Essay / February 2018 / Haley Clemens

Ave Sex Ed

Written by Haley Clemens


I say a prayer for our education, 

To expose us to curriculum lacking in political discrimination. 

And for my sister’s sake I plead, 

Teach us about sex long before we need.

Teach us that coercion and bribing and blackmail are not grounds for getting us to put out. Teach us to not bear shame when we do.

Teach us that for some, love and sex are connected, and that for some it is not, and teach us that neither are wrong.

Teach us to use lubricant. Teach us not to use spit.

Teach us to pee after sex.

Teach us that virginity is a construct designed to control and subjugate. Teach us that the first time we choose to have sex is not in fact “a loss” of any kind.

Teach us that no part of our being is removed, subtracted, given away, or defiled when we do. Teach us that sin is a lie. The more original, the less real. Teach us the the truth about the word slut.

Teach us that we have all statistically have the ability to orgasm. Teach us this before we start saying “I don’t cum, I can’t”.

Teach us our anatomy.

Teach us about birth control and contraception. Now do it better. Now do it again until we understand our right to demand it in quality, quantity, and affordability.

Teach us about predation. Teach us that the guilt of being preyed on belongs with the predator, not the victim.

Teach us how to say no. Teach us what to do when we are not listened to.

Teach us to fight. To hit, shove, and yell when someone forces themselves on us.

Teach us.
Just actually teach us.

Teach us so that we are not still as twenty year olds, thirty year olds, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, and eighty year olds,
Having to discover things that we should have known from the beginning.

Teach us so that we no longer have to learn our rights from Twitter, from older and younger women who had to go through the shit to be able to warn, comfort, guide, and educate us.

Do your jobs as educators and guardians. Don’t stifle our sexuality under the guise of caring protection.

Do not abuse your power as our teachers.

“I know that I’m perfect, even though I’m fucked up … Who we are is no mistake.”


Only 22 states require public schools to teach sex education.

Only 13 states require sex education to be medically accurate.

49 out of 50 states receive funding from the government to teach abstinence only until marriage curriculums.

87% of high schools allow parents to opt their children out of sexual education.

Only 33 states are required to teach HIV information.

Only 18 are required to teach contraceptive information.

In Texas, Alabama, and South Carolina, only negative information about same sex couples is to be taught, if the topic is taught at all.

Less than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics recommended by the CDC as essential components of sex education.