Exploring Entagnlements Exploring Entanglements: What Does it Mean to Be a Sexual Citizen?

Our peer educators hosts discuss the transition to college drawing on their own experiences to understand vulnerability and sexual projects.


Hi. Today we're gonna be talking about sexual citizenship education in America. And we're going to be empowering and elevating the voices around and sex to reclaim sexual citizenship. So the definition of sexual citizenship is, to denote, say, the acknowledgement of one's own right to sexual determination, and importantly recognize the equivalent right in others. Finding sexual citizenship and yourself and also import or recognizing it and others is really just about finding your own like right to your own body and kind of going with that and figuring out what you like and what you don't like. And that I think the most important part is that you have the right to do that and you have a say in what happens. And that you have the empowerment to be able to talk about these things with others and not feel shameful or not feel that you're doing too much or something like that. It's just really about being in control of your own body. And what happens to the, And going off of what Dana said, I think it's very important when we're talking about sexual citizenship. So remember something that we all have. You know, it's not something that we're specifically given at birth and something that's culturally and socially constructed. So we all have this right to reclaim our cells in our body and our desires and what we really want to gain out of sex in general. So I think just putting an emphasis on with Dana said it's really just more about being able to have a right to your own body and to be able to really talk about sex without it feeling like a taboo, which is something that you might get into later. Data in social really did a great job defining what sexual assertions that means. Um, and I just want to also re-emphasize what they both said about really owning your body, it and it's thinking that claim in really, you know, respecting your body and, and, and respecting people's preferences. And ultimately just, you know, knowing that there's so many different reasons why people have sex and it's accessible to fluid thing that, you know, if it's something that like real world impairment, anything, if that makes sense, that you should have a right to your own body. You know, really respect other people's sexual preferences and just recognize that other people also have this right to their bodies and, and have a right to sexual citizenship in general. It's kind of like one of those terms that, that is kind of hard to explain. But once you start to get the understanding of, of the respect for nature of it and the right to your body. Ultimately. Like click. Like me personally with sexual citizenship and I feel like with sexual said, it's really fostered institutionally and culturally. Me personally, as a woman who identifies as Latin X, I identify as a Latina. There's kind of like this, huge serifs like OR AS being very promiscuous. Boom, very sexual beings. Being very, you know, like hot and spicy when really like, you know, this being such a large stereotype is a largely boss because we're individuals like another community. But also like like from my personal experience, it's faster and culturally like even amongst, like you're gonna, amongst some members of the last next community, they may consider themselves to be like sexual beings. But also like, it's not engrained to a point where like these conversations about sex I've fostered within families like this, like this. There's hype about the Latin community being very light prevents us and very sexual and everything like that is something that is even, you know, talked about within the Latinized community. But it's not something that is entirely engrained. Because if we were all sexual beings and we were all embracing of that fact, then we would be able to have these conversations about sex and we would be able to be fully educated when it comes to sexual intercourse and other things that kind of encompass those realms. And ultimately it just boils down to like the sex education in America and in another countries. And ultimately, you know, sex is such a taboo thing that like it does. For some reason people think that it's taboo and it's rude. And they don't talk to their children about it is not entirely fostered in the classroom and is not well be Barnard generally well educated when it comes to sex education, even though there has been a slight ever in and increasing the, I'm sorry, in decreasing the age in which we talk to children about sex. Because now I believe that it's sixth grade that students receive actual like quote unquote sex education. But really there's, there's so many flaws within the, the education curriculum when it comes to sex education. And ultimately, it just boils down to, you know, sex being labeled as taboo when rude. And and it means something that is so like like 2xh and talk about like that is so like how would I describe this? It's high. I can say like, I feel like just through growing up. Like with your family, NOT even before you've got to have a class or any sort of talk in school about sex education is it's just like, I don't know when I was a kid and if there was any sort of sex scene or like anyone choosing my parents would be like, oh, don't one of our likenesses. I mean, I guess if you're cared. Kinda, but it's kind of like a behind closed doors type of situation. I thought an exam. It's highly treated like that and a lot of different ways. For me, I think the whole way, you know, sigma being, of sex being taboo started for me even when I first had the period talk in fifth grade. When they show you videos of your body teen GI, bleeding, they make it sound like this horrible thing that you're going to start to feel things. And I think that's really where like, you know, when people say like this taboos really institutionalize, I think that's where it started for me because they meet. Period, sound like the worst thing in the world. And like you were becoming this, you know, grown women. And I don't know, like, I just like that onto, adds onto the whole like sex that an American thing might be in a sex that class in high school. It was kind of a joke because they didn't really teach you anything that you didn't already know. Like, you know, basically like what Dana said, the push was that we're not having sex because I like abstinence and set a more-so supporting us and knowing that sex is a natural thing that we're going to have as humans of everyone. And so rather than give the necessary resources that we need to know what's safe sex looks like. And not even just safe sex with talking about what's again from sex. And I think that's really what this book focuses on a lot is which you can gain from sex. And so that was never a conversation that took place in Sex. Ed. You know, it was always about don't give Redman Duncan city. And so I think that's what really like scares people as like just getting pregnant in general. But I think that the focus has been the same for years and years and years. And I think that we need to start shifting that focus. And actually instead of having teachers are like and when teachers trying to teach sex ed, they should really have professionals that really teach you sex ed, that it's something that they specialize in because it's not something that you can just throw some facts together and teach somebody. You actually have to going deeper than that. And you know, one of the things that we're going to talk about is really the exclusion of certain groups when it comes to sex ad. And I think that's also something that's really institutionalize. We always have this conversation about what is it called heterosexual. We always have this conversation about heterosexual couples, but we never really dig into the LGBTQ community. You guys know, it was never something that was talked about during sex and at least from my experience yeah, there with you dogma. That's what it is. That's the word that we were looking for. It when it comes to sex. And it's like at least most people in their lifetime have sex. And it's something that you know, is the safer will not necessary like for traditional procreation is something that's necessary and it's something that, you know, people have been doing since the beginning of, of existence. And it's so weird that something that is so crucial to, to like reproduction. Traditional reproduction is something that's soul to soul taboo and like stigmatized to talk about. I was just going to say that in my classes and I want to say middle school and high school both really focus around anatomy. And like Wyatt, puberty, I guess looks like and how your body changes. Specifically for just like males and females. And then all of the girls went to one classroom and all of the boys one to another classroom. And we all learned about respectively, I suppose our body is in a kind of isolated way and. I feel like that was honestly most of the extent of it. And I feel like that is a really harmful way to teach people about like sex and sexuality. Because then I mean, honestly, I think it's important to learn about like everybody's body is. If you're going to be teaching on anatomy and things like that. But then it was just like a very like gender binary approach to it. And we really only learned about anatomy. And luckily, my school did teach a little bit about having a safe relationships. And I talked a little bit about relationship violins and light, other things like that. So I feel a little luckier than some people because I feel like that was a little extra bit that we got, but we never ever talked about like LGBTQ community is and like what tags might look like for them and how those folks can be safe. And so like enjoy themselves, things like that. And it was really just how to put on a condom and the anatomy of your own body. And I feel like that is just like a really limiting approach to learning about sex and sexuality. And it makes me like frustrated because as a young person I was only learning about heterosexual sex and not completely cut out a whole portion of something. Now, I suppose what's available to me, I guess I would say that makes sense. And it was really, I want to say like erasing the experience of so many people who I was in class with and like even myself. Like I just didn't see the representation of any sort of LGBT person and these spaces and these conversation. So I feel like that was really a disservice to the students to not even touch on that possibility. Oh, 100% that responded that Sasha mentioned that I actually had a gym teacher, my gym teacher in, I believe, six or seven grade, who told me. And it was the most awkward thing he had. He had like a great intro into talking about sex. But ultimately, you know, like, like Dana said, it was all heteronormative. Like it was all just x between like a woman who identifies as a woman and a man who identifies as a man and naturally born and having, you know, like female and male anatomy and India have like my sex education as a child did not include any type of variation from like, you know, heterosexual sex. And it was very straightforward. Like he focused more on talking about like anatomy and, and more condoms rather than like emphasizing the fact that like, you know, we're heading, most people lose their virginity is before they turned 18. So while 70, that is illegal. He did not focus on the fact that like, hey, you guys are entering a point in your life where you're gonna be developing, you're going to have sexual urges. And he kind of talked about it like it was like a foreign thing. Like it was something that, you know. We weren't going to experience and life and it was very odd. And we didn't get the traditional like, hey, this is how you put on a condom or this is a condom. And it was just very like foreign link. It was just kinda like she was afraid to talk about it a little bit, like talk about sex. And I feel like if we would take a more inclusive approach to all people, and if we would take an approach that kind of encourages safe sex rather than abstinence. There would there would be so many less leg problems. Like if he would just tear someone like, hey, you know what sex is a normal thing. Sex is something that most people do, you know it throughout their lifespan and this is how you're safe with it. If you want to choose to have sex with safety, if you want to choose not to have sex, that's okay too. I feel like if we were, if like the nation and just a word in general, or to take inclusive approach words or take and understanding approach and not make any judgments over anyone that we would have. We would honestly, I feel like our STD testing, I mean, like the number of STDs would go down. We would see a decrease in teen pregnancy. Not that anything is wrong with Amber. A decrease in unwanted pregnancies. And ultimately, I feel like it would it would help members of the LGBTQ Plus community feel more inclusive. Because generally like you're thinking about it as, you know, someone who was an advocate of the LGBTQ community. If we go into a sex education class and you already know, you know, hey, you know, I'm a woman who likes women or I'm a male who likes meals or I'm a person who loves all people like going into less education class and not seeing yourself represented will make you feel suppressed. I know because when I walk into history courses where when I walk into something like wrote History and I see that I am not represented, or I walk into a sex education class as a woman who identifies as bisexual like and not being well represented, not being taught like sex and Gretchen for what I as like what I identify as is just it's very, very suppressing is very disrespectful. And ultimately, I feel like it could be a segue into normalizing, you know, kind of having those conversations, having those conversations with people that we just having those conversations as a community. One thing that I wanted to touch on, I'm not sure how you guys feel about this, but one thing that I have come to realize is that when people do contract STDs or STIs is seen as something so like dirty, so awful that I want to tell your friends. And I'm really trying to think about why, you know, because they say that one in three people will contract and STD and lifetime. And so, you know, as much as we can push safe sex, a lot of the times it can either not be our fault or, you know, situations just happen and a lot of cities are curable and even the ones, for example, HIV, you can go virtually undetected with medication nowadays. So ices like so crazy to me that, you know, when somebody does get an STD, if seems so like, oh my God, you got an STD. But I really want ME. I really wonder, you know, what it will look like if we could just openly talk about, you know. Oh yeah. I'm SAT and, you know, just erase this like taboo. Matt speaking on if I got an STD or in case you do get an STD, Her's how to go about it or don't feel bad and don't shame people about getting an STD because it's so common, you know, it's just like getting sick. You just get sick basically some master how you guys feel about that, like growing up. But definitely I feel like people are less likely to speak on their STD experiences because of this stigma that you lead your dirty person. You can SCD when you're really not going off of what you're saying about like if you were to have an STD, that you're a dirty person and I feel like there's like the stigma. And like you said, where like you're doing something wrong. If you get an STD or you're a bad person or like for some reason, this falls back on your own personhood. And I feel like as like it can happen to anybody you know, like if you're having sex output, that possibility is always there. And honestly, it makes you think about the coronavirus a little about because anybody, and yet, you know, like nobody's really safe from that. There are things that you can take and precautions you can use. So that doesn't happen, but it's not always an option or it's not always there for you. So like it really can happen to anybody and I feel like it's not productive to shame people who do end up contracting as 2vi 100 RESA. I couldn't agree more. And actually you've talking about my personal experience, the taboo and, and the like generalization when it comes to like a person getting an SAT and other people in Nevada isn't saying. My first experience like learning about STDs was, I believe in the dare program and the dare program IGOs about drugs is about, you know, drug prevention unary thing. But some way somehow we got into the topic about how like using drugs amongst, you know, in a group can, can help spread STDs. And they came in and they brought a whole bunch of pictures of like herpes and SCDs And they basically scared the entire classroom. And we're like, yeah, if you get this, SCDU started bleeding and you can continue and you would never won. It's like, hey, like anybody who Sx can contract this, you know, this sickness. And ultimately if it can happen to you and it can happen to me and it could happen to anybody else. Why are we why are we talking about it like it's something that is out of this world. Why are we talking? Like it's a cold or a flu or something that is as normalized as other sicknesses. And it's insane that, you know, SCDs had been around for as long as they have. And and they're still such a huge stigma when it comes to them. And there's also like a huge stigma to go in and ask for like an STD screening. And they are easily accessible for everyone either, like if you go to a clinic. And you don't have insurance, they're pretty pricey. Although you could go to like a local Planned Parenthood who would help you with like help you manage those costs nowadays. But ultimately even planned parenthood as gray as their facilities are, you know, there's only a certain amount of them across the nation. And it's so unfortunate Now that we have, like, you know, people trying to defund Planned Parenthood and, and which is a whole other thing on its own. But it's, it's such a scary thing when thinking about like, you know, the stigma around STD testing and you know, the government wanting to defund and, and with mental facilities who are trying to normalize, you know, It's greeting you then and general health of people like it's crazy how sex and SCI's and, and everything that you know, individuals experience that are like human are so insanely stigma sizes is mind-blowing to me. I love that. You brought up your experience with being, I guess, in the dare program and they bra and pictures. I think that's why old. Like how is that not obvious? I mean, not maybe this is the whole goal, but like that is legitimately like a scare tactic and I feel like to use that to, I guess, scare people. Sure, it is harmful and honestly, potentially a little traumatic to see that just, you know, you're going about your day and you go in this little class and you see these pictures, I feel like that's definitely not the best way to go about it. And I feel like that's honestly, I feel like that's honestly a tactic that a lot of sex education use is I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of us have probably seen Mean Girls a home. And in, when they talk about like sex education for like a second, I think their gym teacher says like don't have sexual, got pregnant and die. And I feel like that's a really common experience of people hover on sex education and it doesn't have to, and shouldn't be like that. Like I said, it doesn't have to be that way. Sex doesn't have to be taught as a scary thing. And it's not scary. I feel like if we were to re-frame our sexual education to be more comprehensive. And honestly, I would say start teaching sex education younger than that, even like middle school or high school. And just, I mean, obviously age appropriate, but I think it's important to kind of just bring this up as a kid. Because we do have questions. I know like It's a very curious subject. And if we just start these conversations whenever they crop up, like if your child has a question or something to give them information that it's age appropriate is so important because I feel like if we just reframe the conversation around sex from being this taboo, this scary illness like 4N, like you sudden Natalia idea that we'll all have a better understanding and a better approach toward sex. Honestly, I feel like at least me personally thinking about myself in the future as a parent. I would like to talk to my child about sex before they go into, you know, a health course where they go on to talking about it because I feel like it is the taboo and stigma surrounding sex is institutionalized like Sasha said. And ultimately, to make effective change, we will just interchange the whole curriculum in general. And I feel like if we were to target like this taboo in this stigma within like our families and break that generational curse. Then ultimately that could lead to effective change as a whole. You know, kinda talking to my child are talking to just talking to my child about anything like, hey, you know, you're getting to an age where you're developing. You're going to start feeling, you're going to start getting sexual urges and feeling things and just know that that's 100% completely human and that's ok. And even if, you know you have these feelings and you don't like them, or it's not something that, you know, do you want to, you know, look into or experience that's completely okay. And the choice is yours as a, as an individual and even as a child was developing to grow into one UDL, these feelings are normal and whether you want to feed into them or not is completely fine. And, you know, if you want to have sex is how, this is how you know, your save by doing X, Y, and Z, you know. And that pushing for general acceptance. I feel like if we talk about it, I get something normal. Like it's a if it's a flu or if we talk about something like a, we talk about it like with sums of normalcy, It can go such a longer way. Because I feel like sometimes, you know, going into the topic of talking about sex, it's just like, oh, this is what you'd do. A plus b equals c and that's x. And it's really not like that success, so fluid and it looks different for everyone. And just making sure that we're respecting each other and we're restricting our body is and where consent full when we're having sex by both parties or however many parties are involved in the sexual activity is so important. So to summarize that, basically, I would just emphasize the normalcy of sex. I would emphasize practicing safe sex, and I would emphasize consent and respecting your sex, your sexual citizenship, and your partner or partners sexual citizenship. Respecting that, excuse me, respecting that as well. I think they ran up a really good point in Italia. Do I have a niece? And one day I hope to be able to have this conversation with her and her mother as well. And I think that a very important theme to also remember is that sex can also be a taboo with your sexual partners. So I think that it's important before you even reach that stage where you are thinking about having sex. I think it's important that we teach younger children to know how to effectively communicate what they want and what they don't want. I think that's really important because when we talk about sex education in America, we talk about how not to get pregnant or get an STD. But nobody really talks about, you know, how to effectively communicate to your partner in like Dana has put in a sexy way which you want and what you don't want from this relationship or from the sexual experience. So I think that's something that's really important that I would legs up. Sun is knowing how to communicate effectively during and before and after sex, before you even reach that stage where you become physically, physically or sexually active. Because I think it's important to know what you want and know what you don't want before going into a situation where, you know, you can potentially end up in an experience that you didn't want. So in terms of reclaiming our sexual citizenship, I think it should be very important that we know how to effectively communicate not only to, you know, not only as educators to students, but also as people and from students. Students in terms of like their sexual experiences with nine, which you weren't knowing what you don't want and how to communicate that. And not like creepy way. Yeah. I feel like honestly it it all can kind of boil down to boundaries and concerned and teaching people how to like to feel empowered and feel that they have the capacity to set boundaries and like let people know I feel like in any aspect of their lives, but especially insights. To be able to set those boundaries and be really firm and that, and let people know who you're interacting with, whether it's just in your everyday life with your family or in a sexual situation that you are allowed to make boundaries and not engage in things and you don't feel comfortable with. And I feel like consent comes into that where you communicate this to your partner. And they they hear you there listening to what you're saying. And then they act on not only where they are respectful of your boundaries and that your consent is only, I guess, viable in a situation where your boundaries are being respected. I think another important thing about that is and really teaching what coercion can look like. And really putting an emphasis on how coercion can lead to having an experience that's you don't want. And this also ties into knowing how to communicate what you want in terms of b, being sexual citizenship, both individuals in a situation. So I think that coercion can be such. So how would I say it? Like a sticky thing to talk about really, because a lot of the times, especially younger people don't know that what they're doing is coercion. And, you know, going into us, the experience, you should not want to, you should not want to have to be persuaded into sexual experience. You should go into it knowing what you want and getting what you want out of it, not being persuaded into doing something you now. So I think that also ties into our consent and nine boundaries before you get into a situation so that you aren't coerced into doing something and having an experience that you don't want. Yeah, honestly, coercion is like fascist type. Coercion is such a sticky kind of topic. And I don't mean, we don't mean that in a, in a bad way, giving it a negative connotation, there's a very fine line between what is. And essential, but it's something that, you know, parties are consenting to when it comes to sex and what is sexual cohesion? And I feel like that is definitely something that needs to be emphasized in in education courses, in conversations about sex. And you know, when you're engaged in, when you're about to engage in a sexual act with a person or persons. And ultimately, you know, there are some things that, you know, going into college. I didn't even know about incursion and because I had to complete a module, it was like I thought my freshman year of college, I had to do a like training online to learn about like under aged drinking and college drinking and sex and and all that. And there is so much information about the no consent and sexual coercion that is just like not known and not taught to the general public. And it's so important because so many people are having sex and have sex and not know what the, what coercion looks like or not know what proper consent looks like is very dangerous, not only for yourself but for your partner or partners. And ultimately, like even things as simple as saying yes, it's actually even though you don't want to have it, even though you don't want to say yes, sex is considered a type of sexual perversion because if someone who's asking you repeatedly to have sex over and over again, even though you look uncomfortable evenly, you have said No before that considers sexual coercion. I actually didn't know that. And that's one of the simpler kind of ways that people coerce other people to have sex. But ultimately, the education is extremely important to emphasize consent and, and coercion and give examples as to like, what that looks like is imperative, you know, to, to educate people who are going to have sex one day. Acrylic that really encompasses the idea of sexual citizenship that you are respecting someone else's capacity to say now. And I feel like when we're talking about coercion, that that is blatantly disrespecting somebody else's sexual citizenship and the right and entitlement to their own body and their own experiences. And I think that's really important to talk about because it's not always like a hard now or like, I don't know. I feel like sometimes things happen and it's not seen as like potentially like a dangerous situation. Because if you're in a situation where somebody is actively trying to convince you and you're not really into it. Like that is a harmful situation. And I feel like that is not talked about a lot. One new person. And even to incorporate this in insects education is so important. And honestly, it's honestly that completely just flew over my head. Thank you, Sasha and Dina for bringing that up. How are we supposed to, how our people, our individuals, getting a proper sense of sex? And how can you say that you have properly taught someone sexual education without teaching them about consent and without teaching them what cohesion that is like insane to me. So I completely agree with you, Dana, I think that this really emphasizes the importance of recognizing our own sexual citizenship. And what Natalia said as well, you can't properly teach somebody about sex with just teaching them about how to prevent pregnancy and STDs and you know, anatomy, it's sex is way more than that as we all know, it's, it's experience, it, those are its inner pain. It's a lot of things that we don't get and these, you know, traditional sex ed classes. So I think in terms of reclaiming our sexual citizenship, we should always remember to respect each other's boundaries, but also respect each other's right to our experiences. So our sexual experiences and what we want to gain from that, and just respecting each other and recognizing that right in each and every single person. So I just want to thank everybody for coming and tuning in and learning about sexual citizenship and how to really reclaim this. Since it's not traditionally something that's taught. So on. So much to everybody for tuning in.
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