We recently asked the women of our BuzzFeed Community to tell us what lessons about sex they wished they'd learned sooner. This is what they said:
"That you need to pee after sex. Every damn time. No sex ed class, TV show, movie or friend had ever mentioned it. Something a lot of us had to learn the hard way."
"It's okay to get yourself involved in your own orgasm if he can't quite get you there, and his hands/tongue are otherwise occupied, even if things are going great. Sometimes a position that you like and feels good for both, isn't the best one to stimulate any vital parts (clitoris, g-spot, nipples, whatever!) so get your own hand into the mix if needed, it doesn't mean he's not doing a great job! Supplement each other and have fun with it!"
"That it is perfectly okay, and encouraged, to tell your partner what you do and do not like. You don't have to do something you don't want to do just to make the other person happy."
"That it’s not just ‘P in V’ and there’s so many other things you can do to have good sex and a satisfying sex life without penetration."
"That the balls DON'T go in the condom. We were both virgins... no sex ed at our school."
"Sex is not the same as affection and cannot replace love."
"That the majority of women can't orgasm through only penetrative sex. I really used to think that all women could just have an orgasm that way with no problem, and that it was weird if you couldn't. It was nice to find out that is far from true and there are definitely other ways to achieve that."
"How unimportant it all is. I used to feel so worthless if someone wasn't expressing sexual attraction towards me, and it was even worse when I was single and not dating. Now at 38, I realize that sex is one note in an entire symphony. It just doesn't mean much in our day to day lives."
"That you don’t have to have it!! Ever!! If you don’t want to!!"
"More information about different types of contraception with their pros and cons! I had to research and find out for myself but there should be more education. I have friends who have had very bad experiences with the coil and a friend who had the injection for years but wasn’t told about how it could affect her bones, she has cerebral palsy! Also it would have been nice to be warned just how painful sex is the first couple of times!"
"It is not meant to hurt!! Use lube! Communicate! All important to make it feel great!"
"Communicate. Talk about what you want and explore new things. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel. Once you start doing that, you’ll have much better sex and won’t look back!"
"If you start to feel uncomfortable, stop. Whether you just need to take a second and breathe or stop entirely, do it. Because something is off, whether you're in pain or overwhelmed or for whatever reason. You don't have to keep going if you don't want to, and if anyone you're having sex with doesn't stop, then leave."
"Ladies, this is important: sex isn't supposed to be rubbish for you. I genuinely thought that I didn't like sex until I met someone who knew how to do it! It was mutually fun and not just a bloke trying to make himself cum as quickly as possible. If he's not interested in satisfying you as well as him. Sack. Him. Off."
Note: submissions have been edited for length and clarity.