2018 Oct 17
SEX! A word Sri Lankans say in hushed tones behind closed doors, a word that Sri Lankan parents think their adult offspring should not be talking about or entertaining without their blessings of marriage. It is also possibly the most Googled word by Sri Lankans!
So what’s the big deal with sex?
Why has Sri Lankan society labelled sex as a taboo subject? Why don’t our teachers teach us sex education and the importance of practising safe sex? The questions are many but in this article we hope to talk about the importance of sex, practising safe and good sex, and how it can improve the quality of our lives.
Sex is one of three basic needs of mankind, the other two being food and sleep. It is an essential part of life that ensures the survival of mankind till the world we know comes to an end. However, in Sri Lanka the mere mention of the word ‘sex’ will get you raised eyebrows, disgusted looks from a few aunties, and the stern look of disapproval from everyone around you for being scandalous and giving your family a bad name.
So here it goes…SEX! Why do we need it? How can we improve the quality of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing by having great sex? The idea that talking about sex openly is going to corrupt the minds of the young is actually providing them the outlet to practice unsafe sex without fully knowing its consequences. Irrespective of what society’s attitude towards sex is, humans are naturally curious creatures and will experiment their way through life and it is always better with directions than not.
In the case of Sri Lanka, most people are particularly sexually active in their early adulthood and the first several years of marriage and then as the years go by the sex wanes especially when children enter the picture. Women tend to have this misguided belief that since they are now mothers they do not need sex in their lives, especially since the main reason for having sex is running around the house causing a riot.
While we understand that looking after a child is around the clock job, prioritizing marriage and the different aspects that make it work is also important. Sex is more than a pleasurable physical activity; it also helps partners connect mentally and emotionally strengthening their relationship further. Scientifically backed research show that there are easily over 15 health benefits of having sex regularly. Listed below are a few.
• Having sex regularly boosts your immune system – Studies show that sexually active people have higher levels of antibodies that defends your body against germs, viruses, and other illness causing intruders.
• Sex reduces depression and stress – Going through a tough time at work or balancing everything life is throwing at you? If so try having sex more regularly because it is a proven fact sex might be the best answer for stress and depression. Oxytocin commonly known as the ‘cuddling hormone’ makes you want to snuggle up after sex which reduces stress and promotes feelings of calm and wellbeing. In addition, it also helps you get a good night’s sleep, so that’s another plus point.
• Improves overall physical fitness – We all know from watching R-rated movies that sexy times requires quite a cardio workout. So what better way than having sex to burn some calories? On the plus side, working out regularly tends to improve your sex life and having sex regularly keeps you in good shape!
• It relieves pain – When you have sex, a cocktail of hormones are released into your blood stream including serotonin, endorphins, and phenyl ethylamine, all of which generate feelings of euphoria and pleasure helping people forget about their nagging back pain or sore muscle. Other studies have also shown that sex can stop a migraine before it becomes completely debilitating, and reduce side effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
• It reduces risk of heart diseases and lowers your blood pressure – In a day and age where everyone is having issues with blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases, if having sex is going to help you control it to an extent what are you guys waiting for!
So that was all about why you should be having more sex and prioritizing sexy times in your relationship no matter how busy you might get. So how does one improve the quality of sex lives without having to depend on the unrealistic standards set by the adult film industry?
1. Communication, communication and communication – Good communication with your partner is key to a satisfactory sex life. Speaking to your partner about your preferences, likes, and dislikes and finding out the same from him/her is a vital component in improving your sex life. Responding to your partner’s ministrations with encouraging words/sounds when you like what he/she is doing and speaking up when you’re not comfortable will help you and your partner explore new ways of enhancing sexual activity.
2. Learn about your body – The body has many erogenous zones other than the sexual organs. Find yours by exploring your body with your hand. Where do you like to be touched? There is no shame in doing this. It is also important to know what’s down there. Use a mirror on yourself, learn about your anatomy, and really see what’s down there. You can also ask your partner to touch you and just be mindful of how you feel.
3. Educate yourself – Sex is not merely about intercourse. It is about mutual respect, connection, flexibility, and most importantly love. However, there is also so much you can learn by reading, and watching instructional videos available on the internet. Learning different techniques and skills will make your time in bed fun, pleasurable and meaningful.
4. Have fun – Sex sometimes can become monotonous and boring over time. Spice your sex life up with some adventure. Make your partner laugh and try to make it a fun experience for both of you.
5. Pay equal attention to foreplay and after play as much as sex – Spend quality time engaging in foreplay before intercourse and discover what makes your partner tick. It’s not just ‘Bang Bang, Thank you ma’am’, there is a lot more to this experience. So learn to pay attention to all aspects of it.
6. Keep it clean down there – Smelly or unclean genitalia can be a real turn off. It can also lead to infections and other mishaps which you don’t want. Wash before and after sex, and make sure your partner does the same. If you are using toys or condoms, make sure they are cleaned or replaced before each use.
7. Painful sex is no fun – If you experience pain or discomfort during or after sex, consult a medical professional. Do not neglect your nether region. This goes for both men/women and others. Remember to use lubrication because dry sex isn’t sexy or fun!
8. Be open and honest with your partner – Performance anxiety is an issue that can arise during a rumble in the tumble with your partner and this can be rooted in unrealistic expectations we might form for ourselves and others due to pornography, lack of accurate information, and also harmful masculine norms. Be open about any anxiety or psychological discomfort that comes up and speak to your partner about it. You could also speak to a psychologist or a couples’ therapist in this regard. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Address feelings of shame and guilt that might arise due to how we perceive our bodies and our abilities. Do not let these feelings fester. Talk about it.