How do we make decisions in this area?
What you do should be your decision.
We are influenced by movies, family, peers, religion, relationship partners...
When people have more information they are empowered to choose wisely.
There are some laws to take into consideration:
It is important to take risks and benefits into consideration to see what level of physical intimacy you are prepared for.
Risks of moving too fast:
Benefits could be:
You can feel empowered to make your own decision by not having sex too.
Choosing celibacy is safe and autonomous. You can still connect to your partner by getting to know them better and doing fun things together like going on a hike or visiting a museum.
A couple can have a close relationship without being sexually active through developing:
Nobody should judge you based on a number or slut shame/prude shame. What matters is that all that happens is truly your decision and you are safe. Many people look back and realize that some of their experiences were the result of coercion and manipulation.
Unfortunately, sexual coercion has become so normalized that we stopped being able to identify it as rape, coerced consent is not consent at all.
It can be difficult to explain coercion to someone who thinks that coercion is ok, they might deny what they did, perhaps only to get away with it and convince you that they did not know any better, perhaps because they don't want to see themselves as a rapist.
Rape, Sexual Assault
A rapist can be a person of any sex or gender.
For sex positive consent look at this checklist:
Consent is vital
No means No
Things rapists say
TO get you isolated (these are not always said with bad intent)
To justify rape/ coercion
If you want to leave them because they raped you
Why is it important to talk about this?
Rape culture a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. We are breaking away from this, the myth of being "stuck in our ways" has been dismantled, people are constantly evolving, evaluating, and changing. People can change themselves, when they want to.
Rape can happen to anyone, we do have some normalized phrases and attitudes that normalize the rape of women by men.
Examples of Rape Culture:
According to current statistics:
One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives: https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics
Rape is under reported due to shame, lack of consequences, and retaliation for reporting on behalf of the rapist.
Some people think that other people are just there to use for sex and prefer to keep them around as "friends" so they can use them whenever they want, so many rapists keep victims around as friends.
Since rape is about power and control, the rapist makes sure that they have a sense of power and control over the victim before raping, it could be reminding a woman that men are stronger to make sure that the woman believes that they cannot fight their way out of rape.
One can fight their way out of rape, and also, should never have to.
Here are some examples of victim blaming lines:
Saying these things propagates abuse and helps abusers.
What an unhealthy relationship is like
Unhealthy relationships are based on power and control instead of love and respect. These are some unhealthy behaviors.
What a healthy relationship is like
A healthy relationship is an expression of mutual respect.
AFter you take all of that into consideration, you can reflect on safe sex
An important consideration is Sexually Transmitted Infections/ Diseases (STIs)
Kati Morton, licensed therapist, has a series of videos on Youtube
One can get an STI from oral sex, or from lesbian sex, the world needs better methods for safe sex in this area, you can invent a new device
Forms of Contraception
PrEP for HIV
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV.
Who is PrEP recommended for?
The USPSTF recommends that the following persons be considered for PrEP:
1. Men who have sex with men, are sexually active, and have 1 of the following characteristics:
2. Heterosexually active women and men who have 1 of the following characteristics:
3. Persons who inject drugs and have 1 of the following characteristics:
Persons who engage in transactional sex, such as sex for money, drugs, or housing, including commercial sex workers or persons trafficked for sex work, constitute another group at high risk of HIV acquisition and should be considered for PrEP based on the criteria outlined above. Men who have sex with men and women are at risk of HIV acquisition and should be evaluated for PrEP according to the criteria outlined above for men who have sex with men and heterosexually active men.
Transgender women and men who are sexually active may be at increased risk of HIV acquisition and should be considered for PrEP based on the criteria outlined above. Transgender women are at especially high risk of HIV acquisition. The CDC estimates that approximately one-fourth of transgender women are living with HIV, and more than half (an estimated 56%) of black/African American transgender women are living with HIV.4 Although trials of PrEP enrolled few transgender women and no trials have been conducted among transgender men, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition during receptive and insertive anal and vaginal sex. Therefore, its use may be considered in all persons (cisgender and transgender) at high risk of sexual acquisition of HIV.
More partners= higher risk
We have good reason to want to know people on a deeper level before we become more intimately involved
Safe LGBT Sex Information
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.