Hey Pleasure Explorers!
As some of you may know, it was World Population Day on July 11th. To mark the day, the All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) on Population, Development and Reproductive Health [ i.e. very important people] held their annual World Population Day reception co-hosted with IPPF . It was a remarkable evening event with the Baroness Jenny Tonge (Chair of UK APPG on PDRH) chairing the event and a speaker line -up including the Rt Hon. Nick Hurd MP, Tewodros Melesse (Dir. General of IPPF), Dr. Lama Mouakea (Exec. Dir. of Syrian FP Association – SFPA), and Dr. Volker Sydow (Global Dir. of Sexual Wellbeing for Durex). Interesting combination. And it was all held just by the Thames..
Introductions by Baroness Tonge
What was the take home from the event? Well, more now than ever it is important that we engage and advocate for youths, particularly girls, to have access to sexuality education and sex reproductive health services since they make up more than 50% of the world’s population. HIV also remains the 2nd biggest disease burden for young girls in sub-Saharan Africa, which, as we know, has long term impacts on their health, capacity to be active members of their community and general economy, and the wellness of their families.
Dr. Mouakea from SFPA reminded us that just because there is a war in Syria, does not mean that people stop having sex and it is any less important to deliver services. She said, “Ensuring people still in the country are getting FP services cause we know that it save lives.” She recounted some stories from the ground that we don’t get to hear in the media and reminded us just how much sex and sexual health are still an issue and should not get ignored or lost in war and its politics.
Dr. Lama Mouakea, Executive Director, the Syrian Family Planning Association
In introducing Dr. Volker Sydow from Durex, Baroness Jenny Tonge recounted a story from when she was a nurse in training and had visited a Durex condom factory by saying, “It is better than visiting Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.”
Dr. Volker Sydow, Global Director, Sexual Wellbeing, Durex
Dr. Sydow reminded us that though being a private corporate company, Durex sees their responsibility to support safe sex worldwide as 14 billion sex acts are not protected each day [that seems ALOT did we hear that right pleasure explorers, thats a lot of sex] . As he said, Durex sees that ensuring safe sex helps to “Empower young women and girls to live sexual and positive lives.” He also said how important it is to talk to youths and get them to create the messaging with global expertise in SRH.
The Pleasure Project was there to schmooze with the big wigs from IPPF, Durex, Marie Stopes, SFPA, Plan and all the other top notch SRH global players that were in attendance, and advocate for a pleasure-approach when talking sex health. This is particularly true since the take-home message of the event was that sex and health are tightly bound and young people, particularly girls, need to be targeted for sex education and SRH services.
As Dr. Sydow from Durex said, “Young people will be much more likely able to benefit from safe sex.” And, we agree! So, what better way to get the young to practice safe sex than by talking about it with them the way they do when they’re talking about it with their friends or swapping stories on a sexy music video or porn clip they had seen?
Let’s start making safe sex sexy!