Sex Talks – tekau ma toru – Scarleteen, Toah-nnest, The Light Project, Being a support person for someone who’s experienced sexual violence, Interview with Esther Perel, Savage Lovecast

Ata marie team,

SIX resources around sexuality: sites, interviews, articles.

It’s an eclectic mix, for no reason other than it’s what I’ve found this week. Go well, wild & gracers.

Scarleteen

Scarleteen is ‘Sex Ed for the real world’. It’s ‘inclusive, comprehensive, supportive sexuality and relationship info for teens and emerging adults.’ Maybe you live, know or work with teens – this would be a helpful site to share with them. You could even write the website out and stick it on your fridge. Maybe you wanna share it on facebook, so more people know about it, and less people feel isolated in the sex conversation, questions. Dan Savage talks about Scarleteen as a helpful resource for young people and the adults in their lives.

Esther Perel and Dan Savage – google interview

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Esther Perel is one of my heroes. I admire her articulateness. I can listen to her forever.
Dan Savage is an author, a sex-advice columnist, a podcaster, a pundit, and a public speaker.

Savage Lovecast

“Savage Love,” Dan’s sex-advice column, first appeared in the The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated to more than 50 papers across the United States and Canada. Dan has published six books. His newest book, American Savage, will be published in May of 2013.

In 2010 Dan and his husband Terry Miller founded the It Gets Better Project. The IGBP has gathered tens of thousands of videos from people all over the world offering hope to LGBT kids. The book—It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living—was a New York Times best seller. In 2012 the It Gets Better Project was awarded an Emmy.

In 2006 Dan launched the Savage Lovecast, a weekly, call-in advice podcast. It is now one of iTunes top 50 podcasts.

The Light Project

Here’s how The Light Project introduces itself:
[This century] “we have seen the growth of a whole new porn landscape for young people. New in terms of how much porn is out there, how easy it is to access, how frequently young people watch it and the type of porn that has become ‘normal’. Porn has now become a primary sex educator for young people, influencing youth sexual culture in new and unprecedented ways – however, many whānau, teachers and health professionals working with youth don’t feel equipped to respond. So, we decided to connect with our communities and start the porn conversation here in New Zealand. We’re still researching and learning, so this website is a work-in-progress – but we thought it was time to start talking.”
There are areas for youth, parents, professionals all around the topic of pornography. 
Under the heading of Resources>Videos I found this interesting compilation of interviews with famous people around views and experiences of porn.

New York Times – How to support a friend or loved one who has been sexually abused

This article (find here) is written simply and offers some clear, concise advice around what may be the most helpful and healthy way to support someone who has experienced sexual violence. It starts by suggesting: ‘If your partner or friend seems to be struggling, let them know you’re available if they need to talk. If you haven’t already, listen to their story, if they’re ready to tell you. They may also want to express their anger, frustration, fear or sadness about recent news events. Don’t pressure your friend into talking or telling you their story, but let them know you’re open to listening to whatever they want to share.’

Wendy Maltz, sex and relationship therapist and author of “The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse,” offered this handy list of possible responses:

  • “Thank you for sharing.”

  • “You are not to blame for what happened to you.”

  • “You didn’t deserve what happened to you.”

  • “I’m sorry this happened to you.”

  • “You are not what was done to you.”

  • “That was abuse, not healthy sexuality.”

  • “I support you in your healing process.”

  • “I respect you for addressing this.”

  • “I love you.”

Vanessa Marin (writer of “How to support a friend or loved one who has been sexually abused”) suggests, as a support person

  • Keep listening. Don’t try to give advice or fix the problem. Just listen.

  • Let them feel their feelings. It can be extremely difficult to see someone you love in pain, but they need space to express themselves. Don’t say things like, “Cheer up” or “Don’t cry.” Stay by their side as they work through their feelings.

  • Let your loved one know you’re on their team. Tell them you’re happy to turn off the TV, get out of the house or leave an event with them.

  • Ask if your friend or loved one needs anything from you. They may not always have an answer, but it’s nice to make it clear that you want to be supportive and engaged.

Marin also says, “It’s also important for you to get your own support. Mike Lew, author of “Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering From Sexual Child Abuse,” noted, “People who love survivors go through a parallel process to that of the survivors themselves, often with less support, fewer resources, and the feeling that they don’t deserve the support because it wasn’t done to them.” It’s hard to hear the story of someone you love being abused. Understand that you may have your own reactions, and you deserve support too.”

Toah-nnest: Te Ohaaki a Hine – National Network ending Sexual Violence Together

A New Zealand organisation, Toah-nnest provides support for sexual violence survivors, it’s offers information about consent, prevention, and explains what is sexual violence. I will admit to finding this page around ‘Sexual Violence and the Law‘ confronting, as I didn’t understand the law’s ‘nuances’. I will also share I found it ‘healing’ or ’empowering’, and others may find this too. Toah-nnest shares that the term ‘rape’ is a ‘catch all’ phrase for anyone who’s experienced sexual violence. Here’s how the law defines ‘unlawful sexual connection’:

Content warning:

“Person A has unlawful sexual connection with person B if person A has sexual connection with person B—

  1. without person B’s consent to the connection; and
  2. without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.

Unlawful sexual connection covers all sexual contact that occurs without consent and is non gender specific. That is, it allows for non-consensual sexual contact between male to female, male to male, female to male and female to female individuals. Unlawful sexual connection includes the penetration of one person by another person by genitals, fingers or objects. Unlawful sexual connection also includes oral sex given or received without consent.”

Support

When you need to talk with someone about sexual violence, or you know someone who does here’s the ‘National Collective of Rape Crisis’. It’s a 24 hour helpline. 0800 883300.

Other support networks you can call and text:

Mental Health – 24 hours  – free call or text to this short number – 1737
Youthline – free text 234 or free call – 0800 376633

You may prefer to talk with your counsellor, or a trusted friend or family member. If you can, as a kindness to you, choose someone you know has the skills to listen and not try to fix it. Some people we love in our lives, aren’t the people we should share certain difficult conversations with. Forgive yourself and them if you share anyway and it goes pear-shaped. Now, reach out to someone who can help. Keep reaching until you find the help you need. 

Love to you all,

Emily with wild & grace

 

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