Tag Archives: sexual education

Sex School

At many universities, the Human Sexuality course is often the most popular.  A student learns the ins and outs of sexual anatomy, STI’s, pregnancy/birth, dysfunctions, and even some historical and cultural aspects of sex.

Yet what about taking it to the next level?

From books to action.

Last year at Northwestern University,  an after class presentation in Human Sexuality, went ‘live’ with a masturbation demonstration.  This didn’t go over so well and now the course has been shelved.

What if you knew you were signing up for a Human Sexuality course that included both the books and the sex.

That is what is happening near Vienna Austria, with the opening of the world’s first “School of Sex”.

Ylva Maria Thompson, the school’s headmistress, announced the opening of the Austrian International School Of Sex (AISOS), the world’s first school of practical sexuality.

The website states, “AISOS is Europe’s first school geared towards the development of sexual skills and techniques. As opposed to most schools dealing with sexuality, AISOS’ core education is not theoretical, but very practical. ..The courses at AISOS cover everything from sexual techniques to the history of sexuality.

At AISOS we want you do develop practical skills that will change not only your life, but also the lives of the people you decide to partner with.

In short, we teach the art of giving and receiving sexual pleasure.”

Check out their website: http://www.aisos.at

The website provides information in both German and English.

A few things came to mind when I found out about this new ‘sex school’:

One –  I lived in Vienna, Austria in 1993, obviously 19 years too early to attend the school- darn!!

I was lucky enough to visit Amsterdam a few times and that’s a sex thrill or ‘schooling’  just roaming the streets.

Two- Why didn’t I keep up to date on my German (as classes are held only in the German language).

Three-  I just accepted an adjunct professor position….maybe I should apply to AISOS.  To which I quickly said to myself, ‘Oh yes, I have a family and a business, and in particular a husband who I’m certain would much rather have me teach a school work class than lead a live sex presentation.’

Nevertheless, this new sex school is cutting edge to promoting sexual pleasure and education.

In the headmistress column, it states Macnab’s first three objectives of sex education are:

1. To make affection, sex, and love a constructive rather than a destructive force in modern society.

2. To develop feelings of self-identity, self-respect, and moral responsibility as an integral part of their personality and character development.

3. To understand and appreciate the sexual side of human nature psycho-sexual development may occur as normally and healthily as possible without feelings of indecency, embarrassment or undue guilt.

Sounds good to me.

Books AND Action.

Hopefully one day soon, I will return to Vienna and visit the school, for research and observation of course.

Would you sign up?                                                                                                                                                                    I would.


Sex Ed for a 7 year old….what does THAT look like?

I received this question today on my FB business page and loved it so much I wanted to share and elaborate.

Question~ (from Julie B. 39 year old mother)

What is the appropriate age to educate your child about sex? I was watching the CBS show Rules of Engagement last Monday with my 7 year old son. I know, I am Mother of the Year. Anyway, this episode was about a couple using a surrogate to have a baby. The husband’s best girlfriend, who is a lesbian, is the surrogate. My son speaks up half way thru the show, “Wait, Mom, I’m confused. How is she pregnant? She doesn’t have a husband. And that couple keeps talking about how it’s their baby. What is going on? How could she be having a baby? I thought she was a friend of the couple who want to have a baby.” I cringe.
Say nothing. Then say, “It’s kinda complicated adult stuff. Sometimes God sends us woman to have babies for woman whose body’s can’t.” Surprisingly that satisfied him. SEVEN is too young, in my head. But what is the right age?

Answer-

When raising children, its important to take advantage of ‘teachable’ moments. These moments occur regularly throughout our childrens development.  It is recommended to respond to these situations at your children’s level of development. The responses should reflect three main parts:  values,  age appropriate, and free from myth (no stork stories here).  Despite us as parents viewing our child as ‘so young’ and not aware of sexual issues; take heed- early elementary students are very aware of: gender differences,  knowing there is a genital difference,  curiosity of pregnancy and birth, a seeming interest in nudity, as well as occasionally or even regularly touch their genitals.

People often miss the opportunity when these moments enter into our daily lives.  For example, waiting in the line at the grocery store, your child notices a man that more resembles a woman,  and in a curious tone asks  ‘ Mom, is that a man or woman?’ This ‘moment’ can lead to a discussion that some men may feel more comfortable in women’s wear or don’t seem comfortable being a man and they dress and act as they feel they are vs. how they were born, or a confirmation the customer is a man with certain traits (ie. long hair, painted nails). The open dialogue fosters acceptance of diversity, improved tolerance for gender roles and establishes your parental role of compassion and the value of a nonjudgemental attitude.  If  your child decides the next day he would like his nails painted, you as the parent can decide if this fits in your family values.  Painting boys nails may not be a value fit which you might respond in this manner : Even though the male customer was wearing nail polish, in our family we’re not too excited about that choice, tell me about your interest in painting your nails?  This may lead to a whole different discussion, be perceived as no big deal by your child or may be a way for your child to be heard and express their individuality.

Seven year olds are very curious about pregnancy and birth. Most have known someone who was pregnant or who has just given birth.  This can lead to more teachable moments such as when your child asks about Aunt Sue’s baby or her big belly sticking out.  Aunt Sue’s pregnancy may lead to a discussion of brief anatomy and pregnancy terms: ‘ Isn’t it exciting for Aunt Sue! Her baby is in her uterus and lives their for nine months before the baby is born’.  This answer may satisfy your youngster. If not, they are sure to let us know.  Base your answers on your child’s question, then provide a brief response that follows the 3 main parts as noted above.

TV shows frequently contain adult related content which can be handled on a child appropriate level. Start the conversation small during these moments and elaborate more only if your child seems dissatisfied with your response. It is much healthier and effective to provide ongoing sexual education rather than waiting for ‘one day’ and having the ‘big’ discussion of the birds and the bees. Remember this dialogue happens with life experiences and becomes more detailed with age. It is common to feel uncomfortable as a parent ‘what words do I use’ ‘I wasn’t ready for these questions yet’ ‘are they too young to know’.  The question submitted by the reader details adult content on a TV show dealing with pregnancy and surrogacy.  The reader appears to have responded in a respectful and appropriate manner that fit their family values: it was an adult issue and some couples/women have other women ‘carry’ the baby for them. This answer can also take one step further in the discussion of adoption.  If your child knows of anyone who was adopted and how it is their ‘real parents’ even when the ‘mother’ is unable to carry the child, he/she can easily relate. Again it is a way to open your child’s eyes to diversity in families and what actually makes ‘a family’.

For further guidance, I suggest Debra Haffners book: “From Diapers to Dating” A parents guide to raising sexually healthy children from infancy to middle school.

http://www.amazon.com/Diapers-Dating-Parents-Sexually-Children/dp/1557044260

and her blog:

http://debrahaffner.blogspot.com/

Keep the dialogue open, meet your child where they are, and help your child develop a healthy view of sexuality!


STD’s everywhere??

I had the privilege of spending the weekend with some of my closest friends. During  dinner, my friends’ 13 year old son began discussing his middle school led sexual education program.  He noted the excessive focus that all sex leads to STD’s.  In a trumped up tone he exclaimed ‘what’s the big deal people, wear a condom!!!!’   What an excellent and easy solution! One can see in the chart below, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the top two STDs in the U.S.A and both preventible with effective condom use.

http://www.avert.org/std-statistics-america.htm

This chart leaves out a variety of other STD’s which are important to consider AND prevent, particularly HIV/AIDS:

According to the CDC in 2005,

  • There were more new diagnoses of HIV in individuals over 40 than in people under 40, but it was a close call.
  • Though blacks bear a disproportionate burden of HIV in the United States, whites and Hispanics accounted for approximately half of all new HIV diagnoses.
  • Heterosexual sex was responsible for twice as many new HIV cases as injection drug use.
  • Male-to-male sexual transmission was the source of approximately half of new reported HIV infections.
  • Approximately one quarter of all new infections occurred in women.

Fortunately with increased awareness, funding and treatment options, many are aware of the disease and its risks within the U.S., yet there are other STD’s that some may never of heard. Such as the two most common in women.

What would you guess is the most frequently transmitted STD in sexually active young women?

Trichomoniasis. The symptoms include a frothy discharge, strong vaginal odor, pain on intercourse, irritation and itching.
The other doozy in this bunch is, HPV. The Human Papilloma Virus is possibly the most common in all sexually active women.
“One 1997 study estimated that three-quarters of the sexually active population has had HPV at some point during their lives, and a study released in 2007 found that one-quarter of women are infected at any given time. HPV may be known as “the cervical cancer virus,” but only a few types of HPV are linked to cancer. Others cause genital warts, or no symptoms at all. Although HPV is considered incurable, its symptoms can be treated, and many people resolve infections on their own. Recently the government approved a new vaccine to protect young women from the four most common strains of the virus.”

‘There are more than 100 types of HPV, at least 30 of which are spread by sexual contact. HPV has been linked to certain types of skin cancers as well as: Throat, Penile, Cervical, and Anal.’

“More than 50 percent of sexually active adults are thought to be infected with at least one strain of the virus, and up to 80 percent of sexually active women will have been exposed to the virus by the time they turn 50.”

STD 101 by Elizabeth Boskey, PHD About.com

Since both Herpes and Genital Warts are skin to skin contact and an outbreak can cover all areas in the vulva, testicles, perineum and anus….it would seemingly require a full body condom to prevent transmission.

The question is: What increases my risks? What steps can one take to reduce the risks? Does all sex lead to STD’s?

Increased Risk:

Unprotected Sex.If you have unprotected sex with a partner who has chlamydia or gonorrhea, you have an 70-80% chance of contracting the STD.

Multiple Partners.

A history of more than one STD’s

Intoxication/Drug- Alcohol Use and Abuse and Injecting Drugs

Being a young female (young cervix/changing cells/increased risk of contracting STD’s)

Reduce the Risks:

Condoms!

Limit Partners

Don’t start so early….waiting can be worth it

Stay Sober and Healthy

Chances of contracting an STD:

Some statistics say 1 in 10 people have had an STD, another would quote 1 in 5. The real deal….not everyone has one, yet you need to behave as if they do.

Don’t be scared, be smart!

Respect your body, make healthy choices and also use condoms.

Lastly, enjoy. Sex can be a wonderful experience, just do it wisely.


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