I Really Had no Clue What a Vulva Was

Anonymous, Junior

Jan 9, 2022

I figured it would be the same tired old sex ed slogans

Dear Mom and Dad,
In one of my communications classes here at the college I learned about some important things I would like to share with you. We spent a few weeks with a guest teacher whose career is centered around sexual literacy. At first, I will admit I was skeptical about what, as a twenty-year-old, there was left for me to learn. I figured it would be the same tired old sex ed slogans like “No means no,” “Use protection,” so on and so forth, all things I’d heard a million times before. Having now learned so much more about everything, I look back at that mindset as a great example of the shortcomings of my sexual education growing up. Not to say that those aren’t valid things to keep in mind going out into the world, but why did it stop there? Why is it that sex was only ever talked about in awkward and fleeting moments? Why was it so taboo to talk about in the first place? Why did I learn more about sex from internet strangers and upperclassmen on the school bus than either of you?
I am rather ashamed to admit I really had no clue what a vulva was. I knew it was some part of a woman’s privates, but I had never bothered to actually figure it out.
I had no idea the stress and trauma the average porn actress goes through. And looking back I probably didn't want to know.
I would never have considered the psychological damage watching porn since I was 11 years old might have caused. But now I’m coming to the realization, how could it not?
I didn’t know it's impossible to give consent after either party has touched a drop of alcohol. I’ve been living under the impression that that's a normal date night.
I never realized that I’ve been sexually assaulted. My friends called me lucky.

I am not writing this out because I want to make you feel guilty about how you failed to prepare me for the world. It's not your fault. I am writing this because I need you to know that it's not too late to change things. We have an opportunity to learn from the mistakes we’ve made, and help my little brother grow up into the best person he can be.

Love you,
John Doe