I was at the doctor yesterday for my 6 week follow up exam after having my IUD put in. Typically when I’m there I always go to the same exam room, but when I arrived I found out they’d lost my appointment. The exam is only supposed to take a couple minutes though, so they squeezed me in between a few other patients. I still got to see the same doctor and nurses I always see, but because of the scheduling mishap they ended up putting me in a different exam room on the other side of the office that I’d never been in before. This particular room can only be described as the “sexually active teenage girl” room, because the walls were plastered with posters about STDs, pregnancy, and eating disorders. They were all of that educational quality that you’d find in your high school guidance counselor’s office, with colorful text and really dated messages.
The one that stood out the most to me was titled “101 ways to say no to sex” and as you’d expect, listed ways for a young girl to say “no” to the pressures of sex from a male friend or boyfriend. Most of them were standard ones I’m used to hearing, like “I’ve decided to wait” or “I’m not ready,” but there were a few that were flat out bizarre, like “I’m allergic to sex” and “my favorite show’s on now.” The absolute winner was this gem: “I just got my hair done.”
WTF? Seriously? I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I understand there is a lot of unwanted pressure on young girls to have sex, especially from older guys, but really? “I just got my hair done?” After a quick internet search, I found a copy of the list online with an introduction that explained these “reasons” were collected from actual students… Okay, fine, I guess that explains a lot.
Marie puts on her serious glasses. I really wonder though, where is the editorial overhead on this? Why didn’t some intelligent adult look at this list and say “let’s tweak this a bit before it goes to print.” As it stands, they’ve basically published a poster that at times encourages women to evade sex through lame excuses, rather than firm communication. The problem with sex education (and culture in general) right now is that most girls are only taught how to say “no” to violent sexual assault. Sex ed implies that any sex a girl doesn’t want is something she should say “no” to, but when non-violent rape and sexual coercion comes from lovers, friends, or family, the lines of wanted and unwanted get really blurred. The statistics are quite depressing in that regard, stating that only about 34% of girls “really wanted it to happen” when they lost their virginity. 53% felt conflicted, and 13% didn’t want it to happen at all. 61% of guys, on the other hand, really wanted to lose their virginity. (I didn’t research how these stats were taken, so the validity of them can certainly be off, but they’re from the US Department of Health and Human Services if you’re curious.) Overall, the education for both sexes needs to change so women and men can have happier sex. Women don’t want to feel like they’ve been raped or coerced, and the average guy does not want to find out down the road that his partners were unwilling. (I highly recommend reading The Accidental Rapist, an article that talks about how guys are somewhat trained to think anything that isn’t a “no” is a green light.)
Marie takes off her glasses. That said, I’ll be the first to admit that I have told guys they can’t come on my face if I’ve just done my hair up really nice. For actual intercourse, I’ll usually request we do it in positions where my hair doesn’t end up on the mattress, be that getting fucked from behind or with my head hanging off the edge of the bed. See? That excuse doesn’t work at all.