Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sex Education For The Under 20s

I'll admit, 48 hours ago, I had no idea who Carter Reynolds was. I know that I'm not the only human with internet access who has become aware of his existence for all the wrong reasons over the last day or so.

In case you missed why the YouTube/Vine star's name has suddenly become common knowledge, it's because of a sex video. But this is not your typical celeb sex vid, nor was it followed by a typical response.

The storm causing the swirl in this particular tea-cup is because in the video, 19-year-old Reynolds is pressuring his 16-year-old girlfriend to perform oral sex on him while she's drunk. Despite her protestations and expressions of how uncomfortable she feels, Reynolds is heard to direct her to do it anyway, despite her clearly not having any desire to participate in the act.

What made the situation worse was that Reynolds responded to the leaked tape with a long statement, where his defence included that him and the girl were dating at the time, and couple's do stuff like this all the time.

Um, no. It doesn't actually matter whether you were dating or not at the time, pressuring somebody into a sexual act is not okay. And (healthy) couples do not pressure their partners into engaging in sex acts they are clearly uncomfortable with.

But I'm not going to crucify Reynolds. First off, that's already been pretty much done by the rest of the internet. And as disturbing as I find his actions and attitudes, I'm more concerned with the fact that he's probably an accurate representation of his generation.

In an ever-increasingly sexualised society combined with the easy availability of hard-core porn and the normalisation of violence/coercion and sex together - be it in an ad for a perfume or the latest music video playing on the TV in the middle of the day - Carter Reynolds is a manifestation of a problem that previous generations have failed to address.

Reynolds, like so many other 19-year-olds, have grown up in a world where men are portrayed as being masculine when they are causing the submission of a woman, and in a world where the sex education that both sexes receive is hopelessly disconnected to the messages geared towards them on a constant basis.

So. I think it's time to clear up a few potential areas of confusion when it come to sex, having sex and engaging in sexual activities. The following may be particular helpful for those in the under 20s category, but do feel free to garner any wisdom that you can, even if you're 20s happened sometime around Janet Jackson's Super-Bowl nip-slip:

Not everything is guaranteed to be waxed. Hair is perfectly natural.
Even if some things are waxed, that doesn't mean all things will be waxed.
You are not expected to stick two of anything in any orifice.
If somebody is crying, that is not an encouragement to continue what you're doing.
No, not all women look that way.
And no, not all men's penis' look that way.
Foreskin does not make you a freak.
If you're pushing someone's head to a particular area and find that you're meeting verbal or non-verbal resistance, stop.
It's okay to like missionary. You're having sex, not performing a set number in Cirque Du Soleil.
It's also okay to not want anything to go up your ass, just as much as it's okay if you do want something up your ass.
Sex is not just for men, or for the pleasure of one participant. Girls, you too can orgasm. Multiple times.
You can also masturbate. It isn't just for guys you know. And no, it doesn't make you a slut. Nor does any other sexual behaviour you might engage in.
Also, you don't have to swallow. You don't even have to do that at ALL if you don't want to.
Not even porn stars have sex like they do in porn when they're not making porn. There is a huge difference between a constructed fantasy made to be filmed and real-life sex.
If the person you're seeing actually behaves like Christian Grey, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
It is perfectly fine to want to try things - but do not expect every sexual partner to be up for everything you've seen online.
Things will get messy sometimes - on both sides. Don't be embarrassed, it's perfectly natural. Leakage, spillage, unattractive noises, even more unattractive facial expressions and sweaty limbs are par for the course.
Contraception is not just one person's responsibility.
One word - foreplay.

But most importantly; it is okay to know what you do and don't like, what you may or may not be interested in trying, and what does and doesn't work for you. There should never be expectations with sex - what you should do, how you should be able to bend and what you're willing to put where.

If someone tries to project their expectations onto you and make you feel as if you are somehow lacking, inferior, boring or prudish because you don't feel comfortable with doing something - you tell them to f*ck off, show them the door and go find yourself a real man/woman.

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