The Dutch may start sex education in preschool but that's hardly the case in South Africa, where talking about sex with young people is still largely considered taboo. For many young women, learning about sex is a question of trial and error. We asked our readers what they wish they'd known sooner about sex.
1. "It's important to enjoy it! If you're not into it, just say stop and go eat something."
2. "It's ok to have no-strings-attached sex and to not slut shame others or yourself for it."
3. "I have friends who won't have sex with their boyfriends unless they've brushed their teeth or shaved. But you don't need to have rigorously prepared for sex. Just let go and have fun."
4. "You can - and should - say 'No!' as soon as it doesn't feel right. Just get dressed and go. Trust your gut. There's nothing to grin and bear about sex."
5. "Ask for what you want! Tell him to go slower or faster or to touch you in a certain way. It's the only way you can enjoy it."
6. "It's okay to be selfish. I used to feel that it was more important to please the other person but as I've gotten older I've learnt to prioritise myself more."
7. "The first time a man ejaculates inside you can be pretty overwhelming. Like, where does it go? What must happen? Is it just going to stay there?"
Don't panic. Just wipe yourself off with a towel and take a shower. You'll be ok.
8. "I recently had an experience where I was hooking up with a guy for the first time and he didn't have condoms so I said 'No, we can't have sex." And he said "Are you sure you're not a lesbian? Because no one says no to this."
If this ever happens to you, get up and go. A man who doesn't protect himself will definitely not protect you.
9. "I wish I knew that waiting until 30 is OK."
It is OK and anyone who has a problem with this, must deal with it. You do not have to have sex until you want to. There is zero shame in this.
10. "I wish I knew that the guy who took my virginity is not even a guy in my league ... He treated sex as just a thing. To me it's precious, special and so important."
11. "Sex is for you too ... Don't be a mattress."
12. "For me the myth is that you get attached with the person who [took] your virginity. It's a lie! That was always my biggest fear. It's not true for all cases."
13. "You're not obligated to have sex just because the other person wants it."
Sex is not a duty to your partner. You are not here to serve them. Only do it if you want it too.
14. "It's OK to try new things, as long as you're comfortable. You shouldn't be pressured and harassed."
15. "Men have feelings and sometimes a lower sex drive."
16. "I can carry condoms too, even lube and it does not make me 'forward' or a 'whore'."
17. "My virginity does not define me as a woman."
18. "Giving head is not an act of submission at all. In fact, it is extremely powerful. It's liberating."
19. "You can have sex with as many people as you want. It does not make you a bad person."
HIV, unplanned pregnancies and rape are frequent concerns in South Africa. What we don't do enough of is talk about safe, healthy, consensual sex. This March, HuffPost SA looks at women and sex - what we want to know, what we wish we'd known earlier, and what those who come after us won't have to wonder about after all. You can find all the articles and blogs here or try some of these:
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