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A simple lesson about gender expression

Posted by Project NEON on February 2, 2015 9:58 AM

Written by Terry for the PEERspective Blog

Welcome ma'am, sir, he, her, genderqueer or pretty near dear. I learned something today and it truly opened my eyes. I learned that no matter how a person looks or acts, their color or size, think before you assign them a label, just a word to the wise. You can spend all day wondering if someone is two spirit or female or gender-fluid or gay, letting all your preconceived ideas about gender stand in your way.

You may feel that identifying an individual unique soul correctly is such an impossible task, but my dear human, when in doubt , just smile, look the person gently in the eye and simply: ask....

Respectfully, compassionately ask...

Project Heavy Petting--The Latest from The Peer Educator Blog

Posted by Project NEON on September 4, 2014 5:24 PM

Project Heavy Petting
By: Robbi

Welcome! First I want to start by asking a question. When you hear HIV/STD/STI Prevention what safer sex options come to mind? ....... Condoms, Dental Dams, Insertive Condoms, Abstinence. Those are the ones that come to my mind. But what about a very, very important option that isn't talked about as much as I believe it should be: Masturbation!

All the years that I've worked in the HIV Prevention field I can't recall when masturbation was talked about as being a safer sex option. It's usually Condoms then Abstinence. But what about that void between condoms and abstinence? Masturbation, go ahead say it, Masturbation! I'll wait a few seconds for you to get all your giggles and laughs out... :-) Ok now on to what I'm calling Project Heavy Petting....

First off what exactly is masturbation? I asked a few of my friends what they thought masturbation was. And it's funny because out of the 5 friends I asked, not one of us came up with the same definition. We spent 3 whole days debating about it LOL. Imagine 5 people sitting at your local coffee shop talking about masturbation. Pretty funny thought huh. Unfortunately none of them would let me use their thoughts on the subject matter, and I respect that but let me tell you they had some pretty gnarly ideas and thoughts about masturbation. Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation may involve hands, fingers, everyday objects, sex toys or a combination. Oh and by the way this definition I got from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So after a lot of researching and thinking and conversing, here is what I came up with as to how and why masturbation is ALSO a safer sex option that just doesn't get enough credit....

Non-Contact Mutual Masturbation: This is in my opinion the 100% safest sex behavior. Non-Contact Mutual Masturbation allows couples to enjoy each other and obtain sexual release as often as they need but without the inconveniences and risks associated with sex. By watching your partner masturbate you will find out the methods he or she uses to please her/him self, allowing each partner to learn exactly how each other likes to be touched (this definition also came from Wikipedia) a sexual act of masturbation in the presence of each other but NOT touching or assisting.

Contact Mutual Masturbation: A sexual act of one person touching another person to masturbate or assist and vice versa. Contact Mutual Masturbation allows you to practice what you've learned about your partner from Non-Contact Masturbation. This also allows the couple to develop a more satisfying sexual relationship and added intimacy and harmony.

So if these acts of masturbation are obviously healthy and overall very safe ways of engaging in sexual activity, why are they not talked about as much as they should be?
Terminology/Slangs: Here are a few names that masturbation is called. Ya'll get ready to laugh... Jerking Off/Jacking Off, Choking The Chicken, Spanking The Monkey, Wanking, Beating Your Meat, Pleasuring Yourself and Visiting Rosey Palm and her 5 Sisters...

Masturbation is a wonderful and beautiful thing that also has several added health benefits.
• Sex and masturbation can lower blood pressure.
• Climax from masturbation can make one feel relaxed and pleasant.
• Masturbation can relieve depression and lead to higher self-esteem.
• Masturbation leads to self-discovery.
• Masturbation can help one sleep better.
• Masturbation can provide pain relief.

Female-bodied persons:
• Masturbation changes conditions in the vagina, cervix and uterus, which can increase the likelihood of conception with sex.
• Masturbation can provide some protection from cervical infections by increasing the acidity of the cervical mucus, and helping to move debris out of the cervix.
• Masturbation may increase fertility during intercourse.

Male-bodied persons:
• Masturbation flushes out old sperm with low motility (ability to move actively) from the genital tract, the next ejaculation will contain more fresh sperm which has a higher chance of conception during intercourse.
• Ejaculation can help relieve swollen blood vessels in the nose, which can in turn help free the airway for better breathing.
• Masturbation and ejaculation both are important for sperm health and motility.

Philosophical arguments, religious views, and stigma in general are primarily the reason masturbation is not glorified as a safe sex behavior in today's generation. From the time I was a child till I was a teenager, my religious parents absolutely frowned upon masturbation. Stating that it was an abomination to god and that "god would rather you plant your seed in the belly of a whore rather than spill it upon the ground" this was the primary reason why I didn't start masturbating till well into my teenage years. But believe you me, masturbation in my opinion is the Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes, while Condoms are the Mary Wilson and Abstinence is the Diana Ross of The Supremes. Probably not a good choice of people to paint a mental picture for you but I hope you get the point. In my opinion Cindy Birdsong didn't get as much credit as she deserved, while Diana and Mary hogged the limelight. In all due respect, the Supremes are the top selling female group of all time and Condoms, Masturbation and Abstinence are the top selling tools to HIV Prevention of all time!!

DID YOU KNOW? A Bit of Useless Information...
• May is Masturbation Month
• Masturbate-a-Thon are global events that provide supportive, and encouraging environment where masturbation can be performed openly among young and old without embarrassment. Masturbate-a-Thons are often charity events that are "intended to encourage people to explore safe sex, talk about masturbation and lift the taboos that still surround the subject.
• A Study done by Readers Digest Magazine showed that 95% of men and 71% of women masturbated at some point in thier lives. 73% of men and 37% of women reported masturbating in the 4 weeks before the study, while 53% of men and 81% of women reported masturbating in the previous seven days...
• Supreme Court of Alabama upheld a state law criminalizing the distribution of sex toys.
• In the city of Charlotte, North Carolina masturbating in public is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Useful Masturbation Support Groups:
Rain City Jacks: http://www.raincityjacks.org/
Center for Sex Positive Culture: http://thecspc.org/

PEERspective # 3: Don't Walk Alone

Posted by Project NEON on August 14, 2013 3:57 PM

Don't Walk Alone!

           

Don't walk alone, after dark on The Hill, especially right now! There has been a tremendous increase in violent gang activity, as well as an increase in hate violence directed at gay men and trans-identified persons---the common factors being that victims are alone, or with a female companion. Make sure you walk with a buddy! No matter how confident you feel, or how at-home this neighborhood has made you feel in the past, remember that it is better to avoid violence than to become a victim of violence; nothing is more precious than your life or safety.

            I grew up on the hill as a street youth and have seen many dark nights that were scary, but walking around last night made me realize that there's no place like home, and that's the safest place for me after dark. I'm not a coward, but I have no desire to become tomorrow's headline or next weeks martyr; nor should you! 

           

If you do walk at night remember these tips:

?        Be aware of surroundings!

?        Unplug your headphones and put away your cellphones.

?        Walk with a buddy or even a small group.

?        Call a cab if you can, or share a ride with a friend.

?        Look for designated SAFE SPACE participating businesses such as The Crypt on 11th or Metro on Broadway.

 

And keep in mind that the police may not be there to help!  Response times are taking longer, and many of these crimes happen very quickly, so it's better to avoid a situation than to wind up in the ER, or worse!

 

REMEMBER, DON'T WALK ALONE!!

 

-anonymous

PEERspective # 2: Trans-youth and Violence

Posted by Project NEON on July 31, 2013 12:24 PM

By Frank B.

          Lost or rejected, on the streets and without a clear voice, many trans-identified youth experience hate. Often easy targets and seldom asking for trouble, knowing that violence will eventually find them, these are just good kids with a tough set of issues that we as adults need to look into what our community can do to protect and empower. Preventing violence is OUR responsibility, as every person has the right to a life free from the fear and expectation of violence. This responsibility is ours as a whole, and routes the typical barriers that divide- age, race, gender, and even social class. This is a pure opportunity to come united, lay down the arms we all too often point at our own, and show in a peaceful fashion our true love and send a message to the world that violence will not figure in the Better Tomorrow.

          This is a voice being raised for voices that can't. Pay attention and start a dialogue: how can we better change our neighbourhood and make a safe place for youth who identify and/or present themselves outside of the traditional gender roles? Violence destroys us all, and no child should ever have to live life in fear or expectation of violence. Open up the conversation SEATTLE, and let's do something to remind once more that violence against women has no place in the future, and that future starts with the kids on the street and a willing commitment on our part as adults to look past boy or girl and see the young person as they see their self, and encourage positive out-look as role models. We should be more willing to accept our own more readily than the rest of society, so why haven't we?

PEERspective #1: Welcome Back!

Posted by Project NEON on April 29, 2013 1:17 PM

Welcome Back! By Frank B.

Welcome Back!! As the world recovers slowly, but surely, this is a good time to take a look in the mirror and see how much you've grown and what a beautiful and changing person you really are.

I don't see someone broken,  unskilled, or lacking in knowledge but someone else could say they do.

"Get up, get a job, get a life," yeah right! Well the country is still recovering from the crash, unemployment is high. Not enough positions available (or even simple jobs to go around) but  there's plenty of work- a great job, in fact!

It pays great and  has long term benefits. You can set your own schedule, and be your own boss. Even if your day is spent at home taking care of life and its demands, or for whatever reason you don't have a "real job" you can still be an asset:

Just try to be a better person today than you were the day before. Be responsible; choose good things- take little, give more. Be honest with yourself, with others.  Speak kindly to the people you know, be polite to those you don't. Be frugal and look for simple ways to be content. Keep in mind the world can see you. I know I can always work to improve on how I look, and when my house is clean it reflects my happiness to others.  Keep your commitments, and respect the rules of society. It's ok to be different, and sometimes to even rub against the grain- but behave yourself.  Catch more flies with honey, the old saying goes....

Yesterday was rough, but it's over- today is tough, but I know tomorrow will be better.... And so will I.  A little better today than I was yesterday and I can see in myself what I see in others- a beautiful person capable of growth, able to change.

 

Welcome Back-1.jpg 

Frank is a Seattle native who grew up on the hill. As an individual who experienced time on the streets including homelessness, he believes in the value and importance of community.

PEERspective: NEON's new blog

Posted by Project NEON on April 29, 2013 1:09 PM

NEON is excited to reveal PEERspective, a blog that gives a voice to guys affected by crystal methamphetamine.

 

PEERspective seeks to change community norms about the use of crystal methamphetamine among gay, bi, and trans men who use crystal. We hope that each entry will help to bridge the gap of understanding between the using and non-using world.

 

Thank you to the guys who submit their stories, and thank you to the guys who read them!

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