“Sexual Freedom”, I read aloud the two words in front of my 70-year-old granny and I watched her shift uncomfortably in her chair, knowing then and there that my mission was complete. What mission was that I know you wonder, and the answer is very simple: I wanted to see whether or not my grandmother would be moved by her 21-year-old granddaughter saying any word with “sex” aloud.
Starting off this writing piece with that scenario was nothing more than me trying to depict the obvious generational gap between me and my granny , as well as how hard it would be for me to even have a conversation about sex with her without triggering a possible sweat-fest ( sweating profusely ) between the two of us .Knowing what you know now as a reader reading this , I can almost confidently say that you believe me when I confess that I haven’t dipped myself into the pool of interacting sexually with another human being. This is not because it stems from the fear of what my granny would say, but rather what happens afterwards and the many questions I would have, one of those questions being; What adult can I speak to? to ensure that I am doing everything right and that I am also making sure that I am protected in the process of engaging in sex. That is why I find myself interested in answering what sexual freedom means to me, personally, because I never want to feel like I am inhibiting myself from fully enjoying my sexual experiences. Just as the rain chooses on which days it wants to rain on, I find myself yearning the same freedom when it comes to my sexual life. I want to be able to openly speak about my desires with my family, not too much to give them explicit images of me in their imagination but enough to create a safe space for me as well as those coming after me who will need the exact same comfort.
Sexual freedom to me is having open conversations about sex, be it how to use a condom or how to protect myself from STI’s and even going as far as talking about contraception without any pressures of oncoming judgement from relatives or even my own friends. I want to be able to explore my sexuality as well as embrace the fantasies and desires that visit my mind once in a while.
As a young person with social media, it is very common for me to see posts where the younger generation is alienating the older generation and not including them in crucial conversations all in the name of “they are too old to understand” and I think that is where the divide becomes even further between generations. The word “inclusivity” comes up a lot on social media as well, and I think this is the time to include the older generations in educating each other on sexuality, how it is evolving every day and how one can do their part in ensuring that each one’s sexual journey is as magical as one would like it to be as well as unique.
Talking about sex should never be seen as something negative, and having continuous engagements on sex literacy would also be a good contributing factor in narrowing the divide between generations. This will allow for both the older and younger generation to share their experiences of sex and in this one will be able to see perhaps the similarities in both generations and what sex would look like for both of these generations in a perfect world. In short, sexual freedom to me would be gained when I one day wake up, grab a chair and sit in front of my beautiful grandmother telling her that I am sexually active and her response is her reassuring me that it is good that I have told her as she goes on to give me grandmotherly advice on how to take care of myself.