Category Archives: Opinion

Watch John Oliver Take On Abstinence Education (VIDEO)

I have been frustrated for years with the lack of comprehensive sex education in this country. Few people take the time to bring attention to this pressing issue, which is literally a matter of life and death (as my dad pointed out when he bought me condoms freshman year of college). So I was overjoyed to see John Oliver tackle this topic on the latest episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. 

While conservatives are always stressing that sex ed should be taught at home, Oliver points out that “no parent wants to talk to their kids about sex, and no kid wants to talk about sex with their parents. That is why when you’re watching a movie together and there’s a sex scene, everyone becomes motionless and silently begs for the merciful release of death.” He also brings attention to the fact that Mississippi, where teachers are restricted from using condoms in educational demonstrations, ranks #2 in the country in teen pregnancy rates. After sharing hilarious/frightening clips from outdated and out of touch sex ed videos, Oliver shares his own version featuring featuring OITNB’s Laverne Cox, Jack McBrayer, Kristen Schaal and Nick Offerman. Well done, sir. Well done.

 

R. Kelly Anti-masturbation video: funny or frightening? (VIDEO)

This week a video has been making the rounds on the interwebs that may at first glance seem hilarious but upon further examination is really pretty scary and honestly quite infuriating. Jehovah’s Witnesses created a series of American Sign Language videos, one of which explains to people why they shouldn’t be masturbating.  Someone had the genius idea of adding a soundtrack to it: R. Kelly’s classic “Ignition (Remix)”. The original was taken down due to a copyright claim by Watch Tower Bible, but luckily other versions are still available online:

Some thought the PSA had to be a fake because of the comically exaggerated facial expressions, but the video is sadly very real (facial expressions are an integral part of ASL). Your first question might be, as one reddit user posed, “what’s he saying at the part where he clearly cums on his chest and then rubs it around and then is like OH SHIT GROSS I JUST RUBBED SEMEN ALL OVER ME?” You can try to figure it out because another user posted a loose translation:

Hi some of you are used to male masturbating or female masturbating, may feel nothing wrong

Oh, Jehovah is looking and is disgusted, why? Masturbating is inherently selfish and is all focused on your inner wants.

What is sex for? Sex is for men and women who love each other.

Some people are overcome by lust and say they need to masturbate for relief. They can hold that back. People that masturbate will be overcome by more feelings of lust and will be compelled to masturbate more. They will have sex on the brain constantly.

They will look at men and woman with lust. Here’s what Paul said

Third guy – Corinthians

It’s important to keep your mind and body pure. Any thoughts that sully the body, Jesus (Jehovah) is against it. Purify the body for the sake of being the same as Jesus (Jehovah).

Back to second guy

It’s important to keep the mind and body pure. If you’ve been masturbating for awhile, it may be tough to stop even if you want to. If you have failures, you may feel like you’re failing in the eyes of Jehovah. But, Jehovah won’t view you like that. Jehovah knows you through and through, and understands your travails and struggles. If you beg for forgiveness, Jehovah will understand and forgive. Don’t be afraid to ask Jehovah for help and understanding. The relationship between you and Jehovah is like a father and children. When children do something wrong and ask their father for forgiveness, the father is understanding and comforting. Just like the father, Jehovah is forgiving.

But, is it enough to just do wrong and ask for forgiveness? No. You must also act the part. If your friends confess to masturbation, cut them out of your life. Don’t watch porn. Put your computer in a public place so that you’re not tempted to look at porn. If suggestive ads bother and tempt you, buy a blocking program. They aren’t perfect, but the blockers can help.

If you still struggle with masturbation still, tell your mother and father (unclear here. Strict translation is Jehovah Mother Father, or Jehovah Witness Mother Father). 

Or tell a brother and sister (same issue here).

 It should come as no surprise that Jehovah’s witnesses only consider sex to be an appropriate act between a man and a woman. But cutting people out of your life because they masturbate?? That seems rather un-Christ like. I will never understand why in this day and age people continue to perpetuate sexual shame and encourage denial of our most basic and natural human instinct. Especially because the consequences can be disastrous; back in 1975, neuropsychologist James Prescott published a paper after conducting extensive cross-cultural research on tolerance for adolescent sexual behavior and compared that data with levels of violence within and between societies.

He found that “deprivation of body pleasure throughout life–but particularly during the formative periods of infancy, childhood, and adolescence–is very closely related to the amount of warfare and interpersonal violence.” As Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá note in their New York Times bestseller Sex At Dawn (get a copy now!), cultures that don’t “prohibit the expression of adolescent sexuality show far lower levels of violence–both between individuals and between societies.”  It would certainly explain all the saber rattling that goes on in our shame-based American culture.

This sexual shame even permeates our legal system: Ryan and Jethá write:

In 2003, seventeen-year-old honor student and homecoming king Genarlow Wilson was caught having consensual oral sex with his girlfriend, who had not yet turned sixteen. He was convicted of aggravated child molestation, sentenced to a minimum of ten years in a Georgia prison, and forced to register as a sex offender for life.

Quite a message we’re sending out to our youth.  Do you think sexual repression in America leads to more violence? Weigh in below.

 

Keep your church out of my pants. PLEASE.

By Kim H. |

According to a new report this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer Utah high school students receive sex education lessons about condom use than their counterparts in almost every other state (only 11%). I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this might have something to do with the fact that Utah has the highest concentration of Mormons in the world (according to RationalWiki). Cue South Park music:

Now you’d think a group of people who were down with polyamory (finally disavowed by the church in 1890, though some continued to practice for many years) might not be so uptight when it comes to matters of the boudoir. But alas, in relation to sexual freedom, The Church of Latter-day Saints is just as rigid as any other Puritan institution. From The Washington Examiner:

The low numbers for condom education were great news to abstinence-only advocates such as Dalane England of the Utah Eagle Forum.

“The more you talk about sex — as something so sacred and so intimate and personal — when you talk about that in a public setting you’re going to get more of it,” England said. “When you talk about abstinence only … you get more abstinence.”

Uhh, Earth to England. Are you aware that scientific studies on the effects of comprehensive vs. abstinence-only sex education have actually shown the reverse to be true? That talking about sex in school isn’t “giving teenagers ideas” because they’re already getting those ideas from, maybe, Mother Nature? Emerging Answers 2007, a study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy that analyzed hundreds of sex ed programs in the United States, found that “no comprehensive program hastened the initiation of sex or increased the frequency of sex.”

On the other hand, as I reported last month, states that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs.  Ellen Friedrichs at Alternet reported that Utah’s teen birthrate grew by over 30% between 2004 and 2008, and in the same period, chlamydia rates increased 70% among teen girls, while the rates of gonorrhea also rose at nearly that level.

Of course religious zealots never let something like reality sway them from their moral high horses. Or human decency. I witnessed the following debate on FB a few weeks ago:

The first article he posted begins with: “Every Latter-day Saint knows that God has forbidden all sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage.”

Yeah. That’s enough for me.

The second article is from an interview conducted in 2006 with Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickman, who say that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, it’s committing a homosexual act that will earn you a ticket straight to Hades. As far as the issue of marriage is concerned, Elder Wickman had the following to say: “There’s really no question that there is an anguish associated with the inability to marry in this life. We feel for someone that has that anguish. I feel for somebody that has that anguish. But it’s not limited to someone who has same-gender attraction.” EXCEPT BY THE LAW.

And that’s the problem. It’s one thing to personally abide by your beliefs and try to instill a certain set of values in your children. But when you begin to infringe upon the safety, freedom and wellbeing of others around you, that’s where you’ve crossed the line. Interesting that on Facebook, John insisted any anti-gay message in the articles seen as hateful was just a matter of ignorance.  “I don’t hate you, I just think you’re going to hell! Send Bin Laden my regards.”

In a Daily Show segment on the debate surrounding female access to contraception, Jon Stewart mentioned that religious conservatives too often equate religious persecution with not getting what they want. Real persecution is being treated like your sexual orientation is a disease, a sickness that you must battle with to stay in God’s grace. Go talk to Matthew Sheppard’s family. They’ll tell you what it really means to be persecuted. It’s the anti-gay ideology perpetuated by Church of LDS propaganda like the aforementioned articles that leads to tragedies like Sheppard’s and 36.5 % of GLB youth grades 9-12 attempting suicide.

Henry Louis Mencken once defined Puritanism as “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”  How else to explain our nation’s obsession with trying to keep people from harmless sexual expression? Steven Wishnia’s recent Alternet piece, Understanding the Right’s Fear of Sex: How America’s Absurd Oral Sex and Sodomy Laws Were Overturned, points out that oral sex was once illegal in the US in every state before 1961, and remained illegal in 13 states until a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2003. How does a consensual blow job hurt anybody? Or an unmarried woman using the pill (it wasn’t until ’72 that Massachusetts overturned such a law)? Or buying a vibrator in Alabama? I’m sure God has bigger issues to deal with than Suzy giving herself multiple orgasms.

And so does America. According to the CDC, young people aged 13–29 accounted for 39% of all new HIV infections in 2009. If we could just stand on the side of reason and respect that supposed boundary between church and state, we could start effectively addressing the more serious problems plaguing our nation. Like the Kardashian media infestation. Still completely beyond me.

Church sign image from http://www.inquisitr.com/

Brave teen responds to “I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay”

By J.S. |

Blogger Dan Pearce from Danoah.com published a piece last November entitled “I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay” in response to the hatred and prejudice he has witnessed over the years directed towards the LGBT community by supposedly loving religious right-wingers. This week Pearce shared with readers an emotional e-mail he received from a very conservative mother whose son had been given a homework assignment in class to write a reflection on the blog post. Not realizing that her child had been hiding his sexual orientation from the family, she angrily threw out the assignment and gave him ” an earful about homosexuality and God.”

Hours later she discovered he had sneaked out of the house to do the assignment at a friend’s home and refused to return until she read his response. This is what he e-mailed to his mother:

I am gay and only my one friend knows so far. My mom doesn’t know yet. My dad doesn’t know yet. You didn’t know it when you gave us this homework. I am only 15 years old and I have never felt so alone. My mom and dad always are being angry about gay people and talking about how they are bad and going to hell and they also always talk about how all the gays should be shipped off to their own private island or something so that the rest of us could live God’s commandments in peace.

I have been so scared of them finding out that I’m gay because I know that they would hate me and would want me out of their life and at the same time I can’t keep this secret anymore because it is not something I asked for, never in a million years would I ask to be gay in a town like this where everybody would hate me. And anyways I can’t keep this secret anymore because I’m about to do something crazy like run away or hurt myself or something. I just want to be dead sometimes.

And then you gave us the assignment to write this essay for our homework and I read it like ten times I even skipped lunch and just kept reading it in the bathroom and by the time I went home I decided that maybe I am only 15 years old but maybe this town will change if I can be honest about who I am and maybe my family will change if I can be honest about who I am with them too. I don’t see why I don’t deserve love just like everyone else. I see some crazy stuff that so many people do and people still love them but for some reason everybody around here thinks its ok to hate gays and stuff. And I don’t know really I think I just realize that I don’t want to be Jacob in ten years and still live my life in secret and scared of being hated.

So I go home and I tell my mom to read this handout you gave us and she got so mad at me and started going crazy about how evil gays are and how all of this was just the devil spreading his work and everything else she said. But this time I just got mad myself and I got so mad because I suddenly realize that this is the woman that my whole life made me go to church where they talk about love just like the writer said but she and every other person I pretty much know just hate so many people especially gay people. So I got madder and madder and madder and then I snuck out and came to my friends house to write this essay because its time to stop letting people’s hate stop me from being happy. I mean should I really have to hate my life and want to die because other people are so hating?

And I don’t know what will happen but I am done playing like I’m something I’m not and if my parents don’t love me anymore because of this then I realize that’s not my problem and it will hurt but not as much as the way I hurt right now. I feel like if my mom and dad would just think about things they’d realize that what they always say and how they always hate gays is not what Jesus would do and maybe there is a chance that they will some day love me like Jesus would. I am their kid afterall.

Tonight I am going to send this to my mom and see what she says I guess. I don’t know what will happen but I know that I deserve to be loved just like everybody else does I just hope she thinks so too.

I was incredibly moved by his courage and honesty. This is what his mom had to say about it:

Obviously you can imagine the emotions and thoughts that were going through my head when I read that… 

I started crying and couldn’t stop for the longest time. I don’t know why I was crying exactly, just so many emotions came over me. I didn’t know what to do or how to respond. I finally stopped and went and read your article once more only this time I tried to read it through my son’s eyes and the whole thing was so different than it was a couple hours before. By the time I finished I felt as big as an ant and I realized just how much hatred I have in my heart toward others.

You see, Mr. Pearce, you are right. It’s not about what other people do. It’s about whether or not we are loving them. Nothing else matters at all. And it took all of this for that to finally sink in.

I texted my son back that I loved him and left it at that. He came home that night and didn’t try to talk to me about it, I just told him I loved him at least ten times that night and made sure not to talk about anything else. My love for him was the only thing I wanted him to feel and I knew he’d talk to me about it when he was ready.

That was a month ago and in the last month my son and I (his dad lives three states away and still doesn’t know) have grown much closer than we ever were before. We have both stood up against hate several times when we hear it coming from the people around us. You see, where we live people really do have problems “being Christian unless…” But no longer in this home.

I’ve shared your article now with countless people. I have made my sisters read it. I talked about its message to my parents. I sent it to my friends and neighbors. And I’ve had some people get really upset by it, but a change is starting to happen around here and it’s because one teenage boy finally had the courage to stand against what he felt was wrong. He believed he could make a change. And I’ll tell you right now, it makes me happy to see him so happy. I never knew how unhappy he was until I could finally see how happy he could be.

So thank you. I know this is long, but I thought you’d like to know what your article has done in this little town we live in. And it’s just the beginning.

Sincerely yours, one proud mom.

If only this kind of tolerance and compassion were present in every family. I hope that more parents can learn to embrace their children just  as they are and speak out against sexual intolerance. All it takes is one brave person to make a difference.

More of these billboards wouldn’t hurt either:

 

Images from clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com

Madonna ‘girl gone wild’ video too sexy for YouTube

By J.S. |

Even at 53, the infamous Material Girl can still stir up a controversy. YouTube recently slapped Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” music video from her new MDNA album with an age restriction. I watched the video scouring for what could possibly be so inappropriate and all I saw was 2 seconds of a bare ass and no more  writhing and grinding than your typical pop or hip-hop video.

Jimmy Fallon asked Madge in an interview this weekend,  “Your video for ‘Girl Gone Wild’ on YouTube [has an] age restriction. They don’t want the grinding and the groins?” Her response: “How can you go wild and not grind?”

Critics have been saying that Madonna is too old to be writhing around half naked, but I think she looks fantastic. No one is telling Mick Jagger to stop shaking his ass onstage. Sure, he may not be pushing the envelope quite so far, but come on, this is MADONNA. Flaunting her goodies is her MO. And who decided that older women aren’t allowed to be sexy?

Forbes magazine interviewed Vivian Diller, Ph.D.,author of  Face It: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change:

“Madonna is the ultimate reinventor,” Diller says. In three decades, she’s been the wild child, the religious heretic, the serious actress, the doting (fauxBritish) mother, the philanthropist and more. Diller sees this as the power that’s kept her relevant not just to her own age group (at 58, Diller calls Madonna the Lady Gaga of her generation), but to her daughters as well.

“This latest return of Madonna to the spotlight is no different than what she’s done in the past,” Diller says. “She’s bringing back some of what she used to represent—and her breaking sexual boundaries has always been a part of that—but at the same time becoming something more, an icon to a generation of women who want to remain vital, creative and, yes, sexual, even as they age.”

But how long can she keep it up? At a rate of an album-every-three-years, Madonna will be 60 when she releases her final record under the latest Interscope deal. Will Madonna’s sexuality at 60 be as acceptable as at 53? Even Diller is skeptical. “What I hope,” she says, “and my sense is that Madonna is savvy enough to know this, is that she not try to be 25-year-old Madonna at 53, but to redefine what sexuality at 53 looks like.”

I’m curious to see what form the next phase of Madonna’s reinvention will take. Check out “Girl Gone Wild” below:

Right wing war on women is nothing new

By Kim H. |

A friend passed along this letter from blogger/activist Emily L. Hauser and in light of the near daily absurdity surrounding the debate on contraception and reproductive rights, I felt it was imperative to re-post here:

I have been pregnant four times.

These pregnancies led to the following four results, in this order: abortion, baby, miscarriage, baby.

These pregnancies occurred over a span of many years, across two continents, and in three different homes. There were at least seven different health care professionals involved, my hair styles varied widely, as did my levels of nausea. The only constant, in all four cases, other than me, was the presence of a penis.

It happened to be the penis I eventually married, but regardless, that is how pregnancy works. No matter who you are, no matter your sexuality, ability to reproduce, or family make-up, if there are children in your life, at some point along the way, there was a penis involved.

I mention this only because it seems the GOP may have forgotten.

Because as we trundle along, shaming women for having any kind of sex, ever, that is not entirely focused on producing babies — even if we are married, even if it wasn’t so much “sex” as “rape,” even if having a baby would threaten our health and thus the well-being of the children we already have — we are completely and utterly ignoring the fact that the single, solitary way for humans to reproduce is for sperm to meet egg. And sperm, you may recall, come from penises.

Which are attached to men.

If women are having too much sex, so are men. If women are producing babies, so are men. If women are making irresponsible reproductive choices with which they want to burden “the American people” — so.are.men.

Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care — whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. THEY ARE HUMAN ISSUES.

There is a purely incandescent rage that comes over me now on a nearly daily basis over the blatant dehumanization of women that is currently sweeping the nation. It is exhausting. It is heart breaking. It is spirit crushing. And there’s nothing to be done but to continue to feel it, because I refuse to stop fighting for my right, my daughter’s right, my mother’s right, my sister’s right — the inalienable right of all women everywhere — to human dignity.

But every once and a while, a particularly galling aspect of the GOP’s War on Women floats to the top of the filth, and I am gobsmacked anew. And today it is as simple as this: Women do not reproduce on their own.

If the Republican Party is so anxious to control women’s sexuality (and it clearly is), it had better start shaming men, too.

That is, unless its representatives are willing to argue that men are constitutionally incapable of not sticking their junk into the nearest available lady bits, and we gals have all the power.

I, for one, have too much respect for men to buy that.

Adult film star Nina Hartley recently shared this article by Jim Rea from the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance that describes how the right wing war on women has been going on for centuries. Rea writes:

I came across a fascinating and immaculately researched essay by Max Dashu, written in 2004 entitled “Herbs, Knots and Contraception”.  Here he [correction she] documents the centuries long campaign by the church to outlaw and punish any efforts by women to take control of their own reproductive destiny.  Such practices were labeled as “Witchcraft” and were subject to the highest level of punishment and damnation.

Priests frequently leveled accusations of sexual magic at European women. The penitential books refer often to love potions. [Rouche, 523] But sexual witchcraft went beyond love spells or even the dreaded (and popular) impotence magic. Early medieval writers show that women were using herbal medicine and witchcraft to control their own fertility and childbearing. Bishops in France, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany enacted canons forbidding women to undertake means of controlling their own conception and performing abortions.

He continues:

In the 700′s the Irish Collection of Canons devoted an entire section to pronouncements on “Womanly Questions.” The monks complained that women “take diabolical drinks so that they can no longer conceive.” Following the bishop of Arles [the Bible is silent on the subject of female contraception and abortion] they equate preventing conception by means of herbal potions—”drinking sterility”—with murder. [Noonan, 155]Especially hateful in the monks’ eyes were unmarried women with sex lives. A section called “Simulated Virgins and Their Morals” castigates young women for using birth control to conceal their love affairs. [Noonan, 159] (In the priestly author’s mind, there could be no other reason for using it.) Already implicit is the notion of pregnancy as a divine punishment of unchaste women, while men go untouched. The penitentials treat men’s sexual exploits, and exploitation in the form of concubinage, with lenience, even indulgence. The sole exception is their severity toward homosexuality, which they rank among the worst of sins. [Brundage, 174]

Old habits die hard. Though we continue to enjoy the fruits of the feminist movement and sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s, we must continue to demand freedom and equality in the face of  deeply rooted puritanical nonsense.

Speaking of which:

 

Planned Parenthood image from inthesetimes.com

psycho anti-planned parenthood film is not a joke (VIDEO)

This would almost be funny if it weren’t so infuriating. A psychotic video by the American Life League that could easily be confused with an Onion parody has been circulating the internet, accusing Planned Parenthood of “get[ting] kids addicted to sex so it can sell them birth control.” The unidentified man in the ALL report explains: “When teens catch a Sexually Transmitted Disease, it sells them testing services. And when a young girl gets pregnant, it sells her an abortion. This isn’t education, it’s indoctrination intended to drum up Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.”

Riiiiiight. Because teenagers wouldn’t think about sex without Planned Parenthood shoving “pornographic” propaganda in their face. As always, I’m baffled that these pro-life conservatives fail to see the connection between contraceptive sex education and lower abortion rates. These people need a strong smack in the face.

Sexual freedom under religious fire in Paris, Abbotsford and… LA?

By Kim H.

Yesterday at a lovely cafe in Echo Park, I was told to take my suitcase of sex toys out of there after  discreetly giving one of my buddies a small Screaming O ring when he bought a FKMYSELF t-shirt. In liberal Los Angeles. As if I were a drug peddler or something! I quietly did as I was told and harbor no ill will towards the friendly staff, but it was another perfect example of how uptight we still are around sex in this country.

Meanwhile, our neighbors up north in Abbotsford, Canada were recently deprived of the  Taboo Naughty But Nice Show after opposition from the Christian Community. British Columbia’s CTV News reports:

Former Abbotsford mayoral candidate Gerda Peachey was happily stunned when Canwest Productions called off the sex show scheduled to begin at the end of March. For months, she had been speaking out against the event because of religious reasons. “That Taboo Naughty But Nice Sex Show is a perversion; it’s a distortion of what the man-woman relationship is to be,” Peachey told CTV News.

A distortion according to what? What is the man-woman relationship supposed to be? Are we to look to the Bible for answers, the same text that tells us: “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”? If anything this silent submissive role seems perfectly in line with some of that BDSM stuff that is supposedly so “perverted.”

Across the globe, a court in Paris is preparing to rule on whether sex toys are to be classified as erotic or pornographic; according to The Telegraph, Catholic groups there have been complaining that the sale of toys at a “love shop”, 1969 – Curiosités Désirables, 100 yards from a school violates French law that forbids a business from operating within 200 meters of an educational establishment if it sells or displays “pornographic” objects:

“One can call a sex shop a “Love shop”, a vibrator a ‘sex toy’ and a fellatio simulator a “gourmand pleasure object’, but these are just words. The truth is this we have a sex shop selling pornographic objects,” he told the court.

“There are as many possible definitions of pornography as there are individuals,” countered defence lawyer Richard Malka…Mr Malka began by arguing the law used to prosecute his client was anti-constitutional as it was contrary to the freedom of trade.

He said that a study geocoding the 200m perimetre around primary and secondary schools found that the “only place this type of business could still set up shop would be cemeteries, public gardens and railways”.

If such a strict interpretation of the law were applied, he went on, “they’d have to shut not just all sex shops but also Galeries Lafayette”.

This in a country where photos of sexy naked women are featured on giant billboards for all men, women and children to see.

All I have to say is

RELAX… IT’S JUST SEX.

Sheesh.

Image from http://www.socialshopper.com/

 

Survey shows HPV vaccine NOT linked to promiscuity

By Kim H.

Conservatives pushing an abstinence-only education agenda have been arguing for years that giving young people access to contraception and other STD preventative tools will “give them ideas” and lead to more promiscuous behavior. As Nina Hartley would say, Mother Nature has already given them ideas.

Lo and behold, turns out that case doesn’t hold water anyway. The New York Times reported that a survey published in the January issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found girls ages 15 to 19 who are vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, are no more likely to be sexually active or to have more partners than unvaccinated girls. The report also found that among sexually active girls, those who were vaccinated were more likely to consistently use a condom than those who had not had the shot.

The scientists found that about 25 percent of girls ages 14 to 19, and almost 45 percent of women 20 to 24, have been infected with HPV. Perhaps these numbers would go down if we actually provided our young people with comprehensive sex education. In the words of my father upon handing me a pack of condoms my freshman year of college: “It’s a matter of life and death.”

Survey Reveals Latest American Masturbation Habits

By Kim H.

Sex Toy makers Adam & Eve recently sponsored a web-based survey of over 1,000 American adults age 18 and up to study sexual preferences and practices. The results:

[M]ost adults take matters into their own hands once or twice a week. But while 27% admit to masturbating once or twice a week, the next highest percentage of respondents (19%) say they never do it. This is followed by 18%, who admit they masturbate once or twice a month, 11% who masturbate once every few months, 9% who say they masturbate every day, 8% who say they rarely masturbate, and 3% who say they masturbate more than once a day.

Wait. 18% say they never do it?

Dr. Kat Van Kirk, Adam & Eve’s resident sex expert, says, “Masturbation is a fundamental building block in human sexuality. It’s surprising that so many adults still look to their partners to please them, when they don’t even know how to please themselves. While encouraging, I do believe the numbers are actually higher. There’s still a social stigma associated with masturbation and previous research has indicated individuals tend to under report.”

I agree that the numbers must actually be higher, though I’m not sure why people would feel the need to lie in an online survey. When I was younger I would masturbate everyday, but my self pleasure needs have diminished significantly since getting into a relationship. I must say though that there’s still something uniquely sensual (and hell, efficient) about touching your own body and bringing yourself to orgasm. As much as I relish the experience of my partner’s climax, especially when it occurs simultaneously with my own, it’s fun being completely selfish and not having to worry about anyone’s pleasure but yours, no pressure to perform or prevent your partner from feeling inadequate if you don’t get off.

There are some couples who are insulted by their partners masturbating and consider it an act of infidelity. I suppose my ego would be bruised if I was living with my boyfriend and came home to find him jacking off to some porn. Although knowing me I would probably just join him .

How often do you masturbate? Does it change when you’re in a relationship? As you’ve aged? Weigh in below.

Image from dinimudrika.blogspot.com