Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sex::Tech into the future - themes from the morning

Running around with our nerdy heads in the Sex::Tech clouds was the ultimate. However, the one regret that most of us at ISIS have is that we couldn't enjoy everything. However, the sessions that we did all enjoy together, the keynotes, really framed some of the central challenges public health-ers and educators on shoestring budgets are facing.

Day one:
Given the opportunity, youth will tell us what they want. They will tell us what's missing from the prevention messages they receive. Why doesn't public health employ more young people to reach their peers? "Digital natives" know how this stuff works. They are masters of flash, they are widget geniuses, networking gurus and mobile warriors. We should all diversify the age range of our staff.

Day two:
We are a creative group, scrappy fighters, and strategic friend makers. So...we need to make friends with the ad people, the business people, web designers and folks that don't always live in a pile of epi stats. Partnerships outside of government health arenas and outside of education are a great idea.

For more conference takes:
Margaret (ISIS' youth outreach coordinator) wraps things up nicely on the Sex::Tech blog as does our superpal Cory Silverberg in his post of the century on Also spreading the word are SexRev2.0 blogger Regina Lynn, Melissa Gira who live-blogged Marty Klein's popular session for thos who missed it, and Jeremy Fisher, our talented Fresh Focus third place winner.

Phalligator will soon return to regular programming with what's happening in the center of the sex/health/technology Venn diagram.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sex::Tech Mega Success!

ISIS staff is taking the rest of the week off to recoup after an amazing, surprising and wonderfully productive two days.

We want to extend our warmest thanks to all of our participants both in front of and behind the scenes.

We are working on finding the best ways to connect Sex::Tech participants virtually, as well as share thoughts and materials between us so we can continue to work together. We will be sending out follow-up information early next week.

Let's not lose this momentum! With new partnerships, new friends and a budding Sex::Tech community the possibilities for new media's influence on youth sexual health and sexual happiness are endless.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Eighteen Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty

That's right, as of this morning, 18,830 votes have been cast in our Fresh Focus Sex Ed Video Contest.


What else can be said? The amount of time and investment each video maker put in to this contest has consistently floored me and that same dedication is showing in the votes. I want to take a moment and write about one of the ten final contenders.

(I want to state up front that I love all ten finalists and plan on writing about each one individually, and my writing about this video first in no way betrays a personal bias. )

The video is called Sex.Ed.101 by Kalimah Abioto from Virginia (which happens to be my home state, hmmmmm maybe a little personal bias.) The video is quiet and thoughtful. Some of the other videos used a rowdy, jolly humor that kept me giggling. But this one was tuned way down like a low pleasant hum. Abioto uses dialogue sparsely and juxtaposes still images with moving ones in a beautiful way. Check it out:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Vote for your favorite Fresh Focus finalists!

The Fresh Focus Sex-Ed Video Contest finalists have been decided. Now is your chance to vote for your favorites. It's almost impossible to decide. Really...I don't know how anyone could really pick a favorite. have to.

Here's one of my personal favorites that just barely missed the top ten...but it makes me smile every time.


The winning videos that you select will be presented by Nikol from the Midwest Teen Sex Show on Tuesday morning, January 22nd at Sex::Tech. And youth finalists will be on hand to answer questions.

If you haven't already, check out how MTSS rocks Katie Couric.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sex: The Delinquency Antidote

There are few things in the world that get me as excited as the Findings section of Harper's Magazine. Each month, Findings is an amazingly constructed list of segue-less scientific findings taken out of their original context. (I'm typing faster just thinking about it.) In this month's issue they published the following finding and it is really something to chew on:

"children who engage in consensual sex in their early-teen or pre-teen years are less likely to become delinquents than children who are not sexually precocious."
The thing about Harper's Findings is that they don't provide supporting evidence or even footnotes to suggest where this finding came from or even how this conclusion was drawn. And whose to say what is meant by the word 'delinquent' in this sentence, but for the moment I say to hell with proper documentation and supporting arguments (I can feel my English teacher mom cringing.)

Could early understanding and consensual exploration of sex possibly not cause irreparable damage to kids? This is a hopeful thought. I happen to spend a considerable amount of time reading a host of online teen forums concerning sex and sexuality. In these forums you can see that a lot of teens are sexually precocious and curious. Using the submission to our Fresh Focus Video Contest as evidence, teens don't feel that they have been given adequate adult guidance about sex and they are looking for it other places. The Internet is providing places and avenues for teens to connect with each other and ask questions about sex and their bodies with out worry or pressure. At our January 22-23 Sex::Tech Conference we will be discussing ways to make sure that when young people use technology to figure out how to lead sexually healthy lives there will be good, correct easily accessible information there for them.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Greetings on this first day of 2009 - wow, we've gone through a lot over the last 12 months, I truly am looking forward to all this next year has to offer.

To that end I offer you AMPLIFY. Brought to you by the folks at Advocates for Youth, AMPLIFY is their newest foray giving voice to youth on current issues. The power to create CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN is already evident with our President-elect. This new online community is aimed at motivating youth to take a stand, to get involved, to make a difference. Links such as ACT, IN THE CULTURE, ISSUES, CAMPAIGNS, run the gamut from pop culture and media to creating your own grassroots campaign.

For instance, the IN THE CULTURE blogs are written by youth for youth. The blogging is witty and sexy (try doing that while making a point) and above all, informative. The writing didn't jump me, it actually gave me a different point of view to consider, which in my case is hard to do.

Overall, there are maybe too many links and issues, it can almost be so overwhelming you don't know where to start.......kinda like being in the ice-cream store with 31 flavors looking dead atcha and not knowing what to choose. So I say, be daring, sample each, and I am positive you will find something you'll like, and heck, it's sugar free!!

Blessings and abundance for the New Year!