This workshop was designed with female-identified teens in mind. Using material from philosopher Kate Mann, sexual health educator Dr. Emily Nagasaki and the feminist theorist and writer Audre Lorde, Gillian teaches a mix of concepts, principles and data intended to help young women better understand themselves, their bodies, their needs and desires, as well as the cultural scripts and social expectations that get in the way. Through a series of guided writing prompts and problem solving exercises, the young women in the group will be encouraged to understand themselves better and connect more deeply with their own power as wholly complicated, interesting, creative, dynamic people with a right to their own feelings, thoughts, needs and desires. They will also be guided toward finding scripts and moves intended to help them express themselves more authentically and powerfully in intimate scenarios.
The data suggests that teens who are more grounded and self aware, and who posses a relatively healthy self concept, are more likely to make healthier, more empowering choices while exploring their sexual selves. This is a fun, interactive workshop designed to help teenagers get to know themselves and understand the enormous benefits of doing so.
Using the groundbreaking research of professor of psychiatry Dr. Dan Siegel, Gillian will guide students in a brainstorming session about assumptions, stereotypes, myths, misconceptions and facts about teenagers and the teenage brain. All the work here is intended to help teens get to know their brains better at this developmental stage so that they have the knowledge and habits needed to make healthy choices.
A) Unpacking Porn: What is Porn, Really? A Look at Porn as an Industry and a Production
B) How is Internet Porn Impacting the Health and Sexuality of Gen Z Teens?
Research on Internet porn suggests that it can be a much healthier experience for teens if they are equipped with strong porn literacy education. What we know from the data is that Internet porn is really commonly consumed among North American teens, but the education around it is scarce which may cause problems given that adolescent consumption of Internet porn has been found to be associated with poor body image, negative genital self-image, lower sexual satisfaction, unrealistic expectations, more instrumental attitudes about sex (i.e. sex as exercise as opposed to intimate and emotional), more perceived realism and objectification of womens’ bodies, as well as addiction and relationship problems. On the other hand, porn can be instructive, stimulating and interesting for teens keen to explore their sexuality. In these workshops, we’ll unpack porn as a multi-billion dollar industry, investigate how its made, who is implicated, its benefits as well as the ways in which it misleads both adolescents and adults in its messaging and potentially detracts from good, healthy sex and sexual expression.
This workshop was designed to help young people understand and spot the warning signs of unhealthy romantic partner behaviour so that they might make more informed choices about who they develop romantic attachment with. We’ll also talk about safe exit strategies from people and situations that present red flags.
The clitoris is arguably the most poorly understood sex organ. We often see the clitoris as the nub that sits like Little Red Riding Hood inside the vulva above the vaginal opening and urethra. Actually, the clitoris is the shape of a Manta Ray and it projects up into the pelvis and covers the entire pelvic floor. In this workshop, we’ll talk about the science and sensibility of the clitoris to help female-identified teens better understand the Glory Land.
Consent is a hot and important topic that rightly preoccupies the cultural moment given how deeply it affects our personal and professional lives. In this workshop we’ll talk about what consent is, how to ask for it and give it, and when and where. Beyond that, we’ll talk about how to talk about boundaries and pleasure so that teens are equipped for better, healthier sexual expressions and interactions.
Gillian will give teens a short, interactive lecture on the history of calling, dating and hooking up in North America so that they a better sense of dating choices and protocols, as well as historical context for what dating has been like and how it’s changing. We’ll talk about how technological and economic forces are shaping these shifts into what biological anthropologist Helen Fisher calls “slow love.”