From porn to contraceptives, four women reveal what they wish they’d been taught about sex at school – The Sun


PULLING a condom over a banana or watching the teacher point out reproductive parts on a poster was the extent of sex education for most adults when they were at school.

But from September, relationship and sex education (RSE) will be compulsory for secondary pupils UK-wide.

 We speak to four writers who wish they were taught more about the birds and the bees

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We speak to four writers who wish they were taught more about the birds and the bees
 Netflix's Sex Education starring Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson

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Netflix’s Sex Education starring Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson

Yet 39 per cent of teachers do not feel prepared to cover the RSE requirements, according to a recent study. And what should the new curriculum include?

LYNSEY CLARKE asks three writers what they wish they were taught about sex at school, and adds her view, too.

How to say no

 

 "I wish I had been taught boundaries, that I had been taught how to say no"

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“I wish I had been taught boundaries, that I had been taught how to say no”

WRITER Tanya Gold says:

I went to school in the Eighties so I didn’t have a formal sexual education.

But I was told by girls’ magazines that getting pregnant was the worst thing that could happen – the unfortunate victims always sat in corners crying, heads turned away from the camera. I learnt from older boys’ porn films that sex could be very strange. Why was the man pointing a gun at the women in the bed? I was 13 when a 19-year-old showed me that film, and that is when I date the end of my childhood.

But of lust, boundaries, joy, I was completely ignorant.

I wish I had been taught boundaries, that I had been taught how to say no, that I had been taught I was even allowed to say no. I don’t know if I was a particularly inadequate teenage girl, or particularly desperate to please – who has self-awareness at 16?

But when boys became interested in me I felt I owed them my body simply because they asked for it. That caused me a great deal of unhappiness later, as you may imagine.

The mechanics of sex are easy, any fool can do it. But owning yourself, and your right to yourself, is much harder.

It’s for everyone

 

 "Our teachers’ mouths stayed as tightly closed about female orgasms and masturbation as our legs were supposed to"

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“Our teachers’ mouths stayed as tightly closed about female orgasms and masturbation as our legs were supposed to”Credit: Stewart Williams – The Sun

SEXPERT writer Alix Fox says:

I only received two hour-long sex-education lessons at school.

One involved a graphic slide show of people’s genitals in the advanced stages of untreated STIs. In the other, we had plastic probes to practise putting condoms on – and the teacher’s eyebrows raised disapprovingly at any girl who rolled the rubber on too easily.

It was all about fear. Don’t get knocked up. Don’t get an infection.

There was zero mention of LGBTQ+ issues. Several of my gay friends ended up having damaging experiences, trying to teach themselves about sex from porn because they didn’t know where else to turn.

And women’s pleasure was never discussed, either. Our teachers’ mouths stayed as tightly closed about female orgasms and masturbation as our legs were supposed to. As a result, girls thought the best they could hope for was that their boyfriend would have a good time.

Supplying accurate information enables young folk to make informed decisions and empowers them to make wiser choices.

The 2020 curriculum should cover consent, pleasure and LGBTQ+ sexuality in age-appropriate ways.

How my body works

 

 "It would have been beneficial to be taught about my body – how things work, what our bits look like, and that no one’s look the same"

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“It would have been beneficial to be taught about my body – how things work, what our bits look like, and that no one’s look the same”Credit: Stewart Williams – The Sun

DEPUTY Fabulous Daily editor Lynsey Clarke says:

I’m embarrassed to say but until recently, I didn’t have a clue what was going on down there.

A 2016 survey found that 60 per cent of women couldn’t point out the vulva, and that does not surprise me. As for the cervix? It sounds like a computer program to me.

I met with a gynaecologist last year, and she drew me a diagram, so I get it now . . . kind of.

At school in the Nineties I was taught that sex leads to pregnancy, and that when I reach 25 I would have a terrifying metal speculum inserted into me for something called a smear test. That was the sum of it.

It would have been beneficial to be taught about my body – how things work, what our bits look like, and that no one’s look the same. I should have been educated about contraceptives – how the

Pill wasn’t just something you popped to prevent pregnancy but that the hormones in it would have some grisly side-effects.

And that female health issues linked to our uterus and hormones – such as bloating, gut problems, migraines and acne – are not things we should just accept either.

It’s about love too

 

 "Sex was to be avoided until you had a ring on your finger."

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“Sex was to be avoided until you had a ring on your finger.”Credit: Dan Charity – The Sun

TV presenter and Sun columnist Lorraine Kelly says:

My “sex education” at school in the late Sixties was a short, rather confusing film about the basic mechanics.

Feelings, emotions, caring for each other and even the word “love” were never mentioned. The language was what you would expect from a plumbing manual.

What we needed was a commonsense guide to sex – to be informed about contraception but also that sex is about having respect for one another, and that it should be fun too.

But this was a time when becoming pregnant while unmarried was considered a sin and women should be made to feel ashamed. Sex was to be avoided until you had a ring on your finger.

Thankfully, attitudes have changed, but maybe the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

We need sex education to counterbalance the amount of porn that’s available.

Teachers must tell kids that they shouldn’t be expected to behave like porn stars or feel pressurised into performing sexual acts if they don’t feel comfortable.

Netflix release new season two trailer for Sex Education

 





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