7 Important Things You (Probably) Didn't Learn in Sex Ed
If your sex education was anything like ours, it was probably a lot of putting condoms on bananas and adding labels to grainy print-outs of the female reproductive system.
And while all that stuff is very important (particularly when it comes to practising safe sex), there is a lot that it didn't cover - especially when it comes to the pleasure aspect.
You've probably heard that humans are one of the only species to have sex for pleasure rather than solely for reproductive purposes, along with pigs, bonoboes, and dolphins. So why do we only ever learn about the reproductive side?
Well, because we believe you can never know enough about sex, here are a few things that we think everyone should learn about the enjoyable side of getting down and dirty.
It takes time
Arousal can take much longer than you think. One study in Canada found that it took both men and women an average of 10 minutes to be completely aroused; however, some sexperts report that women can take up to 20 minutes to hit peak arousal, with some people requiring even longer. Remember, everyone is different, and just because you might be ready to go, doesn't always mean your partner is!
Don't forget the after-care
As well as being respectful and attentive to your partner before and during sex, it's really important to make sure you're both practising sexual aftercare for the best experience. During sex and/or orgasm, there are lots of feel-good hormones rushing around the body making you feel on top of the world.
When you stop, or it's all over, some people can experience a 'drop' as they return to earth. Kissing, cuddling, and checking in with each other after play isn't just something that's nice to do - it can make the whole sexual experience even better and reinforce your bond as a sexual couple.
Sex is massive
'Sex' can refer to so much more than just a penis in a vagina. From masturbation to sexting, and rimming to webcam play, there are so many different facets to sex that it's really up to you what you choose to define as your sex life - and not all of it even involves body parts touching!
Count to four
There are four main stages to sexual response in both men and women: sexual excitement, where the blood starts pumping and the body prepares for sex; sexual plateau, or the build to orgasm; orgasm, which is the release of blood and tension from the body; and resolution, where the body returns to its normal resting state.
Some women are able to experience multiple orgasms because their refractory period (the time between resolution and sexual excitement starting again) is much shorter.
It's OK to say no
It's totally cool to change your mind. At any moment, from the first date, to midway through a sex act that you thought you'd enjoy but actually isn't working for you, you can say 'no' - and your partner should always respect that.
Love shouldn't hurt
No kind of sex is supposed to be painful, unless it's in a way that you and your partner have discussed and researched beforehand and are safely exploring together, such as spanking.
At no point should you be 'pushing through the pain', as pain is your body's way of warning you that something's not quite right. Stop, relax, add lube where necessary, and take it slow.
Enjoy your fantasies
What you enjoy in fantasy, and what you enjoy in reality, aren’t always the same thing - and there’s no shame in that! For example, you may be someone who fantasizes about having sex with a person of the same gender as you, but in reality, you’d never want to explore that.
Fantasy is all about safe exploration of your desires, and provided everything you do in reality is safe, sane, and consensual, your imagination should be free to wander.
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