Stop the presses, people! Teenagers are on the Internet … reading about sex … and how to do it safely. SCANDAL, right? It is in Massachusetts. MariaTalks.com is a race-, gender- and sexual-orientation-inclusive sex ed website for teens created by the not-for-profit AIDS Action Committee with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The site provides fact-based information about emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and sexual coercion. In short, it covers all the ground you’d hope a 16- or 17-year-old (or 14- or 15-year-old) would read before getting sexually active. But, oh yes, some politicians have a problem with the website. Keep reading »
“We’re at least talking about [masturbation] much more. [In 1994] everybody was acting like this was a word they’d never heard. Everybody does it, but nobody admits to it. If everybody in Congress who’d ever masturbated in their life would turn green, then we would have a green Congress.”
— Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, 77, who was the first African-American to hold the position during the Clinton administration. In 1994, Elders said masturbation was a part of human sexuality and perhaps should be taught in sex ed classes as a way to keep youngsters from having, you know, sex. Everyone’s head exploded and Elders was forced to resign. I recommend you read the full interview with Joycelyn Elders’ feisty commentary about the status of sexual health in America at The Root, because this woman is a spitfire! [The Root] Keep reading »
Forget about comprehensive sex ed. The best way to keep girls off “16 & Pregnant” is with pro-abstinence panties and T-shirts bearing slogans like “Zip It,” “Not Tonight” and “Dream On” sold on a site called What Would Your Mother Do?. According to WWYMD:
We created a line of underwear to use as conversation starters to help reinforce family morals as they relate to relationships and dating. One part Victorian, three parts frisky, these adorable undies put new meaning to saying it loud and proud.”
At last someone has realized that the first thing teen boys do after taking off a girl’s pants is read the slogan on her underwear. [What Would Your Mother Do? via Ms. Magazine] Keep reading »
“The stigma [around HIV/AIDS] hasn’t gone away after 30 years, and young people are still getting infected. We can’t get to the young people in this country because it’s very conservative and you can’t get into schools to teach people about sex. We can in Africa, but we can’t seem to over here. With young people, the infection rates rise and until you inform people and make this disease a non-stigmatized thing, you’re never going to have any change and we’re batting our heads against a brick wall. We need to get into schools.”
— Elton John, blabbing about sex education at his Oscars bash this weekend, makes more sense when he talks than the entire religious right and their “abstinence only” nonsense. Bristol Palin, listen to the crazy gay Brit who wears the silly costumes! [Fox 411] Keep reading »
I grew up in a small town. It was in the “heartland”– the middle of the country, yet everyone had twangy Southern accents. The town didn’t have much money or restaurants or people. But we did have churches. Churches in pole-barns, churches whose congregations were made up of only one family, churches in the hills with members who spoke in tongues and fancy churches with stained glass that told you to vote for George Bush.
All through my youth, I probably would have said I was a Christian. It was just the default. My parents did take me to church when I was little, I grabbed from the tin of sugar-cookies and drank dixie cups of watery Kool-Aid, but I had somehow remained a bit feral. Keep reading »
It’s not easy to create a sex ed campaign that’s fun to watch, but this interactive video out of the U.K. called “Condom, No Condom?” is sort of like “Skins” crossed with those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Make a wrong move, get genital warts and see for yourself. [Televisual] Keep reading »
Country music, Chick-fil-A, and teen pregnancy: three things that can be found anywhere in America but are heavily concentrated in the South. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released reports last week which show the top 10 states with the highest rate of pregnant teens in 2008 sweep across the Bible belt: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (along with New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, which are more in the Southwest). Obviously, geographic location alone doesn’t make someone eligible for “16 & Pregnant.” Experts say the same states full of pregnant teens are the ones in which “sex education” teaches abstinence as the only form of birth control. Keep reading »
For all the sex positive writing that I do, I’d never actually talked with someone who worked in the adult entertainment industry for a living. Like a lot of people, I just assumed they all were failed actresses and cokeheads.
That was unfair of me.
Over the summer, I met up with Ryan Keely, an adult film star, Penthouse Pet and Penthouse advice columnist, and an erotic dancer. Ryan, who is originally from Seattle, is as smart as she is beautiful; it’s clear from spending time with her that her heart lies in bringing the joy of sexuality and sensuality to others. Recently, Ryan has been teaching seminars for Porn Star Sex Life, co-founded with Josh Rosenberg, a pick-up artist who created UpYourAttraction.com. I was a little skeptical, too, of Porn Star Sex Life classes. Generally speaking, I think porn gives us stupid role models. The actors and actresses fake great sex and know how to make it look really awesome on screen. Why would we want to emulate that? But Ryan is an approachable educator: she’s had a lot of sex with a lot of partners, both men and women, both onscreen and off, and she is ashamed of nothing. “What it takes to be a porn star is you want to explore your sexuality,” she told me. “The people that are in this industry for the right reasons are people are want to take sex to the next level. We’re sexual athletes.”
I walked away from an afternoon of cake and milk with Ryan thinking, “Damn, I want this girl to be my best friend and I want to sleep with her.” After the jump, Ryan opens up about why missionary is the best sex position for women, her stance on sex positive feminism, why she hates KY Jelly, and her one-woman campaign to bust sexual taboos! Keep reading »
Teens learn about the birds and the bees in high school sex ed — but they’re not, apparently, learning about birth control. A report from the Centers for Disease Control found that 97 percent of teens received sex education by the time they turned 18, but an alarming 30 percent of teens said that contraception education wasn’t a part of their sex ed curriculum. Keep reading »
An open dialogue about sex? That would be much too simple. Instead, the University of Central Florida has created an “Avatar”-like video game “that promotes sexual abstinence,” according to Fox News Orlando. How does it work? A pre-teen girl puts on a “motion capture” suit outfitted with marks which are picked up by infrared light and then simulated on-screen. Then the girl gets propositioned by another avatar. “A boy similar in age might approach the person playing the game and might ask her to make out or there might be some sexual innuendo,” explained UCF Professor Anne Norris of the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training. “They’ll have an opportunity to interact with the avatar and they’ll get points for social skills that they develop.” Which I assume means she says “no” to sex.
And hey, Floridians, the whole shebang will cost you $434,000 in federal tax dollars! Keep reading »