When I was fourteen, a guidance counselor showed up at our school. She sat us all down in a semicircle and talked about birth control; the different kinds of protection, STDs, HIV and how to use a condom.
This was followed by a short demonstration involving a volunteer, a packet of rubbers, and a banana.
After that, we all gathered round to take our tern trying out the technique.
Our sexual education at school consisted of safe sex and STD prevention. While these are both majorly important things, I still felt it was greatly lacking.
What about how to orgasm? Same-sex safe sex, toys, lube, positions?! What about all those other things you need to know about sex?!
There were just so many things that just didn’t occur to me that I didn’t know/learn before I discovered the internet.
We don’t hesitate to spend hours researching what computer to buy, the best flight deals, or what smartphone to get, but somehow, educating ourselves about sex still isn’t a given.
Sex Ed, This Time For Our Adult Selves:
1. Go on-line and enlighten yourself! There is so much out there to learn. Even if you are perfectly happy with your sex life, it is always worth discovering new things.
By this, I don’t mean watch porn and take notes (you can do that for fun afterwards). Read articles, check out sex toy reviews, learn about what lubricant/condoms are healthier to use.
2. Share the interesting things that you find with your partner/friends (I personally love when people email me sex related articles at work; I can read them while procrastinating, and pretend they’re research for my blog).
Exploring these things together really is a good deal of fun.
3. If there is something you always fantasized about, check it out. You may discover that that thing you always wanted to try, but were too embarrassed, is really something that everybody does!
The amazing thing about the on-line community is that if you’re into something a little different, you will almost always find someone else out there who is too.
4. While those ladies’ magazines we read at the dentist’s may be good for ’1001 must-try sex positions for an airplane bathroom’, they don’t always address the more embarrassing aspects of sex. Things like birth-control side effects, infection avoidance techniques, sanitation issues and how to deal with having trouble finishing during intercourse (a more common state of affairs than mass media outlets would have us believe).
All those things that happen during sex that are mortifying, and we think they have only happened to us! (like dare I say it? Queefing).
In an age where sexual education is still so selective, it really does come down to our own curiosity.
Until the education system faces the fact that sex ed runs a lot deeper than just ‘here kids, if you’re not going to listen to us and abstain, at least use this condom’. Because we grow up not knowing so many important things. Imagine all those awkward moments, frustrating sexscapades, all those UTI’s you could have prevented if you had known better. Sex, like everything else, has its learning curve; when we were younger, it was through trial and error, and now, through experimentation and education.
But at the end of the day, there is so much important information out there we should know about sex (beyond STD prevention), and it’s about time we started to refresh our own ‘sexual database’ .