Sex in the News

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Sex being fun

Sex being fun

Doortje Bracken, of IPPF, has written a brilliant article in The Guardian yesterday about the need to talk more about sexual pleasure in sex educations. She kicks off by repeating the astounding fact that is our motto ‘ Sex can be fun’ . Something that often gets lost in promoting safer sex and family planning.conditions for great sexThe article highlights the lack of discussion in most international development forums but highlights that the time is ripe to ensure that ‘ Women’s ability to contribute to their communities and economies depends on empowerment, confidence and equality‘ becomes a key message in the new international development goals after the Millennium Development Goals  finish in 2015.

Then she goes on to highlight how sex can be empowering and ‘It’s about being confident and enjoying our bodies, having fun and not being forced into having sex when we don’t want to; about using education and information to reinforce positive messages about safer sex, so that people of all ages can enjoy it when they feel the time is right.’

Hear Hear !

Kama SutraDoortje highlights The Pleasure Project’s ground breaking role in getting pleasure more accepted as important in the sexual health field (Cheers  D !) and links to our critical Lancet article in 2005 that highlighted our early research in this area. The article also bigs up the work of Indian organisations, such as the Sonagachi  Sex Worker Collective and Institute of International Social Development in Kolkata, in using the safer sex wisdom of the Kama Sutra as highlighted in The Global Mapping of Pleasure.

We are it has to be said, just a little little bit chuffed.

And will be talking about this on a Guardian online chat tomorrow between 12-2pm (GMT). Join us with some fun questions.

Look to  Society Guardian  for the link tomorrow. Here is the ARTICLE AGAIN just in case you missed it.

(Just because we are full of the joy of getting recognition)

Happy People

Happy People



putting the sexy into safer sexLast week we posted news on our facebook fan page and twitter about the amazing news that The Gates Foundation have issued a GRAND challenge to build a better condom. 

WE LOVE IT ! At last after all these years of pleasure propaganda it seems to be paying off. Good Safe Sex is now a subject to be taken seriously by event the Grand Bill Gates and his Foundation.

When we launched The Pleasure Project at at the 2004 AIDS conference in Bangkok, we seemed to be viewed as a mixture of sublime and ridiculous. Some people though it a good idea if a little wacky, others downright dangerous to be stating the obvious.That..

People have sex for PLEASURE.

And that HIV prevention and family planning promoters need to also think about PLEASURE and safer sex.


Over the following 8 years we were the AIDS Conference infidels  urging people to attend sessions called “Pleasure and Safer Sex: Coming together at last” or asking them to send in their fantasies of life at a conference or even ……play with themselves at night time. Urging people who promote HIV prevention to also recognise that sex can be good.

talk yourself

And it finally seems to be paying off last year many listened to our pleasure propaganda including national  US radio and the Huffington Post.

So we do say “Hurrah!” to the Gates Grand Challenge – but with some trepidation – as the call asks for only ‘product changing’ proposals. This is not just a techno fix…We know that the biggest sexual organ is the brain. …

latexThat is a vibrating cock ring feels sexy, why can’t the ring of a female condom ?

Or if a tight fitting latex dress is hot ? Why can’t the slow roll of a condom down a dick feel the same way ?

Latex dresses and condom dresses….

latex 2lady-gaga-condom-snippets

condom dress

Isn’t good safe sex is just a state of mind…..





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Sex has been eradicated from the conference, it’s almost as if it’s an airborne disease”

Okay so when we said that to WAMU radio we were feeling kinda blue and bio-medicalised out. They interviewed us after our satellite session to launch “Everything you ever wanted to know about pleasurable safer sex but were afraid to ask” . Also Facebook closed us out for three days for putting up one of our postcards : so we got a slap on the wrist for that ( free postcard for whoever guesses which one it was ) . Next time we will shut down. I’ll be careful but sign up for our mailing list he and for blog alerts here…

But after initial dismay at the lack of any discussions of condoms, safer sex or just good old fashioned sex in the first couple of days we started to cheer up because of the growing band of pleasure promoters  at aids conferences. We ain’t the single issue solo loonies anymore.


It kicked off with The Pleasure Project Hosted satellite at 7am Tuesday morning ….and people came ! Unbelievable and amazing. We didn’t go easy

on our audience with a sexy safe condom demo (7:05 am ) and then launched the evidence review “everything you ever wanted….”  by posing questions particularly suited to that time of the morning such as ” is sex rational?” ” what is sexual pleasure?” and ” do positive attitudes to sex correspond to positive attitudes to safer sex ? “. Read it for the quick and dirty and more considered answers.

Next up Dr Scott Shelton blew our minds talking about the evidence she has analyzed and how it shows that making your sex education programmes and materials a turn on means people have more safer sex. So not only is it appealing but it works. We knew that but it we needed to see those randomised control trials prove it. See question 15 in the review for more on her research.

Next up was DKT International who last year sold 650 million condoms in 18 countries and  kinda know a thing or two about good safe sex. Chris Purdy and Daniel Marun spoke about how they do this globally  We especially….. Like the moped ad…. You’ll see…..  What we mean about dotted….. Hello Fiesta Ribbed. All those presentations are here with the session description.

Ttitsi Masvaware  from the University of Columbia in New York has been focusing her research on  young southern African women and asking them why they have sex. And hello. They are not just saying that they are forced or raped or trafficked. Despite what most of the development literature tells you. They schedule it in. They want pleasure. As she said ” she told me that she had him....” read her talk Masvawure TB Pleasure Project Satellite IAS 2012 copy and see question 2 for more on her brilliant research that shows young women can be  ‘active lust seekers”.

And lastly but not least and the best titled talk at the conference by Professor Gary Dowsett and socked  it to us with the ‘choreography of sex’, the improvisation in sex, the messiness of sex, the skills of sex , the joy of it and all of it they we don’t usually hear at AIDS conferences…read it here Dowsett presentation

The questions afterwards were great with some  criticism of the images used to sexy up safer sex (more on that later because it deserves it own blog)

But what has been phenomenal is the number of other sessions at this conference on pleasure. We are normally the pleasure cultists, not any more.
The American health care foundation had a “making safer sex sexy” satilite where we heard on their campaign to get condoms into porn . We loved the presentation by from NYC condoms and their health department.  “ NYC will be awash with condoms and it’s river will run with lube” on how to saturate your city with condoms (and an app to find them whenever you need em!) and the chair thrilled us with her description of how she put her knowledge of cherry stem rolling in mouth to special use these days with a condom.

Other pleasure awards go to the IPPF youth group for their pleasure session on Thursday and keeping the pleasure flag flying with happy healthy ‘n’ hot. Some great questions and conversations “ how can you learn to flirt ? ” let’s remind ourselves that 48 % of new infections are in young people under 25 currently and we need to talk about safer sex and sexual skills for young people ALOT MORE . And another gripe there are just not enough of them at conferences presenting, sharing experiences and keeping the rest of us a bit more real. IPPF thrilled us with another condom controversy session on Sunday (with us and DKT) interjecting on erotic condoms which was standing room only. Go IPPF . You rock.

And another session I attended in the global village had interesting ways to start the pleasure conversation in the transgender community in Thailand. What I loved was that they did a pretend telephone call, as if a client was calling in and showed how they bring pleasurable safer sex into the conversation and talk anatomy and other sexy bits. How many chairs of sessions are brave enough to do that and lovely to see practical and tactical sex education at play.

So that’s a pleasure round up for now and it tales us up to Thursday at AIDS 2012 (there is more my active pleasure seekers)  and I have not even got to female condoms, the unsung hero of sexual health and some more pleasure awards he at aids 2012 .

You’ll just have to enjoy the delayed gratification…

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Dear Pleasure Seekers, here is our round up of in 2011. Let us know if we missed anything…Happy New Year, The Pleasure Project xx

January – Sexy Texts

So we started off bright and breezy in the new and interviewed many authors at Jaipur Literature festival on why there is just not enough good safe sex in the texts and how to write “that condom” moment.  We loved what Candice Bushnall, Jerry Pinto and Abha Dawesar had to say.

And how we also thought about how we need to get more good safe sex into Indian Pulp Fiction.

February – Crown Jewel Condoms

We were most pleased that sexuality and pleasure got a mention at an important UK Department for International Development event when Professor Lawrence Haddad, from IDS, spoke about our work and the need to include and address romance to deliver better sexual health programmes.

We finished off the month getting outraged because we loved the launch of “Crown Jewel Condoms” with the strap line “Truly a King amongst Condoms” in time for the UK Royal Wedding. But excitement turned to outrage when we realised that they did not actually work. I suppose we are meant to just put them on our mantelpiece and admire them?

March – Can Public Health learn from Porn?

The fabulous Tehelka magazine quoted us in March, right chuffed we were, because we told them that the Pill needs to ne sexed up and the health world needs to learn more from the Porn world.

Alongside having that rant we also had a go on the UK Guardian website about how pleasure and development should not be strangers.We said that development professionals needed to look beyond all the negative consequences of poverty or poor people as always victims; to see a possible positive vision of good sex, as empowering, raising of self esteem and joyful.

April – A festival on the art of lust

April was our art ‘n’ crafts month. We went to an exhibition that showed us what orgasms looked like and we featured in an Indian Express article about using the arts to promote good safe sex.

And we got lucky. Really lucky. Traveled to Sydney to learn all at the festival for the art of lust t. It was certainly mind-blowing and the bits that we could comfortable blog about, we did; ethical sluthood, naked yoga, play fighting and a novice orgy workshop.  We were exploring lusty safe sex on the frontline of lust; and it wasn’t like the usual sexual health conferences we attend. Oh no sir ree.

May – We came, we read we shared our pleasure

We were full of the joys of spring celebrating national wanking month and whilst we were at it (conveniently) also learnt LOTS more about what Delhiites fantasise about.

We organised a “Share your Pleasure” fantasy evening in the wonderful many many cold fantasies including;   cool garden sprinklers, cold showers, BDSM in a chillyJacuzzi but there were also a few tasty surprises (Cheeki Dilli, Cheeki Dilli).

Delhiites also fantasised about “men in top hats, making names in jam on bellies and clits, the falling petals of the jacaranda tree”  and last and not least (surprise surprise) some mutual self arousal in a dark small bookstore in Haus Kaus village !

Hurrah for sharing our fantasies and expanding the global fantasy bank for us all to enjoy. Let more hot Delhi fantasies rain on us cooly this summer.

June – diging deeper into delhi’s fantasies

We got a little deeper into the fantasies of Haus Kaus Village in steamy June. We collected 150 fantasies during the Haus Kaus Village event, and man, were they hot.  We thought the Delhi heat might knock back the collective libido a little; but we were wrong.

Oh Delhi, you are a sexy, kinki, imaginative bunch. We ranked your fantasies according to popularity and there are a few surprises I can tell you. Read them here. Our personal favorite (today) is the “salt touched breast” of the mermaid lover and whose tail you would “love every fishy scale”.

We were also quite chuffed to get our sexy article published in a quite serious posh journal. Read about how we think there should be more pillow talk between academics and porn film makers here.

July- orgasm prizes, play doh porn and ethical condoms

In July our wonderful pleasure propagandist Arushi braved the weather of Glasgow to report back from the frontline of the World Sexual Health Congress and did she find out stuff.

Wowzer.  Did we learn. We learnt that orgasms should be part of the journey not the station we get off at (well we kind of knew that already) , we heard about soggy saos, play doh porn and if we are the high desire or low desire partners in our bedrooms.

We also loved the new ethical condoms and decided to wrap with care and save the polar bear…

August – desperately seeking pleasure in Korea

Another brave pleasure propagandist ventured forth to report back from the AIDS conference in Busan, Korea. Revati found little pleasure we are sad to report. Although she reported later on a couple of brave souls who mentioned the need to recognise pleasure in sex in HIV prevention.

But we consoled ourselves by discovering that men who wank more also use condoms more. Another plus point for the boy wankers then.

September – Condom use still a distant dream in porn

On we got on our old hobby horse again this month, safer sex in porn….but then got onto that tricky ride bareback sex.

How to replace the intimacy of it with something that feels equally as exciting and as intimate. And we loved the creative ideas you pleasure propagandists had. Keep them coming.

October – demos in London (sexy female condom ones)

On a quick trip to London we loved talking at the offices, in the very funky Shoreditch, of Plan International and Interact Worldwide, two international NGOs. We loved them and they kind of liked the pleasure approach and want to include it in their work internationally.  Sadly, but coincidently, that week a big news story in the UK was how dissatisfied young people were with the sex education they get.

November – Coffee flavoured condoms

On my goodness in November we got really busy, we rocked for the Right to Romance whomsoever we wanted whilst also reminding those who attended this brilliant concert that followed Queer Pride that playing with themselves was their right.

But we also popped over to Ethiopia and savoured the delights of condom flavoured condoms.

December – ranting again about group lust fests

We finished the year by having a good old rant in Man’s World Magazine about group lust fests, porn and pleasure.  The usual stuff.

We finished the year with a tirade about women loving sex.

So there.

Happy New Year to all your pleasure seekers out there.

Keep safe and see you in 2012.



We got some great coverage in Man’s World Magazine  in India. Read is here and see if you can spot a mention of your fantasy (or pick up a new one).

The link to The Pleasure Project in a Mansworld

And then read the unedited version here at Manavi’s blog where she talks about attending our Delhi fantasy evening and me rambling on about  women, guilt and pleasure, group lust fests without the sex and access to porn in India.

Never a dull moment at The Pleasure Project.

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It’s now proven jerking off is not bad for you and it’s even not only okay for you  – but it’s positively good for your health.   The Pleasure Project has been pushing the art of touching yourself as  safe good sex for a while. Now a recent study have shown that boys who report being regular wankers are more likely to use a condom when they have sex.

The study published in this month’s  “Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine” interviewed a small, but cross sectional sample of American young people and has many findings that would not surprise any of us pleasure seekers.

Across all ages young men admitted to wanking more than women , 74% of men to 41% women ( come on girls start admitting to your own self worship.)  Masturbation increased with age and in men the five knuckle shuffle was associated with condom use, but in women it was not.

We Pleasure Propagandists posit that this might be because those young men love touching their members and know just how to roll a condom on in a sexy way and are, lets face it, more comfortable with themselves and therefore better lovers. What’s your theory ?

The authors conclude that “Health care providers should recognize that many teens masturbate and discuss masturbation with patients because masturbation is integral to normal sexual development”.

Um yeh… it’s great that masturbation is being seen as “normal” by the medical world and fantastic that an association between wanking and condom use in young men has been discovered.

Just a shame that it’s taken so long.

Whats your theory – why do wanking men use condoms more ?

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