For many people, sex ed class wasn’t exactly groundbreaking.
Oftentimes, the class is so outdated that it’s rather useless.
In the United States, only 24 states and D.C. have laws that mandate sex education, and even in those states, there is no guarantee that the sex education being taught is beneficial to students.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2021, 28 states require that abstinence be stressed. Only 20 states and D.C. require information on contraception. Only 18 states require sex education to be “medically accurate.” Sex education omitted so many important topics for students across the country.
Here are five things you probably didn’t learn in sex ed but should’ve:
Masturbation is very normal.
Masturbation – specifically female masturbation – is a taboo topic in many places worldwide. Because of this, masturbation isn’t disused enough during sex education. But it’s important to know: masturbation is normal. It’s the safest way to engage in sexual activity and can also: help you sleep better, relieve stress, boost your mood, relax, relieve period cramps, release sexual tension and, maybe most importantly, it helps you understand what you enjoy sexually.
How to Establish Sexual Boundaries.
Engaging in dialogue with your partner about your likes and dislikes, your limits, and what you are uncomfortable with sexually is very important, and masturbation can help you feel more comfortable talking about this! Establishing these sexual boundaries helps keep us safe and comfortable in our relationships or sexual experiences. Understanding what consent looks like between you and your partner.
You can contract an STI even if you’re not having penetrative sex.
You can contract an STI (chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, HPV, syphilis, trichomoniasis, etc.) without having penetrative sex. The bacteria that causes sexually transmitted infections can pass from person to person via blood, semen, or vaginal, and other bodily fluids. STIs can also be transmitted non sexually, such as through blood transfusions or shared needles. Using protection such as dental dams and female condoms during oral sex or anal rimming can protect against STIs. Getting tested regularly for STIs is important – particularly considering many STIs exhibit no symptoms. Encourage your partner(s) to do the same!
Foreplay is Important.
Foreplay serves both a physical and physiological purpose. Engaging in foreplay helps build emotional intimacy and trigger the physical response of sexual arousal, making sex more enjoyable. It’s important to remember that, as with anything, as long as you and your partner have established sexual boundaries and consent, there is no “right way” to engage in foreplay. Find what feels good for you and your partner.
There are More Birth Control Options than just the Pill.
There are a variety of birth control options available. Choosing which contraceptive you use is a personal choice you should make with your doctor. Some options include:
- Birth Control Implant– 99% Effective
- Birth Control Patch-91% Effective
- Birth Control Pills-91% Effective
- Diaphragm-88% Effective
- Condom-85% Effective
- Spermicide-72% Effective
Always remember engaging in or not engaging in sexual activities is a personal choice and so are your sexual preferences! As long you and your partner are safe, and consenual, you don’t owe anyone an explanation regarding your sex life!