#SallysQuote no.2: Why don’t we do the right thing?

My approach to sex & relationship education

Did you ever put a condom on a banana?  We did in the science lab at school as part of the curriculum.  In this day and age sex education in school is pretty informative; we know pretty much all there is to know about the birds and the bees (and bananas).  We know what goes where, how a baby is formed, what we could catch if we aren’t protected and how to protect ourselves. 


I like to think of myself as a reasonably astute person; I went to a grammar school which shows I was reasonably academic and I was given all the above information.  So how then, with all this supposed common sense and intelligence, did I find myself accidentally pregnant at 18 and a single mother at 19?

I believe the answer to this is in my next #SallysQuote.  Today we are talking about my approach to sex and relationship education which is a little different to that in schools.

“Nobody is ever going to behave differently than they feel…you can’t make the rules strong enough or the laws big enough or the punishment grave enough to get people to behave other than the way they feel.


The reason my life turned out how it did is due to the fact that we can often intellectually comprehend an idea but that does not mean that we will automatically apply the concept to our lives.  For example, I may know that a condom will protect me from pregnancy or an STD but in real life there could be many different reasons why I might not apply this information:  

  • I may be head over heels in love (or lust) with someone who doesn’t want to wear one
  • I may feel like the person I desperately want to have sex with won’t want to do it with me if I ask them to wear a condom
  • I may feel too shy or embarrassed to ask my partner to put on a condom
  • I may feel like it’s their responsibility and not mine
  • I may not want to ruin the moment by talking contraception
  • I may not like the feel of a condom 
  • I may even have a latex allergy

Feelings can override intellectual ideas

I may feel in the moment that the risk is worth taking, whatever I know conceptually about the harm I could come to.  Whether we like it or not an overwhelming feeling can very easily overrule an intellectual idea, no matter how sensible the concept.  

I bet you can think of a time that something was the “right thing to do” or something you knew would be good for you but you didn’t do it.  Just because something is a good idea, doesn’t mean we always do it.

The emotional side of sex education

This is the part of sex education that I like to address in my work: the emotional part.  Until we discover that we can have control over the way we feel and we can have control over what we focus on, we are not fully in control of our behaviour and consequently what happens to us.

Just because we know how to put a condom on a banana (or anything else) doesn’t mean we will use one. In real life we don’t always act according to the textbooks.  We have our own feelings and emotions that can sometimes rule our actions. 

To be aware of what we are thinking and feeling and to learn to use our focus in a way that will benefit us, is to fully claim our power and that is what I like to help people to realise.  

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