Sister Petra Advice: Talking About “You Know What”

Heya Sister PPPPPP,

Here’s an embarrassing fact–I’m terrible at talking about sex in any context. I find myself referring to sex as “doing IT” or “You Know What.” My partner has even started calling me out on it. I feel so bad, because it probably sounds like I’m too ashamed of having sex to actually talk about it. Maybe that’s true? Or maybe I just don’t have the right words. uhm… help?

You Know Who

Dear You Know Who,

Many are taught from before we can speak to be ashamed of our bodies especially our nono places, bugs, cooters, peters, willies. Some of this is just to keep it off the kitchen counter and couch cushions. Then the puberty you ordered by air mail arrives and a whole new set of nono words with it.

Euphemisms are words or terms we use to make something sound nicer or to avoid a taboo word or concept. Unfortunately, the taboo just leaks all over them too.

The shame you bear is ‘stigmatic’, it is placed upon you by the expectations of others, though most of us internalize it before we are even grown.

I could scatter glitter on you with a pickle and absolve it, but to dissolve it may take some work on your part. Mindfulness may be a catchphrase to some, but the idea is solid. Notice your thoughts and feelings when you want to discuss sex. Ask yourself, “What do I feel? What do I really think?” You may notice that the feelings don’t match your thoughts. “But I  LIKE sex…” Find those words that spawn those feelings of shame, you don’t need to remember whose they were, but only to know they are NOT your words. This will take time, let your playmate(s) know so they can be supportive and patient.

May I suggest euphemisms that don’t show shame (You know…..), or ridicule , or sound too clinical (Coitus). My favorite is PLAY. Healthy sex often includes a good amount of play to begin with, and it is an activity you do for fun. “Do you want to play?” “Last night when we played…” “When we play next time, would you be willing to..?”

Practice writing about sex, get comfy with the language. Heck, learn some ASL, step outside of the box others filled with shame for you. Habits are easier to break if you change venue. (Insert Nun Habit joke Here)

With this virtual Rubber Chicken and Holy Glitter I Absolve You. Now you, Solve this by Resolving to know yourself better so that Stigmatic Guilt may be Dissolved.

Know you are Loved and that being shy is okay, but misapplied shame can be unhealthy, for communication is one of the Big C’s of Sex.

Go slow, and find your joy in carnal Celebration.

Sister 6P

This article originally appeared on QueerPgh.com. This article is preserved as a part of the Q Archives project. Please consider donating to help preserve Pittsburgh’s Queer history.