• Stephanie Hinds

Much Ado About...Sex!

Toronto; a place where sex, sexuality, and sexual culture is a part of everyday life. However, there are a lot of misconceptions, and more importantly, miseducation, about these three things.

I’d like to offer you the not-so-pleasant reminder that sex is not limited to intercourse. Sex also refers to gender, which again, is not limited to male and female. With that said, here is some brief and general knowledge about things that you aren’t so likely to google yourself. And if you have in the past, or would in the future, kudos to you.

Some interesting statistics I came across while doing some research:

95% of people consider the entering of a penis into a vagina as “sex”, but that only 89% of people think that sex without ejaculation is still “sex”.

Most interestingly, I found that:

Only 80% of people agree that anal penetration is “sex”, which says a lot for the relationships and sexual encounters of homosexuals, and frankly, would mean they’re still virgins.

This hegemonic and strictly heterosexual view that has come to (or better yet, always has) dominated our society has a series of intended and unintended consequences, most often for people outside of the hegemonic group.

While it is most commonly believed that when it comes to sex in the gendered context, there is only “male” and “female”, there is a much longer list than this, which despite the idea that it may not have any relevance to you, and very well may not, still deserves to be acknowledged.

Besides male and female, there is also bi-gendered. What this means is that one switches from male to female (something women may have wanted to do depending on the time of the month and the proximity of the closest washroom). Then there is androgyny, which in simplest terms, refers to being gender neutral, or gender ambiguous. Next, neutrosis. This is similar to androgyny in that it does not place you in any specific gender class. One you may have heard of is transsexuality, which refers mostly to someone who feels they are part of the opposite sex. Then there is intersexed, one whose biological condition makes their genitalia ambiguous, and lastly, although in all cases there are a ton I am leaving out, is transgendered. This term covers anyone whose birth body and natural genitalia has been altered.

For those of you who are still reading, I thank you for pressing on. Having a slight idea of my audience, a majority of them residing and hailing from Scarborough (no brap braps please), I understand that culturally, these are things that are not much mentioned for one reason or another. But I encourage you to increase your general knowledge of sex and sexuality simply because it’s a part of the world we live in; especially since many of us are Toronto natives.

A large reason I chose this topic to write about today, besides one of my lovely readers suggesting it was because as you know, I am an advocate for raising awareness, which comes as a heightened priority during International Women’s Week. And also because, as you noticed in my “Growing Up in the ‘Mixie’ Millennium” post, granted you’ve read it (which you better have, seriously), I myself am an in-betweener, racially.

There is the misconception that those who belong to the hegemonic group in society, be it white or heterosexual, do not have to educate, enlighten, or associate themselves with these facts of life, and luckily, you are right. But do we have to eat our vegetables? Do we have to go to work? Do we have to spend time with family?

What I’m saying is, adding some variation of the knowledge you choose to consume in your educational diet helps you to become a more well-rounded person. While you may not agree with the life choices and lifestyles of another person, it doesn’t mean that you must mentally ex-communicate them and refuse to acknowledge that they too, are a part of our society.

International Women’s Week is about engaging people in discussions. Sometimes they are rather unfavourable and perhaps uncomfortable discussions to have. Homosexuality, gender androgyny, and everyone and everything “in between” may be a touchy subject for many of you, but I’m here to remind you that our city of Toronto is one of vibrancy, uniqueness, and hopefully, acceptance.

I hope that this post has helped you to expand your general knowledge about sex, sexuality, and gender, although the first of the three you may feel you know enough about. I hope that when you see someone that looks different from you or someone you may have pre-conceived ideas about, that you turn off your judgement for the time being, and allow them to live and carry on fairly and freely.

In life, we may not all be the same, look the same, or come from the same kinds of backgrounds. But the beauty of human harmony is that at some point in life, we have the opportunity to connect, unite, and create a beautiful diversity that allows our world to be more inclusive.

If you disagree, I suggest you research the history of your people, wherever they may come from, and learn more about their struggle for freedom and equality; two things everyone, and I mean everyone, deserves.

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