9 Things That Taught Us More About Sex Than Actual Sex Ed

Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
All too often, formal sex ed ends up feeling like a game of give and take in which no one wins. Maybe you learn how to use condoms, but you don't learn which STIs condoms actually protect against. Maybe you learn about menstruation, but you don't learn about sexual pleasure.

There's no reason you couldn't learn all of these things (and more!) in a sex ed class; it's just that a course that touches on all the valuable topics that fall under sexual education's wide umbrella is hard to come by. In fact, 75% of the roughly 500 people we surveyed didn't feel well-prepared to have sex after "completing" sex ed.

But that doesn't mean we were totally left in the dark. Instead, we went elsewhere to fill in those gaps. Often, this "elsewhere" wasn't a medical textbook; it was things like young adult fiction, other trusted adults you wouldn't expect, and of course, the all-powerful internet.

Ahead, 10 women (anonymously) share their most memorable and creative sources of sex ed outside of the classroom.

The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more here.