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What’s Your “Sex Educator Face?”

Recently, at the end of a workshop I had given to a group of university students, I was standing with a small group of organizers and participants when an international student from Asia came up to me and asked me, “How does a tampon work?”

The group that was around me were all from Western countries and I could tell that they found her question really surprising. While internally I felt a bit surprised that someone who was in her late twenties was asking me a question that’s in the content of a fifth grade sex ed class, I responded in a way that communicated that this was a completely typical question. I asked a woman in the group if she happened to have a tampon in her bag. She found one, and I took a little plastic cup, put water in it, and did the demonstration that I’ve done in a puberty education class. After the participant left, a couple of the organizers commented on how I had handled her question with a warm but emotionally-neutral facial expression and a matter-of-fact explanation. Continue Reading →