Shame-Free Sex Ed

From Wikimedia Commons

One of my goals as a sex educator is to provide information, resources, and discussion that remove shame from people’s experience of sexuality. Here are some ways that shame can negatively impact our sexual experiences, knowledges, and identities:

  • We’re made to feel lacking or broken for what we desire
  • It’s implied that we’re sick or perverted for having questions or curiosity about sex
  • We feel guilty for our behaviors, like watching porn, reading erotica, or wondering what it’s like to be with someone
  • We worry about being judged for our sexual orientation, our number of partners, our STI status, our fantasies, and even our lack of knowledge on the topic!

My mission is to remove shame from sex education, one blog post or workshop or coaching client at a time. I do this by:

  • Encouraging people to reflect on the sources of their shame surrounding sex… if it can be learned, it can be unlearned!
  • Educating about the cultural narratives that instill us with shame, from TV and movies to folklore and mythology (ever consider the victim-blaming that happens in stories from “Little Red Riding Hood” to the myth of Persephone and Hades?)
  • Helping people disentangle shame (internally focused feelings of worthlessness and guilt) from other emotions

As I blog, I’m going to be posting more about what I (and others) think shame-free sex education should be. For now, I’ll leave you with a handful of links from other sex educators I admire about shame and sex ed:

Fat Shamed by My Surgeon by Ashley Manta

Why We Need More Sex Ed For Grown-Ups by Kate McCombs

Moments in Size Acceptance by Dr. Debby Herbenick

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