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Sexual health through the decades: A bumpy ride through time

Sexual health is a lifelong journey, and our understanding of it continues to evolve.

Sexuality is a fundamental part of the human experience, but the attitudes and practices surrounding it have evolved dramatically throughout our history.

Come, let’s take a whirlwind tour through the decades, exploring how much our understanding (and assumptions) of sexual health and wellness has changed…

Victorian era (1837-1901):
Brace yourself for some buttoned-up attitudes! Sex in the Victorian era was utterly shrouded in secrecy and shame.

Married couples were expected to procreate, but as to any real enjoyment? Not so much.

Information on sexual health was scarce and often inaccurate. As such, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) ran rampant, due to a serious lack of knowledge and treatment options.

Hooray for modern medicine!

The Roaring Twenties (1920s):
Social norms loosened up a wee bit during the notorious “Roaring Twenties.” Women gained more independence, and there was a growing openness to exploring sexuality…

However, access to reliable sexual health information remained very limited, and indeed contraception options were still evolving.

The sexual revolution (1960s-1970s):
This blossoming era witnessed a seismic shift in sexual attitudes. The birth control pill became widely available, thus empowering women to control their fertility. Sex was openly discussed, and the concept of sexual pleasure for both men and women gained traction!

This era also saw the rise of the feminist movement, which challenged traditional gender roles and advocated for women’s sexual autonomy.

The AIDS xrisis (1980s):
The emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s cast a long and bitter shadow on sexual health. Fear and stigma surrounded the virus, leading to increased focus on safe sex practices like condoms. This era saw significant advancements in STI testing and treatment, marking a crucial step towards the sexual health awareness we all celebrate and benefit from today.

The digital age (1990s-Present):
The rise of the internet brought a great tidal wave of information (both accurate and inaccurate) about sex. Adult entertainment became readily accessible, influencing perceptions of sex.

On the positive side, online resources have facilitated open conversations about sexual health and diversity.

Dating apps and online communities have also created new avenues for connection, but they do come with challenges like online safety and unrealistic expectations…

And then there’s the rise of sex toys (or Jouets Sexuels as they say in romantic France), which has put a huge emphasis on the importance of shame-free solo play and self-pleasure.

All in all, the digital age rapidly altered the way modern humans view and understand sex, sexuality, and sexual health.

Where are we now
Today, we’re in an era of increasing awareness about sexual health and wellness. Body positivity movements are challenging unrealistic beauty standards and sex education continues to evolve, incorporating topics like consent and sexual orientation.

However, challenges remain: given that access to comprehensive sex education and affordable healthcare still vary widely.

Additionally, online misinformation and unrealistic portrayals of sex can create challenges; which is why you should always double-check any information you find online regarding sex – always look for references that can confirm the information’s authenticity.

Final thoughts
Sexual health is a lifelong journey, and our understanding of it continues to evolve. The past provides valuable lessons about the importance of accurate information, open communication, and the need to address sexual health concerns without shame or stigma.

As we move forward, let’s strive for a future where everyone has access to the resources and knowledge they need to enjoy safe, healthy, and fulfilling sexual experiences.

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