Answering your sex ed questions!

Video Transcript

Hey everyone! Today I’m doing another sex ed Q&A with questions you guys sent me from my blog. Let’s get right into it.

Why do people with penises get morning erections?

Well they’re not exactly morning erections, so much as you’re waking up and catching the end of a night erection. You actually get three to five of these a night, you just don’t notice because you’re asleep. The science behind this is really interesting but not fully understood yet. The phenomenon is known as nocturnal penile tumescence and is thought to be connected to your REM cycle. As you enter REM sleep your hormone levels change. Norepinephrine drops, testosterone rises. Blood flow increases to oxygenate the penis and help keep it healthy and functioning, and boom, erection. Humans often wake directly out of a REM cycle, which is why many people notice erections in the morning.

Something else that is thought to contribute to the cause or purpose of NPT is your bladder. It fills up over the course of the night, stimulating the sacral nerves at the base of the spinal cord, which can cause a reflex erection. This could be beneficial in that the erection can keep you from urinating in your sleep.

NPT occurs from the time you’re in the womb until potentially the end of your life, and it’s not even limited to people with penises, as a similar REM-related clitoral engorgement has been observed in people with vaginas.

You should talk about sex/masturbation in college since school’s about to start and people have roommates.

I might not be super helpful here because I’ve never lived in a college dorm-style situation and don’t have any personal experience with it, but I can give you some general advice. Communication is very important. Sit down with your roommates as early on as you can and come to an agreed upon sex plan that works for everyone. No one likes coming home to a surprise. Figure out comfort zones, like how each person feels about being home while sex is taking place. Work out signals and text message codewords for when you are bringing someone home for sex. I know a sock on the doorknob is popular, or a lot of US dorms have whiteboards that you can write on.

Learn each others’ class and work schedules so that everyone knows what days and times the living space is generally empty. Just talk to each other about it. You’re in college, it’s normal. And if you have a roommate that’s loud, let them know straight up if that makes you uncomfortable. Pretty much any aspect of successfully living with roommates, from food to cleaning to, yeah, sex, relies very heavily on good communication.

What are three things you wish you’d been taught in sex ed?

I wish I HAD sex ed. I went to Catholic school from the ages of five to seventeen, and it was pretty much nonexistent. What I did get in middle school was taught by a nun, so I’m pretty sure you can imagine how that went.

Let’s see… I wish I’d been taught anything about STI testing or reducing the risk of transmission. They tell you all of these horrible, hyperbolic things about sexually transmitted infections to try to scare you out of having sex (as though STI’s are a punishment) but don’t teach you how to take care of yourself if you’re anything but abstinent in your lifetime. Sure, they don’t believe in sex before marriage, but married people can have and spread STI’s.

I wish I’d been taught anything about contraception. Anything at all.

I wish sex had been presented more as the mundane reality that it really is, rather than as simultaneously the single greatest thing in the entire world ever but also sinful and dirty and will ruin your life and send you to hell. That’s just confusing and stressful and not at all helpful. If you don’t give children and teenagers the tools to make educated decisions, you can’t condemn them for making ignorant decisions. Oh, I could go on about Catholic school sex ed. I think I still have the book somewhere. Maybe I’ll do a video about it in the future.

If any of you have any other sex-related questions, leave them down in the comments, and I’ll try to answer as many as I can there or in my next Q&A.

In my life news, I’m back in Chicago after VidCon. It was fantastic. I learned a bunch. I went to a lot of great panels. I met a lot of people in the YouTube education world. Met a lot of people who watch my videos, which was really unexpected. I dunno. Maybe it shouldn’t’ve been. I feel like when you’re making things and then just throwing them into the YouTube void, even if you’re getting great comments and responses, it can be hard to really grasp the impact that you’re having on real people. But then I go to something like VidCon and people are so excited about the content I’m making and the information I’m sharing, and that was unbelievably cool. Huge thanks to everyone that came up to me and said hi. You’re all wonderful.

Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time!