Commentary, Sex Education

Adventures in Abstinence Only Education: Consent

Hey everybody!   Who was at SlutWalk Seattle on Sunday?  I am working on an article about the SlutWalk movement and the word slut itself.  But I have so many feelings that I need a few extra days to process everything.  I am definitely glad that I went though.

In the meantime let’s talk about CONSENT!

Consent is necessary. Consent is something that we need to be talking about even before we become sexually active.

I received sex ed a little before the Healthy Youth  Act was passed in 2007.  And guess what?  I was taught abstinence only education.  Grrreeaaat.  I learned that sex was scary outside of marriage. That sex outside of marriage meant you were vain or insecure.  That sex was only between a man and a woman and then it was called, “loooove-making.”  (The emphasis may just be my own.)  We also learned about the three types of kissing!

1.)  There is the “Peaches” style which is just a quick peck on the cheek or lips.  No real lip action.  Definitely no tongue.  Just like saying the word “peaches.”

2.)  Say “Prunes,” just like my whole sex ed class did.  Notice how there is a bit more lip action compare to saying peaches.  I think my  educators told me that this was when men started to get aroused, SO WATCH OUT!

3.) The final style of kissing is, “Alfalfa,” or to normal human beings know as French kissing, or using tongue.  This is when men are most definitely aroused.   Everyone had to say alfalfa out loud while using a lot of tongue action.

The “Alfalfa” style is a dangerous type of kissing to engage in for unmarried, horny, young individuals.   Women become aroused when involved with heavy petting.  But we were most definitely not supposed to get that far.  Men become incredibly turned on while swapping spit.  So women, who of course are able to control our sexuality much better than men, have to make sure we stop at the Prunes stage of kissing.  Or maybe it was the Peaches. I’m not really sure since I was busy sitting in the back of the classroom feeling incredibly bitter and insulted.

But seriously, women have to make sure that we do not reach this certain stage of kissing or else what?  There is no going back, you can’t change your mind, you can’t say “no?” That men turn into some kind of uncontrollable, hormonal, creature no longer responsible for their actions, if they are “turned on.”

Um, RAPE CULTURE ALERT, because that idea is offensive and harmful.

We needed to be talking about consent.  That consent is something that has to be freely given at each stage of kissing or sex. That silence does not equal saying “yes.”  School is supposed to prepare us for life.  Part of that preparation needs to be how to effectively communicate our desires to our partners and how to respect and understand theirs.  Being able to talk about sex with your partner or partners is a skill  that everyone needs to know how to do regardless if they want to wait until they are married for sex or not.  It is part of being a healthy adult.

To continue talking about consent check out the Power of Prevention, or P.O.P, which works with the King Country Sexual Assault Resource Center.   One of the fliers they were handing out said, “Ask first.  Ask every step of the way.  Make it sexy-knowing your partner wants you as much as you want them is hot!  If you have ANY doubts, stop and check in.”  I wish they taught my sex ed class.

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