UPDATE: Just noticed that Heidi posted her fantastic Prezi slides from the presentation up here… check it out! Also, I really intend to blog more in depth about my reactions to this workshop soon, because I feel that it was one of the most impactful ones I experienced… so keep an eye out!
2:46: After sprinting a few blocks to get Panera take out and get back in time to watch The Line (which is an awesome documentary) I am now plugged in and ready to liveblog my way through A Spoonful of Chocolate Makes the Vanilla Go Down with Heidi Anderson. The workshop is about applying the principles of kink to creating a more positive model of consent and sexual assault prevention. Get ready!
- Okay, so this isn’t a real bullet but Heidi is awesome… I don’t even have a specific reason yet, I’m just psyched to have chosen this workshop!
- Her parents taught her that if anyone made her uncomfortable in any way, she didn’t have to be around them. How do you raise your children to be sexual beings who are ethical? She teaches her kids that they don’t have to hug or touch anyone that they don’t want to… mastery of your own body.
- “The poly & kink world, once I got involved a little bit, I kind of got sucked in…not in a bad way.” “I realized the presentations I gave to high schoolers about sexual assault may actually be perpetuating some of the myths.”
The problems she had with the curriculum:
- Sexual assault prevention is “tips for women.” What do we tell men? No means no and that’s it. “25 things for her, one for him.”
- They always assume heterosexuality.
- Promotes man as aggressor, woman as gatekeeper type.
- Pushes womens’ intuition… what about the women who don’t have that? Are we telling them something is wrong with them? “When I had my children I kept waiting for my mother’s intuition to drop out of the sky… it never happened.”
- There is only room for male desire. The instructional videos almost always portray the male as instigator, women as reserved/uninterested… no representation of situations where both partners are equally involved to a point, and then lines are crossed by someone.
- The focus on date rape drugs. Used probably 1%-5% of the time… unless we count alcohol. She doesn’t believe we should teach women you will be safe as long as you know what you’re drinking.
We’re looking at some videos and talking about what could be done better…
“Sunroofs get girls wet, they really do.” Ha!
“The majority of date rape situations that I’ve encountered are not like that [...] a lot of date rapes happen in dorm rooms, bedrooms… some place people go where they trust the person that they’re with.” “If it doesn’t happen like that, what is a teenage girl going to think? Is she going to think… well, I blew it, obviously I had to continue with that.”
What are the goals that you are striving for when you do SA prevention? Is it just crime prevention? Then “treating a woman’s body like a purse or a car” and giving prevention-tips (like don’t go anywhere alone after dark) is fine… except when you start to think about the fact that reporting very rarely happens or gets you anywhere.
Or, do we want to teach sexual autonomy for EVERYONE?
Who has taken dangerous situations and found a way to work around them to have amazing sex? The kink community.
Some Lessons We Should be Teaching:
- Sex is good. Desire is good. There is nothing wrong with you having the sex you want to have.
- Sex is not penis and vagina. (Heidi called most sex education today “semen based.” There are a lot of ways to avoid contacting semen when having sex with a man, “If he’s masturbating over there and you’re watching he’s not going to get semen on you… unless he’s a really good shot.” The point is: we should focus on more than just pregnancy prevention.)
- All we’re showing kids now is images of dysfunction; teaching things like the different kinds of rapists [power rapists, psychopathic rapist, etc.] and showing graphic images of STIs. Positive images to include as well/instead: check out sites like sexisnotthenemy.tumblr.com !
What we Can Learn from Kink & Poly
- Know your boundaries… anything that violates those boundaries is an assault. Kink and poly community can teach boundaries.
- Negotiation. “You can negotiate without having a lawyer present… although that can be a hot scene.”
- Joy. Instead of: sex is dangerous, but if you’re going to be sexual at least guard your virginity, try: sex is an enjoyable, joyous thing!
How Can We Change Up The Way We Talk to Students?
- No assumption of sexuality. Switch up genders.
- All sexual behaviors are on the table – don’t assume that someone prefers vaginal intercourse, or that someone will want to do x because they have done y, etc.
- Teaching negotiations and boundary work.
- Harm reduction model. Life has inherent risks… how are you going to manage them? What are your goals? What do you want to do with your life? “If you really like dominant controlling men, sometimes its hard to tell the difference between an actual dom and an asshole. [...] The dom actually cares about the sub as a person, the asshole doesn’t.”