Sexual subjectivity is how people experience their sexuality and how they are entitled to actively express their sexual desires. The idea that people should have control over their sexual identity and should feel empowered to express their sexual urges contradicts the notion that sexual behavior is sinful and wrong. I think it is important to advocate for sexual subjectivity because repressing these desires can be detrimental to one’s own wellbeing and society.
I remember how when I was younger and people started to pursue their sexual urges, some of my peers looked down upon sexual behaviors. As it is discussed in the documentary, Let’s Talk About Sex, social institutions, like religion and school, teach us that sex is reserved for marriage and that we should refrain from having sex. In health classes, students are taught that having sex puts people as risk for unwanted pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted diseases. All of this negative banter about sex makes it an uninviting conversation topic. As a result, some people chose not to talk about sex. Consequently, teenagers learn about sex through the media and their peers, which can lead to misconceptions about this unspoken topic, like how to have safe sex.
Becoming more aware of sexual subjectivity, people will feel more comfortable with their sexual urges and will be more inclined to ask questions about sex from knowledgable adults rather than their uninformed peers. A society that embraces sexuality will help people feel more secure regarding their desires and sexual experiences. This will help people to be less reliant on alcohol to relieve their sexual anxieties when they express these desires.
Prior to college, some people feel compelled to hide their sexual impulses out of fear that their parents will condemn them if they were to find out about their sexual drives, which stems from insufficient sexual discourse. As a result of this, college overflows will sexual behavior. Hookup culture is rampant, and sexual assault is more common. A girl is more likely to suffer sexual assault if she goes to college than if she does not.
Even though sex is more accepted in this setting, the term hooking up shows how people are uncomfortable overtly discussing sex. As Kathleen A. Bogle writes in her book, Hooking Up, this vague term could mean anything from a peck to intercourse, and this gives teenagers ambiguity with regard to their sexual experiences. Saying you hooked up with someone may act as a form of privacy, but also reveals the unconscious need to hide their expression of their sexual desires.
We should take the cue from Salt-N-Pepa’s song, Let’s Talk About Sex, and “talk about all the good things, all the bad things that may be, let’s talk about sex.” Sex should be encouraged and openly discussed. This will help people feel more comfortable talking about this topic and having sex, and not feel so sexually deprived as to assault another person.
Prior to taking this class, I did not feel as comfortable discussing sex. However, now I feel secure discussing this topic. I am able to recognize the importance of making people more aware of sexual subjectivity and talking about sex. I view sex with more openness as a result of increased conversation about sex and the importance sexual agency.
Do you feel uncomfortable talking about sex? How can we help make discussing sex more common and less problematic? Do you think that talking about sex would help make people feel more secure with their own sexual experience and desires?