On a lonely lockdown night last week, I asked my Instagram followers a question: ‘What’s something you wish you knew about sex when you were younger?'
Now, if we had a time machine, I’m sure we’d all go back and drag ourselves away from the people with a mattress on the floor, navy blue sheets and one pillow on the bed - but it goes beyond that. There are fundamental things that young people should know before they experience sex in all of its many forms.
When I was reflecting on the question myself, I could think of three big things that I wish teenage Lucy knew.
...Now this doesn't mean that these three nuggets in of themselves would have solved all sexual woes, but they would have been a damn good platform to dive into sex from.
1. I wish I knew that my pleasure was important.
No one ever told me that sex was also about me. School taught me that sex was for procreation, and that the goal is male ejaculation and it was my job to make that happen. For years I was a prop for other people’s pleasure. No orgasms, no receiving of foreplay... just, penetration. And it took me a long time to realise that sex is a much more encompassing word to describe a whole range of sexual experiences, not just P in V, and that I was just as important as my partner.
2. I wish I knew that sex can be fun, and funny, there might be some noises and you might bump heads.
For the first few years of sexual activity, I performed. I just wanted to be sexy, like the women I'd seen in porn and movies. But the reality is... sex isn’t always sexy. There are queefs, misc fluids, positions that just don’t work, awkward silences, accidents, and laughing. So much laughing. We’re literally naked, sweaty people putting ourselves in pretzel-like positions. Things are bound to deviate from the plan, and you have to be able to laugh.
3. I wish someone had told me that masturbation was healthy, normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
I figured out masturbation on my own. I was about 12 years old and accidentally had my first orgasm in the bath. I didn’t know how I did it, or what I was even doing, but thanks to Google I worked it out. And as I got older and tried to talk to my friends about masturbation, I was met with ‘that’s disgusting’ and claims that they’d never done it. From then on, I internalised that shame and felt dirty and embarrassed about myself. Fast forward to now and my friends and I exchange vibrator recommendations weekly. It’s not taboo.
Quick! Have a listen to this episode of The Undone, where Lucy and Em discuss what exactly a 'normal' sex life looks like. Post continues after podcast.
But enough about me. I bet you want to know how everyone else responded.
So, here are just a few of the hundreds of responses I received from my followers when I asked them what they would tell their younger selves about sex...
- You don’t cum like they do in the movies.
- You don’t have to perform your orgasm.
- I’m sorry that they didn’t teach you about anything other than straight/cis penetration in schools. It needs to change.
- I wish I knew that the clitoris looks like a wishbone! And how we have a cute lil' clit hood. Orgasms made so much more sense when I found out.
- Sex is meant to make you feel good, not sh*t.
- There is no shame in how many people you sleep with as long as you're safe and comfortable.
- It’s messy.
- Queer sex doesn’t have to conform to heteronormative standards to be real (and good).
- Pee after sex every time.
- You don’t have to have sex in the dark, and you can talk to each other during.
- Consent is so important.
- Don’t stress about what you look like - it does not matter AT ALL. Stop contorting in the damn mirror.
- What you enjoy will constantly change and evolve.
- Toys are fun - use them!
- It takes more than vaginal penetration for you to orgasm.
- Sex doesn’t have to stop when he cums. You can ask for more.
- Sex won’t always leave you feeling satisfied, emotionally or physically.
- It’s completely NORMAL to talk about sex/masturbation and these topics shouldn’t be taboo.
- It’s supposed to be fun! All parties should be having fun.
- You can say no, assertively and without hesitation.
- Foreplay is a must.
- Wear condoms.
- Validation from sex is not a replacement for self-love and respect.
- You need to figure out what you like before someone else has the pleasure to.
- You don’t need to wait until marriage (Christian influence), and self pleasure is nothing to be ashamed of.
- Sex is supposed to be respected, enjoyed and savoured. R.E.S baby!
- It’s about you too.
What would you tell your younger self about sex? Let us know in the comments, and share the educational vibes!
Feature Image: Mamamia.
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