Tag: sexual education

Class Is In Session!

Class Is In Session!

By: Reenita V September has arrived, lunches are packed and backpacks are filled with new stationary. It is time for us to get our brains in gear for learning. But education doesn’t just revolve around reading, writing and arithmetic there is another incredibly important subject […]

In This Season: Sex Positivity

In This Season: Sex Positivity

By: Reenita V Have you heard? Sex positivity is so in right now and it’s a trend that is going to stick around. But what is? What does it go with? How do you wear it? Well, everything you need to know to start learning […]

Befriending Your Vulva

Befriending Your Vulva

By: Reenita V

Some may find this topic a bit taboo. Many might find this conversation gross, icky, something that should never be discussed with peers, family, and partners or even just discussed at all. Others might love this subject, too. Either way, it’s time we have that chat about good ol’ masturbation! While I write this from the perspective of a vulva, the idea of self-exploration and self-love can be applied to anyone, no matter the architecture down below. So let’s begin!
Think about how long you have looked in the mirror prior to getting dressed or maybe when you are getting out of the shower. Have you studied your body? This may have occurred from the standpoint of being of critical yourself but nonetheless, you have stood there studying your body. If you wear makeup or spend time doing your hair, do you get to know each and every freckle on your face each time you look in the mirror? Now, do you know what you vulva looks like, feel like? As females, we are surrounded by this notion that bodies need to be moulded a certain way, and there are even rules around our vaginas. Vaginas are to be clean, smell like lavender, hairless, be a perfect sliver of desire! They are supposed to be this pristine, mythical place available for another person’s pleasure. This seems a bit obtuse considering my vagina is between my legs and no two vaginas are alike. With that being said, vaginas are important and we should take the time to befriend ours. A hand held mirror can help with this task. So, drop your drawers and lift your skirt and get to truly know your body.
Now that you know what your vulva looks like, now comes the fun part. As I reflect back on the many moons ago when I had to endure sex education, it was very focused on P in the D, but only after marriage because, if not, you will get a B. There of course was the discussion of if you choose to have sex (and only hetero sex, of course) then you must wear a condom and this was followed by the awkward application of a male condom on some phallic shaped fruit or vegetable. Now while this is very important, the education was centred around having sex with another person and protection – again very important. But what is also very important is discovering pleasure for yourself in a safe and positive way. There is, but I wish there wasn’t, this expectation that your partner is supposed to romanticize their way to all the pleasurable spots between your legs and then some. But honestly, how is your partner supposed to know how to get your off when you yourself don’t even know?
When you are alone, or if you have the consent of a partner, take that time to use your hands to explore down there. Know what your vulva feels like. Have you discovered a place that brings you pleasure? Perhaps there are a few spots that give you that feeling. Maybe you feel nothing on the outside and you are more an inside person. Maybe you feel nothing at all. Just don’t admit defeat, play around and learn about your neglected parts this is your body after all and you should be the expert You should also know this is normal, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Rest assure, unless you emerge from your house wearing a ‘I just masturbated’ shirt, no one will know. So get curious, have fun and enjoy exploring!

 

 

South Asian Women Ranked #1 in Breast Cancer: Why sexual health needs to be talked about

South Asian Women Ranked #1 in Breast Cancer: Why sexual health needs to be talked about

By: Monique Gill    A recent Ontario study confirms that South Asian women lead in the number of breast cancer cases that have progressed to stages 4 & 5 (The Canadian Press). By contrast, Chinese women lead in the number of cases that have been […]

Hello, Vulva!

Hello, Vulva!

By: Reenita V Grab your handheld mirrors, sisters! It’s time we take some time to really get to know ourselves and more specifically, our vulvas. What is a vulva and why is it important we know about them? The vulva is the outer area which […]

Let’s Talk About Sex…Ed!

Let’s Talk About Sex…Ed!

Sex education is rarely without controversy.

As a sexual health educator, working with South Asian communities all over Toronto, I see firsthand how sexual misinformation, stigma, cultural and gender norms can all make sex a hard topic to discuss. Lately, however, it seems to be all everyone wants to talk about.

In case you haven’t been following the story, here are the highlights:

  • The Ontario sex education curriculum developed in 1998 has been criticized by educators around the province for being dated.
  • To better reflect our changing reality, a revised and updated version of the curriculum is set to take effect September 2015.
  • The changes include educating youth at an earlier age about naming their sexual body parts, talking about gender identity, introducing diverse sexual identities, cyber-bullying and sexting.
  • A small but vocal minority has been keen to point out that broaching subjects such as masturbation, dating or sexual and gender diversity may run counter to many family and cultural values.

Parents often hope their children will practise the values and morals that are espoused in the home and distance themselves from conflicting messages. By doing this, we may inadvertently close avenues for meaningful discussions around sexual health. Although this is done with the intent to protect young people, it can expose them to greater risk without the space to ask for guidance. This teaches children that sex is taboo, forcing them to turn to their friends or the internet – which may not be the best source of useful, helpful and accurate information. The taboo also breeds shame, which creates an atmosphere in which sex and sexuality live on the fringes of our communities.

Starting these conversations early teaches youth that sex is a natural part of life. By teaching them about sex, we teach them not to fear it. We teach them that sex can be beautiful and pleasurable. By lifting the taboo, young people can feel safer asking questions, negotiating their relationships and protecting themselves.

Media coverage of this new curriculum and the protests has been quick to pin much of the furor on specific cultural communities, with a focus on South Asians. While it may be tempting to paint such diverse communities with such broad strokes, it ignores the activism and advocacy that happens in these groups. South Asian parentseducatorsand politicians have all rallied behind these changes, working to educate larger communities about the importance of arming children with the knowledge they need to protect their bodies and navigate their own health.

The folks that I talk to on the ground every day recognize that youth are inundated with sexual images and messaging and that it’s crucial to give them the tools to decipher what they see. By providing a comprehensive sexual education, we are helping young people to develop skills so that they can make informed choices about their health.

Parents, teachers and students alike often dread the talk where sexual body parts, methods of contraception and sexually transmitted infections meet awkward giggles and shifting glances. But the discussion – giggles aside – is an important one, especially for young people who may need information and resources but do not have access.

 

Originally posted: http://blog.catie.ca/?p=293

She Has No Choice?!

She Has No Choice?!

By: Saipriya V Sterilization  is a common procedure used to terminate fertility . The two most common procedures include tubectomy in women and vasectomy in men.  Though the male sterilization procedure is medically less complicated, globally  2.5 to 4 times women are sterilized than men […]

So, like condoms?

So, like condoms?

Whenever I tell someone that I work in HIV education, I’m invariably met with “So like, condoms?” This response is unsurprising since growing up many of us equate safe sex with only condoms, which is great given that condoms do provide effective protection; however, the […]

It’s My Pain. Period.

It’s My Pain. Period.

By: Reya Dhandhari 

In the recent social media outcry over Rupi Kaur’s Instagram picture of her period leak, I was moved by her courageous and fierce response to the removal of her post. I remember when I had my first period, that I immediately got my mom and showed her what happened to me. I now blurrily remember her showing me what to do (i.e. how-to-use a pad), but I do not recall her explaining what was happening to my body. Needless to say, I figured out about cramps and breakouts on my own, in addition to the stigma of PMSing when both girl and guy friends would ask if “it was my time of the month” because I was being overly “touchy-feely” aka bitchy. Though this is my experience, I know that we all have our own unique experiences of our periods across the board (i.e. crippling pain to none at all). My point here being that a lot of my understanding about my period was and continues to be self taught. I have on more than one occasion had to explain the uses of a tampon to family and friends, explaining the how and where, because they simply did not know how it worked. For some reason in South Asian cultures, talking about our periods is taboo, especially with our male relatives, friends, etc.

 

I think Miss Kaur’s Instagram post marks the importance of all women to begin embracing their periods. My belief is that South Asian women need to be better prepared for the process of puberty, womanhood and menopause. More importantly, we need to start having more open discussions with one another and our male counterparts about our periods and the experiences of our bodies. The hope is that those around us can understand what is happening to our bodies and not assume that we are just PMSing. Rupi Kaur’s post exposes the forcible concealed nature and what I believe she rightfully calls “strikingly beautiful” process of the female body. I know the feeling and process of having my period is not something that I care to rejoice about, but it is an experience that is unique to me and that I have learned to love about myself.

Are We Safe?

Are We Safe?

By: Saipriya V Violence against women  is a serious problem in our society. This is not only due to the  patriarchal culture, but also due to the fact that  women are marginalized by our culture and by our society in many number of ways. Violence […]