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L is for Learning

June 12, 2014 by Heather Cole

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that I will continually learn new things about myself. I thought my sexual awakening in my late teens was “the big one.” Little did I know that I would have a second, more profound, sexual awakening in my late thirties that would literally rock my world. I thought I knew everything I had to about sex, and I thought, for the most part, that the rest of my life was going to be the occasional, after church, missionary, twenty minutes for the rest of my days. I learned that missionary didn’t have to be the rule, nor did monogamy, and I learned how to find happiness in and out of the bedroom. I’ve learned the my sexuality is fluid as is my sex drive, and I strive to learn more about my partner in order to be a better partner.

The L-word coincides nicely with June being Adult Sex Education Month. And if you immediately retorted, “Heather, I already know everything I need to know about sex,” then YOU in particular need to read more and explore. Especially if the core of your sex education came from the public school system. Get thee to a sex education blog! Quick!  The more you learn and discover about your own sexual self and sex in general, the more you realize there are holes in your education. And IN you. Heh. Holes.

Personally, I’m striving to learn more about gender equality. I’m a fan of Laverne Cox, a trans person on Orange is the New Black. (She also made the cover of Time Magazine–and dayum!) In a recent interview, Katie Couric asked her “when you think about the ideal scenario for the trans community, what would that look like?” Cox replied, “I think it goes beyond the trans community. It’s for everyone to have spaces for gender self-determination. I think the idea that one is always and only the gender they were assigned at birth–that idea needs to be challenged. So that we’re not stigmatizing, objectifying, sensationalizing, or criminalizing transgender people, but celebrating them. And celebrating everybody who has the audacity to be themselves and to live authentically.”

Laverne Cox makes my heart go pitter-pat, and she’s brought the trans community more front-and-center for me. I realize that some people are still struggling to accept gay marriage. Well, sweetums, gender equality should be the next thing on your To Learn List. It’s definitely on mine.



As a sex-positive blogger who is a single parent of a teenage daughter and a son who is on the cusp of hormone hell, I’m learning that I have to communicate about sex in a whole new way. It’s a super huge responsibility and awkward at times, but it’s my job to make sure they’re properly educated about all things sex. I have to choose my words wisely, though, because they will be the ones that form their opinions. Like the time the teen brought up the topic of anal sex. I’m still learning how to answer their questions on a level they can understand and sometimes I fuck up, because I’m human.




  1. Joelle Casteel says:

    good to see L is for learning. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that you can’t learn everything. That’s part of what irritates me when I see a person claiming to be a BDSM expert- you can be an expert in, say, shibari, but not in everything that falls under the BDSM umbrella.

    So not knowing if either of you are religiously active, but have you heard of the Unitarian Universalist “Our Whole Lives” sexual education curriculum? I love it- I even have the curric books for the “young adult (ie meant for ages 18 to 35)” level. Sadly that’s my own personal fight, trying to get other UUs to agree that adult sex ed is as important as child sex ed. The product of abstinence-only sex ed, when I was raped at age 13, I didn’t realize I had the right to say no, that there was supposed to be anything good about sex for women.

    And yes, Nikki, I can so relate to the struggle of teaching kids. My teen turns 16 in November. Oh yes, figuring out what’s needed, what’s too much etc is a challenge. I have the memorable stories of coming out as bisexual (when he was 6-ish) and as poly (when he was 10) as an amusing comparison. I used “Heather Has Two Mommies” for starting the conversation on my sexuality. For poly, I had to quick punt when he walked into the room when I was on a dating site and his first worried question was “You aren’t leaving Shaman?” That’s my Master’s nickname and He’s been the only stable male authority figure in my son’s life, even if it took some time to become comfortable with being “step dad”

  2. Wouldn’t it be sad to think that we’re done learning? Learning about ourselves and our sexuality is an ongoing process. Nice post!

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