Why Are We Not Educated About Pleasure?

The lack of education about pleasure has left many of us feeling unsatisfied and feeling like a failure. Here’s why this happens.

Forget about pleasure; growing up, we were barely taught about sex. Teachers sheepishly skipped over the reproduction chapter, not even bothering to explain menstruation to us girls. Sex was, and still is, considered a taboo, and most of us were ignorant of the female anatomy for a very long time. The mere mention of the topic was followed by a hushed conversation where we shared our half-baked insights on the topic with our friends. We have always heard that sex is supposed to be painful, losing your virginity is a bad thing, and women are not supposed to enjoy sex.

Even for the schools that have sex-ed classes, the concept of pleasure is most probably missing. It’s also mostly hetero-normative, lacks the topic of consent, queer relationships, etc. It’s 2021, and many educational institutions don’t have a SRE curriculum in place yet. Alex Phillips, SRE policy lead at Terrence Higgins Trust, told metro.co.uk: “Our research shows that nine out of ten (89%) young people are not taught about sex in relation to pleasure — instead, what’s being taught is usually focused on the biological basics, how to avoid pregnancies and so on. Recently, the Netflix show Sex Education 3 addressed the gaps in SRE classes that preach that sex is bad and can only lead to pregnancies and STDs”.

Remember when Monica taught Chandler about the seven erogenous zones that could please a female? It was great to see Chandler making efforts to please his partner, something that many men tend to ignore and overlook. Sex should also focus on woman’s pleasure, and if it doesn’t, a woman shouldn’t shy away from taking the matter into her own hands, re: masturbation. There are several physical and mental health benefits of masturbation.

A lack of education about pleasure leads to disappointment and the perception that one is a failure. Men don’t understand why their female partners can’t achieve orgasm, whereas females believe it’s okay not to enjoy sex and have an orgasm. They blame themselves for their poor performance in bed.

It also brings forth the topic of the orgasm gap or pleasure gap wherein women report less satisfaction and pleasure after sexual activity as compared to their male counterparts. This is the main reason why we need to educate both men and women about pleasure.

This can help women understand what they like and direct their sexual partners accordingly. They need to know their body in order to tell how they like to be pleasured, and there’s nothing shameful about it. For men, it can help them satisfy the female better. For instance, when Maeve and Otis in Sex Education 3 help out Dex how can he satisfy his partner in bed in ways other than penetrative sex.

What Do We Think Can Be Done To Improve the Situation?

We need to be open about the topic of pleasure and the conversation should start at an early age. When we teach teenagers about sex and pleasure, they are less likely to turn to corrupt sources of information that fill them with unrealistic expectations. They can start by knowing their bodies, understanding the concept of consent, pleasure, and how to be and make your partner feel safe at all times. This is important so that when they reach their adolescence and become sexually active, they’ll have all the necessary information. It will allow them to enjoy sex while also keeping them safe.

Our country might be on the path of progress, but we still have a long way to go. The pending criminalization of marital rape is a serious topic of concern for women all over India. Read this blog to know why it’s high time that India should criminalize marital rape. You can also check out our other blogs on the website.

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Image credits: freepik