Growing up, sex education for me involved an embarrassed Biology teacher vaguely talking about parts of the human body, genitalia and periods. That’s about it. That one Biology class left more questions in my mind than answers. Many of my friends share a similar experience. The shame and stigma that surrounds sex and sex education, and that leads to deep-rooted societal conditioning, is reflected in our teenage and adult lives when we’re scrambling to understand the different aspects of consent, when we feel guilty about the number of partners we’ve had, or when we feel terrible about ‘losing our virginity‘.

It’s okay to have had multiple sexual partners. It’s okay to have sex before marriage. It’s okay to not want to have sex at all. To understand what’s missing from sex education in our country, we asked the ladies on Malini’s Girl Tribe the one thing they wish they knew before they became sexually active. Read on to know what they had to say!

1. The Importance Of Self-Love

I didn’t know how to masturbate. I didn’t know what that elusive female orgasm felt like. I hated the idea of oral. I felt ashamed about being molested, having prior boyfriends even though I didn’t have sex with any, save two, one of whom I eventually married. I would just curl up into a ball and be frustrated and imagine shirtless guys on a rainy night. Until I was taught by a wonderful man. I didn’t end up with him. I also didn’t know how attractive I was. I thought men only find skinny or those with “just enough” flesh on them as attractive. I was also conscious of my nether regions and felt they looked ugly compared to porn stars. That guy shattered those beliefs. But perhaps it would have been so much more awesome to know self-love, literally and figuratively, before I actually got sexually active or sought romantic love. Could have avoided the unnecessary string of boyfriends.

2. Society’s Obsession With Virginity

I wish I knew that we still get hypocritic chauvinistic pigs under the disguise of sweet, charming and “open-minded” men. I wish I knew that such people are capable of abusing women and calling them horrible names just because their hymen tore during sports activities in childhood. I wish I knew that Indian men still give undue importance to virginity instead of paying attention to the character of the girl they are dating. I wish I knew that men are never satisfied with their partner unless their partner happens to be a porn star. I wish I knew that a woman has to keep her self respect at any cost instead of always giving in to such men.

3. The Art Of Masturbation

I wish somebody had taught me the art of masturbation. My husband works abroad and there are days when I am just sexually frustrated. Had I learnt this sooner, I wouldn’t have had unnecessary arguments with my husband over my sexual needs. I dated a lot, but somehow never felt the need to lose it with anyone. My husband was the lucky son of a gun who got to take my flower, LOL. Initially, when we got married, I absolutely dreaded the idea of doing it because of the pain. Luckily, my husband gave me time, took it slow and eventually I started enjoying it. If I had the information on how much it would hurt, I would probably have tried something to ease into the whole process or I don’t know…condition my mind? Now, at the age of 35, I don’t feel it’s a task but then I spent a good amount of time being frustrated, not knowing how to relieve myself. While growing up, visual media screws up the whole idea of sex. Real stuff needs to be projected, and not the pulling in the barn, holding the umbrella in the rain kind of crap. When you know the truth, you are better prepared.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became sexually active? Please share it with us in the comment below!

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