Just the tips: Failures of high school sex education

1. You can only have sex with a penis and a vagina

Let’s just talk about cis/heteronormativity for a moment (because we all know this is not covered in the standard sex ed class).

To be cis-gender means you identify with the gender that matches the sex you were given at birth (i.e. a woman who has female reproductive organs).

To identify as heterosexual means you are sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex (i.e. a man who is sexually attracted to women). That being said, cis/heteronormativity is the normalized assumption that everyone’s gender identity matches their sex, as well as everyone being attracted to the opposite sex.

From this concept comes myth #1: sex can only be with a penis and a vagina.

This is a prime example of one of the many restricting assumptions about sex that perpetuate throughout our society.

However, in reality, sex includes a multitude of practices and acts and is inclusive of everyone regardless of gender/sex expression and sexuality. Sex is a completely personal aspect of life, and everyone has their own likes, dislikes, and ways of going about their sexual lives. There are all kinds of ways to have sex (I won’t get into detail because that would take all day), and when it comes down to it, the most important things to remember are that sex has to be consensual, comfortable and completely your own.

2. STD’s/STI’s (Oh my!)

OKAY, so we’ve definitely all heard about this in high school sex ed (and a lot in college as well).

However, I feel as though the information commonly given in the standard “abstinence-only” sex education class is used to merely scare kids so they do not have sex until marriage… but let’s be real here folks, people are still doing it.

However, there are many misconceptions about STI’s and STD’s (so many that I could write an entirely separate article about them) that need to be cleared up.

First of all, STI (sexually transmitted infection) vs. STD (sexually transmitted disease).

An STI is asymptomatic, meaning it has caused no symptoms, while an STD has symptoms; although they can often refer to the same things.

Because STI’s are asymptomatic, it is important to get tested as often as possible if you are sexually active. This, too, includes those who are in long-term, monogamous relationships (even married couples).

Many STI/D’s can cause long-term health problems such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Cervical Cancer, and infertility in females, as well as sterility and pelvic pain in males, if gone untreated.

However, many of those STI/D’s can be treated and cleared up easily after being diagnose by a medical professional.

Now, STI/D’s can easily be prevented by using barrier methods such as latex male or female condoms and dental dams, however, there is never a 100 percent guarantee that you are protected.

Because STI/D’s are transmitted through body fluids such as blood (HIV), vaginal fluid, and semen, your safest bet is abstinence; but that choice is entirely up to YOU.

Sex is fun, but its important to keep yourself and your partner(s) safe in the process.