It would be nice to think that once people complete their sexual education in school or elsewhere, they will have all of their sex facts straight for the rest of their life. However, anyone who has had frank conversations about sex with friends may be aware that over time, certain facts can be forgotten or misconstrued. In some cases, people may have formed the wrong opinion about safe sex and pregnancy from the start because they never received formal sex ed.
If you encounter a friend or family member who appears to be misinformed about the wide and complex world of sex, it’s your duty to set the record straight. Here are a few tips on how to approach incorrect sex facts when talking to a loved one.
Get your own info straight
Before you start offering sex advice and facts to a peer, you need to make sure that your own beliefs are correct. If you’re unsure about any aspect of sex, whether it be something as simple as the name of a sex position to something more serious, like STD side effects, you should consult sexual health resources to make sure you are up to date. Once you feel confident that your information is right, go ahead and offer advice to a friend.
Sex is a tricky topic no matter who you’re talking to. Even if you are proud of your grasp on sexuality, keep in mind that those who are misinformed may be mixed up because they lack confidence. Don’t laugh or poke fun at someone’s mistaken information. Instead, find a private moment to explain the truth, and encourage him or her to come to you or a sexual health professional with any questions in the future.
If your friend asks you a particularly complex sexual health question, don’t take a stab in the dark. Providing your best guess could only complicate the matter. Instead, take a trip to the library or sexual health clinic together. That way, both of you can find out the answer to the sex stumper, and you’ll be confident that the information you’re getting is grounded in fact.
Oftentimes, sexual health questions revolve around safe sex and STDs. Condoms are one of the best forms of protection against illnesses like gonorrhea, chlamydia or HIV. If your friend is eager to have sex but doesn’t know how to use a condom, it may be time to offer a visual aid. If you know your friends will look to you for sexual advice, keep your condom stash well stocked. Having extra protection on hand will not only allow you to demonstrate proper condom techniques on a banana or other phallic visual aid, but also make it easy for you to pass out the prophylactics to friends who may not have any of their own.