They’ll thank us later.
Sex education is a loaded topic.
Some parents have a moral issue with it. Others just don’t want the public school teachers who are failing to teach their teenagers about geometry to teach something as complex and important as human sexuality.
I understand most of the objections, but, I’ll admit, I’d rather have our school systems trying (and failing) to educate kids about sex than not trying at all. With that said, I wish the sex curriculum — both on a public education level and a personal parent level — was a little more geared towards the real world practicalities of sex.
After all, students who receive a comprehensive sex education (birth control, healthy relationships, STIs, consent and more) are less likely to contract diseases, become pregnant while in high school, and the age they have sex for the first time is actually pushed back. Yes, it simply works.
But it's about more than just teaching them the basics.
For example, I think the concept of foreplay should definitely be discussed when we’re educating young people about sex.
It sounds funny, doesn’t it? The idea of a teacher or a parent sitting down to talk to a kid about foreplay.
I get that it seems embarrassing — heck, the whole notion of sex education is — but foreplay is a topic that sexually-curious young people need to be introduced to.
Sex is such a taboo subject for teens that, too often, their primary goal is simply to do it as fast as they can before their parents get home. It’s an attitude that won’t prepare them well for later in life when sexual speed isn’t normally seen as a good thing.
Foreplay introduces teenagers to the idea that our bodies need time to get ready for sex. Women, in particular, need to be stimulated enough to make sure that the sex isn’t a dry, unwelcoming experience.
Because, if we’re going to teach kids about sex, shouldn’t we also teach them how to be smart about sex too? And part of being sex-smart is knowing how to make sex feel good.
That might seem counter-intuitive to some parents — “I don’t want to let my kid know that sex feels good! It’ll make them want to have it!”
But teaching young people how to make sex pleasurable isn’t the same thing as encouraging them to have sex. And what’s the upside of teaching kids how to have bad sex anyway? It won’t discourage them from trying. It will only negatively impact their attitudes towards sex for the rest of their lives.
But the TRUE benefit of foreplay — for curious teens and anxious parents alike — is that it teaches young people to SLOW DOWN.
When foreplay is introduced, sex stops being about an adolescent conquest and starts being about two people having a loving, intimate moment together. When there’s the expectation of foreplay, sex becomes more personal, more empathetic. It shelters both parties emotionally, while providing a physical benefit as well.
And, when things slow down, everyone involved has a chance to ask themselves if they really want to be there. When teenaged sex is only about getting off in the quickest possible way, it’s all too easy for young men and women to make an impulse decision that they rapidly regret.
However, when the two consenting partners spend some time getting each other ready, there’s actually time for them to contemplate what they want from each other and whether or not they really want to go through with it.
I’d wager that teenagers might even more thoughtfully consider their options if they didn’t skip foreplay altogether and jump directly to the sex.
Foreplay allows us to prepare for sex, both physically and emotionally, so, even though it’s an awkward topic, I think we do our young people a disservice by not including discussions of foreplay when we’re teaching them about sex education.
Because, as adults know, sex shouldn’t be a race to the finish.
Sex is about the journey, and teenagers should know how wonderful that journey can be when you slow down, make sure everyone’s on the same page, and appreciate the experience.