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A story of real life sex education

Thursday 26th March 2015

Sex education, no matter where you receive it, very rarely encourages you to take control of your body, says Saraid Cameron. This is her story about learning the hard way.

NOTE: This contains real talk about sex.

Listen to the story as it was told at The Watercooler storytelling night or read on ...

There are many things that I think about constantly, but find hard to voice. Perhaps it’s because talking about them would make me, and the people around me, uncomfortable. It might lead to them making assumptions about me that I’d rather they didn’t. 

But the way we talk about sex, especially the way we talk about sex to young girls, makes me now want to say it out loud, or at least write it down. What young girls think is expected of them, what their role is, and how much of themselves they will give away when they sleep with someone is something to be talked about.

I think we need to be clearer in the way we discuss sex, especially with those who haven’t done it yet. If we aren’t clear, we risk creating this massive separation between expectation and reality.

Although conversations of this nature may seem shocking and confronting, they’re not as shocking or confronting as receiving really bad head.

I used to go out with this guy. It was many years ago, a different city, and a very young me. He was awesome. He made me laugh. He was kind of a goober but also pretty sexy. He also thought I was really funny, which I am.

Although conversations of this nature may seem shocking and confronting, they’re not as shocking or confronting as receiving really bad head. 

We were pretty happy together. I was very inexperienced and, as a result, I listened to pretty much all of the things he told me to do. Most of them were just suggestions. For example, he suggested I move the stuff in my bedroom around to create more space, he suggested I not buy a car which started up like a lawnmower, he suggested I call my Mum more, and then one day he suggested I get a Brazilian. I was like, "sure!" I was already getting what they call a "high bikini wax", so I figured a little more couldn’t be too different…

It is only when you try and get rid of absolutely every tiny, innocent, hair on your cooch, that you realise how many there are. The waxing specialist had me in at least four different positions, one leg up, other leg up, full frontal, holding my butt cheeks. When it was finally over, I staggered around to my boyfriend’s place and showed him the results. “Huh”, he says, “that looks kind of weird, I think I liked it better before”.

I got over it. Then he suggested that I start "washing myself" down there. As weird as it may sound to those of you who don’t own one, vaginas actually clean themselves. If you’re healthy and don’t have an STI or anything, your lovely little choo-cha is perfectly able to take care of herself. The fact that he asked me to wash down there at all was pretty surprising, because he basically never got close enough to know if I even needed to.

Whenever my pants came off he would squint, try to not look directly at it, and pretend really hard he wasn’t uncomfortable with the proximity. I also discovered pretty quickly that I was allergic to all of the “feminine washes” I bought to please this guy. But I kept using them. It’s fine, I thought, I’m doing this for him so it’s worth it.

The way he dealt with my vagina, if he ever did anything other than fuck it, was pretty horrific. Being fingered by this guy was something I totally dreaded. I’d angst over how long it had been since the last time he’d done it and how likely it was that he would try and do it again.

Maybe this surprises you. Surely I could have just told him he was doing it wrong? Every time I tried, diplomatically, to tell him that his finger should behave more like an energetic but highly sensitive tool and less like some kind of blind demented earthworm, he crumpled like a child, became totally ashamed and even less open to listening to anything I was trying to tell him.

But now, let’s get to the crux of the problem: the head, or if you prefer, the rug-munching, muff-diving, tongue-exploration or gnawing the floorboards.

Keep in mind that not only had I endured laser hair removal (which lasts a lifetime) for this man-of-many-suggestions and scrubbed every single orifice within an inch of its life, I had also learned, with the patience of a monk, the exact way this guy liked receiving a blowjob. I had read books, articles, looked at diagrams, and most importantly, asked questions, and listened to his response. So, I was, by this stage, a blowjob ninja.

Yet when I finally decided to grant him the privilege of getting acquainted with "the love below" once more, it was like every bad feeling in the world rolled into one. He told me once, “I’m straight, you know, obviously, but I’m just not one of those guys who like, loves vaginas.”

When he got down there, he would limply move his tongue around, like he was trying to steel himself for the job ahead. And then away he went, concentrating on the same, tiny little spot, miles away from anything that mattered until eventually it became too painful and I would fake it.

Yet when I finally decided to grant him the privilege of getting acquainted with ‘the love below’ once more, it was like every bad feeling in the world rolled into one.

I feel sorry for both of us, looking back on it. I especially feel sorry for the one time when he tried to tell me that I  “taste so good”. Which was the clearest, most plainly obvious lie I have ever heard. And that was the last time we had sex.

Since my relationship with that boy ended, many years ago, things for me, and for her, have gotten much better. I’ve discovered a lot of things. I’ve gone from believing my vagina is dirty and offensive to realising that I was just with someone who didn’t really like vaginas or have any idea what to do with one. On the flipside I have been fortunate enough to come across a couple of vagina experts, who have shown me, that oral sex can be awesome.

I used to go out with one guy in particular who took incredible pride in his work, went at it with an almost grim determination. Like, “you are going to come, I am going to make you come and we are not leaving here, until you do.”

Another guy, who I’m pretty into at the moment, gets a sort of faraway look of happiness in his eyes when the subject is brought up. Like it’s his favourite thing to do, which is just a bloody treat of a coincidence, really.

I wish that little Saraid had known her vagina was something to be celebrated, or even worshipped. Not a thing to be punished with chemical-saturated scrub, or viciously waxed and sharply shaved, or a thing I needed to hide. But I was never ever told anything like that. Sex education, no matter where you receive it, very rarely encourages you to take control of your body. It’s all, "this is what happens to boys when they get an erection", and live interviews of 14-year-old idiots saying “When it happens to me in class I just tuck it under my belt”.

It took a couple of sexual partners to show me that I don’t need a vagina like a Barbie doll to make me worth loving. I’m glad I’ve shared my experiences with oral sex, and hopefully I’ve opened the floor up to more sex-related discussion. Because, just like great sex, oral is only the beginning.

This story was originally told at The Watercooler, a monthly storytelling night held at The Basement Theatre. If you have a story to tell email or hit them up on Twitter or Facebook.

Illustration: Pinky Fang
This content is brought to you with funding support from New Zealand On Air.

Join the discussion »

“Love this article. Very vulnerable and honest. It is a terrible experience for a woman to have a partner who dislikes vagina's, especially when they make the problem all about the woman and not them. Terribly damaging to her self worth and sexual expression. Glad this writer moved on to more healthy relationships.” — Janine Bird Reichert

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