Stop what you’re doing right now and go listen to Radio Lab’s recent 3 part series “In the No” (here’s the link to episode 1. Beware, strong language and some graphic detail about sex). Not often does something leave me speechless. This did. I still am thinking about this weeks after hearing it for the first time. Some aspects made my skin crawl. Some aspects made me question everything I thought I knew about consent.
The year 2017 gave rise to a powerful new movement, the “#metoo” movement. Decades of sexual harassment, abuse, trauma and exploitation are being uncovered and a global reckoning has emerged. It is a thrilling and important cultural revolution that we are witnessing—the discussions and consequences surrounding sexual harassment and abuse of power have been long overdue. In the midst of stories of sexual violence allegedly (as few have gone through judicial system other than the court of public opinion) perpetrated by high profile public figures (Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Kevin Spacey to name a few), there have also been a few stories profiled in popular media which blur the lines between sexual assault and poor communication regarding consent.
“I don’t need to be tested for STDs, I only date other girls,” is a statement I hear at least once a week in clinic from an adolescent or young adult female. There are lots of statistics, clinical practice guidelines, and overall medical attention surrounding health consequences of men who have sex with men, but what about these patients? Don’t the ladies deserve some attention?
Twenty years ago, it was difficult to avoid information about HIV and AIDS as it was making headlines as a deadly disease passed through sexual activity and shared needle drug use. Today, in many parts of the country young people may only hear about HIV briefly in a school education class or occasional discussion with their parents or doctor. Though many new and easier ways to prevent and to treat HIV infection have been identified, there is still NO cure for HIV. A person with HIV infection still lives with a chronic disease that requires ongoing medication and medical care in order to stay healthy. It is important for everyone to know that HIV still exists and is continuing to infect young people.
We’ve had several blogs about female sexual health issues, so here’s a blog dedicated to the dudes.
One of the most common male sexual health concerns I get from adolescent and young adult male patients is about erections. In early puberty, it is common for young males to have spontaneous erections and nocturnal emissions (“wet dreams”). My young teen patients often ask about this. It’s totally normal and healthy. In order to have an erection, your brain/hormones, circulatory system (veins, arteries, etc), and parasympathetic nervous system have to work together. As the teens get older, the concerns turn away from the embarrassment of the quantity of spontaneous erections and more towards the quality of erections.