Waiting to hear back about what is essentially a dream job and I can’t stop thinking about it! They called my references two days ago so I am growing increasingly anxious. I’m hoping to distract myself by answering your questions!
Imagine going in to your first day on the job as a neurosurgeon. How do you feel? Excited? A little nervous? Surprise! You have never been to medical school, and the only thing you know about the brain is that it’s somewhere in your head. What could possibly go wrong? Without proper training and education, you could kill or paralyze someone. While you may not kill anyone entering a sexual relationship uninformed, you can just as easily hurt others or yourself if you are ill-informed. This is why offering teens a comprehensive introduction to sexuality is so important.
Comprehensive sex education is a really awesome idea, but something you are often hard pressed to find many schools. Why aren’t we teaching our children healthy and holistic ways of sexuality? What are the consequences of not doing so? What can you do to help the situation? Let’s find out together!
When I say sexual education, I do not just mean learning about the mechanics of protection and how babies are made. Comprehensive sexual education also includes a measure of discussion about consent, relationships, and the requisite sexual information. We all know of the bad things that can happen when we fail to educate teens about their choices; we see the statistics on them every year. Things like teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and the like are all things that happen when we enter the realm of sexuality unprepared. Conversely, what happens if we don’t educate our children about what it means to consent to sex? I love the “Don’t be that guy” project, and I think the message is outstanding. If we don’t educate our youth on the very real and very complicated dynamics of sex, how can we expect them to act accordingly? How do we expect them to respond to domestic abuse and dating violence when they are never shown what a healthy relationship looks like or how to build one? Some responsibility does fall on the teenagers themselves: if they want to become sexually active, they should take the initiative to educate themselves. However, the burden should not rest on those of us who know better. It is not always easy to find reliable information about sex and sexuality.
The question now shifts to, “How do we solve this problem?” I personally want to start a peer mentoring program during my undergraduate years for local high school students to provide an environment for teenagers to ask questions and get answers about sex and relationships in a less confrontational environment than they might find at home or in a clinic.
If you don’t have the time or resources to start your own group, there are also a bunch of amazing programs already out there. Planned Parenthood has an awesome program similar to this in Arizona, and I’m sure there are many others in more sex-ed friendly states. Why not give a few hours of your time to one? Or, if that’s not an option, just talk to the teens and young adults you know about these issues. Many seem to underestimate the impact talking to a few people can have. Information about sex will spread around throughout social circles, whether it is true or not. Why not take a step to providing better sex education outside of the classroom?
Sex and sexuality can make many people very uncomfortable. However, we can’t let that discomfort allow us to stand idly by when we could step in and change things for the better. It can be a hard conversation to have, especially for those of us who’d like to believe that “they’re too young to need that much information.” Trust me; by the time a teen starts high school, they need this information, either for themselves or their friends. Knowledge is power. Let’s empower our children, peers, and friends to take control of their sexuality and their choices before that choice is taken from them.
Now that it is established that lube is the most awesomest of items, lets talk about the different kinds. Your basic three most common categories are silicone based, oil based, and water based. However, there are also more specific kinds of lube meant for masturbating, tingling sensations, oral sex, anal sex, and just about everything else you can think of. Here is a basic guide to lube to help you find what might work best for you!
Water Based: This lubricant is the most versatile of them all. You can use it for all kinds of play, and it doesn’t make much of a mess. It feels a little more water-like and slippery than other lubes. It doesn’t have a scent, and they’re safe to use with condoms. This lube is awesome, but it does get absorbed into the body (since its water) so you may need to reapply mid-act. Some great water based lubes that I recommend are: Liquid Silk, and Sliquid.
Silicone Based: This lube lasts much better than water based lube, but a word of **warning**- don’t use it with your silicone sex toy! It will ruin it! Some great aspects of this kind of lube are that it can be used with condoms, its hypoallergenic, and its low-mess. This stuff does not get absorbed into your body though, so make sure you clean yourself up after you use it! A great silicone based lube that I recommend is Pink Silicone.
Oil Based: Oil based lube is great for masturbating but you cannot use it with latex condoms, which turns many people off of it. The materials in it are also not good for vaginas, so vagina owners beware! Be very careful when using this product! It can be very slippery and good for anal but if you’re having sex with a vagina-owner this is not the lube for you. Some recommendations for oil based lube are: Stroke 29.
Flavored: Flavored lubes are lubricants that, as the name implies, have some sort of flavor to them. They are meant to be used to make oral sex more pleasurable, and come in almost unlimited varieties. Although they can be used with condoms and dental dams, flavored lubes are generally not compatible with vaginal penetration as the sugars in them can cause vaginal infection. However, there are some options such as Sliquids Swirl Lube which are made to be safe for vaginas as well.
Now that we’ve covered the major type-options out there, lets explore some of the other things you should consider when choosing the best brand for you and your body:
Of course there are more things one might factor in to their lube decision, but hopefully this quick guide covered all your major bases. A quick recap: Silicone is awesome but don’t use it with your silicone sex toys. Water based is ultra versatile. Oil based is good for those looking for something massage compatible. Lastly, don’t forget to consider ingredients, feel, and consistency. Now go out and get wet!
Have any additional questions about what you read here? Don’t hesitate to ask!
Is there anything you’ve been hoping to see that we haven’t covered here yet (or lately)? Any topics you see too little of?
We plan two months out, so feel free to let us know what kind of posts would be most helpful to you and your feminist/activist/sexual-being journey as we approach the holidays!
PS I’ll be online for the next few hours working on this, so if you have any questions you’d like answered, now would be a great time to ask!