Category Archives: Sex Ed

Mythbusting Sex Ed

What To Do If You Can’t Orgasm

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At least once a week, somebody tells me that they can’t orgasm. It doesn’t matter what gender they are or what body parts they have. They text me, email me, or sidle up to me while I’m at work and say, “Hey, can I talk to you?” And then they tell me — full of shame — that they’ve been having a hard time reaching orgasm.

[A puppet dog hanging his head in shame next to a puppet snowman.]

I’m the snowman.

Well, friends, this post is for you.

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Mythbusting Sex Ed

The Pillow Princess and the Pea

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According to basically every mainstream porn that’s ever been made, good sex is a highly aerobic activity – lots of writhing, twisting, humping, and thumping. And for some people, that’s pretty accurate. For others, it’s not.

Enter the “pillow princess.” Pillow princesses are people (of all genders!) who prefer to be physically passive during sex. They’re not into rolling around, rough-housing, or exerting themselves a lot during sex, and they sometimes don’t enjoy reciprocating manual or oral sex (handjobs and blowjobs). Instead, they like to splay out like a starfish and feel each sensation as it washes over them.

[GIF: Patrick Star, the starfish from "Spongebob," raising and lowering his eyebrows.]

Not that starfish!

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Sex Ed Social Theory

Stop Talking About Sex

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First of all, I’m sorry for disappearing. In my never-ending quest for financial solvency, I did the unthinkable and got a job. It’s been hard to find a regular writing schedule since then, but I haven’t forgotten about this blog (or its wonderful readers!), and I’ve got some exciting pieces in the metaphorical oven.

Speaking of metaphors, I’d like to throw around a theory that I’ve been contemplating recently. It goes like this: for some people, the best way to talk about sex is to talk about something else entirely.

Here at Yaybody, I try my best to approach sexuality head-on. I’ve found that if I get cutesy or beat around the bush too much, it becomes harder for people to understand what I mean. Also, I want to equip my readers with the language and concepts necessary for them to understand their bodies and desires.

That’s all well and good, but sometimes it seems as though people – even sex educators – would rather talk about anything aside from sex. Take food, for example. Al Vernacchio says that we should talk about sex the way we talk about pizza. Emmeline May says that sex (or, more specifically, consent) should be treated like tea. My sex ed students have decided that sex is actually more like macaroni and cheese.

What gives? Or, in the words of one of my students: “Why you gotta make all of my meals about sex?”

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Sex Ed

Masturbating Makes You Feel Gross? Blame Your Amygdala.

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In case you haven’t gotten the memo, masturbating is both normal and healthy. Woohoo!

[Animation: Black man dancing happily in front of a light blue, pink, and blue screen.]

Something that feels good… is good. Fascinating.

There’s more to the masturbation story than rainbows and puppies, however. Apparently, just knowing  that it’s good doesn’t always make masturbation an amazing act. Ever since I began to teach sex ed, people young and old have asked me about the “gross” feeling that people sometimes get after they masturbate. For a while my answer always circled back to the idea that sexual shame is inescapable in modern society. And that’s definitely part of it, but even the most liberated people I know have confessed to occasionally feeling a little squicked after masturbation.

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Birth Control Mythbusting Sex Ed

What’s REALLY Up With the IUD?

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Welcome to part two of “Birth Control Beyond the Basics,” a series of guest posts written by a dear friend of mine who knows a whole lot about sexual and reproductive health. Click here for the first entry, Birth Control Beyond the Basics: Pill Power!

Are you thinking of getting an IUD? Great! Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are low-maintenance, long-lasting methods that are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. And they’re often covered 100% by insurance, even if you have a deductible! (Always call and check—IUDs are expensive, so you don’t want to have a claim rejected.)

An IUD is a t-shaped device that goes inside your uterus. It’s placed there by a provider and lasts for 3-12 years, depending on which model you select—you can get it removed sooner if you want, though. Once it’s time for it to come out, a provider will remove it using the strings that hang outside of the cervix.

Even if you already know the basic spiel about what an IUD is, you might have some questions or concerns that are making the decision difficult. Here are the most common questions I was asked as a birth control counselor, as well as some questions I had myself when I was deciding to get an IUD.

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Birth Control Mythbusting Sex Ed

Birth Control Beyond the Basics: Pill Power!

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Today’s post is written by Annie, a dear friend of mine who knows a whole lot about sexual and reproductive health. This is part one out of three in her series, “Birth Control Beyond the Basics.” Enjoy! 

Birth control pills are the most commonly used method of contraception in the US, and are so ubiquitous that they’re probably the first thing that pops to mind when you hear the phrase “birth control.” There are actually a lot of other methods, most of which are actually easier to use than the pill, but the pill can be a really great method for those who don’t struggle with taking it every day at the same. (Yes, you really do need to be taking it at the same time for full efficacy.) Although it can come with negative side effects, the pill actually has some potential POSITIVE side effects as well. It reduces your risk of certain cancers, often reduces acne, and helps many people get relief from irregular, heavy or painful periods. The pill is often prescribed specifically to deal with these issues!

What you might not know, though, is that you actually don’t need to get your period AT ALL while taking the pill!

Image: white woman looking suspiciously over her sunglasses.

Say what?

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Mythbusting Sex Ed

Things You Should Know About STIs (But Probably Don’t)

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Last year was not a great year for me, health-wise. I got shingles, pneumonia, and the flu. I had to get an endoscopy because of stress-related indigestion. I twisted my knee while snowboarding and couldn’t run for a month.

Also, I got my first STI. And then I got my second.

For the uninitiated, STI stands for “sexually transmitted infection.” Most of us grew up calling them STDs. Most of us were also instilled with a deep fear of them – and not much else. We were taught that people who got STIs are morally decrepit, physically loathsome, and doomed to die, but we weren’t taught about how they are treated, how to talk to our partners about them, or how to test for them responsibly.

So when I got scabies, the first thought that ran through my head was, “This is the worst thing that has ever happened,” and the second was, “My partners are going to hate me.”

You’re saying I have a totally treatable infection that can be cured with a single pill? Goodbye, cruel world!

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Relationships Sex Ed Social Theory

Beyond “Yes Means Yes:” Navigating Differences in Desire

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Have you ever not known whether you’d like to have sex?

Try this scenario on for size: You’re at a party. You’re sober enough to give consent. You’ve been talking to (and dancing with!) someone who you’re very attracted to. They turn to you and ask, very respectfully, “Want to go back to my place?”

Or this one: You’ve just gotten home from work. You and your long-term partner are preparing dinner together. The two of you are laughing and having a great time. Your partner looks particularly good this evening, and apparently they think the same of you, because suddenly they turn and ask mischievously, “Can we go to the bedroom?”

Or even this one: You wake up in bed with your partner. You’re both obviously aroused. “Sex?” says your partner.

For many folks, those are pretty straightforward questions. If you’re anything like me, however, here are some things that might pop into your head when your partner pops the question:

  1. Yes! But no! But yes. But… no? But… !
  2. Sex sounds nice, but so does a long, intense conversation.
  3. That sounds like a whole lot of effort.
  4. I don’t know!!

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