The Basics of Sex Ed that Your Gym Teacher Probably Forgot to Tell You

I can’t speak to everyone’s experience or knowledge on this topic, but it’s important to recognize that the basics of sexual education extend beyond labelling male and female body parts on a hand-out or putting a condom on a banana in health class. Here’s the thing: sex is a regular, normal human practice. Despite your age, sexual identity or orientation, we all have sexual desires. It's hardwired in our make-up to want to have sex. Though the bedroom can be all fun and games, it’s key to understand how to care for your sexual health. Below are some sex ed basics that your high school gym teacher perhaps skipped over.

Ways To Love Your Vagina Adebusola Abujade / Her Campus Media

  1. 1. Masturbation is Normal

    For whatever reason, people tend to get uncomfortable or shy when ‘masturbation’ is brought up. Masturbation is just as normal as having sex. In fact, you could argue that it's more important to masturbate in order to get comfortable with your body and to know what you like and don’t like, sexually. Once you get familiar with your sexual needs, you can communicate this more easily to your partner. 


  2. 2. Don’t Skip Foreplay

    black couple smiling in bed

    As incredible as sex itself can be, foreplay is a must. In the heat of an intense moment, it can be tempting to just get right down to business. Foreplay can be emotional or physical (or both) and it centres around intimacy. The real purpose of foreplay is to get both you and your sexual partner in the mood - to get your bodies ‘warmed up’ so to speak. There are many ways to engage in foreplay and you should never feel ashamed for wanting more of it. Don’t skip foreplay the same way you wouldn’t skip stretching before a run!

  3. 3. Porn is Unrealistic 

    woman holding a condom

    Though porn has its legitimate uses, it’s important to remember that it’s all a fantasy. Porn creates ‘sexpectations’ that can leave you unsatisfied in the bedroom. Using porn to compare yourself and/or your partner to not only is unrealistic but also can be harmful to your sex life. You may imagine something you saw and becoming fixated on recreating that image, only to be disappointed when it’s not the same. Sex can be awkward, sweaty, silly and imperfect. Porn doesn’t portray that and it can impact our self-esteem.

  4. 4. Talk About Your Sexual Health

    Although there’s a stigma that topics surrounding sex can be uncomfy to talk about, it’s important to do so. Whether it be with family, friends, a partner or a doctor, talking about your sexual health is key to your overall wellness. Aside from the physical aspects of sexual health, understanding what healthy relationships look and feel like is an important component of sexual health. Don’t be afraid to see an OBGYN if you think somethings off or if you have some questions you want to be answered. Talk to your partner about any concerns or questions you may have for them. Never feel bad about taking care of your sexual health.

  5. 5. Pee in a Cup! (And Don’t Feel Ashamed About It)

    Health Vagina Sex Periods Std Feminism

    Being tested for STIs is not shameful; consider it as a form of self-care. You are taking care of not only yourself but the health of others as well. Though it can feel intimidating sitting in a clinic, there is truly no reason to feel embarrassed. You owe it to your body to take good care of it. STI screening can help prevent long-term issues through early detection and it’s important to remember that symptoms do not always occur. Take care of your health and look out for that of your partner. Just go pee in a cup!

  6. 6. Most People Don’t ‘O’ from Penetration Alone

    Arguably one of the most important statistics in female sexual health is that only 25% of women orgasm reliably from penetration. Don’t get discouraged if you are not part of this quarter of the female population. In other words, this translates to the fact that sexual penetration is not the key to most women’s sexual satisfaction. I’m certainly not knocking sex, however; most women need clitoral stimulation in order to reach that O. No matter how you get there, know that it's perfectly OK if missionary just isn’t doing the trick!