Sex Education: The UG Way
Sex education #MeAsMe definition:
Instructions or lessons that Ugandan parents, guardians and/or elders presume they do efficiently but miss the mark on so effortlessly because the information they share on reproduction, sexual bodies, sexuality and sexual intercourse is equivalent to hoping for nsenene in January i.e. hopeless.
Sex education! Me as me, I have not met anyone who has received any real sex education. If grew up in Uganda, you know what our version of sex education is and how inefficient it is. So, let’s talk about it.
Church youth seminars
This is how I received sex education during my teen age. I know! I know!
Anyway, my parents did what they could when it came to sex ed (i.e. nothing) and left me in the hands of the church to teach me about the birds and the bees (even though the church’s stance was to act like the birds and the bees didn’t exist).
Our church had these youth seminars that they held during the holidays. What happened at these seminars? They told us sex was bad! They told us that sex was evil! They told us sex would ruin our lives! They didn’t use those exact words but some version of these kinds of messages was shared.
We’d spend about 5 hours. Yes, 5 hours, being taught that the only sex education we needed was “ABSTAIN! REMAIN VIRGINS!”
Was there any information on how to deal with urges when you see that cutie?
No, just tuck in your *horn!
Any info that explains our sexual bodies? The changes that we were going through at that age?
No, just tuck in your horn!
Any info on STDs? Or how kids can protect themselves if they do engage in sex?
No, just tuck in your horn!
Any info on how to use condoms?
Condoms are devices of sinners, manufactured by the devil! Just tuck in your horn! So yeah, that was it. Sex education from church and the youth seminars I attended pointed to one fundamental lesson: “Sex is evil. You are evil if you think about it.”
Then they made us sign “TRUE LOVE WAITS” pledge cards.
(This is why your high school relationship didn’t last. Ati "true love waits", what if you had found your love already. Maybe also why you’re still single because you pledged it away 😅)
And then they get surprised when more people especially women are either scared of their bodies and/or of getting married or just simply walking around on God’s beautiful earth ill-informed on what sex actually is.
Two words: SUNSET BEACH.
Was there sex on Sunset Beach? I wouldn’t know because we weren’t allowed to watch TV past 6.30 p.m. But everyone in the house spoke about Sunset Beach like it was a sweet taboo and so we all assumed the forbidden sex was in there somewhere.
Sunset Beach aside, the info we learnt about sex and sexual activities was all from TV. I saw more kissing on Nickelodeon than on any other station. Perhaps because everything else was out of bounds and blocked. But these Nickelodeon kids 😲 were doing the kissing tings. When we weren’t getting sex ed from Nickelodeon, we were watching PG13 movies in which fellow teenagers were talking about taking things to first, second and third base. Heh?
If that wasn’t sex ed, I don’t know what was.
Then of course…music videos. As a teenager who loved music, it was NECESSARY to have watched the music videos of our favourite songs and artists. You of course had to learn the lyrics and dance moves too to be a cool kid. So, there we were, with our innocent minds, singing the most sexually charged, sexually suggestive words with all our hearts with NO CLUE what we were saying.
For instance, Flo Rida’s Right Round featuring Ke$ha was a banger but let’s analyse these lyrics:
You spin my head right round, right round when you go down when you go down down.
Head and going down? THIS MAN WAS SINGING ABOUT FELLACIO, freaking oral sex. Our baby selves were singing along to a song ABOUT ORAL SEX!
Did we know what that was at the time? No!
Me, after the multitude of youth seminars I had attended, I would have been trau👏🏾ma👏🏾tised if I knew what I was singing along to.
Harlequin Romance Novels
Me as me, I didn’t read those things. I’ll admit that I tried but those books just weren’t up my alley. My apologies to anyone that enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels. They just weren’t for me. The descriptions were strange and some of the characters…outlandish (😅 says the girl that loves sci-fi)
All I know is that the people who were into these books had wild romantic fantasies and sometimes even imaginary boyfriends. But there was obviously something in those novels that was making these girls’ blood hot.
Hesitant and heh-embarrassed parents
We’ve all seen our parents fight to find the right words to say while trying to teach us anything about sex. If my memory serves me well, my father has never said anything that can be regarded as sex ed. The only time when anything remotely related to sex ed came up between my father and myself was when a cousin in her teens got pregnant and without looking me said, “You see!”
“If you want to talk to me, talk to me direct. Don’t go through de corners.”
But that’s what most parents did when it came to sex ed, they went the corners. That’s why they sent us to church and locked us away in our homes like Rapunzel.