Sexuality for All Abilities: How to teach about pleasure!

Sexuality and Pleasure!

As sexuality educators, parents and teachers, we often focus on the safety aspect of sexuality education. We tend to focus on abuse prevention and reacting to unsafe situations. While all of that is very important, we often forget to celebrate and teach about the parts of sexuality that can be fun and pleasurable. Some of the most intimate and personal parts of sexuality are the pleasure and fun we can have with ourselves or with partners. Talking and teaching about pleasure is not always at the forefront of parents and teachers minds. It can be awkward to talk about pleasure with your children or students.

Here are some tips and strategies for talking and teaching about pleasure.

  1. Teach Consent

Consent is a mandatory part of sexual activity. Consent can sometimes be portrayed as an awkward part of sexual activity, when in fact, consent can be fun, sexy, playful, engaging and intimate.

2. Talk about orgasms for all bodies.

Bodies of all gender identities and sexual orientations are capable of orgasms. Some people may have a medical or emotional reason for not being able to have an orgasm. There are different ways to stimulate an orgasm including but not limited to; masturbation, vaginal penetration, oral sex and anal sex.

3. What feels good to me, may not feel good to everyone.

All bodies are different. What feels good to you might not feel good to someone else. Communication and consent are key to finding mutual pleasure with a partner or partners.

4. All bodies are different, explore what feels good to you.

It can be difficult to know what feels good to your body. Sometimes we feel shame or anxiety about sexual pleasure. A great way to get to know your body and find what brings you pleasure is to try masturbating or self-stimulation. It is easier to communicate our needs when we have done some self-exploration.

5. Talk about masturbation openly.

Masturbating is a healthy part of life. Teaching your kids or students that masturbation is something that many people do can help them feel more empowered to find out what feels good to them. Make sure to teach when and where masturbation is appropriate: in a private place. A private place is a space that you own and no one can see or here you.

6. Focus on positive outcomes of sexual activity.

Sexual activity can have a lot of positive outcomes, such as shared intimacy, trust, pleasure, stress release, development of sexual orientation and many others.

7. Share resources about different kinds of bodies and pleasure.

Not everyone feels or experiences pleasure in the same way. Here are some books and articles you can share about pleasure.

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

The Body is not an Apology

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution

Things Tom Likes and Things Ellie Likes by Kate Reynolds

The Principles of Pleasure

Share with us other resources you have about pleasure in the comment section!

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