ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: Sex Positive

When Sex Ed Excludes You

I grew up in Southern California- home of 70-degree weather year-round, LA traffic, and comprehensive sex education.  Between my 6th and 9th-grade sex education lessons, I felt pretty well prepared when it came to discussions regarding sex. My teachers had walked us through each available contraception method, discussed the importance of getting regular STI checks, and assured us that our sexual debut was ours to define. We were not shamed into abstinence, nor misled by incorrect information- and yet, even in such a progressive state, so much was left out. It almost makes me laugh that in 2 years of teaching us sex education, my teachers never dared to utter the word “clitoris.” We learned all about the burdens and pains of having a vagina, but never verged on discussing… Read more »

Instead of Trying to “save” Sex Workers—Pay Them

Saturday, September 14th, 2019 was the first-ever Sex Worker Pride day. The day was aimed at highlighting the beauty and self-told stories of sex workers and bringing positivity around a career that is often stigmatized and criminalized by the media and the general public. I saw so many beautiful posts about the love, support, and sexual liberation that many sex workers have experienced and have been surrounded by. Launched by the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, this day of pride is focused on these tenants: Sex Worker Pride is an opportunity to celebrate and share stories of sex workers’ self-determination and the achievements of the sex worker rights movement over the last year. Sex Worker Pride extends to all marginalised by criminalisation, discrimination and stigma across the sex worker movement… Read more »

BDS-Empowerment: 5 Things the Lifestyle Does Right

Fifty Shades of Grey, that one Rihanna song from a few years ago, and countless Tumblr blogs — BDSM has become an up-and-coming curiosity that has taken the world by storm. Though not many of the interpretations of it have been completely accurate, it has gotten my attention as well, especially after reading multiple articles debating the relationship it has to feminism. After doing my own research — Daniel Day Lewis style — and actually talking to people involved in the hobby, I’ve found multiple things that it does right, and things that I wish people would recognize without an Ellie Goulding song to glamorize it. So, while this is by no means an attempt to persuade anybody into the lifestyle, these are the things that should be incorporated in… Read more »

Sex as Self-Harm

The writer acknowledges that this topic is a sensitive subject. They would like to post a trigger warning for those triggered by mentions of self-harm.  I’ve been chronically depressed since the age of 12. Which sounds ridiculously young, but that’s life. When my family made a drastic move from Michigan to Georgia, my once lively self became quiet and withdrawn. I was suddenly eating more than usual, hiding it from my family. After class I would spend time in my closet upstairs, holding my breath and thinking of ways to make growing up go by just a little bit faster. I didn’t wake up excited for what happened next, and I didn’t find the world full of endless possibilities. For me, living was just something I did. I had no… Read more »

The Uncomfortable Truth About TV Sex

There are a long list of things that are wrong with TV sex scenes. From the overall heteronormative approach most shows take, to the complete erasure of foreplay, all the way to that weird type of scene used to signify that “the deed is done” where both people fall back on the bed as if they had just both somehow been in an upright position facing the camera. (Seriously, can somebody please show me a position where that scene makes sense? Is this a common enough move that it’s acceptable for nearly every sex scene to end this way?) But alas, there are greater problems than the position in which nearly all TV love-makers end up. I’d argue that in a majority of TV shows that I’ve watched, there is an… Read more »

What are the Politics of Desirability?

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.”  — Audre Lorde Narratives about beauty, intelligence, and kindness have mostly been centralized on white people. Psychological experiments like The Doll Test have shown that from a… Read more »

Podcasts for Reproductive Justice Activists

Radio is one of my favorite ways of hearing peoples stories. Sound can be a beautiful and intimate medium, allowing you to free up your other senses to do work, make art, or just chill while you are listening. RH Reality Check Possibly the most relevant podcast to this blog, Reality Cast, released by RH Reality Check covers everything related to reproductive health. From politics to media, RH Reality Check’s podcast discusses reproductive justice and also features links to other podcasts like this episode of Making Contact that talks about abortion stigma and the ways in which pop culture is shaped by discussions of abortion. The Heart The Heart is a podcast about all different types of amazing love stories. Released in partnership with sound story consortium, Radiotopia, The Heart… Read more »

Art After Dark: Behind Closed Doors

View image | gettyimages.com Art After Dark, is an annual student -directed production encompassing the talents of students from Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. Art After Dark t analyzes black love, sexuality, black beauty, and spirituality through dance, singing, music, spoken word, comedy, and acting. This year’s theme, Behind Closed Doors, critically demonstrated that beauty, pain, and spirituality related to love can be filled with awkward moments that we can all relate too. As with many productions that occur on Spelman’s campus, the spectators were friends of the performers and did not hold back. They yelled out the names of their friends with pride and the audience laughed at times of humor. Kudos to the performers for sharing their talents and using their bodies to relay well-received… Read more »

Moving Forward with the Sex Positivity Movement

The sex positivity movement that has emerged in the last few years has made amazing efforts in challenging sexist and misogynist attitudes about women’s sexual expressions, everyday behaviors, the clothes women wear, and the like. For every magazine article that sounds off about Millennial women’s alleged narcissism and labels us the #selfie generation, there are thousands of girls flooding Tumblr and Instagram at any given moment, discovering how to love themselves through the creation and recreation of images they have total control over. (Note that while Time‘s article was about the generation as a whole, Time chose a tween girl with her phone for its cover.) Sex positivity gives girls the space to stand up against predatory male teachers who complain about them wearing bra straps and yoga pants, and… Read more »

College students need sex ed, too

I would guess that most students who arrive on a college campus as freshman did not receive comprehensive sex education in middle or high school. While most of us learned about sexually-transmitted infections in the classroom, it’s also the case that for most of us, our sex education was either abstinence-only or at least elevated abstinence from sex as the universal best choice. There are lots of other numbers to throw around: about a third of people in their late teens don’t receive any formal education about birth control, and even if they do, only a fourth of them know anything substantial about the Pill. In a standard high school sex ed course  ̶  if you get one at all, and considering that less than half of all states mandate… Read more »