“One of my most difficult secondary school moments was having to get my parents to sign a consent form for Sex Education class,” recalls Emma*. It wasn’t that her parents would have objected, but it was nonetheless awkward – “sex” was not something they discussed openly. She ended up learning about the birds and the bees through biology diagrams of reproductive organs that focused primarily on the danger of diseases being transmitted. There was nothing about enjoyment or understanding of one’s sexuality and sexual pleasure.
The now 30 year-old mother of two’s knowledge of sexuality was mainly self-taught and from a certain voyeuristic curiosity evoked by explicit novels and movie scenes. Now that she has children of her own, she hopes that when she has to have those conversations with her children, she will deal with it better.