Let’s Talk About Sex

Mar 7, 2015 by

03.07.2015 - Let's Talk About Sex

          Last Saturday evening’s plan was to find a pair of workout shorts for pole – if I could make it to a bathroom before blooding up my light grey pants first. #femaleprobs

          “We need to walk slowly so I can keep my knees together,” I told Olivia as I stopped to adjust myself between two cars in the mall parking lot before continuing to awkwardly walk.

          “Just the way Jesus intended,” she smirked.

          We burst out laughing and I raised my hand to high-five hers.

          “That was good,” I said through hysterics.




          Last week, Olivia informed me that sex ed is being revamped in Ontario schools starting this fall. It will be introduced earlier, with lessons on genitalia and consent beginning in Grade 1. The new curriculum will cover oral and anal sex, frame gender as a socially constructed concept, address safe sexting, encourage masturbation, educate students on contraception, and discuss same-sex relationships.

          “That’s amazing!” I exclaimed, surprised but thrilled that Ontario’s outdated sex ed curriculum is finally being addressed. “Wait,” I said as I realized, “I can’t see Catholic schools positively educating kids on masturbation or same-sex relationships. Is this only happening in public schools?” I asked disappointedly.

          Olivia and I both went to Catholic elementary schools but attended a public high school. Upon entering Grade 9, I was ecstatic to never have to take another religion class again. I stopped believing in God and started questioning everything the Bible preaches before even leaving elementary school. Because I am of the opinion that all people are entitled to their beliefs, I don’t care what religions or ideologies other people follow. However, I think a realistic approach to sexual education should be taught to all students, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the Catholic or public school system. Although much of the new sex ed curriculum contradicts Catholicism, I think educators have an obligation to teach it. Expecting students to abstain from sex because Catholicism says so is naïve. Students in Catholic schools should be just as informed about sex as students in public schools. Depriving them of such education places them at higher risk for unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, and has potential to hinder the development of positive sexual values.

          “I don’t know,” Olivia said. “Kids in Catholic schools don’t even learn about contraception.”

          “What?” I responded in shock.

          “Don’t you remember being taught in elementary school that the only purpose of sex is to reproduce?” she asked.

          “I don’t remember a lot about sex ed in elementary school – not that it was called sex ed,” I remarked. “What was it, Family Life?” I rolled my eyes.

          “Yeah,” she said, rolling her eyes with me.

          “I remember the guys and girls being split up – which is ridiculous, because guys and girls should be equally educated about periods and stuff. Anyway, I do remember a heavy emphasis on abstinence in elementary school, but I didn’t remember that contraception wasn’t taught at all. When I think of learning about contraception, I think of putting a condom on a banana in Grade 9,” I said.

          “Catholic high schools don’t do that,” she told me.

          “WHAT?” I shrieked.

          My little sister is currently in Grade 11 at a Catholic high school. I was horrified by the idea that she might not know how to properly use a condom. Teenage girls need to know that a condom’s tip needs to be pinched as it’s slipped on, in case the guys they’re having sex with don’t. And since the guys my little sister goes to school with are getting the same crappy, uninformative sexual education that she is, I’m going to assume that they don’t.

          “I have a question,” I said to my little sister while she and I were in the kitchen a couple days later. “Did you put a condom on a banana in Grade 9?”

          “No,” she said with a laugh. “That’s so random. When you said you had a question, I didn’t expect that.”

          “Olivia told me Catholic high schools don’t teach kids how to use condoms,” I explained. “Obviously it’s true!” I leaned over the counter to look into the basket that usually contains bananas. “There’s one banana left. Perfect. You’re putting a condom on a banana today,” I told her as I grabbed the last banana and beckoned her to follow me.

          “You’re going to eat that after, right?” she said as she trailed behind.

          “Of course! I don’t waste food,” I replied on our way up the stairs to my bedroom.

          I closed my bedroom door and pulled out a condom.

          “Don’t you just put it on?” she guessed.

          This is exactly why sex ed needs to be revamped, I thought. “You need to pinch the tip to get rid of any air before rolling it down,” I instructed. “Otherwise, the condom is more likely to break.”

          “It feels gross,” she said.

          “I know,” I agreed. “Don’t worry, you should never have to do this. I’ve never had to put one on a guy. This is just in case you’re with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Well, actually, since you’re going to school with a bunch of guys who didn’t learn this either, you might.”

          Once she had the condom on, I saw that it was too big for the banana, so I made sure to talk to her about proper size. “I don’t care how big the guy thinks he is; make sure he’s got the right size on,” I told her, making her laugh. “There shouldn’t be all this air,” I gestured to the loose condom, “but it also shouldn’t be too tight.”

          “I’m going to tell me friends about this,” she giggled.

          “Yes! Please! Teach them!” I urged.

          For as long as my little sister and I have been talking about dating, I’ve been encouraging her to have sex whenever she feels like she wants to, but to be safe about it. Now, she knows how to be safe about it. (She would have known years earlier had I known that real sex ed isn’t taught at her school.) I’ve also equipped her with a just-in-case condom.

          After some research, I’ve found that Ontario’s Catholic schools will be required to follow the same sex ed curriculum as its public schools come this fall. My favourite part about the new curriculum is that it empowers students to form their own sexual values. Grade 8 students will be required to make personal plans for sexual activity outlining how far they intend to take it. They will be encouraged to abide by their own decisions about sex, as indicated in their plans. Furthermore, they will be advised to carry condoms regardless of their stated intentions. That way, they’re prepared to have sex safely if the opportunity unexpectedly arises and they want to partake.

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