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Pleasure, Intimacy and Consent: Sensual Essentials in Sex Education

“'I had the most amazing, holistic, informed, empowering judgement free sex education” – said no one ever”. Sex Tech industry expert Dominnique Karetsos reminds us that unfortunately today, we are taught that sex is something to be feared, and never discussed. It is shameful, taboo, and at worst, violent. Yet, we know this is not the case. So why does it continue to be stigmatised? With repeated online censorship, our sex education remains poor, stagnant, and limited with the absence of pleasure.

Where does sensual tech fit in?

As a sex-positive sensual tech brand, WISP advocates for the importance of sex education and the inclusion of alternative methods for teaching sex and sexuality, because as we know, a lack of positive sex education can lead to lack of understanding about our bodies and navigating pornography, leading to potentially uncomfortable sexual experiences.

Those who feel disconnected from their sexual selves can use sensual tech, such as SENS, WISP's sensual jewellery to rediscover their bodies, senses and emotions and decide how those intersect with their pleasure and intimacy. Just as sex tech, including vibrators, can be used to enhance orgasms, sensual tech as a sex educational tool for learning about ones own sensuality, self pleasure, partnered intimacy and sensual consent.

Danger, Danger, High Voltage

Polyamorous relationships, queer sex, and freedom for varied gender expression are essential parts of the human sexual experience that many people explore, or at least want to, yet these aren’t being translated into teachings - focused on traditional and sex negative values. While we are seeing more representation in popular culture, society constricts these freedoms through social pressures to conform to heteronormative and monogamous standards.

At least in the UK, we learn about the dangers of sex, STDs, STIs, pregnancies and sexual violence. We learn about the absence of pleasure, and in many states in the US, abstinence altogether.

What about porn as sex education? Founder of porn movement Make Love Not Porn, Cindy Gallop, says she wants to promote porn that portrays “#realworldsex in all its glorious, silly beautiful, messy, reassuring humanness," because watched in moderation, porn can be healthy, educational and liberating. In understanding mainstream pornography as entertainment, and dismantling the view that all porn and all sex work is inherently negative, we can in turn create more ethical and feminist porn, that may even be educational.

More pleasure please

So how do we start talking about the good stuff? The consent, the intimacy and the joy that comes with self-pleasure and shared-pleasure with another, and even others. More and more sex positive brands are advocating this, just take Ferly, a sexual wellness studio, and Feeld the threesome dating app.

It makes sense to include pleasure and intimacy in sex education, because that’s what sex should be: pleasurable! If we teach kids that sex is going to be painful and scary and full of diseases, then that’s what they are going to expect and even accept. To counter this, we could teach teenagers that sex can be explored slowly and gradually, that learning how to please themselves, before letting another into their personal space can be the best form of education.

Consensual sensual intimacy

Do you know when a touch is wanted, and unwanted. You understand that no means no, but did you know that consent can be given in multiple ways. Affirmative body language and verbal affirmation.

In a post #MeToo society, no matter what age you are, we need to fully understand consent, and in order to do that, you need to fully understand your own sensual body, and be able to read and receive sensual cues from others.

Incorporating the five senses into sex education can allow people how to take control of their own bodies and have agency over their sensuality.

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