It is the year 2000. The millennial era is about to hit the UK. A new generation of technological, #feminist, vegan, strong, no nonsense kids are being raised. A time when young women will feel empowered to write blogs about their fannies and the British government will self implode. So much will change in this Millennium, and let’s hope one of them is the t e r r i b l e sex education that our young people receive (and our Prime Minister).
I’m 8 years old and sitting on the blue carpet in Miss Lindley’s class room. Today is the day. The letters were sent home and we have come prepared, and a little bit confused, to learn about…
S E X ! ! !
“A lesson on how babies are made, what couples get up to when they love each other and an activity that is strictly for adults.” – (Sex Education in the 2000’s)
Sat crossed legged, on that itchy flooring, my childhood crush sat behind me (Daniel, heart-throb of year 4), I thought I was about to watch something very educational and essential to my existence. Instead, I watched a cartoon man and woman running around a house. I don’t know if they were naked, because their genitals were non-existent. Their gender was, instead, uniquely demonstrated by the colour of their cartoon skin. Blue and pink *eye-roll*.
“How do they wee?!” I asked. Daniel laughed.
The man was chasing the woman with a feather duster. First, they were in the kitchen. Then on the stairs. Then in the bedroom. He kept tickling her with the duster and she enjoyed this so much, that she lay down on the bed and he belly flopped on top of her.
“And that’s sex.” The teacher said, or words to that affect. “Now let’s watch what happens after sex. Some of you may want to leave the room at this point, and that’s absolutely fine.”
The VHS tape then cut to a real-life, up close shot of a baby coming out of a vagina. Cue a small number of bottoms leaving that blue, itchy carpet to be excused. I can distinctively remember this bit, it was fascinating. I didn’t realise the exit hole was THAT SMALL. I still thought a baby would come out of the hole I weed out of. I still thought the whole reason adults had sex was to make a baby. Therefore my parents had only had sex 3 times. In that moment I realised I thought a lot of things, and none of them were true.
Anyway, that was that. Two cartoons had sex. A baby was born. And Daniel still didn’t fancy me. I had learnt that in order to make someone have sex with me, I needed to carry some sort of household cleaning utensil however.
Later on, at the age of 14, I would receive a ‘booster’ sex education lesson, br
iefly talking about periods, using condoms, STI’s and questions from the back of the class like,
“Miss, can my dick break in half?”
It is safe to say I have learnt more about sex since coming out of school then I ever did during. I’ve learnt about it through experience, mistakes, Google, porn, TV, vagina related hospital visits, confiding in friends, and hilarious chats around my parents kitchen table. So I guess it hasn’t been all that bad.
But I had to endure school, crazy French teachers and learn how to use a Bunsen burner, the least I deserved was some good info on my vag! The place from which we all came from.
The fundamental sexual education I received during my 12 years of school, was a big fat joke. And I’m not the only one. Here are some other brief, true, sex ed experiences from the early 2000’s:
- More puberty based lessons than sexual education. Hair growth, voice changes, growing boobs and barely anything about genitals.
- Not a word on consent.
- Men need to masturbate but there was nothing on female masturbation or pleasure.
- Lessons were not inclusive of LGBTQ+ relationships.
- Sticking a tampon in a bowl of Ribena to show how it will collect period blood.
- Watching ‘Juno’.
- A video of robot aliens visiting children in their beds at night, asking how humans procreate…
- Being taught by someone who was, and always had been, celibate.
- A man puts his penis inside a vagina and cums. That’s sex, kids!
- Classes were separated based on gender. Girls learnt about their period. Boys put condoms on various pieces of fruit.
- Sitting in a circle passing round a banana. Everyone got to stick a condom on said banana.
- Catholic schools showed videos on abortion, but nothing on contraception.
SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME SEX EDUCATION HAS CHANGED FOR THE LOVE OF VAGINAS AND PENIS’ EVERYWHERE!
I know that there are now lessons that discuss and prioritise the importance of sex and consent. I am aware also that LGBTQ+ relationships are demonstrated and explored during sex education and within school. About time. But I don’t know if this is compulsory to the syllabus and reaching all of our students across the UK.
I have come across voluntary organisations that visit schools and communities, with trained sexual educators, who are clued up on what 2019 students need to know about sex. I have also been in contact with some brilliant women who are currently doing there bit to make sex education matter and change the way we learn about it. And of course, there are female led charities focusing on educating young women on their vaginas.
So bare with me! I’ll be back with (hopefully) really great news that the sex education system is changing, and information on how we can help ensure that future generations don’t have to put up with this sh*t! We need proper education in place that not only teaches us how we do it, but how we do it safely, sensitively, with consent, without taboos, and most importantly, with openness and honesty. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This information will not only protect our young people, but could actually save their lives! (Dramatic, but true.)
Within sex education comes the responsibility of teaching us about our sexual organs. Knowing where the clit is, is part of this. Knowing where the vulva is, is part of this. Knowing how to check our vaginas and penis’ for cancer, is part of this. Knowing it is not wrong to have sex with multiple partners, is a part of this. Knowing about each other’s genitals, is part of this. Knowing what is normal and what isn’t, is part of this.
And on that note, PART TWO COMING SOON!