Sexual Health and Identity

How to Start a Conversation About Sex

Let's talk about sex, baby!

Not everyone is comfortable having an open conversation about sex and pleasure. But, they are important and vital conversations to have. Talking about sex should be normalized and these tips can hopefully open up the conversation.

1. Look for a safe space

Finding a space where you feel comfortable to open up about your experiences without being judged is the first step to having an open conversation. That can be anywhere from the doctor’s office to your room surrounded by your closest friends.

2. Normalize talking about genitalia by its name

Saying penis or labia should be as normal as saying arm and leg. Talking about anatomy the way it’s intended can help normalize the conversation. Understanding our body is important, and calling things by their name is the first step.

3. It’s your story, so share it how you want

You are entitled to talk about your experiences however you like. But, that applies to others as well. Which means that if someone is not ready to talk about their sexual lives with you, then they should be respected.

4. Tone is everything

If you giggle every time someone mentions the word “boobs” then those around you will also laugh. If you talk normally then others will take the conversation seriously and react more comfortably.

5. It starts with one comment

Opening up about your sexuality can be uncomfortable. So, instead of going all into detail on the first try, maybe just start with a comment. Something like “I am reading about birth control” can open up the conversation and allow others to share their experiences as well.

Talking about sex and pleasure has been a taboo for many. But, it is something completely normal and we should treat it as such. Every situation is different, but these tips can help give the first step.

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Maria is a senior at Hofstra University majoring in Journalism and Women's...