Welcome To Sex Ed
Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Women have been missing out on sexual education for DECADES, so its time to get down and dirty with the facts.
If you're a girl who grew up in America, odds are you were robbed of proper sex education. And truthfully, that leaves an unspoken stamp on all of our sex lives.
Yes, sex can be very personal for some people, emotionally taxing, terrifying, or absolutely fucking bomb. But no matter how you look at it, it is NOT something to shy from. When I was a freshman in high school the sex-ed curriculum was built into our P.E. class for one week out of the academic year. All I can recall is being told that sex is bad, you should abstain until marriage, and STD’s will kill you. (They also threw a ~classy~ sex meme in the PowerPoint about chlamydia....fun.) This narrative of sex being a horror film unless you are bonded in marriage is the root of so many misogynistic, and plainly just terrifying mindsets. So we're going to talk about them.
To understand how free flowing this conversation really should be, we need to take a step back and watch some T.V. Let's take a gander at Samantha Jones. One of the first sexually liberated characters to ever grace pop culture. Out of the four women from Sex and the City she has always provided a forward-thinking perspective that was a breath of fresh air in the show, ultimately causing her to be painted as a sexual sovereign for women everywhere. A more modern example: Xiomara Villanueva from Jane the Virgin. Xo is the young mother of Jane who has been taught abstinence by Jane's immensely religious Grandmother. Xo is constantly struggling with the guilt of her own sexual pursuits while trying to remain a confidant to Jane. She is always there for a solid piece of advice, and is a great source of comedy on the show. Look at Kat Edison, Ilana Wexler, Sutton Brady, what do all these women have in common? Their sexual liberation has created fluid judgment-free characters. What's another thing they all collectively share? Their characters are built off ennobling something we all do anyways. So why does it feel like we are genetically dispositioned to glorify sexually liberated women? Because from a young age we are missing information. Information that could have been revealed in Sex Ed.
Firstly, did you know that almost everyone has sex? Crazy right?! So why don't we treat it with the same normalcy as having a balanced meal? After all everybody eats too. But that's not how our government sees it. Tax-payer money has been funding abstinence-only sexual education since the Reagan era. This was called the Adolescent Family Life Act, and it wasn't abolished until 2010 under the Obama Administration. This sort of monetary influence has green lighted educational videos to demoralize women by referring to them as “dirty pieces of chocolate” and “used shoes”. The CDC reported that only 5% of the U.S. High schools have made condoms available to students, and overall in 2013 a total of 43% of adolescent females did not receive any contraceptives or birth control information before having sex. We all know abstinence doesn't work. Instead of beating the theme of gender discrimination and slut-shaming into young girls, how about we comfort them, and shed some light on what is simply an inevitable experience.
So how does all of this affect our relationships today? To put it simply: in every way possible. We enter our first romantic relationships either terrified that our S.O. will want to have sex, or eager to get it over with and never have the right contraceptives. If you lose your virginity to a man who’s made the 30 under the 30 seconds list, (and odds are you will) you're left with the notion that you will never enjoy sex, or worse, that you aren't meant to. After all, that would explain why no one talks about it. So where does that leave us on our journey for sexual fulfillment? Nowhere. So how can we begin that journey? Stop slut-shaming women. It’s simple. We all grew up scared, some of us might still be. If your friend comes to you excited about a new sex toy she found, listen! If your younger sister is worried that she will be bad at sex, chill her out! Be the woman you wish was around when you were eager about your own sexual encounters. As a woman, it can be incredibly hard to find a safe space. With all the religious pressure, catty girls, and sexist bullshit floating around we need to be there for each other, so I encourage you to enable that space here. Post this article on your Insta or twitter feed with the hashtag #IKissAndTell, and start the conversation. You never know who might really need to have it.
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Forever in your corner,