(But, it's why I became a sexuality educator.)
My sex education as a parent started in spring, 2014.
I pulled up to the school parking lot in my gold mini-van named Vagine. My 6th grade niece, 2nd grade nephew, and 2nd grade daughter burst in like a pack of wild dogs invading my quiet space.
Usually, they demand snacks while laying into a symphony of complaints about what happened at school.
Today is different. The two younger ones are quiet, while my niece stares at me and asks “what’s an orgasm?”
I froze and searched for a smart response that never comes.
Three pairs of eyes stare at me waiting for an answer. I’ve never had to explain an orgasm before. How do I put this into words? What if I say too much?
I didn’t think this would feel so awkward!
As a sex-positive person, I assumed talking about sex would be easy. I was wrong.
My first reaction is avoidance. “Didn’t your teacher answer that for you in sex ed class today?” I said (as if it wasn’t my responsibility too).
“I put the question in the question box, but the teacher read it out loud and said it was inappropriate to ask that.” replied my niece.
That’s ridiculous!” I said. “There’s nothing wrong with talking about orgasms!”
Yes!…that just bought me another few seconds. Everyone, including me, is still waiting for an answer.
Sex ed class taught my niece that sexual pleasure is shameful. That’s inappropriate! I thought.
Thankfully, it has been established that I’m the auntie who’s willing to discuss anything.
The kids told me that during recess that day, orgasms were the talk of the playground.
Classmates told my niece what they thought was the truth about orgasms.
They learned these “facts” by watching actors perform in porn.
I had no idea that so many young kids were turning to porn to learn about sex.
This was NOT the hippy porn I grew up with either.
Then it hits me.
When it comes to learning about sex and sexuality, modern kids may actually have it worse than I did.
I never dreamed progress could go backward for these kids.
I took a deep breath and dove into my clumsy explanation of an orgasm like it’s a polar bear plunge. Everyone feels even more confused.
I’m humbled by this new realization.
When we get home, my niece and I and search up “orgasm”.
I admit, it feels weird to do this search together, but imagining her doing it alone feels even worse.
This is the moment I started down the path to becoming a Holistic Sexuality Educator. I felt driven to help and started seeking out how.
Times have changed, but sex ed hasn’t. Our kids need to know the truth…now.
Sex ed has to be about more than just preventing sex, pregnancy, and infections.
Sexuality is complex and touches on almost every aspect of our lives. It’s the root of who we are.
Sexually healthy people have the energy to create a better world.
I became a sex educator because I want to help everyone feel good in their own skin. I believe knowledge is power.
Changing our sex-negative culture is not going to be easy, but I’m going to do all I can to turn these lemons into sweet lemonade.
If we start teaching about the benefits of sexual pleasure, truth, and responsibility, our kids can say we made things better for them, not worse.
Want to join me?
Say it loud and proud in the comments below.
Want to turn awkward conversations into normal ones? Get Barefaced!