Author Archives: admin

The Slut Shaming Prude Shaming Double Bind

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Slut Shaming
(“You can’t go out dressed like that!”)
And Prude Shaming
(“You really need to go on more dates!”)
Work Together
To Trap Everyone
(“Only six people ever?”)
(“Wow, six is a lot!”)
But It’s Your Body, Your Life, Your Choices.

Breast Self-Exams Are Not Recommended

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A Public Service Announcement About Breast Self-Examination from SexEdPlus(.com)

1: Did you know that breast exams aren’t recommended any more?

2: Wait, what? My doctor just reminded me to do a monthly check!

1: Obviously a few people disagree, or your doctor might not have heard, but the CDC, the WHO, the National Cancer Institute, none of them recommend the exams any more.

2: Why?

1: Well, there’s never really been any evidence supporting them. There’s some cynical ideas about how a few groups have benefited from promoting them all this time. And there are finally some big studies just showing they don’t improve mortality rates.

2: But it couldn’t hurt to do them, right?

1: Actually, they think the exams could lead to needless biopsies and surgeries that do more harm than good. Or just make people needlessly anxious.

2: What should I do then?

1: Well, they are pretty sure that women between the ages of 50 and 74 should get a mammogram every two years. And maybe if you’re younger.

2: Maybe?

1: The evidence just isn’t really clear. Everyone says you should see a doctor if you notice something weird.

2: That makes sense, I guess.

1: Some groups are recommending ‘breast awareness’ but we don’t actually know what good that does.

2: I guess I have some cynical thoughts on why so much public attention has been focused on breast cancer. Compared to cervical cancer or heart disease. I mean, if you actually look at the numbers, and which groups are affected…

1: Well, one thing you can do is support funding for research. The effect isn’t immediate, but we’ll keep correcting these misconceptions and developing techniques that do work.


Also check out Not Having Sex Is Fine Too!

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Wanting to have a lot of sex doesn’t make you crazy.
Having slept with a lot of people doesn’t make you used up.
Deciding sex is worth some risk doesn’t make you stupid.
Attending to your own pleasure doesn’t make you selfish.
Having kinky, queer, or casual sex doesn’t make you immoral.
Getting an STI doesn’t make you dirty.
Seeing multiple partners doesn’t make you a whore.
Choosing to do sex work doesn’t make you cheap.
Talking openly about sex doesn’t make you fair game.
Dressing any way you want doesn’t make you a slut.

Safer Sex Is About More Than Condoms


Safer sex is also about other barriers (gloves, dental dams, diaphragms), other kinds of birth control (the pill, the patch, the shot, the implant, IUDs, emergency contraception), getting tested, getting treated, communicating with partners, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), vaccines, universal precautions, safewords, checking in, adapting to various physical abilities, attending to personal histories and emotional needs, knowing how to use your toys, understanding your body, and so much more. Safer sex is not about prescribing any one set of behaviors, it’s about empowering people to be aware of risk and make informed decisions about their own actions.

What You Should Know About HIV

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HIV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to AIDS. Because it was only discovered three decades ago, and a lot has changed since then, there are many misconceptions.
“Can I get HIV from kissing?”
“I thought only gay men got it.”
Here are a few things to know about HIV in the US today.

People of every age, gender, race, and sexual orientation get HIV.
“I got HIV from my girlfriend. She didn’t know.”
“I was born with HIV.”
“Honestly, I’m not sure how I got it.”

But HIV does disproportionately affect some groups, such as African Americans and Latinos, men who have sex with men, transgender women, injection drug users, sex workers, and people in jail or prison.
“Stigma made it harder to get tested, which made it more likely I infected someone else.”
“I’m young, gay, and black. I know I’m at high risk, so I’m extra careful.”

The annual average for new HIV infections is going down, but it’s still going up for some demographics.
“This is not a way these communities are failing, it’s a way we are failing them.”
“We have the tools we need to end this epidemic, but we need to target high-risk populations with education and services!”

With early detection and treatment, HIV does not significantly reduce life expectancy.
“When I learned I had HIV, I thought my life was over.”
“I take one pill a day and see the doctor twice a year. I’m lucky to have minimal side effects.”
“I’m 60. I’m pretty happy, pretty healthy, and hoping I still have a few years left.”

But only a third of people with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy, and one in five don’t even know that they are infected.

When an HIV infection is virally suppressed, the chance of transmission approaches zero.
“I’m HIV positive and virally suppressed.”
“I’m HIV negative and diligent about condoms.”

People who don’t have HIV can also significantly lower their risk of contracting the virus by taking a daily pill (called PrEP) or taking medication after possible exposure (PEP).
“I know my behaviors put me at a slightly higher risk, so I take PrEP to give me piece of mind.”
“My doctor recommended I take PEP after a sexual assault.”

HIV can be spread through blood, semen, vaginal and rectal fluid, and breast milk. It can not be spread through spit or sweat, casual touching, water fountains, or toilet seats.
“I don’t care what gay guys do with each other, I just don’t want to catch anything!”
“You’re worried about nothing, and you’re being a jerk.”

There’s no vaccine or cure for HIV.
“But we’re optimistic about creating some in the future!”
“We’re learning new things all the time!”
“And coming out with new options for prevention and treatment every year!”

Trans Bathroom Access

Bathrooms should be a safe and comfortable place for all. Don’t harass or attacks trans or gender nonconforming people for accessing a basic need. For more on this issue, check out episode 17 of the Sex Law Podcast (also on iTunes here). And take a look at this SexEdPlus post about gender identity!

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This is Dan. He’s a cisgender man and he’s going to the bathroom. He’s going to the men’s bathroom because he’s a man and he has to use the bathroom.

This is William. He’s a transgender man. He’s also going to the men’s bathroom because he’s also a man and he also needs to the use the bathroom.

This is Becka. She’s a cis woman. She’s going to the bathroom to get away from an awkward date and text her friend. It’s a safe place to plan her exit.

This is Emily. She’s a transgender woman. She’s just going to the womens bathroom to fix her makeup. Bathrooms should be a safe place for everyone.

This is Tom. He’s a trans boy. He’s going to the boys bathroom, and that doesn’t give anyone an excuse for asking invasive questions about his genitals.

This is Margaret. She’s a trans girl. She’s going to the girls bathroom, and there’s no reason to assume she’s there trying to invade other people’s privacy.

This is Peter. He’s an androgynous boy. He’s going to the boys bathroom, and he shouldn’t have to prove his sex, his gender, or his right to be there.

This is JB. They’re a nonbinary kid. They’re in the women’s bathroom because they feel comfortable there. Don’t interrogate them about their gender.

This is Chris. Ze’s a bigender person. Ze’s going to the men’s bathroom because ze’s in a hurry today and it’s quicker to use the urinal. Don’t attack zem.

This is Alyx. She’s a genderqueer girl. She’s going to the gender-neutral bathroom because that’s the best fit when the option is there. Don’t harass her.

Love is Super Cool

Today is Loving Day, the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, a 1967 Supreme Court decision that made interracial marriage legal across the United States. (This post is a new version of this post.)

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It’s cool if you love someone.
It’s cool if you love being on your own.
It’s cool if you love someone of the same gender.
It’s cool if you love someone of a different race.
It’s cool if you love two someones.
It’s cool if you love differently.
It’s cool if you love people in a platonic kind of way.
It’s super cool if you love yourself regardless.

Street Harassment

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You don’t have to respond to shitty comments.
“I’d love to tap that.”

Even if they are worded like questions.
“Want to let me tap that?”

Or if you’ve responded to something else.
“Do you have the time?”
“Quarter after two.”
“Got time to let me tap that?”

And if you do, you don’t have to be polite.
“I’d love to tap that.”
“Screw you.”

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