At 22 I stand as a young woman, comfortable in her own skin, comfortable with her own body; leading a satisfying sex life, and always having done since losing my virginity at the comfortable age of eighteen.
But how I got here is unknown to me when I look back at the discourses of sexuality that surrounded me. I grew up in a staunchly catholic town where sex was either not spoken about at all or spoken about in purely negative terms. It was a dirty word, always given dirty and awkward connotations, to be reserved for marriage only and never even thought about before then.
In school we were given one night of sex education at the end of primary school, and a few scare mongering STD talks in secondary school. At that first sex education night in fifth class a girl asked a very simple question. She asked what a blow job was. The audience giggled and there was an awkward shuffled response from my teachers and the woman who had been brought in to offer us this ‘education’. When she did speak she made a joke and avoided the question, by talking about how glass is made, those ‘blow jobs’. Later that evening when I asked an adult what a blow job is, it was explained in technical terms, while they also qualified it, by explaining that it was something cheap, dirty girls did.