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sexuality


Asexuality is often misunderstood.

In general, it's believed to be the absence of any romantic interest, but asexual identity actually means that a person is not sexually attracted to anyone. Romantic feelings and the strength of those feelings can vary from person to person.

Currently, about 1% of adults have no interest in sex, though some experts believe that number could be higher. For a long time, information on asexuality was limited, but researchers recently have found information that gives us more knowledge about asexuality.

Being asexual can be tough, though — just ask the artists from Empathize This.

To demonstrate, they put together a comic on asexuality, defining it as a sexual orientation, not a dysfunction:


This article originally appeared on 5.16.16


File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.


The video series covers everything you need to know about sex and were too afraid to Google, including male and female anatomy, STIs, communication, and how to prepare for sex. The series even covers how to have safe sex during the pandemic, because your gym teacher probably never taught you how to put a face mask on a banana.

While studies have linked watching porn to erectile dysfunction, porn is still a popular pastime for many. Pornhub gets 130 million visitors a day, in fact. And while porn is far from educational (because the pizza boy is never going to break out into a math problem when he asks for a tip), the website does want to inform and educate viewers on IRL sex. "For many people, their first real exposure to sexual imagery is from popular culture, where dramatization and entertainment value distort what real sex is like. That's why the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center created this new video series: to provide a go-to resource for people to learn about how to have sex safely and get visual answers to common questions about sexual experiences," Pornhub Vice President Corey Price said in a release.

One of the more surprising things about Pornhub's Sexual Wellness Center - aside from the fact that it exist – is who visits it. Just over half of all visitors are millennials under the age of 35, and over 70% of visitors are men. "One third of our visitors are over 45 — that tells us that we are never too old to learn a thing or two about sexuality," Dr. Laurie Betito, Director of the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center, said per Scarry Mommy. "Our sexuality is not static; it is ever evolving, which is demonstrated by our numbers."

After all, you can't really expect a team of cheerleaders to resort to unusual fundraisers when trying to get themselves to Dallas!

How do you talk with kids about LGBTQ stuff?

If you're Lindsay Amer, you sit down at a table with your best friend, Teddy, a stuffed bear, and have a conversation about queer topics.

Image via Queer Kid Stuff/YouTube, used with permission of Lindsey Amer.


Queer Kid Stuff is an educational project that teaches young kids about LGBTQ issues.

When Amer, 26, who uses they/them pronouns, toured a play during college to elementary schools, they learned how limited kids' access to LGBTQ topics can be. The play, "The Transition of Doodle Pequeño," is about a boy who likes to wear skirts, and the tour had to cancel at least one show because the community considered the topic controversial.

"That's kind of when I started to see that there was a real barrier for kids to this kind of work," explains Amer, who says they experienced that barrier growing up, too. As an androgynous kid who was mis-gendered constantly, Amer says, "I make Queer Kid Stuff for a young me as much as I make it for kids today."

Queer Kid Stuff episodes are about five minutes long and taught at about a preschool level.

Targeting a young audience felt important to Amer because kids start to learn and ingrain ideas about gender and binaries at a pretty young age.

"It's just about getting those ideas instilled early enough that you don't have to undo any negativity," says Amer. Some of the most popular episodes include topics such as "T is for Trans," "Why Is Pride in June?" and "Learn About Consent."

Image via Queer Kid Stuff/YouTube, used with permission of Lindsey Amer.

While young kids may not grasp all the concepts and terminology, Amer says those aren't the focus — the show is about acceptance.

"All they need to know is that they're OK being themselves, and everyone else is OK, and it's OK to be different," they say.

It can be really difficult to restructure ways of thinking about gender, and a simplistic, broken down explanation about LGBTQ topics can be really helpful for all ages.

"If you can really get to the core of what gender is and kind of reframe it for people, it's a lot easier for people to turn around and say 'Hmm, maybe what I've been thinking is not correct. Maybe what I was taught is not correct. Maybe I need to reframe this for myself,'" Amer says.

Image via Queer Kid Stuff/YouTube, used with permission of Lindsey Amer.

That message is for everyone, not just queer kids. Learning about queer and trans issues so often is reactive, like after a classmate or neighbor or family member presents or identifies in a way that is confusing to a child. In those instances, kids and adults can sometimes say hurtful things or ask intrusive questions, which places an unfair burden on queer kids and their families to be constantly self-advocating and educating other people.

When people look to the Queer Kid Stuff videos wanting to understand a friend's or classmate's or family member's identity, the burden of education shifts from the queer person and their family to the curious person.

Queer Kid Stuff videos help all viewers — queer identifying or not — to share the responsibility of becoming educated, empowered, and tolerant of all types of people.

Queer Kid Stuff provides representation and positivity for LGBTQ kids.

But, Amer adds, "Their friends need to be on board, too. Their environment needs to be on board — they need to be in a safe space, it can't just be in front of that screen."

There's more progress to be made on and off screens, but Amer's work is opening minds in much needed ways.

In honor of Pride Month, watch the Queer Kid Stuff video below and learn why we celebrate LGBTQ issues in June:

Amandla Stenberg, star of "The Hunger Games" and "Everything, Everything," first came out as bisexual in 2016.

During her takeover of Teen Vogue's Snapchat channel, the star spoke about why it's important to be open about her sexuality and the pain that comes from remaining quiet.

"We cannot be suppressed," she said. "We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow. Here I am being myself and it's definitely hard and vulnerable, and it's definitely a process, but I'm learning and I'm growing."


At a time when being part of the LGBTQ community can still affect one's career potential in Hollywood, Stenberg's coming out was a powerful message that being yourself must come first.

In a new interview with Wonderland magazine, Stenberg came out again this year, this time as a gay woman.

"Yep, I'm gay," she said proudly at the very start of the interview. Throughout the Q and A, she opened up about the "profound sense of relief" that came with realizing her romantic love for women and finding self-acceptance in her evolving sexuality.

It's not an easy process. Sexuality is usually taught in black-and-white terms: You're either straight, gay, or bi, and that's pretty much it.

But that isn't quite right. Not only are there many more types of sexual orientations, but sexuality can also be fluid, changing with time and discovery. Stenberg's experience reflects this.

One of the most exciting details of Stenberg's coming out story is that it was a journey fraught with hardship — but also joy.

In fact, when asked about her "gay sob" moment (a phenomenon in which one is racked with emotion after reaching clarity about their sexual orientation), Stenberg says that she was overwhelmed rather than devastated when she realized she was gay:

"I was flooded with a sense of calm and peace because everything that I struggled with or felt discomfort around finally made sense to me, and once those floodgates opened and years of pent up pain and shame were released, I found the freedom to live my best life waiting for me just underneath."

The joy Stenberg feels is exactly why everyone should be encouraged to explore their sexuality.

Instead of trying to fit into the boxes that have been created for us — and which many feel obligated to step into — it's more important than ever that we live for ourselves and love who we love.

Stenberg's coming out is an important step in the path to progress. May all of us find the courage to live so joyously and so out loud.