Despite the fact that we’re 13 years into a new millennium, when it comes to self-pleasuring – otherwise known as masturbation - we seem to still be in the Dark Ages.
Many women I counsel about sex feel and believe that masturbation is only for men or people without a sex partner. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, research about self-pleasuring habits has revealed that men and women in couples are more likely to masturbate than single people. So why the blushing and nervous giggles whenever someone mentions it? Because few people find it easy to talk about sex openly and this is what causes the red-face and reticence when conversation turns to sex on our own steam.
“You don’t have a penis, Mommy!?”
Even though I’ve worked in HIV, sexual health, and education for over 20 years, I never imagined I’d be having a conversation like this with my 3-year-old son.
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) has joined 80 national education, civil rights, women’s, health, children’s advocacy and faith organizations, as well as over 100 state and local organizations, in expressing support for the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act.
The legislation (S. 870/H.R. 1845) is aimed at improving graduation rates among secondary school students expecting or parenting children. U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and U.S. Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the legislation in Congress on May 7, 2013.
For sex workers, condom usage is extremely important to protect themselves against HIV and STIs, but in reality, this doesn’t always happen. A customer might pay much more for sex without a condom then sex with a condom, and depending on the day a sex worker has, the decision to not wear a condom may be one of necessity, then one of safety. Wearing a condom might be more risky in the short term if a sex worker is threatened with violence, or a sex worker has had something to drink. Based on these barriers, for sex workers to exclusively use the male condom during sexual contact might be unrealistic, unsafe, and a question of survival.