The Queer Sex Ed You Never Got In School

Too many of us never got a queer sex education, which, let’s face it, is pretty cray. 

Here to change that is LGBTQ sex and pleasure educator Jess Melendez. In this stream, Melendez teaches us five topics related to queer sex education: sexuality, consent, prevention, body image, and media literacy. 

So, what is queer sex education exactly? It’s about including people of all genders, sexual orientations, races, ages, abilities, classes, and socioeconomic statuses. And it’s about creating a non-judgemental, shame-free, pleasure-focused, trauma-informed space. 

Here are 5 queer sex education topics you never learned in high school:  

1. Sexuality 

Human sexuality covers, sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Sex is assigned at birth based on your genitalia. Gender is a spectrum based on the sex you internally identify with, and your sexual orientation is who you’re attracted to, emotionally and/or physically. 

2. Consent 

Consent is the act of giving permission. This can be applied to all areas of life, not just for sex. “One really important thing about consent is that it should be authentic, it should be real,” says Melendez. Consent should be enthusiastic.  

3. Prevention 

Educate yourself about STIs, use safe sex barriers, get tested, and ask your partner(s) questions about their sexual health — if they’ve been tested, are on PrEP, taken PrEP before, etc. Be prepared with birth control methods, if needed. Melendez explains a variety of ways to stay safe, because the more you know, the better.  

4. Body Image 

Body image is how you feel about your body, your perception of your body, and how you think others perceive your body. 

5. Media Literacy 

Because body image is often influenced by images and messages we see in the media, it’s important to have media literacy. Representation matters, but, for example, we rarely see queer people of color or a queer person with a disabilty. It’s important to be able to say “those images or messages are not serving me,” if they aren’t making you feel good about yourself. 

“[...] when we're seeing representations of certain bodies, certain races, certain sexual orientations, certain abilities, that's gonna impact our sexual health whether you recognize it or not,” says Melendez. “So super, super important to be inclusive of all identities “ 

To get more information about queer sex education, watch Melendez’s stream or peruse some more articles on

Video transcript

Hi everybody, thank you so much for joining! My name is Jess and I'm a pleasure professional here at Gonna wait for a couple more folks to come in and join our chat. So today we're gonna be talking about the queer sex education that you never got in school. What the heck does this mean? We're gonna talk about all the things. If you are new here at and you are tuning in for the first time at any of our chats, you will notice here on the bottom of your screen, or maybe to the side, that there's gonna be a link that says join the chat. Please join the chat! I really wanna talk with you. I mean, I like talking. But I also like discussing and having an active participation in my streams. The chat's anonymous, so you can create a fake name if you want to, if that makes you more comfortable go for it. But drop your name inside of the chat, say, "Hey," tell me where you're from. Are you from the United States? Are you outside of the US? Canada? Some other places? Welcome so much! Hey Miss Chief O, hey Livvy O, hey Maya, hey AJ, hey Elsie, what's up? Everybody, thank you so much, so much for joining. So, I'll give you a quick little intro of who I am, and then we'll kinda just dive into what I wanna talk about today. So my name's Jess. Pleasure professional here at, and I'm a sex educator just like any of the other pleasure professionals here. I wear a lot of different hats, I'm a hustler. One of the things that I have experience doing is going into schools, high schools and middle schools in San Francisco, and teaching kids about sex education. And here I am, talking about sex ed on, so you can kinda see what I did there. But I spent a couple years doing that, had some amazing conversations with young people, and it's just, it's incredible to see the questions that young people really have. My other experience stems from working in the adult toy novelty industry. So I've been in that for about eight years, and I've talked to adults about sexuality, sexual behavior, and sex toys. So, a different population, but nonetheless still similar topics. One thing I kinda noticed though, when I talk to adults, is that a lot of the other questions that I get stemming from sex, there's a lot of shame associated with the questions that I get. And I often wonder if it's because the lack of sex education that is given to us when we grow up. For me, in the United States, I mean, I grew up in California, born and raised, I really did not get a sex education at all. What I got was this talk about, actually, there wasn't a talk. We watched The Miracle of Life, which I'm sure a lot of people might be familiar with. Then were given this robot baby that you had to take care of for an entire week. You put the key in the back of the baby every time it would cry and you'd turn it and apparently that would just show you how babies work, I don't even know. So as a queer kid, that was super confusing to me. So I didn't get any of that shit. So hence why I'm a sex educator and I do what I do. People deserve to know information about sex and all the information too, we want it to be inclusive, we want it to be comprehensive. People ask me what the heck does queer sex education mean? And guess what I'll tell you? So when we're talking about queer sex education, we're talking about being inclusive, and I'm talking about inclusive as F. We're including all genders, we're including all sexual orientations, we're including race, we're including age, we're including ability, we're including class, socioeconomic status. It sounds like a lot, right? There's more. It's also non judgemental. It's also shame free, it's also pleasure focused and centered and it's trauma informed. And just overall, queer sex education is inclusive. The ability to speak on all of this information, make it comprehensive, make it understandable and making sure that everybody who is listening and learning is not feeling excluded or left out. That's the purpose of sex education in my own words. Dang, this chat is blowing up over here. I got something from Massachusetts, AJ, awesome, Oakland, California, that's what's up. Hey Jane, where you from? Let's see, Charlotte, North Carolina, awesome, awesome. Miss Chief says, "I was punished about asking "about queer sex in Sunday school." Oh my gosh, I shouldn't have giggled at that but I want to know how you asked about it I guess like what's queer sex ed? Did you say it like that? Mmm, I don't like hearing about being punished or shamed for anything like that. So no shame in anyone's game in this particular chat. So please. One of the biggest reasons why I'm talking about this today, I'm a free resource for you. So please ask any questions. All questions are on the table when we're talking about sex education today. But as I'm talking about queer sex education, I want to cover five major topics associated with queer sex ed and you know what, let's just get started and dive right into this. Topic number one is sexuality. So when we think about the word sexuality, we can think about kind of like the word human sexuality. Human sexuality is really an umbrella term that hosts a bunch of different aspects of sexuality. So think human sexuality and it can involve things like sex in the biological sense, gender, sexual orientation, and even sexual behavior. That's just to name a few. But it's really important that we understand the concepts of all of those because it all relates to health and it all relates to us because we all have sexual health whether somebody really recognizes it or not. So one of the first things, okay, in order or me to talk about any of these things I have to pull out all of my really fun resources. So the first thing that I want to tackle is sex and gender. Have you ever had somebody ask you that question or heard of that question before, what is the difference between sex and gender? So in order for me to have this conversation I want to pull out one of my favorite resources, the gender unicorn. Has anybody ever seen this before, the gender unicorn? Well if you haven't, this is the shit. So there are so many different resources that kind of help explain sex and gender. I feel like the gender unicorn is one of the most inclusive ones. Now this isn't gonna be like a huge overall representation of all identities that exist but it's a start. There's another one out there called the gender bread man, haha, saw what they did there. It's so confusing honestly for me. And I want to make sure that when I'm gonna be educating people on stuff that I understand it first because then it's just gonna make it even more confusing. We understand gender as a spectrum and we want to make sure that we understand parts of that spectrum. It can still be confusing which is totally fine, that's why I'm here to talk about it and we're here to have that collective conversation. So we'll probably drop a little link in here in just a moment where you can access this for yourself but this, I would like to introduce to all of you as the gender unicorn. I saw that a couple people just joined into our chat. We're talking about our first topic regarding queer sex education, sexuality. So Maya, "Unicorn babe is bae," yes, gender unicorn is bae. This is actually posted on my fridge. So anytime relatives come over, I'm like, hello, allow me to show you my gender unicorn. Alright, so let me give you a couple different parts about the gender unicorn and I apologize in advance if the gender unicorn is actually reversed. I can't really tell on my screen if you're seeing it to its fullest capacity but this is how I'm seeing it right now. It's kind of reversed. So on the gender unicorn, you'll see that there's a couple different icons on the unicorn and icons represent different things about the gender unicorn. So one of the first icons that I like to point out is the icon that is the DNA strand which is actually located right here on the unicorn. It's placed in a very vicarious area. So this is supposed to symbolize sex assigned at birth. Now, there is an argument that a lot of people have that the genitals that you're born with, that determines what your gender is. Doctor says when you're born with a penis, you're a boy. Doctor says when you're born with a vagina, you're a girl. You get your pink balloons, you get your blue balloons, yada yada yada. So that's actually kind of false information. I know for some of us learning that information is like wait what, mind blown, that's so crazy, I don't understand. Let me tell you. So there's a difference when we're talking about sex assigned at birth because it has to do with what our assignment is, literally that's what we're assigned at birth. So let's say a doctor once again delivers a baby in a medical setting. Doctor sees that the baby has a vagina, they're like, congratulations, you are female assigned at birth. A doctor sees that a baby is born with a penis. A doctor says, "Congratulations, "that baby is a boy." Now you probably may have noticed already on my gender unicorn that there's three categories of sex assigned at birth and that third category that often goes unspoken about is intersex. Now I'm gonna tell all of you every time I teach this lesson with middle schoolers I swear there's like more than one kid in the class whose always like, "Wait a minute, "so does that mean someone's born "with both a penis and a vagina? "Can they get themselves pregnant?" And I mean I'm usually like oh my gosh, that's such a great question, thank you so much for asking that but no. So just busting that myth, that is totally false information. When we're talking about intersex individuals there's many variations of intersex bodies that exist. Now a really popular or big noted statistic is in the United States, one out of 2,000 babies is actually born intersex. However, that is only a statistic based on somebody's genitalia appearing to be ambiguous. So what I mean by that, earlier I was talking about that example with the doctor where they're like, oh, penis, boy, oh, vagina, girl. Oh they have, oh what is that, I can't really tell. That would be a situation where a doctor would declare intersex assigned at birth. So here's the thing, we're in 2018, right, the declarations that doctors have assigned people at birth is super different compared to the 1950s. Unfortunately back in the day, when a baby was born intersex, it was considered a medical emergency. So there was a lot of unnecessary and nonconsensual surgical procedures that were done on babies just to assimilate them and to make sure that okay no, they're in fact a boy or no, they are in fact a girl. So that statistic is only really relevant to people with external ambiguous genitalia. Another link that I want to drop in here, there's actually a really, really awesome video that BuzzFeed came out with with a group of individuals who identify as intersex but in their own different ways and there's different variations. Excuse me, talking so much I'm losing my breath. For some individuals, sometimes people don't actually find out that they're intersex until they get their first physical when they're hitting puberty. There is an example of a girl, I believe in the BuzzFeed video that I'm talking about who says that she went to go in for her first physical and she realized that she actually doesn't have internal reproductive structures. And instead, she was born with testes inside of her body. Now the thing is the testes weren't producing testosterone, they weren't producing sperm. It was just kind of like dormant inside of that person's body. So that's just an example of how variations of chromosomes can really work. So definitely look it up. Thank you Maya for dropping that video on BuzzFEed. That's just one of few videos but I really like that video that was made because it's pretty inclusive and it's just really easy to understand if you're trying to understand basics of what it means to be intersex. So there you have it folks, that's what it means when we're talking about sex assigned at birth. Now back to my gender unicorn for those who are just tuning in, we're talking about what the difference is between sex and gender. Before I get started, I totally want to look at this chat because y'all are hella participating and it makes me so excited. New Gal says, "Jess, I've seen it." Yes! "Here in North Carolina, "I had even gay cis guy friends "who hadn't heard of the difference "between gender and sexual identity "so couldn't even ask." Yeah, that's totally right. Seymour, "It's right." I don't know what you're referring that to. Also, New Gal, "LOL at your relatives "reading this on your fridge. "It's not reversed on screen." Okay, thank you so much for verifying that for me, perfect, awesome. I'm so happy y'all are having a good time. So we talked about sex, now we got to talk about gender. So over in my gender unicorn over here, you'll see that it has a little thought bubble and there is a rainbow inside of it naturally. And that's supposed to reflect gender. So one of the biggest reasons why this is inside of a thought bubble is because it's talking about how somebody internally identifies. So New Gal, you totally threw out some terms that I want to talk about when we're talking about the word cisgender, when we're talking about the word transgender. I know that those are familiar words that people have heard of. So the thing about, I should've also explained on this little gender unicorn chart, is that you'll see a bunch of arrows kind of pointing to the side. On the top where it's talking about gender identity, it lists female, woman, girl, it lists man, male, boy and then it lists other genders. So like I said before, this is a great start to understand gender identity but this doesn't necessarily reflect all genders that exist. So I definitely want to acknowledge that but it's a great way to start, especially if you're trying to explain this to a friend. And this is like the cutest little representation of gender. Why wouldn't you want to pull out a gender unicorn? Just saying. So anyway, gender has to do with how we internally identify. And by the way, at any point, please put your own thoughts down in the chat. Remember, this chat is totally anonymous. If you have a question or maybe you heard a myth surrounding sex and gender, I want to hear about it because we're here to collectively have this conversation. So here we identify our gender internally, internally. And when we're talking about sex assigned at birth, we're talking specifically about our biology. If you have ever been let's say, I don't know, given, let's say you were in a group or something or you were taking a class or maybe you were in a medical setting and you were handed a sign in sheet. Sometimes in certain sign in sheets for like demographic purposes, there will be something that asks you to mark your gender and there will be things that ask you to mark your sex. Often times in medical settings, the bubble is going to ask you to list both. If you're at a inclusive and really mindful clinical setting, they should have both of that. Historically it might just say sex but that's what they're referring to. Depending on the type of services that you're trying to receive, when it has to do with your health in a medical setting, doctors want to know okay what is your sex assigned at birth and I also want to know your gender identity as well as your pronouns. So they can help better serve your sexual health or other health related needs. Often times if you're just like in a class and they're asking about demographics, they'll just ask you to mark your gender. This is what they're talking about, the gender that you internally identify with. So that term cisgender, I know that's new for some people but I can give a little explanation about that. So a lot of us kind of grew up knowing that okay, this is my identity, this is who I am, especially since everyone around me is kind of telling me this is who I am. So I'll use myself as an example. I identify as a cisgender woman. I was assigned sex, I was assigned sex, that made no sense, my sex assigned at birth was female and I grew up identifying as a women, as a female, as a girl. That's cisgender. Now when we're talking about the term of transgender, and this can mean something a little bit different, depending on the individual, but transgender essentially means that somebody's biological makeup, so what the doctor assigned this person at birth, what their sex was, does not match up to how somebody internally identifies. So let's say for instance that there is an individual who was assigned female at birth. Doctor says that that's their assignment. But this person their entire life is like, you know, I don't really feel like I identify as a girl and maybe, that's not to say, there's gonna be a four year old that says, I don't identify as a girl. Like no, they're not gonna fucking say that. But there's going to be different cues that an individual's gonna experience that's going to feel different for them. Like I don't feel comfortable when people say she and her to me. I do not feel comfortable adhering to certain gender roles like wearing dresses or playing with dolls or things like that. Instead, I feel completely different. Maybe I identify as him or a male or as a boy. That's just one example of somebody who can identify as transgender. Sometimes people can discover this at an early age when they're 12 and sometimes people can discover this when they're at a later age in their 20s, in their 30s, in their 50s. All of them are extremely valid. One thing that people sometimes try to, and people try a lot with me, I don't know what it is about sex education but people just want to challenge you all the time, but how can somebody decide what their gender is? And it's not so much as you're deciding what your gender is but it's when you're feeling valid, when you're feeling affirmed and when you're feeling safe to say I am this identity, that's what that means. So that can happen at any point in somebody's life. Somebody's 12 years old and that happens, that's amazing. That person feels very affirmed and safe to be able to identify as that. Somebody whose 30, that's valid. That person feels affirmed and safe at that point in their life. And remember, there's so many different reasons why our own perceptions regarding gender identity, it's based on our own life experiences. If you can think about it now, the generation of young people that are existing and who are coming out as transgender or non binary or gender nonconforming is because there's more attention in the media about it. People are talking in the media about it and validating. So that's why we see differences in generations. But definitely wanted to add that too. Alright, I'm looking at my chat. AJ, "I once had a hilarious typo "when chatting with a friend "so now when people talk about gender "I think of gybder." That would fuck me up too, gybder presentation, yes. That's funny. New Gal says, "Honey, I have no idea "when both those check boxes will appear "anywhere in my ridiculous state "but it sounds great." No, that's totally real, that's totally real and I'm coming from a background where I'm in California and this is something that people can talk about and I lived in San Francisco which is this own little privilege bubble that exists. So I totally feel that and understand that. But I can promise you one day that will happen. I am super hopeful for that. Okay, so where were we? Sex and gender. So that's basically the differences between both of those. So if you ever want to know more information about that, feel free to look up that link that Maya dropped down regarding the gender unicorn. The gender unicorn also describes gender presentation and what that means to us, how we present ourselves, how we present our gender, and it also talks about attraction which is the second part that I want to talk about with sexuality, is the types of attractions that we feel. We can feel emotional attraction. We can feel physical attraction towards people and that can help determine what our sexual orientation is. Some of us have heard of LGBT. Some of us have heard of LGBTQ and some of us have heard about LGBTQQAAIP+. Try and say that five times fast. It's a lot, it's a lot of identities, right? But you know what, there's a lot of people in the world and a lot of identities exist. Now here's another challenging argument that I get all the time. "I don't get it, "don't people not want to be labeled. "Why are all these labels for something? "Are people just making these up?" Why the hell are there so many identities? Here's the thing, all of these identities, they've existed forever, for a really, really long time. In this generation, we've now just been able to pick up terminology and define it to better understand who we are and to maybe better understand or to have other people understand who we are. And this is a person to person basis. Some people will say, "Don't label me, I don't want to be called that." And some people will appreciate an identity that they can use as a label because it's very affirming for them. I'll say for example, I identify as a queer lesbian. I know when I say that people are always like, what the fuck does that mean? A queer lesbian, what does that mean? So we have conscious understanding of what a lesbian is, a woman identified person who loves other woman identifying people. Now the term queer, super real with all of you, ask anybody what the word queer means and it's gonna mean something different to all of those people. There's like 15 definitions. And what I'd like you to do right now, type in what you feel the word queer is. What does the word queer mean to you? Because every single definition of the word queer is going to be valid. Any way that you see the word queer is going to be totally 100% correct unless somebody's trolling, then get the fuck out. So for me, my terminology of the word queer and what it means to me, historically the word queer was used as a slur and it was a way to put people down. Back in the days when people had dictionaries and read them, it would say things like weird and abnormal and today the word queer is really used by a lot of people, not everybody 'cause some people choose not to use it, as an affirming thing, as a taking back a word that was once used as a slur but using it more of an empowering term. I like to use the word queer as more of a political thing in where I like to take a stance at stereotypes, gender stereotypes, for instance. For people who are within the community of LGBTQ+, you already know that there are certain stereotypes about who identifies as a lesbian, who identifies as a gay male, who is a trans man, who is a trans woman, any type of identity. There's stereotypes associated with that. And by the way, we need to knock it the fuck off because what is that doing to any of us but dividing us? Anyway, that wasn't explaining that was venting, my bad. So when we're talking about the word queer for me, I don't conform to gender stereotypes and I definitely don't conform to gender roles. So basically don't ever invite me to a gender reveal party because I will legit bring my PowerPoint and we will talk about the social construct of a fucking gender. So that's what it means to me when we're talking about the word queer. I just like to defy norms. New Gal, I hope I just answered your question. The first Q is queer. The second queer, the second queer? There's too much queer! Just kidding, there's never too much queer. The second Q in LGBTQQAAIP+ is questioning. Lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, ally, intersex, pansexual plus. That's what that acronym means. And there's many different acronyms that exist out there. That's just one that I have ingrained into my head that I talk to high schoolers about all the time. So that's what that other Q means. Yeah, queer means nonconforming too, totally, yeah, absolutely nonconforming. It's almost like a way where you can queer something too, that can also be used as a verb. So people like to queer relationships. So traditional monogamous relationships for example, sometimes people like to queer those types of relationships and can be poly and have multiple relationships with people. That's just a small example but that can mean a couple different things to other people. Awesome, let me see what else is in this chat? Omaya, you say, "Queer to me when talking about orientation "means an umbrella term for non heterosexual identities." Awesome, yeah, I'm totally down with that. I love that definition. Thank you for sharing that. Jane, Jane says, "Odd." That's what you think the term queer means? It does say that in the dictionary so you're not wrong. And then, let's see, "Cool, thank you. "Was that long time before, join the list." Okay. Oh, Maya also says, "When talking about gender, "an umbrella term for non cis identities." Yeah, for sure, I like that, cool. Awesome, thanks y'all for some of your input. I really appreciate it. Cool, all of the things, there's so much to know about sexuality but I definitely want to move on because I have five points that I want to cover. So once again, we're talking about the queer sex education that you never got in high school or at any school. So I want to make sure that I'm covering all of those topics. So topic number two is consent. Consent, communication, I'm gonna be honest with all of y'all, I have not, I probably didn't learn about the word consent until I got into college. Some of us might be familiar with the slogan no means no and yes means yes but the thing is, that concept is, it doesn't make any sense. Okay, to some degree, yeah, makes a little bit of sense but it's not that easy and that concept isn't really helpful for when we're trying to understand well what does a yes really mean and what does a no really mean. When we're talking about consent we're giving permission. I'm giving permission, you're giving permission, whoever is involved in whatever type of scenario is giving permission. And this doesn't always have to involve sexual interactions. You're giving permission to a lot of different things in your life, right and you're not giving permission to a lot of different things in your life. So consent is something that's super, super important. And it's really important for us to have a really good understanding of that at such a younger age too because I know that sometimes when I try to talk about consent, it's different when I'm talking to a 14 year old and when I'm talking to a 24 year old. Both of those individuals may have different concepts of what consent can mean and it can be really challenging when those lines are blurred with understanding what consent really is. So what I mean by consent, are you consenting to having a conversation with somebody? Are you consenting to giving somebody a hug or a handshake? Are you consenting to let somebody overall touch your body? Are you consenting to having sex with somebody? Different variations of what consent means. And here's the thing, this applies to all identities. I don't care who you are. Consent matters to everyone. And I say this because in LGBTQ+ community, the lines sometimes become a little blurred and it infuriates me. For example, I have had situations where I'm talking to some straight girls or girls who are, whatever, they're heterosexual, they're straight and they'll tell me things like oh my gosh, you have such great boobs, I love your boobs and then proceed to touch my boobs. Now here's the thing, so many things to unpack with that, okay because none of that is okay. Never told them that they can touch me, okay, just because my boobs are there, they're always just gonna be there, doesn't give an invitation for anybody to touch my body. And I don't know if there's this assumption that some straight women might have that okay, well she's a lesbian anyway, she probably likes it, I don't. I don't like anybody touching me when I tell them that they can't touch me. If I didn't tell you you can touch me, then it's not okay. Let's say you want to go to a festival and you want to wear whatever the fuck, let's say you want to wear pasties over your nipples, you're a person who has boobs and you just want to have a good time at a festival and out of fucking nowhere, people want to be like, hey can I touch your boobs? Hey, can I touch your boobs? And you're like, no, you can't touch my boobs, that's not an invitation. Don't get it twisted for anybody. Just because you are in a public space does not mean your body is a public space. Want to make that super clear, okay. Just because you are wearing a certain thing, that's not an invitation for people to talk to you a certain way, treat you a certain way or touch you without your permission. Those are just some examples that are nonsexual. Let's see, some people just said some stuff on the chat. "The way I understand consent "is that it's important to treat people "as they want to be treated." Exactly, right "And consent is just a natural extension of that." That's such a great point but what's crazy is that's a really hard concept for a lot of people to understand and I just don't get that at all. Treat people the way you want to be treated, be respectful. It's hard for some people apparently so I don't know. So let's say we're talking about consent in sex. Consent is not always a yes means yes and a no means no logic. So consent, I like to break it down in a couple different ways but one really important thing about consent is that it should be authentic, it should be real. You want to keep your consent super real. So being enthusiastic, I'm not telling anybody to jump up like a cheerleader or whatever and be like, yeah, we're gonna have sex, let's do it, whatever, unless that's your thing, then you do you. But being authentic as possible and being true to your yes. If you can think about yeses that sound like no, have you ever heard that before? Have you ever heard of a yes that sounds like a no or kind of sounds like a no? Like what does that sound like? I want you to imagine that right now 'cause I'm sure maybe you've been in a situation or you've seen somebody else say that, like sure, I guess, if you want to, I don't know, I guess no one's home, might as well it's Tuesday. Well it is our anniversary so I guess. It's not really yeah. It's not really enthusiastic. It doesn't really sound so authentic. So it's really important for us to understand body language and to make sure that people are being as authentic as possible. I know that's so much easier to say than actually do it because there may be situations where do you feel safe saying no? Do you feel comfortable telling this person that you're not ready? Do you feel comfortable telling this person no in general? Safety is a huge thing and I totally want to acknowledge that but just being mindful of the difference between hesitancy and authenticity. I like using this example with my high schoolers so here it goes. I want you to think about back to when you were living with parents or older adults that had you perform chores at home. Think about a time where maybe you sat on the couch watching TV, whatever, and one of the adults in the house, the parental units, whoever, comes up to you and says, "Hey, can you wash the dishes for me?" You know you don't want to wash those dishes 'cause they've been piling up 'cause they're all yours. But you're not gonna say no, "Yeah, I'll wash dishes," or you'll probably just get up and do it and not say anything. It's not really authentic right? Now imagine a situation where let's say you are I don't know, you're off work, you're off school, whatever, you're not doing anything that day and your best friend calls you up, your best cousin, your best sister, brother, sibling, what have you, and they're like, "Aw man, I'm so hungry. "Do you want to go grab lunch? "I'll pay." You know damn well that you're gonna be like, "Uh, free food, over there, "yeah, just let me go get my car "and I'll be right there. "Yeah, let me just get my bus pass "and 20 minutes, okay, yeah, free, food, yeah, I'm down." That is an authentic yes and don't you tell me, ooh, I don't know, free food is an authentic yes. So huge difference right with authenticity. You are super down with your yes. You are super down with that decision. Fuck yeah, I want a free burrito. You want to have sex? You want to give me oral sex? Fuck yeah, I'm down for that. That's an authentic yes. Hesitancy is not authentic. So learning to distinguish between the two is super important. So that's something that we got to remember when we're thinking about consent is being authentic as possible. And it's a journey. People don't just wake up one day and they're like, authenticity is what I strive to be. I mean maybe, I guess I do that sometimes. But it's a journey in itself and I understand that things are easier said than done but this is a way that we can relearn what it is that makes us comfortable, we can relearn how to communicate with other people whether it's through text, whether it's in person, communicating is important. Nobody is a mind reader. We can't tell when somebody says, "Yeah sure," and there's no body language that's distinguishing that this person's super uncomfortable. We're not mind readers. Your partner's not a mind reader. The person whose your one night stand is not a mind reader. The person you're dating is not a mind reader. So we got to get away from that thinking and speak our truth. Practice it in a mirror. I know that sounds dumb but do it. The more you practice it, the more confident you feel as it's coming out of your mouth. And when you have the opportunity to tell a human being this, you're gonna feel fucking awesome and you're gonna feel authentic as fuck. Try it sometime, you're gonna thank me later. Awesome, so what else in the chat? Jane, "We need that quote into an inspirational meme." I don't know which one it was 'cause I've been talking a lot but thank you Jane, thank you so much. AJ. "...sure." Yeah, for real though, that's real. Jane, "Free food." Yeah, free food is the best. So if any of you are liking what I'm saying feel free to add to that tip jar because then that gets me free food. And also you're supporting me here at You're supporting all the pleasure professionals who are here to talk about the things that we're passionate about because sharing this information is something that wee strive for. I love talking about all this stuff. Obviously, I haven't stopped talking yet. But thank you all so much for being here today. You're really supporting us as a whole as a company and me personally so thank you, I really appreciate it. Okay, what else? Communication. So now I want to move into our third topic of the queer sex ed that you did not get in school. If we're gonna talk about communication, we're gonna communicate our consent, another thing that we also need to communicate to a sexual partner or potential sexual partner is sexually transmitted infections and barrier methods. So without further ado, topic number three is prevention. Prevention of STIs, STDs, they're actually the same exact thing by the way, I'm just gonna be saying STIs, it's just different terminology. We're talking about getting tested, we're talking about barrier methods, we're talking about birth control methods. We're talking about hey are you on PrEP, have you taken PrEP before? We're talking about our boundaries, we're talking about our limits, what we're comfortable doing and what we're not comfortable doing. All of that is a part of prevention. It's not just putting a condom on. There's more to it. And for that matter, as a part of queer sex education, we're talking about prevention of STIs, let's just say STIs for example, for all different types of sex acts. We're not just exclusive to penis to vagina sex which is if you did get sex education, is usually exclusively that, we don't usually get to hear a lot else of other types of sex because there is so much sexual behavior that exists, right? You ask a person, oh I just had sex last night. That definition of sex is gonna be a certain definition for them and it's gonna be a certain definition for you. When we're talking about sex, we're talking about penis to vagina sex, we're talking about vaginal penetration, anal penetration, oral sex, digital sex. We're talking about masturbation. We're talking about threesomes, we're talking about group sex. We're talking about sexual behavior and living our best sexual selves. We have to include all of that. We can't just be so focused on one specific thing. Often times when I'm talking about different behaviors regarding sex and then ways that people can prevent, sometimes people will say things to me like, "Okay well I don't have sex with people with penises "so I really don't need to know how to put on a condom," or "I'm never gonna use a dental dam, "why on Earth do I need to know how to use a dental dam?" And the thing is okay, that's totally cool, you do you. If you don't want to use a dental dam ever in your life or you know for a fact you're never having sex with a person who has a penis, that's cool, you do you but why limit your sexual knowledge? Being able to expand your knowledge when it comes to prevention and safer sex barriers and just sex in general, that's sexual gold right there. Why stop the knowledge, sexual knowledge? Sexual knowledge is power. Why stop learning about it? I've encountered so many people sometimes who tell me, oh I got it, I don't need to learn anything else, I get the sex part, I'm good, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But why limit your knowledge? Let's say there is a young person in your life who has a question about how to use a dental dam or who feels comfortable enough asking you okay, let's just start right there 'cause I know for a fact a four year old's not gonna come up to you and be like, what's a dental dam? And if they do, how did they find out about that? I want to know. But just being mindful that there might be other people in your life who might not know and your ability to store that information and share it with another person, that's awesome and that's gold, that's not sexual gold but relaying information to another person right, that's awesome, being able to be like, oh you don't know how to do that? Come here, let me show you. Quick story, my wife never knew how to put on a condom because she doesn't have sex with people with penises and so I taught her how to put on a condom and that was like revelation for her, she never knew how and I was like, "Yeah, awesome, we both know. "So if anybody ever asks you, you can tell them." It's that simple. We're not forcing knowledge on anybody, like that's not what I'm here to do but I'm here to say, hey these are the options available, this is what can happen and here's how you can share that information if that's with somebody else or just with yourself. So knowledge is power, I like that. New Gal says, "Love the free food test. "Great way to check in with myself and my partners, thanks." Oh yeah, you're very welcome, totally. That's referring to our conversation around consent. "Cannot wait to be able to afford the tip jar. "I'm on someone else's internet." Oh, you is good, you is good. You being here, thank you so much. I really appreciate all of you who are tuning into this stream right now. Awesome. And Omaya, "Prayer hands." Sweet deal. So yes, prevention, we're talking about all the things. We're talking about condoms. If we're talking about safer sex supplies for instance I'll just pull some out really quickly. I won't show all of these just because of time but when we're talking about condoms, we're talking about internal condoms and we're talking about external condoms, right? A part of queer sex education is that we're not gendering things. A lot of people call this a male condom, a lot of people call this a female condom. These can be used on so many different things. Why do we need to gender condoms? Why do we need to gender condoms? They're not people, they're condoms, okay. Internal condoms, they can go inside of somebody's vagina or if they call that their front hole. This can also go inside somebody's anus for anal sex. These types of condoms, these are external condoms. They can be put on somebody's penis. These can also be put on fingers if somebody doesn't have access to gloves. You can even cut a condom into a dental dam if you wanted to. These can also be put on sex toys as well. So it's not limited to the types of genitals or orifices that these are gonna go. This can go onto different places. But knowing that something can go inside the body and something can stay outside the body is super, super important. Also, another thing too to know, one of the reasons why I grabbed both of these, these are non latex condoms. I have heard many arguments from people who have said, "Oh, well I'm allergic to condoms "so don't use them." Alright, whatever, but just know that if you're allergic to latex, there's non latex options available. This isn't the only ones available. Internal condoms in the United States, this is the only one available right now and then this is just an example of a non latex condom that Trojan happens to make. Another non latex option that I really like showing people is Skyn. Skyn condoms are the shit because they're actually sold at places like Walgreens and CVS, you can buy 'em in packs, and there's many variations. This brand is the most non latex, there are just so many categories of different condoms that this brand makes. So I really appreciate that because they have in different sizes, different textures, flavors that people want it but there's not just one, there's a lot. So there is all of that and then I'm just gonna grab something really quick, when we're talking about other barrier methods that exist, gloves. Gloves are a barrier method. I know every time I pull out a glove, people are like, eh, I don't know, that's like medical setting, doctor feel, I'm not really sure about that. Here's the thing, gloves, this is a whole condom for your hand, yo. It's pretty awesome. So if you have gloves available or if you don't, you seriously can get a pack of like 20 on Amazon for like $10. Sorry, not pack of 20, a pack of 100. So that will last you a really long time but often times when people are exploring other people's bodies, we start off with our hands. So if somebody wants something that has smoother stimulation, obviously you want to add lubricant to something like this, this can be used for external stimulation, on somebody's vulva, on a hand job on a penis, rubbing the scrotum or the balls, whatever. And also people are going to be using their fingers for inserting inside somebody's body. Well, there you go, you're protected with all of your fingers. How many fingers is totally up to you. But this is a barrier that exists. Then there's also dental dams. This is just an example of a dental dam that I have. This one is pink. They come in many different colors because they're typically flavored. Dental dams are super stretchy. I love doing that to the high schoolers 'cause they're like ahhh. But it's meant for oral sex. Oral sex not on a penis but oral sex on an anus or oral sex on a vulva. And the purpose, like all other barrier methods is to prevent the transmission of fluids transmitting into other fluids. In the future, I do other streams as well so I'm just gonna kind of flow through that really quickly, I won't talk too much about that. But those are barrier methods that exist. Another one that exists too that I actually don't have in front of me is something called a finger cot. Imagine a tiny condom that can fit on an individual finger. If you're a person who watches cooking shows like Master Chef or Chopped, every now and then you might see somebody with a condom on their finger or it looks like a condom, that's a finger cot and it's meant to protect, if you have a cut on your finger, a lot of chefs use that when they're preparing food, but it's also good for putting it on your finger and maybe putting your finger in a consenting butt hole. So many different variations of finger cots. So those are some barrier methods that exist. One thing that I didn't really get a chance to talk too much about was hormonal birth control. So that can be time for another stream but just know that with hormonal birth control, it doesn't just apply to people who are trying to have an unintended pregnancy. Birth control can be used to help with, and this is for people who are born with reproductive systems that have ovaries and uteruses not testicles. So hormonal birth control can help with acne. So if somebody's having really bad acne issue, you can be prescribed a certain type of birth control that can help with that. Also for people who might be dealing with endometriosis, that's something that can also help too. We can put a little link in here really quickly. A good resource that I like to recommend is a website called If you ever have any questions surrounding birth control, side effects, the different types, that is the best inclusive website to look at. I really like it just because the way they explain stuff is just really simple and they're not bullshitting anything. Okay, so we talked about all those different things regarding prevention. One of the biggest things that I like to always tell people that should always be on the top of your prevention list is having a healthy relationship with yourself. What does this mean? So we all have a brain, right, some of us choose to use it more than others, I get it. But at the end of the day, we all have mental health and understanding where you are is going to be very important. Are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling excited? Are you feeling depressed? Are you having some type of manic episode? We all experience mental health challenges. Some of us more than others and some of us recognize them more than others. That's being conscious, that's being aware of what's going on with you. Because if you don't have a healthy relationship with yourself, do you think you'll be able to have a healthy relationship with other people? And I'm not just talking about sexual relationships. I'm talking about platonic, family relationships, emotional relationships, maybe for romantic relationships. Something to really consider and I think that it's really important because our biggest sex organs, please remember this, is not between our legs, it's between our ears. If we are feeling nervous, tense, anxious, all of the crazy things that are happening up here, that's gonna be a domino effect with the rest of our body and that's not gonna put us in a great place, especially if we try to pretend that it's not there or pretend that things are maybe not bothering us. So just having an understanding of where you are. Now I'm not saying that okay, having a healthy relationship with yourself doesn't mean you're depressed, doesn't mean you're anxious. A lot of people feel those things and that doesn't make you less healthy if you do experience it but recognizing it is healthy. For those of you who watch Ru Paul's Drag Race, at the end of every episode, Ru Paul's always like, "If you can't love yourself, "how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" Same thing applies. Having a healthy relationship with yourself is gonna be on the top of your prevention list before you decide to have relationships with other people whether it's emotional or physical. Okay, awesome. Ah, dang, so much time has gone by and we've only talked about three topics. So that's okay, I'm gonna combine the last two topics together. Topic number four and topic number five is gonna be correlated with body image and media literacy. Body image, what is body image and how does that relate to sex education? If you think about body image, I like to define it in three different ways. It's how you feel about your body, it's your perception of your body, and how you think others perceive your body. Now, that word perception. It's how you see the world, right? I want you to imagine that you have this invisible pair of sunglasses. Bear with me. But you have an invisible pair of sunglasses. Here's the thing, nobody in the world has that same lens that you do. They don't have that same pair of glasses and that lens that you're looking through is based on all of your life experiences. All of your life experiences make you the person you are today and you're such an amazing person and I know you're an amazing person because you're tuning into the stream and you genuinely want to have this conversation or listen to somebody talking about this. The reason I mentioned media literacy is because there are many forms of media that influence how we see ourselves and this has been going on for a really long time. This is not just social media in general. I'm talking about when people used to read magazines and newspapers. Do people still do that? Please, please, do people still do that? But we hear a lot of messages. We hear a lot of messages in the media that tell us how we should act, how we should talk, how our gender identity should be X, Y and Z, how our sexual orientation should be A, B and C. We hear all of these different things that tell us how we should be acting in society. The thing is we hear these messages in the movies, we hear it on Netflix, TV shows, we hear it in music, we see it through social media like Twitter, Instagram, video games, pornography, that's a huge one, and we get different messages about our bodies and I'm not just talking about the weight of our bodies, the size or the shape of our bodies, but I'm talking about our race, I'm talking about our gender, our sexual orientation, our age, our abilities. Are we able bodied, disabled? These different things. As queer people, we strive to find queer representation in the media. I don't know if you do but I sure do. As a queer person, always looking for queer representation 'cause representation matters, yo. A queer person of color, that representation is even thinner. A queer person whose disabled, almost non existent. So we have to think about media literacy. We're analyzing, we're evaluating all forms of the media and we're understanding okay these messages, right, all these messages that I'm receiving, who are they for? Are they for me? What part of my identity are they trying to go after? Well, go after, but be accustomed to. Is it my gender? Is it my sexuality? Is it my race? Is it my age? These messages are never gonna stop. That's just a thing, the media's never gonna go away 'cause that's how we see the world. That's how we learn information. That's how you and I, well, I can't see you but you can see me, right? That's a result of the media which is super awesome. We can expand information and expand knowledge and all those good things. But what's awesome about us is that we have the power to either accept these messages that we're receiving or we can reject them altogether. So that's one thing that I really like to make sure is mentioned when we're talking about sex education because when we're seeing representations of certain bodies, certain races, certain sexual orientations, certain abilities, that's gonna impact our sexual health whether you recognize it or not. So super, super important to be inclusive of all identities when we're talking about sex education and well, I don't really have the power to pick and choose what is accessible in the media but something to definitely think about as we're talking about sex education. So those three, I'm sorry those five important topics for the queer sex ed you never learned in high school, sexuality, number one. Number two, consent. Number three, prevention. Number four and five, body image and media literacy. I would love the opportunity to be able to do a queer sex ed series and given each hour we can dissect each of those topics even further. I know that was a lot of information, especially if you stuck around for that whole hour, thank you by the way, lot of information though and there's so much more. Remember, sexual knowledge is power. Why stop learning about sex education? Science changes, terminology changes. It's important for us to be mindful of that, especially if we are sex positive people, right? We want to make sure that we know all of the things. I want to know all of the things! That's why I am a nerd and I do this and I go on and I talk about all the things. And you all are so amazing for sticking around and joining me. I know that I'm at 59 right now but before I head out, there are three books that are like my top three sex education books that I want you all to know about. My first one is gonna be, it's upside down, this right here, this is a book called Girl Sex 101. So the title is like hell gendered, I get that, that's probably for marketing purposes but I'm gonna tell you right now if you are a person or you know a person who is a cis woman, a trans woman, somebody whose gender non conforming, somebody whose non binary. It doesn't matter what your sex assigned at birth is. This book is amazing. It is so affirming, it is inclusive as fuck, it is sexy as fuck. I love all the stuff in here, you can tell where I bookmarked it 'cause I have a page sticking out but it's amazing. This is one of the most inclusive sex education books about pleasure that I have ever read and I really, really love this book. It's called Girl Sex 101 and it's by Allison Moon. Second book that I want to show is called The Sex and Pleasure Book. This is actually a book tailored by Good Vibrations, their sexologist, Carol Queen, and Shar Rednour. They created this book that is focused solely on pleasure and this is inclusive as fuck as well. It talks about all the things related to sexual behavior, a little bit about identity, safety, sex toys. Great, great, great book to check out and then lastly, this book right here, Sex. Sex, all the things. This is created by what was her name, Heather Corinna. She is actually the person who created Now this is a book that's titled for teens and young adults but honestly I recommend this book to a lot of people because there are some adults that I would totally recommend this too like some family members I'd be like, yo, can you read this first before you show this to your kids? This is a really inclusive book and this is actually the second edition because they updated their terminology because science changes and terminology changes. So this is my third ultimate favorite sex education book. Alright y'all, I'm gonna put this up here. This is my handle if you want to follow me, learn more information, realtalk_jess. This is my Twitter handle, this is my Instagram handle. Thank you all so much for sticking around and wanting to learn about the queer sex education you never got in school. Stay tuned with our calendar. Right now, is currently streaming on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, maybe potentially in the future, we'll do a queer sex ed series where we can tackle each of these topics. If there's a topic that you're like, I really wish someone would talk about this or maybe you want me to talk about it or somebody else, drop us a line. You can send me an email, you can send me a DM on my handle right here. I realized I didn't put my email down but really quickly it is jmelendez, that's how you spell my last name, yeah? Okay, @realtalkwithjess and feel free to drop me a question about a topic that maybe you want to hear in the future, et cetera, et cetera. Really quickly, I want to acknowledge all of you who have participated in this chat today. Thank you so much. Omaya just dropped down a bunch of resources, ones that I talked about, each of those books that I introduced. Also there is a resource down here for, I just saw it, maybe I'm pretending, oh, Scarleteen is down there, yeah perfect, as well as the BuzzFeed video about intersex that I was talking about and there's also a really, really cool masturbation video that is not a how to but it's a masturbation video that Planned Parenthood put together to really kind of challenge the myths surrounding masturbation. So that's something that I totally recommend checking out and you can show any young person that you know in your life. Awesome, yes, please check out those books, all of y'all. "Are those Ikea Kallax shelves behind you?" I don't remember. It's the Expedit, the really big ones that's heavy to put together. Alright, and then let me see, any other questions that I got going on here. "Do you know if Marla Stewart "is going too be streaming tonight?" So currently, Marla is not going to be streaming tonight but I would totally recommend going on and checking out her streaming calendar to see when they are gonna be streaming next. As of right now, there is only two streams tonight and I was the last one, that's why I'm still able to keep talking for maybe one more minute 'cause nobody else is waiting to go on next. But definitely check out the calendar and stay tuned. Our next streams are going to be next Tuesday and next Wednesday. I will actually be streaming next Wednesday again at five o'clock and I'm going to be talking all about lubricant. So if you are interested in knowing more information about lubricant, you want to win some free lube, 'cause I'm gonna be doing some giveaways and give away free lubricant which is like, I love giving away free stuff, why not? But yeah, definitely stay tuned and just check out our calendar. Alright folks, thank you so much for sticking around. You all are amazing. I will see you next time and feel free to send me any questions or if you want to know more about a stream. Okay, bye everybody.

The Queer Sex Ed You Never Got In School

Sep 10, 2018
6:56 pm
Monday, September 10, 2018
6:56 pm

What was your sex ed like in school?