As an author of erotic novels, I have realized how important realistic descriptions of sexual contact are from a feminist perspective. A confident approach to one’s sexuality is an important aspect of human self-determination that enhances bodily autonomy, individuality, and self-esteem. However, conservative schools in America are notorious for providing inadequate sex education and keeping young adults in the dark about their bodies and sexual relationships. Sexual repression can lead to shame, vulnerability, and powerlessness.
Therefore, it is important for authors of erotic novels not to mindlessly parrot the nonsense and lies of the porn industry, but to describe authentic sexuality and thus, incidentally, provide readers with realistic facts and information about sex. In this blog post, we will examine the importance of sex education from a feminist perspective, focusing on the lack of sex education in conservative schools in America. We will also discuss how authors of erotic novels can use their medium to educate without sounding pedantic.
Firstly, it is essential to understand that sex education is not about promoting sexual activity, but rather, it is a way to provide young adults with the tools they need to make informed decisions. Conservative schools in America tend to promote sexual abstinence as the only morally correct way to live one’s sexuality, a strategy that has been proven time and again to be ineffective. In extreme cases, abstinence-only education creates a climate of shame and fear around sex, causing those who engage in sexual activity to hide it or feel guilty. A comprehensive approach to sexual education acknowledges that people have sexual desires and that these desires need to be addressed healthily. Refusal to acknowledge these desires does not make them go away. Instead, it perpetuates a culture of repression and shame around sexuality.
In addition, comprehensive sex education promotes equality and dismantles the traditional gender roles that limit individuals. By introducing young people to the idea of consent, sexual education empowers them to take control of their bodies and understand the importance of bodily autonomy. Young adults taught in comprehensive education often understand that sex is a choice, not an obligation. This opens up a new level of comprehension and awareness of what it means to give and receive pleasure. It is precisely this kind of awareness that can inspire an erotic novel writer to use their medium to promote healthy sexual relationships that prioritize consent and mutual respect.
It is essential to acknowledge that sexuality is a complex matter, and everyone experiences it differently. Sexual education should reflect that complexity and approach each student as an individual with unique needs. Enhancing sexual education for young adults means training teachers and educators to provide comprehensive and inclusive sex education, including discussions of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and contraception. Promoting these topics demonstrates that every individual’s experience is valid and essential.
Lastly, it is crucial to understand that comprehensive sexual education is not just a personal matter. It is also an issue of social justice. Lack of comprehensive education puts young adults at risk of illness, STIs, and unintended pregnancy. Those impacted the most are often young people of color, those living in poverty, and those living in rural areas where access to healthcare and education is limited.
Showing young people making the emotional arc from voluntary abstinence to their first pleasurable experiences can be an exciting subject for any writer of New Adult and erotica. However, this should not propagate pure black-and-white thinking, but be an honest examination of the feelings, irritations, and doubts. After all, our task as authors is not propaganda, but empathy for our protagonists, especially in the area of coming-of-age.
Sexual education plays a vital role in promoting bodily autonomy, individuality, and self-awareness. The lack of comprehensive education in conservative schools in America perpetuates a culture of repression and shame around sexuality and creates a risk of illness and unintended pregnancy. By describing sexual pleasure and healthy relationships built upon mutual consent, writers of erotic novels can encourage comprehensive sexual education. In this way, they can use their medium to contribute to the culture of inclusivity, diversity, and understanding that promotes equality and promotes respect for all individuals regardless of their sexuality, identity, and expression. As writers, we have an essential role in shaping a world that amplifies the essential values of comprehensive education.