Sex Ed in Bed

Where the rubber meets the hole
By Jallen Rix, Ed.D. (c).

If sex is so private, how did we hear about it? It’s a question that constantly rolls around in the mind of this sex educator. It’s like a mental parlor puzzle that I can’t resist. Obviously, most people figure sex out somehow. Otherwise, there would be a lot fewer people in the world. This astounds me since we live in such an obsessively sex-negative society. Yet, if we can discern the ongoing, primary sexual learning experience, maybe we can access it and immediately begin to positively affect it. Yes, we had basic sex ed. classes in school, but many of us were already sexually active by then. It’s a well known fact that parents are the most influential roll models in a person’s life, but you try telling a parent how to teach their kids about healthy sexuality. Most of us probably gain sex information from our peers, entertainment and the internet. However, something still seems to be missing even though my mind’s packed with factual information. Recently, a puzzle piece fell into place when I spontaneously hooked up with a virgin!

I befriended an out of place “twenty-something” at the Stud Bar in San Francisco and he came home with me at the end of the evening. He was on vacation and I was proud to be a tour guide of this great city. I know that sounds like a silly justification, or a bad pickup line, “Look! There’s the Golden Gate Bridge... Can I suck your cock?” But when there’s a sexual connection like there was with him, it naturally feels like part of my hospitality. Once at home, I discovered that he had never experienced sex with a man. Whenever someone reveals this kind of information I choose to treat it as a pleasant surprise, but I also wonder if they are just living out the fantasy of being a virgin. Well either way, fantasy or not, it’s still fun. However, there were too many sincerely ignorant moments when he said something, or did something that seemed to validate his honesty. He was in San Francisco and circumstances gave him the courage to “rub two matchsticks together” for the first time. Already being in my tour guide mindset (not to mention being a sexologist) I was happy to show him the ropes. It was passionate, really hot, and a lot of fun! It then occurred to me that it was also a huge learning experience for him.

Of course! Sex is not only biological. It’s not solely procreative. It’s not summed up by theories, fantasies, and guidelines. It’s neither just a spiritually altered state nor only pleasure. It’s all of these and more. It’s an experience, therefore it seems natural, if not abundantly obvious that we learn a great deal about sex from (dare I say) “firsthand experience!” Sure we can read up on any kind of activity, but we can never completely understand it unless we actually do it, Baby. Hence, the byline of this column is, “Sex Ed in Bed.”

I want to be crystal clear. I’m not suggesting we educate virgins by deflowering them, although our culture has a version of experiential sex ed. There are plenty of guys who learned about sex when “Pa sent the boys off to Madam Pheona in the next town ov’r.” Furthermore, I’m not saying that we should have a chalkboard over the bed to draw diagrams and have lazy lovers write fifty times, “I will not fall asleep in the middle of sex.”

What I am saying is that if we taught drive’s ed classes like we teach sex ed classes, there’d be a lot more youth killed on the road today. Sex education that only addresses the biological is ridiculously incomplete, especially when the vast majority of sexual activity is for pleasure, not for procreation. Sex ed. is the only class where they don’t assign research projects for homework, if you know what I mean. Ah! The double standard is deafening. “Experiential learning is one the best forms of education, but not when it comes to sexuality. No sir-ee!”

Unfortunately, we have lived with so many sexual double standards that even I can’t completely rid myself of them. The fact of the matter is that whether alone or with someone, we learn an enormous amount about sex from the experience, and it shouldn’t be discredited. (This puts a whole new twist on the statement, “You need to get laid.”) So when you do enjoy sex, learn from it, teach a little, soak it up, honor it, explore it and have fun! After all, adult education doesn’t get better than this.

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