July 26, 2017
When You Learn About Sex from "Truth or Dare"

In a culture that sees sex talk as taboo, the game "Truth or Dare" can be a learning experience.

by Astrid Fr.
Issues // Gender and Sexuality
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So, recently I played “Truth or Dare?” a lot with my college friends in our spare time. “Truth or Dare?” is a verbal game consisting of two or more players. First you spin a bottle or a pencil to determine who gets to ask the first question. Then he or she will ask somebody else to choose “Truth”, which means answering a question truthfully, or “Dare”, which entails performing something that is requested.  
Now imagine a party of pre-adult boys and girls playing this game. In my experience, far from turning into a wild making-out session, or one in which we tell others our favorite sex position, the game was filled with awkward answers. The thing is, though, it whetted everyone’s curiosity.

Yes, I suggested the game, “provoked”, more precisely.  Not because I’m a pervert or a sexpert, but because…why not? When else do we get to talk about our body parts and sex? In Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs sex one of human’s basic needs. Sex can be an expression of love, in addition to serving a basic evolutionary function.

And, anyway, what is wrong with a woman talking about sex openly? We have hormones and we desire to explore sex in all its intricacy and mysteries, but to do so openly often makes us labeled a slut, thanks to patriarchy.

So back to the game, in the beginning,  my friends were reluctant. They didn’t even want to say anything, even as I had already given explicit answers, and sex-chatted with someone I didn’t really know. I know my friends thought I was a tramp, because the culture in the Central Java city we live in is pretty conservative, and sex talk is a big no.

I understand that Indonesian youths grow up believing that sex is a taboo topic to talk about, much less as part of a game. Sex can only be talked about when we’re married, or before that “first night.” But I believe it’s important to understand sex, for obvious reason such as the practice of safe sex. Also, it can help us protect ourselves from sexual harassment and violence by understanding the idea of consent.




In the end, though, we learned a lot of things through the game, not just about putting penis in a vagina, but other things, like masturbation. We broke down Hollywood and porn movies and reconstructed those astonishing sex positions. We were not only playing something to have fun, but, surprisingly, we learned something new too.

Astrid Fr always questions everything, from sexuality to religion. She is a workaholic who sleeps like a koala.