What High Schools Should Teach in Sex Ed

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In high school, my sex ed was what you would call minimal. Since Texas firmly believes in abstinence-only education (which so doesn’t work – my high school had a day care program for crying out loud!), I consider myself very lucky that I had a very open-minded mother who taught me about sex. And now that I’m in college, by far my favorite class this semester is my human sexuality class where my professor is not only incredibly funny, but very insightful. All of this along with some personal experience leads me to the conclusion that, well, sex ed of all kinds suck.

Here’s what they should be teaching high schoolers in order to better prepare them.

1. Sex should be between two people, not two egos
The best piece of advice from my human sexuality professor so far this semester has been, “sex isn’t a show. You shouldn’t be getting performance anxiety because it’s not a performance, so stop making it one.This is so true. Sex should be about enjoying yourself, not about how you look or how you’re doing or anything else that you’re anxious about. No one looks good during sex, and if you’re doing something your partner doesn’t like, chances are they’ll tell you in a non-offensive way. Sex is supposed to be fun, so relax!

2. It’s a sign of maturity to ask what your partner likes
No two people are exactly the same, so why should their sexual tastes be? It shouldn’t be embarrassing to talk about what you like in bed. No one knows what you like or what you don’t like better than you. We shouldn’t be turning to Cosmo or our friends for sex advice, we should be asking our partners.

3. Sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
Yes, sex feels good. However, I feel that most high school kids think it’s the end all be all, but that’s just the hormones talking. You really don’t feel that different after losing your virginity. You get dressed, and go about your day. So if you’re not having sex and it feels like everyone else you know is, it’s not the end of the world.

4. Gay Sex is Still Sex
It really bothers me that people still don’t respect homosexual relationships. Just because you don’t approve of what they’re doing, doesn’t mean you can just completely ignore them. Gays and lesbians have sex too, so why aren’t they being taught about sexual health and education? Why can’t we have a program that teaches about all aspects of sex, not just penis in vagina sex?

5. How to Say No
Sex should be between two people who love and trust each other, but sadly that’s not always the case. I feel like girls, including myself and some of my friends, get pressured into sex sometimes. Whether it’s because you’re not ready or you just don’t feel that way about someone, everyone should learn how to say no when they’re uncomfortable. What really got to me in high school was the girls I knew who got pregnant simply because their boyfriend just didn’t want to wear a condom. If your guy doesn’t want to wrap it up, then tell him to put his pants back on! It’s one thing to teach kids how to use a condom, but we also need to make sure they actually use them.

Sadly, I know that these won’t be implemented to any curriculum anytime soon; people in America tend to refuse to see teenagers as sexual beings, even though we hit our sexual peaks at 16. It’s almost borderline cruel to expect the horniest people on the planet to stay fully dressed with each other. I just know that I’ll be like my mom in that whenever I have teenage kids, they’re going to know everything they need to know to have safe, enjoyable sex.

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