Let’s Talk About Sex…
by Annia Baron
Finding yourself fantasising about your colleague even though you can’t stand them most of the time? Faked your orgasm and feel terrible about lying when your partner asked about it? What about your new lover informing you they’ve contracted genital herpes?
If you’re feeling uncomfortable. Good. Think of it as your invitation to be part of the much-needed dialogue … honest and open sex-talk.
Although we’d like to think of ourselves as being progressive, many of us avoid these types of conversations the same way we avoid the dentist, public speaking or sorting our taxes. And sadly, research indicates that as a result, we’re not enjoying as much sex as we were a decade ago (Australian Study of Health and Relationships, 2014). Before you go blaming the pandemic or our increasingly busy, always ‘on’ lifestyle, the truth is, maybe when it comes to sex, we’ve still got our head stuck in the sand. And for whatever reason – past experiences, family upbringing, education, society, culture, religion etc – old, unhelpful fears about being judged, embarrassed or rejected prevent us from having meaningful conversations about our sexual desires and dilemmas.
We deserve to live happy and healthy lives and the way we feel about our sexual experience has a direct impact on our life satisfaction, general (and physical) wellbeing, and sense of belonging and connectedness.
No matter what your sexual issue – porn addiction, navigating misaligned libidos, managing sexually transmitted diseases or disclosing a fetish – do yourself and your partner a favour, have the conversation. Just like a succession of sneaky queefs, you’ll find the awkwardness is short lived, and your courage to be honest will be rewarded with greater intimacy, freedom, and fulfilment.
If you’re not sure how to go about it, consider working with a psychologist, sexologist or sexual therapist. They can provide you with useful tools to enhance your communication and enrich your relationship.
So, my friends, get turned on about undoing unhelpful avoidance habits. Be tantalised by the idea of embracing the sort of sex life you deserve. And remind yourself that above all, sex, and all the variation that comes with it is normal, beautiful and deserves to be talked about. Let’s keep the conversation going.
Speaking of variations…
Did you know that terrestrial slugs are hermaphroditic? While most species of slug mate on the ground, the Leopard Slug enjoys hours of foreplay with its mate before secreting a prominent line of slime on which the two lovers dangle while they do their deed. In the event of their sexual organs getting stuck, the process of apophallation can occur – which essentially means the female will chomp off the male’s penis leaving it to live out the remainder of his days as a female.
Time to G.L.O.W.
Do you shy away from expressing yourself? Do you find it difficult to set boundaries because you worry about letting others down? It’s time to get your glow back. You can join our online community of like-minded members in the next Mindset Challenge – G.L.O.W. This is a four-week program to elevate your courage and communication, reset unwanted habits, and leave you feeling more connected with yourself and others. It starts on 23 November and you’ll receive a welcome pack with personalised resources, access to our private online group where we support one another’s journey for personal growth, regular videos, check-ins, mindset coaching tools, and ongoing motivation to finish off the year strong. Your decision to G.L.O.W also contributes to the Tarkine Wild School which aims to offer bush adventure therapy for youth-at risk. Visit www.remindyourself.com to be part of the movement. Because alone we go fast, but together we go far.
Annia Baron is a Clinical Psychologist and Mindset Coach at ReMind Yourself in Hobart.