Sex is a completely normal and natural thing but for some reason, there is still a huge stigma about talking about safe sex and using contraception. Why is that? It is definitely nothing to be ashamed of and it is something needs to be something that needs to change.
The Dreaded Sexual Health Clinic
As a woman, going to a sexual health clinic can be a pretty unpleasant experience. I used to hate trying to book an appointment at the doctors just for another prescription of the pill so I decided that going directly to a sexual health clinic was a better option. The first time I went to one, there was a queue of men and women waiting to be seen and a man unzipped his trousers and flashed what I can only describe as a green penis. It was not nice. You don’t want to feel like you are somewhere taboo and that you are doing something wrong. If anything, you are being responsible by going to get contraception.
You can’t help but feel the opposite though. If you go on days that are for all sexual health you will probably end up waiting in a room with people that are just like you with a few dodgy looking people thrown in.
Sexual Health Clinics are usually a hassle. I have only ever been to one that wasn’t a nightmare. Some are hard to get appointments so you turn up at the walk-in times and hope for the best. If it opens at 9 am, you’ll probably have to get there at least half an hour early as you might not be seen. Be prepared for it to take a while until you are seen as it could be very busy.
There is nothing wrong with wanting contraception. You don’t need to feel like you are being judged the whole time. A guy who has condoms on him might be seen as prepared but would you think the same if a woman had condoms on her? It doesn’t make her forward, it makes her savvy.
It is not ok to slut shame someone for being prepared. We are in an age where sex should not be seen as a taboo. You don’t want to be looked down on for the fact that you, like a lot of people, are having sex.
Even the dreaded look you are worried you’ll get when you are asked how many sexual partners you have or if you always use protection when going to get contraception.
The Morning After Pill
Emergency contraception is one of the many forms of contraception you can get. It is something you should use within 72 hours of having sex. Despite the fact that it should be used as a constant form of contraception, it is usually really reliable. It isn’t the cheapest, so spending £30 and shuffling up to the counter in the pharmacy to get the morning after pill isn’t good for the ego or the bank balance.
The interactions at a pharmacy to pick up the morning after pill has been said to be embarrassing or shaming, adding to the feeling of slut shaming and awkward.
Hold Your Head Up High
Let’s get this straight – the stigma around sex lives and contraception needs to change. The first place you need to start is with yourself. If you don’t think getting contraception is a bad thing then hopefully your body language and facial expressions will show that. As long as you are being safe, then the reaction of others is not important.
Taboos are understandable when in a sexual context. However, in an age that we put our entire lives on the internet and we share our feelings and thoughts about things more than ever, it is still a no-no. How do we get to the point when it is no longer an issue? Porn has been a lot more accessible in the last few years so you would think the desensitisation of it would make the stigma much smaller.
The Other Side
What do men think about contraception? If you are in a long-term relationship, your boyfriend will know about what contraception you are using, like condoms and the pill. When you are having casual sex with someone it might be a little more discreet. However being safe is all about how comfortable you feel, not something that should pressure you into doing something you don’t want to.
Would you think differently of someone if they got the morning after pill or spoke about using the contraceptive pill? I encourage everyone to try and talk about these things. The more out in the open people are about these things, the smaller the stigma towards contraception might be.