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  • Dr. Tanginika Cuascud

Why Sex Scares People

Sex may one of the most feared words there are. When people talk about it, they either whisper, spell it out, replace it with other words or avoid using the word altogether. So much is society’s fear of sex that the list of words that people use to refer to it may be endless. But how did we become so averse towards the word "sex"? When did this phobia to sex start? And how can we cure it?

Why sex has a bad reputation

Throughout history, sex has been equated with pleasure and excess. Pleasure and excess have been deemed negative and the opposite to modesty and restraint, virtues more accepted in many religions and cultures.

As sex progressed to be more associated with sin, deviance and lack of self control, the word has become almost unspeakable. In stark contrast, sex is the most transcendental aspect of the human experience.

Sex is not the enemy

Sex can be one of the healthiest and most enjoyable aspects of being human. But sex also comes with risks so its mastery should come with information and the empowerment to make healthy choices that will lead to living one’s sexuality ethically and responsibly.

How do we accomplish that? By putting sex at the forefront of health conversations, paying it the respect it warrants and giving it the prominence it deserves. Elevating the word and the meaning of sex to give it a more positive light is in the best interest of all. The opposite has always proven to lead to negative outcomes.

Sex myths that people don’t question

  • Only certain individuals have the right to sex: False. Enjoying a healthy sex life is a universal human right.

  • The less we know about sex, the better off we are (especially children): False. Having the right information about sex equips individuals to make informed and empowered decisions regarding their bodies, their health, their pleasure and their sexuality in general.

  • There are only few right ways of having sex or being sexual: False. Sexuality is as individual as every human being in existence. Therefore, sexuality can take many forms and configurations and the individual differences do not invalidate one’s sexuality over another’s.

Some strategies to change our view of sex Awareness is very powerful when it comes to change. Therefore, it is important to be objective and see the topic of sex with an open mind. Here are some strategies to have a better relationship with sex:

  • Reexamining our attitudes about sex: We all have ideas that were seeded in us from the outside. But do they make us grow or keep us in a tiny bubble? The ability to challenge our belief system and acquire new paradigms allow us to be understanding, compassionate and open to differences. Being open does not mean adopting what we don’t want; it means not imposing our values under the false belief that these are the absolute truth.

  • Comprehensive sex education for all: Everyone deserves to know as much about human sexuality as they possibly can. Sex education is something ongoing, not a conversation that happens once in a lifetime, and something that children and adults alike can benefit from at all times.

  • Sex throughout the life span: Understanding human sexual development and accepting that we are sexual beings from the time we are born until our last breath help us embrace our right to sex. As our bodies mature and change, understanding and rearranging the role of sex throughout all cycles of life ensures a healthy life.

The next time you hear the word sex, don’t frown. Moreover, if you are talking about sex, say the word out loud. I assure you the world won’t stop turning, no calamities will unleash and you would have taken a small step into being more sexually empowered and empowering others.

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