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Arushi Singh, ace Pleasure Propagandist based in Delhi and Goa, spent June in the sunny climes of Glasgow learning all there could be about good safe sex. Here is her first report home.

Ever heard of a soggy sao?

This Pleasure Propagandist got to go to a sexology conference for the first time and boy was it an incredible experience! The 20th World Congress for Sexual Health  in Glasgow, was jam-packed with sexologists, sex and relationship therapists and sex educators.

I found a sex education specialist who could well feature in the third edition of The Pleasure Project’s “The Global Mapping of Pleasure”. Dr. Lorel Mayberry runs a 14-week Sexology elective at the Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia. I was lucky enough to participate in a two-hour workshop by her where she took us through some of the teaching methods she uses with young people. One of these being the ‘Saucy Sexy Scale’.

A scale that helps people understand which sexual acts are high risk, low risk or no risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. It does this in the sauciest way possible – with pictures!

Now before I describe the scale to you, the story of how it was developed must be told. A group of ‘at-risk’ young people from a Brisbane Youth Centre got a $1000 grant. They spent $990 on food and alcohol and $10 on Play-Doh. Do you know how many sexual positions you can create with Play-Doh?! That’s what they did – they used the Play-Doh to make little, colourful people in all kinds of sexy positions, including golden showers and a soggy sao ! A friend of theirs took photographs of each position and voila! They had postcards, each with a saucy sexy act on it with the Play-Doh figures getting it on and the description written behind. So you get to discuss each of the positions and sex acts, learn about new ones you never knew of and place them on a scale from no, low, medium to high risk – so you know how to be safe too.

Play Doh will never look the same to me . Maybe they inspired this play doh porn – looks pretty safe to us..

Arushi Singh, Pleasure Propagandist based in Delhi and Goa, India has been working with The Pleasure Project for the past few years in a number of ways, training young people to sexy up their sex education in the UK, doing pleasure body mapping at the Bali Global AIDS conference and encouraging all to draw on our Great Wall of Vagina in Delhi. She attended the World Association of Sexual Health in Glasgow and we asked her to write about it for us…..more coming later this week

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A UK  hospital has been exposed for renting out wards to make extra cash – by shooting a porn film in a hospital ward – lets hope is was safer sex….. it seems no-one is asking THAT question in the Houses of Parliament.

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If you don't love yourself how can you let other people love you ?We at The Pleasure Project would like to congratulate Extremadura region in Spain for a truly brilliant, rational and imminently sensible education programme to improve self pleasuring in the region. Masturbation is safe, makes you feel good – and lets you know what you like – also everyone does it or at last thinks about doing it. And yet it is conspicuously absent in any kind of sex education for young people. By not talking about wanking – we stop young people knowing about a great safer sex method. After all if you don’t love yourself how can you let other people love you ?

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Betty_PageI’ve come to the 4th Berlin Porn Festival to talk about safer sex and learn more about the porn industry.

One major lesson I have learnt is that air sex is a much under-rated method of safer sex. Last night I attended the festival party – I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was not exactly it – however the highlight of the evening for me was the “air sex” competition. Basically, it’s like air guitar but with sex. Air sex allows you to totally use your imagination, act out fantasies and be an exhibitionist – with all your clothes on and with an appreciative audience watching.

The outright winner for me, and luckily for the jury also, was a man billed as Long John Silver (the jury was ably led by Courtney Trouble who always makes safer sex films, and who is more than qualified to judge the quality of the air sex). When he got on stage I did not expect much – frankly he looked kinda geeky and smartly dressed in contrast to the other contenders. But he stunned us as he gyrated to Johny Cash.

He was amazing and had the audience in the palm of his hand. The only way to have made it safer was if he had put on an imaginary condom before indulging in his extensive air sex performance. Air sex is a whole new range of safer sex possibilities I had never considered before… but will certainly consider again!

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The media has given some attention this week to a new report from the UK’s NHS that shows condoms becoming more popular (for instance, The Times and The Daily Mail). I must say, the report contains a wealth of information. But it’s also kind of strange. Let’s first look at the pill/condom issue:

Percent using pill or condom

Source: Opinions Survey Report No. 41 Contraception and Sexual Heath, 2008/09

So, there has been an increase in the popularity of condoms, but for most groups, they are still less popular than the pill. The report doesn’t offer any suggestions about why the 30-34-year-olds have a seemingly high rate of pill use, nor on why the 40-44-year-olds have a low rate. Nor does it tell us if those differences are statistically significant. In fact, I couldn’t find any information about how many people composed each age group… so I have my doubts.

Anyhow, there were other interesting contradictions that the media didn’t pick up on. For instance:

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Recently, I found myself in Riga attending a EuroNGOs meeting, discussing “Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Times of Economic Crisis.” As the title makes it sound, it was by and large a pretty serious meeting, with a focus on making economic arguments for the kind of work we do.

But, knowing the people working in this field, we can’t be all work and no play. So they arranged a dinner for the conference participants – an opportunity for us to experience Latvian hospitality. All was proceeding as expected for most of the meal – we ate too much food, sampled delicious Latvian beer, enjoyed pleasant conversations. But then, out comes a group of Latvian dancers and musicians. While we unfortunately do not have video of Wendy’s folk dancing performance, another interesting feature of Latvian society was documented:

Latvian_phallusThis lovely creation (that’s two onions and a carrot…) was apparently used in the bawdy fertility songs in Latvia’s more pagan times. It was supposed to come with a string, enabling the user to “strap it on” (see me demonstrating, after the jump).

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