Adult Sex Ed Month: Do We Really Need Any More Sex Education?
Adult Sex Ed Month is an annual celebration of informative, factually correct and sex-positive enlightenment about sex and sexuality, specifically for adults. For many people, sex education means those awkward couple of lessons you’re made to sit through at school in your teenage years. Adult Sex Ed Month has been created for easy and shame-free access to sex ed in adult life. June is Adult Sex Ed Month 2016 and I am very excited to be part of the campaign for more and for better sex education for adults – as well as raising awareness of its ongoing importance.
How Adult Sex Ed Month Came About
Adult Sex Ed Month was the brainchild of Bobbie Morgan of A Good Woman’s Dirty Mind. The sex education and sex writers communities online were shaken when Bobbie sadly passed away late 2015. Having spoken to some of Bobbie’s friends, clients, collaborators I think it’s fair to say that Bobbie would like to have seen her amazing awareness project continue. This is in your memory, Bobbie. You are much missed.
As we all live in the internet age, the easiest and most convenient way to access up to date adult sex ed isn’t through books or by relying on medical centre leaflets through the door. There are plenty of websites and blogs -like the one you’re reading now- which have been created to provide factually correct, body-positive, sex-positive and fun adult sex ed to everyone who wants it. One great site which provides a wealth of adult sex ed on a variety of sexuality subjects is Kinkly.com; I have also curated a list of international sex bloggers on Twitter for you to discover, read and follow.
Sex Ed in Schools
Sex education in schools is mainly concerned with the anatomical and biological elements of sexual intercourse. Schools -at least where I am in England- are still incredibly gender binary, and this is reflected in sex ed classes. ‘Sex’ is explained as penis in vagina sex, and although small reference may be made to the pleasure element, the educational aspect is concerned with the potential for reproduction. Or to put it bluntly, stopping kids having more kids. Girls are taught about their periods and pregnancy and boys are taught about erections, wet dreams and condoms. Everyone’s educated on what the different sexual anatomical parts are and their purpose for reproductive sex, with a small mention for penis in vagina sex for pleasure (AKA “we know it feels absolutely mind-blowing but make sure you cover your cock to avoid STIs – or horror of horrors, a baby”).
I don’t recall being taught about non-hetero sexual activities in my school sex ed, or how to protect myself from sexually transmitted infections through other forms of sex than penis in vagina. There was no mention of other flavours of pleasure in the broad spectrum of adult sexual pleasures, such as power exchange, kinks, fetishes, sexual positions, the emotional aspect of sex or the effects of life experiences on your sex life. Body changes, relationship difficulties, pregnancy and childbirth. These are just a few examples of topics many people have questions about and they help demonstrate why adult sex education is much-needed and so important.
Is Adult Sex Ed Really Required?
Another proof that adult sex ed really is required are the questions I’m regularly asked as a sex writer and sex educator. Is female ejaculate actually pee (urine)? How can I make my partner into a Dominant? Am I cheating on my partner if I use sex toys? Won’t jiggle balls get lost if I put them in my vagina? Can I fuck my arse with high heels? How do I stop being kinky?
Some of the questions I’m asked are purely anatomical while others do make me a little sad. There are so many negative stereotypes and myths out there pertaining to sexuality and relationships, and helping the world to evolve into a more sexually positive, body positive and sexually shame-free place keeps me on track. I’m committed to providing sex education for those adults who wish to embrace a liberated and healthier sex life and enjoy happier relationships with open communication.
My Own Experiences Of Sex Ed
I had a stiflingly strict religious upbringing until I managed to escape (and by escape I mean both the religion and the country in which I lived, which helped) at the age of 18. Brought up in the beliefs of a cult-like Christian religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was taught that masturbation was a sin, sex before marriage was a sin and anything other than hetero sex within the legal and ‘righteous’ bonds of marriage would also be a sin. There were lots of sins. Being gay, lesbian or bi just meant you were ‘wrong’ and you needed to work hard to overcome this mistaken ‘belief’ or ‘feeling’.
Comparing these narrow-minded, and to be blunt, wrong views about sex and sexuality to what I found in my grandmother’s closet at the age of 9 or 10 was a bit of a shock, to say the least.
I remember being naturally inquisitive (ok, quite rudely nosy) about what was in my lovely and friendly Grandmother’s bedroom. Her house felt like a home away from home, but even more friendly – her and my Grandfather were not part of the religion. One day I finally summoned enough courage – while she was busy in the kitchen – and took a peek in her wardrobe. I remember a box of brightly coloured objects in a box on its floor, and a pile of catalogues selling black shiny things to the side of that box. Hanging up were clothes I’d only describe at that age as ‘fancy dress’ – but like no fancy dress I’d ever seen before. These clothes were also black and shiny, and some had chain bits and all sorts of straps and buckles. I was fascinated – but didn’t have much time to investigate.
This brief glance into such a dramatically different world to the one I was forced into living refused to leave my mind. In fact it’s still one of my strongest childhood memories to this day. I’ve since realised, of course, that my Grandmother merely enjoyed an interesting sex life which included sex toys and power-exchange roleplay, and I’ve also been informed that both my Grandmother and my Grandfather were part of the local swinging scene.
Where I’m At With Adult Sex Ed
As a proudly liberated bisexual, polyamorous and kinky woman who loudly defends her sexual preferences and choices, I like to think I’ve chosen to follow in my Grandmother’s footsteps rather than the restrictive, repressed and wrong paths laid out by my parents and that religion. The sex education I had as a child consisted of one 5 minute talk at me by my mother, which very swiftly covered the in and out of penis in vagina sex for reproduction – as well as many reiterations at the local Kingdom Hall about how masturbation and sex outside of marriage, and thinking you’re anything other than heterosexual, was evil and wrong.
Although I hope my personal experiences aren’t standard fare for most people in society, it’s understandable that I’d prioritise the importance of good, correct and open-minded sex education from an age a child can understand and make their own decisions about things. I have two children of my own now – both boys. I’ve taught both of them the correct names for reproductive/sexual parts of anatomy, and as my eldest is now nearing 11 years old we’ve had several open discussions not just about sex for reproduction but also for pleasure. There has also been a discussion initiated by himself where he asked about a reference to spanking on a TV programme (light comedy) and this led to my explanation of power exchange roleplay as an enjoyable activity for consenting adults (“Just like people have sex when they’re adults because it feels nice, and/or to show deeper emotion in a physical way, people might also choose to enjoy roleplaying being in control or being the one bossed about. And that can include being spanked on the bottom for fun.”). The issue of consent has also been explained and the mandatory nature of it has been highlighted (“Well, duh, Mum. I’m not horrible.”)
I’d rather my children reach their teenage years not only armed with up-to-date facts but also a view of sex, sexuality and relationships which isn’t formal and rigid – as if sex was simply a bodily function for the purpose of bringing babies into the world. It’s been and remains important to my partner and I to create an atmosphere of open communication from our children, where they feel free to ask questions without fear of mockery or rebuke. A home where they can discuss their sexuality, gender and any other personal aspects and be given age-appropriate guidance as well as praise and encouragement for their interest, and their desire to learn the right information.
Although I like to think more parents are creating this open, honest and welcoming space for their children to discuss matters of sexuality and relationships with them, there’s still so many adults in society who had very different upbringings. Perhaps they had parents who simply didn’t want to talk about sex – or maybe as teenagers they were too busy blushing and giggling in school sex ed classes to take note of even the basic clinical aspects of sex, such as correct anatomical names and the details of the reproductive cycle. Whatever the specific reasons, adults are searching the internet for sites like this sex blog and other sex education websites for the answers to questions relating to the entire spectrum of sexuality.
Adult sex education is important so we can all access up to date information and facts about sex, while enjoying honest, shame-free discussions which bust myths and all the while retain the fun and pleasure aspects of sexuality and relationships. Adult Sex Ed Month is a fantastic initiative which highlights the importance of this ongoing sex education and brings together a wealth of information and advice for everyone who wants it.
How To Get Involved With Adult Sex Ed Month
Kinkly will be tweeting throughout Adult Sex Ed Month and you can follow the annual hashtag: #AdultSexEdMonth for relevant news and articles. If you’re a sex educator or sex writer be sure to share your adult sex ed posts from the last year on this hashtag to be a valuable part of the chorus.
Happy Adult Sex Ed Month everyone! <3
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