All photography provided by Kaila Skeet-Browning.
Sex and intimacy are Terrifying and wonderful. We are here to discuss sex straight up, no loopholes or lies.
Written by Woody Winfield (Age 17).
Coming Soon: Body image , The first time, Handjobs and BLOWjOBS, Listening (To be a good lover)
tHE IMPORTANCE OF fOREPLAY:
It seems to me as though foreplay is viewed as childish, for lack of a better word. Actions like deep kissing, fingering, handjobs, and oral sex are done early on in people’s sexual lives before they are ready for sexual intercourse. But once people, men especially, have sex for the first time those foreplay actions seem unnecessary. Why finger someone when you can just have sex with them? Why get a handjob if intercourse feels better? The answer is that foreplay can make sex much more enjoyable for both people involved.
For men, foreplay is arguably less important than it is for women. Penises and vaginas are very different and if a penis is erect it’s basically good to go. If you’re having trouble getting it up though, foreplay can be of great help. It also offers a different sensation than vaginal or anal sex, and variety is always nice. Your favorite food may be pizza, but you wouldn’t eat it every night even if you could, because it’s nice to switch things up from time to time.
For women, foreplay holds an even greater importance. Vaginas work a whole lot differently than penises do. If a woman isn’t aroused in some way before vaginal sex, the act of sex can be much less pleasurable and even painful, like jumping onto a slip-n-slide at full speed only to realize there isn’t any water. Things like fondling boobs, massaging the vagina, and deep kissing can help arouse a woman and make her vagina more prepared for the penis you’re planning on shoving in there. Sex also feels better for men when a woman is aroused beforehand. Sometimes women actually experience more pleasure during fingering and oral sex than they do during vaginal sex because more action is taking place directly at the clitoris or the “g-spot”. This doesn’t mean they would rather just be fingered all the time, it just means that fingering is awesome and should not be forgotten.
I suppose the greatest thing about foreplay is that it makes sex feel more personal. Just having sex can evoke a feeling of pleasure in both people, but exploring each others bodies and finding different ways to make your partner feel good makes sex far more than just an act. It becomes an experience that both people enjoy in many different ways throughout. One that will ultimately leave those involved more satisfied than sex without the use of foreplay.
Masturbation (and a word about porn)
If God didn’t want us to masturbate he would not have given us opposable thumbs and fingers. Seriously though, masturbation is awesome. It can be a stress reliever, as well as an effective way to learn things about your own body. When you masturbate you find out what feels good to you, and you can relay that information to your partner for optimum pleasure during sexual activities. Whether you have a partner or not, masturbation allows you to explore the realm of sensation and continue to seek out and find new ways to feel good.
Unfortunately there is a bit of stigma that goes along with masturbation, and it’s different for men and women. For men the perpetual stereotype is that they all do it, all the time, and if you don’t, you’re weird. For women, especially younger women, the stereotype is that they don’t do it, and it’s weird or gross if they do. Neither of these are true, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to masturbate or not masturbate. Masturbating is about pleasure, so if doing it makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t do it, and if it makes you feel great, there’s no need to feel embarrassed about doing it. Everyone just wants to feel good and we all have different ways of achieving that feeling.
Masturbation goes hand and hand, or more frequently, hand and penis, with pornography. To teenagers, especially male teenagers, porn seems like an amazing asset. The internet is essentially a Pandora's box full of booty, titties, dicks and balls. Every sexual thing you can think of is somewhere on the internet. This can be overwhelming. All of a sudden you go from having a basic idea of what sex looks like to seeing people interact with each other in ways you never knew were possible, or legal. You could spend years of your life just exploring and experiencing what the world of internet pornography has to offer. Which is the problem. Porn is enticing, but it can be addicting, and watching too much can cause problems. We all are aware that porn stars do not look like the typical girl that you would date in high school. We don’t expect them to, or necessarily want them to. But sometimes our penises have their own agenda when it comes to who they find attractive, and porn has a big influence in that regard. Masturbating to porn all the time creates an unrealistic idea of sexy for your penis. If you’re getting off by watching nine girls with huge fake breasts oil up and finger blast each other for 30 minutes, it may be difficult to get aroused when the time comes to have good old missionary sex with your partner. It also creates a huge confidence problem for women because they feel as though they need to live up to the expectations of the insane porn out there, or that they’re boyfriend would rather masturbate than have sex with them. The truth is, vaginas and other penises feel a whole lot better than someone’s own hands, but often the sexual imagery of porn sets the bar too high for any partner to match. Which is why you should be careful when watching porn. It may make your wildest sexual fantasy seem real, but when you’re actually having sex here in the real world, porn has the potential to kill your sexual drive.
Masturbation is all about pleasure and feeling good, so you should masturbate in a way that you feel good about. That means figuring out what you like to experience physically, how often you can masturbate without ruining your life, and considering what effect the material you’re using has on you. The more aware you are the more comfortable you will feel.
Written by Sassafras and Rhonda (age 19)
So many great things can come from some good (consensual) sex; greater connection with your partner, crazy doses of pleasure, self-confidence when your body gets that well-deserved appreciation, and if you are lucky, the euphoria that comes from a big, juicy orgasm. But you know what else can result from sex? Pregnancy.
Of course this is if the sex is between a female and a male who both are physically capable of having children. If this is not you, then you don’t even need to worry about birth control!! (But don’t forget that STD protection is a whole other ballgame).
So if you are in the category of potential pregnancy, birth control is a must. Unless you are actively trying for kids. But if a screaming infant demanding all your time isn’t in your current plan, then it is imperative you use some form of protection—anything to prevent that scrappy little sperm from getting to the egg.
Condoms are a great bet. They are super available, easy to buy in pretty much any gas station or pharmacy, are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy (if used correctly), and they now come in a variety of fancy colors and lubricant options to “increase your pleasure”. Bonus: they prevent against STD’s! And if you are avoiding using condoms because you think it will ruin the mood, then perhaps you need to take a step back and realize that you are HAVING SEX. Protection is part of the mood! Unless you want to replace it with the background noise of a wailing toddler. Want some more info about condoms? Visit this link: http://www.factsaboutcondoms.com/pdf/Condom%20Effectiveness%20FAQ%202.4.13.pdf
Some other birth control options include a diaphragm, a female condom, a vaginal sponge, a IUD, spermicide (usually used with one of the other gizmos), or birth control pills. More info about these can be found at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control.
A word about birth control pills: there is an angering amount of anti-pill propaganda. Did you know that the pill was illegal until the early 1940’s? Now, it is freely available, but when looking for information about the pill, one is bombarded with fear mongering diatribes. I know that when I was considering birth control, I was terrified of gaining 50 lbs, being covered with zits and discolored skin, getting lopsided breasts, and losing my libido. Here’s the thing. The pill has been around for more than a century, and LOTS of smart scientists have spent years perfecting it. There are hundreds of varieties, designed to work with different bodies. It is entirely possible to find a birth control pill who’s only effect on your body is to prevent you from getting pregnant! Don’t let the anti-birth control crusaders turn you away from a legitimate and wonderful option to have sexual freedom.
Let’s be honest. We’ve all been there, in the heat of the moment, having the irresistible urge to say “fuck it” to all our responsible knowledge and have unprotected sex. Harvard professor Michael Warner even discusses this risk-taking sexual urge as a natural desire, in his book The Trouble with Normal. However, I encourage everyone to reach deep, deep down and find the strength to punch that urge in the face. Because unwanted pregnancies are dramatically more work (whether you decide to terminate the pregnancy, give the child up for adoption, or keep it), than taking three seconds to put a condom on your penis.
More to come about female pleasure (quite important and often forgotten, especially in those trendy hookups all of us young adults engage in), but for now check out OMGYES, a resource that is"constantly exploring new ways to increase pleasure based in new research, videos and simulations". Its basically an online handbook to all things pleasurable! And people who's partners are women, this is a GREAT place to learn all the sexy tricks- consider using this info instead of the stuff you may get from porn, and see if the results are better.
Why Sex Ed is So important:
Sex Ed with John Oliver, August 9, 2015