What Does Community-developed Sex Education Look Like And Why Is It Important?

So why is community-developed sex education important I’m here with Yael Rosenstock and I’m Cathy virtually from the intimacy dojo calm yeah you’re speaking that would hold sexual freedom summit in a month and a little bit more about community-developed sex education why is it important and why should people pay attention to that so each sex education in general is.

Of the utmost importance I believe that consent and desire replaced sex education is a.

Way to eradicate sexual violence but I also believe that my experience and my angle at which I come a sex education is not going to be a one-size-fits-all and so.

It’s so important that when we’re doing sex education and creating curriculum that we are creating alongside with anyone who is going to be losing it and so our practice is that my survey students we find out what it is that they’re actually doing it by Vi Indian students survey these students to see what it is that they want us to be practicing we invite students different religions different races different backgrounds we want to make sure that.

We have people who identify as.

Conservative and religious in the groups and we break out into different spaces to make sure that there the work is addressing the different needs and ideally we would do that in a large large scale right now we’re still a very very grassroots but in order for it to be effective people need to feel comfortable and safe and like their belief systems are respected that’s yeah I really love that because I do know that there’s a little bit of like Oh conservatives should just make do with we you know.

The liberal like if it’s a more liberal person teaching that conservative people should just.

Like make do and stretch themselves because I do have a problem with people very isolated but that’s my own personal problem not actually their problem what age group are you working with so right now I work with mostly clean scholar students in this project that we’re referencing and so they range from just about ending their seventeenth year some of them are still sucking on the enter through to full adulthood we have older adult learners right those who come back after retirement and take courses and so the spaces are often mostly twenty year olds but then.

In a 50s 60s 70s hop on in and be part of the group as well that’s wonderful I love that I mean how many groups do you break it up into because I know that like inner few ideally it would be one-on-one and.

You’d be teaching exactly to that person means but we have limited resources in time so like how do you.

Decide how much to break up into and how many groups to have sure so I actually I do love one-on-one but I love groups because it.

Actually brings in so much information that I can’t possibly have so I’m very useful in that there’s all this knowledge that I have attained over the years but the opportunity for people to speak to one.

Another and relate has been really crucial in our work and so right now I think we have ten different teams yeah there’s what we call them so consenting reporters one team desired pleasures another virginity and abstinence is another because part of our sex positivity you are positive the decisions that you make your own sex what that is to have sex which would not have sex right here and so we host different events that are geared for different groups and my co-founder Marcia Suarez was a.

Kick-ass of former Queens College student is currently a way doing immigration justice work so this semester was a little bit slower than others but we hosted our second annual sex day and we had two events plus for discussion five discussion nervous and so like that day.

Had seven different specific topics and or populations in mind and then so each time you posted event that is you know it it’s often topic specific unless you’re asked to do something forever oh wow that’s that’s wonderful and how do you deal with because I know that.

Some of my family is very conservative and they feel like people should not have any success extent at all like that God gave us these urges and you’ll figure if you if you’re at the right person it will feel good and you’ll figure it out and.

It’s not my beliefs but belief system I think that we should spend at least as much time learning as we do learning to drive a car as finding out how our.

Bodies work and how do I keep them safe and healthy in consent how do you deal with people that are like no it shouldn’t be teaching at all like well and I think while there are many people who.

Are coming as recent immigrants from countries that have very conservative religious values I think that a lot of the.

Students don’t take hold that consider the value we actually somewhat up side note we’ve had a program that we ran between Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives to have them come together and speak but we also did not have anyone who aligned with neo-nazis or the KKK.

Right that those are the type of population that mean other so those who come to my events it’s where events aren’t the client generally were like sex eggs should not be in existence.

Because they just wouldn’t show up to your about they show up yeah but we do we do have one specific group that we’re working on developing further you know it’s tricky it’s specifically religion and culture and so last year was run by one Muslim student who does work a job so that this is a practicing woman.

And when Orthodox Jewish woman who is a non-traditional Orthodox Jewish woman but she’s still an Orthodox Jewish woman and the idea was to bring in more discussions around.

Things like menstruation consent not to be away from things like penetration orgasm but to have those conversations.

First and to create a basis and the idea was also for those groups to have them be gender separate so we were still looking for someone to represent the like the masculine persons mmm of these religions because we were aware that in both of these communities it is.

Often important to have these things as segregated for belief systems and comfort so as of right now we haven’t kind of able to talk to us and say you should go to hell or like close this down overall received twenty looks yeah people will walk by us and like run oh no that’s not for me and then I yell out what we do for duty and abstinence we do self defense like what’s not for you yeah are you kind of covering the entire gamut yeah so yeah we have come across that kind of I don’t.

Know serious questions but overall if people come to the spaces because they want to in some way be in that space mhm well and I do I love that you’re teaching there’s so little information out there about so many things but like human menstruation like I keep seeing this meme on Facebook where there’s like they’ve got the some some men are telling women they should just hold their periods in and stop being lazy and I’m just like every time I see it it.

Just hurts like now this is not like there’s.

So little knowledge a lot of like even pretty.

Thoughtful people just don’t know and the the I.

Know I had like I think they gave us like two days.

Two hours when I was coming through with Ronnie you know 5th grade I think the boys went in one room the girls set in the iron the pink book with the little fallopian tubes and they told us.

A little bit they didn’t talk about anything like the period just flows out or I mean it wasn’t anything that detailed and it’s scary yes like I know more about my teeth like education-wise we were taught you need to floss and there’s an Amal and dentin and like roots and we’re taught so much more about other parts of our body but the reproductive system is a scary time and place and I don’t think anyone feels secure when they don’t understand their bodies I also want to.

Say this is another example in which it’s so important to have these conversations I love with others I so I was counting the days until I’d started bleeding like I was testing the thickness of.

My discharge as I was like where are you experienced was very much this is gonna happen it’s okay and mom.

Like told me about it and she got me this book and it’s all good and so the idea that someone might think that we can hold the blood had never even crossed my mouth.

Yeah because you’re the way I’m really glad about that education no I realize that.

I’m very lucky I know many young women have just looked down or young people with vaginas have looked down and said well like I’m dying yeah I’m.

Going to die I’m leaving why don’t you love me possibly yes and they know that I want heart yeah.

They’re afraid to tell anybody or they’re ashamed so ours was actually for that specific group the was to bring people for one of the events was to bring people to a mikvah which is a Jewish cleansing ritual after a person as.

Their their period then they get plans before they can then have sex with their partner and that was just like an interesting thing to show across the religions because it’s not within Muslim practice and this levity like.

This specific public something that could to use it to this other religion and but we are almost working with someone off site I did just start my company closed the vibrations and a lot of it has to do with adults have to get sex education and so I am speaking to another person who.

Wants me to work with them on developing curriculum for D Sigma Tizen registration for those who do men straight mm-hmm and so I think we might eventually also bring this up to a larger group but the importance of not feeling shame around your body there’s a lot of stigma around.

Odour and around those and all these products that are made to have vagina smell ours the chemistry about chemistry.

And like that kind of stuff works like I’m also ready to book right now and I ended up adding a chapter that or section dedicated to things like sexual.

Health and body because that wasn’t the intention of the book but I realize did so much lack of information.

Or false information that it’s it’s it felt they were responsible mm-hmm not to include some basic physical information in.

It yeah well and even for people that don’t man straight like I’ve had partners that were very.

The dude men straight but had were very comfortable with menstruation that was really sexy and they understood that.

I might have cramps and it wasn’t Blamey it’s just like hey would you like a tummy rub or would you you know let me just cuddle you or what yo and just.

Like oh let me go grab a pad for you and just like oh wow you’re home you’re not horrified ashamed it made me feel so cared for I goes this this desire for particulate from presenting a femme identifying persons to be like I am me and my all my self confidence comes from me and all of my self value comes from you not supposed to get any from anyone else but I’ve learned so much the relationships and partners and I have been helped so much by them healthy validating me and like you’re saying.

Right that they made you feel comfortable at a confident in your body’s processes and I do think that we lose something we’re like it’s all on your own there’s something wrong when you get back from someone else yeah well and I love that you’re teaching in a group too because we are community animals like we we learn and feel safer if I see all these other people.

Talking about it even if they’re embarrassed it lets my brain.

Feel like oh I can talk about it versus if I learn it one-on-one I don’t necessarily gain the skill to talk to someone else about it I love that I completely agree and I do think mixed genders like having all genders in this.

Space those who demonstrate those who don’t like all of that is so important to building.

That safety although I do respect they go single experience spaces completely and I do those some of those as well but I I think it helps feed the desire to make whatever that were discussing normal yeah well I’d like the ear honoring people’s cultural beliefs and practices and.

Also giving them space people space to explore outside it sounds like if they want to explore that.

But they’re not locked into that and just getting to figure out what works for them because it could be like I know the first time I was asking questions I was really glad I had.

A one-on-one I was working one-on-one with someone and I just had so much shame about my body.

And never really because I abuse history I never really explored and I just said down there I couldn’t even use the words and I had someone who it was like no no what it’s not Baltimore if you say the words so like having a split but you can it just think you.