Sex Education

The other day Sex Talk Tuesday (@SexTalkTuesday) on Twitter asked some questions about sex educators. Sex educator was pretty much taken as people trying to fill in what adults missed out on due to the poor sex education curriculum in the U.S. One of the questions was about repetition. As someone who spent 33 years in the classroom I tried to mention the value of repetition. I have been wondering if I should keep writing posts for this blog as some of it was getting repetitious.

It was a good thing I checked in after missing the real time tweets because I needed to repeat some things in my head. As far as I know, there is no body determining who can call themself a sex educator. I just wanted to add my voice to the sex positive community and hopefully help move our culture to a more accepting of differences type of society. That would make me a bit of a salesperson. I remember that ethical sales staff in many ways are educators. They educate you on the value of what ever it is they are selling. Some will use emotional tricks in order to close the sale but most will just help you learn what you need to know to make an informed decision. The last used car I bought was from the ethical kind of salesman. I actually ended up with a car a year newer than I figured I would be able to get looking at prices online. He realized the prices online were not what the vehicles would sell for and helped me through the process to get a car I liked. Since I was paying cash he didn’t get me to a more expensive model. Not only did it get me to work and back every day for a number of years, it took my wife and I on some long road trips as well.

So if my being a salesperson of a positive attitude toward people being able to choose how they express their sexual desires in ethical ways makes me a sex educator, then I’ll proudly use that title. I don’t give classes or workshops, I just tweet and write a blog. I do hope this will help someone be more accepting of others as well as accepting their own desires. I hope they will find good sources of information as I don’t give much of that but feel it is another necessary part of a person’s education, whether their sex education, their cultural education, their professional education, etc. Good, valid information is essential. When it comes to sex that can be a challenge. Especially challenging since there are still so many that want to dictate what everyone’s desires and actions should be when it comes to sex. Too often they try to justify those views based on false ideas. I remember reading about a father and mother feeling it was time to discuss sex with their son. He said he had already had that lesson at school. His understanding amounted to if he had sex before getting married he would get a disease and die. This is probably a worse education than I received in the 1960s and 70s. There was nothing to help him learn to give pleasure to partners safely, which my education also lacked. There was nothing about communication about sexual desires and activities, which my education also lacked. My education at least didn’t try to scare me that sex would kill me.

Are there risks to sex, yes. Is there a way to not face those risks, yes, it is called celibacy. Are there ways to reduce the risks, yes. That is one of the questions each person needs to answer. What risks am I willing to accept to enjoy the physical pleasures we refer to as sex? Do I want to only get what pleasure I can give myself? Do I want to just have one partner and trust them to minimize risks? If I’m having more than one partner, do I love each enough to make sure risks are at a minimum?

Every once in a while I read that STI rates continue to rise. Abstinence only education isn’t helping. Good information so people could make good decisions is essential. Part of that good information that has almost never been part of sex education in the U.S. is good communication. How do you ask a potential partner their views on using condoms without coming across as too eager to get going at it with them? How do I get the idea across I want to use condoms as much to protect my partner as to protect me?

I have heard of at least one European country that has a very strong sex ed curriculum through a number of years of schooling. This curriculum spends the first half of the course teaching communication skills. The closest I’ve seen to that in America was reading the views of a young man who felt he wasn’t ready for intercourse as a teen ager so he would engage in what he called outercourse with his partners. They would give each other pleasure in different ways and learn about each other’s bodies without penetration. Unusual idea for a young person, but then his mother was who I most often see credited with coining the term polyamory.

Sex education isn’t just for the young. When I first was trying to find a way to have a positive influence on society after retiring I read that STIs were increasing in places like nursing homes as well. Seniors were, and are, in need of education about how disease can spread even if the people are beyond child bearing age. I also feel many seniors are in need of understanding their bodies can still experience great pleasure. We just need to understand there are some limits as to what we can do to get that pleasure.

One thing about something continuing for many years is the human mind can become bored with it. For some reason our minds need some form of variety. One book I read about enjoying sex as a senior mentioned swinging. I would add polyamory or other ethical non-monogamous lifestyles as possibilities. Some people do want to be monogamous. To them, and the other lifestyles, I would suggest looking into some of the activities that fall under BDSM. Seniors may need to be more aware of injury than seniors in training would need to be, but I’m sure there are things that can give you variety with just the one partner. We each have a kink that turns us on. It may not fall under the BDSM umbrella but we have that set of things that excites us. I am encouraging you to explore the edges of that set of exciting ideas.

Sexual activity can provide great pleasure. It is good for your body as it releases certain hormones and other chemicals. It can provide bonding between partners. I would recommend some seniors consider the ideas of the young man I mentioned earlier. He felt he was too young for the responsibility of intercourse so he would participate in outercourse. Though most seniors are well aware of responsibility, they may be physically challenged in ways that outercourse is again the way to please yourself and a partner, or partners.

©2018 Michael Yocom 

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