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Our love relationships are a central part of our lives. They are a source of security, warmth, intimacy and passion – but they can also be a source of pain.
In modern society there is a strong norm of two people being together in a relationship, meaning that people are expected to live as a couple. But there are other ways of having love relationships: polyamory, group relationships, relationship anarchy and open relationships are some examples.
There are many reasons why people might want to talk about their love relationships. Sometimes it is a matter of sex drive or the ability to have sex, while at other times it may be about love or a lack of love.
All societies and groups have norms, rules and notions about sex and relationships. This is also true of societies and groups where honour plays an important role. Some of these norms are explicitly stated in laws, for instance those defining how we are allowed to form a family. Others are unwritten laws. The rules and notions that may exist in a context with a strong code of honour can restrict a person's life, such as who you can have sex with or who you can marry.
Sometimes, honour norms are perceived as being very strict or brutal as regards girls and women, but they can also be restricting for men and transgender persons. Under a code of honour, there are many areas which can be perceived as sinful, shameful and forbidden. If you breach the expectations that exist under the code of honour, you may become vulnerable and feel bad.
Sexuality is usually a source of pleasure, but in some cases sexuality can be used as a destructive force. For many people sexuality is something extremely intimate, and so violation of one's sexuality is something that can cause considerable trauma.
Sexual violence can occur in both homosexual and heterosexual relationships, and it can take many different forms. It could entail forcing someone to perform sexual acts that they do not want to do – from being nagged to have sex, to rape. It can also entail forcing someone to watch different types of sexual acts or photographing or filming someone against their wishes for sexual purposes. Most sexual abuse is committed by a relative or acquaintance.
Last updated: 3/24/2015