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I was watching a debate about sex education today, one rife with a lot of ludicrous statements, but the statement that quality sex education could not possibly help prevent sexual abuse stuck with me. It was all the more infuriating as someone who knows too well that a lack of knowledge about bodies and sex, and a lack of information about sexual consent and autonomy are some of the hugest reasons why sexual abuse is so prevalent.
Now, this is hardly a new form of cluelessness (nor is it exclusive to Canada: we've all but made an art form of it stateside). I've addressed this issue before, at Scarleteen and in some talks and interviews I have given over the years, and also in a piece a little while back for the Guardian in the United Kingdom.
Hopefully it's obvious the reason I, as a sexuality educator and activist, and Scarleteen, as an organization, provide sex education isn't just about preventing unwanted or negative outcomes, like unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infectiRead more...
Yesterday, I had my hair cut.
As the stylist called my name, she asked if I would like a shampoo. I politely declined. She then noticed how thick my hair is and she said she was going to take me back to the sink to wet it. And being incredibly used to this, I readily agreed and followed.
But just as she had finished wetting my hair and I expected her to turn the water off, she started squirting stuff on my head.
I froze. I’m not great with confrontation, especially with strangers, and have difficultly forming exactly what I want to say in just a short moment. She kept rubbing my head, then squirting some more, rubbing and squirting, rubbing and squirting.
The salon smell was all around me, and finally when she’d finished rinsing, only to squirt yet more stuff on my head, I blurted out “so what’s all this stuff you’re putting on my head?”
“You don’t use conditioner?” she asked incredulously.
Once she’d finished lecturing me on why I should use conditioner, I opened my mouth again to saRead more...
I'm a 17 year old girl and have been dating this guy for a year and a half. I love him and know he loves me. For about the past six months I've been giving him handjobs. We started out slowly. (Through his pants, though his boxers, and then of course through nothing.) Well, recently he has been trying to convince me to let him fingering me. I told him "no" and he was pretty respectful of that. Each time we do something though, he asks for it. When I say no, he keeps saying 'okay, I'll wait for you" When he kept asking, I said wait till I'm in college and we'll see. Then, he said okay again. Once he asked me why I wasn't ready and I said because I was scared. When I couldn't explain why I was scared he got a little frustrated. He still keeps asking me for fingering and as I say no, he says "It's okay I'll wait for you." I just want to know though, how I can get him to stop asking, it kind of feels like he is pressuring me. I've tried to find a reason for my fears, but I can't place my finger on it other than I'm not ready. (It doesn't help that an old of crush of his- who is both of our friend- is telling him about how her boyfriend gave her first orgasm through fingering.)
My current partner recently got a vasectomy. Because we're also monogamous, well-past six months of monogamy and barrier use, and both are current with our STI testing -- the combination of things and time period I know massively reduces our STI risks -- that means we're not using condoms right now.
This is very unusual for me: in around 25 years of sexual experiences and many partnerships, the vast majority of the times I have had male partners, including long-term partners, there have been condoms. As someone who wants to be able to enjoy her sex life as much as possible, who knows preventing infection is part of that, and also as someone who can't use most other methods of birth control, condoms have been my BFFs.
I've never found them to be the drag some people frame them as. Rather, I often find myself perplexed by folks who frame them that way, even though I know as a sex educator that more often than not, the folks who do frame them that way either a) haven't even used them orRead more...
This is one of a long line of common phrases in sex education and sexuality messaging people, including people I think of us allies, use that I deeply dislike, like "preventing teen pregnancy." Let me explain why, working backwards.
In some respect, that's fine. Now, not everyone needs contraception, either because they don't have a partner with a radically different reproductive system than them or they're not having the kinds of sex that can create a pregnancy, so that doesn't always make sense. But for people choosing to have any kind of sex, we're 100% on board with the sentiment that all of us -- no matter our age -- should be engaging in sexual practices supportive of safeguarding everyone's best health, and in alignment with whether we do or don't wantRead more...
Are you in an interracial relationship? Do you have the hots for someone of another race? Attraction is all well and good until someone gets targeted for their race. Here’s the scoop: attraction is different than fetishism. People can have fetishes about all kinds of objects and acts, which can be part of a normal, healthy sexuality. Fetishes about people—particularly about specific races—are more complex than having a fetish about feet or breastfeeding, for example. Let me give my distinction between attraction to those of a certain race and fetish. Attraction is finding a person beautiful or sexy, part of which may be their race. A fetish is finding an object (or a huge, diverse category that someone perceives as an object, like say, race for example) sexy. The key here is looking at the whole person, not how their racialized characteristics fit into your preconceived expectations of them, and seeing that person as a person, not as an object.
Another distinction is that fetishes areRead more...
My partner seems to pick and choose when she wants to fool around with me. Whenever I want to do anything, she doesn't, and if I get her to do anything, she complains the whole way through. When she gives me head, if I suggest things to do, she gives me an evil look, and tells me to shut up, like she's being humiliated. But just a few days ago, she took me into my room and gave me head without me even asking or suggesting in any way! She once told me she doesn't like for me to do anything to her or vice versa, but this just confuses me. I know it sounds like I'm pushing her to do these things, but I have nothing but the utmost respect for her. I just would like to be intimate with her more often. When I tell her this, she brings up that she doesn't really like intimacy. I'm so confused!
I have been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years now and we have even talked about getting married. We recently moved in together and to be honest we are as happy as two little beavers. Except for one thing, we haven’t had sex in over 2 years. It really isn’t a problem, we do other things (oral etc.) but we both would really like to go back to having sex. The problem with that is that my boyfriend is afraid I will get pregnant. Every time that we do anything sexually I have to take sometimes up to an hour with him reassuring him that I cant get pregnant from what we just did.