Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: sex

The Revolutionary Act Left Out of Most Sex-Ed Programs

I was perusing the internet as I’m wont to do and I discovered an article that made me scream. I wasn’t sure if the scream was in excitement or terror. The article? It was about a university in North Carolina, Elon, which is going to have a class on masturbation. A class that students can take to learn about masturbation. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet if this class at Elon will actually happen, I think it has the potential to be revolutionary. Finally, a sex-ed class that will focus on anatomy and pleasure, not how to prevent pregnancy. I’m not the only one who got shoddy sex-ed in high school. The fact that it was almost always penis centered (how to put on a condom!), always about preventing pregnancy… Read more »

All I Want for Christmas is YOU…th Comprehensive Sex Ed!

While everyone is busy jotting down the latest electronics on their Christmas Wish List, there’s something even better than the newest iPhone, tablet, or clothes from Urban Outfitters that I want for Christmas this year: comprehensive sex education. Now, you may think that teaching teens medically accurate, age appropriate sex education is a given in the 21st century. I mean, why would teachers lie to teens about safe sex and withhold life-saving information on how to become healthy adults and form healthy relationships? This Is America! We live in a country where no one would tell teens that “condoms cause cancer,” “birth control pills cause abortions,” “sex is worse for girls because they are much easier to infect and easier to damage,” “condoms have holes in them and a failure… Read more »

You Have the Right to Pleasure

When I was in middle and high school, sex education was short, uncomfortable, and hardly comprehensive.  I remember sitting in a classroom with about 30 other students my senior year (a little late, if you ask me…) watching my PE teacher squirm in front of us, pausing intermittently. “So, I mean, what you all really need to know is, uh, so when the, uh, when the, um, the penis…” Queue giggles.

Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex

October has been deemed “Let’s Talk Month” in the hopes to encourage families to talk about a wide range of issues related to sexuality, like body image, healthy relationships, gender and sexual orientation, safe sex, using birth control…all that good stuff. At first I thought it was strange to them to choose the month October, especially given that Halloween has claimed it since the mid 16th century. Then I remembered how my mom was more scared to talk to me about sex growing up then I was of horror stories of monsters and ghosts and the supernatural. So now October makes perfect sense.

3 Ways to Improve Sex Positive Activism

I’m a pretty big fan of Sex Positivity, mostly because I’m a fan of people being able to have all the consensual sex they want to have, if they want to have it, and not be made to feel gross about it. Because unfortunately we’re caught in a strange tug-of-war, where we see sex tossed about in the media like glitter on a Lisa Frank folder, but in action, we shame individuals constantly for their sexual identities and desires. And even when we see sex constantly, few of those images of sex are particularly healthy ones. AND even if you do see a healthy navigation of sex in mass media, it’s probably between two white, able-bodied, straight cis people.

Responsibility and Reproduction: Abortion as Radical Self-Care

What is the typical picture that anti-choice politicians paint of a person who chooses abortion? She is a cisgender straight woman (of course). She consented to sex with a cisgender straight man (of course), which means she that she consented to becoming pregnant.  She’s not married, nor does she have children. She’s young and irresponsible. She should have known better than to have sex! The anti-choice view behind sex is pretty obvious: Don’t have sex unless you’re married, because obviously 

Searching for Consent (From Your Partner, and in TV)

I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with a show called Teen Wolf. Yes, it’s (very loosely) based off of the 80’s movie Michael J. Fox was in where he’s got wicked sideburns. Yes, it’s about, you guessed it, adolescent creatures of the dark. Yes, it’s on MTV. And yes, it can be so, so cheesy. I’ve been known to fiercely advocate it just as much as I hyper-criticize it. And I certainly criticize it, for falling into some of the same problematic traps so many other T.V. shows fall into, particularly those which are supposedly meant to represent young people. But, it excels in ways I hardly ever (or never) see from other cable TV programming.

3 Lies about Sex and Overweight Women You Probably Believe

The stigmas surrounding overweight women and sex are endlessly hilarious and remarkable to me. Turn on your television, open a magazine, get on the computer and you will be bombarded by images of thin, slim, fit women reveling in their sexuality. Rightly so. I mean, sex is awesome and beautiful and all that happy crap.  But I can only take so many blonde, tall, thin, white female characters being empowered in the media via the token “slut” who makes jokes about masturbation over a lunch of nicoise salad with “the girls”. Through media, we’ve been shown that only certain women have sex and only certain types of women can enjoy it. So I can understand where some confusion might arise.

Sex and Bad Ass Brown Girls: Netroots Nation 2013

Netroots Nation provided panels, trainings, and plenaries that seemed to appeal to everyone. The two panels that I couldn’t miss were ‘Free your Ass: Defining and Creating a Progressive Sexual Culture’ and ‘Ask a Sista: Black Women Muse on Politics, Policy, Pop Culture, and Scholarship. When I first read about the panel and how it combined progressives and sex liberated rhetoric I knew I had to attend. The panel also included Choice USA Executive Director Kierra Johnson, and any discussion with Kierra is thought provoking and always worth attending. There were also other amazing and notable speakers as well; artist Favianna Rodriguez, Women Action and the Media executive Director Jaclyn Friedman, past panelist and progressive voice William Winters, and new to the panel this year was sex educator and relationship… Read more »

The Birds and the Bees – and Plan B

By Callie Otto, Choice USA intern  My 16 year-old brother got his first real girlfriend a few months ago. As the sex-obsessed one in the family, I’ve decided it’s my job to make sure he knows everything he needs to know about sex. Truthfully, I’d prefer it if my brother waited until he was 30. I don’t want to acknowledge my little brother as a sexual person, but on average, teens have sex for the first time by age 17. So chances are, now’s the time he’ll be needing my lectures the most. Yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable. And I talk about sex all the time, so I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable it would be for a normal person. We live in a society that tells young people that sex… Read more »