Knowledge that can help with some of the Decisions that
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Pregnancy can happen 1 to 3 days per month
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making your own decisions about if and when to have sex
You are free to make your own decisions.
It is important to take risks and benefits into consideration to see what level of physical intimacy you are prepared for.
Knowledge is power.
There are some laws to take into consideration:
- In New Mexico, the age of consent is 17 years old.
- If an adult (an individual over the age of 18) has sex with a minor between the ages of 13 and 16, the adult may be prosecuted for 4th degree criminal sexual penetration.
- Your status as a child is important to prevent exploitation
- Effect on emotional health
- Effect the relationship
- Risk of pregnancy
- Risk of a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
Benefits could be:
- Feeling more connected to your partner, you can feel more connected through emotional intimacy too.
- Feeling empowered to make your own decision
You can feel empowered to make your own decision by not having sex too.
- Feeling free to talk to each other
- Feeling safe being yourself
- Trying new things together
- Building memories
- Sharing insecurities
- Sharing what you are each proud of
- Stories of growth
- Life lessons
- Childhood stories
- Hopes and fears
- Dreams and goals
- Skills and knowledge
- Hand holding
- Being openly in a relationship, not hiding the relationship
- Backing each other up, defending each other calmly
- Being able to share experiences and feelings without the person violating your trust
- Being able to trust that your boundaries will be respected
- Not having to worry about dishonesty
- Not having to worry about cheating
- Not having to monitor anybody's freedom
- Set clear limits, decide what your boundaries are before the relationship
- Communicate your limits, a respectful partner will respect your limits
- Avoid high pressure situations
- Assert yourself
- Choosing to not have sex
- Sex can be an addiction since there is a chemical reward similar to that of any drug
- Bonding with another can get you that chemical reward without sex
- Looking for someone to have sex with can take time and energy
- More time and energy for yourself
- You might be too busy to build a long term relationship and might want to not risk neglecting anyone
- Many people feel that celibacy helps them hold on to their creative energy
The lifelong process of learning and exploring values and beliefs, navigate relationships, and manage sexual health.
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Nobody should judge you based on a number or slut shame/prude shame, as long as 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.
A rapist can be a person of any sex or gender.
For sex positive consent look at this checklist:
- Do you trust each other?
- Do you feel safe together?
- Can you talk about your problems and feel heard?
- Can you talk if something is bothering you?
- Do you listen to each other?
- Do you talk about having sex and what it means to you or what you want?
- Can you talk openly about what you want out of the relationship and your boundaries?
- Birth control, if it is heterosex, have you discussed this?
- Health status, are there any concerns that you need to share?
- STI testing, and if there has been recent possible exposure to an STI.
- Sexual activity level, if you want a monogamous relationship, or they want multiple partners, it is ok to have any form of agreement as long as all parties involved are informed and feel that their decisions are respected.
- Do you feel you need to have alcohol or drugs to have sex?
- Do you know how to use condoms and dental dams to prevent STIs?
- Do you both want to do it? Do you both feel ready to do it?
- Is anybody pressuring anybody?
- All partners need to have equal say in what is going on.
- An equal share of power and control in the relationship.
Consent is vital
- Sex without consent is rape
- Sexual contact without consent is assault or rape
- Rape is not something that necessarily/or usually happens with a stranger
- It is usually very subtle and starts with someone that you know and trust, we think of it as violent or physically restraining.
- A "friend" might objectify you and see you as a toy or person that is just there for sexual gratification.
- Your feelings and values might not matter to them at all, they are not a real friend :(.
- There could be an unfortunate lack of empathy, recognizing this can be painful, also lifesaving.
- It can be inappropriate touching that activates a natural body response, if you did not want this to begin with it can be confusing and make you wonder if you want it now.
- Listen to yourself to reflect on your intent in the interaction, if you were not interested in sex then you might be experiencing manipulation or coercion.
- The perpetrator may use pressure manipulation, drugs, alcohol, and force, or "seduction" to get the person to cross the boundaries of the relationship.
- Is essential, not a favor, or a sign of a particularly good person
- Sex is never owed, it does not matter if you have had sex before, if the bought you a gift or dinner, even if you are naked.
- You always have the right to revoke consent, a healthy partner will respect this
- If you feel that the relationship has changed, it needs to be ok to have a conversation about what changes you have noticed without feeling shamed or invalidated
Things a rapist might say
- Let's Netflix and Chill
- Let's play videogames at my house
- Let's watch a movie
- Let's study in my dorm
- Let's go on a trip somewhere
- Can I walk you to your car? (and the cross your boundaries)
- Let's walk to the party, it is not so far, leave your car here.
- I need to get something from my room real quick, want to come?
- I invited you to a party, but I did not invite anyone else
To justify rape/ coercion
- One thing led to another
- Once I start I can't stop
- I can't kiss someone without wanting more
- I am just seducing you
- Some people just have a stronger sex drive
- Don't you like being dominated?
- This is my role in the relationship
- I thought "no" meant yes
- People don't usually mean it when they say "no"
- You led me on by dancing
- You led me on by making eye contact
- You led me on by dressing that way
- The way that you are dressed tells me that you want a certain kind of attention
- I will have blue balls if you don't help me
- Friends are supposed to be there for each other
- If you really cared, you would help me with my sexual needs
- If you are adults: "We are both adults aren't we" (being an adult does not mean you Automatically consent
- You are playing hard to get
- Are you always this sexually conservative?
- Are you a prude?
- You are a prude
- You are uptight
- You are close minded
- Oh, you're one of those
- I am not used to having to work this hard
- Don't make me make you
- Accepting your no, and then asking again
- "So, that is why people have had to rape you"
- I did not know it was wrong
- You call that rape?
- This is not rape and you must be traumatized by a previous experience or story. (if you feel violated there is a reason)
- I feel so ashamed I thought I was better
- You are not allowed to bring it up again.
- I did not know I was like this, you brought out this side of me
- Telling you that they are sad and need your support
- I thought you wanted it too
- Am I really that ugly or unattractive?
- This is the only way I know how to get sex.
- People who are rejected often resort to this because they have needs.
- Did you not like the sex?
- Do you still think I'm cute?
- I thought we were friends, that is what friends do for each other.
- I feel rejected
- I was taught that this was normal
- This is all I know
- I did not mean to hurt you but I will say sorry anyways just because I care about you
- I did nothing wrong, I was just following my heart, but if it means anything, sorry
- There is nothing wrong with two people who consent to engage in sexual activity (even though you are trying to communicate about how it was not consent)
- I won't do it again
- I did it with a lot of love
- I can see why people have had to rape you
If you want to leave them because they raped you
- You are overreacting
- You're so sensitive
- This is a natural need, you are here to fulfill that need
- That is all it takes to lose you?
- You don't know how to love if you are willing to break up with someone that easily.
- It was just one time
- Everyone deserves a second chance
- Most people don't speak out about this
- Most people would stay
- Insults and name calling
- Threats to spread rumors about you
- Saying that you actually raped them
There are many other things that can go into these lists.
The abusive behavior generally escalates, you don't deserve any level of abuse and don't owe anyone an explanation.
In a healthy relationship all people involved are free to go at any time and don't owe an explanation.
If you give someone another chance, nobody can blame you if they continue to be abusive. If it was a learned behavior they can choose to change. Only the abuser is responsible for the abuse.
Rape can happen to anyone, we do have some normalized phrases and attitudes that normalize the rape of women by men.
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.
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.
Younger generations are less likely to hear these "common phrases" regularly and are likely to be less prone to justifying rape as they grow up.
At this point we should all know better.
The myth of being "stuck in our ways" has been dismantled, people are constantly evolving, evaluating, and changing. We can change themselves, when we want to.
Examples of Rape Culture:
- Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
- Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
- Sexually explicit jokes
- Tolerance of sexual harassment
- Inflating false rape report statistics
- Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
- Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
- Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
- Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
- Pressure on men to “score”
- Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
- Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
- Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
- Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
- Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape
why does this happen?
- Rape is not about love, it is about power and control, manipulation, and coercion.
- It is active oppression.
- You deserve to make decisions about sex on your own volition.
- Follow your intuition and trust yourself.
- Many abusive partners start the relationship with sexual coercion
- Getting away from a rapist may mean having to find new friends, or stay at home to avoid a dangerous person.
- Not all social circles accept rapists; a healthy community will talk to the rapist and refer them to resources such as articles about rape, most of the time the rapist is completely aware that what they are doing is wrong, a healthy community will ask rapists to go elsewhere and see if they can help survivors gather evidence, if possible.
- You deserve a safe community that cares about consent.
- It is not right for people to tell you that it is your job to set boundaries and tolerate the community rapist, people who say that are justifying rape and creating a community that is rapist friendly.
- So perhaps it is time to build a new community for people who do not want to tolerate rape or other forms of oppression.
- Create changes in the existing community
- People who experience more privilege, and are not the target of the rapist are the people who have the power to create change in their community.
- Empower men to foster healthy communities for women and vulnerable communities
- Empower cis-straight people to foster healthy community spaces for LGBT people
- People who say "just set boundaries" and tell people to "f off" usually experience privilege and are not the target of rapists, they are usually men who are blind to their privilege
- It is great to know how to set boundaries, if a person is a rapist then they are dangerous, the danger can escalate so it is not up to you to set boundaries to stay safe
- Nobody should be hurting you in any way
- Abusers benefit from victim blaming
- Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them.
- Culture is shaped by what we are taught to say in certain situations, most of the time we are programmed to say victim blaming things so reflecting on the things that are commonly said to survivors is very important.
There are many patterns, here are some examples:
- What did you expect?
- Did you drink?
- What did you wear?
- Had you consented before?
- Men get these biological urges to rape, they just can’t help themselves.
- The victim did not say no (sometimes people freeze)
- Why didn't you just walk away? (the violence could escalate if you try to get away)
- Why didn't you fight or use pepper spray? (maybe you thought you could trust them not to rape you)
- Why did you go to that place?
- Why are you hanging out at a bar or club?
- Why are you hanging out with people that have tattoos?
- Why are you hanging out with people that dress like that?
- That has not happened to me.
- You are attracting abusers
- You manifest your own reality and are attracting abusers.
- If you had not thought about this you would not have manifested it.
- You have "the look".
- You look easy to take advantage of.
- If you warn people about this rapist, you are violating their privacy.
- The victim’s parents should have taught him/her warning signs.
- The victim should have known what he/she was getting him/herself into.
- In cases of underage perpetrators: The rapist is only a child him/herself.
Saying these things propagates abuse and helps abusers.
Laws that appear to encourage rape
For the sake of basic human dignity.
It is up to us to not rape, and to dismantle normalized dynamics of oppression.
Headline: Men Legally Allowed to Finish Sex Even If Woman Revokes Consent, NC Law States.
North Carolina is the one state where the law explicitly says you cannot revoke consent once it's given.
Unfortunately this passed in 2017
"only harms that constitute a felony or misdemeanor crime may be called domestic violence."
2019 change in the definition of sexual assault:
The term “sexual assault” means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
examples of Sexually Transmitted Infection Symptoms
The first STIs covered are bacterial, except HPV and Herpes,
those are viral
Chlamydia (bacterial, can be resistant to antibiotics)
Symptoms for chlamydia can take a while to show, safe sex is the key to protecting yourself against chlamydia infection.
Symptoms can include:
- Rapid weight loss.
- Recurring fever or profuse night sweats.
- Extreme and unexplained tiredness.
- Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck.
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week.
- Sores of the mouth, anus, or genitals.
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Prevention is usually through barrier methods such as condoms and through getting tested before sex and looking for signs of an std on the person before sex
- STDs can be transferred through contact with bodily fluid
- Also skin to skin contact
- A bacteria can be transferred from a leg or abdomen
- A condom will not cover the entire area, there are new devices such as shorts that try to create a barrier method that covers more of the body.
- A person can touch an infected area and then transfer the bacteria or virus to another part of their body, or someone else's body
- A bacteria or virus can travel inside the person's body and affect other body parts or organs
this information is not meant to scare you
awareness is the key to healthy decision making and
can help you live a long healthy life,
you can also educate your peers
Medical hiv prevention and medication
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it 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.
- When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently.
antiretroviral drugs for people starting HIV treatment
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a combination of antiretroviral drugs for people starting HIV treatment:
- TDF (tenofovir)
- either 3TC (lamivudine) or FTC (emtricitabine)
- and EFV (efavirenz).
Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)
- Abacavir, or ABC (Ziagen)
- Didanosine, or ddl (Videx)
- Emtricitabine, or FTC (Emtriva)
- Lamivudine, or 3TC (Epivir)
- Stavudine, or d4T (Zerit)
- Tenofovir alafenamide, or TAF (Vemlidy)
- Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or TDF (Viread)
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.