It sounds a bit like a pun a horny, hipster English student would use to describe their sex life. But to be honest, that’s probably as far from the actual meaning as one could get. Luckily, Sexpression is a student organisation that teaches inexperienced and curious thirteen year olds about safe sex, consent, body image, porn and a whole variety of other topics. It relies on fun and interactive ways to explain the world of sex, and encourages kids to ask any question they want, whether it’s about glow in the dark condoms or the best form of contraception.
This is an amazing organisation, without a doubt. But after completing my training, I realised that maybe it’s St Andrews students who need to be put back in a classroom with a Sexpression trained teacher.
When I tell people I signed up to be a sex education teacher, there are a few reactions I typically get.
- “That’s so cool! Can you be my condom and lube plug?”
- “Wow, you’re certainly very focused.”
- “I’ll ask your grandmother to send you the vagina model that she took from Planned Parenthood in the eighties.”
And no offence to my mother, but none of those reactions are actually what anyone who went through Sexpression training actually wants to hear.
Even in sexually liberated 2016, there are still too many taboos surrounding sex. Not just sex either, but learning about it, talking about it. For some reason, even when your goal is only to educate and inform, there seems to be an unsaid assumption about the kind of person you are for literally just being knowledgeable about physical health. Hence questions about condom and lube plugs.
Sexpression doesn’t just teach the biological side of sex, like in much of the States, and it’s not just a condom party, like every tween boy’s fantasy. It’s about teaching people to be comfortable with their own bodies, and learning about themselves in a safe environment. And as thoroughly unsexy as that sounds, there’s not an unkissed thirteen year old or a vivacious twenty one year old that wouldn’t benefit from that type of education.
There’s a weird consensus once you’ve reached a certain age, you should be an ultimate sex guru, surpassing typical bounds of knowledge, handing out dossiers of personal experience and information that would make people uncomfortable to even look at.
However, a lot of university students tend to miss the big point about sex – make it what you want, but don’t make it taboo. And in my barely semi-professional opinion, make sure it’s safe.