Friday, July 31, 2009

Latino Sexuality Links

A blog post is coming soon, I'm just super busy with the New York International Latino Film Festival this weekend. I have a press pass and am going to see three films:

Friday:
JUAN MELENDEZ - 6446 plays with
ESPERANDO MUJERES (WAITING FOR WOMEN)


Saturday:
DOS AMERICAS: THE RECONSTRUCTION OF NEW ORLEANS which plays with: BELOW THE FOLD and PURO DOMINICANO


Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the US Surgeon General under Clinton part 1 who got booted for saying we should talk to youth about masturbation as a form of safe sex (I LOVE her), has advice for the Surgeon General Nominee.

My homegirl Laura sent me this posting called "Hats off to beautiful femmes" by Ivan Coyote which has the quote:

I want to thank you for coming out of the closet. Again and again, over and over, for the rest of your life. At school, at work, at your kid’s daycare, at your brother’s wedding, at the doctor’s office. Thank you for sideswiping their stereotypes.


You can read more about the Las Vegas Porn Museum. Is it true about what stays in Vegas?

Here's my Los Amigos Invisibles review of their latest record: Commercial.

Finally, in my class today we are discussing performance, women's work, gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sex. What better than John Leguizamo's clip from his 1991 Mambo Mouth?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kitten Lopez Full Slice of Pie Holiday!

Kitten Lopez Day Holiday is to remind people what grown women look like: we have FULL slices of pie! So take fotos of your full slice of pie (no pink please) and send them to: Erika@LOPEZISTAS.com or me at Bianca@LOPEZISTAS.com

This from Erika Lopez:



this guy in prison would get girlfriends sending him love letters and naked photos. he sent them on to me. this is my favorite pin up of almost all time. i love her realness, her tiny stomach, her naturalness, her laughing, and her regular nipples unmolested with ice cubes. it's just a friendly, "dear prisoner, i'd really love it if you'd be so kind as to jerk off to my photo. thank you. signed, anonymous girl."

(i covered her eyes because as sweet as they are, i don't want to actually out her online)

she seems so sweet and girly, i feel like a trucker next to her. i feel like sitting her on my lap and telling her i'll pay her mortgage even though i can't pay my own rent. point is, i GET it. i get why guys think with their dicks because suddenly I'M thinking with their dicks, too.

life is so complicated. no PBS science special can explain this to me.

anyhow, anonymous prisoner girlfriend kicks off our first annual KITTEN LOPEZ HOLIDAY EVE. the holiday officially kicks off tomorrow, on Bianca Laureano's birthday (29 July).

This is the time of year when we remind you what grown women look like...

Happy Birthday Beautiful Bianca...



For more about Bianca's work: BiancaLaureano.com


and for more information on LAS LOPEZISTAS, you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or on our LOPEZISTA SITE.

Thank you.

It's My Birthday!

And one of my friends who is an amazing Black female welder is making me some earrings that are inspired by this performance:




My soul will be in tact when her young gifted and Black hands make them for me, cause that's where it's at!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Reminder: My Life IS Perfect

Here's another post from my first blog writings that I began in 2004. This one is a posting that I go back to often when I feel overwhelmed, isolated, sad, defeated. I go right back to that space and I realize that my life is exactly the way I need it to be right now.

Monday, February 26, 2007

did you know my life was perfect?
Current mood: contemplative

did you know my life was perfect? i didn't either. but today one of my students who told me her life was boring and then asked for a heart shaped stress ball i had from valentines day she asked me if i used my stress balls on my desk. (i have 3 one of a heart with a pr flag, another in the shape of a penis with a big smile (it's the healthy penis) and another of as syphilis sore). she said "do you ever use these stress balls" and i said "yes" and she said "i can't ever imagine you stressed out" and i laughed and said "why not" and she said "cause your life is perfect."

and i knew exactly what she meant. i remember being 13 and seeing 29 year old broads and thinking they had all their shit together and how i pined for the kind of freedom and power and independence they had.

my life is perfect for now. it's amazing how 13 year olds can just put things in perspective for us sometimes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Shameless Plugs

Many know that I am originally from Maryland, went to undergrad and grad school there, and lived in DC for a bit (which is all the more reason why I LOVE NYC). Others who have lived in MD/DC/VA know that the DC area is pretty small and we probably are one degree away from everybody else!

In an effort to make one of the illest artists I know (who is also a friend) one degree of separation away from all of you, I give you this video of his past, present and future works that cross geographic boundaries. He's currently in Guatemala and creates murals with the youth they bring from DC and the youth living in the villages they visit. He's also created some of my tattoos.

Meet artist Aniekan Udofia

Sunday Night Common Sense

I've been reading a book that I selected to review for one of the many locations I write for. I selected the anthology Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire edited by Amber Dawn because I've never seen or heard of such an anthology before.

Today's common sense comes from the Introduction of the anthology written by Amber Dawn. I included this sentence in my review as well because it struck me as so true and honest. Dawn discusses how we discuss fear with our peers and how we create spaces that have some level of "safety" for us, and states:

creating safety—from staffing rape crisis centers to organizing queer sex parties—largely remains women’s work” (p. 10).



Yes, yes, yes! This is still women's work!

And I can't leave you without one of my favorite remakes of the Kate Bush song "This Woman's Work" by Maxwell who did not change any of the pronouns!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Week in Latino Sexuality

I'm exhausted! Working five jobs this summer means there will be some months that I just can't get to write a blog post. I'm working on it, trust me. I have 3 blog posts on 3 great topics just in the "saved" mode. They are works in progress. Stay with me. Also, my birthday is in a week, well more like 6 days. Today is when July Leo's get to REPRESENT! Happy Birthday to all the July Leo's.

In the meantime; what do ya'll think of the new Latina vampire on True Blood? She made her premiere this past Sunday!

I'm going to go to 3 films for the New York International Film Festival, will anybody else be there? What films are you thinking of going to see? Do you have thoughts like I do about the lack of female directors on the 100+ film lineup?

Marty Klein has a new post about the sexuality content and themes in books and the reactions/perceptions of these texts by librarians and parents. My favorite quote:

The thing I said that apparently moved the audience most?
The two most important questions to teens are: “Who am I? Am I normal?”
In a healthy person, investigating and answering these questions must involve sexuality. And that sometimes involves arousal. Life is titillating. Teens have their radar up for eroticism; we can’t possibly eliminate it.


If you haven't yet, check out my review of Maxwell's new album: BLACKsummers'night.

Recently published was the Muslim Women Power List that includes 25 leading Muslim women from the UK. (and for those of you wonder, there are Latino Muslims!)

I'm glad to see that my work at the Child Welfare League of America almost 10 years ago is moving along to some extent. A new article addresses how teen pregnancy rates can decrease among teens in foster care (I wonder if they will include teens who identify as lesbian and/or bisexual because they can become pregnant too!)

Sadly, there are reports that the number of deaths among Latinos at work are increasing.


Finally, here are a few clips I'm using in my class when talking of objectification, agency, power, control, and women controlling the gaze. This is one of my favorite films about youth of Color, relationships, sexuality, and dating: Raising Victor Vargas!



I'm also using this clip from Girlfight to discuss the same topics. This film is *SO* powerful on numerous levels. Director Karyn Kusama is coming out with a new film soon! It's been too long that female directors don't get the support and recognition they deserve (take not NYILFF!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

I've reviewed a fabulous book for one of my editors called Vodou Love Magic: A Practical Guide to Love, Sex, and Relationships by Kenaz Filan, which is a book for practitioners and those interested in this belief and value system.

There were incredible quotes from this book and I'd like to share one that I think is so important for many of us.

“By forcing your partner to take responsibility, you are treating him or her like an adult. You are giving the most precious (and most frightening) gift of all—the gift of responsibility and independence, with all that comes with it....you deserved to be loved for yourself, as yourself, and BY yourself."


p. 48-49

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Official

I've joined the team at Anti-Racist Parent to write about sexuality, gender, youth, class, ethnicity, race, and other aspects of our identity. I'm working on a post about the topic of "sexual bullying" and some posts about how our sexuality develops over time, especially with children! The link above is my introduction as a writer, with a brief bio.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Endangered Species

In Thursday's class we will listen to and discuss Dianne Reeves' song "Endangered Species" from her 1993 album Art & Survival. I usually have my homegirl RW visit the class to present as she is an ethnomusicologist. Unfortunately, her schedule didn't allow for her to visit us.

Dianne Reeves is one of the youngest female jazz vocalist to win grammy's. She did the score for the film Goodnight and Goodluck for which her last grammy was won.

Her album Art & Survival is not listed on her website, and it is the only one of her albums that has not been reissued. This album had lots of African influence after her trip throughout the continent. Her song "Endangered Species" brings to light a lot of issues that women of Color encounter, historically and currently.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, here are the lyrics:

I am an endangered species
But I sing no victim's song
I am a woman I am an artist
And I know where my voice belongs

I am a woman I exist
I shake my fist but not my hips
My skin is dark my body is strong
I sign of rebirth no victim's song

I am an endangered species
But I sing no victim's song
I am a woman I am an artist
And I know where my voice belongs

They cut out my sex they bind my feet
Silence my reflex no tongue to speak
I work in the fields I work in the store
I type up the deals and I mop the floors
I am an endangered species
But I sing no victim's song
I am a woman I am an artist
And I know where my voice belongs

My body is fertile I bring life about
Drugs, famine, and war, take them back out
My husband can beat me his right they say
And rape isn't rape you say I like it that way

I am an endangered species
But I sing no victim's song
I am a woman I am an artist
And I know where my voice belongs
I know where my soul belongs
I know where I belong


Here is the song:


I use this to discuss how women's voices are literally and figuratively silenced.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Latina Sexuality in Poems

I've started teaching my class Women, Art & Culture. Today we read our first poem from the book Loose Woman Poems by Sandra Cisneros.

It's funny how some poems come back to you. I've been teaching this class for over five years and always go back to reread them. This poem spoke to me this time around for many different reasons. Often I'm an "outsider" when reading some poems, other times it's as if poems capture exactly what I'm experiencing.

Our first poem is "Perras" which I've provided below:

I can't imagine that goofy white woman
with you. Her pink skin on your dark.
Your tongue on hers. I can't
imagine without laughing.
Who would've thought.

Not her ex-boyfriend--
your good ol' ex-favorite best buddy,
the one you swore was thicker than kin,
blood white brother, friend--
who wants to slit you open like a pig
and i don't blame him.

Isn't it funny.
He acting Mexican.
You acting white.

I can't imagine this woman.
Nor your white ex-wife. Nor any
of those you've hugged and held,
so foreign from the country we shared.

Damn. Where's your respect?
You could've used a little imagination.
Picked someone I didn't know. Or at least,
a bitch more to my liking.

p. 58

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today is Sonia Sotomayor Day

You may watch the hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor (the first Latina nominated to the US Supreme Court). This is history in the making. OUR history. If you have a television, or a computer, you may watch the hearing on CNN.

Here's a PSA created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, sent to me by my homegirl Sofia Quintero, about Sotomayor being appointed to the US Supreme Court.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

Today I'm feeling Dr. Roxanne Shanté, especially for this evening's quote. Here's a quote from my absolutely favorite Roxanne Shanté song Queen Pin:


Untouchable Queen Pin
The most relentless in the business
Making money without men
Sittin', stackin' her riches


Here's the full song:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sexuality, Disability & Teaching

I'm teaching a class at the College of Mount Saint Vincent this summer called Women, Art & Culture. I'm super excited to teach this class again because I get to share and discuss topics I love. Also, I get to have my students interact with dynamic media, and phenomenal women. Guest speaker line up includes: Maegan "La Mamita Mala" Ortiz, Sofia Quintero aka "Black Artemis" and my homegirls from DC who focus on mestizaje identity and women in jazz music.

In researching videos to include in my syllabus, which is interdisciplinary and incorporates intersectional theories, I will be using the following videos throughout the class to highlight the connection of gender, race, age, ethnicity, national origin, disability, citizenship status, sexuality, sexual orientation, and other aspects of our identity. I think it is important to share resources. These three videos will be used in my class. They are created by The Empowered Fe Fes, a group of young women ages 13-24 who "all different kinds of disabilities and come from different racial and ethnic communities."

The first one is called Why The Got To Do Me Like That? Here's what the film is about from the website, Beyond Media, where you can purchase them:
(The Empowered Fe Fes Take On Bullying) was produced in a workshop with the junior group of the Empowered Fe Fes, a project of Access Living in Chicago. In this film, 13 young women with disabilities explore school-based bullying by interviewing people on why bullying happens and how they respond, then acting out common experiences with new solutions. The Empowered Fe Fes demand viewers to consider bullying as a serious issue of discrimination, letting us know that we can work together to both understand the stop the problem.



Why They Gotta Do Me Like That? from Beyondmedia Education on Vimeo.



The next video is called Beyond Disability and is about:
The Empowered Fe Fes (slang for female), a group of young women with disabilities, hit the streets of Chicago on a quest to discover the difference between how they see themselves and how others see them. Their revelations are humorous, thought provoking and surprising. As the young women grapple with issues as diverse as access, education, employment, sexuality and growing up with disabilities, they address their audience with a sense of urgency, as if to say, "I need to tell you so you'll see me differently."


Beyond Disability Trailer from Beyondmedia Education on Vimeo.



This last video is called Doin' It: Sex, Disability & Videotape

The Empowered Fe Fes, a peer group of young women aged 16 to 24 with different disabilities, strike again with their second video production, an insightful investigation into the truths about sex and disability. In the video, the Fe Fes educate themselves about sex from many angles by talking with activists and scholars. The viewer tags along on a date between a woman with a disability and her able-bodied boyfriend, exploring relationship issues of dating with a disability over a candle-lit dinner.

Doin' It: Sex, Disability and Videotape Trailer from Beyondmedia Education on Vimeo.



You may buy all these videos at Beyond Media.

I hope it goes without saying that having a "disability week" in a syllabus is condescending and inappropriate, just like a "lesbian week" or "Latino week" would be.

Here's My Plan:
Currently, I plan to introduce the topic of disability and how it intersects with our multiple identities on the first day of class. Students will complete a social identity profile/matrix and I have assigned a paper around this profile/matrix. My colleagues and disability activists have shared and suggested to me terminology, definitions, and statistics on people living with disabilities in the US especially among women, women of Color, working-class women, and youth. What I have discovered is that when disability is discussed with other aspects of our identity, able-bodied privilege is one of the most surprising privileges many able-bodied students rarely think about. It is often the only privilege that students openly talk about and admit to having (if they do) versus discussions of White privilege, privilege of citizenship, Anglophone privilege etc., which are usually met with more resistance and defense of such privileges.


I plan to use these videos throughout the class, on three different days, and showing them again (as they are all under 1 hour) at other times during the course when my students have learned media literacy skills (I think it's important for students to acquire the skills to then re-watch a film and actually see how their lenses have widened/shifted/become more informed). Usually, when discussing reproductive rights and health, I remind students that it was not just Puerto Rican, Haitian and poor women of Color who have been carelessly used as "guinea pigs" for birth control research in the US, but women with disabilities were included too and are still not protected or given the same rights/choices/agency.

When we discuss violence against women, where we watch NO! The Rape Documentary, I remind students of how women with disabilities are also survivors of assault and rape. When we discuss pornography and watch the Frontline documentary American Porn, we also read Helen Ryles' piece "Pornography" in the book Tales From The Clit: A Female Experience of Pornography, where she shares her experience as a blind and deaf woman reading erotica in Braille. Those are just a few examples of the media I use and how I facilitate a discussion that can utilize intersectional approaches with students.

I hope this post can begin conversations on what we as educators use in our classrooms and with one another. I want to challenge the ideas that we learn the best and most useful knowledge from a "book." Incorporating films, poetry, testimonios, sculpture, cartoons, photography, and TV (to name a few) are what I enjoy included in my classes. What are some other resources you use? Do you have thoughts on using these resources? Please share!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

My maternal grandmother died from Alzheimer's disease. I can see early traces of it in my mother today. When I last saw her in March, it was more apparent. She has yet to see a doctor about that specific issue.

Today as I was watching Waltz with Bashir, the main character went to a friend to discuss a dream/flashback he had upon hearing about another friends haunting dream of war. He thinks his friends dream triggered his memory/dream of war. He does not know if it was real or not. This is how the story begins. Here is what his friend tells him:


Memory is dynamic. It's alive. If some details are missing memory fills the holes with things that never happened...We don't go places where we really don't want to. A human mechanism prevents us from entering dark places. Memory takes us where we need to go.



Where will I let my memory take me? Where will you allow your memory to take you? How is giving into memory a form of freedom? Is the haunting of rememory as frightening as we allow ourselves to remember? Is it more frightening to not recall any of these memories? When an absence of rememory exists, then what? I wonder about all of this.

Latino Sexuality Links

A few links that I'm loving right now:

July 4th and Your Sexual Freedom by Dr. Marty Klein. He reminds us how July 4th celebrations are so much more than "independence" and shows us how it's linked to birth control, porn, and interracial sex!

True Blood's First Latina Vampire Speaks. I like the show, so having a Latina vampire in the mix is something I'll look forward too. You KNOW she'll be rocking red lips!

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
, not that you didn't know this already, but sometimes it's important to have a reminder!

As the economy declines, birth control usage increases, by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

And just because I love Lisa Lisa and think she is a Latina Sex Goddess even today, here's one of my favorite songs eva! I still use this in my classes when I teach. this song is timeless!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Every Little Bit Helps!

Even if it's just $1, maybe $20, it's imperative we bring everyone who is often forgotten to the table to create change! Here's a message from my homegirl Meghan "La Mamita Mala" Ortiz:

In about two weeks la familia Mala (minus poroto) will head to Detroit for the Women’s Media Equity Summit and the Allied Media Conference.

After having attended the Reform Immigration for America Summit with poroto, it became really clear that just having travel money isn’t enough, especially with children. Sales of the SPEAK! cd and a scholarship from the WEC help make the trip possible pero there are table to buy so that we can share our work with you, housing, food, ground transportation.

So please consider making a small gift to one of these amazing mujer media makers (yes, myself included). As independent media makers rooted in activism, justice and amor, much of what we do isn’t compensated so gracias. It is because of you that we are all able to do what we do.

And ps: The AMC is beginning to feel like a spiritual pilgrimage for me, an opportunity to reconnect in the flesh with hermanas whom I love and respect fiercely. Just thinking about seeing Little Light, Cripchick , Fabi, Noemi, BFP, BA, Nadia, Elle, Kameelah, Adele , and Lex makes me get all teary. And the opportunity to share that experience with la Mapu makes me want to weep tears of joy. Ask Adele, the whole way to the airport after last year’s AMC I wept and made her ass weep. ja ja, Nothing like two Ricans overwhelmed by love.

Help us again…thank you

We need to get there.
We have fundraised, asked for grants, compromised, felt energized, asked for days off, gotten free airline tickets, borrowed time, overcharged credit cards and emailed/talked/made plans with friends and strangers across the lines.
And still call us shameless, we ask for more. Y porque no?

please consider donating to these fine, chingona mujeres

Maegan “la Mala” Ortiz, raising chingona mujeres. Sending single mami love
laMamitaMala.com
mamitamala@yahoo.com

Elle, southern sistorian, who I shall meet one day even if we live closer than other folks. Oh we shall share a beer very very soon http://elleabd.blogspot.com
mselleg@aol.com

blackamazon Sydette otherwise known as the bad ass who I love
http://guyaneseterror.blogspot.com
Sydette@gmail.com

Fabiola, fabmexicana who guest blogs here, leaving pedacitos de su corazon. Otra mami soltera de Cali
fabmexicana@gmail.com

Noemi Martinez
spiller of dreams-single mami
hermanaresist.com
csdistro@gmail.com

ms. cripchick
a powerchair-roaring queer radical woman of color
cripchick’s weblog
stacey.milbern@gmail.com

Many of us will be taking part in the Women’s Media Equity
Summit on July 16th.
At the AMC, we’ll be involved in several different caucuses, meetings and generally raising
a ruckus wherever you may find us. And OUR KIDS WILL BE CAUSING ALL SORTS OF MAYHEM AT THE KIDS TRACK AND IN GENERAL. It will be a sight to see. Things will happen. We will write/blog about it.


If you haven't purchased your SPEAK! cd yet you can still do it now!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Maxwell's Back

Maxwell Rivera is back and in full effect! Many folks don't know he is from the Caribbean with a parent from Puerto Rico, which means he has sang in Spanish. I can't think of anything more sexually Latino than Maxwell. Here's what he sounds like when singing in a language other than English:






It's rumored he sings a verse or two in this song, but I have yet to hear it. Maybe one of ya'll can figure it out for me!

Scars, Walks, Friends

I wrote an article for an organization that is near and dear to me: Tamika & Friends, Inc. I was one of a fabulous group of women who co-founded the organization which is dedicated to eliminating cervical cancer through HPV education and prevention.

My current article is called Scars: The Wounds of Warriors & Survivors.

Tamika & Friends is also organizing their 2nd Annual Walk To Beat The Clock in NYC on September 19, 2009. Please consider attending and if you work for an organization or want to get your friends together to walk as a team please do so! I went last year and brought along my homegirl The Cruel Secretary. who wrote about the walk which you can read here. Here's our foto from the walk below:


That's Monika, Ryan, AJ (The Cruel Secretary) and I

And you can see more fotos of the NYC Walk, starting with The Cruel Secretary and I, here. You'll definitely see me there again this year!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How To Become a Sexuality Educator

I’ve had lots of folks as me how they can get into the same field that I am into. The short version, of how I got into this field, is that I took out a bunch of student loans and went to school. I have two master’s degrees, one in Human Sexuality Education and another in Women’s Studies.

If that’s not something you are interested in doing there are several other ways to get into the field. The first thing you need to understand is that you will need lots of training. This is important especially because you will be trained to give people gender-neutral and factual information, facilitate conversations, groups, dialogues, and work with numerous different populations. There are many things I do know about sexuality, and there are many things I don’t know about sexuality. Trainings are a life long experience in this field. Information is always changing and new techniques are being found to work or not work and it’s important that if you are going to commit yourself to the field of sexual science to stay up to date on what is going on in the field.

There are several ways to gain training, some you may have to pay for like me, and others you may be able to get for free, like me. I’ll tell you both ways and you can choose what is best for you.

Before I begin, I want to let folks know that going into the sexual science field as an educator, trainer, instructor, and/or activist does NOT result in a life of fame and wealth. If that is what you want, you may have to go into an entertainment area or medical area of the sexual science field. The latter would require a medical degree of some sort. Just be warned, many of us in this field are not all wealthy, but we love what we do and we are committed.

One of the fastest ways to gain some training for free is to volunteer with an organization. Many reproductive health and HIV education organization and some not-for-profit’s need volunteers on a regular basis. Volunteer opportunities may range from being a front desk person, greeting patients, escorting patients to therapy/medical appointments, paper pushing, web development, group facilitator, after school program, mentor, and the list goes on. Many locations will train you for FREE as long as you commit to a certain amount of time.

Other locations where you can gain valuable counseling experience would be to work/volunteer with a hotline in your area. Many national hotlines are always seeking people to help them manage and answer phone calls. I got some of my best training on pre-and post abortion counseling by working at the National Abortion Federation as a hotline counselor. It is a paid position and the hotline was opened for extended hours. Usually folks have a difficult time staffing those evening hours, especially the “graveyard” shifts of 24-hour hotlines. Before you even get to answer a telephone, you will receive training on how to manage and counsel callers. Usually, when you are ready to take calls, a seasoned counselor will supervise you. This is all part of the training and skills you will develop.

If you choose to pay for training and/or education, look towards your local community college for courses. You can also find certificate programs or continuing education programs at local colleges and universities. You can sign up for such programs and take a certain amount (ranging from 4-24) courses to receive a certification in a particular area of focus. Plus, you can audit a course at a local college or university. I would suggest speaking with a college counselor/advisor and looking into the policies on auditing courses. You will still have to pay for attending the course, but you are not taking tests or having to participate in exams unless you want to because you will not be receiving a grade.

If you are between the ages of 13-24 Scarleteen, a sexuality education website, is offering training to become a peer educator. If you are over the age of 24, it may still be helpful to inquire about participating in the training if you make a donation. It can’t hurt to ask, especially since it looks like this training is going to cover a lot of the basic things folks need to know about, looks like they offer it virtually, and begins soon!

Here is a list of other organizations that may be helpful in finding training and/or attending workshops:

Covenant House NY offers trainings that rarely go over $100. One of the best trainings I took there was in 2007 about US Drug Policy and the War on Drugs.

HRSA (US Dept of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration) provides training nationally. They also provide a list of regional centers where you can search to see what is close to the area you are in (US only).

TARGET stands for Technical Assistance Resources, Guidance, Education & Training The TARGET Center Web site is the central source of technical assistance (TA) and training resources for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The site is the one-stop shop for tapping into the full array of TA and training resources funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB), which administers Ryan White services. HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


International Training & Education Center on HIV


Harm Reduction Coalition
Click on the map to see partner organizations where you can sign up to volunteer and possibly receive free training.

National Sexuality Resource Center provides summer institutes, national trainings, and wonderful blogs by several different contributing writers.

Cicatelli Associates Incorporated is based in NYC and they offer several trainings year-round which range from substance abuse, counseling techniques, HIV/AIDS guidelines, and motivational interviewing. Because they are located in NYC it may be a trip for some of you, however several of the trainings are FREE, so they may be worth a trip if you can make it over! Register EARLY for their trainings as they often become full quickly.

AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) offers several trainings each year as well and for FREE. They are also located in NYC. I would suggest getting on their mailing list so that you can be up to date on what they are offering and when. However, their site does give information on how to obtain training at a national and local level. Here is their current Training Calender.

Folks may laugh at the profession, but we are serious about what we do. We are so serious there are professional organizations, similar to the American Psychological Association and American Medical Association. Many of which doctors in the sexual science field are members. We have the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (ASSECT), the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), and World Association for Sexual Health (formally the World Association of Sexology). That’s just a few, but some of the major few.

I attended the ASSECT conference this year and am attempting to get my certification. Yes I know, over a decade in the field and I’m now just getting this certification. Let me be very clear: you do NOT have to join one of these organizations. They are professional organizations and the benefits of joining them are numerous. However, along with those benefits come hefty membership fees. If you do not make much money to begin with, those fees can limit your participation as it has with me. This year I decided to get my certification and see how it helps me (if at all) and how I can network. I chose to join the National Women’s Studies Association for three years in a row as that was the field I was in for a long period of time and the membership fee was minimal and you received a free annual subscription to the NWSA Journal. For a long time I was a professional feminist. Things change, and I welcome that change.

Now, I’ve had very interesting interactions with folks in leadership positions at AASECT that turned me off to joining the organization in the past, but I know that just because a handful of folks have less than exceptional bedside manners doesn’t mean everybody in the organization does! I’m also planning to attend and presenting two papers at the SSSS conference this year that is in Mexico in an attempt to build community with Latino sexologists (because there is a dearth in the US).

AASECT outlines very clearly what is expected to gain certification as a sexuality educator, counselor, and/or therapist. You can have numerous certifications and you can also have your own practice and services included on their website for people who are searching for providers.

You can also sign up to be just a member and receive the publication they provide. It may also be a good idea to look into the numerous sexuality education and science based literature that is produced monthly. Journals that come to mind immediately include:

-Journal of the History of Sexuality

-Sex Roles

-The Journal of Homosexuality

-The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality

-Sexuality Research and Social Policy

-You may also want to check out the Electronic Journal for Sexuality Studies at The University of Delaware Library suggests.

These are just a few suggestions, I’m sure there are several more! For those of you already in the field or receiving training, please share what you have found useful and ways you have obtained training, certification and any other information that could be helpful. We need more sexuality educators, especially among people of Color and who are committed to working with communities that are under-resourced.