The Power of Empathy

December 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Love this little animation…

14 Things I LOVED about the Sex Ed Conference

December 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

There is nothing like spending a few days with fellow sex educators from Planned Parenthood, social workers, medical professionals, academics, bloggers, podcasters, counselors, therapists, community organizers, policy makers, administrators, clergy,  and more…

That’s exactly what I did last week. I had the pleasure of attending the National Sex Ed Conference. I was there as the Education Coordinator of Tantus Inc. I was also there to fuel my brain.

Here’s my round up of things I loved…

DAY 1

1. Sam Killerman‘s keynote on gender and social justice. I bought his book and loved his insight and humor. Watch his TEDx Talk:

2. Hobnobbing at the late night reception, hosted by Tantus. I got to give sex toys away. I was very popular! Until I ran out of toys.

DAY 2

3. Six AM yoga for everyone. It was too early for me, but I still love that they did it! I envied them for getting up early and caring for themselves. They envied me for sleeping in a little and caring for myself. Everyone wins.

4. Hearing Vice president of Education for Planned Parenthood Leslie Kantor recap sex education in 2013. Her delivery was smart, hilarious and motivating.

condomdress5. Seeing the stunning Condom Couture dresses Adriana Bertini showcased. Art and education collide with her beautiful work.

6. Spending a little quality time with Founder and President of The Academy for Adolescent Health  Mary Jo Podgurski. She never shys-away from the needs of youth and is hyper-inclusive. Unique, powerful and generous- I admire her work greatly. I also got to participate in her “Me Too: Sexuality Education for People of ALL Abilities” session and purchased both Inside Out:Your Body is Amazing Inside & Out & Belongs Only to You and What’s Up as YOU Grow Up?

7. I worked the Tantus table a lot this day. It was so fun to help sex educators of other varieties understand pleasure products and pleasure anatomy. I got to feel many sex educators recoil or express fear in their body language as they approached our table. And understandably so. Many sex educators are ridiculed for wanting to teach medically accurate sex education and for talking about realities like masturbation, condoms and STIs. Anything more explicit than safer sex materials and they naturally hesitate. Once they realized Tantus is a healthy-for-the-body, education-based company…. it was fun to see them melt, to answer their questions and be a resource for them.

8. I also got to teach a few gynecologist about the realities of safer sex in play situations. For medical professionals sex can become so medicalized that they forget how to play. They don’t always know the vastness of experiences available to them as individuals.  It’s so fun to remind fellow sex educators how important it is for them to play!

female-condom9. The people at the table next to ours were the awesome makers of Female Condoms. They were showing the newest version of the female condom, now made out of nitrile. Nitrile is not only less expensive but more sensual. I was thrilled to learn from them. Here is their site for regular folks. And here is their site for sex educators. And read this recent BBC story about how the new female condom is gaining love and being used in other parts of the world.

10. I got to participate in “Sexuality Education & Developmental Disabilities: What Works, What Doesn’t.” The presentation was a short (yet informative) nutshell based on the Sexuality Education For Adults with Developmental Disabilities.

11. I also attended “Being a Trauma-Informed Sex Educator” with Steve Brown. where I learned how to better care for my workshop participants and have more foresight around how a trauma survivor might respond to what I present as a sex educator.

DAY 3

12. There were three session this day that were profound and inspiring. Starting with the very insightful, expressive, inclusive Terri Clark of the LGBT Elder Initiative working a room full of sex educators through the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid.

sexetc13. Later I participated in “The Unique Needs of Youth in Foster Care” with Allyson Sandak of Answer (creators of Sex, ect.) I really loved how she used input from foster youth and former foster youth as the basis for the session. This was a very thoughtful presentation about a very vulnerable population.

14. And finally, upon coming home… I got to send a package of Tantus sex toys that specifically meet the needs of people with disabilities to a sex educator in Milwaukee so she can do a sexuality workshop for Independence First: The Resource for People With Disabilities. (My job rules.)

All of this has me getting excited for both Catalyst Con in March where I will be representing Tantus again. And for the Western Canadian Conference on Sexual Health where I will be giving a keynote on Foster Youth & Sexual Health.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

tantusLogo

Sex for Survivors presentations in Toronto, Portland & NYC

September 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

IMG_3307Love to see the warm lovely faces of those who show up for my Sex for Survivors presentations. I limit the available seats because I find this presentation is best when not too crowded. If you are unable to reserve a seat, here are some resources. And send me a note and ask me to book it again and let you know when it’s scheduled. I want you to have what you want. That’s just how I am. xo – Ducky

It’s happening here:

Who is a survivor?

A lot of people are survivors and maybe you want to join us too? If you have experienced violence, sexual assault or abuse, then you are a survivor. Or maybe an accident, injury, Illness, surgery, or PTSD? It could be a childhood experience or something that happened as an adult. It may have been ongoing or a one-time thing. It may have been at the hands of someone you knew casually, someone who was supposed to love you the most or perhaps it was a stranger.

Often survivors are thriving despite their emotional or physical scars. Survivors are often very proactive people. Nothing stops them. But one common obstacle many survivors face is sex and relationship issues.

Survivors have common experiences and feelings. It can be hard to know when to disclose your history with a new partner. Sometimes a person feels disconnected, foggy or alienation from your own body. Or perhaps you have feelings of being vulnerable, anxious, anger, grief, fear or distrust? Those are also normal feelings for a survivor. Others experience a low sex drive, lack of desire or lack of physical response. You are not alone.

Who is invited?

Everyone is invited. All genders, orientations, and ages. Survivors, partners and people who work in fields that support survivors.

Who is Ducky?

I am a pleasure-based sex educator. I have also spent 8 years working as a sexual assault & violence intervention counselor. Much of that time was spent in the emergency room with survivors, and in recent years I have been honored to be a part of the training team that brings new counselors into the emergency room each year. And I have survived a lot myself.

Violence & Silence: How to Create a Less Violent World

May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Jackson Katz, Ph.D speaks of linguistics, leadership and male peer pressure– and does so very well. Please watch and learn how to be a better allies to survivors.

 

Life is Complex & Rich

May 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

I was reminded by this post (HuffPost) about this documentary about Los Angeles’ Skid Row. It is rich in stunning portraits of human on the edge. As a former homeless person I can attest, there are beautiful souls on the streets. You just need open you eyes and hearts. Give eye contact. Say hello. Give them good wishes. Bring them your old sweater. It’s all about love.

And another little portrait of a gentleman on the street…

Truth About Sex Work & Amsterdam: A Documentary

April 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

Meet the Fokkens is a very touching documentary about twin sisters, aging in the sex industry, their relationship with each other and the world. I found it on netflix and loved it.

Sex for Survivors

July 12, 2012 § 5 Comments

ducky doolittleIt seems the longer I live, the more people I meet, the more I feel like everyone has survived some kind of trauma.

It could be an accident, a surgery, a birth defect, or a war. It could be a childhood experience or something that happened as an adult. It may have been ongoing or a onetime thing. It may have been at the hands of someone you knew casually, someone who was supposed to love you the most, or perhaps it was a stranger. Often people are thriving despite their emotional and physical scars.

I have spent the last 8 years working with the Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention counselor. Much of that time was spent in the emergency room with survivors, and in recent years I have been honored to be a part of the training team that brings new counselors into the emergency room each year. And I have survived a lot myself.

Survivors are so often very proactive people. Nothing stops them. One common obstacle many survivors face is sex. If you find during sex you feel disconnected, foggy, alienation from your own body, vulnerable, anxiety, anger, distrust, a low sex drive, lack of desire, lack of physical response, grief or fear – you are not alone. Here are a few resources that ay help.


RESOURCES

(Is there a resource you think should be added to this post? Please leave a comment or email me.)

HELP IN HEALING:

SEXUAL ASSAULT:

RELATIONSHIP ABUSE:

CHILDHOOD ABUSE SURVIVORS:

SEX & SUBSTANCE ABUSE:

MORE:

  • Safe Horizon NYC Resources (website) Including… Domestic Violence, Rape & Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Stalking, Anti-Trafficking Program, Schools and Homeless Youth, Families of Homicide Victims, Streetwork Project for Homeless Youth, Child Advocacy Centers, Domestic Violence Law Project, Immigration Law Project, Counseling Centers, Community Programs, Court Programs, and Domestic Violence Shelters.
  • Safe Horizon National Resources (website) Including… General Crime Victim Issues, Bias Crimes, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence & Dating Abuse, Help for Men Who Batter, Male Sexual Assault, Men Who are Abused, Rape & Sexual Assault, Stalking, U.S. Immigrant Issues, Youth Violence, Benefit Programs, and September 11th Healing and Recovering.

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