I Learned Most of My Sex Ed from Snapchat

I never received the birds and the bees talk from my parents as their method of sex education was simply just telling us not to do it. I grew up watching telenovelas that had countless sex scenes and my parents would make my sister and I close our eyes every single time and never really address it. Of course, sex education in public schools was largely the same, mostly telling us that the only sure-fire way to avoid a pregnancy was abstinence. Even then, the fact that the sex ed we received was mostly centered around avoiding a pregnancy and not actually educating anyone about sex was disappointing.

Of course, no parent wants to admit or even think about their kid having sex but according to a report in 2017 by the CDC, “An estimated 55% of male and female teens have had sexual intercourse by age 18.” So clearly, teens are having sex, but only about 50% of teenagers feel comfortable talking to their parents about it.  A simple Google search prompts to the various sex myths many teenagers believe and its only because they aren’t being told otherwise by anyone.

Luckily we live in an era in which we can pretty much look up anything and find information on it (with caution of course). I myself turned to snapchat discovery stories for my own sort of sex ed. Obviously you can’t trust everything you read, but my public-school system just repeated the same facts about birth control and sex so at least this was a step up. I think the most crucial piece of information I learned from sex ed in school was the actual process of an egg becoming fertilized and that the best method of birth control besides abstinence, was a hormonal one + the use of a condom.

When Snapchat released their discovery stories feature I of course indulged. Cosmopolitan and Refinery29 always had some interesting stories that featured something about relationships or sex. At first I was always a little nervous reading them just because sex was still seen as such a taboo topic for me. Reading the way sex was talked about so casually made it seem less scary. That’s not to say I was afraid of sex, but I guess I just didn’t really know what to expect and reading about it was actually pretty empowering. Because I was learning about my own body and by reading more about it, the shame surrounding sex was slowly being eliminated.

The sex ed I had received ins school and the lack of any sex ed from my parents made sex seem like really threatening and life changing thing. While the importance of sex or first times can vary based on each individual (which is totally fine by the way), knowing a little but more of what to expect kinda made the whole sex thing seem a little less overwhelming. I learned how it doesn’t have to always hurt the first time a male and female have intercourse, which was honestly relieving. I learned the importance of foreplay, how important communication is during sex, and that asking aboutt STI’s should be normalized and something you shouldn’t be afraid to ask about.

I also learned that quite a few of the things I grew up learning about sex were false. That you should only get tested if you think you got exposed to an STI (please, for the love of god, please get tested regularly), and that if a girl doesn’t bleed the first time she has sex its completely normal. I also learned that just because you use a condom that doesn’t mean you’re safe from all STI's. I learned that women don’t always orgasm as easily as men do and it’s pretty common for that to happen.

Learning and reading about sex made me realize that the concept of virginity and body count, were a little ridiculous. We all grew up with the idea that if someone had a high number of people they’ve slept with, you probably shouldn’t sleep with them as who knows where they have been or what they’ve caught. They would also be labeled a “whore” as they had obviously gotten around. But, honestly who the fuck cares how many people you’ve slept with? From the way I see it, as long as you’re being safe about it, its enjoyable and consensual then there are honestly no issues. Body count and virginity are a social construct that no one should feel like it governs their life.

While of course some of the information from the snapchat discovery stories may be a bit questionable, it was definitely more informative than my school’s sex ed ever was. Learning about what to expect, what it’s like, what’s normal and what isn’t was honestly really cool. It made me more comfortable with my own body. Being educated in your own body and the sexual needs of it doesn’t make you a whore or anything. On the contrary, its honestly pretty empowering.