Posts Tagged ‘consent’

Want to be a Sense Project Volunteer for the 2015-16 school year?

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We are currently seeking new volunteers for the 2015-16 school year!

Interested in facilitating sex ed workshops with youth in high schools? Getting involved with the Sense Project at Head & Hands is a fantastic opportunity to learn, grow and support the well-being of youths in Montreal. Be a part of the magic of the Sense Project as we embark on new changes and visioning in this 10th year of sex ed!

About Head & Hands

Head & Hands is a community organization in NDG that services youth aged 12-25 across the city of Montreal. Since 1970, Head & Hands has been committed to the overall health and well-being of youth, providing holistic services and programs. Our approach is harm/risk reductive, holistic and non-judgemental which is especially important for one of our most important programs: The Sense Project.

About The Sense Project

The Sense Project is Head & Hands’ by youth for youth sexual education program. In 2005, sex ed was phased out of the public high school curriculum resulting in a huge gap in youth’s health education. Over the past decade, the Sense Project has been filling that gap with comprehensive, holistic and inclusive sex ed that centers youth and their needs. Our workshops create space for youth to learn about and discuss topics such as anatomies, genders, STIs, consent culture and more. Head & Hands firmly believes that youth have the right to accurate and accessible information in order to make empowered decisions about their health and lives.

Sense Volunteers a.k.a. “Sensies” are the face of the Sense Project. As a Sensie, your role is to contribute to the program by facilitating sex ed workshops and/or supporting the development of the Sense Project. It is especially important to embody the principles of Head & Hands and our approach which means meeting youth where they’re at. Sensies will have the opportunity to participate in an extensive training in which you’ll learn more about sex, Head & Hands’ approach, allyship and how to facilitate workshops for youth. The goal is to help equip you with the tools and resources to be able to do your own reflective learning and then share with your peers.

Interested? Here are the requirements:

  • New applicants must be aged 25 and under.
  • Volunteers should be committed to Head & Hands’ principles of anti-oppression, risk reduction, and non-judgment.
  • Volunteers should have some availability on weekdays during the day. Throughout the school year, your amount of volunteering is highly dependent on your availabilities and the workshop requests made by schools and organizations.
  • Bilingualism is not mandatory, but it’s an asset! The training will be bilingual (ENG-FR).
  • It’s also an asset if you have previous animation experience or experience working with youth.
  • It is mandatory to attend the full volunteer training (dates listed below).
  • Animators must commit for an entire school year and in taking part in any additional trainings for the Sense Project.

Training dates

If you meet these criteria, please complete a volunteer form and send it to Gabrielle at healthed@headandhands.ca. The deadline to apply is Monday, August 24th at 10 AMWe’ll then book a short screening interview with prospective volunteers.

If you have any questions, feel free to call Shanice at (514) 481-0277!

Volunteer Form Sense Project 2015-16

Ask anything: First-timers

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We are still getting more and more questions in our “Ask Anything” question box to the right! –> Sense volunteer Liam tackled today’s question…

Q: My boyfriend and I are planning our first time. I’ve been looking into birth control and trying to figure out which one will be best, but besides that, we’re both virgins and neither of us really know what to expect. I want this to be special. Advice?

After much time spent dwelling on what I would say to two people about to have sex for the first time, I was able to narrow my characteristic longwindedness down to 3 topics: Communication/Consent; Safer Sex/Birth Control; Pleasure.

–Communication/Consent—

Communicating about sex is really a win-win: you can make sure that your partner is consenting and into it as well as maximize the pleasure of everybody involved. From a super practical standpoint, communicating might look like saying things along the lines of “is it cool if I take off your pants”, “oh my god, what you just did felt amazing”, “Could you go a little slower”, “Stop for a second, I need a break”, or seriously a bazillion other things. I generally shy away from making sweeping generalizations BUT sex will probably be better if you know that your partner is listening and responding to you and would stop as soon you asked. To make communicating easier, some people like to use code words that you and your partner can come up with beforehand. A really common set is the traffic light system where ‘green’ means everything is fantastic, ‘yellow’ means turn it down a bit, and ‘red’ means stop immediately. Coming up with code words can also be a helpful way to start a conversation about sex, consent, and boundaries with your partner.

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Ask anything: sex and pleasure

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Sydney, Sense animator extraordinaire, makes another guest appearance to answer your anonymous questions! Thanks, Sydney!

Q: How do I give more enjoyment to my husband?

First off, I want to say that your enjoyment is just as important to this equation as your husband’s. Everyone has a sex drive and everyone has the right to experience pleasure. Sex is best when both people are into it!

Secondly, I must say that there’s no one (or even two or three) answer(s) to this. My main suggestion would be to communicate! Spend some time thinking about what sex acts turn you on and what you’re comfortable doing. Brainstorm a few ideas about what might be enjoyable for you and your husband. Think about your fantasies and what you want out of sex. Then sit down with your husband over coffee or a glass of wine or a meal or whatever. Tell him your fantasies. Ask him what his are. Discuss ways to make them a reality. If things get awkward or uncomfortable, maybe take a break. Be prepared to give him some time to do some thinking as well and then set a time in the near future that works for both of you to come back and talk about things.

As far as detailed suggestions about different things you can try and how to go about doing them, there are way too many options to discuss here. Internet research can be helpful, but remember to take everything you read there with a grain of salt. There’s a great – and quite detailed! – article over on Scarleteen that describes the anatomy of pleasure and which of our body parts can make us feel really good! There are also a lot of great books out there that you can find at many bookstores or even the library sometimes. My favorite is The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex. It talks about a wide range of topics related to sex, offers tips on how to make each sex act more enjoyable for both people, and is a super easy and fun read. There’s something in it for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, and sexual preferences.

Keep in mind that the idea of what “good sex” is is different for everyone. Also, you and/or your husband may be into one thing one night and a totally different thing the next. Communication is an ongoing process. Keep talking with each other in different ways and different times. Some of the best discussions happen when you’re not in bed, but offering suggestions and checking in with the other person are also important before, during, and after sex. As a general rule, the more you talk about it, the more comfortable you will be and the better the sex will be.