Sexual Health Week: Bish UK Porn Challenge

At Cliterati, we’re huge fans of Bish. It offers ‘free award winning sex and relationship education for young people’ according to the site blurb, but it’s so much more than that. Safe sex, gender and body issues, relationships and porn are all things that can offer anyone  challenges at any age – and Bish delivers sensible, non-judgemental, sex-positive information in a clear and honest way, to help people navigate the complications that sexual experiences (or indeed, lack thereof) can bring.

Bish is run by Justin Hancock, a qualified youth worker in the UK who has worked with young people for 15 years. He explains, “I’ve been doing young people’s sexual health projects and advice work for 12 years now. I have regular Enhanced CRB checks done on a regular basis. For some reason I also have a law degree, which is completely useless.”

Despite its youth orientation, anyone of any age can learn from Bish as their initiative to support Sexual Health Week shows.

Justin says on the site, “If you’ve read my other posts about porn then you’ll know that although it can be fun and offer great career advice, it: often is not positive about women; usually shows people with young, ‘hot’ bodies; says nothing at all about disability; is a bit confused about who is allowed to have sex with someone (eg men can only have sex with men in ‘gay porn’) and isn’t very good at promoting safer and more consensual sex.”

He continues, “Many porn producers say that this isn’t their job. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But there are loads of porn performers and companies that are trying to do something which is different to mainstream porn (featuring porn with trans and genderqueer stars, bi guys, real bodies, women not looking at the camera, as much focus on the guy’s head as much as his penis…). So think about this stuff for yourself and create some stick character porn. I want you to create a porn scene which

  • Isn’t just hot for straight men
  • Promotes equality (eg women having their say, someone with a disability enjoying sex, bisexual guys, trans or gender queer folks)
  • Demonstrates one of the many ways of having safer sex (condoms or sexy non-entry sex)

Draw it on paper and take a picture on your phone. Or you can design it on a computer if you like.”

Tweet your entries! @bishtraining or post one on his facebook wall

Oh, and if you want to help ensure that young people get the sex ed they need, and you happen to be in the group of people who’s often most ignored during this debate – namely, young people – help tell Bish (and other sex educators) more about your experience by sharing your experience of porn. What do you watch? What positive or negative experiences have you had? Do you feel at risk? Do you want protection and of what kind?

Big decisions are being made about what’s required in sex education at the moment, and the only people who really know what’s needed are those the education is being designed for. Please share what you’re looking at and it will be used to help give you what you really need (oh, and if you’re under 18, or the age of consent in your country, what are you doing looking at Cliterati? Please go to Bish or Scarleteen instead and come back here when you’re older.)

All information submitted to the survey will be treated confidentially and anonymously. It’s being compiled by Clarissa Smith, Feona Attwood and Martin Barker. It’s unlikely that you will know who they are so you can find out about them via this link, which also gives information about their previous work in this area.

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