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Author Topic: Jam
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'd love it if any of you could take a minute and go watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bgd3m-x46JU

I think it does an excellent job illustrating the approach to sex we often talk about here, an approach Thomas Macaulay Millar also write about in his essay in Yes Means Yes.

I think this is a brilliantly rendered visual and audio explanation of this model, with great examples and analogies, and would love to talk with some of you about it!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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CSandSourpatch
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Whoa... so very well done!

I'll admit, perhaps despite my Catholic upbringing, I've had few issues with sex. I think a lot of that stems from being on the same page as my boyfriend, and just sort of developing the idea throughout my teens that sex was something that was likely to be pleasurable with the right person(s). (Honestly, I couldn't tell you where I encountered that idea, since nobody really reinforced it for me as a young adult. Maybe from reading so much?)

It just seemed natural to me even from the beginning that sex was something both people had to want and be okay with, and that different (read: non-hetero, non-missionary) was okay. I guess my parents' lack of judgement (my mom was really good about answering questions that I had from the time I was five or six) and their reminding me that if one person isn't okay, then the whole thing isn't okay was also pretty important.

Before we were sexually active, my boyfriend and I compared notes a little, such as it were, and we just sort of came to the conclusion that we, both inexperienced as we were, were going to take it at a pace that felt right, and to keep on experimenting with each other and ourselves and seeing what came out of that. (Basically, it's between us, so we get to decide what works for us.)

I've had several friends who haven't had such great experiences, and a lot of that stems from being judged for even being sexually active in the first place, and was often compounded by the burden of common societal expectations that they then tried to force on me. ("It's supposed to hurt", "Guys can't get it up with a condom on", "The guy always chooses what you do", etc.)

The narrator (sorry, I forget her name) is right: these things don't change overnight, so I hesitate to say just listening to and watching that video would've done the trick, but using this approach as opposed to the common one for sex ed in general would be amazing.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm curious, CSandSourpatch, about why you think approaches other than this are more common in sex ed, specifically?

In other words, most comprehensive sex ed I'm aware of in say, the last 20 years, may not describe this approach in exactly the same way as it was in this video, or Thomas' essay, but in general, I'd say this is the gist.

By all means, abstinence-based sex ed doesn't tend to follow this approach at ALL.

But ultimately, I think getting the opposite message that this video gives -- or not getting it at all -- isn't about sex ed or what's in sex ed, but has more to do with the way peers talk to one another about sex, and more to do with the impressions people get about sex from a lot of media.

However, if you feel like it's a lot of sex ed that isn't giving the message that sex is something collaborative and largely improvisational, I'd be very curious to hear more about that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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CSandSourpatch
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Like I said, I went to Catholic school growing up, but even from my public school friends, I heard a lot about how the focus was more on STDs/STIs and how they're horrible and how teen pregnancy will ruin your life, and less about how sex can be made to be a pleasurable experience. Maybe that's just the schools my friends and I went to, though. (I think my boyfriend's sex ed was rather more like what this video describes, at least.)

I think there are a lot of people (kids, especially, but not exclusively by any means) who pay far more attention to the media's portrayal of sex because it can be awkward and embarrassing to 1) admit that there are things you don't know about sex, and 2) to have to listen to some adult (who probably has sex--oh the horror! [Razz] ) try to phrase things delicately.

I've found that it's usually easier for kids to ask someone their own age about sex because they're all going through the same thing, or something like that.

At 22, it seems like I'm from a generation where a lot of parents didn't talk to their kids about sex (there were kids in 5th grade when we started sex ed who just "knew" that the word was something shameful/embarrassing), and where the media asserts that if you don't magically know what to do your first time, you're a lost cause. I'm also firmly convinced of (and disappointed in) the ability of the denizens of the internet to disseminate inaccurate information quickly and effectively. It's hard to tell what's real and what's not when you've got a bunch of people saying a bunch of different things and everyone insisting they're right, you know?

Whew, that was a bit of a thought dump, especially with me being somewhat scatter-brained today. Did that touch on what you were asking, or is there something I need to (re-)visit?

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