Answers to FAQ in all areas of sex, intimacy, relationships, sexuality, including short ‘how to’ blogs

6 Barriers to Sex Education Every Parent Needs to Know

So many parents become anxious when the subject of sex comes up in relation to their children.    It can feel incredibly awkward to try to explain to your child all aspects of the birds and the bees.  How do you know what it is appropriate to say when?  If you leave it to the school to teach your child, how can you make sure that your child is learning all the facts that are important to you?  Are your children learning from watching pornography?  In online chat rooms?  On Snapchat?  From other children whose knowledge is questionable?

Does your child’s school teach sex education at a young enough age?  Is it taught in a way that the children can relate to?  What values are being taught along with the science?  In many cases parents have no input into how or when sex education is taught to their children.

A client’s child’s school delayed teaching sex education until the children were already 12 years old.  By that point, most of the girls and all of the boys were in puberty.  There were a couple of the children in ‘relationships’ and they were engaging in some sexual behaviour.  I expressed concern that these children had no good information about consent, the emotional aspects of sex and didn’t even have information about birth control and prevention of disease.    She asked me to speak to the school and to offer to come in and talk about boundaries, consent, sexual orientation, gender and relationships.    The school felt the children needed to wait until at least 14 before these topics were addressed.

Here are 6 barriers to sex education that every parent needs to know so that their children are able gain access to all the knowledge they need to engage in safe, healthy and pleasurable sexual relationships once they are mature enough to do so.

  • Abstinence Only remains popular in many schools, in part because the people who provide this education usually do so for free and simply take over the lessons. It saves the school money and also relieves the teachers of a task that many prefer not to undertake.
  • There is little training for teachers before they qualify and also following qualification that specifically covers teaching sex and relationships education. In the UK,   there is a unified (national) framework as a guide to teaching sex and relationships education.   This was instituted for the first time in 2000.   This is, however, only guidance.  It clarifies what is required by law but there is significant leeway for schools to decide what to include and how to teach.  In the US, there remains no system of accountability or standardisation even in the public schools.
  • Time and funding issues. All schools suffer from funding issues.  Privately funded schools suffer less but they still suffer.  The amount of information and the number of subjects that must be taught as part of the full curriculum exceeds the amount of time available.  Covering the material thoroughly is often impossible in the time allotted.  There are also restrictions on funding for these programmes.
  • Parental lack of information is also a barrier to sex education.   Parents who have limited information regarding sex and relationships find it difficult to become involved in discussions about sex education with their children and the schools.
  • The wide variety of parental opinions as to what it is appropriate to teach. This is one of the biggest barriers to comprehensive sex education in schools.  Many parents do not wish sex education to be taught in school at all.  Schools find themselves at the mercy of the parents, the governing bodies and various government bodies.  Most sex education programmes neglect to talk at all about the pleasure involved in sex, orgasm and problems with orgasm.
  • The biggest barrier to sex education is the belief that sex education will lead to more sex.  Research highlights that for ages 15-19, sex education decreased the likelihood of pregnancy by 50% over abstinence only education.    Further research looked at 48 comprehensive sex education programmes and found these positive effects: 40% of the children delayed becoming sexual, had fewer sexual partners and when they did have sex, they used condoms.  There was a 60% reduction in unprotected sex.  Fourteen programmes were able to demonstrate a statistically significant delay in the age of first sexual intercourse.  In addition, large studies of the abstinence only programmes in the 1990s demonstrated that they were completely ineffective.    They also highlighted that amongst the teenagers who took the pledge to stay virgins, 88% broke the pledge and had sex before marriage.  Those who did so were less likely to use contraception or condoms than were their peers who didn’t take the pledge in the first place.

 

Sex education is an essential part of helping our children to create healthy sex lives that bring them pleasure without doing them harm.  If you know the common barriers, you can find ways to make sure your child gets the sex and relationship education they need.

Email me to tell me what you believe the most important things that need to be taught as part of sex education are.   Sign up for a free 30 minute strategy session with me here and we can look at what help you may need in planning a sex education programme for your child(ren) that will give them all the tools they need as they enter the world of sex and relationships.

Finding sex advice can be tricky.  It can be difficult to tell the true from the false.  In 2017, the first place most of us go is to Google.   Many you may want more in depth information which can be hard to find online.   Many people worry about people being able to see that websites that they have looked at even if they clear their search histories.

Books are more in depth and usually cover a number of topics instead of just focusing on one.

 

There are so many books that people often ask me what is the best sex advice book.

It’s hard for me to choose one, so here are my top 5:

  • Enjoy Sex (How, When and If You Want to) A Practical and Inclusive Guide by Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock Lots of books tell you that sex needs to be done in certain ways, or only in certain types of relationships.  This book is an inclusive one.  It helps you to learn about yourself and explore what you might enjoy.  The exercises are user friendly and make the complicated and confusing world of sex and sexuality easier to fathom.

 

  • The Guide to Getting It On: Unzipped Paul Joannides This edition is not released until 1 February 2017 so if you want to read right away, you’ll have to buy a copy of the original edition (which is massively longer but not necessarily better!).  Originally written as a down to earth book to help folks have better sex, it became a sex education guide used in universities.  This edition takes it back to it’s original purpose.

sex advice

  • Tickle My Tush: Mild to Wild Anal Play Adventures for Everybody Dr Sadie Allison OK, this one is on one area of sex.  But anything to do with anal sex is one of the areas where people seek sex advice most often before trying as they are often worried about pain during the act and the possibility of disease.  This book has a sense of humour as well as practical instruction taking the embarrassment out of approaching the rear and making it far more likely that it will be a pleasurable experience.

sex advice

With the exception of book 5, these books are more general in nature.   There are a lot of books written on specific types of sex (like BDSM or oral sex for example).   You can find my favourites by looking up the particular topic under the Q&A section of my website.

C is for Come   Come or cum is defined as slang for orgasm.   When talking about sex, coming is often the central topic as it is frequently the main goal.    Many people define good sex as sex in which all who are involved reach orgasm.  Equally, bad sex is often defined as sex in which the person labelling it bad did not reach orgasm.

In my more than 25 years of working with people about sexual issues, desires and problems, lack of orgasm features in at least 70% of the issues.    Women present with problems reaching orgasm most often.  Men present with pre-mature ejaculation (too early orgasm) most often.  Couple present with both issues at the forefront and identified as at least one large reason they are unhappy with their intimate life together.

For starters, many people don’t really understand the anatomy of orgasm.  This includes men and women.   Physiologically, the brain and the circulatory system are intensely involved in orgasm for both men and women.  In men, blood engorges the penis and in women it is the labia and clitoris that engorge with blood.  In both sexes, the nipples can fill with blood as well as the lips.    Both sexes produce rhythmic muscular contractions during orgasm.

Most of us learned that there is one type of orgasm.  If you are female, you were taught that it is centred in the clitoris and if you are male you were taught that ejaculation is the physical manifestation of orgasm.  It was years before I discovered that I had been fed lots of misinformation.

 

For example, only about 25% of women reach clitoral orgasm through penetrative sex consistently.  Most women need additional clitoral stimulation to reach clitoral orgasm during penetrative sex.   There are many different types of orgasm.  Men can reach orgasm without ejaculating.   Men can have multiple orgasms too!

 

When I was 19, I had a boyfriend that decided he was determined to make me come while I was with him.   Up until that point, though I really enjoyed sex with both men and women, I did not come unless I was masturbating and then only in a particular position.   Jeff was a science nerd and he decided that this was because no one spent long enough stimulating me.  He decided that he was going to ‘fix the problem’.  He started by helping me to relax.  He gave me a nice massage.  I found it hard to relax because all the while I knew he was determined to fix me.  Eventually, he began to kiss me.   That was nice and I started to relax a bit more.  Then he made a bee line for my clitoris and began rubbing it.  I instantly tensed up.  Jeff did not notice and continued to rub and rub.  I began to get sore.   When I didn’t come after an hour, he switched to using his lips and tongue.  It felt nice but I was already so sore!  I felt so much pressure to please him and the more pressure I felt, the less happened.  After about 12 hours of trying many different sexual techniques and positions, Jeff finally gave up and declared me broken.    I felt like a science project.  He was so out of touch with my responses that he didn’t notice when I withdrew into myself.  The last part of the experiment, I wasn’t present at all.  That night left me feeling even weirder than I had before.   I thought that something ought to have worked but nothing did.  When Jeff rang me the next week to go out, I begged off.  I couldn’t face feeling so damaged again.  Since I love to please the person that I am being intimate with, it was even more of a blow not to be able to come.  I knew I was failing him and making him frustrated rather than pleasing him.  The whole experience was awful.  I came away feeling that it was far easier to fake it and then masturbate later on.   No one should feel that dishonesty is the only way to get her needs met.  It is so damaging to any intimate relationship.  Far better to learn what does it for you and then to teach your partner or if you don’t know, to learn together by exploring.

When I was in graduate school I finally found out what would make me come consistently when I lived with a man who was an expert at cunnilingus.   Not too much later I discovered how to come when someone used her fingers from a girlfriend and then discovered the G-spot and found out about G-spot orgasm and female ejaculation.  I began to cum sometimes during penetrative sex and also was able to cum without being touched as a result of the movement of energy.

 

Stimulating facts about cumming:

  • Men’s orgasms stimulate the same area of the brain as heroin in an addict’s brain.
  • All orgasms are not alike. They can be effected by cognitive state, psychological state and what chemicals are in your body at the time (including hormones, drugs, alcohol, other medications).  Your genitals are enervated by several pairs of nerves and when different combinations are stimulated, you have different sensations.
  • So – called blended orgasms occur when a bunch of areas in the genital area are stimulated – clitoris, vagina and G-spot for example and each level of sensation is additive so the orgasm is layered, deep and can last longer. There is such a thing as a cervix orgasm as well!  This can occur through stimulation of the cervix and is known for being extremely intense.
  • Men can have multiple orgasms This takes significant discipline as it involves delaying or completely avoiding ejaculation.
  • There is such a thing as a nipple orgasm just as orgasms can come as a result of playing with the anus, visual imagery, breasts, auditory stimulation and fantasising.
  • The length of time an orgasm lasts gets longer as you get older (Isn’t that a great reason to keep having lots of sex as you age?)
  • Cumming can relieve pain. Endorphins block pain receptors in the brain and oxytocin (released during orgasm) also suppressive pain and perception of pain.

 

Please send me any questions or stories about coming to drloribeth@atozofsex.com

Listen out on Libsyn for the sister blog, The A to Z of Sex and head over to the website, www.atozofsex.com to sign up for the newsletter for more exploration of the erotic alphabet.

 

A is for Arousal which is where sex begins.  There is no sex without arousal.  Arousal begins in the mind.  Even for those of us who first experience arousal through visual means – seeing someone we find attractive, for example.  Vision is not simply in the eyes.  The eyes are one part of the visual system and the main part of the system is located in the brain.

arousal

Smell is one of the quickest sparks to arousal and also one of the quickest ways to spark disgust.  Even people who don’t notice sense of smell much, react to a variety of smells.  Smell is linked deeply to memory and the quickest way to retrieve positive and negative memories.   If you don’t like the way your partner smells, you probably won’t get aroused.  If you do like the way he smells, you can be turned on even if you don’t like the way he looks!

Arousal is a physiological state that comes about because of stimulation so it can be positive or negative.  We get aroused when we are frightened or angry and the same process goes on in our bodies as when we are aroused sexually, at least initially.  Have you ever been in an argument with a partner that got heated and somehow turned into really hot sex?   Some folks say that make-up sex is the best.  It’s probably because they are already aroused from the disagreement.

All of our senses can trigger arousal.   Taste of something delicious can set off sexual arousal.  Seduction is the art of creating arousal in someone.    Using all the senses creates the strongest response so the best seductions incorporate as many sensory elements as possible.

Arousal is essential for hot satisfying sex.  It is also essential for our physical and mental well-being.  It tenses muscles, releases hormones and helps us get physically and mentally ready for action.  If you want to create and experience incendiary sex, focus on arousal instead of orgasm.

How to tell if a woman is aroused

Her pupils will dilate.  This is an unconscious response and one that she cannot control.  Sometimes medications can effect pupillary response so it is not foolproof.  However if she is not on any type of medication and her pupils are dilating, she is probably aroused.

Blood engorges a variety of areas in her body so they will swell  a bit.  Her lips will soften and feel plumper.  Her breasts will swell and nipples often harden.

Her body temperature rises so she will feel warmer to the touch.

She may flush so her face and chest may turn pink or red.

Her scent will change and become deeper.

Her clitoris will swell and harden.

Her vagina will lubricate.

There are a variety of reasons why some of these signs may not be present when a woman is aroused so make sure to pay attention to the whole of the signs and communicate with your partner!

arousal

    

How to tell if a man is aroused

His pupils will dilate.  Again this is an unconscious response and is reliable enough that researchers are now measuring sexual orientation by measuring pupil response when a person is looking erotic imagery.

His skin temperature will rise so he will feel warm or hot to the touch.

He will breathe deeper

He may begin to sweat and his heart will beat more quickly.

His scent will change and become more musky.

He will develop an erection.

arousal

“Arousal begins within the mind then seeps out where fantasy propels physicality.” – Kristie LeVangie

“Is there a secret?  Yes.  Anais Nin and Pauline Reage and Anne Rampling and Erica Jong all knew it.  E L James knows it.  It is the secret behind all of our writing.  And our reading.  Arousal starts in the mind.  And grows in the mind.  The brain is the most erogenous zone in a woman’s body.  That is our secret.  And it is what we share.” MJ Rose

Want to know more about arousal and how to increase it?  Get in touch with me drbisbey@the-intimacy-coach.com