Sex-Positive Sex-Ed: there’s no money in it!

You may have noticed that my resources and website for young people contains some pretty racey stuff. Porn, teaching young people how to have sex and how to have amazing non entry sex, how the clitoris and G spot actually work as well as the other usual stuff about how to use condoms and have safer sex

This is called having a sex-positive approach and when I was trained and schooled as a sex educator 10 years ago I was taught that we don’t just teach about STIs and unwanted pregnancy but that we should also teach about the good stuff and how to get it. How to ask for and how to have great sex within trusting intimate relationships.

I set up and designed and printed my own leaflets because young people were asking me this stuff all the time: particularly young men. They wanted to be good at sex as well as staying safe and there’s only so many times you can draw the clitoris on the back of a condom bag before you get bored, or your pen runs out.

However as a marketing strategy it sucks. People are wary of these resources. Many of my emails bounce because they have sexual references in them, many sexual health professionals can’t even access this website let alone

I was going to go into partnership over the summer with an organisation that I thought were very sex positive. This was massive for me as I thought that the work I was doing was going to finally get a wider audience. Unfortunately this work got cancelled because their funders thought it might upset the Daily Mail, which to be frank has been a massive kick in the bollocks.

Everyone is still scared of the Daily Mail and the right wing press, I can understand that. I was on the front cover of the Uxbridge Gazette once with the headline ‘Sex Tips for 7 Year Olds’ (which was rubbish of course) after a conference I ran about working with young men. If the Iraq war hadn’t started that day, it would have made it to the Evening Standard too. I know what it’s like, it sucks.

But sex education is always going to be controversial. Sub-editors are always going to bend the truth to get a cracking headline. There are always going to be out of context quotes and, believe me, there’s no money in sex-positive sex ed. But if we don’t do things because we are scared of what might get mis-reported or scared of controversy then we may as well just pack it in. Seriously. Sex-positive sex ed might be controversial, but it’s the only kind of sex ed that works.

Rant over. Comments? Thoughts?