This week’s Sex Stories We Love is all about one our favourite topics: sex education! Throughout April, we’re going to specific focus some reading to draw attention to STD Awareness Month.

Beware - Con Condoms!

There has long been a comedy trope about purchasing knock-off products that look so close to name brands. The most famous is images of hustlers with an arm’s length of fake “Rolex” watches offering you your choice of “high-end” timepiece. Who would have thought that this same sort of situation would happen with condoms? In a world where there are cheap versions of everything, I guess it makes sense that counterfeit condoms are appearing in different countries. If you are using condoms as your safer sex device, you should take a real interest in the manufacturers you prefer and where you buy your condoms from. And given that condoms have been pushed significantly for a couple decades, it might be a good time to take this quiz to refresh your condom knowledge.

Learning New Language

Is gender identity on the cusp of becoming a significant issue and topic of discussion? A wave has been building and gaining momentum. It seems like it just might crest soon. For some, this is a long-time coming, but for others it will be a challenging time of new understandings. The gender binary has been so entrenched by many societal dictators (government, medical, and religious establishments) that dismantling our perceived bias in favor of a binary will require strong advocacy and education. If you're looking to understand the terms of gender identity language, check out this list to get started in an exciting time of change and understanding.

Reinventing Sex Ed

When you imagine sex education, what do you think it involves? Depending on whether - or even if - you received any kind of sex ed at home or school, the most likely scenario is that you heard about condoms and the pill, STIs, you were told to wait, you looked at anatomy, and it was awkward all-around. But what was missing? Well, lots, but one of the most essential aspects of sexual interaction that is rarely taught is pleasure. As Ellen Scott rightly points out, we are most often taught that sex is something to be feared. Something that will hurt us until we absolutely have to do it. And this is where the shame creeps in. We’re told to be afraid, but then we discover it feels good. And then the inner conflict begins. This could be avoided if pleasure was addressed and discussed in a meaningful way. Have after school specials not taught us that kids are just as, if not more likely, going to try the things that they’re told not to do?

Freeing Pleasure

So, in the interest of getting the word about pleasure out there, the fine folks at Sexy Liberation are literally going out of their way to ensure people can enjoy sex to their fullest ability by offering free sex toys to those who cannot afford them and those who are curious. This amazing initiative began with the group offering toys to clinics and handing them out at gatherings and protests. Now, they’ve taken their work online to continue to help people. This sexual philanthropy (my new favorite term) can go a long way in helping folks who do not have the privilege of purchasing sex products (some are so expensive) or who didn’t receive any kind of education about sexual pleasure. In hoping to close the orgasm gap, Sexy Liberation are bringing pleasure to more folks, and I thank them for that.

Never Stop Learning

One of the most important aspects of sex education - all education - is to understand when and how you might be a helping hand. This assuring reflection by Cara Sutra is an important reminder to always be aware of the sexual world around us - and that our own attitude is the key to ensuring a progressive movement forward of helpful information. Even when we might not be so sure ourselves. Taking on the mantle of sex educator is no easy feat. We’re in a rapidly changing world and our personal lifetime of experiences and history does carry inside us. So, a key of being a sexual educator is understanding that you are also always learning. Heck, that's important for everyone. New terms, ideas and philosophies around sex could come up that challenge you. Some that can even be unnerving. But, as Cara notes, if you keep a sex-positive attitude, you will grow as well.

Icon Lives On

Finally, revolution doesn’t happen from a symbol, but a symbol can define a revolution. Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow flag died recently, but his legacy will surely live on.