Hey…. so I’m a little distracted today. Over at Mad Art Lab (and subsequently everywhere else on the internet) Ryan is wearing his Slave Leo costume, a male version of Slave Leia. It’s pretty amazing.
So I thought we’d talk about sex.
When I was in high school we had comprehensive sex ed. It was helpful and informative, but even as good as it was, it still emphasized abstinence and wasn’t so much “sex ed” as much as “don’t get pregnant ed”. So everything we discussed assumed we were all hetero, cisgendered, and always would be.
Then, for some reason, my evangelical geometry teacher felt that she needed to inform us of the Truth About Condoms… which is that they have holes large enough to let sperm and HIV through and that “at a conference of sex educators” no one said they’d have sex with someone who was HIV+ even with a condom. Which… what? Who would walk into a conference of sex educators and me like ‘OH YEAH? WHAT ABOUT AIDS AND CONDOMS? CHECKMATE, ASSHOLES! I’M BLOWING THE LID OFF OF THIS SHIT AND EVERY KID WHO TAKES GEOMETRY IN HIGHSCHOOL WILL LEARN THE TRUTH! Or at least some kids who take geometry at one high school anyway. This is going to be huge!”
So even with a reasonably decent, and comparatively excellent, sex ed program, there were so many… um… holes… in the information. I mean, I guess when you’re talking about a sophomore level health class, you can’t be expected to cover all of human sexuality, but there would have been plenty of information that we could have used that was at least ass helpful as “a condom fits down an entire yardstick, see!” (That demonstration did not in any way make me more likely to use condoms, but did make me infinitely less likely to fornicate with measuring devices.)
I would have liked to be told that the amount that I like or don’t like sex is an exact measure of how much I enjoy sex and nothing else. It doesn’t make me smarter or uglier or worthless or impressive or likable. Or maybe that there isn’t a prescribed sequence of events during sex… that you can skip “bases” and still hit a “home run”…. and that there are bases after the bases that still don’t have to come in any order… and until there’s an infield fly rule, baseball is like literally the absolute worst metaphor for sex ever. Or that “sex” isn’t limited to penises going into vaginas. And you don’t need to love or even know your first partner (or any subsequent partners), and that’s not a big deal. And that sex is sometimes awkward and boring and you can talk about things you like and the conversation about what’s going to happen doesn’t end with “do you have a condom?” And that consent is a BIG FUCKING DEAL and there are no shortcuts to getting it and that there’s no good reason to want one… because sex without weird tricks is more likely to be fun for everyone and thus more likely to end in more sex for everyone.
And that STIs are just like any other infection. And you don’t need to be more ashamed of having herpes than any other communicable disease. And that no one is going to actually die if you accidentally have sex during your period.
So many things to learn.
What do you wish you were told when you were young? What advice would you give kids? Do you think your sex-ed was adequate? Do you think your sex-ed helped or hindered your sexuality? And hey…. how about that Slave Leo?
Featured image Angela Clayfield
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.