Oh, sex. You’re everywhere. From first thing in the morning when I check Twitter and retweet someone’s bumming joke, to last thing at night when, if I’m very lucky, I get to get it on. I can spend my day Googling Kate Upton, thinking about Ryan Phillipe, writing about wanking and watching old Benny Hill clips as I whistle along to Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Marvin Gaye. (This isn’t hyperbole, this is how I spend quite a lot of my free time.) I can go on a chemist crawl and by a gross of condoms before teatime with nothing to stop me but my overdraft limit. I can pay a stranger to de-fluff the contents of my knickers and if anything in my pants is giving me cause for concern I can have it looked at, gratis. And those pants might be turquoise satin burlesque-esque giddy knickers, or the stretchy bobbled boy shorts I found in my stocking last Christmas. I love having sex, and I love talking about it, and I think I’ve got a right to do both.
Last night I attended a dinner hosted by Save The Children and discovered that many women in the world don’t get that right. I heard from the astonishingly brave Aselefe, who, at 17, decided to become a peer educator and spread the word about women’s rights and contraception after her best friend became pregnant and was abandoned by her family and boyfriend. Aselefe called a helpline to find out more about contraception and sexual health, and the operator refused to advise her because she “sounded young”. We heard of girls as young as 12 becoming mothers, who barely knew sex and pregnancy were connected. Girls giving birth whose mothers are in their mid twenties. And girls dying, because your body isn’t ready to support a baby when you’re still a child yourself. And these aren’t women who know they’re ready for sex. In developing countries, sex is often something that just happens to you. Something that has the power to destroy your future, or even kill you.
On Wednesday 11 July, there will be a Family Planning summit backed by the Gates Foundation, UNFPA, charities, campaigners and attended by governments from across the globe. Potentially, it could save millions of lives. If you think every woman deserves the right to own her own body and control what happens to it – and I hope you do – please sign the petition here and paste this link all over Twitter and Facebook.
Sex is awesome. It can be hot or sweet or filthy or funny, but it should be a force for good. And a happy, worry free sex life should be a right – not a privilege.
@NotRollergirl is a freelance funnywoman and writerlady. She’s the women’s editor over on Sabotage Times (where she writes a ridiculously popular column on Made in Chelsea), she writes books, and she knows all the words to ABBA’s entire collection. Follow her on Twitter (recommended for daily giggles).