Knowing yourself is key to a great sex life

MANY women do not know that they can have up to three different types orgasms, says Jade Zwane.

Zwane, a sex educator, is the author of an erotic novel titled aDICKted, which she says will be followed up by another book soon. Sowetan spoke to her about being a sex educator, masturbation and talking to children about sex.

The 28-year-old insists that South Africans are too conservative and this leads to women suppressing theirsexual desires, among other things.

Question: You call yourself a sex educator. What does that entail?

Answer: I help people have the sex they want to be having. I also help recently paralysed people to restore a healthy sex life, and I also help victims of rape and sexual abuse.

How do audiences react to you talking so openly about sex?

The first talk I gave was at a love conference in March and everyone just shut down. They invited me to talk about sexual liberation, but then just shut down and, as a result, I became a little annoyed.

It wasn't until one of the audience members got up and said: "I don't understand why we are all being shy when we all actually want to talk about these things," then the mood was suddenly lifted.

I grew more confident as the crowd started engaging. The next day I received a whole lot of e-mails, people choosing to remain anonymous but just saying "we think you were great, keep up the good work".

Are South Africans conservative people when it comes to sex?

A lot of people are a little shy, but they are getting on to it. They realise that there is a need for what I do.

How did aDICKted come about?

I was a late bloomer. I started having sex at 23. I had my first boyfriend when I was 21 - first kiss and all. When I finally had sex, I was like "wow, this is amazing".

So I wrote a diary of some of my experiences and my fantasies. I read it to friends at dinner and everyone wanted a copy, so I said "I'm going to charge you guys", as a joke.

They advised me to get it published, but all the publishers I approached said there is no market for erotica in this country. So, I self-published.

As a sex educator, what's your viewpoint on masturbation, the topic that got you cut off a radio interview?

I was saying parents should talk to their children about masturbation because it's a normal part of development.

Masturbation is very important. It's what you need to do to get to know your body. Boys have wet dreams at 13.

Girls have sensations, seeing their panties getting wet and they don't know what's going on.

Kids are sexual from a very young age. We're born sexual. People that masturbate usually have better sex. Kids that masturbate wait longer to engage in sex because they are able to fulfil their sexual pleasure themselves.

I'm not saying masturbate all day, every day - that's not healthy because it hampers your social development.

If parents do find that their kids masturbate too much, then they should look into that and seek help.

There's obviously an underlying problem there.

But everyone, I think, should masturbate.

How soon can I talk to my children about mastur-bation?

As soon as 10 years old. I recently saw a 10-year-old in a paper and she had a baby. If someone had said something to her, she probably would have waited. Children see sexual things in the media all the time.

I was talking to someone the other day who says his nephew is seven and he has porn on his phone. You can't hide it from them.

What are your thoughts on porn?

Well, South Africans are so closed-minded. They are prepared to let Top TV have porn channels, but they are not prepared to let me discuss masturbation on national radio. I don't understand.

I suppose the porn will be censored but it's there, it's available. I'm not a big fan of porn. I don't use it when I teach. I think people should settle into their own bodies, using their own mind and their own fantasies.

Don't rely on the external. Porn works for some people, but just don't let it be something that you need to stimulate yourself every time that you have sex.

And sex toys?

I'm a fan of sex toys, but I worry about people not using them correctly because the packaging hardly ever tells you how to use them properly.

A lot of people will over-stimulate themselves and, in that way, damage themselves.

There's a way to use it. I just worry about people damaging their sex lives because they don't know how to use these things. -

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