Moms in Babeland

Sex Ed As It Should Be (Or Things I Wish I’d Learned in School)

As a sex educator at one of Babeland’s NYC stores, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to learn about so many aspects of sexuality, from sexual health to pleasure and everything in between. I’ve definitely learned a lot more from my experience here than anything I was ever taught about sex in school. The topics we at Babeland share with customers on the sales floor and in our workshops, like anatomy, communication skills and personal confidence, are essential to a healthy sexual life.

Yet sex education in schools is still whack! It remains poor to nonexistent. Abstinence lessons are the equivalent of letting kids “learn it on the street”—being in denial about young peoples’ sexuality can encourage misinformation, poor choices and, well, bad sex lives as adults. I desperately want to help bring better sex ed to confused and horny teenagers. If I could teach sex ed in schools, this would be my lesson plan:

  • Your body is yours, and your body is meant to be good to you. Get to know it. (Pass around hand mirrors and speculums for at-home exploration).
  • Masturbation is not a crime. In fact, not masturbating should be a crime. (Say this especially loudly in the Catholic schools, while handing out vibrators, Little Flirt Plugs and Fleshlights, with plenty of copies of Moregasm)
  • Repeat after me: NO CONDOM (glove, dental dam), NO SEX. (Insert intense safer-sex discussion here. Escort students to lab for STD testing. Hand out yummy flavored condoms for safer fellatio, demonstrate putting one on by mouth for fun.)
  • Now that you know what you like, don’t be embarrassed to say it. Homework: practice saying out loud important statements such as “rub my clit this way,” “slow down,” “go faster,” “don’t stop licking me until I tell you to stop,” “please use three fingers,” “I need more lube,” and “I don’t want to do this right now.” Now practice checking in with your partner, in case he or she was absent from class: “How does this feel?” “Do you like when I touch you here?” and don’t forget— “You are SO hot!” or  “You feel/taste/smell SO great.”
  • LUBE: don’t fuck without it. It will be the difference between awesome mind-blowing sex and uncomfortable, unsatisfying sex that can leave you sore and dehydrated (from all that spit. Spitting can be fun but saliva is not the best lubricant).
  • Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Just because we’re talking about sex doesn’t mean you have to be doing it yet. It’s like algebra: your teacher says you’ll need math in the “real world”, but you haven’t confronted Pythagorean theorem at the mall. Learn this stuff and hang onto it for when you’re ready to use it. Don’t have sex with someone if you aren’t into it, just to make them like you. The sex may be what they like about you—it won’t magically make someone care about you. Don’t compromise yourself! And…if someone says no, respect that. Don’t guilt trip or pressure someone to something they’re not ready for.
  • Define sex for yourself. Is sex cunnilingus, dry humping, masturbating together? It definitely can be. Sex is a lot more than penetration, and doesn’t have to end with or be centered around it (required reading: the Guide to Getting it On).
  • You are sexy. Movie stars and models spend all of their time and millions of dollars to look like glossy coat hangers. We have way more important things to do with our days and dollars. Figure out what makes YOU sexy (voluptuous curves? Super-sculpted calves from years of soccer? Your sense of humor? Your glasses?) and own the hell out of it. Just remember that your sexuality is damn powerful, and use it for good, not evil. I haven’t heard of orgasms curing any diseases or fixing the budget deficit yet, but we’ll keep trying.
  • Be true to yourself. You might be finding out more about your own personal identity, regarding gender and, well, who you like to have sex with, or you may have had it figured out for a long time. Sexual and gender identity are fluid—nothing is cut and dried. The fact that there are as many ways to be sexual as there are people on the planet can be overwhelming, confusing and downright scary, especially if you don’t have a supportive community of friends or family, or many or any folks in the public realm to relate to, or an environment where you feel safe being yourself and expressing yourself. Know that while your sexuality is as individual as your fingerprint, you aren’t alone—there are other people out there who share your experience, and there are ways to connect with them.
  • Don’t expect your first sex experiences to be totally awesome. It’s ok to admit you’re new to this—you’ll learn a lot as you go, I assure you! Chances are you’re both inexperienced, and if not, your partner can teach you stuff. With good body knowledge, being comfortable with communicating what you need, safer sex supplies and lube, things will be much better than fumbling dry silent encounters in the backseat where it doesn’t feel that great and you’re just doing it to get it over with.

I just wish somebody had told me all of this ten years ago! Fortunately today’s teens have some excellent resources, including internet sites like the Coalition for Positive Sexuality. And there’s nothing like a good book to answer questions accurately and without judgement.
The Guide to Getting it On and Moregasm are both good sex guides written in a hip style that appeals to youth.

Written by Kiley, a former Babeland sex educator.


Related posts:

  1. What Should Kids be Learning in School About Abstinence?
  2. What Kids Should Be Learning in School About Sex
  3. Q: The kids hear so much in school the negative side effects of sex. Do you have any tips on how to offer a more pleasure-positive counterpoint?
  4. What My Kids Learned About Sex…From Musicals
  5. Toddlers and Preschoolers: Too Young for the Sex Talk?

topics: Parenting

2 Responses to “Sex Ed As It Should Be (Or Things I Wish I’d Learned in School)”

  1. Carmen says:

    This is a great post! These are the thing which I wish I had learnt in school, although I think being handed a href=””>vibrator may have been incredibly humorous to the class! But I agree more needs to be done to educate today’s youth before its too late.

  2. Carmen says:

    This is a great post! These are the thing which I wish I had learnt in school, although I think being handed a href=””>vibrator may have been incredibly humorous to the class! But I agree more needs to be done to educate today’s youth before its too late.

Leave a Reply