Kids, sex, sex, kids.

November 1st, 2011 by the sarah | 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

October 13th, 2011 by the sarah | 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

August 25th, 2011 by the sarah | 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.

Menstruation is still a sensation!

June 14th, 2011 by the sarah | Permalink

The Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health is a website about the history of menstruation and focuses on topics surrounding women’s health and positivity in the inevitable experiences in a woman’s life.

I am on the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health website!!!

I recently submitted my article about the beauty of periods to a website that embraces menstruation. The website editor evidently enjoys my writing and published me on the site!
My name will be known!!! There is also a link to my blog at the bottom of my essay. Brill. Thanks dude. I appreciate the publication.

Summary: Periods are inevitable. Enjoy them.

The purpose of my article is to address growth and development in a sex positive way. My thesis encourages advocating the positivity of sexuality, so I thought this was relevant. Also, I can’t get enough of the period. .___. I mean…

Stay safe, sexually speaking.
–Sarah Always ultra pads Bryant

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

May 18th, 2011 by the sarah | 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

May 9th, 2011 by the sarah | 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.

Who’s thinking of the children? I know I am!!

May 4th, 2011 by the sarah | Permalink

Ladies and gentlemen,
Buckle your seat belts and hold the phone because this is so exciting even YOU might raise an eyebrow. Yours truly has just received her very own copy of Our Schools Our Selves the Spring 2011 edition. Cool.

Yes, it’s cool. What’s COOLER is that on page 71, my article on student-centred sexual health education is shining beneath a picture of me looking QUITE academic!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know. Seriously.
So I’ll give you a brief synopsis of what I argue and then leave you in SUSPENSE!!!

First of all, this is an incredibly awesome and progressive journal about policy change in Canada. Beautiful read. I read the sex education edition and kind of fell in love. Twice.

So my article is called “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children? Promoting student-centred sexual health education“. *sigh* Take a moment to love that… there.

Here’s a picture of it:

Isn’t that gorgeous? Oh yes. I can’t even handle it.
There’s another picture above. Oh it’s so awesome.

So I’m essentially advocating FOR comprehensive sexual health education BECAUSE it is student-centred and focuses on the learners (the students) instead of other biases. The students need to know information relevant to them, so I argue that let’s LISTEN to them and feed off of their questions in order to sculpt a better curriculum. I suggest a couple of ways to do so by pointing to some research that has worked well; for example, anonymous question boxes. Do this.

Anyway, I’m excited. I will talk about this article (and reference myself like a cocky narcissus) later. I will also post about my trip to England where I again advocated for STUDENT-CENTRED LEARNING through collaboration! Yaaaaaaay.

Stay safe, sexually speaking.
Yours,
the published sarah

One lay, two day, three way, foreplay

April 20th, 2011 by the sarah | Permalink

Dr. Seuss said it best when he rhymed Sam and ham and all that jazz. It just makes sense, doesn’t it? Rhyming is fun, hence the title of this article; however, I did not make this article rhyme. That is a goal for another day.

One of my dear friends asked me to publish something about foreplay, so I did. I aim to please. Here is the article as it was published in UBC Okanagan’s school newspaper, The Phoenix. Enjoy!
More to come! Forgive me, I’ve been in Europe both adventuring and boasting about my research. A blog will highlight the sexual health fun soon time! :)

–Sarah

http://www.thephoenixnews.com/articles/45718

ECP – for emergencies only DAMN IT!!!

March 9th, 2011 by the sarah | 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.

Write me happiness

March 3rd, 2011 by the sarah | Permalink


Ladies and gentlemen,

I interrupt this stream of research to share with you some of my own glory that I am basking in.

This post will address some of my upcoming sexual health successes and some contemplations for the future.

Awesomeness #1: I am embarking on a Europe journey at the end of this month which will end in Durham, England at the Knowledge Exchange in Public Health (FUSE) conference. I will snap as many pictures and absorb as much information as humanly possible. I may even post my academic poster to the blog.

Awesomeness #2: I will very shortly be published in an academic journal!!!!! My article is on student-centred learning in sexual health education. This journal will be published in April, 2011. I will link to the journal website once I am a part of its brilliance! :):) CAN’T WAIT!

Awesomeness #3: I may or may not have googled sexual health PhD programs. Food for thought… Do I want a PhD or another M.A. in human sexuality, family relations and child/adolescent development, counseling. I’m leaning towards the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, but I have a soft spot for Ontario (my homeslice of a province), and so University of Guelph is also on my mind. YAY FOR THE FUTURE!!!

One step at a time. Step one: write a blog. :) Thanks for making it happen.
Stay safe, sexually speaking

— the Sarah sexology Bryantology