Sex ed is simultaneously a very sensitive subject and one of the most important things adolescents learn while in school. However, not everyone gets the same sexual education, which is in large part down to different cultures, schools and teachers. The r/askreddit subreddit recognized this and started a thread that deals with the topic of “what you should know but isn’t taught in sex ed.”
Like any other class at school, sexual education is a very broad topic, impossible to cram into one semester, so it’s only natural that things get missed. Due to the sensitive nature of sex, though, not everyone feels comfortable finding out more on their own.
User ixtothesiren on Reddit was brave enough to ask and, thanks to the thread’s “serious” tag, got a lot of good answers from the wider community.
While all answers must be taken with a large grain of salt because it’s impossible to know if any of the users offering advice are actually experts on the matter, we’ve summarized some of the best pieces of advice for you below.
Check out our 10 favorites and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.
- There is more to sex than just penetration, as 75 percent of women do not climax from penetration alone.
- The annual cost of supporting a child is often not taught but could be a wakeup call to young people having unprotected sex. While the exact figures vary depending on where you live, the USDA estimates that rearing a child from ages 0 to 18 costs a minimum of $170,000 for a dual-parent family.
- You urinate after sex due to the fact that your sexual organs were just exposed to completely new bacteria which your partner has in check but you may not. Urine acts as a disinfectant and can prevent STIs.
- Masturbation is actually healthy when done in moderation. Studies show that masturbating 21 times a month can lower the risks of prostate cancer by almost 33 percent.
- Birth control pills are not the only female contraceptive. Some people have trouble swallowing pills regularly and other options, such as implants and IUDS, exist. Here is a comprehensive list of female contraceptives.
- Towels. Sex is messy and can lead to your sheets getting wet or dirty. Towels prevent that from happening.
- Don’t make long-term decisions based on sex alone. Sex releases hormones which make us feel close to the people we’re with, which can impact our decision making.
- Oral herpes is not a “death sentence” in that your sex life will be over. You can get prescription antiviral to help suppress outbreaks. Also, between 50 and 80 percent of the adult population in the U.S. has oral herpes, most of which is contracted when children come into contact with infected family members, not during sex.
- Sex is supposed to feel good but sex ed doesn’t usually cover sexual pleasure. If both parties aren’t enjoying it you need to do some exploring to learn what feels good for each person involved.
- Antibiotics nullify the effects of birth control pills during the period that you’re taking the antibiotics.
Of course, there were also a few tongue-in-cheek comments about what people wish they had learned that we think are worth mentioning too.
- How to hide one’s erection in their waistband.
- How to actually have sex.
Now heard over to Reddit to read the thread in full.
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- Main & Featured Image: Stephen Cheetham / Highsnobiety