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Taboo Conversations In African Households: Sex And Contraceptives

Sex & Relationships

Taboo Conversations In African Households: Sex And Contraceptives

If you grew up in a household like mine then I’m sure you’ll cringe at the thought of talking about sex even in jest in front of your parents.

So I think it’s time we took our relationship to the next level, you know get to know each other better. You might want to sit down for this…
Are your parents aware that you are having sex?
Allow me to rephrase:
Do your parents know you are having unprotected sex?
Are you on contraceptives?
Are they safe?
If you grew up in a household like mine then I’m sure you’ll cringe at the thought of talking about sex even in jest in front of your parents. I am convinced my family think my high school did a great job teaching me about coitus. Unfortunately my sole recollection from Biology class is how to draw the female organ, but what’s the point of knowing what a fallopian tube looks like if you have no idea how to shield yourself from infections and unplanned pregnancies?

How many times did you watch the Bold and the Beautiful and you wished the floor could swallow you whole when a sex scene came on? I remember my mom used to send me to bed as if stopping me from watching would make me less curious about the subject. I think numerous parents believe if they don’t talk about it, it will miraculously go away. For the longest time I used to think that eating chilies was the best home remedy to ward off an unplanned pregnancy. This is where guidance is required: molding and educating your child on the facts and myths that surround sexual intercourse, it’s imperative.

Most of my friends with strict parents constantly tell me how whenever the issue of teen pregnancy comes up, words like “disgrace” and “abomination” get thrown around a lot. It’s ironic considering there’s a truckload of us that were born out of wedlock. Furthermore the obsession with “abantu bazothini” (prestige and social standing) seems to trump our parents inability to educate us. There seems to be an autocratic relationship between most African parents and their children. We are expected to educate ourselves but get punished, exiled and alienated for making mistakes meanwhile our caregivers refuse to inform, correct and counsel us pertaining our bodies and all things reproductive.

We could sit here all day and complain about how our parents never taught us a thing but their somewhat skewed views and mentalities that have existed since time immemorial. On the other hand our parents are human, they didn’t go to parenting school hence it is up to us to mend these generational nonsensical ideologies that still plague us today.

The real question is what are you actively doing to ensure you are practicing safe sex? Where are you getting your information from? Adult films? Your best friend? (Bear in mind what works for Zandile might not work for you) What are you consuming on social media? Let’s stop being passive and become more reactive especially when it comes to our health and sex lives. If you’re going to behave like an adult, act like one. This involves doing research, having uncomfortable conversations with your partner (Your partner needs to prioritize contraceptives as much as you do. it not just your responsibility). Get comfortable being uncomfortable. I was on Reddit earlier today and this lady in the comment section said and I quote “If you’re too embarrassed about sex you should not be having it!”

Below I have listed family planning/ baby proof methods that consist of but are not limited to (P.S. like everything in life they have their drawbacks)

The pill (Because you have to take it every day this is where technology comes in handy, simply set a reminder)

Intra Uterine Device (You can pop it in and forget about it for up to half a decade however it can cause irregular bleeding and cramps, Ouch!)
Emergency contraceptives aka morning after pill (It has a 95% success rate if taken within the 24hour window. Do not consciously have unprotected sex in the hopes of getting Plan B the next day. BASOP! it has side effects too)
Female and male condoms ( If you are sexually active and have no intention of starting a family, they are free at most clinics and universities, I just hope you’re not allergic to latex)

Cervical cap (Its reusable but should be used with spermicides, don’t worry I’ve attached readings below they’ll explain all the unfamiliar jargon)
Contraceptive implant (Its reversible however it may result nausea and weight gain)
Abstinence (I hear this one is full proof and has a 100% success rate.)Don’t quote me on that though, look what happened to Mary.
Period tracking app (not a form of contraception but it can help track when you are least fertile NB it should be used with other forms of contraceptives)
Contraceptives may prevent an accidental bun in the oven but they do not protect you from HIV/AIDS, STD’s and STI’s, you are not immune nor invincible. Go to a GP or fertility clinic. Why? Well they probably know more than you plus your health dictates which form of contraception is best for you e.g. Did you know using spermicides could potentially result in a urinary tract infection?

Love yourself and worship your body, if you’re going to do something your parents think is socially unacceptable at least do it right. The next male who comes at you talking about just the tip better have his ducks in a row because queens only align themselves with individuals who know the importance of covering up, who put your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing first. I hope you boss up, level up and explore your carnal desires in the confines of safety. Everyone wants to talk about standards but when it comes to your sex life you want to drop the ball? Sis you are the epitome of perfection, maintain that energy in all aspects of your life.
Additional material

  1. Which contraceptive is right for me? – https://www.your-life.com/en/contraception-methods/which-contraception-is-right-for-me/
  2. What are your birth control options? – https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/ss/slideshow-birth-control-options
  3. Things to consider when choosing contraception – https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/contraception/getting-started/things-to-consider-when-choosing-contraception

A prospective Environmental Management Analyst.That friend your mother warns you not to play with anymore but tells the most riveting stories.Ink on paper is my greatest weapon, just take a look at my articles, if you dare...

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