As it becomes more fashionable and acceptable to discuss condom use and STI prevention in public in fun and sexy ways, it's time for us to expand the safer sex conversation to consent. How are you making safer sex sexy? How The Birth Control Pill Affects Your Libido [VIDEO]
Lately, I've been seeing billboards around Denver from an organization called Before Play. The ads, aimed at young men and women, are meant to encourage conversations about birth control and STD protection in fun and interesting ways.
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I love the campaign. It's fun, it's sexy, and most importantly, it's needed. Young people represent 25% of the sexually experienced population in the United States but account for nearly half of the new STDs. But they are not alone. STDs in Baby Boomers have nearly doubled in the last ten years. (And yes, even those in monogamous relationships can put their partner at risk of infection if conversations about safety don't take place.) It Really Is Better Wet: The Lowdown On Lube
One ad features a woman laying in bed with a Polaroid camera and says, "He knows I can be a little naughty. He needs to know we should be safe. Birth Control. Just talk about it." What I love about the campaign, though, is that it's not your typical STI awareness campaign that is usually based on fear. It's fun! It encourages those who are having sex and enjoying sex to keep doing so while making sure they're doing it safely. 6 Condoms To Rev Your Sex Life From Ho-Hum To Woo-Hoo!
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Now, it's time to expand that conversation. Safer sex needs to be about more than using condoms and STI tests. Just like the Before Play campaign does for those aspects of safer sex, it's time we make consent sexy. I have the fortune of working with young people all over the country and have many conversations about consent and sexual violence prevention. When the topic of consent comes up, too often, I hear the following:
- "Asking kills the mood."
- "How am I supposed to make, 'May I touch your boob?' sexy?"
- "All you have to do is read body language."
Unfortunately, though, with the prevalence of sexual violence, we can't afford to just "read the body language." But in the same way that Before Play has made tough conversations about safer sex sexy, there are plenty of ways to make consent sexy. There are sexy dice with the option to opt-out. There's also naughty talk: