May 25, 2018

Hayley’s House: Not your father’s Playboy – being sex-positive and also educated

Disclaimer: This opinion piece can be applied to all genders and sexual orientations under certain contexts, but the examples given are of heterosexual experiences

Despite human differences, there is one common factor in each human life that is essential to the experience of human individuals: Sex. Since quite literally the dawn of time, sex has been a key component to not only reproduction of human life and sustaining the human race. It also is a key aspect of ourselves; making up generations upon generations of identity and self expression through sex and sexual values with partners or with our own bodies.

But what do you actually know? Ladies, I’m talking to you. What do you know about your own body?

In a recent survey of 1,000 women, 44 percent could not identify the vagina on a medical illustration of the female reproductive tract. In a smaller study of 236 college students, 62 percent of women could not identify it either. Yet, the majority of college students are having sex. There is something unsettling about the idea that while both male and female individuals are having sexual intercourse, they know nothing about each others bodies, let alone their own.

For women, this is because of multiple factors: Sanitizing puberty (making menstruation seem icky and messy, to a point where young girls feel guilty about the natural process of growth), the social construct of virginity, the myth of the vaginal orgasm and many others. Young girls are taught to be proper and pure, young women are expected to be sexually promiscuous until these women grow into adults. But there is no room in between for proper education (thanks, public school) about sex, our human bodies and their functions during sex.

Historically, the hymen (you know, the “cherry” that’s popped when a woman loses her virginity) has been seen upon as a sign from God to keep young women from deviant sexual behavior, like a holy chastity belt, right inside of the female body. Overtime, this absurdity has evolved and manifested itself into what we now know as the only thing that constitutes what makes a woman a virgin or not. When in reality, it means nothing.

And when they do lose their virginity, women often find themselves in sexual relationships with men who don’t know any more than they do about their own body. Then, they therefore find themselves not sharing equal amounts of satisfaction within sexual intercourse with partners. Part of this is due to the myth of the vaginal orgasm, which, no thanks to the commercial porn industry, has made pleasure and sex confusing for women, and it has made a place for false knowledge in the minds of men.

Like most things, the most important solution to this problem is education. Educate yourselves whether it be the internet or exploration of your own body. It is so crucial that we, as women specifically, discover what we like and dislike about our sexual experiences and communicate those things with our partners. Proper sex education in schools (not abstinence-only bull) should be 100 percent required in every school district in America including free HIV and pregnancy testing, condoms and feminine hygiene products.

On a more personal level, the patriarchy is a cancer upon society and unfortunately it is affiliated with the most intimate and vulnerable thing in our lives. It is easy to avoid awkward bedroom conversations about sexual preferences, and it’s even worse to tell your partner that he or she is doing something wrong. But the outcome will be worth it when you find yourself having a better overall feeling about sexual intercourse with your partner, but also a better sexual relationship with yourself.

Even today I find myself still asking questions about this topic. Some helpful sources are websites like Our Body Ourselves which gives tons of information about sex from personal sexual boundaries to how to communicate with your partner. This is your body and you only get it once. Learn about it.

Share this post

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail