Cards on the table: sex, sexuality, rape, mental illness, feelings and everything else we’re not supposed to talk about… Let’s stop being so friggin’ awkward, get real and normalise the shit out of them. Because everyone has sex. And we should all be makin’ love.
LENA HULDERIC | Feb 25 2019
I’m an open book, with my heart on my sleeve, willing to share. We live in a horridly hard world. Boys and girls are taught that strength comes from ignoring your feelings, where men are macho and women Madonnas.
Sex Education, biology and bananas…
British etiquette is absurdly polite: we’re sorry when someone walks into us. We put other’s needs before our own (at times to our own detriment). We are ‘fine’ when we are not. And we don’t talk about sex. And I mean real sex. Anyone else remember the joys of Sex Ed? Clumsily putting condoms on bananas and cringing at the nether regions of the male anatomy, as if learning biology is supposed to prepare you for the real deal.
What about the rest of it? The very real, most important parts: the intimacy, the overwhelming ecstasy of orgasm, the vulnerability, establishing boundaries, consent. I left school having no idea that sex was supposed to be an enjoyable experience. I had no clue where or what my clitoris was, anal was some mythical act only the depraved engaged in, and gay sex was deemed unworthy of reaching curriculum status.
Porn is not a substitute for sex ed
So how did we educate ourselves? Enter the porn industry: a shocking and damaging display of male entitlement and female objectification. Horny pubescents are forced to learn DIY-style and the results are pretty disheartening.
I was well into my sexual career before I had my first orgasm. Before that point, I’d never really enjoyed it because I’d never understood it. I’d assumed the position of ‘Porn Star’, seeking to gratify the man. I closed my eyes and thought of England! I was 19, a month into a relationship with my first serious boyfriend (henceforth to be called: The Jew), and I was in love. Euphoria surged through my body, enveloping every one of my senses and paralysing my limbs in a state of sheer bliss. In that moment nothing else existed. Just me, the sheets and The Jew. “Well, bugger me!”, I thought, “what the hell have I been doing in bed up until this point?”
I’d assumed the position of ‘Porn Star’, seeking to gratify the man. I closed my eyes and thought of England!
It was my first encounter of real sex. And it changed everything.
I don’t have any regrets about the past because it’s not helpful, but I’ve endured many frightening and unpleasant sexual experiences with men. We think that by not telling our children about sex, we are protecting them. But we also know that the highest rates of rape and sexual assault occur in the most sexually repressed countries…
Confident boys and compliant girls
If we don’t talk about sex, boys will continue to think that girls ‘want it right hard’ and girls will play a passive role. Whichever way we want it – and if I’ve learned anything – it’s that loving sex is nothing to be ashamed of. Sex is very ordinary. But learning how to connect on a deeper level, through your heart, mind and soul… takes a little bit of commitment, a dash of patience and and a large spoonful of education.