The pleasure dividend: why we need to talk about pleasure when we talk about family planning and sex / Le dividende du plaisir : Pourquoi nous devrions parler du plaisir lorsque nous parlons de planification familiale et de sexe
Including the following presentations:
How Pleasure drives traffic and trust of youth online at Love Matters
Lindsay van Clief, Content Strategist , RNW media (Love Matters)
Background: Love Matters in an online platform in Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, and China and soon to be five languages. It provides comprehensive sexuality education information online targeted and youth 18-30. The idea is to have quality evidence-based information when and where youth need it – on their phone 24/7. Given the online space, the Love Matters project takes on a pleasure approach where we talk openly about love, sex, and relationships. By engaging in an open and honest way on pleasurable topics like orgasms, sex positions and relationship advice we build trust with large communities of young people who then stick around to learn more about contraceptives, abortion, and LGBTQ related issues.
Method: We have divided our website core themes into pleasure focused and educational focused. Pieces that are around the physical act of sex, orgasms or more relational – often topics not explored in traditional sex education were classified as pleasure topics. Topics like anatomy, menstruation, and safe sex methods were classified as educational material. We then scrape various data from our own site using Google and Facebook Analytics we track users on what pages then enter the site one, what other articles were read and when they exit the site. With data points from 28.3 million users in 2017 alone, we compile and aggregate interesting findings of global trends as well as various insights from the different countries we work in.
Conclusion: We can show that youth have a strong preference for our pleasure focused content and that brings them to our site. However, we can also watch how large quantities of the youth will stay and continue to engage in the harder more classic sex education material as well. This highlights that to attract, but also gain the trust and understanding you must talk about pleasure. It is ideal when you, in fact, combine the concepts – like actually talking about sex while also talking about protection. We can show how youth are not interested in many classic approaches to sex education but are then still willing to engage when the information is put in the context of pleasure. Pleasure then being the key element to the success of our platform and the large communities we are able to build.
Using Social Media for Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights Advocacy
Tlaleng Mofokeng, Medical Doctor/Advocacy, SRJC/Nalane
Background: I created a course named “sexuality and social work” which provides deep analysis and interventions around gender and sexuality issues in social work practices. The course explores topics such as domestic violence, LGBT movements, HIV/AIDs, sex work etc. I have published extensively about women’s sexuality in both Chinese and English. From 2014 2015, I attended the University of Southern California as a Fulbright scholar. I was also invited to give a talk on women’s sexuality in a forum on Chinese society and women’s development at the Brookings Institute in May 2014. In 2017, I delivered a keynote speech, “Gendered pleasure in times of change in urban China” at the Gender Studies Conference at the University of Oslo. Recent projects focus on HIV/AIDs and social work intervention, consent, sex negotiation, sex health and sex education in China.
Method: My groundbreaking research project exploring women’s masturbation since 2012 attracted wide attention from the mass media and the general public, thus influencing main-stream discourse on how to express one’s sexual pleasure in public spaces. I have recorded and presented my research findings and their implications related to sexual pleasure and sexual anxiety in contemporary China. My research found that most women could not embrace sexual pleasure because of sexual/cultural/moral restrictions which led to dysfunctional sexual relationships.
Results: People who suffer sexual anxiety such as unfulfilled sexual needs or low desire for their sexual partners can only recover if they feel entitled to enjoy sexual pleasure. This is difficult to achieve in both solo or partnered sexual activity. Casual sex and multiple sexual relationships are much more accepted by younger generations, however they still aspire to be involved in committed relationships, rather than “plastic relationships” as identified by Giddens Plummer.
Conclusions: Sexual pleasure is a powerful tool for people to articulate their unconventional sexual relationships, but it is not currently a strongly voiced element.
Pleasure as a gateway
Akiko Bonilla, Head of Educational Programs, Mexico Vivo
Background: Information for young people on sex and relationships is often fraught with assumptions, caveats, and the misconception that young people need to be “told” what is best for them regarding issues pertaining to sex and intimacy. But a pleasure-positive approach provides an entry point to positively influence young people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behavior towards sex, desire, bodies, consent, contraception, and reproduction, thereby enabling a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of healthy sexual relationships.
Method: Through my own clinical practice, and the teaching and workshops I do with Mexico Vivo, I bring years of personal experience working with young people in Mexico City.
Results: Practicing this approach in my work has proved to be immensely effective in helping me connect with young people. It has enabled me to have more genuine, empathetic, and honest conversations with young people about their inhibitions and fears, but also about their aspirations and desire regarding sex and intimacy. Moreover, it has also encouraged young people to help each other build and sustain a collective safe space where they can, in their own voice, share their experiences and dilemmas pertaining to sex and relationships.
Conclusion: I have a desire to offer and share positions, ideas and different perspectives and above all, my current work gives me the opportunity to fight against the traditional social discourse, myths, taboos, stereotypes and prejudices in general on human sexuality , and promote this space through the generation of new dialogues, learning and new ways of meaning, understand and live our sexuality with the responsibility and power of decision.