‘It stopped me having sex for a year’: why Generation Z is turning its back on sex-positive feminism

The movement championed the right to enjoy sex and was supposed to free women from guilt or being shamed. But now many are questioning whether it has left them more vulnerable

Lala likes to think of herself as pretty unshockable. On her popular Instagram account @lalalaletmeexplain, she dishes out anonymous sex and dating advice on everything from orgasms to the etiquette of sending nude pictures. Nor is the 40-year-old sex educator and former social worker (Lala is a pseudonym) shy of sharing her own dating experiences as a single woman.

But even she was perturbed by a recent question, from a woman with a seven-year-old daughter who had caught her new partner watching “stepdaughter” porn involving teenage girls. Was that a red flag?

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The secret to great sex? It’s not what you think …

There’s more to good sex than complicated positions or wild lust. The authors of a groundbreaking study explain what really makes it great

Far from what films and TV shows might tell us, truly magnificent sex has very little to do with daring feats of seduction or screaming orgasms. In fact, according to the latest research, erotic intimacy is more a state of mind than a physical act.

In a recent study, Magnificent Sex, psychologist and sex therapist Dr Peggy J Kleinplatz and her colleagues at Ottawa University in Canada realised that, while whole library sections were dedicated to bad sex (and how to make it better), there was almost no literature dedicated to great sex. What did it feel like? Who was having it? And what made it so great?

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Fertility, porn, imagination… it’s time for a new approach to sex education | Eva Wiseman

Far fewer babies are being born so we should be teaching boys – not just girls – how to make informed choices about fertility and relationships

Do you ever get that thing, that slightly psychedelic thing, when you hear an idea so good that it changes how you encounter the rest of the world? When it installs itself like a migrainous aura in your vision, colouring unrelated thoughts, its simplicity offering whispered suggestions for other ways a problem might be solved? It happened for me with porn.

An essay by Oxford professor Amia Srinivasan offers a solution to the many problems with pornography, and rather than the suggestion that people just switch off their phones or even that schools teach “porn literacy”, it is to offer young people a kind of “negative” sex education. “It wouldn’t assert its authority to tell the truth about sex,” but remind them that, “the authority on what sex is, and could become, lies with them.” Lessons in the lost power of sexual imagination. I could not love this more.

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The Lovers’ Guide at 30: did the bestselling video make Britain better in bed?

It featured an erect penis, and could be bought on the high street. The groundbreaking film changed attitudes to sex and censorship – paving the way to the Pornhub era

The second sexual revolution began 30 years ago, on 23 September 1991, with the release of an educational videotape called The Lovers’ Guide. The revolution’s unlikely figureheads were a film producer who had been making how-to videos about gardening and pets and cooking, and a 56-year-old doctor, while their ally was an American former TV and theatre director who had become Britain’s chief film censor.

The producer was a man called Robert Page, who had been approached by Virgin – which had recently started making condoms – to make a sexual health film for men that explained how to use one. There were two difficulties with that. The first was that no erect penis had been shown on screen in Britain. The second was that Page had no interest in making a film about penises. The censor – James Ferman, the director of the British Board of Film Classification from 1975 to 1999 – took care of the first issue.

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Sex Education Xplorers (SEX) review – a biology lesson for the 21st century

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Mamoru Iriguchi and Afton Moran raid their dressing-up box to give us a cheery guide to the evolutionary history of reproduction, and what it says about gender fluidity in humans

I imagine the curriculum has changed since my day but, even so, I’m pretty sure not many biology lessons look like this one by Mamoru Iriguchi. With a dressing-up-box aesthetic and a naive enthusiasm, the Edinburgh performer casts the audience in the role of 14-year-old pupils at “Summerhall secondary school”. Ably assisted by Afton Moran, using hand-knitted pubic hair and clownfish costumes as visual aids, and making natty use of a computer monitor that turns real-world objects into screen animations, he takes us through the evolutionary story of reproduction. It’s an illustrated lecture that traces the journey from the earliest sea creatures to the appearance of land animals and onwards to the present day.

The show has a rough-and-ready charm, performed with more enthusiasm than subtlety, and an appropriately adolescent sense of humour. It takes a wide-eyed approach to the allure of human nudity (no other creature is turned on by nakedness) and the magic of organisms that can reproduce by severing parts of their own body.

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Aid cuts make a mockery of UK pledges on girls’ education | Zoe Williams

The government’s words at the global education summit are completely at odds with its behaviour. Whatever the event achieves will be despite its UK hosts, not because of them

With all the fanfare Covid would allow, the global education summit opened in London this week. Ahead of the meeting, the minister for European neighbourhood and the Americas was on rousing form. “Educating girls is a gamechanger,” Wendy Morton said, going on to describe what a plan would look like to do just that.

The UK, co-hosting the summit with Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, plans to raise funds for the Global Partnership for Education, from governments and donors. The UK government has promised £430m over the next five years.

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By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

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By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

By changing young people’s attitudes, we can tackle violence against women | Cordelia Morrison

The school workshops I run have shown me that damaging attitudes towards sex, gender and equality start early

Recently, I delivered a healthy relationships workshop at a primary school. We started by playing a drama game, where we asked the children to pretend to be different types of people. A superhero? Lots of air-punches. What about a girl? The girls laughed awkwardly, while the boys pouted, pretended to cry, and fell to the floor.

“Why are you down there,” I asked the boy nearest me. He beamed, and said: “Cos girls are scaredy-cats and they, like, faint and stuff.” “OK,” said my co-facilitator, “how do the girls in the room feel about that?” A pause. Shuffling. One girl eventually volunteered: “It makes me feel sad. And it’s not fair. We’re not all the same.”

Cordelia Morrison is relationships officer for Tender, a charity working to prevent domestic and sexual violence in the lives of children and young people

Continue reading…

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