Everyone’s sex-ed experience in school is always cringeworthy, uncomfortable, very mechanical and probably a little bit sketchy.. But some schools don't even have sex education in their curriculum and some teach an abstinence-only curriculum that skips over any info about consent, contraceptive methods and STI protection, which isn't exactly helpful.
As its september which is sexual education month, we’re here to shift some myths and fill in the blanks from your sex ed experience.
So, what most of us might have learnt from our sex ed class -
- Wanking and wet dreams are only for boys
- Losing your virginity for girls is a painful experience and that’s about it
- Periods are traumatic and gross
- Girls shouldn’t be frigid, but not a slut, somewhere in between is ‘correct’
- The aim of sex is for the guy to climax
Sex ed is made to be informative and delivered in a certain way, but looking back - this definitely hasn’t encouraged myself or my friends to talk about sex openly or achieve what we wanted in our personal sex lives, until now, when we are slighty older. Many of the sex-negative things we were taught are conveyed with a sense of anxiousness, embarrasment and fear, which has followed us into adulthood.
The two main things (personal experience) I think were completely missed, is the meaning of consent in a sexual or intimate setting, and how important my own personal pleasure is, if anyone else thinks the same - we deserve better than this.
So, we probably won’t cover everything, that was missed in your sex ed classes (lets be honest, we would be here all year) but we are here to get some facts out there, enjoy!
1. The most sexual organ isn’t your genitals.. It’s your brain
The primary somatosensory cortex (sounds complex we know) but it is basically the part in the brain where it processes tactile stimulations, e.g touch. Without this we wouldn’t be able to feel anything, think how wild this part of your brain is going during foreplay, when things are getting steamy, or even when someone touches your thigh for the first time..
The past year has been challenging and a lot of people have struggled with mental health, this affects so many aspects of your life and sex isn’t an exception. Stresses and anxieties from anyones day to day life can easily affect libido and/or interest in sex at all - this is normal and you are not alone.
2.When you are aroused, a lot more than your genitals react!
When you feel sexual desire, which is emotional - you also have a physical sexual response, which is your body's reaction to this. When you become aroused, your heart rate will increase, your skin can become red and plump, and your temperature can rise. Genitals self lubricate and other parts of your body can become erect, including nipples, lips and even your ears.
Even if your physical signals take longer to arrive after your initial sexual desire reponse, but you do feel super turned on, that's ok! It’s the same the other way around, if you feel yourself getting hard or wet before you’re mentally turned on, that’s also ok! This might change throughout your life, different phases of emotions and situations as previously mentioned, will reflect in your sexual responses.
3. IT’S OK TO FANCY WHOEVER YOU WANT.
Another thing sex ed completely missed out, different sexualities and what to do when these feelings of uncertainty around your sexuality, arise (if they do, of course!)
So, sexuality covers your sexual orientation (those who you’re attracted to) and your relationship with your sexuality can have a huge impact on your attitude towards your body and your personal sex life.
Also remembering that your sexual attraction and romantic attraction are two different things, this can also help you express those feelings in the way that feels best for you and can also help differentiate and understand how you form relationships.
For example, someone can identify as Bisexual, which means they are attracted to their own gender and the opposite gender, but be homo-romantic; which means they have a romantic attraction to those of the same sex. Even an a-sexual person could be hetro-romantic which means they could be interested in a romantic relationship with the opposite sex, but they aren’t interested in a sexual relationship with anyone.
Everyone’s identity is personal and unique, as is their sexual orientation. These come with their own set of challenges and prejudices, which some of us may never experience or consider. This is always important to remember.
Just remember, its ok to be unsure on your sexuality and to still be figuring it out
Its ok to be open about your sexuality or completely private
Its ok to change your sexuality if it feels right for you
4. Solo sex for both genders is positive!
FEMALES MASTURBATE TOO! *and there is no shame in it*
Before you dive into solo sex, it is important to recognise your relationship with yourself, and solo sex. There is no shame in solo play, even though we are taught this from very early on, this could affect your relationship with partnered sex, it’s more important to get to know yourself, for yourself before letting someone else join in.
The first step of solo sex is recognising what you like, communicating with yourself. Take a minute to understand what your body needs in that moment, movement? Warmth? So many options. By doing this you are connecting with yourself and making conscious choices. Now, we aren’t saying you have to act on this straight away, by no means are we saying exit that work meeting to have a wank, but by identifying those feelings it is positive.. It’s all about being self aware, and making it sexy.
Whilst it’s more acknowledged that men and boys engage more in solo sex, many women still deny that they pleasure themselves, due to shame and stigma around this being ‘wrong’. We also rarely discuss what it is exactly we do during solo sex. If you’re more likely to deny you practise solo sex, because of any shame you feel, we can let you know this shame is something we have all experienced once in a while. Again, you are not alone.
There is also something incredibly empowering about socialising these conversations, keep that in mind next time you are surrounded by your girls, or around women you think this conversation could benefit. Socialised shame around topics as such, can take years to eradicate, but as we have all seen, in the past few years there has been a huge shift and an increase in the clarity of women's pleasure, but there is still a long way to go.
So, now we have reached the end of this blog, we hope to be leaving you feeling satisfied, acknowledged and encouraged - like any good sexual experience I guess.
If anything we hope this blog has encouraged you to invest time into yourself and your sexual pleasure as well as further sex education - see below our best sex education books!
Sex Ed: A Guide for Adults - Ruby Rare
Come As You Are - Emily Nagoski
The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play & the Erotic - Tristan Taormino
Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure & Relationships - Juno Roche
Above all, stay curious, be unapologetically you and always communicate with yourself and those around you. Never forget you are worthy of positive sexual experiences, respect, love, pleasure and a bloody good time.