A Guide to Sex Ed for Adults: Communicating Sexual Needs, Sex Exploration & Consent & Much More!

Updated: Jun 30

Sex education isn’t just something you learn once when you’re a kid and should never touch on again, it’s something that needs to consistently be reevaluated, relearned, and thought about. Furthermore, the type of sex education that we all get caught in school isn’t focused on pleasure, consent, or sexual wellness, it’s instead centered around biological sexual health, which is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sex educations for adults is just as important as sex education for teenagers - even when you know all of the biological stuff, there’s still a lot to learn, hence there are so many sex ed classes for adults coming up everywhere!

So, hold tight, you’re about to get educated! We’re going to be covering some basic biology in case you need a quick refresh, sexual orientation, consent, sexual exploration, communicating sexual needs with a partner, as well as providing you with a variety of incredibly useful resources!

Basic Biological Sexual Education For Adults

So, we’re sure you know how it all works, but let’s take a quick recap of basic sex education!

Arousal and Ejaculation For Penis Owners:

When a penis owner becomes sexually aroused, the blood vessels in the penis open up and blood flows to the surface, creating pressure. This then causes an erection. Then, friction on the penis sends signals to the central nervous system and results in ejaculation.

Arousal and Orgasms In Vulva Owners:

When a vulva owner becomes sexually aroused, the blood vessels in the genitals dilate, causing more blood flow both inside the vagina and around the vulva. This causes fluid to pass through the vagina (getting wet), and the clitoris and labia become engorged. When a vulva owner orgasms, the vagina, the uterus, and the anus contract and then relax. Here are some additional tips to help you orgasm.

The Benefits of Orgasms:

Although some people might not want to let you into this secret, as well as deepening the emotional connection you have with a partner, orgasms actually provide physical benefits too!

Orgasms promote better moods, reduce stress levels, boost immunity, make it easier for you to fall asleep, helps support the production of collagen, and reduces the severity of menstrual cramps.

Sexual Attraction and Sexual Orientation

Although you definitely don’t have to label yourself or fit into any specific category of sexual orientation, you may find it comforting or useful to understand the different types of sexual orientation.

So, whether you want to become more informed or you’re interested in aligning yourself with a specific sexual orientation, let’s take a look at the different categories of sexual orientation.

Please be aware that there are many, many different types of sexual orientations out there, and sexual attraction can come in many forms, however, we’re just focusing on a few of the most well-known “categories” out there - many of which do not take into account different genders. For additional gender orientation information check out Human Rights Watch- Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Definitions.

Alora's Guide to Adult Sex Education: Sexual Orientation Definitions & Much More.
Freedom of Sexual Orientation & Human Rights

Heterosexual - people who are physically attracted to people of the opposite sex. For example, men who are attracted to women and women who are attracted to men.

Homosexual - people who are physically attracted to people of the same sex. For example, women who are attracted to other women are defined as lesbians, and men who are attracted to other men are defined as gay.

Bisexual - people who are physically attracted to members to both men and women.

Pansexual and omnisexual - people who feel physically attracted to people of all sexes and genders. Although this may seem similar to bisexuality, pansexuality includes all genders, not just men and women. Simply, gender just isn’t something that’s a factor in deciding who pansexuals are attracted to.

Queer - people of all sexualities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella can often identify as queer. The term queer is preferred by some as it takes back the historically used name that was used as a slur.

Asexual - people who are not interested in sex or any kind of sexual relationships, but do still feel emotionally attracted to others.

Sex and Consent

Consent is only just something that’s really coming into the sexual education curriculum, which is incredibly disturbing! So, if you have not been formally educated on consent, here’s a quick schooling on it - it’s the most important part of any kind of sexual activity after all.

Consent is a verbal, explicit, and enthusiastic “yes” to the type of sexual activity that you are engaging in. Consent has to be practiced with every sexual partner before (and whilst) engaging in any sexual activity. When consent is not given during any type of sexual activity, it is called sexual assault.

To practice consent, you will first need to discuss it with your partner before doing anything, and both of you will need to actively, verbally, and explicitly consent to what is going to happen. However, consent doesn’t stop there. During the sexual activity that you’re engaging in, you and your partner need to continue checking in with each other to ensure that you’re both actively enjoying what’s happening.

Safewords can also be incredibly useful during sex. When it comes to engaging in any kind of potentially dangerous or “power-play” sexual activity, a safeword is absolutely essential. Before engaging in anything, select a specific safeword with your partner, and be certain that any time either of you says this safeword, you stop what is happening immediately.

How To Explore Your Sexuality - 5 Top Tips

  1. Masturbation

Masturbation is the best way to explore your sexuality, especially because you can do it by yourself, making it easier to explore new and exciting things with no embarrassment or shame. Using toys, such as the fabulous collection of Alora toys, can enhance your masturbation experience, take you to new heights of pleasure, and help you to understand what you do like and what you don’t like!

  1. Learn About Sexuality

Whether you read, watch, or talk to people, a great way to explore your sexuality is by educating yourself about it. If you’re interested in something, whether it be a specific fetish or a sex act you’re keen to try, learn about it! Once you’ve learned a little more about the things you’re interested in, you can make a more informed assumption about whether you are or are not seriously interested in them.

  1. See A Sex Therapist

Sex therapists can help you work through a lot of issues surrounding sex and guide you when you’re trying to explore your sexuality further. Speaking to someone that’s professionally trained can help you to learn, process, and understand yourself, your needs, and your desires.

  1. Move Your Body

Whether you head to the gym or you dance around your house in your underwear, moving your body can improve the relationship you have with your body, which is absolutely essential if you’re going to feel sexually empowered. Moving your body also produces endorphins that can support your sex hormones and boost your mood.

  1. Talk About Your Fantasies With Your Partner

If you have a partner, communicating with them and discussing your fantasies together can help you to explore your sexuality together as a couple. Just make sure that when you share your fantasies you are doing so in an open and trusting environment. Also, when you get round to actually exploring a fantasy in the bedroom (or wherever you may be!), make sure you’re both on the same page and consent to the experience.

How To Communicate Your Sexual Needs With A Partner

If you do have a partner, you have to understand how to properly communicate your sexual needs with your partner. If your sex life isn’t making you properly fulfilled, it’s even more important to communicate with the person you’re with! So, here are our three top tips for communicating with your partner for better sex.

Figure Out What You Want Independently

Before you know what kind of sex fulfills you, you first need to understand what makes you happy independently. So, follow the tips above when it comes to exploring your sexuality! Masturbation, research, and speaking to a sex therapist may benefit you and help you figure out what you want.

Try Not To Blame Your Partner

In order to communicate openly and honestly with your partner, you need to speak to them in a way that doesn’t offend them. So, you need to take any type of blame words off the table. Rather than saying “I find the sex we have boring”, you can instead say, “I would love to try (insert fetish or fantasy here!) with you”.

Write It Down

Some people don’t feel confident talking with their partners about sex, and if you’re one of them, you may find it easier to write rather than say. You could write a letter to your partner explaining how you want to explore with them, or exchange fantasy/fetish lists with them. However, you should make it a goal to become confident enough to talk about sex with your partner.

Sexual Education Resources for Adults You May Find Useful

If you’re interested in learning more about sexual wellness, here are our top five favorite adult sex education platforms/pieces out there! Hopefully, you find them useful! Also, don’t forget that sex therapists can provide you with personalized help, so speak to one of them too if you’re struggling with understanding yourself or exploring your sexuality.

Sexual Wellbeing Organisation

TED Talk Sex Ed For Adults

Ask Without Shame Organisation

Oprah Adult Sexual Education