Kiwi celebs reveal best and worst sex advice

Publish Date
Saturday, 10 March 2018, 9:55AM
Photo/Supplied

Photo/Supplied

A new web series aimed at Kiwi teenagers debuts online next week. We asked some of the celebrities involved with the show what they wished they’d known as a teen and the best or the worst advice they were given.

Lizzie Marvelly

Co-producer of The REAL Sex Talk, Weekend Herald columnist and editor of Villainesse blog

What was the one thing you wish you knew about sex when you were a teenager?

I wish I'd known that sex is this very normal thing that can be really wonderful and loving. When I was at school there was this pervasive idea that young people having sex was very bad and should be avoided at all costs. I was pretty lucky at Rotorua Girls' High School to be taught about protection, contraception, STIs, pregnancy and even - memorably, by a teacher who set us some self-love homework - the idea that the clitoris gives pleasure. But I really needed more information about the social context around sex and sexuality. I think that my teachers were amazing and I remember them being very open with us, and answering some very embarrassing questions, but I somehow picked up this idea that having sex was not what "good girls" did, and that negativity had quite an impact upon my early sexual experiences. I also very much wish that I'd known more about consent and that I had the inalienable right to withhold it.

What was the best (or worst?) advice on sex that you were given as a teen?

When I was at King's College, some of the boys would say things like, "treat her mean, keep her keen". I laughed it off at first, but then saw it happening in relationships around me, and even in some of my own relationships. I reacted to game-playing with more game-playing, which was a pretty terrible idea. Thankfully, I learnt fairly quickly how to spot people who play games, and have made an effort to stay away from them ever since.

Eli Matthewson

Comedian

Wish you'd known?

I wish I'd known that being gay is nothing to hide - it might even make you cooler.

Best or worst advice?

At a church camp once they told us to never masturbate unless we were at the point where if we didn't we would end up having pre-marital sex (the worst thing possible). The result . . . a lot of frustration.

Sam Bunkall

Actor

Wish you'd known?

To be honest, anything would have been good. I just wish someone would have talked to me in a really open, honest, sex-positive way back when I was a teenager. To lift the taboo, to make talking about it or asking questions about it feel okay rather than naughty or embarrassing. I actually had no formal sex-ed - I left one school before they did it and arrived at another after they had done it. But it sounded like it was very clinical anyway - how sex and pregnancy work on a biological/mechanical level, followed by condoms and STIs and that's about it. There was no one to talk about pleasure, intimacy, relationships, identity, feelings, experimentation or how to navigate complications that may arise from any or all of those issues. No one to let me know that what I was thinking and feeling was perfectly normal.

That it was okay to be confused by it all and more importantly, okay to ask. So when you don't have that, where do you end up getting your info? Fellow teenagers, who don't have a clue themselves but act like they've got it all figured out? Teachers or family members who feel awkward about it and just want to end the conversation as quickly as possible? People who have limited knowledge and or a very specific personal moral opinion on sex and sexuality? The internet? And what if you get told something that ends up being really harmful to you? For me, having someone knowledgeable who you can talk to openly and comfortably with about this stuff is vital for young people.

Best or worst advice?

Like I said I didn't really get any formal advice but somewhere along the way, it was drilled into me that condoms were really important and I'm very thankful for that.

Cori Gonzales-Macuer

Comedian

Wish you'd known?

I went to an all-boys Catholic school and one of my religion teachers pretty much told us we'd go to hell if we had sex before marriage. I'd like to go back and tell her I don't think that's true.

Best or worst advice?

My sex life was pretty much non-existent as a teenager so, in a way, I guess my crazy religion teacher gave me the best advice.

Grace Palmer

Actor

Wish you'd known?

I guess I felt a little misguided. I'd seen movies that contorted my expectations and was rather confronted when it wasn't as glamorous as I'd hoped. As in, I wanted my Titanic - Rose and Jack, hot-and-steamy-in-the-back-of-a-car moment. However, I'm grateful today's media is illustrating more realistic interpretations of relationships. I was most inspired by this year's Oscar Nominated film Call Me By Your Name. If you haven't seen it, please do.

Best or worst advice?

For some bizarre reason, there has always been such stigma around women and their sexuality. When I was in high school, I vividly remember hearing the word "slut" so frequently. There was so much pressure to lose your virginity, yet there was so much shame cast on those who did and enjoyed it. It's 2018 and it's your body. Do with it what you want.

Laura Thompson

Actor

Wish you'd known?

I was never taught about consent, which is ridiculous. I wish we had been guided through how to check for consent. Also, I thought sex was only about a penis going into a vagina - I didn't realise it was a really diverse thing, that other things that people do together can be defined as sex, whether it's oral sex or using their hands or whatever is sex to them. Currently, I'm working as a Lead Educator for Rape Prevention Education. It's such an awesome job, we go into high schools and alternative education spaces all across Auckland and teach young people about consent, how to check for consent and how to get help if they have had a negative experience. Young people really are looking for good information and skills when it comes to this stuff, and it's awesome to be able to help with that.

Best or worst advice?

We were told that you can tell if someone has "lost their virginity" by the state of their hymen - this isn't true. The hymen is a ring of tissue (not a seal that needs to be punctured), which almost always has a natural opening that expands and contracts. I only found this out when I was 24.

Ngahuia Piripi

Actor

Wish you'd known?

That it was actually worth waiting longer for.

Best or worst advice?

STDs exist. And are common. Wear protection.

 

-NZ Herald