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Monday, September 20, 2021

Column: Let’s talk

Boys and girls, we need to talk. After scrounging my brain for something to write about this week, I had an ah-ha moment.

Why are we so afraid of talking about sex?

It’s as if society has created a stigma about sex and made the topic almost taboo. We need to grow some balls – no pun intended – and put those fears to rest. Sex is not something we should be afraid of. It’s something we should embrace with open arms and condom-s wrapped penises (peni sounds so much better).

Let’s start with the actual word. Sex. There I said it and I’ll say it again. Sex. Sex. Sex.

Instead of saying the word, we say “it,” “bang,” “screw,” “bone,” “nail,” “grind” and my favorite, “schtupp” (that last one comes from Yiddish in case you were wondering).

Some of these sound down right painful. Sex is supposed to be a fun, pleasurable experience. I don’t know about you, but being “nailed” or “screwed” doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

Just this past weekend, I was listening to a friend tell a story about a girl and a boy and she ended it with “… and all he wanted was mmm.” She replaced a simple sound effect for the word sex.

It’s not just sex we’re afraid to say. It’s the body parts, too. I know someone who is afraid of the word penis. Maybe it’s because of her upbringing or her Catholic school experience. Whatever the case is, it’s a scary word for her.

This got me thinking about the penis game. No, it’s not when a bunch of guys get together and compete for whose is biggest. (Does this ever happen?)

The penis game is when two people or two groups go back and forth screaming the word penis. Each time, the person or group yells the word louder than the time before. If you’re still confused, watch 500 Days of Summer. It’s quite a liberating experience.

There are many factors contributing to the fear of sex. Pain, diseases, pregnancy, the media, school, peer pressure, family … the list goes on, but you get the picture.

This whole idea of being afraid of sex and all things related goes back to what I brought up last week – sexual empowerment. If we feel comfortable with sex and ourselves, then we’ll be comfortable expressing how we feel with words.

If the person you’re with is pressuring you to take part in a sexual act you feel uneasy about, don’t sit there and let it happen. Talk about it. As hard as it may be for some of us, the only way to get what you want is to tell the other person.

I’m not telling you to put sex on a pedestal and bow down to it (although it may not be a bad idea). You should, however, be able to at least say the word sex and have your own opinion on the topic.

Our bodies were meant to enjoy the act, so if you’re afraid, I suggest going to talk to someone. Whether it’s a doctor or psychologist, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to help. CAPS is an excellent campus resource and it’s FREE. What are you waiting for?

ERICA BETNUN wants to know if you need a place to live this summer. If you do, let her know at elbetnun@ucdavis.edu.

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