A taboo is defined as a topic, matter or something which is considered repulsive, stigmatic or prohibited to talk about openly. Nearly all communities and societies around the world have unspoken taboos, many of which are common amongst them. Taboos may relate to relationships, social issues, religion or political matters. These are the issues that are usually brushed under the carpet if someone attempts to start a conversation about.Pakistan, too, is plagued by many such taboos, especially matters that are considered to be problematic for the society at large. One such example is sex, which is the single biggest social taboo in our society that people generally tend to avoid talking about, even with their near and dear ones. Many consider it to be something that is prohibited by Islam to talk about openly, while some simply consider it as immoral and unethical. Parents feel hesitant to discuss this topic with their children, even those who have reached the age of maturity. Thus, the majority of children in Pakistani households reach marriageable ages without having any proper knowledge and understanding about sex. This lack of communication at home results in the acquisition of information by children from their peers, friends and social circles, where the issue is generally treated as a hot topic for jokes and is mostly centered around the physical intimate act only. The fact that there is a lot more to sex than just the physical act is often overlooked by many when any discussion on this topic is initiated. In reality, apart from intercourse, sex also involves understanding one’s own body, especially the functionality of a person’s sexual organs and how they react, respond and are stimulated by different sights, smells and sounds around them. When this issue is casually brought up at, say, a friends’ gathering, a lot of information is circulated around, most of which are based on hearsay and is factually incorrect. Young teens who are a part of such gatherings may develop certain misconceptions, which may then get ingrained in their minds and pose a problem at the time of their marriage. Ideally, parents need to be the ones to talk with their children about sex; if for some reason, they are not able to talk directly, an elder sibling or a close relative can explain the various intricacies about sex to them. Such a discussion should not revolve only around the intercourse, but should also focus on other aspects, such as explaining that every person is different and can have certain desires or wishes, that may differ from their child’s desires. Through this, their child will also be able to appreciate that while sex is important, it is not the only important thing in a relationship, and a person will also need to form a close bonding with their partner to gain their trust and sustain that relationship for a happy and content life.While mentioning sex as a taboo, it is pertinent to discuss a social evil that is prevalent amongst not just the youngsters, but elder married people too. That evil is viewing pornography, made extremely easy in this day and age due to the widespread availability of the internet. When children or teenagers are exposed to porn, they may develop certain preconceived notions about sex, which they then begin to expect their future partners to correspond with; this can often lead to many of their desires being left unfulfilled, much of which is a direct result of watching porn and developing unrealistic expectations from their spouses. Parents need to keep a close tab on activities of their children and once they suspect that their child may be exposed to indecent material, they should have a one-on-one counselling session with their child, explaining that apart from being an unhealthy and time-wasting obsession, watching porn can result in them expecting from their future spouses, the same kind of compliance in vulgar acts that are actually performed by paid actors under the guise of role-playing. Parents need to understand the importance of discussing such issues with their children and should work on overcoming their hesitation before the damage inflicted on their offspring’s thinking becomes hard to reverse. If need be, parents should consult with a qualified medical practitioner or psychologist, who will be in a better position to advise them on how to make their children abstain from such activities, and may even be able to directly counsel them into leaving such acts for better healthy and useful activities which will divert their minds.Electronic media can also play their part responsibly and ethically, in dissipating misconceptions about sex, which would need intervention from the media regulator too. Indecent advertisements have become the norm on Pakistani television and media channels need to desist from airing such controversial ads. With these measures, it can be hoped that this longstanding taboo about sex in Pakistan will gradually disappear, along with the various misconceptions surrounding it.