The ABCs of the Birds and the Bees: Exploring Relationships, Sex and Intimacy

It’s no doubt that sexual education is a controversial topic here in Sri Lanka. The dissemination of knowledge about sex and sexuality is much stigmatised rather than being viewed for what it really is- society’s responsibility to equip the youth with the ability to make healthy decisions in the future. With the aim of lifting this taboo, Durex Sri Lanka has initiated a special series called ‘Pillow Talk’, hosted by Danu Innasithamby and featuring three celebrities. The first edition of Pillow Talk- titled ‘Let’s Create Conversation’- kicked off on Sunday, the 22nd of November 2020 with Danu and Natasha Rathnayake. The episode was a success in laying the foundation for breaking the existing stigma and normalising open conversation on sex; and explored topics about sexual wellbeing-, with a special focus on relationships, sex and intimacy in the new normal. So let’s dive right in!

Knowledge = Power

Sex education involves exploring values, beliefs, emotional relations and responsibilities associated with sex and sexuality. It provides the youth with honest, age-appropriate information and the skills necessary to help them navigate relationships and take personal responsibility for their health and overall wellbeing. Knowledge about sex leads to sex that not only feels good – but sex that does good- and that’s more power to you! 

It’s definitely time Sri Lanka as a society has healthy conversations – “conversations that could change the mindset and perceptions of how we feel and think”- as Danu stated. Normalising open conversations on sex, especially on youth-centric social media platforms is vital for a healthier and happier tomorrow.

Just KISS! (Keep It Safe and Sexy)

Sex and safety should always go hand in hand- that’s the low-down of going down. Knowing the environment and situation you are in, and more importantly, knowing your partner and being respectful and considerate towards them leads to sex that’s safe, open, honest, messy and fun! (And it really doesn’t get any better than that!)

As Dr. Ruth Westheimer quite creatively says, “When it comes to sex, the most important six inches are the ones between the ears.” Sexpert advice indeed- that can help turn ‘oh no’ into the Big O! Here’s to going all the way- anytime, anywhere!

A successful relationship involves finding the rhythm to the madness, finding the thing that works (even outside the bedroom!) It’s all about give and take! Trusting your partner, stripping down your insecurities and working towards what makes both of you happy will lead to great sex and great relationships. 

This or that

‘Good’ boys vs. ‘bad’ boys is a cliché conundrum that has confused many! ‘Bad’ boys have a magnetism that many women find attractive and sometimes even irresistible- leaving the ‘good guys’ in the dreaded friend zone. However, ladies find the ‘good guy’ character traits of support and stability intensely sexy too. Being so badass can be kinda nice and being so nice can be kinda badass too- it’s really a two-way thing. 

Well we’re not here to judge preferences, but when it comes to relationships and sex- we’re almost certain guys and girls like at least one of them rough. (Take notes!)

When it comes to size- whether it’s a few extra inches around a girl’s waist or along anything else- and whether it matters or not; this is another similar difference of opinion. Let’s all be body positive in these trying times, especially because neither of these affect a safe and consensual sexual experience- which is undoubtedly the best of all.

The importance of using protection- #SafeIsTheNewCool

“I think it’s important to practice safe sex because you are respecting the person,” says Nat. Wise words indeed! Practicing safe sex in an environment where you feel you are safe and your partner is safe is extremely important. Pleasure will always seem urgent in the heat of the moment- but those few minutes are really not worth the hassle of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. “You know you’re putting your life on the line sometimes,” she goes on to say, “There are all kinds of sicknesses out there.”

Safe sex is even more important if one engages in sexual activity with more than one partner. If BYOB is such a good thing, BYOC (Bring Your Own Condom) has got to be pretty great too, right? What’s more, in today’s day and age- condoms come in a variety of flavours, fragrances and textures- we’re a lucky generation for more reasons than one- there’s a whole range one can choose from and it can even help spice up one’s sex life (talk about coming in peace!).

Forging relationships in the new normal

“We have a new normal when it comes to finding new ways of not feeling lonely, finding new people, finding a soul mate, or simply finding someone to have a conversation with,” Innasithamby aptly says. The curfews and lockdown restrictions in place, as well as the social distancing regulations and rules against gatherings, have made meeting anybody new difficult and continue to do so.  After all, it’s all about getting sexy, not sick right?

On a positive note though- the longer you last, the better you perform (wink wink) – and low lows are always followed by high highs. Here’s to wild, sheet-grabbing, toe-curling, bigger and better highs now and in the near future!

When the going gets tough, the tough get going (or should we say coming?) The new normal can offer new pathways to pleasure and happiness- you just have to be creative, bold and daring enough to find out and to do just this, you can stay tuned for the next episode of Pillow Talk- ‘New Norms of Dating’ with Shermaine Willis- going live on Instagram @durexsrilanka on Thursday, the 26th of November, 7pm onwards. We’re excited, and we’re sure you are too!

Online conversations and intimacy

There are many social media platforms when it comes to dating, finding someone or even interacting and having a conversation (yayy!), and the use of these has greatly increased with COVID-19 and the new normal. When it comes to initiating and engaging in online conversations, it is important to take your time, be sensitive about the other person, their backgrounds and where they come from, and to always be respectful of them. It’s important to really get to know them and not share any personal information unless one personally knows the one they are chatting with and have met them at least once. After all, all good things come to those who wait!

The climax of things

To conclude, young people face important decisions about relationships, sexuality and sexual behaviour. The decisions they make can impact their health and emotional and physical well-being for the rest of their lives. Sexual health is not merely the absence of disease, but the freedom and possibility to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. Young people have the right to lead healthy lives. Sexual education- including open dialogue on sex- is a vital stepping stone for this. Durex has been the pioneer of this stepping-stone initiative in Sri Lanka and it’s great to see our celebrities and media personalities step up and begin to talk about a topic hitherto considered a major taboo. Let’s come together, set the mood, arouse interest and turn on the conversation- here’s to safer, healthier and happier sexual experiences!  

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