Friday, February 22, 2013

Sexytimes Language

Once upon a time, I was talking to my mom and my sister about sex. I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, but it was definitely about intercourse and sexytimes ("sexytimes" is my fun word for all the sexual experiences, or "play" as some people call it. I prefer to use it, personally, because it makes the whole experience sound more playful and it is more all-encompassing. I also think that maybe it is less heteronormative - definition found here - because of it's nature of including all types of sexual acts). 

Both my mom and sister are medical professionals (or future medical professionals, in the case of my little sister) and LDS. Because my mom has been a nurse for a very long time, she has always been very comfortable talking about sex and genitals with us. My sister, on the other hand, can be very uptight. I think because of her rigidity in Mormonism and some of her past experiences, she is extremely uncomfortable when sex comes up. 

I, on the other hand, love to talk about sex. I like hearing about others' experiences with sex because I believe it can be very enlightening (for example, I think reading about the BDSM community or sex workers can teach us a lot about the emotions and psychology behind sex, as well as the culture and stigma surrounding sex). I can also be very immature at times, like when I think sex is funny. I'll admit that. I don't mind that I can be immature about sex, because I think it makes me more comfortable with sex and makes sex more fun for me and my partner.

So what happened in this conversation between me, my mom, and my sister, is that my sister became very upset with the time of colloquialisms I was using. I think I was saying "cum" or "jizz." To me, it is very natural to use those words, especially since I most learned about sex as an ignorant teenager trying to look up information online. Not exactly the best way. 

My sister found my slang to be "disrespectful" of sex, which she believes is a very sacred act. I agree with her there, by the way. I believe sex is sacred, and it is most enjoyable when it is treated seriously and with respect. 

But I'm not sure we need to "deify" sex all of the time. For a lot of people, using slang or colloquialisms for sexytime things makes them a lot more comfortable than using the correct, medical terms for things, which can be very sterile and intimidating. And when people are more comfortable talking about sex, they learn more and feel more comfortable having sex. 

The practice of being able to communicate with people you love about sexytimes, such as family members, does translate directly into being able to talk to your partner about sex. It is a hell of a lot easier to talk to your partner about specific sexytimes things when you feel more comfortable using specific words. It might be a lot easier for you to say "don't cum on me" than "don't get your ejaculate or semen on me." 

Some people might argue that this is very immature. And I'm not necessarily going to disagree with them. Maybe we do all need to be comfortable using "proper" words. I would definitely say that we should be more comfortable saying "vagina" and "penis," because I believe those clinical words help us to be more educated about those specific areas. That and other slang can be so derogatory to our own bodies, and I believe in loving your body! Not in subtly putting it down! 

And maybe if we were all more comfortable with using the "sterile" words, it'd be easier to talk to our doctors and other medical professionals about sexual, reproductive, and general genital health (that may have been redundant. Oh well).

But I would argue that it is way more imperative to educate others on their sexual health, and to have healthy dialogue about sex practices, than it is to enforce specific words being used.

That and my sister really just needs to lighten up.    

Thoughts? Questions? Confessions? They are welcome!


  1. Speaking of anything using very specific words changes the perception of the thing being discussed. For instance, using "sterile" words when discussing genital health/sex and all of that creates a somewhat negative connotation to me. People take sex way to seriously (and some too loosely). It's a matter of understanding and being able to put the "grey area" into practice. Laughing at sex is probably the best thing anyone could do. It really is, in essence, hilarious because it's absurd. Laughing also breaks down the "otherness" of sex, which could really be the most beneficial thing to contemporary society.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I agree with you. It's a very tricky area, but I like the way that I personally deal with it.