Things I wish I had been told in Year 9 sex ed class:
1) Sex can be fun and pleasurable and cool, and being sexually liberated has no bearing on your worth as a person.
2) Googling things about your body or your experiences is not weird. Every other girl is scrolling down Yahoo! answers just as desperately as you are.
3) It’s okay to want sex and having desires doesn’t make you immoral or sinful
4) It’s okay not to want sex
5) Virginity is bullshit
6) No seriously, virginity is bullshit and it means nothing and it’s a damaging construct peddled by a patriarchal society which still fetishes female purity and the pressure you feel right now to lose your virginity is really really fucked up.
7) If anyone shames you for having sex, or not having sex, do not let their poisonous words make you forget your worth.
8) At first, having sex can be kind of shit. It gets better and eventually it gets really good.
9) No boy should ever, ever be able to make you do anything you don’t want to. And no matter what anyone says, that thing they do where they push your head down as you give them a blow job is really not normal or okay.
10) Don’t have sex with him to make him like you.
11) (You are worth so much more than that)
12) One day you’ll probably be called either ‘frigid’ or a ‘slut.’ Or both. Sometimes at the same time. This Madonna/whore dichotomy is NOT REAL and you are so great and you might think they’re the worst insults in the world right now but one day you’ll look back and pity the boys who said those things from the back row of your science class.
13) Your first time does not have to resemble a soft focus scene from an American teen movie. And it does not have to be (it probably won’t be) with the love of your life.
14) Rape isn’t always a strange man jumping out from dark alleyway at 3am. Sometimes rape is your boyfriend just not listening to you saying no. Sometimes rape is you just not saying yes, and him not really listening for that missing ‘yes’ anyway.
15) You are worth more than your appearance. It does not define you. You are an incredible mix of talents and intelligence and fun and kindness and compassion, and nobody can reduce you to an object made to provide pleasure.
Things I was actually told in Year 9 sex ed class:
1) Always use a condom.