Thursday, November 7, 2013

Alt media: Sex positivity and education on the internet

Alternative media is any media that exists outside of, or deviates from mainstream traditional content and structure. In a world where only a few conglomerates own the entirety of what we consume, we must be our own creators and gatekeepers.

Even when it comes to education, sometimes what we teach is limited, and simply not enough. Especially when it comes to sex education in the United States. Children and teens are either completely sheltered, or misguided in understanding their sexuality. With statistics proving that  abstinence only education is counterproductive, their must be an alternative resource for kids to have their questions answered.
In comes YouTube, and more specifically Laci Green.
Laci runs a YouTube channel called Sex+.  It focuses on Sex positivity and education. She discusses topics from personal hygiene to asexuality to fat shame and everything in between.  For a teenager that has questions that traditional media sources, or even a formal education won't answer for them, this can be a useful resource for them. Just the presence of these videos, with titles like Shaving your pubes, Dirty Vaginas, and I'm pansexual? can help teenagers understand that their feelings and questions are normal. 
They're relatable, entertaining, and educational. 
In the blogs "about me" Laci uses a Carol Queen quote to define what "sex positivity" is:
"It’s the cultural philosophy that understands sexuality as a potentially positive force in one’s life, and it can, of course, be contrasted with sex-negativity, which sees sex as problematic, disruptive, dangerous. Sex-positivity allows for and in fact celebrates sexual diversity, differing desires and relationships structures, and individual choices based on consent."
Her goal is to take the shame out of sex in our culture, and educate the public "irrespective of their age, gender, or state of health. "
She tends to focus on a lot of feminist issues as well. For instance she has videos that discuss slut shaming, and the patriarchal notion of "cherry popping."
With over 48 millions views to date, this information is reaching a wide audience, which illustrates that their is a market for this kind of approach. Where traditional platforms fail to touch on a variety of subjects and gloss over topics that are considered unorthodox or taboo, Sex + tackles these issues by being unbiased and informative.
Some videos on topics that you wouldn't hear your health teacher talk about:

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