Behind Closed Doors: Opening the Doors in Your Relationship

It’s probably pretty clear that I like talking about sex. I mean, I write a column called “Behind Closed Doors.” Honestly, I am not sure who came up with that title (it was here before I was), but I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means. This column is largely about sex-related topics, and we usually talk about sex-related things “behind closed doors.”

I think I’d like to open the doors a little bit.

Let me be clear: don’t open your door while you’re having sex. Please, give yourself some privacy and keep your door closed. I do, however, want to bring conversations about sex out into the open.

Like I said, I like talking about sex. I’m extremely comfortable with it. I have always been something of an “over-sharer” when it comes to my personal sex life and feelings. I’m pretty sure my entire middle school knew who I had a crush on in the seventh grade because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about it. Being attracted to someone is exciting, and so is having positive intimate experiences with someone you are attracted to. I can’t help but share my enthusiasm with others. Hence, my whole middle school knew my crush, everyone I knew heard about my first kiss and my entire high school found out when I discovered I didn’t identify as straight.

I think it’s important that everyone who is sexually active is able to have a conversation about sex.

Talking about my personal experiences and feelings helped me to become more confident in my sexuality. When I came to college, I continued to become more comfortable talking about sex. I’m fairly certain that day one of orientation, I announced to my freshman hall that I had condoms in my room and they were available to anyone at anytime ever. I found that I was actually very passionate about encouraging others to have safe sex, and as I started to have more and more conversations along these lines, I became more passionate about encouraging others to focus on having positive sexual and relational experiences, not just safe ones. I wanted everyone to feel as comfortable with their sexuality as I was.

I am still working hard to reach that goal, but I realized that it’s difficult to encourage people to have healthy, positive sexual relationships when so many people don’t feel comfortable talking about sex.

A wise friend of mine once said: “If you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to talk about it.” I think it’s important that everyone who is sexually active is able to have a conversation about sex. I’m not saying that you need to be an over-sharer; you don’t have to tell all of your friends when you have any sort of sexual experience. When and how you share your experiences is up to you. At the very least, however, we need to be able to have conversations about things like consent without feeling uncomfortable. Everyone should feel empowered enough to express their wants and needs to a potential partner. If you do not feel comfortable and confident talking about sex, it can be very difficult to communicate in the moment when communication becomes critical.

I would like to encourage everyone to talk more freely and openly about sex in the hopes that we can create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable talking about sex and relationships. I feel confident that we are all more than capable of doing this, and that it would help so many people to not be afraid to speak up about their wants and needs.

Katelyn R. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who’d prefer to be a Behind Open Doors columnist.


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