It’s magical how much the word ‘sex’ can lure in people. It is the perfect click bait.
When I was in school (which was just two years ago), I had friends who would say “chee” at the very mention of sex, genitals, or anything remotely related. Fast forward a few months. I saw their Instagram stories with all kinds of references to what was a formerly ‘sinful’ domain for them. Fast forward a little more. I see proud, bold #MeToo stories. Some spoke about being harassed. Some spoke of being touched in their ‘private parts’. But when did we learn what was private? And when did we learn that even those parts of us were now seen as public property?
I know that babies don’t look down the moment they’re born and say, “Okay, I see my weewee (or woowoo) and that’s private.” We need to be told what’s private and what’s not. What type of touches are good and what are not. What kind of fucks to give and not (pun intended).
I’m 19. I’ve spent 12 years in school, that’s about 63.15% of my lifetime. And somewhere between thinking that condoms were tablets to cure gas and writing an article on sex ed, I grew up. And it took a lot of self-study. Things were read, images were seen, videos watched. More effort than I actually put for my Class XII boards! Why? Because in school, our syllabus only tells us about pollen grains going into something sticky and voila there’s a fruit. And that’s the problem. We were taught how tomatoes were made instead of how babies were.
Okay now, I don’t expect lessons to tell us “…and that’s how babies are made, please go try this at home“. What I mean is we want to be taught stuff about sex in a way that we completely understand when or why or how it should or shouldn’t happen. We should be given a heads up on the changes our bodies and minds undergo, and how to deal with it. We should understand that there’s nothing funny about the shape of a person’s chest or crotch. And yet. we are a generation of people who laugh at the name “Umtiti” and can’t say “Moby Dick” with a straight face. That’s why it’s so important that sex education should be a formal class, rather than leaving individuals to learn for themselves.
Let’s talk about the syllabus, the thing that never develops or changes, is omnipresent in all class plans, and to our dismay magically vanishes when question papers are set. So, yes, sex education too is currently ‘out-of-syllabus’. But that doesn’t mean schools shouldn’t bring in sex ed in their plans, does it? Schools, and colleges should devote a part of their packed time tables for some sex ed. It should start when students hit adolescence.
A significant part of being sexually educated lies in how people with internet access use it. Your purposes and intentions as a user might be innocent, but websites are often not. You should understand that the ‘adult entertainment’ industry is up and booming. In fact, the third most traffic for PornHub in 2017 came from India. And there are loads of portals that try to lure you in into their business with marketing gimmicks. There’s enough stuff online ready to give you false ideas about sex, and also sell you worthless products and false guides (yeah, guides) to ‘improve’ your ‘sex life’.
Sex ed can work wonders. Imagine the next time you see a movie with your parents and suddenly an ‘intimate scene’ comes on. You don’t have to behave all innocent and look away from the screen, neither do you have to appear shell shocked.
Advocating for proper sex ed isn’t a bad idea. Think of all the strange places you got all your information from. Think of all it’s drawbacks. And now think of children who are growing up now. Do you want them to get their information the same way you did?