Talking about menstruation (chums/periods) and other related issues has always been a taboo for girls. Similar is the plight of boys who feel that there is something seriously wrong with them after a nocturnal emission (wet dreams).
As a result, we add the Shh… factor to our biological functioning and sexual organs. Thus it tends to become the ‘forbidden fruit’ for us, which most of us want to know and explore but only in hiding.
These could be a cause of a lot of distress, risky behavior and maladjustments like –
Children experimenting with their genitals and peers across gender.
Developing a sense of anxiety and fear about their body which later can result in sexual dysfunctions.
Sexual abuse of children and grownups across genders.
Lets do few things differently:
- No code language: Stop using phrases like “opening the floodgates”, “shark week”, not even “periods” or “chums”. Say it out loud “MENSTRUATION”. Men can supplement their vocabulary with words like ‘PENIS’, ‘SEMEN’ and ‘AROUSAL’ instead of ‘dick’, ‘cum’ and ‘horny’.
- Study your body and Sexual health: Try exploring from the books, internet and experts about your sexual organ and health. Start from the basics like tampons can replace sanitary pads and help while swimming and playing. Then move on to complex topics like effect of hormones like testosterone in male sexual behaviors.
- Family Chat: Cultivate the habit of freely chatting with children, siblings and elders about various topics of sexual health. For instance, a child would freely report to his dad about the semen and nocturnal emission if his father had already introduced and spoken to him about topics of puberty, reproduction and sexual organs. Also the child wouldn’t carry any guilt about it. This can also prevent child abuse as the children would be more confident to talk and report.
- Family Shopping: Apart from malls and picnics, family outing and shopping can be done taking children along with their siblings to buy their undergarments and other sexual health sanitary items. This develops trust among family members and also helps children to become responsible and confident from young age.
- Peer discussions: It’s a good source to increase our understanding while being comfortable. Make efforts to include the other gender into such discussions. You will get a holistic perspectives to things.
- Projects and Assignments: If you get options to pick topics for assignments, projects and public speaking, well by now you know what to pick. Extra points for topics, courage and conviction.
- Organize seminars and classes: Enough understanding about your body and health ? Go ahead share it with others. Try to call in experts to facilitate seminars in your workplace institution and schools.
- Strike a conversation: It works best when you are traveling and want to begin a conversation with a stranger. Talk to them and discuss about issues like harassment in public places, sexual abuse and the role of the bystander. Trust me its one good topic to build your quality time.
- Add sexual health to your intimacy and lovemaking: Sharing and understanding the biology of your body can in itself be a great courtship and building blocks to your relationship.