Essays

Sex Ed for all – The more we know the better

Contemporary sex education is comprehensive. It is about perceiving sexuality as something natural, something holistic, to give young people a healthy idea of what is important in sexual intercourse.

By Anne Lomberg on August 23, 2023 -
Updated on October 21, 2023

Also available in German
Sexualaufklärung für alle

Let’s face it: Only very few people succeed in talking about sex and naming pleasure triggers in a self-determined way. One reason is poor sex education and the stigma attached to an openly experienced sexuality in our society. Sex is still something lived out in secret but hardly ever discussed in public. Talking about sex is a matter of practice, and the more we deal with the topic and bring it up, the more real knowledge we gain because there is nothing worse than dangerous half-knowledge that can lead to negative surprises such as pregnancies or diseases, especially when we direct the reference on children and young people. That’s why good sex education is crucial because education shapes how we deal with it, i.e., the more you know, the more appreciative you are.

As a Generation Y or Millennial-born, I, like so many others, have not received any sex education and acquired my knowledge exclusively through exchanges with friends or various magazines such as Bravo. And by knowledge, I mean, above all, what is associated with pleasure and not with reproduction. Because the only thing on the curriculum in biology classes was how pregnancy happens and what periods mean. This is where good sex ed at a young age plays a crucial role, educating us about sexual well-being, gender identity, and consent, in addition to reproductive health. Sex ed encourages young people to make important decisions about their health and empowers them to recognize that their health and well-being come first and that the other person is treated respectfully and boundaries are accepted.

Let’s talk about Sex

In addition to the lack of or poorly taught sex education in school, parents are responsible for allowing their children to openly discuss sexual issues without sinking into shame; this means that adults must first make themselves competent and experience themselves as capable. Those who are clear with themselves and their desire and integrate it as a natural part of everyday life, just like eating and sleeping, have a totally relaxed relationship concerning sexuality; they can communicate it more easily and perceive it as completely normal. In principle, one could say that those who are not able to talk openly about sex and desire are disabled. They lack foresight and the natural instinct, the animal urge that we all carry within us, whether lived or suppressed. It is about relating to one’s body, dealing with feelings, knowing one’s pleasure, and not just biology. As sexual beings, we need to be open, we need to be able to talk about sex in an uninhibited way. This is a duty towards a more open-minded society and the next generations.

If we look at the medium of the internet, it’s easy for kids these days to pick and choose their knowledge at whim; whether it’s true or false remains to be seen. And that’s where I definitely see a need for discussion to avoid leading off on the wrong track. The porn industry, in particular, is misleading and drastically changes perceptions about sex. Freely accessible porn is easy to google, and the I call “child lock” simple to bypass. There, you will find unrealistic sex scenes that stretch on for hours, where the man never suffers from erectile dysfunction and where the woman gets constant mega orgasms from penetration alone. Not to mention that most of the videos available are designed for power and oppression, where the woman is used as a pleasure object and made available exclusively for the man. That’s why an extensive sexual dialogue is important, not only to raise awareness about contraception, STDs, or pregnancy but also to develop a sense of one’s own pleasure to live out in a self-determined way.

Everyone has a right to pleasure

In this context, I would like to reveal myself again, as I have done in many articles before. I do this intentionally to encourage more people to be open and share their desires. Due to a lack of sex education and poor perceptions that I acquired at the time through movies, magazines, and talking to friends, I ended up never experiencing an orgasm until I was 30 years old. I don’t think I’m alone in that. For many women, including me, it was exclusively about the man’s pleasure fulfillment. At least, that’s what we learned in movies where women in missionary positions moaned in arousal, and the main goal was to make the man cum. Maybe sometimes you even thought, when is it finally over, this constant penetration somehow brings nothing. Yes, exactly, because it’s just not that alone. It’s misinformation that is put on display over and over again. Sex is so much more than penetration; I’ve had the best orgasms of my life while mutual masturbation or playing with toys.

Experiencing intimacy and orgasms cannot be taken for granted. We minimize the positive energy that comes with it by not talking about it or taking the topic seriously. Sex should not be tainted with shame; it was given to people naturally, a feeling of happiness that should be explored, celebrated, and encouraged. Contemporary sex education is comprehensive. It is about perceiving sexuality as something natural, something holistic, to give young people a healthy idea of what is important in sexual intercourse, namely to harmonize feelings with the body, to be clear about needs and where limits are, how to reach climax and how a partner can get involved there. Taking control of your own pleasure, isn’t that something we all secretly wish for? Sex education is important for everyone, not only for children, but also for parents who themselves have received no or insufficient sex ed so that this dangerous half-knowledge is not passed on, but also for everyone else who wants to control their sexuality from now on and deal with it openly to achieve a more fulfilling life.

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