02 December 2011

I get why we don't do this

But I also get why it gets informally done anyway. The sad part is the amount of information dispersed through by the students themselves however. Or maybe that's the silver lining. I'm not sure yet (depends on the quality of information from faculty and schools and parents).

That is. Sex ed. Of, shall we say, a positive variety. Ie. How it works, or more often doesn't work, in a mutually beneficial pleasurable experience rather than just the bits and pieces and how they go together.

I find it sort of sad that there are men who had to have it explained to them what a clitoris was and where it was. (Or at least, sexually active teenagers/college students who had to have it explained.) Or that there are perpetually men asking where a woman's G-spot is. I'd have thought most of this was sorted out during the great feminist shift 40 years ago. I get the feeling that most people take sex ed to be largely necessary for women because of the risks of pregnancy. But I'd say, given the state of continuous running gags referring to the complete lack of pleasure provided by males from sex, that men need to pick up some slack. And they aren't learning how from other men. And they're not talking to their partner(s) to figure it out. It's just kind of assumed.

Some things I'd put on the list for inclusion if I were to teach something like this.
1) Most women don't orgasm with ordinary missionary position sex. 70% is the usual figure quoted. Religious types often expect this through their version of sex ed (this is changing, finally to a more accepting attitude toward sex within the marriage at least). I would surmise that this figure is unhelpful for a lot of otherwise acceptable human pair bonding (ie, unsatisfying sex life leads someone to stray or to be annoyed with other arenas of the relationship). Some of this is psychological. Most women can learn to orgasm this way, along with many others. But a good portion of it is biology. Ie, they could learn to do so, but it's a lot easier some other way. Hence

2) Explain where the clitoris is. And why it matters for women. Don't bother with the G-spot. If a man can't tell where and what that is, he is not bothering to do things other than sex and get blowjobs anyway. Also, because of the angles involved (curvature of penis, hip angles), women do tend to like non-missionary positions. At least once in a while. Depending on the woman.

3) Explain that porn is entertainment. This is a big one for modern teens especially because of the easier access to this sort of adult commodity. It's pervasive relative to even something like alcohol or tobacco because all it requires is a computer. Or a phone/Ipad, etc.

For comparisons to draw, in real life, people go down a lot faster after being punched. There aren't dramatic soundtracks when the two love story characters meet. The plucky sports team of loveable losers doesn't win the championship (most of the time). Pornography is a show. It's not reality. Yes there are real life women who like to do some of the things on there. Some of the time. And yes there are positions on there that are humanly possible that most of us haven't attempted. Most of them are uncomfortable however without much preparation. And discomfort isn't exactly pleasant for most people. And yes there are combinations and exhibitions of sex that most people don't do. There are reasons for that though. Having sex with multiple partners is something humans might do serially in their lives but most people aren't as comfortable with multiple casual sex partners or simultaneously having sex with said partners. And we've pretty much made having sex in public places illegal. In some states to the point of making it some sort of sex offense (although taking a piss in a public space is still treated far worse in most places. I guess there's some logic to treating it harshly but registering such people as sex offenders is pretty hardcore). So. In summary, those are professionals performing such feats. Don't try everything you see at home. At least not without discussing it with a partner (or two).

4) Explain that sex tends to be a lot better as you get older and more experienced with the same partner. That might justify waiting for someone who you might want to have sex with over that time for example. But that it also will tend to get boring, in a way. This isn't because (the) sex gets worse. Just that people don't work as hard at their general relationships (and physical health) as said relationships progress. Sexual health of the relationship deteriorates along with everything else. Experimentation (and discussion) happens in good relationships. Sometimes really freaky things happen as a result. Few can say at 14 or even 20 or 25 what they will enjoy over the course of their lives sexually.

5) Do explain condoms. Including for non-vaginal sex. Don't approach this as disaster control. Just do it. We should a) not regard pre-marital sex as a "disaster" but rather as a choice... that lots of students are already making and b) should be relatively concerned that if they are exercising this choice, that they should do so in the least harmful manner available. Telling kids that sex (outside of marriage) is so horrible and dangerous that they will die is infamous mostly for its absurdity. And its parallels to anti-drug stories spun and woven by adults as well. The risks need to be communicated accurately; not blown up into easily disproved scenarios.

6) Do teach people to talk about sex frankly with their partners, if no one else. Teach them to communicate both desires and to listen. We seem to spend a ton of time talking about sex among our peer groups (based on popular culture). Why we couldn't expend most of that talking on the actual sexual parties involved is beyond my comprehension. If we're going to have sex, you might as well make it worth the time and energy involved.

Based on what appears to be the difference in places like the Netherlands versus America, teens there have roughly the same amount of sex and by roughly the same age (by 17 is the usual age in both countries). But they report being a lot happier with their choices of sexual partners and sexual experiences. I'd wonder if they do something like this a little more formally, but it seems more broadly that they have a much more accepting culture.

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