Let’s Talk About Sex

Bryana Lozoya, Reporter

Talking about sex and sexual wellness is something that should be spoken more openly about in Kern County—between families, friends, schools, and healthcare professionals. There is still a hefty amount of discomfort and stigma when it comes to openly discuss sex and all that it entails. Because of that, it plays a role in negatively impacting our community.
This kind of conversation should be started at home and continued at some point in schools, with a person’s doctor and beyond.
Without this kind of conversation in the forefront, we get more people practicing sex unsafely, more people unaware about proper sexual wellness, and more people believing myths and misconceptions about sexual health and passing them along to others.
I am sure that many people are already aware that Kern County ranks high for certain STDs, but for those who don’t, we rank #3 for Chlamydia and #4 for Gonorrhea in California for 2017 according to the California Department of Public Health. That is higher than what was reported in 2016.
There are lots of reasons for these high rates but if we get rid of the stigma around talking about sex and how to take care of our sexual health, then more people would feel comfortable with being proactive about their sexual health without worrying about judgment or retribution.
For some, talking about sex is taboo and the motto is abstinence-only, having this kind of mindset is not helpful to anyone. Yes, being abstinent is the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs but leaving a person’s knowledge about properly taking care of their sexual health with just practicing abstinence is reckless and foolish. It leaves people at risk for practicing unsafe sex and picking up misconceptions about sexual wellness, STDs, and pregnancy.
Talking about sex and everything that comes with it should not be taboo at all. Having a community that is able to discuss these kinds of things openly and comfortably is beneficial for our county’s overall wellness.
Being able to have a community that is comfortable with this topic opens opportunities to creating and implementing better education, and advertisement on sexual wellness—whether it is for schools across grade levels or through other mediums such as billboards or community outreaches presented across Kern County.
Having the conversation about sexual wellness in our community can present us with a well-rounded knowledge about how to be safe while knowing the risks and consequences when engaging in sexual activities. Not only that, we can build better relationships with one another while also learning about different sexualities.