Saturday, 14 March 2009

When sex isn't thrilling

I wrote earlier this week about Faye Weldon's interview where she described her early sexual experiences as thrilling.   Our early relationships and sexual experiences shape our thinking and expectations for the future. So whatever, or whenever we think or hope young people will start having sex we must hope that their early sexual experiences will be good.  

I was thinking about how this contrasts with the early experiences of so many young people that I have worked with over the years, and in particular remember working with a group of young mum's.   We were discussing their right to take control of their bodies following the birth of their babies, and how some of them were finding it difficult to say yes, say no or yes to that but not this with their partners, and that this was particularly true if they were with a new partner, who they felt believed their bodies were fair game because they had had children.

We went on to discuss negotiating sex and using condoms.  'Condoms may make sex last longer' 'yuk make it last longer who wants to do that' was pretty much the consensus.   I remember leaving the group feeling quite sad.  And as I have said before, every day at Brook we see so many young people who are negotiating sex well and making decisions that are right for them - and we also see young people who don't feel in control of their bodies, their relationships or their lives. 

We must create expectations for young people that sex should be positive and rewarding - something they choose, want, enjoy and take responsibility for - even thrilling - if we are going to change the way young people choose and experience sex.  If we don't we will be failing the thousands of young people who would rather not have sex, don't know if they have had sex, and certainly don't experience the thrill that it can bring if the circumstances are right.

1 comment:

Erin McElveen said...

Well said! Great way to tackle such a taboo subject, especially as it pertains to teens.