Scarleteen, sex ed for the real world


How does media you read or watch usually make you feel about sex?

20% (128 votes)
5% (30 votes)
20% (125 votes)
Ambivalent (whatever)
8% (48 votes)
6% (36 votes)
4% (23 votes)
4% (25 votes)
6% (36 votes)
5% (34 votes)
All of the above
20% (127 votes)
Something else (tell us in the comments!)
4% (25 votes)
Total votes: 637


Conflicted over sex in the media

Two guys kissing. Two women kissing. A female paying for dinner. A guy who looks genuinely vulnerable. Wanna know what these things have in common? I can't remember the last time I saw any of them in a mainstream ad.

As a cis-female teen, I've only just started to really educate myself about the subject of sexuality in general, but it's really frustrating to see acknowledgements of sex and relationships in the media because it feels like they aren't representing the ENORMOUS spectrum of sexuality that really exists, and more importantly, how it exists.

A lot of the time all I see is some half-naked woman doing something around a half-clothed or fully clothed male, or some product. Because of this, I feel like the media tends to represent some kind of notion that it's normal for cis-women to be associated as well-polished, exposed bodies whose only purpose is to add some aesthetic interest to the important subject: males or merchandise. And to me, it feels like the media is saying that's somehow the only interaction that DOES exist in our culture.

No acknowledgement of non-cis folk, or non-hetero folk, or any women that are independent and interesting humans rather than bodies, or any men that aren't "in charge" of what's occurring in the ad. These are things that occur in the real world, but even though I have friends that I'd describe as any combo of these phrases, I can count off on one hand the number of times I've seen any of these identities in ads or in the mainstream media.

Honestly, I hope that changes, for three significant reasons.
1) It's not very realistic or relatable.
2) It's not very broad as far as marketing goes, so the advertisers are losing business and therefore, being unwise economically, and NO ONE needs that.
3) It's boring.

    My view on sex, media or not-

    I hate it. I absolutely hate it.

    I've never felt turned on.

    Never felt desire.

    Never felt pleasure.

    So, anytime I see it portrayed, I get a sense of betrayal, almost. It's hard to describe, but it's pretty much hate. It makes me hate myself, and sends me in a downward spiral.

    Media makes it look so great, so imagine my disappointment when nothing turned out like it was supposed to.

      The media I see most often on

      The media I see most often on TV depresses me for its gender binary exclusivity. Though if I'm looking specifically for Scarleteen or queer sex sites it makes me feel happy and accepted.

        Left out

        It makes me feel left out. I am a lesbian, and I feel HUGELY misrepresented. What people think of lesbians is what they find in porn, which I find disgusting. Lesbian porn is gross. Is it even like that in real life? I think I'm having better sex than that. People think that straight sex is the only kind of sex out there. Um. It's not.



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            I will be a junior in high school next year, and because I've been lucky to stumble on a lot of really great sex-positive resources, I've learned I have a pretty strong interest in sexuality--as in, studying it/doing something in it as a career. However, getting information about this field is much more difficult than, say, engineering or law. What are jobs within this field, what are areas in college/majors you'd advise, and what are some ways I can get involved now, as a minor? My areas of interest are not really in the medical field--I'm more interested in counseling, giving advice, activism, and education

            Also, do you have any advice for telling people about my interest? Right now the only person who knows is my boyfriend, because it's really difficult for me to trust most other people to not equivocate wanting to study sexuality with being obsessed with having sex. Esp my parents, who are politically liberal in every way except in their parenting. They ask me what I want to do with my life really often, and it's kinda stressful to not be able to talk to them.

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