6 things we wish sex ed had taught us - Play Safe
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With consent education becoming mandatory for schools in NSW and VIC, we thought it would be worth revisiting sexual education as a whole. Whether you graduated in the early 00’s, or you’re still riding the school bus — sex education has come a long way in the last decade (and we’re pretty happy about it) but there are still a few things not covered in the syllabus that we wished we learnt about as well… 

You don’t need to orgasm

Orgasms are great, but aren’t the goal of sex. Sometimes, when we focus too hard on having an orgasm it creates a lot of pressure and can make sex more difficult. Sex can be pleasurable and satisfying, and still ‘counts’ as sex, even if no-one orgasms. 

Sex can be messy and noisy

Movies and porn often make it seem like sex will always be neat and clean…but that’s not really true.

Semen, vaginal fluids, lube, saliva and sweat can be abundant during sex. Some people might choose to put a towel down before having sex just in case. Sex during a menstruation cycle can be extra messy but is still entirely possible and can be just as enjoyable. 

Noises are common too. Noises from penetration, or skin-to-skin contact and queefing can happen during sex. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. 

Not wanting sex is normal

Sex education tends to focus on what happens when you have or want sex, which is great as it’s important to know about. But, it’s also okay to not want sex often, or even at all. Always ask for consent before and during any sexual activity, and respect other people’s boundaries if they don’t want it. Not wanting sex is just as normal as wanting it.

Masturbation is normal, safe and fun — and everyone does it

Masturbation is when a person touches or stimulates their own genitals for sexual pleasure. It’s a part of a healthy sex life and is safe, normal, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a safe, natural way to explore your body and discover what you enjoy and what feels good. It’s also a great way to get some practice in. If you can show your partner what you like — and they can show you what they like — this can help with having a happy and healthy sex life.

Consent is key

You may have heard (we even mentioned it at the start of this article) that consent education is now mandatory across all NSW and VIC schools (yay). However, for those of us not currently in the education system — here are the things you need to know: 

  1. Consent means to agree to do something, or for something to happen. 
  2. Consent looks like; a resounding and clear YES!
  3. You need consent every time you engage in any kind of sexual activity with anyone; even if it’s with a long-term partner and even if it’s for something you’ve tried before. Just because the other person said yes previously, doesn’t mean they’ll feel that same way forever. Consent may change day-to-day, hour to hour, or minute to minute. 
  4. People under the age of legal sexual consent cannot consent to sex. People under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol also cannot consent to sex. 

Getting tested is a normal part of a healthy and confident sex life

We probably all remember learning about condoms in sex ed. But how many of us were told that getting an STI test regularly is also important? And that there is nothing to be ashamed of? Getting an STI test every 6-12 months (or when you have unprotected sex or change partners) should be treated the same as going for a regular dental check up.

What’s something you wish you had learned in sex ed? Let us know on the forums. If you have any questions feel free to drop by the ask Nurse Nettie page or call 1800 451 624 between 9:00am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday to talk with a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.