Dear Lustful Little One, Embrace Sexuality, Don’t Hide it.
A letter to my younger self.
Sex ed needs a refresh. If you could write a letter to your teenage self telling them what you wish you had known about sex back then, what would you say?
You’re a horny little fuck. And that is perfectly okay. Your emotions and your hormones are a swarm of birds and bees constantly buzzing around you and it’s never really going to stop. Yes, that girl is beautiful. Yes, that guy has a nice jaw line. Yes, you just got a boner for no apparent reason (NARB) and like I said before, that is perfectly okay.
Soon you’ll learn that your sex education is more of an exploration than a body odor–ridden class you took in middle school. Your teachers, parents, friends, and the world around you are spewing an excessive amount of bullshit at you at all times. They’re going to tell you a lot of things, and you should carefully question everything they have to say. Girls are not inherently less sexual than boys. Abstinence is not an effective form of birth control (because you ARE going to fuck). Slut-shaming is not okay. Period. And you don’t have to treat girls like dirt to get them to like you.
Society, for some stupid reason, has decided that sex is bad and that we shouldn’t talk about it. And because of that, it has created a huge amount of ignorance. But one day you’re going to realize how much you want to change that. Your desire to be less ignorant is going to lead you to a better place. A place where you’re going to start experimenting with your own sexuality and finding out for yourself the life that you want to live, instead of basing your sex life off of other people’s experiences and stories.
You can have whatever type of sex life you want. You don’t have to save yourself for marriage. You don’t have to grow up and have three kids and a stay-at-home spouse. You don’t even have to be monoamorous (one sexual partner at a time) if you don’t want to be because that is a sexual preference, not a law. Sexuality is a very fluid emotion. It ebbs and flows with situations and experiences. You can be attracted to freckles and charisma one day and decide later that dimples and open-mindedness are your thing. You are allowed to change! You’re also allowed to be open about attraction, whether it be physical or intellectual, so long as you’re respectful of others. It’s okay to be mesmerized by your yoga instructors curvaceous ass or your lab partners expansive vocabulary. You’re allowed to be attracted to (almost) anything, even for reasons you can’t explain.
Just don’t be an ass. Remember that everyone is allowed to be attracted to people for different reasons. And remember that those reasons may directly contradict your own. Don’t force your opinions on others but do be open-minded and accepting when someone opens up and tells you theirs.
You’re going to have many unique feelings and they’re not going to be as accepted by society as they should be. I can’t stress this enough: Be honest with all of your partners. If you have a sexual relationship with someone and meet another person that you’d like to sleep with, tell them both and let them decide for themselves if they’re okay with being a part of that situation. If you end up having an STI but you’re really attracted to that cute girl you had a latte with last week, tell her before you guys have any sexual interactions. Ask her if she’s okay with it. If you find out you’re interested in something unique, whether it be ropes, vibrators, or anything else, just ask your partner if they’d like to try it (and make sure you’re well educated on the risks). You don’t need to feel shame. You’re not an asshole for asking someone if they’re okay with a particular sexual situation, no matter what anyone tells you. You’re only an asshole if you don’t.
Risk is inherent to sex, but everyone involved should be aware of the risks. You can have unprotected sex, but you should think about and talk about things first. Get tested regularly (I go every 4 months) and ask your partner(s) to do the same. Talk about your opinions on abortion and adoption. And think about the possible repercussions on the child’s life or the mental or physical health issues you or your partner could experience afterwards. If you don’t agree on either of those then think about whether or not you could see yourself raising a child and especially whether or not you would raise that child together, or apart. Just think!
That’s what we desperately need when it comes to sex — thought. Sex is so taboo in our society that it gets shoved into the crevices of our minds never to be seen until after we make a mistake. Then we’re shamed for not doing the right thing even though we didn’t know what the right thing was in the first place.
I say fuck that.
Think about it. Talk about it. Live it. Experience it. Don’t be afraid of it. Ignorance is dangerous. It can kill you, it can destroy your relationships, and it can change your life forever. So educate yourself. Embrace sexuality. Then make educated decisions about your sex life. When something goes wrong (statistically it will), you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. That’s the way I would want it.
Don’t be ignorant,
Click the response button below to write a letter to your younger self. Tag it with “LetsTalkAboutSexEd.” For more about why we think this is an important conversation and what Bright hopes will come out of it, read this.