Archive for August, 2009


“I don’t give it up”

“I pass this billboard every morning on my way to work:

Don't give it up

I’m not sure how I feel about it.  On one hand, it shows a strong woman who sticks to her principles.  On the other hand, it suggests that “giving it up” is an undesirable behavior, something that weak people do.  What about people in healthy relationships who choose to have sex? What about people who have already “given it up,” are they beyond hope?”

-From Liz, D.C. area


Have a story?

If you have a story (or no story) about learning about sex, and you want to share it with the world, you can e-mail it to me at how.i.learned.about -at- gmail -dot- com.


“put condom on”

“I never had any formal sex education until freshman orientation at my small southern liberal arts college. All incoming students were required to attend the session. I don’t remember everything that was discussed, but it was led by a very open, outgoing, and frank counselor who was well-loved on campus. One activity was about the necessary steps in having sex with a condom. 8-10 volunteers were given cards that contained different steps of the process, things like “ejaculate,” “thrusting,” “foreplay,” “take condom off,” “penis gets hard,” “put condom on,” etc, and the students had to arrange themselves so the steps were in the correct order. While now it seems silly and obvious, I remember at the time, some of it was definitely new information.”


What’s a ‘g spot’?

Out of the various snippets of how I learned about sex, one instance stands out as informative and positive.

It was the summer before or after 8th grade and I was at a week-long regional Methodist church youth summit. Each day we could sign up for different “classes” on a range of topics. One class was about sex–led by an elderly couple. I signed up with a friend with much anticipation and giggling. The sign-up sheet filled up to the maximum. This couple was great: open and honest and not trying to preach about behavior. They talked about sex as a positive and enjoyable thing. They also let us write questions on notecards. The only one I remember was “what’s a g spot”? They didn’t know the answer but promised to follow up – and they did.



“I don’t remember learning anything about sex when I was younger. Nothing from my parents. Nothing in school. Maybe we had an STD day, but that was it.”


“cry babies”

An exchange with a middle school teacher about a pregnancy prevention program in their school. The program gives dolls to students (a common pregnancy prevention effort).


[Teacher]: the kids get their babies today
he is demonstrating the baby
they are so freaking excited about it
it totally does not discourage teen pregnancy
oh and this is interesting
some are taking them over the weekend and some take them monday night
and the guy told me to decide who is more “at risk” and make them have it over the weekend

Me: do just girls get babies?

[Teacher]: no
boys too
some of them don’t want them though
they have to do a 2 page essay instead
which obviously you get to do in real life in case you get pregnant


STD day

Besides the previously mentioned share-your-liquid presentation in 8th grade, the only other sex-related education I remember getting in school was “STD day”.

I think it was in 10th grade (does someone remember?), and all the 9th and 10th graders had to meet in the auditorium.  A doctor (I think someone’s dad) gave a slideshow presentation of pictures of STDs–image after close-up, detailed image of infected body parts.

If there was an acompanying speech about not having sex, I do not remember it. The only outcome I recall from this presentation was the inability to eat cauliflower for days – and then reminding friends about the cauliflower reference to continue to the gross out factor.  (You’re welcome, Internet, for that image).