Debby Herbenick on Making Sex Normal at TEDxBloomington Transcript

Now recently our research team asked people what they liked about sex. A man said, “It’s a very pleasant habit we started 40 years ago and makes the marriage better”.

A woman said, “Feeling completely loved like I was the only person in the world he wanted to be with”.

Another woman said, “Before my husband passed, he just made me feel good. I miss the way he would make me feel”.

And a man said, “makes you feel like your life is worth a little bit”.

So yeah, sex — it’s ups and downs, ebbs and flows and having it and not having it sometimes, all of that is part of the normal human experience of sexuality. It is a normal part of life. I just think we have to go out and make it normal.

Now I have a professional stake in this for sure because I believe that if we make it normal, if we help people to become more comfortable, that people will more easily report sexual assaults and rapes, they’ll more easily talk about STIs and STI testing. They’ll more easily talk about love and intimacy and connection with their partners.

But I also have a personal stake in this, and this is that like many of you I know the sadness and pain and frustration of relationship problems when two people can’t talk about sex. I also know the joys and the intimacy and pleasure that comes with relationships when two people can talk about sex.

The other personal stake for me is that when I think of 13 year old girls riding bikes rather than thinking of them secretly buying tampons, crossing busy streets, disobeying their parents, I wish for them a world in which they’re riding their bikes to a friend’s house feeling the freedom that comes with being young and out on your own, because for them they will be living in a world where sex and bodies in periods and puberty are totally normal because all of you and I made it normal.

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Thank you.

 

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