6 Sex Taboos That Need to Be Broken

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Life is too short to keep certain topics off-limits. There are certain things that we don’t see enough of (like body hair), that we are scared to talk to our partners about (like the big O) or that we would never dream of asking for (like sex during that time of the month).

We at ellaOne are firmly of the view that it’s always better to talk and share. Being confident about your body, your sex life and your morning after means that nothing is off-limits: there are no judgments – and that starts with smashing through some seriously outdated boudoir-based taboos.

1 – Sex on the reds

The moment of dread when you check the calendar only to realise that the romantic weekend away you had planned coincides with that time of the month. Disaster! Or is it?

THINX – the company who pioneered period panties – made headlines this year for their period blanket allowing couples to brave the crimson wave and get their fix. We hasten to point out that laying down a regular towel down can be just as effective – but THINX did get people talking about Period Sex.

Did you know that many women are more horny when they’re on? The reason being that a  drop in progesterone puts your libido into overdrive. Many women also experience heightened sensitivity down there, leading to all kinds of ~good vibes~.

Bonus: orgasms can also relieve painful cramps – and PMS symptoms like stress for, well, quite obvious reasons.

Don’t have a towel to hand? Spice things up and try the shower…

2 – Hairy Mary

UGH. This again. Did you know that it was only in June 2018 that an advert for women’s razors actually showed a woman with a hairy leg for the first time? Why in the year 2018 are people STILL surprised – and disgusted – that women have body hair? Sorry that we are literally mammals.

Women have been putting up with this crap for a long time. Way back in the year 2 B.C. the Roman poet Ovid told women to rid themselves of hair, so “that no rude goat find his way beneath your arms and that your legs be not rough with bristling hair.”

After more than 2,000 years of trimming, shaving, plucking and waxing, we’re pretty exhausted. From now on, shaving is my choice – and if you have an issue with hairy armpits or rocking a bush, that’s your problem pal.

3 – Discomfort Down Under

Just as Ariana Grande sang in ‘Side to Side’, sometimes things don’t feel quite right the next morning or even straight after sex (thanks Ari!).

This one is pretty important. Sex can be lots of fun (duh) but we don’t talk often enough about not feeling great afterwards.

One recent study claimed that 9.5% of women aged 16-24 are experiencing painful sex (or dyspareunia: the medical term for it). Women suffering with this are more likely to lose interest in sex and were five times more prone to suffer anxiety related to sex.

This pain could be thrush, a common UTI (welcome to the ‘Sitting on the Loo for Hours Crying and Drinking Cranberry Juice’ club) or it could be a sign of something more serious. In any case, if you find yourself sore and not wanting more, you should get checked over by a doctor and you definitely shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about it with your partner.

4 – The Morning After

There is still so much stigma around the morning after the night before. Society may have just about got its head around the fact that women have sex lives (thank you Sex And The City) but shame still lingers in the cold light of day.

For many women, taking the morning-after pill still feels like an embarrassing confession that invites strangers to judge you.

The whole experience can make you feel like someone you have never met before is making assumptions about your sex life.

Taking emergency contraception is an informed and sensible decision: why does it leave women feeling like an embarrassed girl who couldn’t keep her knickers on?

As Rhiannon Lucy Cosslet wrote in The Guardian, “I’ve been through it myself, having taken the morning-after pill six or seven times. I don’t have to tell you why, just that I feel no shame and didn’t at the time as it was the responsible choice.”

In a recent survey, 31% of women said they felt embarrassed to ask for emergency contraception while a quarter admitted waiting for other customers to leave the pharmacy before asking for the morning-after pill.

An incredible 1 in 8 women would take the drastic measure of travelling to a different town to avoid bumping into anyone they know (ellaOne consumer research, conducted by Censuswide June 2018).

We want to reclaim the morning after. And encourage women to share their experiences around purchasing emergency contraception.

Biology means women might be the ones to swallow the pill – but they shouldn’t need to swallow the outdated sexist attitudes that stigmatise it.

5 – Masturbation

Female masturbation is such a taboo that in Sweden (the country of ABBA, IKEA, the Nobel Prize and Daim bars – clearly the Swedes are on to something) decided to invent a new word for it so that women didn’t have to rely on traditionally male words.

The word was klittra, ladies. And it’s invention proves that the conversation around masturbating is still a male-dominated domain.

The thing is: if you can’t get yourself off, how are you going to show someone else how to? Masturbating is healthy, happy and helps you to know your body better. Go forth and KLITTRA to your heart’s content.

6 – RSVP-ing to the party but not being able to Come

Sometimes your head is in the game, but your body just isn’t playing along. Everything can be technically good, but you just can’t reach climax. It happens to everyone now and then, and there’s no need to overthink it.

Contrary to the lessons learned from When Harry Met Sally however, there’s no need to fake it. Firstly, because you don’t need to make them feel better about their performance – and it will only make it worse if they find out the truth later. Secondly, because if you don’t ‘fess up – you and your partner won’t be able to find a way that works for both of you.

Words: Miranda Slade

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.