With the recent disgusting news about Alabama’s abortion bill coming in, I’ve had about all I can take of old white men dictating what women can do with their bodies. Let’s face it, if men could have abortions there would be clinics on every corner and women wouldn’t say sh*t. Combine this with the newly re-elected Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, terrified of sending his children to mainstream schools because sex education material about teen sexuality made his “skin curl”. He probably had the same experience growing up, lacking in decent sex education. It’s a vicious cycle.
For me, these issues around abortion, discrimination and gender imbalances are just another reminder that sex education is lacking on a global scale. I went to a state non-religious high-school in the 2000s in England and even the basics were lacking. That’s terrifying. The stats are equally disturbing, ringing alarm bells that we have a serious lack of sex and gender education:
- 17% of women and 4% of men have experienced sexual assault since the age of 15 (these are just the reported incidents!)
- Trans young people are also 10 times more likely to suffer from serious depression and anxiety than other young Australian
- Among sexually active women aged 16–74 years, 7.5% reported painful sex
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have risen sharply among young people in Australia; 75% of cases are in young people
- About 75% of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone and a study showed that only 30% of gynaecologists routinely asked their patients about pleasure
So I’m taking a stand, let’s talk about sex.
Now I look back, I’m furious at the system. After endless visits to my GP, she eventually said ‘periods are painful and it’s something females just have to deal with.”
I think one of the main issues with sexual health is that because it’s not discussed from a young age, it’s deemed embarrassing. I have had incredibly painful and heavy periods since I was a teenager. Now I look back, I’m furious at the system. After endless visits to my GP in tears because I was in crippling pain, she eventually said ‘periods are painful and it’s something females just have to deal with’. Well no, it’s actually not. At 27-years-old, I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis and chronic pain from clenching. This is a condition ‘when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus (womb) occurs outside this layer and causes pain and/or infertility‘. It affects 1 in 10 women, however only recently has it made its way into the health budget for research. There are medical professionals out there that can help everyone if you push for it (for example – did you know there are physiotherapists that specifically work on the pelvis?)
Related Post: When ‘Period’ Begins a Conversation and Ends a Sentence
Understand and express yourself
Everyone deserves sexual pleasure and exploration, however society is geared towards focussing on the heterosexual male’s pleasure. There’s a serious lack of female pleasure studies, however there are products that are out there specifically for female pleasure (that aren’t just penis shaped). One of these is Dame, specifically produced to close the pleasure gap for females with or without a partner. Other options are sex therapists to talk things through. Understanding sex and your body is empowering. Do whatever you are comfortable with and do it safely!
Studies show a big pleasure gap in the bedroom. In one study, 91% of cis-men said they “usually” or “always” orgasm during sex, while only 39% of cis-women said the same.”Dame
Whilst I write this, I’m very aware that I am completely lacking in fully understanding trans issues in sexual education. I am trying to go to more LGBTQI talks and read more, but I am still ignorant (I wouldn’t be IF I WAS TAUGHT ABOUT IT IN SCHOOL). What I do know is that if there was diverse and more extensive sexual education in schools, we would be living in a better world and potentially save many lives. For those who argue that learning about LGBTQI in schools could influence children is ridiculous. Education should always the long-term solution from both sides.
“Even early on, holistic LGBTQ inclusive education should include information about gender identity and expression, as well as discussions of what transitioning can look like, both socially and medically. For instance, hormones are often named in sexual health curricula, but it’s rarely discussed how they can be managed if you’re a kid and identify as transgender.” – Boston sex educator Aida Manduley in Huffington Post, 2019
Talk to your friends
I’m not saying go out and talk about all your sexual experiences to everyone. I’m saying, it’s healthy to talk about sex with your friends. Sharing about a good or bad experience you’ve had and see if they’ve experienced anything similar. Discuss periods. Discuss cum. Discuss abortions. Discuss sex toys. Discuss farting. Discuss sexual positions. Discuss pain. Discuss the ‘gross’ sh*t. Normalise these conversations and topics, so the rest of the world can catch up.
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Feature image via Dame Products.