One of the most startling changes of the past decade is how much porn appears to have affected attitudes and practices. Ten years ago, it was rare to see women with no pubic hair, let alone men. Nowadays it is practically the norm. As seems to be the expectation that anal sex is part of everyone’s sexual repertoire. Which is fine, if people are enjoying it. But the relief I often see on patients’ faces when I say, “If you don’t want to, you don’t have to” suggests we have a long way to go with teaching our young people about consent and mutual pleasure. It depresses me that, although most patients don’t come in as a result of a sexual assault, when I ask, “Have you ever been pressured into having sex, or been too drunk to remember agreeing to it?” the overwhelming majority of women, and many men, say yes. If I had control of the national curriculum for sex education in schools, consent and sexual wellbeing would be in every single lesson.
QotD: ‘The secret life of a sexual health nurse’