Recent posts

Safer Sex Promotion For The Video Game Generation

The Leicestershire division of the UK’s Teen Pregnancy Partnership put out this wonderfully nerdy safer sex promotion video (below). Often, youth-targeted safer sex messages come off as condescending, preachy, or just plain silly (words ending in “z” anyone?). I think this organization hit the right note with this one. Enjoy, Robot Masters! Continue Reading →

Being Positive About HIV

There have been some headlines recently about people who do not disclose their STI status and infecting other people, and in general, HIV has a negative connotation. When I read this article on how the author does not blame anyone for his HIV status, I was intrigued. From my own experience talking to friends, if they are diagnosed with an STI they blame someone, even if it’s only themselves. However, Kirk Grisham isn’t angry at anyone. Grisham also points out the importance of both communication and condom use. Continue Reading →

The Easiest Chlamydia Test You’ll Ever Take

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI and in my work as a sex educator, I’ve heard a lot of myths and misconceptions about this little bacterium. For many of us born in the 1980s and 90s, STI education focused primarily on HIV – understandably so, since HIV is a much more serious infection. Chlamydia sometimes gets left out because it’s non-lethal, but a little extra knowledge can go a long way. Here’s a short quiz to test your chlamydia IQ: Continue Reading →

I Can Get An STD HOW?

Since I first became interested in sexual health education and sexology, I’ve been subscribing to Felix Clairvoyant’s bi-weekly worldly sex digest, Eros World News. Every week, Felix posts an article, that is, according to his description, “educational, controversial, factual, questionable, humorous, totally hilarious, absurd, or enlightening so as to bring more awareness and hopefully get the conversation going”. This week, Felix posted an educational article on how easily STDs are transmitted. According to the author, Dr. Andrew Lange, STDs can absolutely be transmitted without sex. “Even grandma kissing you at Christmas might pass on cold sores (a herpes virus).” Continue Reading →

HIV/AIDS And Stigma: What You Can Do

When my introductory MSP post went live, I unsurprisingly shared it on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, wanting my friends to see the great work I was helping to produce.  And many of my online friends contacted me to let me know how much they liked that I was contributing to such a fun, sex-positive website.  However, one good friend and colleague was disappointed:  “Craig,” he said, “there’s one very important thing that is missing when you talk about your experience with sex, and I think the fact that you left it off shows how important it is to talk about.” As I scanned back through my introduction, I realized what I had done.  Despite having spent the entirety of 2009 providing services to people living with HIV, I had neglected to mention this in my intro.  I could give all sorts of reasons –  I didn’t feel like it was sex-positive enough,  I didn’t think it went with the feeling of the site, etc. But the bottom line is that this site exists to talk about sex, relationships, and pleasure for EVERYONE, and that includes people who are living with HIV. The fact that I missed an opportunity to talk about a group that is very important to me demonstrates how often stigma, fear, and misunderstanding can lead to discrimination and invisibility, whether it is from something as simple as a blog post or as complex as the institution of marriage.  This can happen either unintentionally, as I hope was my case, or simply because this group is feared and stigmatized, and is therefore left out of the conversation.  I think stigma regarding people living with HIV can be reduced in two ways:  knowledge about the disease and familiarizing yourself with those living with HIV in your community. Continue Reading →

The Great American Condom Campaign

It’s that time of year again which means school is back in session for most college kids. And with STI rates on the rise amongst the youth of America it is more important than ever to make condoms easily available. Every year The Great American Condom Campaign (GACC) provides 1,000,000 Trojan brand condoms to college students around the country. Applications are open to be one of the 2,000 Safe Sites that receives and distributes these condoms. Read about the program and apply here. But hurry because applications close September 6th! Continue Reading →