Archive for the Sexual Health Education Category

Let’s all get pregz! Helllllllllllllllll NO.

Friday, June 14th, 2013 | Permalink

So I recently watched this movie called The Pregnancy Pact. It’s your typical Lifetime made-for-tv movie about sex ed in a small town in Massachusetts. It’s got all my favourite things: an INYOURFACE life lesson, sub-par acting, and it’s made-for-tv so you KNOW it’ll win an Oscar.

Anyway, I read the title in passing and thought, I MUST watch this because I HAVE to know what the hell a pregnancy pact is. Turns out, the movie is based on a true story. WHAT?! Reason number 2 to watch this beast.

In short: The setting is a highschool in smalltown Gloucester, Massachusetts. It’s a strict Catholic town in which birth control is frowned upon and sex is an “ears plugged I don’t hear you I don’t see it happening it’s not happening” kind of thing.
There’s a clique of a handful of 15 year old girls at school who are attached at the hip. One day, one of the girls gets pregnant and says “Omg guys, you should get pregnant too. It’s awesome! Our kids will all be girls and they can be BFFs like us, OMG LOLZ 😉 :P.” Mhmm.
I wonder where this is going.
So this is the “pregnancy pact” that these girls come up with. ….On with the show.

The main girl’s mom is the president of some Family Values council who raises funds for daycare at the local highschool because SO  many goddamn girls are pregnant and having children. And you know, instead of spending like $20 on 4372975 condoms that’ll solve the pregnancy AND potential STI problems (!!!!!), let’s throw thousands of dollars into funding a free daycare for teen girls who are getting pregnant because it’s “cool”. Mhmm.

I’ll just leave this here:

So I bust out the popcorn (rice crackers… I’m in Abu Dhabi and I have no microwave… I make do) and I kick back and start the film. As I’m watching, I’m hearing wickedly wonderful “sex ed textbook” lines, so I HAVE to stop and grab a pen.

I bet you can guess that the main girl in the movie gets pregnant and her mom’s all “What?! But I preach abstinence until marriage and you would never! YOU WOULD NEVER! OMGGGGG. Well, a baby is God’s gift and it’s alllllll good”. Mhmm.

So anyway,  I really just wanted to quote some lines from the movie and add my educated and severely opinionated commentary for your entertainment/to expand your knowledge of teen pregnancy and its rise and misconceptions and all that jazz, so here you are:

Memorable quotes and LOL/WTFs from The Pregnancy Pact

The mother on her daughter’s boyfriend: “He’s got good morals and he goes to church”
The dad on his daughter’s boyfriend: “He’s still a 17 year old boy”

Can I get a hell yes right now please?! How GOOD is this. Okay, church is lovely. I’ve been. You get to sing sweet songs about Jesus and everyone smiles at you. Also, you typically dress up, and who doesn’t like to look swank on a Sunday, but BITCH PLEASE. Let me tell you something — dicks have minds. Dicks don’t go to church. Dicks go wherever they want. ….I could go on.
Let me say THIS: Boys have dicks. When they’re all puberating and shit, let me tell you, their dick is just as powerful as their brains/hearts… let’s be honest, dicks are probably more powerful. You could be Jesus’s cousin and your dick would still be like SEXSEXSEXSEXSEXSEX. It’s up to YOU to control that shit. But it’s probably hard when you’re young and horny. <– PUN ALERT!

Girl’s boyfriend on their relationship staying strong (he says this as he caresses her in the hopes of sex): “It’ll work out, trust me.”

My prediction: They break up. End of movie: He’s with another chick because the main character lies to him and purposefully gets pregnant and he freaks out because of lack of trust… Legit.

The conservative mom to a journalist who blogs about teen issues and asks for an interview: “It [teen pregnancy and sex] is not an appropriate subject matter for a blog.”

Read my website, asshole. I dare you to say it ain’t appropriate. Bitch, I will cut you. Kids, teens, youth, people NEED a source of valid information about sex, options, and issues related to all this sexuality business. Teens need a place to ask questions and feel comfortable emailing/asking anonymous questions in the hopes of a truthful, non-biased answer. Mother in movie, your ass is biased! Get out!! 

“Birth control is a private family matter that should stay out of school.”

I agree that birth control should be a family matter as in communication lines should be open and comfortable for a youth to talk to their parents/siblings about sex and safety. However, it should stay out of school? You think sex stays out of school? Bitch, please. You think 15 year old Cindy is playing hopscotch and painting her friend’s nails at lunch time? Bitch, please. She’s probably asking her friend what a blowjob is. JUST SAYIN! And that’s not a bad thing. Knowledge is power. Knowledge keeps us safe and aware of risk. Condoms are knowledge. Collect them. In all colours. 

The main character, a 15 year old girl, at her first ultrasound appointment after getting pregnant: “Do I really have to let a doctor look down there?”

This bitch can’t even say vagina and she’s pregnant! My dear!!! Yes, yes you do. You will also have pap tests and other things. Maybe one day you’ll have a vag wax and an aesthetician will look down there too. It’s cool! All women have vaginas my friend. Sarah’s tip: If you can’t say vagina or let a doctor look at it, don’t let a boy look at it! I like that… that should be on a t-shirt. 

Teenager girls at school who are pregnant: “In the old days, girls our age had kids!”

Although this is true, the “old days” were a different time where teens matured quickly and grew up in a different era. Nowadays, I feel like kids are more immature than ever. Myself included. Hell, I’m almost 26 and I’M not ready for a baby. I still call my mama and whine about stupid shit. I’m still growing into a functioning adult. My husband puts up with me… how? I’m adorable. 😉 :)
So bottom line: We live in a different world and 30 is the new 25; therefore, logic states that 20 is the new 15 etc. etc. and so “actually 15” means you are most definitely a child, and children should not have children… at least not THESE children in the movie. They are super immature. (They drink while pregnant!!! I cringed when I saw this. Don’t drink while pregnant. Ever.)

Teenage girls at school getting pregnant for fun: “I love babies! I wish I had a baby!” *later after baby is born* “It hurts SO bad! Why won’t it stop crying?!”

Have you ever heard of babysitting? I did it for years and it was excellent. Play mom for like 3 hours and then STOP. Also, if you feel like getting pregnant, here’s a tip for Halloween: Dress up as Charlotte from Charlotte’s web. She’s a pregnant spider! You can pretend you are pregnant for a night! I did it! It was fun. I convinced a couple of people I was like 9 months pregnant too!  And here’s a flattering aka terrible photo of my bitchin’ costume and very faux pregnant belly a few Halloweens ago.

Me as a pregnant spider on Halloween. Look how REAL it looks, and it’s NOT! Kids love to play pretend. PRETEND to be pregnant, you immature children! I did it and I’m an adult!

 

You’re welcome baby-fever teens who aren’t ready to have babies or be pregnant. I have found solutions to your baby problems!
#1 – Babysit other people’s children. They are ready to be parents and I’m sure would LOVE a night off as parenting is a difficult 24/7 job.
#2 – Dress up as a pregnant girl/spider for Halloween and pretend you are pregnant for the evening. Hell, stuff a pillow in your shirt and go to the mall on a Tuesday and make people open doors for you. Cut in line at a Starbucks demanding an iced tea for your baby. *pause* I might do this today… it sounds fun.

 

SO all in all, this movie was very informative and had A LOT of information about sex ed. I think it’s an excellent movie to showcase the naivety of teens and youth on the pros and cons of sex and relationships. Lifetime, I love you. And I enjoyed this movie. The only thing I didn’t like was how it still ended on a very “sex vs. religion” note, and was very obviously pro-choice which is a biased view of options for sexual health, but hey, what can you do? It stills works to convince me that communicating to youth about sex and relationships is necessary to stop unwanted teen pregnancy.

Sarah’s words of wisdom: Don’t be a fool, wrap your tool. Think twice before you grab a slice… of sex.

Stay SUPER safe, sexually speaking
With love,
Sarah “pregnancy isn’t for everybody” Wun

 

 

Cut the sex, add the relationships!

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 | Permalink

I recently read a UK article highlighting the importance of proper sexual health education and that it must focus on relationship education in order to promote awareness of domestic violence and keep youth from entering, or remaining in, dangerous relationships.

I subscribe to Scarleteen.com, which is a sex ed website focused on the real world and not just FACTS pulled from some outdated pamphlet. Scarleteen led me to this article which I immediately opened and read. Thank you Scarleteen! Here’s what I learned:

Sex education should be about experiences. The article I found in the NewStatesman written by Cosslett and Baxter (2013) is a recent article talking about sex ed in the UK and how sex ed in schools is pretty much just the names of STIs and a scary birthing video… so, therefore, birth control. (If that video isn’t good birth control, I don’t know what is, HA!).

It’s the beautiful, simple, yet accurate title to this article that got me standing up and clapping: Teenagers already know about sex. Let’s teach them what a relationship looks like

PERFECT! Bitch, please. Half the teens you see walking around with their swagger and whatnot are perfectly aware that touching genitals with things, whether it’s other genitals or appendages, is nice. Most kids know that sex can get you pregnant, but what kids don’t realize is that their culture is steeped in myth and “norms” that are simply unacceptable (re: my previous article about rape and nonchalance concerning it in some cases). When was the last time you listened to a rap song, for example? Any song? The genderism, the sexism, the sexual explicitness of these songs! MY dear. Smack my bitch up? Don’t even try to smack THIS bitch up. Step back. .____.

This article makes me think of a lot of valid sexual health education questions for youth:

What IS a good relationship?
How do I survive a break up?
What is love?
What is lust?
What is a bad relationship?
How do I know if I’m in the right during an argument?
If he’s my boyfriend then isn’t he allowed to get sex from me whenever?
If she’s my girlfriend, isn’t she supposed to give me sex?
If two girls are in a relationship, doesn’t that mean they are adopting specific roles synonymous to hetero-normative ones?

Look at all these goddamn questions!!! And I’m a sexpert!!! Could I answer these simply and with ease? HELL no. Like sex, sexual relationships are difficult to define and understand. We are all different people and therefore we cannot all be put under the same umbrella. There is, however, an answer to what is a bad relationship. Scarleteen.com has an excellent forum of anecdotes and information about relationships. Another excellent place to ask questions is my beautiful friend and colleague, Options for Sexual Health. This website has a brilliant little thing called SEX SENSE hotline. If you call 1-800-SEX-SENSE, a very skilled and trained professional sex educator will answer the line and answer your questions unbiasedly and with a very friendly tone. I’ve called this number more than once. It’s an excellent resource for people who either don’t have access to the internet or want a straight answer from a reliable source (let’s face it: sometimes the internet is an asshole. Don’t believe it always).

I feel like calling SEX SENSE is similar to talking to a doctor or a nurse but less clinical. These professionals will literally answer ANYthing and EVERYthing concerning sexual health.

If you are in a relationship, I encourage you to analyze it. It’ll help you communicate better with your partner and learn about him or her and more about yourself. If there is anything that concerns you, talk to your partner. If you are still concerned or worried, call a sexpert at 1-800-SEX-SENSE or browse Scarleteen.com for anecdotes that may help you evaluate your relationship. I’m not telling you to go break up with your partner! I’m telling you to be aware of your relationship and keep it healthy and happy! :) If you aren’t in a relationship, I encourage you to study up on what is a healthy relationship so that you can make healthy choices when dating and/or sexing.

And of COURSE, if you have any questions or recommendations of articles, PLEASE email me at sarah@educationsexpectations.com as I will be BEYOND happy to help you out by writing it out.

Thank you to articles like this one that remind us that sex education is more about intercourse! Some of the most important information we can receive is how to interact and socially meld with others. Girl, can I tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve been in relationships. I’m in one now! FOREVER! Marriage. :) Before I got married though, I did some mad self assessment and analyzed what I wanted and how I could achieve it. My partner and I communicate more than a concerned father and his daughter on a 90’s family-friendly sitcom! If you can’t talk it out, ask yourself why? HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS! Sex starts THERE.

Stay safe, sexually speaking.

The R word: What is this and how can I kill it?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 | Permalink

How can I kill the thoughts of morons who claim:

“well… you were drunk.”

“well… you were dressed like that.”

“well… he is such a funny and smart guy. He would never do that.”

“…but she’s a girl. Girls can’t rape guys.”

Take your uneducated, wrong ass back to the drawing board and draw a picture of me hitting you with a car!!!

Rape: One can define rape as unlawful sexual activity, typically intercourse, carried out forcibly against the will of a person under the age of consent or a person who has not consented to the act. Another definition calls rape “an outrageous violation”. It is comparable and in the same category as sexual assault and sometimes is called just that.

As a sexual health educator, I feel it is imperative that I speak out on this matter. First thing’s first: The victims are all I care about. Not criminals. 

If you cannot go to a party and not rape someone, bitch it’s time for you to never go to a party!! Ever again.

Rape can happen in other places, but college parties are one of the most notorious places where sexual assault and rape occurs.

I’ve read a few articles and been notified via social networks of an occurrence in West Virginia of a rape. All the details centre around the rapists. I won’t go further. I don’t care about the rapists. Anyway, some comments on this specific situation float the idea around of women accepting risk and needing to accept the fact that rape is possible of they go to a party….

Bitch, what?

 

What is this I don’t even!

If a girl goes to a party where there is alcohol, she is supposed to be aware of consequences and therefore is partially responsible if something happens because she is supposed to be aware? What if a woman is walking home from feeding blind puppies and gets attacked? Is she supposed to accept the risk that a woman can get raped anywhere and therefore must never go outside? EVER? How dare she…

Reality is, rape is 100% never the fault of the victim. Bitch, some chick could be lying naked on a couch and smiling. Plot twist: She’s a nudist and this is a normal Tuesday for her! Never does a person ASK to be raped. C’mon now.

Girls and guys should be able to dress as they please and go where they please without worry.

As. they. please.

Unfortunately, our world isn’t candies and rainbows, so it is beneficial to take caution in some ways for certain situations. For example, at a college party: watch your drink at all times, have a friend to take you home or a taxi number readily available, and always eat your vegetables to promote a healthy bowel.

Also, one of the many disturbing misconceptions about rape is that it cannot happen to a guy.

Let me tell you something. Consent goes both ways. I would be more cautious as a guy, in a party situation for example, because of the ugly beliefs about gender stereotypes. Men are stronger? That means nothing when you’re being violated.

Rape can happen anywhere to anyone. If you see someone who might be in danger, check on them. It might mean more to them than you can imagine.

I was once at a party. I was having a great time, but my head started to hurt and it kept getting worse. Eventually, I asked one of my male friends to walk me home. I had my head in my hands and my friend was walking me out the door when another guy stopped him saying, “Excuse me! Excuse me! Where are you going?” My friend said “I’m just walking her home. Her head–” “I wasn’t talking to you. Excuse me?” He looked at me. “Do you know this guy?” I was surprised. I said, “Yes I do. He’s my friend, but thank you for asking. I really appreciate your concern for my safety.” He then talked with us for a minute, shook my friend’s hand, and went back inside. He wasn’t the owner of the house. He had never even seen me before…

In a party setting, especially college or university where peer pressure is high and “budding adulthood” is intriguing, this kind of behaviour seems a little rare. I didn’t expect anyone to bat an eye at two people leaving a party. God bless that outstanding gentleman who made sure I was safe and in the hands of someone I knew rather than a stranger. I hope he is doing well today. I wish I could see him again so I could shake his hand and say thank you.

From all the girls and boys, men and women, who avoid walking around at night for fear of attack, thank you kind bystanders who make us feel safe.

From all the students who avoid college parties because of so many stories with unhappy endings, and they just don’t want to risk it, thank you for being a true gentleman and a hero.

When you (yes you!) are in a situation that doesn’t seem right, be a hero and step up to make sure it’s all good. In my story, my male friend was not offended by the questioning. He was actually very impressed that someone would take the time to assess a precarious picture (my head was down and a larger male was guiding me quickly from a party). We need more stories about heroes and true, honourable people in this world. God bless that guy.

Rape. It’s not about that power-hungry asshole who thinks the law is flexible and optional. It’s about the beautiful, intelligent, inspiring individuals who need to hear “it’s not your fault. It never was. It never will be” again and again.

I applaud victims for their courage, strength, and wisdom they pass on to others. I applaud the amazing, intelligent, extraordinary individuals who stand up and assess potentially risky situations. These people stop ugly things, like rape, from happening.

I do not applaud rapists. I don’t care about rapists. I don’t want to know who you are. Get the fuck out of my newspaper.

 You heard me…

 

Stay safe, please! Sexually speaking.

Kids, sex, sex, kids.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 | Permalink

So I’m writing my thesis and I keep coming across the same preachings:
Talk to us about sex!!!
We speak, we listen, we hear, we know, we see, we deserve!!!

People of the internet, I just don’t get it. For why?!?! For why people are dismissing sex education to youth?!?!

Dear parents,
You know how your daughter went to that sleepover? You think she’s watching Snow White?! Bitch please. *
You know how your son likes to take long showers? You think he’s washing behind his ears?! Twice?!?! Bitch please.

You know condoms? You think kids think they are balloons?! Bitch please.

You know puberty? You think it’s a synonym for anatomy?! Bitch please.

You know how school is JUST what they [teachers] teach and not what happens anywhere else?! It isn’t! Bitch please.

You know how ignorance is bliss?! Bitch please.

Knowledge saves lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Educate youth. Educate them now. EDUCATE DAMN IT!!!!

Educate, and then celebrate, with chocolate cake, (and a condom).

Stay safe, sexually speaking

*I’m not suggesting that she is watching porn, but possibly something rated PG13, 14A? Restricted even? Sexually explicit material? Your ass knows it.

I am the best option!!! Options for Sexual Health news

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 | Permalink

The greatest thing to ever happen ever has JUST happened. I just received a phone call from the president of OPT saying:

“Congratulations Sarah, you have been awarded the title of Options for Sexual Health volunteer of the YEAR!”

CHEERING!!!!!!!!!!

WICKEDDDD!!!! So on Saturday, October 22nd, there will be an annual general meeting and an awards ceremony where I will be praised for my efforts and additions to sexual health education!

DREAM ACHIEVED!!!!!!

I’m SUPER psyched and honoured to be awarded this delicious award; however, buses and prices pending, I may or may not go…
I will get the certificate regardless, but I am unsure of my status next weekend…

Nevertheless, WICKED, no?!??!!

Stay tuned for a picture of my certificate, condom demonstrations, and some details about how OPT’s community events have been going in the town I currently reside.

SO EXCITED!!!!

Stay tuned, sexually speaking
–Sarah Award-worthy Bryant

The MEDIA and its all-consuming, disturbingly influential power

Thursday, August 25th, 2011 | Permalink

Teen Mom: A popular show on MTV that I frequently watch for entertainment and research purposes.

Jersey Shore: A popular show on MTV that I am ashamed to say I frequently watch… for entertainment and “what not to do” purposes.

When I first caught an episode of Teen Mom (the second season), I was on the fence as to whether it a) glorified teenage motherhood by putting ill-informed decision making on television and essentially making parenting look easier than it is, or b) depicted the reality of the challenges and struggles of growing up as a kid raising a kid. I was leaning more towards (a) at the beginning of my watching, but now that I have seen a season and a half, and watched the episodes with Dr. Drew and the “16 and Pregnant” series, I do believe that shows like Teen Mom could be seen as multimedia presentations of sexual health education.

Here’s the thing that bugs me about it:

On the show, the girls say things like “well, at least my child loves me”, etc. Having a baby is not a good way to have love in your life. First of all, don’t you love yourself? Second of all, if you want something that loves you, get a dog. Dogs love everyone! If you don’t think you can handle a dog, get a fish.

Here’s the thing that I like about it:

The show’s cast is a group of girls who all fall under similar categories: They misused birth control, they are struggling to complete and pay for college, they have lacking or unhealthy relationships with the fathers of their children, and they are essentially stressed out. I mean, we all get stressed, but imagine being 17 or 18 years old and stressing about yourself, your finances, your education, AND your child and all the business that is involved with him/her! I admire women who can raise children at a young age, but we should not be advocating for this. None of these teen mothers have said (at least not in the episodes I have seen), “oh I planned to have this child at 16 years old”. I couldn’t imagine it, to be honest. As much as I love babies for very short periods of time when they aren’t screaming, hellllll no. At 18 years old, I could barely take care of myself! Quite some time has passed and I feel the same way!!

On Teen Mom, there is also a couple who gave their child up for adoption. When comparing this teen mother to the ones that opted to keep their children, one can see that there are options that can positively influence your life, such as adoption.

So Teen Mom is an interesting show that talks about teen pregnancy and the realities of raising a child as a young adolescent. At the end of each episode, a website is shown that gives facts and tips on how to be in control of your sex life: www.itsyoursexlife.org! <3 Also, while I’m praising websites, let me throw down my favourite www.sexualityandu.ca ! Both websites are great and I strongly encourage you to go here, regardless of who you are. YOU are a sexual being; therefore, YOU need to know how to control your sex life!

Here’s the thing that bugs me more:

MTV, I love you. You are good for a laugh and you play some stupid shows that I just can’t get enough of. You do, however, play a show that goes out of its way to show me everything I shouldn’t teach someone about sexual health education. How do you do this? With an eccentric gem of a show called Jersey Shore. Despite the fact that I watch this show, I follow the complete opposite of what they preach (guys: sleep with everything that moves; girls: drink a lot and put out). The reason I think it is okay for ME to watch this show is because I am an adult who is educated and aware of her sexual rights and responsibilities. Younger individuals, however, are heavily influenced by the media, and so when I hear that a 13 year old watches Jersey Shore, I cry tears of blood and fear.

SOLUTION:

Do I think MTV needs to get rid of Jersey Shore? Not necessarily. I like my mindless television programming. What I do think needs to be done about Jersey Shore is to give it a rating of at LEAST 14A. 18+ even.

There is way too much careless drinking and sexing on this show to make it okay for children to be influenced by it.

I just hope they use condoms.

ANOTHER SOLUTION:

Here’s a better idea. How about the cast of Jersey Shore advocates for LifeStyle condoms? Every person in the world would use a condom if players like the guys on Jersey Shore used them! I think all celebrities should advocate for birth control. You bitches have so much power; use it wisely! Much like charity fundraising and the like, MTV stars should advocate for birth control and not drinking and driving. That’s ONE thing Jersey Shore does right: I never see them drink and drive. They always hop in a cab. Thanks friends.

Arrive alive,

don’t drink and drive!!

So Teen Mom is awesome for educating about birth control by promoting www.itsyoursexlife.org at the end of the show, and Jersey Shore is not so awesome because of sexualized gender stereotyping that COULD negatively influence our youth.

Sarah’s words of wisdom: The things you see on television are meant to entertain you. Don’t let the media guide all of your decisions, especially if they revolve around sex. Let educated sources and credible experts help you make your own. Also, use condoms. And spermicide.

Masturbation: The MASTER(s thesis) of self-love

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 | Permalink

Greetings friends. So I recently made a pretty solid decision that after I preach the wonders of sex-positive comprehensive sexual health education via my Masters of Arts in Education thesis, I would like to continue my changing the world at the hand of research and try for a Masters in Sexuality Studiesat San Fran State University! I looked up the program, and it’s like looking in a mirror.

Anyway, I was pondering what to focus on, and the only logical conclusion I could draw was to focus on autonomous sex and safe sexual practices. Aka, masturbation and its glory.
So is it just me, or is this not a perfect cover letter to send to SFSU? *see below for the majesty*

 

Dear SFSU,
I am a current graduate student at UBC Okanagan. Please allow me to come to your school and sit in the library happily researching the happiness of safe sex. Here is a snippet of my passion:

WHY is masturbation frowned upon? WHY! WHYYYYY!?!?!?!?! WHHYYYYY?!?!?!

Amidst my glorious research on the taboos and challenges within sexual health education, I have drafted a series of questions that I, as I am sure you also, ponder.

If masturbation is a safe sexual practice that poses no threat to the individual (threat in this case being unwanted pregnancy or an STI), then why is it something that schools are so afraid to teach?

If masturbation is a healthy way to explore one’s body, then why is it seen as shameful?

If men are wasting their seed, what are women doing that is ‘wrong’?

Shouldn’t everyone have the rightto touch his/her own body?

What’s so ‘bad’ about masturbation?

What’s so bad about teaching, informing, and exploring issues surrounding autonomous safe sex (masturbation, cybersex, fantasy)?

In short, masturbation is fantastic. You want kids to avoid STIs and unwanted pregnancy? Encourage, embrace, educate about, and enjoy MASTURBATION!

Alternative means of sexpression: Enter CYBERSEX

Monday, May 9th, 2011 | Permalink

Sexual expression over the internet… thoughts? It’s fair game. Here are some realities about the wonderful concept that is cybersex.

Healthy alternatives are necessary in order to meet the needs of all individuals. Much like the meat and alternatives food group, which encompasses more than just ‘meat’, sexual health education should discuss more than just heterosexual intercourse. Advocating for healthy alternatives promotes inclusive classrooms that adapt to a wide variety of student needs. This article looks at alternative means of sexpression for youth by focusing on an easily accessible form of sexual expression: internet sex, or “cybersex”.

Using the internet as a means to sexpress: Cybersex and beyond


What is cybersex?
Cybersex is a sexual encounter that takes place entirely via the internet, often in a chat room or through instant messaging (Sexetc.org, 2010). Cybersex is a way to privately live out one’s fantasy without in-person social interaction. Using cybersex as a form of fantasy is an autoerotic behaviour over the internet in which only words and imagination are the stimulus. Cybersex is a safe way for teenagers to express themselves without the physical harm of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy.

Tell me about the internet and cybersex.Okay! The internet is a limitless space, like one’s mind; however, the internet is more harmful in that one can be exposed to all kinds of unhealthy sexual expression, like violent images, sexual violence against women, child pornography, and other dangerous sex websites (Creed, 2003). It is thus important to monitor and regulate internet use in young individuals who are using this medium of communication. As long as cybersex remains a type of sexual fantasy, it is a safe behaviour that relies on words and imagination for pleasure.

Are there limitations to cybersex?
Although cybersex is a healthy form of autoerotic sexual expression, one cannot ignore the significance of physical contact and body language in intimacy. Shouldn’t we teach youth that physical intimacy is pleasurable? The Canadian guidelines for Sexual Health education suggest that a healthy sexuality encompasses the teaching of behavioural skills and socialization that includes physical intimacy and healthy relationships (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). This definition suggests that physicality is important in healthy relationships and thus cybersex is not an intimate, personal, shared experience because it limits contact and distances people rather than brings them together. Healthy physical contact or physical intimacy such as kissing, caressing, cuddling, and other forms of tactile stimulation emphasize healthy sexual expression (Rathus, Nevid, Fichner-Rathus, & Herold, 2010). The guidelines also stress the importance of physical intimacy and healthy socialization in relationships, indicating that cybersex alone is not a satisfactory way to communicate intimately.

Who uses cybersex?
A hell of a lot of people; however, marginalized individuals, specifically, often find comfort in the internet medium: “for many individuals, the Internet constitutes an important avenue for healthy sexual pursuits….[The Internet] might prove very useful for homosexual adolescents, physically/mentally challenged, shy individuals” (Philaretou, 2005, p. 81). The unknown distance of the person one is talking to on the internet provides a sense of security in shy individuals (Rathus et al., 2010).

So is cybersex good or bad?
The issue of comfort and feeling free to express oneself is a positive characteristic of using the internet for sexual purposes. ***Please note for your safety, always use caution and do not give out personal information over the internet. Also, you should be over 18… just my opinion, but it’s true***

Dependency on the internet can be positive or negative, but there is no doubt that technology has become a primary filter for information, including sexual knowledge: “Internet sex is more than just the use of a modern medium for sexual ends; it is more a reflection of today’s fast-pace social life characterized by individuality, impersonality, materialism, and social isolation” (Philaretou, 2005, p.80). This critique of the use of internet for sexual means suggests that it inhibits socialization and necessary physical components of interaction. Physical interaction, which more often than not works in conjunction with emotional closeness, is a necessary skill for young people who are learning about sexual expression through many filters.

What are other alternatives?
Other ways that teenagers could gratify themselves sexually is through foreplay, visual stimulation, other autoerotic behaviours such as masturbation through fantasy, and reading erotic novels. These forms of sexual expression omit the ambiguity factor that comes to play in cybersex where one cannot be sure who he or she is communicating with. Despite limitless possibilities and vulnerabilities surrounding the internet, cybersex is a safe way for individuals to express themselves sexually without the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. As long as it does not become the only means of sexual expression, cybersex can positively impact one’s sexuality.


References

Creed, B. (2003). Media matrix: Sexing the new reality. Australia: Allen and Unwin.
Philaretou, A. (2005). Sexuality and the Internet. Journal of Sex Research, 42(2), 180-181. Retrieved from PsycINFO database.
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2008). Canadian guidelines for sexual health education. Ottawa, Ontario: Public Health Agency of Canada.

Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., Fichner-Rathus, L., & Herold, E. S. (2010). Human sexuality
in a world of diversity. (3rd ed.). Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.
Sexetc.org. Sex, etc. “What is cyber sex or phone sex? How do you do it? Is it safe?” Rutgers University. 2010. http://www.sexetc.org/faq/sex/899. Retrieved 3 Feb 2010.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Cyber it up! It’s you and the keyboard.

ECP – for emergencies only DAMN IT!!!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 | Permalink

This article is dedicated to those of you who are smart in your sexual options. It is not dedicated to those of you who are haphazard and lazy whenst sexing. Be smart. Be aware. Be safe.
Here is the original ECP article I wrote for the newspaper last week. Bask in its educated tone. Join me and embrace the condom.

Emergency Contraception: For emergencies ONLY, damn it!


By: Sarah AASECT.org Bryant


Picture this: You get home from class. You are starving. Dinner has been on your mind for the past hour. You are jonesing for a turkey and swiss sandwich. No turkey? No swiss?! Plan B: trusty (always there for you) peanut butter.
In this situation, plan B is a good option. In a sexual situation, plan B is just an option… but not the best one.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are a plethora of ways to protect oneself from unwanted pregnancy (if you want a list, go to www.sexualityandu.ca for an assortment of trusty methods), but I must beg of you to utilize the methods that are intended for prolonged use when one is sexually active. What does this mean? NOT using emergency contraceptives JUST in case whenever you have sex!

I kid you not, I have overheard more than one conversation where a girl has casually exclaimed to a friend that she would just “grab a plan B” when she had the chance. What?!?! Or another that said “plan B is great because you don’t have to think about anything before sex”. Uh, WHAT?! You should always think about things before sex!

There is a beautiful pill out there called emergency contraception (EC), also known as the most common EC brand name, “Plan B” or the morning after pill. Hell, I’ve even heard of it being called the “oops” pill. Accurate. There is a reason the word ‘emergency’ is in front of ‘contraceptive’ in this case: it’s for emergencies only! Even the website, planb.ca states that “it [Plan B] is not your regular contraceptive. If you’re even rarely or occasionally sexually active, find out about all available contraceptives and discuss them with your doctor.”

Plan B is a catchy name for an emergency contraceptive, but here’s the way I see it in terms of “plans of action”:

Plan A: Two types of effective and reliable birth control, condom + pill, for example
Plan B: just one type (just condom, just pill, just spermicide, etc.)
Plan C: No birth control? Abstain! Genital-hand contact/something that is not intercourse.
Plan D: EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION (Plan B pill) *(listen to 0:18-0:22 of video for the truth…)
Plan E: If you get to this point, I will smack you. Think before you act.

The EC pill is like a “don’t let it happen again”, not a “this is a reliable method of birth control”. Yea. So is prayer.

“Plan B” (morning after pill): The last option. The morning AFTER implies that you should “think ahead”! Not just a useful saying for exams, my friends!

If you are someone who consistently relies on EC, here are some handy tips to not be that person:

1. Educate yourself about the birth control pill/patch/ring – all reliable and highly effective forms of contraception.
2. Use a condom, for the love of Nancy!
3. Always use a condom? It always breaks? You might want to change brands, my friend.
4. Abstain.
5. Build bird feeders with your loves ones. (This option can be done in conjunction with #4).

There is no shame in using an emergency contraceptive. I applaud you for controlling the population, a.k.a. being calm and smart during a potentially risky situation. EC is there for a reason, and thank goodness for this abundance of safe sex options*. What I am saying, and will continue to advocate, is that EC should not be your preferred method of birth control. It can be the method one turns to when you are out of options and need a “Plan B”. Use your head.

Use plan A and stay safe, sexually speaking.

*Please be advised that the birth control pill and Plan B (see www.planb.ca for more details) do not protect against STIs. Always use a condom for maximum protection when being sexually active.

SWEET JESUS Ontario 7-8 Health and Phys Ed curriculum!

Sunday, February 20th, 2011 | Permalink

Hisssssssssss!

Alright, so I have been debating whether or not to analyze Ontario’s sexual health education curriculum along with British Columbia’s. I now know it MUST be done.

Ontario recently revised the Elementary Health and Phys Ed curriculum in 2010. Well done my home sweet home!

According to the overall and specific outcomes of the Healthy Living portion of Health education, By the end of Grade 7 students will:

•identify the methods of transmission and the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and ways to prevent them;

Sarah’s commentary: Alright. Necessary. I approve.

• use effective communication skills (e.g., refusal skills, active listening) to deal with various relationships and situations;

Sarah’s commentary: Okay… such as “Don’t touch my vagina right now” and “I hear what you are saying, but I must abstain as the curriculum tells me to…” Right? Nevertheless, I still agree with effective communication. Okay.

explain the term abstinence as it applies to healthy sexuality;

Sarah’s commentary: …. AND?!?!?!?! What ELSE? Birth control? These children are 12. Some of them have developed breasts! Some of them are on their period RIGHT now… Explain abstinence? That’s IT?!

• identify sources of support with regard to issues related to healthy sexuality (e.g., parents/guardians, doctors).

Sarah’s commentary: Because teachers are scared to say so? Or because policy states teachers shouldn’t say so? Should we get nurses in the class telling kids what a penis is and how it works? Why is it this all has to be left up to doctors… it’s SO clinical. Parents, YES! But some won’t… so what then?

These are not the only outcomes, but the ones which I thought were important and/or curious.

Under grade 8 (alright… we are 13 years old now… or approaching this age. TEENS! Has anything changed?), it states

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

explain the importance of abstinence as a positive choice for adolescents;

Sarah’s commentary: Among others? This is limiting! *hiss*

• identify symptoms, methods of transmission, prevention, and high-risk behaviours related to common STDs, HIV, and AIDS;

• identify methods used to prevent pregnancy;

Sarah’s commentary: Such as?

apply living skills (e.g., decision-making, assertiveness, and refusal skills) in making informed decisions, and analyse the consequences of engaging in sexual activities and using drugs;

Sarah’s commentary: LOL! Living skills. HOLD THE PHONE!!! Here is my issue: Ladies and gentlemen and people who create policy and curriculum, PLEASE do not lump sex and drugs into the same bullet. Drugs are horrid things. No one should do cocaine ever. Sex is not a horrid bad thing… so don’t you DARE put them under the same thing. Yes, they both have consequences, but so does swimming after you eat, and you sure as hell wouldn’t say swimming and drugs are related, WOULD YOU?!?!?! Drugs. WHOLE other story. Give it a new bullet, a new topic/subject area, hell… even a new lesson, please!!

• identify sources of support (e.g., parents/guardians, doctors) related to healthy sexuality issues.

Dear Ontario,

Don’t be vague and give sex some positivity. Students are afraid of negative things… More commentary to come.

Dear Ontario again,

I am not scowling at you because you are doing something wrong. I commend anyone who writes curriculum; however, there are a couple of things that are too vague and will be left up to teacher discretion, causing misinformation, misguidance, and an overall inconsistent teaching and learning. Love you. <3

Yours capable,

the newest policy analyst to your team? I’ll let you know when I publish my Master’s thesis, then we’ll talk?