Dating and Relationship Advice

I’ll be frank: sexual education is a disgrace in our country. It’s not only unhelpful, but can sometimes be downright dangerous. Instead of teaching us about sex, it focuses on abstinence and shame.

...Even though we all know the moment you tell a teen not to do something, they want to do it more.

So now that we’re actual adults dating in the real world, sex can feel pretty damn confusing. But while our education system may have failed us, there’s still time to learn. Everyone deserves an enjoyable and safe sex life, so here are some things Sex Ed didn’t teach you:

You can change your mind at any time.

You always have the power of consent. Someone might pressure you into having sex with them because they bought you dinner or you’re already naked together. But you can say no at any time.

And I do mean any time. Even mid-penetration or in the middle of your partner's pleasure. You don’t have to keep having sex if you don’t want to. Be upfront by using “I” statements to get your point across and don’t let someone coerce you into changing your mind.

It’s your right to know someone’s sexual health.

STIs are a genuine concern when you’re sexually active. I’m not mentioning this to scare you. I’m bringing this up to empower you to ask questions before you’re sexually involved with someone.

A simple “what’s your sexual health” or “do you have any STI’s I should know about” is perfectly acceptable to ask. Unfortunately, people can lie. So your best bet is to practice safe sex with something like a condom or dental dam, no matter your sexuality.

Sex comes in lots of forms.

Sex Ed basically failed heterosexual relationships, but it completely disregarded any other kind of sexuality. No matter your sexual or gender identity, the sex you enjoy is valid.

While Sex Ed only talked about penis-in-vagina as sex, it actually comes in many forms. Whatever pleases you and you define as sex is sex.

Your value isn’t determined by your sex life.

Sex isn’t an accomplishment you need to attain, nor is it a shameful act. Once you come to that realization, you can see sex as a pleasurable activity rather than something that determines your worth.

People experience sex differently.

Many people watch cis-gender, heterosexual porn and think that’s how sex works all the time. But news flash: that kind of sex usually focuses on the guy’s pleasure. People experience sex in a variety of forms; there’s no right or wrong way.

When exploring what you like, focus on feeling good rather than trying to achieve an end goal (aka, an orgasm). If you’re still unsure, watch porn that’s created for your sexuality and preferences.

Communication leads to the best sex.

Since everyone experiences pleasure differently, communication is your best tool during sex. By telling someone what feels good and what doesn’t, you’ll experience more pleasure. The same goes for asking your partner what feels good and what doesn’t for them.

Communication during sex can lead to a better experience for both people.