Published on The Daily Femme – Friday, March 18, 2011
Contributed by Annamarya
As I wrote about in regards to the recent scandal surrounding Northwestern professor John Bailey, hands-on sex-positive education is vital in understanding our bodies, their (dis)pleasures, and how they relate to others. It’s also critical in developing a like-minded sex- and kink-positive communities that foster and nurture the exchange of candid and informative discourse.
That’s why groups like ScrewSmart, a Philadelphia-based sex education collective, are entirely necessary in breaking down sex taboos that hinder people from learning about and embracing the pleasures of the flesh. ScrewSmart was founded a year ago by three women–Kira, JD & Rebecca–with the mission to “collaborate on a diverse range of sexualities and promote sex-positivity with hands-, brains-, and hard-on learning” and community resources. While still in its infancy, the gender-inclusive, pleasure-based group, which focuses on women & queer niches, has hit the ground running, taking part in panel talks on sex & sexuality, participating in fundraiser efforts for the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, putting on interactive workshops on everything from anal sex to pornography, and appearing at Talking about the Taboo, the Second Annual Conference of the Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health, which was founded by certified sexologist and sexuality educatorMegan Andelloux. That appearance is particularly noteworthy: the ScrewSmart crew presented a research proposal on their work as Gynecological Training Associates, in which those in the medical fields, like nurses and med students, are taught how to do sensitive, patient-centered pelvic exams.
Even though ScrewSmart is operating on a local level, there is vast potential for their brand of dedicated and passionate sex- & kink-positive sex education to spread like wildfire to other cities. I won’t say we’re currently experiencing a new sexual revolution but with the Northwestern live sex-toy demo and lecture, and the recent talks of decriminalizing prostitution, it seems we’re beginning to broaden our sex scope to include education, benefits, and getting off. And that’s the way it should be. Speaking openly about sex and sexuality will only arm people with knowledge that will allow them to make positive, appropriate decisions about their sex lives. Stifling discussions about sex or banning them will only further stereotypes, ignorance, and dangerous misinformation. In the end, isn’t it better not to be a prude?