S*xual health includes a lot of different parts. I want to talk about an important part of s*x and sexual health that even comprehensive s*x education usually ignores: pleasure. Here are 5 Things You Need to Understand About Sex
1. S*xuality is a constant exploration.
S*xuality is a big, complex thing made of lots of moving parts—who you’re attracted to, what turns you on, what you’re curious about, what your boundaries are, and more. Just like how your taste in food changes over time, your s*xuality will change—it’s a constant work in progress. Give yourself permission to explore this new way to think about yourself and your body.
2. Pleasure is different for every body.
[email protected], movies and TV shows usually depict a narrow range of body types, s*x acts, relationships and s*xualities. But the reality is the opposite. Your s*xuality is as unique as you. There’s NO reason to feel embarrassed for what does or doesn’t make you aroused (or turned on). Some people might like having their hips touched, nipples rubbed, ears sucked, or feet massaged—and some people hate these things. Every body is different and that’s not only ok, but kind of amazing!
3. Don’t be afraid to communicate.
Communication is a REALLY important part of s*xual health—and not only because you need to talk about condoms, STIs, and birth control. It’s also important to talk about what you (and your partner) like and what you’re curious about. Openly communicating also helps you set boundaries and learn what your partner’s boundaries are. Figure out what you DON’T want to do, and tell your partner. Ask your partner what their “hard no’s” are.
Ignoring a partner’s boundaries, pressuring a partner, or making them feel bad about the boundaries they’ve set are all NOT ok. In some cases, this could even be s*xual assault. Never assume that a partner is ok with something just because they haven’t said “no.” Consent has to be explicit and enthusiastic.
4. If s*x isn’t for you, that’s ok.
If you’re not interested in s*x, that’s completely normal and ok! You might become interested as you get older, or you might not. Either way, you do you.
5. It’s good to ask questions.
Understanding your body and s*xuality can help you become comfortable with them, which is an important part of pleasure for many people. It’s very normal to be curious about s*x (and also to not be curious!). If you have questions about s*x, s*xuality, or your body, ask! Talk to someone you trust. If you feel comfortable talking to one of your parents, that’s great. If not, you can talk to a healthcare provider, another family member (like an aunt, cousin or sibling), or a friend. However, keep in mind that there’s a lot of misinformation out there.