Sex and intimacy are often elements that are skipped over in many Black households. I never had the talk with my mother which has it pluses and minuses. On the plus side I did not have to endure an awkward sit down talk like I did when I started my period. On the minus side friends, books, and television filled in a lot of missing information but not all information is good or even educational.
Sex and intimacy are topics that should first be broached in the home. Open discussion of the differences between the two is critical to shaping the ideas and views of the inexperienced in their relationships. Everyone is inundated with images of sex from television, print adds to product consumerisms. Yet hardly was the topics of sex broached other than to have my mom say I’m not raising any babies. The mechanics of sex were ever present but the actual emotional attachment (especially for women) was missing in all the advertisement. Sex has become so mechanical or robotic the world does not present it as the ultimate emotional connection that it was intended to be.
Casual sexual encounters have replaced intimacy. Parents and families should teach their children early that intimacy does not begin with sex but begins with a touch a look or even a word. I share an intimacy with my husband that I still marvel at it makes our relationship all the more deeper and sincere. Neither of us had the best role models for marriage but we work on making it better than our parents had.
Sex needs to be discussed. Parents need to be strong and forth coming and open to questions. Parents of young girls should teach them early that sex should not be used as a way to gain affection. Young men should also be taught respect for women at an early age and that sex should be discriminatory and not a contest of conquests. The strained relationships and hardships that some people suffer in their adult years are in direct consequences to their misunderstanding and misuse of sex versus learning the beauty of shared intimacy.
Intimacy for our relationships begins in the morning every morning whoever leaves for work kisses the other good-bye. During bad weather my husband calls to make sure I have made it safely even on the really bad days he drives me to work. We will find a note or cards over the house in each other’s cars slipped in each other’s lunch boxes when we need it most. Holding hands, relaxing on the couch together, sharing a laugh or brightening the others day is what strengthens our bond; especially during those you get on my nerves moments. The greatest intimacy I share with my husband comes from waking up on Saturday morning with him by my side and playing catch-up conversation.
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