Things I Wished I Learned in Sex Ed
If you haven't noticed from yesterday's post and today's post, there's a little bit of a theme, and that's about Sexual Health! September is (was) National Sexual Health Awareness Month, and I figured that even if I was picking up blogging again in the last week, I may as well also write about something I'm passionate about!
So today's post is a doozy- it's basically describing everything I wish I had heard during Sex Ed! My Sex Ed (in school) was done once in 7th grade, and that was like the basics of sex (as intercourse) and biological aspects of sex (like genital differences). We then had another conversation briefly about Sex Ed in 9th grade, but this was just tied into making healthier decisions in high school.
The champion of my Sex Ed was my mom actually, who sat me down while I was still in elementary school and went over EVERYTHING 4th/5th grader could handle. As I got older, the conversation grew and grew, and sex is still a normal topic of discussion in our house (even around the dinner table).
That being said, these are somethings that I've either experienced myself, or seen in my community over the past couple years that I wish someone would have told me about back in middle school or highschool.
- Sex for girls is made out to be a HUGE deal, and the first time a girl has sex is made out to be this super climactic (and I do not mean that literally) moment in her life. In reality, this pressure actually makes someone's first time that much scarier and more anxious. Allow your own interest in sex/relationship with sex and yourself to dictate how important sex is to you.
-Along those lines, being a woman who explores sex with different people is COMPLETELY FINE AND NORMAL. It doesn't make you a slut (because that's dumb...) and it surely doesn't make you a bad person.
-FEMALE MASTURBATION IS NORMAL. (I can say it again in case you didn't hear me, because I will write this and yell this all over the rooftops of the world). How the hell are you supposed to know what feels good to you with another person if you don't know what feeling good means for you!?
-There are so many options of birth control; do not let the amount of options overwhelm you and stop you from picking the best one!
-Start the conversation about IUDs as a possibility earlier than you think (I wished I had talked about it before I went off to college instead of only thinking about it two or three years into college).
-Birth control is helpful for so much more than using it as birth control; when I went on the pill, my skin cleared, my migraines were leveled out more, and I had lessened cramps.
-Sex isn't just penetration. (Again, I'll say it again if need be). Sex is whatever you define it as FOR YOU.
-Non-penetrative sex isn't simply foreplay (see above point).
-STI testing is necessary. It's not awkward, it's not weird. It's you taking care of your own health!
-Many, if not most, STIs come with no symptoms at all, and the only way you'll know you have one is by getting tested. (so GO! GET! TESTED!!!)
-Even if you do get an STI, it's not the end of the world. That's not to say it's not scary or that it's overwhelming as hell, but there are STIs that people live with. It feels scary as can be, but you will learn to treat it and handle it!
-That STIs can be transmitted through oral sex too
-How to (and that it should be a requirement to) respect gender diversity and sexual diversity!
-It's okay and normal to not be interested in sex
-It's okay and normal to be celibate for however long you like (including for the foreseeable future!)
-I wish we had covered more about sex for LGBTQ+ people- this was completely skipped over in my Sex Ed (our sex ed was super heteronormative) and I wish that this had been a full blown conversation for EVERYONE.
-How to use other contraceptive methods other than the male condom (we were taught that they exist, but not how to use them!)
-For those who choose to use them, how to insert a tampon in the most painless manner
-That there are more options than pads and tampons!
-The importance of requiring consent for every sexual act!
-That you can and should say no if you aren't comfortable
-How to assert yourself and say no if you feel uncomfortable
-That no matter how many times you've had sex or how many people you've had it with, it's still okay to be nervous during/before sex
-How to care for, clean, and use sex toys safely
-That sometimes people experience sexual pain or problems with sex, and that's okay and not their fault
- That men can be pressured into having sex as much as women can
-That fetishes are okay! (respect others' wants!!)
-It is normal, okay, and AWESOME to explore your own body
-You can revoke consent at any given time (if you live in the state of NC, READ YOUR LAWS, because there are legal grey areas!!)
-Communication makes for better sex! Ask questions, be curious and talk about sex with your partner!
-Learn how to communicate in the way that's best for you about what you like and what feels good for you and what doesn't!
Here are also some helpful links that I found online!
I Wanna Know: http://www.iwannaknow.org/links.html
Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/for-educators
Babeland Blog: http://www.babeland.com/blog
Our Bodies Our Blog: http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/blog/
Let me know what you thought of today's post- it's something I have a lot of thoughts about, and I'd love to discuss it with you!