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Speak Out Against Twitter’s Censorship of Sexual Health Info

To all sex educators and sexual health activists!

A petition is launched on Change.org to reverse Twitter’s ban on sexual health ads and education messaging– and this movement needs the support from sex positives like yourselves!

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

The petition calls for Twitter to remove health items like condoms and other sexual health information from their adult content category which also prohibits weapons, drugs and hate speech.

What does sex education have to do with AK-47s and the KuKluxKlan? Nothing.

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Sexual Health Information Is Not Shameful; It Saves Lives

If you restrict the distribution of safer sex education your are impeding efforts to save lives.

This ban prevents business and organizations from extending their messages across one of the largest social media channels in the world- simply because this has something to do with sex. Such a policy only works to reinforce the shame and stigma attached to sex, which silences people and obstructs the ability to make informed, healthy choices.

A Twitter spokesperson did reply to this petition telling Think Progress that condom ads and safer sex messaging are allowed as long as they do not violate Twitter’s policy on sexual content. However, the spokesperson did not clarify what Twitter determines as appropriate “sexual content”.

The experiences of blacklisted organizations and companies proves that Twitter’s interpretation of “x-rated” can range anywhere from STD testing to condom size information.

People Are Speaking Out

Several safer sex advocates are speaking out. The STD Project was kicked off Twitter’s sponsored tweet program for their message explaining consultation services available for people recently diagnosed with an STI or have questions. The STD Project does not sell any adult sex products nor is linked to any sexually explicit content. Bedsider, a company that provides birth control information to young people has been blocked from Twitter’s ads on and off. In order to eligible, “[Twitter] asked us not to talk about sex in a way that is overtly pleasurable, if you will,” Larry Swiader, Director of Bedsider told RH Reality Check. “It’s a funny request because sex is pleasurable, it should be, and it’s healthy when it is.”

Companies Lucky Bloke and Momdoms have also explained that their promotions of safer sex have been deemed too x-rated for Twitter. Lucky Bloke’s entire account is blocked due to their sponsored tweet that read: “Tired or lousy condoms?” You can read more about Lucky Bloke’s story here at their safer sex education website.

How You Can Help

>—- Sign the Petition at Change.org here —-<

Use the hashtag #Tweet4Condoms

Share your thoughts @TwitterAds, @Twitter and Twitter CEO, @DickC

Go here for some pre-made tweets and images to share.

Share the petition with your networks and friends.

Join Us!

Be heard and help us advocate for access to comprehensive sexual health education across major media outlets. Have you signed the petition yet?

Have you been subject to Twitter’s irresponsible policy? Share below or on Twitter using #Tweet4Condoms

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Interviews Opportunities

#MySexPositive Interview Series

Call for Writers, Sexperts, Educators, Activists!  The safer sex collective, Condom Monologues, is running an interview series about sex positivity.

The idea of the interview is to break down the painfully ambiguous term “sex positive” and reflect on the differences WITHIN the movement. This comes at a time when sex positivity is flourishing like never before.  But that abundance also means a crowded and confusing market of vibrators, workshops, lady blogs and sexperts. Some contradictory; some repetitious. Diversity is to be celebrated. But how do each of us sort through to find our own position within the sex positive community?

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Three Core Questions

The interview involves answering these questions.

1) Identify one or two trends, or influential people in the Sex Positive community that you identify with (or are inspired by) and those trends which you relate to not-so-much.

2) How do you define “sex positivity” for yourself and your work? In other words, what is your primary passion and how do you distinguish your writings and interests from other branches of thought within the sex positive movement?

3) What directions do you think sex positivity will take within the next 5 – 10 years? Or what topics and with what platforms would you like to see sex positivity develop more thoroughly within the next 5 – 10 years?

This series is about listening to the differences, the contradictions, the real experiences of sex positivity.  It is an opportunity for people who identify (or do not identify) with the movement to share their standpoints. It’s a way to learn more about ourselves and what matters through each other.

Participate in the series by simply sending us an email.  Hope to hear from you!

[contact-form to=’admin@condommonologues.com’ subject=’Intervew Me for #MySexPositivity’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Follow us: @CondomMonologue on Twitter | CondomMonologues on Facebook

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Articles

Why do condoms get a bad wrap?

sourced from www.Condommonologues.com
sourced from www.Condommonologues.com

I am not sure if this should be posted as a forum topic or an article in it’s own right.  In any case, I am writing this here because I seek more opinions on the topic and would love some insight and constructive criticism from the sex community….

A reoccurring issue for me and my colleagues is the negativity towards condoms and what to do about it.  When I talk to people about condom use, and particularly during discussions about contraceptive choices, I usually hear negative claims like: ““It keeps my partner and me from getting close”, “…It’s unnatural”, “…a mood killer”, “I can’t feel anything with a condom on”, “it hurts”.  These account do not come from a particular cohort.  From my experience, negativity towards condoms spans across age brackets, genders, and sexualities.

Alternatively, I know plenty of individuals and couples whose only form of contraceptive and STI protection is the condom.  Overall, these are healthy, happy sexual beings and there are many reasons the condom is primary choice.  It may be because it is the most effective and reliable non-hormonal contraceptive, or because it is the less-expensive, less fuss, institution-free choice, or because it feels good when you know you’re taking care of yourself and others.  Overall they choose the condom because it suits them best for their circumstances compared to what else is available on the safer sex market.

It is no surprise that there are conflicting views about how the condom influences sexual pleasure.  Sexual “zest” is something that changes and is contextual, specific to each individual and relationship, personal histories and places.  So there are some major challenges in attempting to empirically measure the source of sexual dissatisfaction.  But I wonder if it’s fair to say that negative attitudes towards condoms are far more prevalent than positive ones in North American culture.  After all, rarely do I hear “Condoms make me horny!” or “I love using condoms!”  And rarely does one witness positive representations of condoms in popular how-to magazines or in mainstream porn.

To what extent do negative views towards condoms reflect problems with the technology?  When someone says, “I can’t get off on condoms”, is this a symptom of condoms in general, or the individual not knowing how to find the right condom, how it should fit, what lubes to use, or how to use it well?

From our peer-reviewed literature review, we found that attitudes greatly influence one’s experience with condoms.  I go into more detail about our research findings here on our website.  Basically, those who complain about condoms tend to be people who have little-to-no experience using them.  While many people do report that unprotected sex feels better than protected sex, in general, people who use condoms frequently and are confident about how to use them well tend to experience greater satisfaction then those who do not use condoms.  This implies, of course, that there is far more to sexual pleasure that cannot simply be reduced to basic physics of vaginal/penile sensation.

How then, do we improve the reputation of condoms?  Perhaps it’s a matter of changing the discourse on condoms and how to use them properly- and young sex education is a key spot.  When discussing condom use, for instance, there could be more emphasized about the different types of condoms that are available to suit different sizes and preferences, and how to navigate those options.  There can also never be enough emphasis on the importance of lube and the best ways to use them.  Also, tips on how to put a condom on in sexy, more fun ways- such as the partner putting it on for you- are important steps to curing condoms woes.

What do you think?  Are negative views towards condoms a product of a greater stigma in our culture?  What should be done to alleviate misunderstandings and negative beliefs?

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New Members

Condom Monologues

I specialize in genderqueer approaches to safer sex and am chief editor at an independent safer sex collective and website. My partner and I launched Condom Monologues in 2008 out of frustration against boosts in world-wide abstinence-only mandates. We felt a strong need for a safe platform to share experiences that lead to dispelling sex myths and raising awareness about healthy, positive sex.

Our project went on the back burner when I pursued a Master’s in Gender Studies at the American Uni in Cairo, Egypt, where I trained in human rights and feminist research methodology. Now that I’ve completed school, I am rebuilding Condom Monologues as a career.  This community is a great  resource to help advance our website.

CM is based on values of education that reflect the diversity of people- to serve all sexes, genders, sexualities, kinks, and relationships with the aim to provide info about safer sex, sexual health, masturbation, toys and contraceptives. The aim is to provide static content of sexuality articles and guides, as well as interactive services in which we monitor a safe/respectful question-answer forum. We are also building a storytelling platform where people can share personal experiences (anonymously) that lead to learning, understanding, healing, and sex-positivity.

I love connecting with other sex nerds & gender geeks. There is much to learn and bear witness; so many stories to be heard! Which is why I am here. I love to chat! So contact me at larawor@gmail.com, or admin@condommonologues.com and you can find me on twitter @condommonologue .  Cheers!

Lara