What’s the truth about sex? The truth about sex is that we each get to make our own truths about sex. Stay with me for a second here. Between mainstream media, movies, college parties, advertisements, expectations (real or imagined) from partners, gossip from peers, whatever, we as a culture have some very strict and rigid (har har) beliefs about what sex means, and what sex should mean to each of us. The truth about sex is that we can have whatever relationship we want with sex. Maybe that’s waiting for someone special, maybe it’s having casual Tinder dates, maybe it’s exploring nonmonogamy. Whatever this relationship looks like, it’s for each of us to decide. And, the best part is, you can change your mind along the way!
Part of this conversation is first clearing up some lies about sex, especially for female-bodied or socialized-female people. It’s important to note that there are different gender expectations, and those can be very real especially for people who don’t neatly fit into gender bubbles. But that might be the subject of a different post. Some of those, like #4 (sex is supposed to hurt) and #14 (you can’t stop once you’ve started), are pretty spot on. We also want to add to #12 (you can have sex on your period) that sex doesn’t necessarily mean penetration, so you can still have some fun and kick those period cramps even with a fear of blood.
Then there’s this awesome HuffPo article about things that people (Americans) get wrong about sex, including health care and how we teach about sex. Not surprisingly, it turns out that abstinence-only education isn’t terribly successful. One of my favorite teaching points with high school students is to talk about safe sex. What’s the safest, not-going-to-get-STIs, not-going-to-get-pregnant, way to have sex? The 100% safest way is not to have sex. But if you’re choosing to have sex, the absolute safest way to do it.. is with yourself. At which point, you can see smoke come out the students’ ears. Teaching safe sex, having safe sex, is absolutely tied to how we view and understand our bodies. A huge part of healthy sexuality is understanding our own sexuality so we can communicate that with partners. It’s important to take some time you learn about your own boundaries, and where and how they’ve been established, so you can communicate them with your partner(s).
And, if we need a little encouragement, this is a great list of reasons to have sex. Need a little help finding what you’re looking for? This article has some great helpful hints for finding the clitoris (and what to do once you’ve gotten there). This NSFW inforgraphic has some good tips to make that journey a little easier. This awesome video shows what the brain looks like during an orgasm (BOOM, science), and Girl Sex 101 is a great book that’s coming out soon (no pun intended) that has some great help and advice about sex for queers.
We always want to remind you that throughout this conversation about sex, especially when you’re having it with someone else, should always be consensual. Not only is consent sexy, but it’s also the law.
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