For the past 15 Monday nights, I have been expanding my knowledge on human sexuality. With my semester coming to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what I have learned. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about sex.
1. You can blow a condom into a balloon.
“Don’t miss class next week. I guarantee you will do something in a classroom that you have never done before.” My professor has a flair for the dramatic, but he wasn’t joking. Have you ever walked in on your teacher with a desk full of 30 erect penises? I have. Black, white, big, small. “Take your pick,” he said. He threw condoms at us like it was fucking Mardis Gras. I will never forget the image of rolling a condom on a rubbery penis with a classmate while my professor blew an XL Trojan condom into an XXXXL balloon. We all erupted into nervous laughter. What was he doing? He was making a point that no guy is too big for a condom. Not even Shaq.
2. You’re probably going to be raped.
Sex ed professors love to instill fear in their students. They just do. Remember the slutty gym teacher from Mean Girls? “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die!” While Coach Carr had good intentions, the outrageousness of his statement deemed it ineffective. Jennifer Barber, a licensed clinical social worker, had a similar approach. She came to our class to discuss social norms and the big ‘r.’ Rape. She shared stories with us that included the following: knives, men as monsters, dark alleyways, and the death of the soul. What really triggered me though was when she told our class that 1-in-4 women will be raped. Not men, but women. Shortly after this statement, an offended man left the room. At one point, Jennifer told us about one of her patients who had been walking to her car with headphones on. A man jumped out of the bushes and brutally raped her. Great story, lady. Ever since her presentation, I have been paranoid as fuck. Last night after walking out of a coffee shop in Long Beach, I frantically locked my car doors when I saw a man approach my car. He was just trying to get into his car that was parked right next to mine. Personally, I don’t believe that 1-in-4 women will be raped because that’s implying that the majority of men in our lives are psychopaths. However, if she was trying to instill fear as a form of prevention, it worked.
3. Birth control has come a long way.
The Pill is a dream compared to the birth control methods used in the past. In Imperial Rome, those guys wanted to get it on so bad that they used condoms made from goat bladders. Ick! Other birth control methods included inserting tar or elephant dung into the vagina, drinking the froth from a camel’s mouth, or bloodletting. In Ancient Greece, it was common practice for the woman to hold her breath during sex, then sit with her knees bent, and sneeze to expel semen. Like I said, birth control has come a long way.
4. Men and women experience sex differently.
In my sextbook, the 411 on s-e-x is split up into two chapters: male and female. While I’m all for gender equality, men and women are not uniform when it comes to sexual anatomy, physiology, and sexual response. For example, did you know that women can have more orgasms than men? While men tend to have one big event, women can have several. And by event, I mean ohhhh, ohhhhh, orgasm. This is because women don’t require a refractory period like men do and can stay aroused for longer. No more one and done, y’all.
5. There are six basic love styles.
- Storge, from the Greek word for natural affection, is the type of love that develops from friendship. Example: Cory and Topanga
- Ludus, from the Latin word for play, is playful love. Encounters are casual, carefree, and careless. “Nothing serious” is the motto of ludic lovers. Example: Every Tinder date ever.
- Eros is the love of beauty. Erotic lovers are passionate and delight in the sensual. Their love burns brightly but soon flickers and dies. Example: Khloe and Lamar
- Pragma, from the Greek word for business, is practical love. Pragmatic lovers use logic in their search for a partner, seeking background, education, personality, religion and interests that are compatible with their own. Example: Match.com
- Mania, from the Greek word for madness, is obsessive and possessive love. For manic lovers, nights are marked by sleeplessness and days by pain and anxiety. Example: Me and my high school crush.
- Agape, from the Greek word for brotherly love, is the traditional Christian love that is chaste, patient, understanding, and altruistic. Example: Hippies
6. 50 Shades of Gray is a thing.
Domination and submission, otherwise known as BDSM, is exactly what you and your mom read about in 50 Shades of Gray. Bondage and discipline may take place in specialized settings called “dungeons” furnished with restraints, body suspension devices, whips, and chains. Sound familiar? There are even clubs and leather sex bars that cater to the acting out of D/S fantasies. For a more visual breakdown, please visit your local movie theatre on February 13, 2015.
7. Fetishism is no longer considered a mental disorder.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, people with kinky interests do not have a mental disorder. Not even Julius, a 62-year old man who is sexually attracted to…balloons. “When I see a beautiful balloon, my heart starts to flutter and I get aroused,” Julius stated. “I’ll hug it and kiss it and it will be like being in heaven.” The man has more than 50,000 “beautiful, soft, smooth” balloons and can orgasm just by feeling one up.
8. I’m an A+ sexter.
I wrote a research paper on the topic of sexting, focusing on the dangers of exchanging nude photos as a minor. My professor gave me 100%. He said it was “very well written” … but was he really just turned on?
9. Pride parades are not favored by the LGBT community.
The PFLAG panel came to speak to our class about their organization. PFLAG stands for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. One of the women who spoke was a mother of two boys. We learned that one of her sons is gay and has been bullied almost his entire life because of his sexual orientation. While he is now an openly gay 22-year old living in southern california, he avoids Pride Parades. According to her son, Pride primarily benefits upper middle class queer whites. These parades send the message that being gay is all about shallow things like sex shops, rainbows, and skinny white men. PFLAG feels that they shouldn’t have to be objectified and oversexualized to feel free. Gay people are just like you and me. Normal.
10. Learning about sex is not sexy.
My professor is not David Beckham. He is a gruff, dad-aged man who looks like a cheeseburger. Making eye contact with him while he says words like ‘penis’, ‘clitoris’, and ‘blowjob’ is not turning anyone on. I learned about child prostitution, watched a live birth, and saw photos of sexually infected dicks. Sexual education is not sexy, but it is important.