As a sexologist born and bred in Singapore, there are many things I wish I had learned during education about sexuality, particularly sexual anatomy.
Having the names for our sexual bits allows us to have a common vocabulary and feel empowered about our bodies. I asked my colleagues what they wished they knew, and seven of them responded:
1. Sarah Rose Bright, Sex, Pleasure, and Intimacy Coach.
“That pleasure is natural and healthy. Instead, we are not taught anything about pleasure and can even learn that it is ‘bad’ or ‘sinful’ to experience pleasure, so when we experience pleasure, it comes with feelings of guilt and shame. Yet pleasure is so important, not just in sex, but it is also good for your overall health and well-being.”
2. Taryn Harvey, Transformational Intimacy Counsellor and Tantra Teacher. Author of Trust.
“The best piece of sex advice I ever received was from a 60-year-old male client; ‘Lay back and do nothing to me, simply allow yourself to receive pleasure. This gives all us men the greatest joy, to witness a woman’s body sing and dance in orgasmic ecstasy!’ I was a disillusioned 40-year-old woman, who had become a sexworker. His advice and months of teachings helped me build self-esteem and welcome passion as a life skill I now teach to others.”
3. Felicia M. Hunt, MA, CEO, and Sex Coach of 6EX Coach.
“Men, due to the lack of knowledge about sex, think the act is about them, for them, and to reach ejaculation. Women, for the very same reason, believe they have to please their men in order to keep them. They both are operating from two different perspectives, and more often than not, no one is really satisfied.”
4. Randi Levinson, M.A., CSC.
“I wish sex ed had given us girls permission to experience pleasure, rather than try to scare us with pregnancy or the inevitable fate of contracting an STI. I wish sex ed had shown us the varieties of female genitalia so that I didn’t feel shame around my body.”
“As a teenager, I was blessed to have grown up in a very open and sexually liberated home, so all the sex ed I should have gotten at school, I got at home. However, the one thing I wish I had learned more about was orgasmic pleasure and all the non-intercourse ways that I could have gotten to explore. Less focus on intercourse and more on oral, anal, and all the other amazing orgasmic possibilities. I believe if I had, I would not have gotten pregnant at 17 and had to have a abortion. So many young adults are horny and want to explore. If we teach them about orgasmic pleasure and less about intercourse and waiting until they are emotionally ready, we would have less unwanted teen pregnancies and unhealthy relationships.”
6. Karolina Pasko, Registered Psychotherapist & Celebrity Coach.
“I wish I learned that asking for what I want and taking time to learn what I want were normal and essential ingredients of human sexuality, instead of it being promiscuous, dirty, or inappropriate.”
7. Dr. Graham Stevenson, Sex and Relationship Coach.
“I teach sex ed at a secondary school and notice that they get me to tackle all the subjects that aren’t normally covered in these classes—subjects about getting pleasure in sex! I would like to have been taught about consent, as this really sets the foundation for confidence in sexual interactions, teaches honest communication, and the importance of boundaries. I would also like to have been taught the anatomy of arousal, so that I could better appreciate my own body and the difference between male and female sexual responses. I should also like to have had the opportunity to debate the broader context to sex, such as my family’s beliefs, my society’s beliefs, and my religious beliefs alongside the current scientific research on sex in relation to physical and emotional health.
What about you? What sex ed do you wish you had growing up?
Author: Martha Lee
Image: “Mean Girls“
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis