Brave Conversations: Talking About Sex & Birth Control
Talking about sex with friends
For many of us, our friends are our go-to people for any life advice. When it comes to talking about sex and birth control, it’s no exception. In TV shows from Sex and the City to Skins, talking candidly about what we’ve been up to between the sheets has become normalized. But what if you still struggle to broach the subject?
Even amongst good friends, it’s easy to fall into the traps of comparing your sex life, from wondering if you’re ‘normal’ or simply finding the whole thing downright awkward. Our three quick tips are designed to make you feel more comfortable in broaching the subject.
Remember: bigger isn’t always better
If you want to ask for advice, tell a story that makes you blush or just have a good moan, start small. Big gatherings aren’t always the easiest places to speak your mind. If you’re confident then go, go, go for it – preach to the world! But if the thought of talking about your sex life makes you squirm, save the conversation for a smaller group of one or two good friends. Not only will you have more active listeners, but you’ll feel more safe and secure with a couple of your sympathetic besties.
Prepare to kick-start the conversation
Turning topics to a ‘tricky’ subject can be the most daunting part of conversations. You can steer things in the direction of your chat by choosing a film, TV show or book that deals with similar themes. Sharing and discussing these with your friends naturally brings the discussion round to your own personal talking point. The great thing about this approach is that your friends are also likely to share, creating a great safe space where you can all support each other.
Never, ever feel ashamed when talking about sex
The idea that women shouldn’t rejoice in their sex lives is outdated and harmful. If you feel ashamed after talking to a friend about sex or regret bringing up the subject, you have to ask yourself about the nature of the friendship. Maybe your friend is still not comfortable talking about sex, remember it is not a reflection on you, you’re doing the brave and responsible thing in tackling the subject.
Talking about sex with your partner
Whether you’ve been together ten hours or ten years, talking about sex with your partner should be something you’re both comfortable doing. Avoid talking about sex with your partner in bed for example, right after sex is probably not the best time to raise any concerns – neither is before you go to sleep. Instead choose a safe, yet neutral, location where neither of you feels trapped and you have the right amount of time to talk things through. There’s no shame in setting a time to discuss things if you feel more comfortable with that.
Talking about birth control with your partner
Whether it’s a one night stand or lust that lasts a lifetime, talking about birth control with your partner is an essential part of the general dialogue of talking about sex. At Natural Cycles we believe birth control is a shared responsibility. From the practicality of using condoms to prevent STIs, to the way your birth control makes you feel, no conversation is too small. The more open we are about our birth control, the easier it becomes for women everywhere to talk about contraceptive choices.
What is Natural Cycles?
Natural Cycles is a birth control app that works by tracking a rise in basal body temperature. This identifies where you are in your menstrual cycle. In turn, this information means that the app can find your fertile days (women are only actually fertile for six days per cycle), and tell you when there is a risk of pregnancy and when you are not fertile. Natural Cycles is hormone-free and grounded in science.
By Jennifer Gray
A writer with passion for women’s health, Jennifer Gray is Content Owner here at Natural Cycles. She’s making it her mission to close the knowledge gap on reproductive health.