Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pleasure - oh NOOOOOO!

A few days ago the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health in Sheffield England (part of the National Health Service) released a pamphlet that reviews suggested ways for adults to speak to young people about sex. And about what things they should discuss.

This pamphlet takes a pleasure based perspective. It promotes masturbation as healthy and as a good way to explore one's own body. It encourages people to explore methods of sexual contact other than penetration. It links condoms to pleasure. It encourages discussing the clitoris (gasp!). And it states, unequivocally, that both consent and pleasure are expectations of sexual contact.

This is all good sense. But, since it actually acknowledges pleasure as an aspect of sexuality, these folks are getting a lot of heat.

Studies have shown this approach works. This philosophy is one of the reasons our store exists. Teaching kids (and for that matter adults) to respect and honor sex and to only engage in sexual activity in ways that are physically and emotionally pleasurable changes behavior. It decreases sexual activity, postpones first intercourse, increase the incidence of safer sex and decreases the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

Think about it - in high school, sexually active and only being sexual with another when it was safe, consensual and pleasurable? I bet most of us would have had less sex. Or waited to have sex a little bit later.

This is the kind of sex ed that actually works. This is what the world needs more of.

If you agree, send these folks an email and encourage them to keep up the good work. I'm sure they'll be bombarded from folks on the other side....


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