I always get so excited this time of year. The weather gets cooler, the leaves begin to change, and I get back in the classroom. I have been a college professor for over 20 years now. While I have taught a variety of courses, my favorite has always been the sex course. Why? Well, this is a class which often generates high student interest. Students always want to learn about sex. They love to talk about it and explore various sexual attitudes, practices, and behaviors.
I have found that many students have never talked to their parents about sex. Instead they come to the course with a basic sexual knowledge from friends, television, books, magazines, and in some cases, a health education class somewhere along the way. For the most part, knowledge levels are fairly remedial. Because of this, I sepnd a great deal of time exploring the foundations of human sexuailty – including male/female anatomy and physiology. It always surprises me how little most students (and most people in general) know about their own bodies. Male students have asked me why they have “split streams” when they try and pee with an erection, while female students ask how they can pee with a tampon in (let me know if you need any answers here…).
Anxieties are typically high the first few days of class – this is exactly why I like to keep it light and use lots of humor. Laughing can help reduce anxieties, which in turn will help in the learning process. Students who are anxious often have difficulties understanding and/or assimilating new information. In my perfect world, the sex class I teach at our university would be taughter much earlier. In fact, I think it would be very useful and appropriate for middle school or early high school students. Unfortunately in the U.S. we tend to believe that sexual knowledge is bad. We worry that if we tell kids about sex when they’re young, they will run out and get laid without much thought. We American are good at teaching kids about the negative aspects of sex, such as pregnancy or STDs. But why are we so afraid to talk about the positives about sex? Sex is great. It’s a wonderfully exciting interaction, especially when shared in a loving an dmutually respectful relationship. Great sex and frequent orgasms can make us all happier, healthier, and much more productive.