Going Deep: What your gym teacher never told you

For most people, growing up in Canada means our sex education looks a little like this: a few minutes of your gym teacher awkwardly saying the names of body parts, explaining how sperm works, telling you sex will get you pregnant or for sure give you an STI, and then calling it a day – we’re left to piece together just about everything else.

If we’re lucky, we get the right information from awesome adults in our lives and if not we get whatever Cosmo, our friends, and the media tell us. Younger teens are lucky with the development of things like Teen Talk, but most of us are still of the age where the real sex education came from late night Showcase programs and Playboy magazines passed around. If you went to Catholic school like I did, well, you were shit out of luck.

Where is the discussion about the meaning of consent? What’s an orgasm? How do I know what form of birth control is right for me? Is monogamy my only option? What kind of protection do I need if I’m queer? What about masturbation?  How do I have a safe and fun one-night stand? What is a clitoris for and where the hell is it? Is the g-spot a real thing?

Non-comprehensive sex education does a real disservice to everyone. By being open and not being squeamish about talking with kids about sex and sexuality, we break the stigma. Kids have more knowledge and more confidence. They feel okay about asking for what they want and need, they can say no when they mean it and enthusiastically give consent as well. They feel empowered to know when they are ready for sex, what pleasure feels like in their own bodies, and what healthy sexual relationships look like.

For a long time, I have yearned for sex education for adults. This column will aim to fill that gap and will talk about the things your gym teacher didn’t tell you. This will be a fiercely sex-positive space, LGBTTQ* friendly, non-judgmental, and generally awesome place. I will share with you the knowledge that I have tirelessly sought out and call in some experts when needed.

I want you to have really, really good sex – whether that is with yourself, with a long-term partner, with someone you just met, or with a bunch of people. I want you to be able to ask someone to put on a condom, to have the courage to tell your doctor that the pill might not be for you, and to know what to expect when you get a pelvic exam. I want to talk about ‘ethical’ porn, sex toys, phone sex, and how queer people get it on. Sex should be fun, playful, and healthy.

So let’s do this – let’s get deep!

You can confidentially submit a question or topic to jodie.m.w.layne@gmail.com.