Working with artist community builder Anne-Laure Herrezuelo and Spark founder Erin Chen, we’ve asked women and men to draw their vision of sexuality. But we’ve also asked them what advice they would give their younger selves when it comes to sex.
Talk about it!
“Be a bit more open about discussing topics related to sexuality. Because in Singapore, my family does not talk about it and I was not exposed. It came after, when I was in Uni.”
“Embrace it but be more confident about it, comfortable with people even the one you do not know, do not have any fear, just share and talk about it”
“I would tell me not to be afraid of it. I think I grew up in an environment where it is not openly spoken about. It is ok to talk about it.(…) I grew up ashamed and guilty to want to explore, to want to learn more. I think in my journey there was a lot of guilt and shame as I was exploring. It would have been helpful to talk about it, especially with my parents as I was the closest to them at that age. I learnt through friends, I was seeing female friends who could discuss it with me. It made things easier. Normally it would not even be possible to talk to you about that.”
“I definitively say sex it is not a big deal, it is something everybody does, the earlier you start exploring the more comfortable you get, nothing to be shamed or scared off. “
“Go for what you want man! Just go for it. Embrace what you want try and express it to the other world. Don’t be so afraid of what you think others will feel. You are not responsible for other people’s feelings. You are responsible for yourself. “
“I would tell myself It is not such a big deal. I would tell myself be kinder to yourself, don’t be afraid to be naked, don’t apologize for anything, accept your body, be kinder to yourself yes.”
“I would tell myself that everyone is trying to figure out sex as much as I did, everyone. I do feel like everyone else feels, I am not unique in terms of feeling uncomfortable”
“Explore it sooner”
“Go out, explore, enjoy. You are going to go with the right people, you are going to be on your path. Make it about eroticism not about sex. It is more about the mental space and the mental connection, whatever you do is going to be incredible, just right. If you just do sex you will stay hungry, make it a rich fulfilling experience by including and focusing on the mental connection.”
“I was a shy 18 y.o. Completely cerebral and only connecting with my body through dance and sport really. (…)
I read that somewhere: Find yourself and I’ll meet you there. I guess this is what I would have told myself, first you and the rest, including happy relaxed sexuality will come. People, men will come and sex will become really enjoyable the more relaxed you are yourself. I would tell myself that I can relax now already as I will have a lot of experimentations. These experimentations now help me help other be more comfortable, have more fun -I love fun and talking and playing games and being stupid in bed-. It will come. Just focus on you and relaxing.”
“The size of your boobs as a female really does not matter. And you are really about to discover a lot more ways to please yourself, so try a lot and try a lot of guys (laughers)”
“Stay safe as well, tell her about the risk from pregnancy, it will save her a lot of worry. I will also tell her to have a bit more dignity. If someone just wants you for your body, just don’t give him. You value your own body and your own pleasure as well so do not let someone takes advantage of it without getting anything back in return.”
“Protect yourself. We were a generation just after the big boom of HIV, a bit more relax; we were getting tested for HIV too much? It means we were not protecting ourselves enough.”
“Never lose for you whoever you are and what your body is”
And to conclude
“Enjoy the moment, love yourself a bit more; I had generally good sexual experiences. it is only…the more you love yourself first and the more you can enjoy every aspect as well. Yes, love yourself first”
Credits @Tina Maria Elena
It’s often hard to find safe spaces to get reliable information on sex and discuss. That’s why at Smile Makers, we partner with local actors to spark a conversation and allow people to express their vision of sexuality, freed from stigma and shame. We invite you to explore your sensual self.