Telling Teens Sex Feels Good

There is a troubling disconnect between sexual education and reality. I’ve spent the last 5 or so years considering what my ideal sexual education would have looked like. Information about barrier contraceptives and hormones, STDs and the importance of sexuality is invaluable, but you’d go a few steps beyond that.

I think if you’re going to teach kids about sex you are doing them a severe disservice by excluding these core elements:

1. Self-pleasure

2. Self-respect

3. Mutual-pleasure and exploration

When we don’t tell kids (particularly women, who typically do a lot more fumbling around to find their hot spots then men) that many people have sex because it feels good we’re leading them into a troubling area. Where “is sex supposed to hurt?” becomes a valid question. Where “what is a clitoris?” is an anatomical question and not a central point of a larger sexual dialogue.

Without conversations about masturbation young men and women learn that pleasure is something that other people are supposed to give them, not something that they can seek for themselves.

To me, sexual education does not begin until we are open about why people have sex, and why they might want to have sex at some point too.

Do you feel that pleasure should be included in sexual education? Why or why not? How might your sex life be different now if you had learned about masturbation? Pleasure? Self-respect within a relationship?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cara Thereon says:

    I do. It’s a component of heathy sexual self-efficacy. Knowing how to please yourself is so important. We don’t teach it and we should.


  2. advizor54 says:

    i feel like a hypocrite as my daughter moves to college and I want her to remain the sweet innocent girl I used to go running with. i want her to enjoy sex and be body positive and learn to masturbate and have a happy sexual life when she has a serious partner and is married and is 42. See? I want this type of education but I fear for her entering the sexual world and getting hurt, or sick, or mis-treated. I want her heart and body to be happy and I’m sometimes at odds as to how to help that happen.

    But yes, pleasure is a huge part of sex, but was also have to teach them about the mind/body connection. Tell them that every orgasm with someone else complicates things, and that the FWB situation or the Zipless Fuck doesn’t really exist except for sociopaths. Our bodys and hearts are supposed to work together so I get stuck when we try and teach them to split them apart.


  3. Parents still have the primary responsibility for sex ed., but if they FAIL in that responsibility, it certainly falls to another trusted adult to cover all bases for the teen’s sexual knowledge- short of giving him or her a direct experience.


  4. Anne Marie says:

    I wish that someone had taught me the emotional aspects of sexual relationships, and more about what to do if you or a friend is abused, or even just feels used.


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