The unmarried couple was in their very early twenties, earnest, frightened and shell-shocked. They had made an appointment for “options counseling”, a session devoted to exploring the three choices available for dealing with an unintended pregnancy: parenting, adoption, abortion. The young lady had found out a few days prior that she was pregnant and they were holy terrified. Yes, I mean holy, not wholly. You see, they were the youth group directors at their church, tasked with setting an example of young Christian adulthood, and teaching abstinence education. Their unintended pregnancy meant not just making a choice, it meant facing their church community with a staggering hypocrisy, and standing in judgement for going against their group’s religious tenets. I had my work cut out for me, as their counselor, and a person vehemently opposed to abstinence-only “education”.
I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that many of you have seen a provider for reproductive purposes. It’s a rite of passage for many women to go to an office to obtain birth control, and for both men and women to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These appointments can admittedly be uncomfortable and/or embarrassing for many people. What with taking time off work and driving to an office, sitting in a waiting room and avoiding eye contact (while simultaneously doing some covert people-watching), and waiting to see a provider, it seems like there are better ways to spend your day.
My friends: I have news for you. There’s a different way to do this! Continue reading
During my master’s internship I worked as a counselor at Planned Parenthood for six months. It was a unique style of therapy–short term, solutions-focused crisis work. I had just completed a six month practicum at the University’s Counselor Training Center, where I met with a roster of five clients, individually, once a week for an hour, for fifteen weeks. I hated it. Having to sit there in a room walled with one-way glass, knowing I was being filmed and possibly watched in real time by my supervisor and listen to people vent about their issues was anything but inspiring. I felt completely on display, self-conscious and wooden. As a result the sessions were inorganic, and I doubt I helped any of my clients, who seemed to be there not to work, but to have someone on which to dump their problems at no cost. Planned Parenthood couldn’t have been more different: dynamic, fast-paced. A revolving door of changing faces, I was completely engaged with each client’s unique story, like that of the pregnant virgin. Continue reading
Some night last fall when the college kids had come back to campus, I walked around the university district, using the scene as my own personal voyeuristic fishbowl. At one point a jacked-up, enormous, gleaming white truck came cruising by at a glacial pace. Horn blaring at a decibel level fit for a cargo ship, a twenty-something man perched halfway out the passenger window yelling come-ons at every group he saw. The hormone and douche levels were so high, I was revolted and steered my male companion to a quieter street, but not before I heard a woman behind me remark, he’s a scrub! A brilliant and apt TLC reference, as the guy met the criteria: hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, he was certainly trying to holler at women. What we heard off the beaten path however, was a similarly vivid illustration of male sexuality at its worst, and most naive. Continue reading
Childhood sex-play is another of those phenomena that is common and rarely talked about. We’re born with our sexuality, and from the time we become curious about our genitalia and the concept of sex, we begin to explore: alone, in pairs, in groups. The age at which this occurs varies widely, and for many of us it begins in young childhood. I can remember using the spray from the handheld shower nozzle on myself at the age of six because I noticed it felt good. Before I discovered orgasm at age ten (and even sometimes after), I was interested in imaginary games about sex. Continue reading
Some time late last decade, I accompanied a group of (former) friends to a joint bachelor-bachelorette party weekend at a lake cabin. It was my first such event, and I looked forward to days of girl time, as the genders would be segregated. When I arrived a day later than the rest of the party, I made my way to a dock where eight or so women were sprawled, sipping drinks and sunning themselves. Eagerly, I joined the conversation where the question, “describe your first kiss” had been posed. Surprised at the PG rated topic, I blurted, “describe your loss of virginity”. Continue reading
When I can get people to engage about sex, it’s a favorite topic of conversation for me. I like to know what people are doing, what’s working and how they got there. Good sex should be celebrated, and bad sex should be learned from. One thing I invariably want to discuss is whether or not size matters. This topic could be applied to many objects—tits, ass, vaginal depth, etc. But for the purposes of this post, I’m talking about dick size. Continue reading