Sex Ed 101… 102… 103…

“Is it all a matter of hormones? Oestrogen uber alles? Nature gives us thirty years of blindness to male bullshit so we can make the maximum number of babies.” – Erica Jong

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Recently I had a discussion with a very bright young college student about what she learned about sex. Quite a lot actually. That’s the good news. But there is another side to it all; the bad news.

Early in my professional career I was doing sex ed classes in schools. You have no idea the problems that were created. Some of us, we were very few at the time, had car tires slashed in the parking lot, others were jeered and school administrators were shaking in their proverbial boots lest parents complained. We even did classes for the ‘retarded’ in institutions and found that the people who truly needed the education were not the ‘inmates’ but the caregivers.

It is funny business this form of ‘knowledge.’ We live in America and are bombarded by sexuality constantly… but guess what? We are a very uncomfortable people with the subject.

As a counselor for decades I can tell you, people will tell you anything; including their bank account numbers, but have an extremely difficult time sharing their sexual lives. Have you ever seen couples and just tried to imagine them in bed? I do all the time. Most of the time I want to laugh or throw up!

Anyway, back to what goes on today with this so-called education. There are courses for high school kids and college age kids and there is a lot of information, however many questions that are highly personal and ‘embarrassing’ do not get answered.

Today there is the Internet and kids and adults turn to it for information, and also for stimulation in some cases. Fine, but and it is a BIG but, there is a wide variety of faulty information there. It is a tricky business.

I still think the old adage that guys use love to get sex and girls use sex to get love holds true.

Young and old people are having sex a lot these days. Good news. How many are orgasmic and in love? You tell me.

People are experiencing a wide variety of sex. That’s good too. Practice and experimentation are the key words here.

Now there are real dangers with sexually transmitted diseases. Here are some of them.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Genital Warts

About fifty percent of sexually active people will get this at some point. Some types can cause cancer. It may clear up on its’ own or a doctor can treat it in a variety of ways; freeze them off, gels etc.

There is a vaccine and the virus is spread skin to skin.

Chlamydia

This is a leading cause of infertility. It is treatable but if not, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease. There may be no symptoms but if there are; in the female, there may be a vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, or occasional bleeding. Latex condoms can help prevent it and there are antibiotics.

Syphilis

This is spread from open sores anywhere and during sex. If caught early it is curable with antibiotics, or penicillin. Interesting that some symptoms may be a rash on the hands or soles of feet. Condoms again may help prevent it.

Pubic ‘Crab’ Lice

These are parasitic insects that feed on blood and can be found in pubic or any hair. There is itching and blue spots. Special shampoos and cleaning clothes and bed linen will fix it. Again condoms do not protect against infection.

Hepatitis B

This can cause liver damage. Often there are no symptoms but there can be joint pain or skin eruptions. There is no cure and can be spread through sexual fluids, shared needles, tattooing, and piercings. Condoms can reduce risk.

Gonorrhea

This is fairly common and sometimes treatable or preventable. Symptoms include genital discharge and pain urinating. If untreated can cause infertility. Condoms and antibiotics help.

Chancroid

Females have no symptoms but males get ulcers on the penis. Spread skin to skin and rare. Antibiotics and condoms help

HIV

Symptoms may not appear for years. If they do there will be fever, and rashes. There is no cure but there is medication, especially PEP right away after exposure. Condoms help.

Herpes

Saved this for last as it is very common and no cure. It is spread skin to skin and symptoms include blisters on the genitals or anus. Condoms do not prevent it.

So, back to my college student. She said the best advice is to get tested and maybe colleges should demand that for every student, at least once a year. As an aside I know many people who want that done before they ‘sleep’ with any new partner. One woman had a detective even check a guy out before she agreed to have sex! Along with latex condoms my young woman said the best protection is to have a test and then only sleep with one person for a while. My idea too; serial monogamy!

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Now there’s a case for having a boy or girlfriend if I ever heard one!!

“I’ve never had sex I didn’t like.” – Dolly Parton

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