examining sexual divisions offers unique opportunities for personal development and revelatory discoveries,” says Moyle.

This might seem trite, especially if you’re in a relationship where sexual issues have run on so long and the damage has ploughed so deep that your soul feels sandpapered raw, but it is at least worth heading into the process with a positive head on.

Comedian Fran Bushe’s show Ad Libido centres on her struggle with vaginismus: a condition whereby the vaginal muscles involuntarily clamp shut. “I have to do extensive admin with partners to actively build up our sexual compatibility because of how my body functions,” Bushe says, “but it means we create something special together; they’re not just whipping out the same toolkit of moves that worked on their ex.”

ACKNOWLEDGE THE AWKWARD

Therapeutic exercises can feel excruciatingly contrived when you first attempt them. Many have a tree-huggy vibe that makes you cringe. “Recognising how silly and vulnerable you feel out loud helps break the tension, and laughing about it together is bonding,” says psychosexual therapist Sarah Berry. Studiously pretending that embarrassment doesn’t exist is a form of performance, when your real goal should be to share authentic, honest experiences.

Darrell, 31, was suffering from erectile dysfunction (along with 11.7 million other men in the UK, according to online medical service Zava), in his case caused by anxiety, so he and his partner Sheena, also 31, tried rebooting their strained sex life using the ‘sensate focus’ method.

“You start by touching each other while still fully clothed, avoiding erogenous zones, then gradually build up intensity over a series of weeks, to help you tune into sensations and emotions,” he explains. “We both felt like dicks, but by week four, my dick worked. Removing expectations I had to get it up helped, but so too did giggling at the ridiculousness. For months our bedroom had been the site of tearful rows.”

THINK ABOUT WHY YOU HAVE SEX

“A 2007 paper published by The University of Texas at Austin identified 237 different motivations subjects gave for having sex, from ‘to show thanks for something my partner has done’ to ‘it gets rid of a headache’ to ‘it makes me feel closer to God’,” says Jennifer Gunsaullus, the host of Dr Jenn’s Den, a sex education show on YouTube. “Examining the true reasons we’re seeking sex in each instance – like relief from boredom or stress, or for a self-esteem boost – can highlight where alternative actions may still satisfy our needs.”

SCHEDULE SENSUALITY

Setting out a schedule for sex has a bad rep; it seems clinical and unromantic for lovemaking not to spontaneously spring from burning desire. Yet setting aside predetermined windows for eroticism shows that it’s a priority, and is a damn sight better than leaving things to wither indefinitely on the backburner while life gets in the way.

Plus, knowing when to expect intimacy saves higher-libido partners from the fear their ad hoc come-ons might be crushingly rejected or interpreted as hectoring. It also allows lower libido partners to build the anticipation and get their head in the right place for jumping into bed

EXPAND YOUR IDEA OF WHAT COUNTS AS SEX

“Make sex menus: brainstormed lists of all the sensual and thrilling things you know you like or would be up for trying, and see where you and your partner overlap,” suggests Barker. Download DIY guides from megjohnandjustin.com.

INTRODUCE THE PURPLE PASS

Named after Prince, who in his hit Alphabet Street sings, “Tonight I’m just not in the mood, so if you don’t mind, I would like to watch,” the ‘purple pass’ involves giving your partner permission to masturbate while you witness them approvingly. You might encourage them by enthusing about how hot they look, so they get off and you take part without doing anything physical that you don’t feel up to.

DON’T LET LABELS RESTRICT YOU

“There’s so much power in proudly naming your fetishes and fascinations, but labels like ‘dominant’ can become restrictive cages if they’re interpreted too rigidly – and not the saucy kind of cage,” says Gunsaullus. Before writing someone off because they don’t share your particular kink, examine what you get from it emotionally. You might enjoy being submissive in S&M scenarios because you find relief in relinquishing responsibility, maybe you like to please by fulfilling orders or perhaps a powerful lover fixating upon you makes you feel craved.

There are softer ways to serve these longings if your partner doesn’t always want to take the reins or is still learning the ropes. Think of your kinks as you liking a type of energy rather than having a set identity. But what if you reach an impasse because you and your partner’s kinks are too much in sync and you both want to play the same role? “My girlfriend and I are both submissive,” says Janine*, 24. “When it’s my turn to play domme, I command her to spank me or use a dildo on me while I lay pliant, so I’m in charge but still get a similar physical experience to being the underling.”

MAKE USE OF RESOURCES

“I wish people viewed therapists for sex like they do dentists for their teeth, and visited them as a preventative measure to set their private lives on a healthy course rather than waiting until everything is rotten and they are falling out,” says Moyle.

However, if you’re not at the stage of seeking private counselling but want professional assistance in navigating incompatibilities, resources are out there. Sex coaching site Betty Martin features free videos and printable worksheets for couples. Mindfulness app Headspace offers guided meditations centred on relationships. Where Should We Begin?, a podcast that listeners have dubbed ‘the Rosetta Stone of feelings’, lets you listen in on real-life couples’ sessions with psychotherapist Esther Perel.

Educational site The School Of Life’s Pillow Talk cards help pilot constructive conversations about topics like sexual shame and power dynamics, while the London-based Havelock Clinic provides 45-minute online workshops on sexual desire and you can talk to their medical experts via instant message throughout the session.

MAKE PEACE WITH THE SITUATION

Certain couples do find that they never erotically align, so some decide to draw a line under their relationship. “I grafted at sex for eight years with a man I loved but whose natural drive was far lower and plainer than mine,” says Kathryn, 32. “We both tried so hard, but I hit a stage where whatever I was learning by trying to meet him in the middle was outweighed by what I lost by leaving my satisfaction on the sidelines.”

Yet even if sexual incompatibility remains, ‘sadly stay’ or ‘go, gutted’ are not the only options. “I challenge that binary,” says Barker. “You might consider opening things up. Consensual non-monogamy works for many people by allowing them to maintain wonderful, close relationships while having their sexual needs met elsewhere.

But there are also many folks who simply decide sex isn’t important to them after all, especially over time. I undertook a study into ‘enduring love’ with Jacqui Gabb, professor of sociology and intimacy at The Open University, which found that many, if not most, long-term couples had sincerely happy relationships that didn’t feature much sex together.”

For some ‘incompatible’ pairings, concluding that sex isn’t the be-all and end-all is the key to a happy ending. But for others, taking sex seriously enough to wholeheartedly commit to discovering and nurturing the parts where their individual Venn diagrams of sexuality overlap – that’s what prevents it being over.

Lily says:

“You can have great sex because somebody has a wonderful penis and knows how to use it, even though you’re not that into them. Or you can meet someone you connect with, but their penis is just not doing it. I’m pretty good at faking it, I’ve been doing it for 20 years. But this is a serious issue. There are girls who think there’s something wrong with them because they haven’t had an orgasm yet.”

SERIES

Lily Allen Takes Over

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women in a long-term relationship: Study

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women in a long-term relationship: Study

2019-05-17

According to a study published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, men are three-times more likely to initiate sex as compared to women in a long-term heterosexual relationship.

Men initiate sex more than three times as often as women do in a long-term, heterosexual relationship, says a study.

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