By CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality
Sex positive at our Core
CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality is a youth-led organisation, committed to building a world where all young people can meaningfully and equitably participate in decision-making about their sexual, reproductive and love lives.
CHOICE believes in a positive, nonjudgmental approach towards sexuality. We advocate for bodily autonomy and freedom of choice and expression, supported by access to pleasure-based and queer-inclusive comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). By providing evidence-based information and resources, we hope to foster safer and braver spaces for young people to question, explore, and enjoy sexuality without judgment. We seek to create expansive definitions for how we view pleasure, intimacy, and desire, disrupting the heteronormative, harmful, and oppressive narratives around sexuality. We don’t shy away from controversial or sensitive topics; rather, we bring them to the forefront. We do so to continue advocating for the SRHR of all young people, regardless of their gender identity, or expression, sexual orientation, sex characteristics, socio-economic status, race, religion, age, ability or any other forms of discrimination.
Embodying The Pleasure Principles through our Work Culture & Office Environment
CHOICE is not like any other organization. Not only because we are all young people, but also because sex positivity is not just a value for the work we do, but for the culture we work in too! At CHOICE we live and breathe The Pleasure Principles. It’s the way in which we embrace learning and recognize and respect individual differences and identities. It is the deep feeling of care for each other, which makes the organization a safe haven for all young people in which they can not only be themselves, but also grow as professionals and as people. It is the joy when talking about all matters related to sexuality, and our office filled with vulva art, activist flags and a random purple dildo, Girthy Gary! It’s the pleasure-positive messaging that we stimulate amongst each other, by having a vulva cupcake decorating work-break or gifting vibrators to colleagues for their birthday. It’s the playfulness and creativity that runs through all of our veins. It is the spirit and passion with which every single CHOICEr embraces our vision: A world in which all young people have the power to make decisions about their sexual, reproductive and love lives!
Our Pleasure-Positive Journey So Far
One of our most exciting programmes in recent years was our Youth Champions for Feminist Futures project. This project enabled us to work with activists in Nepal and India who spread sex positive messaging through their community outreach. Under Feminist Futures;
- More than 590 young people participated in trainings, workshops and consultations, in which topics such as menstruation, consent, and sexual education were discussed.
- 45 participants participated in three workshops for young people with a vulva in Nepal, on the theme ‘shame and (sexual) pleasure’
- On social media a total of 8100 people were reached. This raised awareness regarding the issues that young people brought up in the online consultations: think about heteronormativity, problems of and discrimination against LGBTI youth, and online transgressive behavior.
Supporting these activists on issues such as body literacy, pleasure-based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and vulva pleasure was a highlight for 2021, and work CHOICE wants to continue doing. Through Feminist Futures, listening to the testimonies of participants who attended workshops hosted by our Champions, CHOICE’s passion for pleasure-positive work has increased enormously. Hearing about how much a person changed their view of their body when learning about sexual pleasure, or sharing information about consent with their mother after attending a workshop, it highlighted how, when we have body literacy, when we feel comfortable in and talking about our bodies, when we practice consent and setting boundaries, we become closer to living in a world where our bodies exist for us, and not for anybody else. Growing and learning is an inherent part of CHOICE’s ethos, and we want to continue working in the world of sex positivity and pleasure-based approaches.
For more information on our work under Feminist Futures, check out this podcast episode with one of our Champions, Anugya Kunwar!
Additionally, keep an eye out for our social media, where we love to share informative content on our social media covering all topics to do with masturbation, sex toys, pleasure-based CSE and pleasure for people of all sexualities and genders.
Making the CHOICE to commit to The Pleasure Principles
CHOICE has signed on to endorse The Pleasure Principles, which are designed to act as a guide and inspiration to support people and organisations to embark on the journey towards a sex-positive, pleasure-based approach to sexual health.
Some actions we are taking in the near future;
- Include our definition of what it means to be ‘sex-positive’, one of our core organizational values, in our new Multi Annual Strategy 2023-2026, to be released this summer;
- Put a poster of the Pleasure Principles in our office;
- Host an organizational learning session on the Pleasure Principles as part of our organizational; ‘Innovation Thursday’ series;
- Host one communications campaign around the concept of sexual pleasure and inclusivity;
- Produce an episode for our ‘Young & Powerful’ podcast with one of the Pleasure Fellows.
And more to come…
We are excited to continue our work on sex positivity! For more information about our work and commitment to the pleasure principles, please visit our website or follow us on social media, via Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook!