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Sometimes, sex isn’t the easiest thing to talk about, especially when you’re young. As we grow up, teachers, families, and mentors are a wellspring of experience and knowledge that we siphon information from on the way toward adulthood. But one thing that would make for better sex ed is understanding the concept and understanding of sexuality. 

After all, how many adults today have been properly educated about the social, emotional, and psychological components of entering sexual adulthood? How many of us have been formally taught comprehensive sexuality? Whether or not you have, our sexuality is a crucial part of our development, and access to this education should be widespread and accessible.

The Sex-Ed I Remember…

When you think of classic sex-ed in middle school or high school, what do you remember? For me, there’s one day in class that immediately comes to mind. My science teacher put in the VHS tape labeled “The Miracle Of Birth.” I giggled uncontrollably along with the rest of my 7th-grade class and watched the whole bloody “miracle” through my fingers. At the time, it was utter nightmare material. Only years later did I realize this video showing was less about education and more about fear. It was a tactic meant to scare me away from sex, not educate me about having it. 

Leading up to this rite of middle-school passage, we got a brief biological explanation of the physical act of sex and its purpose as it relates to the procreation of species. I was lucky enough to also be given a little information regarding contraception and STIs. This was all definitely important stuff, but there is so much more to be learned about sex than anatomy and physiology. What we need is age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education. But what exactly is that? 

What is Sexuality Education?

The study of sexuality is an ever-evolving process. The more we learn about ourselves as a species, the more we have to teach our youth. So there’s no one correct and complete definition of Comprehensive Sexuality Education. 

The idea is to extend the teaching beyond the limiting themes of abstinence and anatomy. It’s to empower and encourage young and/or sexually inexperienced people to learn about components of sex that have been traditionally labeled as “taboo” or in some cases, irreligious. It’s teaching that instead of something that happens TO you, sex will be something you will determine for yourself. Yes, it’s sex. But it’s also sexual health, sexual identity, and sexual wellbeing and so much more.

So let’s get a little more specific. What are some components you might find in a Comprehensive Sexuality Curriculum?

Gender Identity and Orientation

Gender is a complex, hot-button issue right now socially and politically. As our society progresses, the concept and definition of gender are almost constantly in question. A fully-formed education on sexuality would address the role of gender norms in our society, and the idea of gender as a social construct. This includes the expectations and values that we place on ourselves and each other with regard to perceived gender. 

It also extends to gender biases and gender inequality. Of course, a parent can raise their child how they want and can instill their own values into their offspring. But young people should at least be taught what the terms cisgender, agender, non-binary or transgender mean if for any other reason, to perpetuate the principle of acceptance and inclusivity. 

Beyond gender, learning about sexual orientation and identity should also be a huge component of sexuality education. LGBTQ+ youth are among the most bullied and alienated kids in the world. More often than not, they suffer this torment without even knowing what’s happening in their psyche. The spectrum of sexual identity and attraction is becoming common knowledge. In all education, diversity should be celebrated through positivity and appreciation. Just as we laud diversity of race, religion, and ability, we should also laud diversity of orientation and identity. 

Pleasure

Contrary to popular belief, this DOES NOT mean teaching young people how to experience sexual pleasure. Adding the concept of pleasure to sexuality education means positively encouraging young people to seek enjoyable sexual experiences. 

Let’s be honest, sexual curiosity is born from a biological urge to seek pleasure. This is not a secret we should keep hidden away from the unknowing. If we’re truthful about healthy sexual behavior, we’ll be working against negative feelings of shame and guilt around sex. Sex is a natural part of adulthood, and young people shouldn’t feel intimidated or scared of it. Nor should they feel guilty for wanting to feel good, whether it’s through masturbation or partnered sexual activity.

Contraception & STI safety

Safe sex might sound like an obvious topic to cover in sex ed. But get this: In actuality, only 39 states mandate HIV education. And only 22 states are required to teach HIV education that is “medically accurate”. That means that teachers are legally allowed to lie to students about HIV.

When it comes to contraception, only “20 states require provision of information on contraception,” while “39 states require provision of information on abstinence.” Sure, this is an improvement from the days where abstinence was the only method of birth control that any educator spoke of. The truth is, however, that in many parts of the country, this is still the case. 

There are still 9 states with absolutely no requirements of sex or HIV education. Within those 9 states, 5 of them are listed in the Top 12 states with the highest teen birth rates. The reality is that teenagers are going to have sex. It is their right to be educated on how to do it safely and responsibly. 

Puberty & Body Acceptance

An often overlooked component of sexuality education is a detailed understanding of how the human body changes during adolescence. Puberty is weird, uncomfortable, and confusing! Any level of understanding would, I’m sure, be welcomed by your average pimple-faced, armpit-sniffing teen. 

Biologically, puberty is a precursor to reproductive maturity. Hormonal and bodily changes that teens and pre-teens go through are directly related to their sexual experience. Understanding the function of all the weird things happening can help young people walk through this transition with less shame and more acceptance. 

Consent and Sexual Exploitation

If there’s one thing that I would have benefitted most from in sex education class, it would have been consent. It is unbelievably pertinent to the sex lives and sexual safety of young people. As a young person exploring my own sexuality, I found myself in so many situations in which my consent was compromised or unclear. At the time, I blamed myself for being fickle or careless or slutty. When in fact, I was just uneducated.

I wasn’t alone. Most of us weren’t taught the importance of intention and integrity when it comes to sex. And far too many times, things got out of hand and out of control. 

Young people fall victim to sexual exploitation every day. One place where this is extremely evident is on college campuses where one in five women experience sexual assault. It’s imperative that we teach sexual safety in order to reduce this number and promote healthy interactions between sexual partners. 

Healthy Relationships & Romance

Ah, puppy love. Learning to form our first adult relationships happens early for some. If that growth were accompanied by lessons learned about how to have healthy relationships, imagine how many traumatic experiences could be avoided. 

Sexuality education would address the ways in which sex, love, and dating are both related and independent from each other. Handling the emotions that occur alongside sexual desire could potentially curb heartbreak, rage, and maybe even save a few young love stories from sad endings. 

Whether love is happening or not, the emotional component of sex should not be ignored. It should be explored, studied, and paid attention in an encouraging and positive environment. 

Why Do We Need It?

We need comprehensive sexuality education because quite frankly, it doesn’t exist. Not on a large enough scale where its benefits can be measured and calculated.

Our society is progressing. Growth is inevitable. Our standards of sexual education should mirror the progress that we are showing. Think about the good it could do. Maybe comprehensive sexuality education would help a trans kid to rethink their suicidal ideation.  Maybe it would save a young girl from being a victim of revenge porn. Maybe a son or daughter or person could teach their parents something that they never knew about acceptance and identity. After all, knowledge is power, right? 

Laurie Magers is a comedy writer and actor living in Los Angeles. Her favorite color is red and her favorite food is crab legs. Check out more from her at www.lauriemagers.com.

Kitchen sex

Being trapped inside with your partner during a pandemic will definitely take a toll on your sex life… Especially if you’re having the same sort of sex day in and day out or seeing the same sex tips over and over. Alternatively, maybe you’re living alone, bored with your vibrator, and looking for new ways to masturbate. (FYI, you’re not the only one.) 

Luckily, there are many creative ways to “get down” in every room of your house, regardless of whether you’re having sex solo or with a partner. See below for our top sex tips to exercise your creativity in and around the house. 

The Garage 

Are you feening to get out of the house? Don’t wanna use up your gas in the car? Well, you can still go for a ride, whether that be with a partner or by yourself. (Think of seatbelts as a new type of harness or sex swing… )

One of our favorite car positions is wrapping one’s ankles with the seatbelt to keep it in a desired, comfortable position during playtime. Something along the lines of the One Up is great for oral stimulation. You can use the seatbelt to keep the leg up, and you can put some pillows on the garage floor to maximize your partner’s comfort. 

The Kitchen

Getting x-rated in the kitchen can be as delicious as it is sexy. Ever use chocolate syrup? Or whipped cream? If you’re not a sweets person, what about sushi? (Very Samantha from Sex in the City of you.) 

The kitchen is also filled with opportunity for levels—whether that’s the kitchen counter, table, or chairs. Maybe one person is laying on the counter and the other is standing, or you get intimate with some fun on the chair. (Can be done with the partner or solo!) Either way, doing anything sexual in the kitchen can feel very erotic, as it’s typically an unconventional place for anything sexy. Just be sure to wipe down the countertops afterward…  

Living Room

Get out of your house (and rekindle your childhood) by building a fort in your living room. In fact, you can create a whole new world and explore a wide variety of new positions in your fort. (If you need some guidance on how to build a fort in your living room, here’s a handy step-by-step.) 

With a plethora of comfy pillows beneath you, you and your partner will both feel like you’re surrounded by softness, and you can use the extra fluff to access new positions. Enjoy the intimacy of the small enclosed space for mutual or solo masturbation—the close quarters should make it feel all the more erotic. Talk about orgasmic!

The Office

You may not be going into work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply these sex tips to the office and get bent over your desk. Getting it on in your home office allows you to utilize furniture pieces that typically don’t see too much action. 

Start out with a work themed lap dance. Have your partner sit in the office chair while you slowly undress to whatever makes you feel sexiest. When your partner is all hot and bothered, don’t call HR, just rock their world in the office chair.

Bathroom

Shower sex may get a bit tricky, but it’s a great location for foreplay. Draw a luxurious bath for you and your partner or prep a nice steamy shower. Have them join you and then slowly lather them up in suds, taking extra time to feel one another’s bodies.

Bathing with a partner can be highly intimate and even more erotic. Set the mood with some nice lighting and candles. When you both are lathered, rinsed, repeated, and ready hop out of the shower or bath and lotion/oil each other up. A sensual massage is a great segway to some highly arousing sex.

Regardless of how long we are staying inside, a little bit of imagination, some creativity, and communication can transform your sex life can still be something new.

— 

Javay da BAE is a sex educator, content creator, writer, and comedian. She is also known as the Millennial Sexpert. Her sex education work focuses on comprehension and inclusion while being accessible. She specializes in LGBTQIA+ identities, STIs, pleasure, and kink/BDSM. Visit JavaydaBAE.com to see her work.

Fetishizing Black bodies

Butt. Ass. Bottom. Behind. Fanny. Derriere. Cheeks. The list goes on and on. Obsession over big butts is so embedded into our culture that it’s impossible to scroll through any web or social media platform and not see a booty. But how did this come to be? Let’s take a look:

  1. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, butt augmentation with fat grafting has one of the most “notable gains in 2019” out of all cosmetic surgeries with a 17% increase in procedures.
  2. There are workout videos specifically designed to target one’s glutes in order to enlarge the butt.
  3. Photoshopping apps typically used to cover one’s blemishes are being utilized to alter one’s butt to make it appear larger and/or rounder.
  4. There are porn categories for ‘big ass’ and ‘anal sex.’

As a Black woman with a larger butt, I can tell you firsthand how into butts our society has become. For example, my butt has been deemed my best “asset” (pun intended) on multiple occasions. It makes me wonder if the partners I choose only like me for my figure. And I’m not alone in this inner-dialogue. Anecdotally, self-identified Black females all over the world question whether or not they are being sexualized and fetishized by their partners.

That said, big butts haven’t always been the status quo. In fact, it used to be the exact opposite! Bigger bodies with large butts used to be seen as undesirable and freakish. So what changed?

The History of Disempowerment 

In the early 18th and 19th centuries, the Black individual was deemed “the deviant of sexuality.” Fuller-figured Black bodies were seen as closer to those of an orangutan. More specifically, the White woman and Black woman could not be sexually similar, because, of course, the Black woman’s sexual appetite was more animal-like than human. In order to justify these beliefs and accusations, white writers needed the support of science. One of these scientific differences being the physical contrasts between Black women’s bodies versus that of the White “healthy medical model.” Writers drew connections between the Black women’s curvaceous nature to overdeveloped sex organs. Using the Black female body as a means to prove these statements inherently objectified the Black woman.

A prime example of the fetishization and sexualization of the Black body is the infamous Sarah Baartman. Baartman was 25 years old when put on public display in Europe to represent the Hotennot female for her large buttocks and protruding genitalia. Europeans would come to gawk at Baartman, even pay to poke her with sticks as if she solely existed for their own curious pleasure. After her death, Barrtman was dissected for her sexual body parts. She was put on display at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris until her remains were returned to South Africa. 

Idealizing Small Cheeks

If we take a look at the ideal butt throughout the centuries, the perfect butt typically fell in line with fashion and fitness trends. For example: 

  • The 1920s flapper era popularized tiny butts in order to fit the small, sequin dresses of this time. 
  • Thin supermodels were all the rage during the 1960s. For example, the famous model Twiggy had a small butt and long legs that became idealized.
  • The 1970s gave bias to a more athletic, toned build with tighter glutes. 

Kindly note that Black women did not disappear during this time—the 1920s jazz era could not have happened without Black folks. But it wasn’t until hip-hop & rap began explicitly calling out the butt, that the rise of ‘fuller-bodied’ female celebrities began.  

My Anaconda, Don’t!

People claim the resurgence of big butts began after female celebrities in Hollywood shocked the public with striking views of their own behinds. For example, J-Lo’s early 2000’s memorable red carpet gowns and poses that accentuated her butt. Or Nicki Minaj’s booty-full Anaconda music video that cast Minaj’s butt as the lead role. And of course, Kim Kardashian’s controversial Paper Magazine shoot that received criticism for the eerie similarities to the previously mentioned, Sarah Baartman. 

It isn’t a surprise that the big butt trend has been re-ignited per Hollywood’s endorsements. As noted throughout history, the ideal body and physical attributes are inherently tied to fashion, media, and celebrity trends. When someone already deemed as prestigious and desirable has a specific body, their body begins to be equated with prestige and desirability. And, therefore, the average consumer follows in tandem. 

Your butt matters.

It’s important to note that how butts were seen throughout centuries is not linear. Society didn’t just jump from small butts being the fad to big butts. It went from round butts to small butts, to the hourglass figure, to bustles being attached to dresses to make the butt look larger, and back and forth. Culture can be easily manipulated by Hollywood to tell us what is desirable and hot. The industry capitalizes on all women’s insecurities with little regard for the implications and context of the trends they push forward.

This isn’t to say that I don’t love an ass compliment. I love my ass and so many Black women do! But it’s crucial to understand the context of where these trends are coming from. There’s a long history of Black women being shamed for what other bodies are praised for. Even under the umbrella of big butts, a natural bigger butt comes with stretch marks, hair, and discoloration but these qualities aren’t as acceptable or praised in the media. 

The history of the ideal butt is nuanced and continues to be ever-changing. I wonder if there will be a time when every body type is deemed ideal. 

— 

LaTanya Hutchinson is a third-year Northeastern student studying Business, Design, and Health Psychology. Her interest in sex-positivity was spurred on by her Health educator, Shafia Zaloom, at The Urban School of San Francisco. LaTanya has served as a research assistant for and was interviewed by (Shafia) for her book, Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between. She is now an aspiring sex educator.

LaTanya’s passion is to inspire, educate, and arm the masses with the right information and tools to lead them toward a pleasurable and shame-free sexual lifestyle.

Woman and man holding vibrator on a bed
Dear Dr. Emily,
I’m wondering if it’s okay to always bring in a clitoral vibrator into the bedroom? It’s the only way I can orgasm, but I don’t want to hurt my partner’s feelings or have them think I’m weird. Thank you! 
Feeling the Vibes

Hi Feeling the Vibes, 

I love that you’re using toys and know what your body needs to feel pleasure. It can be difficult for women to orgasm in the first place, so you’re already on the right track.

There is nothing shameful about using a clitoral vibrator! I mean, you’re experiencing pleasure, right? Many vulva and vibrator owners keep their toys to themselves out of fear of rejection or offending their partner. But I say, why NOT give your partner a chance to see what the magic is all about?

Like anything, start by being mindful of how to start the conversation. Best not to overwhelm them or pull it out without much warning. Remember the three T’s of communication: timing, tone, and turf. Bring it up outside of the bedroom and start by having a casual and playful conversation. Maybe start with a specific thing you love or memory you have about your sex life with them. Be honest and open about your experience with toys. Explain that you think toys might be a fun way to increase the pleasure even more for both of you.

Once you’ve had an open conversation now you can start playing.  I always find it helps to show my partner how it works, even demonstrating on their body so they get a sense of how amazing vibrations can feel, no matter what parts you have! 

Get creative, and even let them take control—the We-Vibe Chorus is a great clitoral vibrator for couples and can be totally hands-free. Maybe bring out some massage oil, like Exsens. You can massage their body and start to tease them with the vibe. Once they know how good it feels, they’ll better understand why you love it so much.

There’s no shame in always needing a vibrator, but I would also encourage you to keep experimenting. Our brain memorizes masturbation patterns, so it may take time and effort to discover new methods.

And of course, have lots of fun. Many couples find that bringing a toy into their relationship not only enhances pleasure but also strengthens their intimacy. Happy vibing!

xx,

Dr. Emily

Happy September everybody! As we shift from summer into fall, many of us are taking the time to adjust to new routines, fresh wardrobes, and changing temperatures. Luckily, with the sun in the practical sign of Virgo, it’s also the perfect time to focus on yourself and get organized for the remainder of the year.

But be aware—with Mars in fiery Aries, this is also shaping up to be a month of war. Everyone seems to have an opinion and aggression may be fervent. (Especially with an upcoming election!) Instead of letting the irritation get to you, make the shift toward positive and courageous energy. Healthy and consensual sex can be a great outlet for letting out stress and built up aggravation. No matter your sign, this is a great month to turn on your own sexiness and claim whatever (and whoever) is appealing to you!

Read below for your September Sexoscope: 

Aries (March 21-April 19)

When you are completely confident about what you need, and also fully interested in the needs of others, you are irresistible. Don’t let anyone dim your fireworks this month—just tell them to wait patiently for the grand finale.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

When you inhabit your body as a sacred unending pleasure temple, you enchant people to their core. When you crave lusciousness—turn inward.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

When you reach for the level of transformational conversation you bewitch people. Don’t let common thoughts or ordinary banter get in the way of your maverick brilliance!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

When you are as soft and yummy as a cookie (but also as sturdy as a mountain), folks can’t help but pursue you. Never compromise your boundaries to make others like you. You are the sweetness worth behaving for.

Leo  (July 23-August 22)

When you crack open your heart and let the light pour out to make others shine, people can’t get enough of you. Your generous love is a floodlight of seduction.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

When you let go of perfection and highlight every flaw as sheer genius, you become a siren of attraction. You know better than anyone how to look through the cracks and see where the light comes in.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

When you realize that beauty is built by appreciating life you bathe in a regal glow. Others want to be with those who know the secret is not to have what you want but to truly love what you have.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

When you face darkness like an old friend, and bring the hope back like a giant street lamp, others find you utterly beguiling. Fearless to feel, you make people want to dive in.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

When you speak your truths, not as swords, but as vulnerable invitations you become spellbinding. You never need to promote what is unflinchingly authentic.

Capricorn (December 22-January 20)

When you lend your immense competence in service of the ultimate good,  and you take time to smell the orgasmic roses – you become a walking aphrodisiac. Don’t let doing become the boss of being and all the oysters will be yours.

Aquarius (January 21-February 18)

When you are as truly empathetic as you are utterly disarming, people will fall at your feet. When the sky blue meets the turquoise of the deep sea, no one can resist.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

When your dreamy nature grounds in earthly manifestation everyone wants a delectable nibble of you. Maintaining a mature focus in your life, undistracted by shallow temptations, leads you to your erotic superpower.

Jennifer Freed PhD is the best selling author of Use Your Planets Wisely and a renowned psychological astrologer and social and emotional education trainer. She has spent over thirty years consulting clients and businesses world wide on psychological, spiritual, and educational topics. She has served as the clinical director of Pacifica Graduate Institute and is national consultant for EMDR (Post Traumatic Growth Therapies).

​Dr. Freed’s passion is to awaken the potentials of each client and collective and to guide them to make lasting contributions to their communities.  

Hi, I’m Emily Morse and I used to fake orgasms. Once I understood why I was doing it, and how much more satisfying sex could be for me and my partner, I stopped. I want the same for you. In this episode, we hear from people who have been faking it and how to take back the power of your “O” by learning your body and how to ask for what you need.  
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relationship masturbation blog sex with emilyMasturbation has always been a touchy subject in relationships. How exactly do you go about it when you’re having sex on a regular basis? Does masturbating mean that you aren’t that into your partner? Does it mean your partner doesn’t satisfy your needs? What if one partner does it all the time and the other has never even tried?

Here are some very valid reasons to get your partner (or yourself!) on the masturbation train

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