Sadly in this country it is still very much a taboo subject in schools, families and for some people they find it hard to even talk about in their friendship groups.
My mother is a prude in some ways, in that she wouldn't want to openly discuss her own sexual experiences, but she has always told me I can ask her anything and she would give me honest answers. This was a great way to parent, because it meant whenever I heard a new term at school (rarely through the rubbish sex education I was offered I might add) I would immediately ask her without feeling any embarrassment. I remember being in the car on the way home from school when I was about 11 years old and I asked her "what's a blow job mummy?"
Most parents would freak out, but she was calm and most importantly she was honest (in an age-appropriate way I might add). Similarly I remember asking her about condoms, sex in general and even orgasms and each time she would answer with the relevant detail needed.
This meant that when it came to me losing my virginity I was completely clued up. I waited until I was in a serious relationship and in love before doing it, and I was confident about contraception to ensure it was done safely. The talks we would have also meant I knew to never allow a man to pressure me to doing anything I didn't want to, and I knew that I could always approach my mum with any worries in this area.
Even as an adult I have told her a lot of detail about my various conquests (much to her disgust as she does not like to think of me giving or receiving head!) because I have no inhibitions about sex. This doesn't make me dirty or a slut, it has actually made me very clued up on how to keep myself safe whilst having a great sex life.
I knew as soon as I got into a relationship that I wanted full sexual health screenings of my partner (we were both 16 and virgins I might add) and I had no fears about telling him that he would not be going anywhere near me until I saw his GUM clinic results.
From then onwards I have always had regular screenings when I have been sexually active with casual partners, and in relationships I insist on us being screened at least once per year. It's not embarrassing, it's INTELLIGENT.
This year The Terrence Higgins Trust are giving away free HIV tests that you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home during HIV Awareness Week if you meet their criteria and I think this is brilliant. Alternatively you can have a test at your local GUM or family planning clinic and these are not put on your health records (unlike if you took the test at your GPs) so it wouldn't affect your health insurance if you have some.
HIV can have no symptoms when you first get the virus, and so many people never bother to get tested because of this, or they still live in the darks ages and assume only gay people get HIV.
I was a sexual health youth consultant as a teenager for various sexual health organisations and even then I was being told that heterosexual people were showing higher figures of having HIV than gay people, and I imagine even now the numbers are close.
Another reason people avoid getting tested is the fear of dying, but medication has come on so much in recent years to the point where people are now able to live with HIV until they are around 75 years old, as long as the virus is found early enough, so get tested!
According to the Terrence Higgins Trust, there are 22,000 people in the UK who have undiagnosed HIV so what are you waiting for? Delaying the test can reduce your lifespan if it remains undetected so time really is of the essence.
The Safest Sex There Is: Self-Love
I am a firm believer in us all (women especially) experimenting with our own bodies, because how on earth can we tell our partners what we enjoy the most in the bedroom if we never practice?
For years I have read women's magazines where women say they have never had an orgasm or their partner doesn't know how to help them reach this, and the advice is always to use vibrators or your hands to masturbate to see what feels good.
Don't cringe, this advice really works! It has been proven that the more you do a bit of self-love, the easier it is to reach orgasm and therefore for your partner to get you there too.
I got my first vibrator for my sixteenth birthday from my mum as a joke present, and I then bought a rabbit as a joke with my boyfriend at the time, but when I used it, I finally learnt what an orgasm was and never looked back!
I would never be embarrassed to use or talk about sex toys, and I even have some that I use with partners during intercourse- life is for living, and it really is too short to sit feeling disgusted by your lady parts and never getting to enjoy what your body can do.
My latest toy is pretty clever and can even be used as a general body massager.
|Revel Body Sol Sonic Vibrator|
The second generation Revel Body Sol Sonic Vibrator uses TrueSonic technology which enables you to experience a powerful body massage. It's main use is as a clitoral vibrator, but it's shape means it can be rolled around the body (such as the feet) as a massage device too. It comes with three interchangeable tips and has various speeds and intensities to help meet your individual needs.
The thing I find most fun is that it's waterproof and when put in the water it provides suction as well as the vibrations for an even more intense experience, so baths will never be the same again!
The unique thing about this is that it operates on the 'om' frequency, which is the energy that connects and joins things together. It's thought that this 'om' vibration reduces stress and tension and promotes sexual awakening- clever or what?!
Be proud of your sexuality and your sex life! I very much take after Samantha from Sex and The City, as I love to talk about my sex life and experiences with my friends and hearing theirs, because it can be funny, supportive but also inspiring and educational.
I very much want to use the open approach my mother had with me for my son, because boys can find it even harder to talk to their mother about sex, and I really don't want that to be the case, because I want him to be safe, happy and not making me a grandmother whilst he's a teenager!
For the purpose of this post I was sent a Revel Sol Vibrator. No payment was received, and all opinions are honest and my own.
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