Intervention: Staging, Summary, and Reflection

DIY Tool Kit: How To Teach Sex Ed!

  1. pack a tote bag filled with essentials: vulva condoms, penis condoms, dental dams, water-based lubricant, vibrant and or prostate massager
  2. Enter the space in which you will teach
  3. Politely introduce yourself and your lesson
  4. Take one of each condom from the bag, decide which you will demonstrate first. Pass the selected condom to each participant
  5. Allow enough time for participants to get comfortable with the material, but maintain educational structure
  6. Take sex toy out of tote bag. For the vibrator, explain difference between external and internal vibrators. This would also be a good time to debrief the clitoris. Demonstrate the difference between pule and vibrators, advise participants on how to tackle their tingle. Go over sanitation. For the prostate massager, review how to find a safe one (not all buttholes are created equal), debunk male sex toy stigma, review sanitation. For both, review how to introduce toys into the bedroom.
  7. Take lubricant out of tote bag. Pour sampling of lube into each participant’s hands. At this time, explain the difference in water-based and silicon-based lubricants. Inform students on the importance of lubricant, and where and when to use it. Explain that we are water-based beings, and therefore water-based is best. Avoid any alcohol or oil-based lubricants.

Sex Ed Summary

I decided to stage my intervention at night–I specifically chose 9:50 pm. I felt this was an appropriate time because by 9:50, all 9:30 classes have been ended, and first year students living on campus have completed their 20 minute walk to the dorms. And, to be frank, sex typically happens at night. I chose to have my intervention in the dorms because this is where a majority of my peers still live and where they have sex. I wanted to approach this as an informal teach-in. I wanted to create a space for open conversation between friends, this is largely because I learned best through these lax discussions. When a private, comfortable space is established, the barriers of privilege are dismantled.
This was most noticeable in conversations pertaining to sex education, in which LGBTQ+ folks are wrongfully excluded from accessing the information and resources they need. I was unable to see just how powerful and domineering the heterosexual narrative was until I talked to my friends about their experience with sex education. They shared stories of feeling shamed by professors and peers alike, feeling barred from asking questions or participating in class discussions, and overall, feeling wrong and left-out. When I asked how they eventually learned the information they wanted and or needed, I was enthusiastically reminded, “I figured it out myself”. The simple remark, I figured it out myself, was a pleasing and simultaneously roaring hum. All too often, teachers, parents, politicians, and even trained sex educators forget centralize the needs of the people within the LGBTQ+ spectrum. What each of these people in power tend to forget that their lack of awareness is not equal to the public’s lack of interest, and it is wrong to assume that by neglecting a vast number of people within the population, their needs will disappear.
Having this teach-in reminded me of the privileges I carry, and the work that still needs to be done in the realm of sex education. Creating an open forum for stories, tips, questions, and even rants proved to be the best option for my teach-in, by giving the participants, my friends, the same level of power as me, the instructor. It encouraged me to further my education of both sexual health and social justice, and listen to unheard voices.

Sex Ed Reflection 

I should have anticipated the overall outcome of my teach-in. My friends and I talk about many things, sex is one of them. Therefore, I thought having an informal teach-in would be best. Instead, the information I intended to present felt more like a garnish sprinkled on top of TV dinner rather than the tasting menu at Per Se. Rather than present each talking point, the lesson transitioned from a place of a didactic teaching to a place of discovery. Demonstrations suddenly included experimentation and an analysis of material. I liked the new tone the lesson took on, and I was able to present my information by answering questions or dispelling sexual myths. My only wish for the lesson would be to make my friend’s playful nature into account before planning the lesson. My formal structure was quickly tossed out the window in order to make more time for their curiosity.
If I were to perform another teach in, I would want to have another peer teach with me, this time, from the LGBTQ+ community. For too long, those who identify within the LGBTQ+ community have been excluded from the discussion of sexual education. Their needs to information and their right to be recognized as participants in healthy sexuality have been repeatedly denied by those in power. It is time to redirect the power in education by giving a platform for those who had identities previously dismissed in a traditional class setting.

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