by Isabel LaCoeur
The Nation has an excellent interview with Heather Corinna, who runs scarleteen.com. Scarleteen.com supplies accurate, practical and comprehensive sexual information to teens in an accessible and straightforward manner.
A quick excerpt from the interview:
You start out telling readers that they can choose to create a “healthy, happy and fulfilling sexual life.” This notion alone is at odds with the tone of most media reports about teens and sex; why do you think teen sexuality sets off such controversy?
Corinna: Teenagers being sexual are often presented as teens “out of control,” even when historically, psychologically and physiologically what they’re doing is completely developmentally normal and appropriate. I think one reason why teenage sexuality is so controversial has to do with adult fears about losing control over a class of people who, quite earnestly, can have an awful lot of power and influence when they choose to harness it.
But some of that is also just plain old worry, coming from a good place. A lot of parents really love their kids, and feel they made errors with sexual partnership or sexuality they don’t want their own kids to make.
The rest here:
An example of the great practical advice that Scarleteen.com offers:
Your Basic Safer Sex Kit for a Pittance
* 10-12 latex condoms, preferably NOT spermicidal, and in a variety of the styles you like. Keep a couple flavored ones (Trustex makes great flavors) in there for fellatio (oral sex on a man). At Scarleteen, we prefer condoms made by Durex, Kimono, Crown and Inspiral. If you are allergic to latex, then polyurethane condoms (like Avanti). Never use animal-based condoms for safer sex purposes as they do not block microorganisms.
Average cost: $8
* One bottle of latex-safe, water-based lubricant. You can even get lubricant in single-use tubes and have a variety of lubes, including flavors. Astroglide is our personal favorite.
Average cost: $8
* 10 pairs of latex gloves — any drug store or medical supply sells them. If you’re allergic to latex, there are latex alternatives.
Average cost: $5
* 5 dental dams, or, if you can’t find them, a box of plain old plastic wrap (the kind you’d have in the kitchen for wrapping food) for cunnilingus (oral sex on a woman). Sheer Glyde dams are the best we’ve found. If you’re allergic to latex, go with the plastic wrap.
Average cost for five dams: $7
Average cost for one box of plastic wrap: $2
* A little tube of organic aloe vera gel. Say what? Sometimes, our skin reacts badly to certain lubricants or condoms. When it does, a little aloe will soothe your skin and stop swelling and allergic reactions that can make the transmission of disease more likely. Let it sit for a little bit, then wipe with water, and you’re all better.
Average cost: $3
TOTAL COST: $26