Friday, 26 April 2013

Things They Should've Taught in Sex Ed

The Telegraph today published an article by Alice Scholl with the snappy title, 'Sex Education must be more than plastic penises and condoms'. Scholl describes how sex education as it currently stands is: "essentially a biology lesson; with the focus being on sperm-meets-egg, STIs and HIV. Young adults will be taught the mechanics, but possibly nothing of relationships or emotional consequences."

Also highlighted are gimmicks such as putting condoms on penile substitutes. Whereas I remember watching this on a sleazy late night Channel 4 show where the viewer got to be a lucky fly on the wall at parties only one rung up from the Ann Summers ilk..."Right ladies, here’s how to put it on using your teeth!" (followed by the sound of hens trying to lay square eggs), this was somehow missed out of my version of primary school curriculum. I remember being herded into a hall with a group of other girls where we had a sexpert waggle a condom at us from a great distance and eloquently prepare us for the joys of menstrual cramps.

It was a more innocent age, to bore you by nicking your grandma’s phrase. Magazines came with stickers featuring spotty members of boy bands, not promotions for the boys' own brand of condoms.

(I could go on a separate rant about how I believe JLS condoms to be more of weapon for little boys to get underage girls to sleep with them, than a promotional tool for safe sex…but oh looky there, I just did). I can picture the justifications at sleepovers or the tanning parlour or wherever pre-pubescent girls hang out these days "Hey it’s cool that I shagged Mason, Aimee, look at the reassuring serious gazes on Aston’s and Marvin’s faces and the other guy’s name that sounds like a car." It’s almost like they’re saying it’s okay. Aimee.

Casting my personal prudishness aside for a moment, here’s my suggestions of what I think should be taught in schools about sex and relationships.

1. How to give good oral sex. (But they probably know that from all the porn they supposedly watch anyway).

2. About how some people are gay. Maybe you're gay. Accept it.

3. How some girls aren’t lesbians, but just pretend to be for the cameras and to turn spectators on.

4. How to trust your instincts when you think you’re being cheated on instead of being made to feel like a crazy jealous person. Related: how if someone keeps including your squeeze in their Facebook profile pictures, they’re trying to get their claws in. Actually, social networking and relationships just don’t go together.

5. How to wriggle out of it when your mates you adore but would rather push in front of a train than picture naked ask you to join them in a threesome.

6. Anal.

7. ‘Why you shouldn’t let a guy finger you in a nightclub’ – for girls, and ‘Why not to finger a girl in a nightclub’ – for boys. Or lesbians. See how we’re already getting into difficulties with semantics now that I’ve introduced you to gay people. People will be calling me ‘CatMo’ next.

8. Never defer or change your career plans because of a loved one. Or, do your homework before doing a homie.

9. Online dating. How you can woo with words. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

10. How it’s not a big competition to delay orgasm guys. Sometimes we just want you to hurry up and spunk in our mouths/vaginas or on our tits/arse (BUT NEVER IN THE EAR NEVER AGAIN) so we can spoon and snooze. That’s more of an adult tip that one. Ignore me. Only, don’t.

11. Body shapes and sizes. There are different ones. Don’t ever make anyone feel bad for not conforming to one or another, or feel you have to do so yourself. Just try to be healthy and happy.

12. How to discreetly pluck hair out of your teeth.

13. Things you can masturbate with if no-one will buy you a sex toy and you’re too young to buy one yourself.

14. Why not to make babies while you’re still babies yourselves.

15. Virginity is not some disease you’re meant to get rid of at the nearest opportunity.

16. Girls, there’s an amazing contraceptive called Nexplanon, which means all that you’ve been taught about the days of the menstrual cycle will go straight out of the mooncup.

17. Abortions.

18. Aborting the act of copulation when you’ve chosen satin bedsheets which seemed a good idea at the time but just led to sliding off, instead of sliding in. Consider surface area.

19. Feminine odour. It’s natural. You don’t need FemFresh. You just need to wash. And even then it still smells. Because it’s NATURAL for it to smell like that. If you’re really worried, go to a doctor for some cream or antibiotics instead of paying for some fancy fragranced wipes. Girls, expect to be conned by the beauty industry trying to pass off products as ‘science’ and miracle cures for the rest of your lives.

20. Sometimes, even if you’re really turned on and all, your vag doesn’t respond the way it should. For that, there’s a thing called lube. But you probably know that from all the porn you supposedly watch anyway.

"But Karen!" you cry, (and I'm like "Shit. You know my real name!") “Why are you suggesting the condoms be taken away but we corrupt young minds with the ins and outs (wahey) of, say, anal sex?” Well, because there’s a difference between gaily handing out fun shiny rubber things that look like trading cards emblazoned with cultural icons of the time, and helping children make informed decisions about sexual behaviour with an emphasis this should be carried over to be performed/adhered to in adulthood, not something to be practiced round the back of the bike sheds whilst skipping maths.

P.S. Apologies if this seems largely geared towards females. There is a simple explanation for that: I am female.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Swans

Pitchfork:

"...like monks chanting in front of a jet engine"

"...the band doesn't just sound aggressive, it sounds like it's bursting apart."

"...the music is not coming from inside its players but existing, like a spirit, somewhere outside and between them."

The Guardian:

"...the "loudest" or "heaviest" band in the world, with dark rumours of punishing gigs making audiences vomit."

"...The marathon title track crashes like waves of heavy metal on to an industrial shore."

The Quietus

"...This is an album that vindicates maturity, long years of toil, cumulative effort, resilience, patience, wisdom. Michael Gira is the village elder we can learn something from..."

"...the unequivocal centrepiece and highlight here is the thirty-minute title track. Beginning with a flurry of brass drones and skittering cymbals, 'The Seer' careers through multiple stanzas of ambient waste and pulsating, supple improvisation before exploding in a paroxysm of guitar gore..."

"...eclectic gothic experiments, hopping across genres and tones with drone acting as a suturing lingua franca..."

Clash:

"At times the intensity of the volume is close to unbearable. Also, because frequent moments in Swans' music could easily soundtrack that bit in a horror film where they find the bodies, parts of the gig feel more like an endurance test than a night out."

Metal Gigs:

"BOOM!!! A wall of sound physically hit everyone down front, the sheer volume pushing the air from the speakers, it just smacked you. People gasped, people moved back, others moved forward grinning ear to ear, I just stood their in awe feeling a little sick as my rib cage shook inside me, and my eyeballs started to rattle in my skull."

"...the offbeat "Mother Of The World" into a hybrid that midway through sent a shockwave through the crowd as bass, drums and guitars pounded deep into your brain routing you to the floor..."

My mate Dave:

"BORING."