What does this sexologist wish she learned about sexuality besides menstruation growing up?
The only sexuality education I received in secondary school (or high school in the U.S.) was in the form of annual school talks presented by pharmaceutical companies promoting sanitary pads or tampons (depending where they were from). The boys got to first jeer at us, as they went out to play in the sun. We, the young ladies, had the burden of listening to instruction on menstruation and the need to clean up after ourselves.
Here are another nine things that I wish I learned in sex-ed as a teenager. You can read part 1 here.
- There needs to always be authentic consent for sex to happen. Silence is not consent. Drunken sex is not consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. It is ok to stop a sexual session or leave if you do not feel it is right or good for you.
- There is a difference between being coerced to doing something and being curious and open-minded for your own sake. Heard of the saying, “Fake it till you make it?” Sometimes all it takes to get used to something new is doing more of it so that you get used to it. For instance, it may include getting used to the look, smell, and taste of his penis and even semen.
- Rather than let sex happen to you, begin thinking about what you need for sex to happen. What would make sex good for you? What would make it better? The first thing is to know what it is you want.
- You have the right to ask about the sexual history of your partner, now whether what they tell you is true or not is another matter. Always, always, always choose safer sex practices. Take charge; purchase and carry protection with you.
- Worry less about pleasing your partner, and more about doing the right thing by you--things that after doing you can live to face yourself in the mirror the next day. Remember, it is your body, your life, and your future that is on the line. Before you can have any kind of meaningful relationship, first recognize the magnificence within you and love yourself.
- Sexual communication is communication. You probably already have the skills it takes to ask for what you need and want sexually. Because your desires and preferences may change over time, sexual communication must be an ever-evolving process. You deserve the best sex possible; communicate.
- Sex involves the expression of physical love. It is about the joy of life as well as the intimacy of connectedness. The intimacy that these couples must have has to do with the ability to share one’s fears, dreams, and pains. Without honesty, patience, and the ability to be vulnerable, it is not possible to let your partner know who you really are and what you really want.
- Masturbation is sex. Foreplay is sex. Oral sex is sex. Anal sex is sex. Penis in the vagina is sex. The lack of the male or female orgasm is still sex. To a sexologist, there are different forms of sexual expressions and once one enters the sexual response cycle, it counts as sex! And there is nothing wrong with the word sex either!
- There is a difference between fantasy and reality. In our fantasies, there are no repercussions, no harm, or pain physically felt or experienced. Fantasies are stimulating because they would probably not happen in real life. This does not mean fantasies cannot become reality, nor does it mean that all fantasies should be played out in life. What is more important is that you can separate between fantasy and reality, and are able to decide what you wish to retain as a fantasy, and what you would like to have happen down the road and under what circumstances.
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexuality educator with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists), as well as certified sexologist with ACS (American College of Sexologists). She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality as well as certificates in practical counselling, life coaching and sex therapy. She is available to provide sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conduct sexual education workshops and speak at public events in Asia and beyond. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com.
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