We’re all aware of the news of SpunOut and it’s threesome tips, but one TD is unhappy about the article. Seán Dunne discusses society’s view on ‘sex’. Is it a dirty word…?
“Why Catholic Ireland needs to wake up to sexuality.”
Sex… there’s a lot of power in this little word. We dare not speak it in just any circle. In polite conversations with those we don’t know we steer clear of the topic.
Some of us even frown to hear it mentioned in church. The words “sex” and “sexuality” burn our ears. “There’s no children’s church today, don’t you know there are kids present?” you might say. And I would reply, “How do you think those kids got here?”
On Sunday morning, 24 March, regular readers like myself woke up to The Sunday Independent’s front page headlines and there staring the Irish public was a little article that has caused a whole lot of trouble.
A state-funded charity was advising teenagers on how threesomes can ‘spice up’ their relationships. Spunout.ie, the youth organisation that runs the website, receives €124,000 each year from the HSE. It is an organisation that this journalist has been a contributor to this year.
So what exactly was the big deal? Teenagers have sex, they get pregnant, they even experiment with their sexuality; so why all the fuss? Was it another Fine Gael back bencher making idle noise?
As it turns out sex is apparently still a dirty word in Irish society. The NGO website describes how threesomes can “inject serious passion into their bedroom shenanigans”.
Teenagers are told not to pick anyone they have feelings for and instead opt for no-strings-attached sex; “If you are in a relationship, but secretly have a thing for someone else, bringing them into a threesome could lead to serious hurt, so it’s best to save threesomes for a bit of fun.”
This article shocked Sunday readers of The Independent, many of whom probably stopped off at the local shop to pick up a copy after spending an hour in prayer and reflection at the local church.
This article shocked Irish parents but not Irish children. So here is where the problem lies; why are we so reluctant to talk about sex and sexuality in Irish society?
Calling the advice “incredibly regressive”, Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin is the woman who started all this controversy.
She feels “that this has been given the State seal of approval is very worrying. There is nothing right about this.”
Ian Power, a spokesperson for SpunOut said; “The fact is that sex is enjoyable for young people and for some people threesomes are just one aspect of being sexually intimate.
“We are not promoting it, we are just saying that these are the reasons why you might and might not.”
Dr James Reilly has spoken out saying; “From my personal point of view, as a doctor and also as a politician, this is not the appropriate sort of information that the state should be putting out there.”
Is “sex” a dirty word? We have been taught in the last two decades that sex is the gift and plan of God; why can’t we speak of sex as God intended it?
An NGO for SpunOut said; “We promote safer sex to reduce the transmission of STIs and unwanted pregnancy. Young people are bombarded with unrealistic sexual imagery through films and porn, neither of which detail the drawbacks to different forms of sexual activity.”
Adding to this the NGO said; “We do not promote threesomes; we arm young people with the facts about them.”
All too often, older generations avoid having conversations with their young people about difficult subjects. This is particularly true in relation to sex.
Parents feel uncomfortable talking to their children about it and teachers are afraid to raise the subject in the classroom. An adult’s discomfort does not negate a young person’s right to information.
“Silence does not breed confidence; instead it creates fear and confusion. We should arm our young people with the facts and trust them to make responsible decisions.” said Mr Buckley.
It appears Catholic Ireland still has some say in what we want our children to read and learn about. We are not as progressive as one would like to believe.
SpunOut Ireland has been one of the leading voices to criticise those who have failed generations of Irish teenagers and they must feel the wrath of Irish politics and Catholic Ireland.
What do you think? Is sex a dirty word? Comment below with your opinion.