I’ve never really been the greatest communicator. If you ask my girlfriend, she would probably laugh and nod in agreement. I have a hard time expressing myself and sometimes it’s hard to translate my thoughts into words. Growing up, I kept feelings bottled inside of me. I was worried and anxious that what I said would hurt someone. I was afraid to speak my mind and communicate my feelings with the people I loved, in fear that I might hurt them.
Now, I know that letting your feelings out and communicating your feelings is so much healthier than keeping them inside. Being able to communicate, express yourself, express your feelings and talk about things openly and honestly is part of a healthy relationship and in my opinion, is important for your sexual health. My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years and we’ve always agreed that communication is crucial to our relationship. For us, it means that we are able to share things with each other without being afraid of what the other person might say. It also means having open lines of communication in regard to sex, our sexual health and overall well-being.
Sex and sexual health is important to talk about, no matter what gender, sexual orientation or pronoun. Talking about sex and being comfortable talking about it with your partner is something I’ve learnt to be okay with. As women, I think we need to be taught at a young age that talking about what was once thought as a “taboo” topic is actually healthy. Many adults feel uncomfortable talking about sexual health, especially with younger folks. I still remember the dozens of times my highschool teachers skipped over content regarding sexual health, sex and mental health. Looking back, some of those potential conversations could have better prepared me for a lot of different things. If these “taboo” topics were talked about, maybe we wouldn’t feel shameful for opening up or experiencing natural things everyone goes through.
As human beings, we are constantly growing, changing and learning … every single day. I’ve grown as a person but I’ve grown in my relationship with my partner. Our relationship has grown over the years and our conversations have evolved, touching on more and more topics as we move through life. The conversations we have together are meaningful and I feel liberated knowing that we can talk with each other about our sexuality, sexual health, mental health etc. It’s important to be in a relationship with someone who is able to accept you, your feelings, your values and your ideas.
Sexuality and sexual health influences, impacts, and effects everyone, whether you talk about it or not. But wouldn’t it be better if we knew that we were able to talk about things without being judged? Wouldn’t it be better if taboo topics were actually talked about? Let’s create a space where we are able to talk about masturbation, sex, protection, intimacy, sexual orientations, mental health etc. without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. If we can’t talk about these things openly and honestly with ourselves, how can we communicate with our partners? How can we explain to them what we can't explain to ourselves?
I encourage you to create a list; write down your values, your questions, topics that interest you, answers you wish you’d had when you were younger etc. Communicate your feelings about your sexual health with those who are important to you. Grow in a way that allows you and your partner (or future partner) to feel safe and comfortable talking about your sexual health. Most importantly, don’t ever feel like your feelings or questions are not valid or worth asking or listening to.