Adult Sexual Education/Yes Means Yes

Adult Sexual Education/Yes Means Yes

The session moderator introduced the topic and explained the ‘yes means yes’ model.  It is an anti-rape model and an alternative to ‘no means no’.  The no means no model implies that not saying no means yes.  The yes means yes model says that only yes means yes, everything else means no.  The emphasis with this model is on mutual consent. 

The yes means yes model takes a humanistic view of sexuality.  Sexuality is a part of humanity. It looks at sexuality in a positive way.

Someone in the group brought up the issue of legality.  It seems that there is a law on the books that says that people with intellectual disabilities cannot consent to sex.

For the sample curriculum of an adult sexual education program several topics were suggested.  They included (see picture):

  • Health and safety
    • Safer sex practices
    • Healthy vs unhealthy relationships
    • What is abuse?
    • Define sexuality;
    • Normalizing sexuality;
    • Physical accommodations (positions) for people with disabilities and partners;
    • How to discuss issues with medical providers;
      • Reproductive health
      • Medical self-advocacy
      • Sexual orientation and gender;
      • Finding partners;
      • Dispelling myths;
      • Assertiveness skills;
      • Address religious and cultural views of sexuality;
      • How to know when you are ready for sex. 

During the session a participant disclosed that he had been raped and sodomized when he was younger and he did not know what to do about it or how to report it.

The group discussed the fact the ‘urges’ are natural and that they don’t go away just because they are ignored.

The group then discussed how to create a model program of adult sexual education that could be used by agencies and other providers.

Most of the participants agreed that there needs to be more training for service providers and much more training for clients/consumers.

One participant said that the lack of an outlet for sexual feelings can lead to frustration which can lead to behavioral and emotional problems.

The group would like to see another “semi-conference” where many of the topics discussed at the un-conference could be discussed more in-depth.

On participant suggested the idea of support groups within the community for people with disabilities in order to facilitate more peer learning.

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