This Is Why You Should Talk About Sex With Your Friends
Those who have real friends are rich.
More than material stuff, we need emotional support; we need a shoulder to cry, an available ear to listen to our venting or complaining. We deserve to share our fantastic news with someone we love and loves us back; as we deserve to find comfort when hard times hits us.
There are many, many benefits in having friends.
A friend is also someone you share your most intimate secrets — including sexual ones.
I once wrote about how my friends saw my sex marks and found I’m a kinkster — it happened a couple of weeks after me having it discover myself, so I was living a thrilling but confusing time. I was loving it, but at the same time, I was frustrated and angry at myself, for not pursuing my true sexual self earlier in life. I had a lot of emotions going on inside me.
I felt so relieved my friends now knew about myself. Now I could talk about it.
I feel comfort in knowing I can share my doubts, fun, fears or wishes with someone apart from my partner.
Talking with someone you trust about your sex life it’s beneficial, for several reasons:
Benefits of talking about sex with your friends
Talking about sex — your preferences, desires, and fantasies — with your partner is crucial.
Clear communication between a couple is the (not so) secret ingredient for a healthy relationship.
But there are also benefits in talking about your sexuality with your friends — personal benefits, as this 2018 study, published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, revealed.
The study (with a sample of 617 adult women), concluded that there’s a correlation between women’s sexual well-being and communication with their friends.
Talking with your friends about sex, it’s not a description of facts. You might do it, but mostly you share your experiences, your feelings. You also share your concerns (for example, an STI scare.)
Your friends are active listeners. They will provide you with emotional support and reassurance; they will help you manage your anxieties by offering you advice or recommendations.
The study above mentioned also concluded that women who talked with their peers about their sexual life presented these two qualities:
- Higher sexual self-efficacy;
- Higher sexual self-esteem.
What’s the importance of self-efficacy?
Those who have high self-efficacy are determined and have the perseverance to overcome obstacles (source).
Self-efficacy is about you having confidence in your abilities to deal with situations, without feeling overwhelmed. You are in control of your behaviours, motivations, and social environment.
This means those who have a high level of self-efficacy will be confident in promoting their sexual health — they will speak out and do whatever they have to do to have safe, healthy sexuality.
Why high sexual self-esteem is important?
Having high sexual self-esteem means you have a positive image of yourself and your sexual abilities. You trust who your sexual-self is.
People with high sexual self-esteem are confident in how they express themselves in bed and how they relate intimately with others.
This trait will affect positively how you communicate — those with high sexual self-esteem are confident enough to speak effectively about their desires, preferences and also about what they don’t want. They will make their sexual choices very consciously.
Talking with friends about sex helps to normalise it
Sex is multidimensional. It involves not only a physical dimension but also an emotional, cultural and social ones.
Sexuality is complex and each one of us, individually, lives it in a unique way.
Many people struggle to deal with their sexual preferences, either it’s their sexual orientation, kinks, absence of sexual desire or the opposite.
There are many ways of how people feel sexually anxious and, as a result, self-neglect their sexuality.
Talking with someone you trust about your sexuality will help you find comfort and eventually answers to your questions. Often, it’s enough to give voice to your fears and anxieties for them to become less powerful.
Talking with your friends about your sexuality — the one you feel it might fall out of the “normative” patterns — will benefit you and your friends, as they will acknowledge there’s more than their personal framing of sex.
Often, we think our sexual fantasies or desires are “not normal”, but when speaking about them, we realise that there’s someone else going through the same.
Talking with friends about sex strengths your support network
By sharing with your friends your experiences about sex — positives and negatives — you are helping yourself in deep levels.
No matter what you’re going thought, your friends will be supportive (make sure you are talking to trustworthy friends, not mere acquaintances.)
Perhaps they have a perspective on your “problem” that you haven’t thought about. Maybe they can recommend you talk with someone they know who’s going through a similar situation than you.
Also, being your friends, they will accept you as you are, which will be an immense benefit for your mental health and a positive stimulus for your self-confidence.
You should live your sexuality in its fullness, without guilts, shames or embarrassments (as long as it’s lived in a consensual, legal and positive way.)
Despite being something very personal, sharing your sex life with someone you trust will benefit you in several ways.
You will feel accepted and supported. You will experience the marvellous sensation of having someone available for you to share your discoveries, your anxieties, or to laugh about something new you tried.
Friendship is fundamental to your mental health.
Knowing that you have your friends around in your good and bad times (even if they are only virtually present) it’s a great source of comfort and emotional stability.
Talking with your friends about your sex life will help you externalise your fears and anxieties — it’s part of your sexual education, so many times crippled by the lack of information our parents and school provided us.
Talking with your friends about sex promotes sexual health and wellness.