Porn'€™s negative effect on teen sexuality exaggerated, study says

hellyeahscarleteen:

“There has been a sort of moral panic – in Britain and in the U.S. especially – about the influence of pornography on sexual behaviours,” [Hald] says. “And although this study can’t claim to investigate cause and effect, it can say that there are a lot of other factors that determine sexual behaviours, so maybe we should put the debate into a larger perspective instead of being just one-sided.”

Celebrate Earth Day by Greening Your Sex Life

bedsider:

Yes, you can make your sex life greener (hint: birth control helps). What better way to celebrate Earth Day?

Making sure your condoms & lube are eco-friendly is also a massive step you can take. We’d personally recommend Fair Squared for fair-trade condoms, & WooHoo! for organic & chemical-free lube - they’re both great products & great companies!

edinburghsexpression:

Being Your Own Valentine: Edinburgh Sexpression’s Guide to Self-Care
Valentine’s Day can be really enjoyable, but it can also be super intense, & leave you feeling drained, especially if you’re going to be spending it alone. It’s important to remember that just like you love & care for others, you need to love & take care of yourself, & Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to start doing just that.
So, we’ve put together a list of ideas of things you can do this Valentine’s Day that are all about making you feel special & showing you just how amazing you really are.
Do something that makes you happy - This seems kind of obvious but it’s really easy - especially on Valentine’s Day - to get caught up in what you’re expected to do rather than what you want to do. So have a think about what would make Thursday really special for you. Spending the day in bed with a special someone? Finding a spot in your favourite cafe & reading a book? Hanging out with friends? Watching the kitten livestream in your pyjamas & eating a jar of nutella? Five hour marathon of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Prep for your classes the day before to give yourself some extra time in bed? It’s up to you. If you’re having trouble thinking of things, we’d recommend taking part in Gala Darling’s Things I Love Thursday, where every Thursday you right a list of things that you’ve really enjoyed in the past week, which should hopefully spark some ideas.
Spoil yourself - This kind of ties in to doing things that make you happy, but don’t be ashamed to take a day out to spend some time on you. Put on a face mask, take a long bath, order yourself dinner, take yourself on a date to the cinema, buy yourself flowers, (or even better, buy the set of three self-love pins in the photo above!). What’s that thing you’ve been longing to do for ages but haven’t found the time for? Do that!
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else - Most of us have someone in our lives for whom everything seems perfect, & it can be really disheartening when you compare your life to theirs. However, it’s important to remember that, just like you probably don’t tell everyone when you’re struggling, they probably don’t either. We all go through tough times (if you’re really having difficulty coping we’d suggest talking to someone) & no-one is perfect, so don’t beat yourself up for not reaching some unobtainable ideal. 
Appreciate yourself - It’s really easy to rattle off three things you love about those close to you, but we rarely think that way about ourselves. Spend Valentine’s Day appreciating all the amazing things about you. Maybe you love the curve of your thigh, or the fact you’ve got really good at karate this year, or your killer essay marks, or the way you helped out a friend last week, or maybe you’re just really happy that you make it out of bed each day. Whatever it is, be proud of what you’ve achieved & who you are. 
Spend time with your body - This might sound kind of weird, but it’s really easy to feel really disconnected from our own bodies, especially with the levels of body hate being thrown at us every day. So spend some time alone, exploring your body. You can just hang out in your room naked, have a nice long masturbating session, or even try taking naked photos of yourself. We know this might be really difficult for some people, & don’t feel like you have to do it, but trust us when we say that your body is amazing & even if you can only find one thing that you like about it, that’s still fantastic.
Evaluate how everything’s going & plan for the future - You’ve had a month for New Year’s frivolous & probably slightly misguided resolutions to fade away, so what do you actually want to achieve this year? Spend more time writing? Schedule it in. Try online dating? Sign up now. Get more involved in activism? Check out Bollocks to Poverty, or Edinburgh University Feminist Society. Take up yoga? The Ashtanga Yoga School has just moved to Marchmont. Self-care is not just a one off thing, it’s a constant journey so try dedicating a couple of hours a week (Sunday evening’s work great) to carrying on with some of the ideas from this list you’ve enjoyed. It might not seem like much, but becoming more self-aware & spending some time investing in yourself can make a massive difference to your every day life.
We hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day, whether you choose to spend it alone, with a lover, or with your friends. If you’d like to learn more about self-care we’d suggest checking out the Tumblr self care tag where you can find out what other people do for self-care, & also Gala Darling’s list of 100 Ways You Can Start Loving Yourself.
As always, if you have any questions relating to this topic, or on any other topic relating to sex, sexuality, gender or reproduction, then you can message us here.

With exam period coming up, now seems like a good time to revisit our self-care tips. Obviously, during revision, taking a whole day off for self-care may seem unrealistic, but even putting aside an hour before bed to look after yourself can significantly reduce your stress levels.

edinburghsexpression:

Being Your Own Valentine: Edinburgh Sexpression’s Guide to Self-Care

Valentine’s Day can be really enjoyable, but it can also be super intense, & leave you feeling drained, especially if you’re going to be spending it alone. It’s important to remember that just like you love & care for others, you need to love & take care of yourself, & Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to start doing just that.

So, we’ve put together a list of ideas of things you can do this Valentine’s Day that are all about making you feel special & showing you just how amazing you really are.

  • Do something that makes you happy - This seems kind of obvious but it’s really easy - especially on Valentine’s Day - to get caught up in what you’re expected to do rather than what you want to do. So have a think about what would make Thursday really special for you. Spending the day in bed with a special someone? Finding a spot in your favourite cafe & reading a book? Hanging out with friends? Watching the kitten livestream in your pyjamas & eating a jar of nutella? Five hour marathon of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Prep for your classes the day before to give yourself some extra time in bed? It’s up to you. If you’re having trouble thinking of things, we’d recommend taking part in Gala Darling’s Things I Love Thursday, where every Thursday you right a list of things that you’ve really enjoyed in the past week, which should hopefully spark some ideas.
  • Spoil yourself - This kind of ties in to doing things that make you happy, but don’t be ashamed to take a day out to spend some time on you. Put on a face mask, take a long bath, order yourself dinner, take yourself on a date to the cinema, buy yourself flowers, (or even better, buy the set of three self-love pins in the photo above!). What’s that thing you’ve been longing to do for ages but haven’t found the time for? Do that!
  • Stop comparing yourself to everyone else - Most of us have someone in our lives for whom everything seems perfect, & it can be really disheartening when you compare your life to theirs. However, it’s important to remember that, just like you probably don’t tell everyone when you’re struggling, they probably don’t either. We all go through tough times (if you’re really having difficulty coping we’d suggest talking to someone) & no-one is perfect, so don’t beat yourself up for not reaching some unobtainable ideal. 
  • Appreciate yourself - It’s really easy to rattle off three things you love about those close to you, but we rarely think that way about ourselves. Spend Valentine’s Day appreciating all the amazing things about you. Maybe you love the curve of your thigh, or the fact you’ve got really good at karate this year, or your killer essay marks, or the way you helped out a friend last week, or maybe you’re just really happy that you make it out of bed each day. Whatever it is, be proud of what you’ve achieved & who you are. 
  • Spend time with your body - This might sound kind of weird, but it’s really easy to feel really disconnected from our own bodies, especially with the levels of body hate being thrown at us every day. So spend some time alone, exploring your body. You can just hang out in your room naked, have a nice long masturbating session, or even try taking naked photos of yourself. We know this might be really difficult for some people, & don’t feel like you have to do it, but trust us when we say that your body is amazing & even if you can only find one thing that you like about it, that’s still fantastic.
  • Evaluate how everything’s going & plan for the future - You’ve had a month for New Year’s frivolous & probably slightly misguided resolutions to fade away, so what do you actually want to achieve this year? Spend more time writing? Schedule it in. Try online dating? Sign up now. Get more involved in activism? Check out Bollocks to Poverty, or Edinburgh University Feminist Society. Take up yoga? The Ashtanga Yoga School has just moved to Marchmont. Self-care is not just a one off thing, it’s a constant journey so try dedicating a couple of hours a week (Sunday evening’s work great) to carrying on with some of the ideas from this list you’ve enjoyed. It might not seem like much, but becoming more self-aware & spending some time investing in yourself can make a massive difference to your every day life.

We hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day, whether you choose to spend it alone, with a lover, or with your friends. If you’d like to learn more about self-care we’d suggest checking out the Tumblr self care tag where you can find out what other people do for self-care, & also Gala Darling’s list of 100 Ways You Can Start Loving Yourself.

As always, if you have any questions relating to this topic, or on any other topic relating to sex, sexuality, gender or reproduction, then you can message us here.

With exam period coming up, now seems like a good time to revisit our self-care tips. Obviously, during revision, taking a whole day off for self-care may seem unrealistic, but even putting aside an hour before bed to look after yourself can significantly reduce your stress levels.

Sex toys come in all shapes & sizes!

Sex toys come in all shapes & sizes!

I’d like you to remember the last time you found it difficult to give an explicit “no” to somebody in a non-sexual context. Maybe they asked you to do them a favour, or to join them for a drink. Did you speak up and say, outright, “No?” Did you apologise for your “no?” Did you qualify it and say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t make it today?” If you gave an outright “no,” what privileged positions do you occupy in society, and how does your answer differ from the answers of people occupying more marginalised positions?

This form of refusal was analysed in 1999 by Kitzinger and Frith (K&F) in Just Say No? The Use of Conversation Analysis in Developing a Feminist Perspective on Sexual Refusal. Despite the seeming ambiguity in question/refusal acts like, “We were wondering if you wanted to come over Saturday for dinner,” “Well, uhh, it’d be great but we promised Carol already,” they are widely understood by the participants as straightforward refusals.

K&F conclude by saying that, “For men to claim [in a sexual context] that they do not ‘understand’ such refusals to be refusals (because, for example, they do not include the word ‘no’) is to lay claim to an astounding and implausible ignorance of normative conversational patterns.”

Under Duress: Agency, Power, and Consent

(via home-of-amazons)

This is a really interesting application of conversation analysisan approach to interpersonal interaction, which is used across linguistics, sociology, anthropology, speech-communication and psychology. 

You can find out more about this particular study here.

(via superlinguo)

ppmissouri:

Today’s young people have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. On the first-ever National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, young people from across the country are educating the public about the impact of HIV/AIDS and highlighting the amazing work they’re doing to fight back. It’s good stuff: http://bit.ly/ZNgGHd

ppmissouri:

Today’s young people have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. 

On the first-ever 
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, young people from across the country are educating the public about the impact of HIV/AIDS and highlighting the amazing work they’re doing to fight back. It’s good stuff: http://bit.ly/ZNgGHd

Anonymous asks, “I have a question about consent. Basically, it often takes me a while to feel aroused, even in sexual situations, and I can need some pretty intense stimulation before I’m really into it. This means my boyfriend can end up being highly sexual with me when I’m kind of apathetic, and I’m worried this is sending him mixed messages about consent. He always respects my boundaries but I’m worried I’m making it hard for him to know the difference between when I want him to stop and when I’m not aroused but want him to continue. Help!”
The important thing to remember is that consent is not about being aroused - which is generally a physical response to sexual stimulation - it’s about how mentally comfortable you are with the situation, so there’s definitely nothing wrong with being happy in a sexual situation but being unaroused, & vice versa. However, you’re right that it can sometimes be difficult for partners to know what is consent, especially when you’re not necessarily sexually aroused at that time.
The important thing here is to communicate with your partner how you feel. Sit down with him & explain that while you enjoy being sexual with him, it can take you a while to be aroused & so you’d like to set out some boundaries & techniques to make sure you both know where you stand. This can also help him be more aware of verbal & non-verbal signals for how you’re feeling.
One technique that might really help you both is using a traffic light system of safe words. These are used a lot in BDSM but they’re also a great tool to use during vanilla sex for letting your partner know how you’re feeling at any given time. There are three words: red, amber, & green (although you can swap these for different words if you’d prefer, just let your partner know). Red means stop all sexual contact. You could use this if your partner starts being sexual & you’re definitely not feeling it. Amber means continue but don’t go any further. So, for example if you & your partner were making out & touching each other on top of clothing, & you said, “amber”, that would mean you’re happy carrying on with that but you don’t want take your clothes off at the moment. Green means, “I’m happy for us to go further” although obviously, even if one of you has said green, it’s still important to keep checking in & making sure you’re still both consenting.
Another idea is to sit down with your partner & write two lists. The first list is things you’re ok with your partner doing without your explicit consent. This doesn’t mean it’s ok for your partner to do them if you’re clearly not into it, it just means they don’t need to verbally ask permission beforehand. So, this list might have things like kissing, non-sexual cuddling, & light touching of places like your back on it. The second list is things which you’re only comfortable doing if you’ve given explicit verbal consent. This list might cover things like penetrative sex, or touching genitals, but it’s really up to you & what you’re happy with.
We hope these suggestions help, but if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask, & if anyone else has any tips which they think would help this person then just let us know.
These tips might also be useful for people who have difficulty expressing enthusiastic consent, for example people on the autistic spectrum & those with anxiety.

Anonymous asks, “I have a question about consent. Basically, it often takes me a while to feel aroused, even in sexual situations, and I can need some pretty intense stimulation before I’m really into it. This means my boyfriend can end up being highly sexual with me when I’m kind of apathetic, and I’m worried this is sending him mixed messages about consent. He always respects my boundaries but I’m worried I’m making it hard for him to know the difference between when I want him to stop and when I’m not aroused but want him to continue. Help!”

The important thing to remember is that consent is not about being aroused - which is generally a physical response to sexual stimulation - it’s about how mentally comfortable you are with the situation, so there’s definitely nothing wrong with being happy in a sexual situation but being unaroused, & vice versa. However, you’re right that it can sometimes be difficult for partners to know what is consent, especially when you’re not necessarily sexually aroused at that time.

The important thing here is to communicate with your partner how you feel. Sit down with him & explain that while you enjoy being sexual with him, it can take you a while to be aroused & so you’d like to set out some boundaries & techniques to make sure you both know where you stand. This can also help him be more aware of verbal & non-verbal signals for how you’re feeling.

One technique that might really help you both is using a traffic light system of safe words. These are used a lot in BDSM but they’re also a great tool to use during vanilla sex for letting your partner know how you’re feeling at any given time. There are three words: red, amber, & green (although you can swap these for different words if you’d prefer, just let your partner know). Red means stop all sexual contact. You could use this if your partner starts being sexual & you’re definitely not feeling it. Amber means continue but don’t go any further. So, for example if you & your partner were making out & touching each other on top of clothing, & you said, “amber”, that would mean you’re happy carrying on with that but you don’t want take your clothes off at the moment. Green means, “I’m happy for us to go further” although obviously, even if one of you has said green, it’s still important to keep checking in & making sure you’re still both consenting.

Another idea is to sit down with your partner & write two lists. The first list is things you’re ok with your partner doing without your explicit consent. This doesn’t mean it’s ok for your partner to do them if you’re clearly not into it, it just means they don’t need to verbally ask permission beforehand. So, this list might have things like kissing, non-sexual cuddling, & light touching of places like your back on it. The second list is things which you’re only comfortable doing if you’ve given explicit verbal consent. This list might cover things like penetrative sex, or touching genitals, but it’s really up to you & what you’re happy with.

We hope these suggestions help, but if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask, & if anyone else has any tips which they think would help this person then just let us know.

These tips might also be useful for people who have difficulty expressing enthusiastic consent, for example people on the autistic spectrum & those with anxiety.

tryitandlikeit:

Since we’re going to talk about BDSM a lot on this blog, safety is important. This is REALLY wordy because I’m passionate about this subject. I’m the daughter of a wood & metal shop teacher so it’s in my blood. Safety comes first, always! Always always always, even if it’s just you going “let’s get stupid and wrestle until one of us gets a bloody nose but cry out if you get a cracked rib!!” (But seriously kids, safety first.) 
There are all kinds of wonderful safety tips out there depending on what kind of kink or sex activity you participate in, and I fully encourage (coerce? Force?) you to seek out the opinions of those more qualified than I. That said, these are our personal golden three rules. Even if the second one isn’t relevant every time (bondage isn’t always involved, I think) it’s good to always know: how will I communicate if something goes wrong? What if it’s big, or just trivial? Does this person *actually* know what they’re doing — where’s the references from other play partners? Do I feel okay about this? You gotta take care of yourself! Click on the above comic for a bigger version.
We still don’t have any questions in our ask box! Until we get any, we’ll just keep chugging along with BDSM-related stuff. However, the point of this blog is to get us to experiment in order to answer your questions — so go go go, ask ask ask!

tryitandlikeit:

Since we’re going to talk about BDSM a lot on this blog, safety is important. This is REALLY wordy because I’m passionate about this subject. I’m the daughter of a wood & metal shop teacher so it’s in my blood. Safety comes first, always! Always always always, even if it’s just you going “let’s get stupid and wrestle until one of us gets a bloody nose but cry out if you get a cracked rib!!” (But seriously kids, safety first.) 

There are all kinds of wonderful safety tips out there depending on what kind of kink or sex activity you participate in, and I fully encourage (coerce? Force?) you to seek out the opinions of those more qualified than I. That said, these are our personal golden three rules. Even if the second one isn’t relevant every time (bondage isn’t always involved, I think) it’s good to always know: how will I communicate if something goes wrong? What if it’s big, or just trivial? Does this person *actually* know what they’re doing — where’s the references from other play partners? Do I feel okay about this? You gotta take care of yourself! Click on the above comic for a bigger version.

We still don’t have any questions in our ask box! Until we get any, we’ll just keep chugging along with BDSM-related stuff. However, the point of this blog is to get us to experiment in order to answer your questions — so go go go, ask ask ask!