‘STIs Aren’t A Consequence: They’re Inevitable.’ (Video)

In a society where abstinence seems to be the only thing covered in many sex education programs, the topic of STIs must be scary and confusing for most high schoolers out there.  And to be honest, it's probably an odd conversation for many of us adults to have with each other. I think the following TEDx talk is great enough and educational enough to be shown in every sex ed classroom out there.  Watch this well spoken young lady, Ella Dawson, discuss her own dealings with herpes.  GASP!  I said herpes!




I’m going to start today by asking you guys to do me a small favor: I would love it if you could raise your hand if you have allergies. [Lots of hands go up] Okay, I can relate. I have a tiny nose so I’m always congested. Okay, thank you.

Second question: I would love it if you could raise your hand if you have herpes. [No hands go up] I see no hands and a lot more confused faces, and that’s what I was expecting. In the time that I have with you today, I want to talk about why it is that it is so socially unacceptable to talk about herpes, despite the fact that almost everyone in this room either has herpes or will encounter it at some point in the next few years. I’ll let that sink in for a sec. – ellacdawson.wordpress.com

What a great opening.  For the entire transcript, head over to ellacdawson.wordpress.com.

I applaud Ella for being so open about something that we laugh about, shy away from, and judge people on.  I just had a herpes discussion the other day and it was of course all negative.  Give me my sign. 

When was the last time you had a herpes talk?  Do you have herpes?


Social media manager by day and sex writer by night, Ella Dawson's work has been published by Women’s Health, Femsplain and on her blog (www.ellacydawson.wordpress.com). She got herpes and just kind of ran with it, professionally speaking. Find her on Twitter as @brosandprose.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedxyoutube.com

3 thoughts on “‘STIs Aren’t A Consequence: They’re Inevitable.’ (Video)”

  1. Struck again by the

    Struck again by the commonality, largely millenial, crass speech. The subject matter is valid and Im glad she's conversing about herpes, as it is very common. But why must everyone, especially in something normally rather classy like TEDx Talks, have to throw in "shit" and the usual words? It's not necessary to make a point, and just lowers everyones crass and nastiness levels. You're speaking in public, recorded and broadcast all over. Show some respect for yourself and others. Use better vocabulary. Lift the class level of society. Shit ins't the new normal.

    • Shit may not be the new

      Shit may not be the new normal, but using common, albeit crass, language does eliminate any air of pretension which helps the speaker be more relatable to her audience. I am wondering why someone so knowledgeable and pious chooses to draw from sources like Ted Talks and Instinct Magazine. You have a problem with crass language but have no issue with supporting a site that boasts articles about topics such as Zac Efron's jockstrap being for sale. Please come down off your high horse, and while you're at it, maybe pick up a grammar book. It's difficult for me to take a post slamming someone's language seriously when their grammar is so atrocious.

      • I think you’re comparing

        I think you're comparing apples and oranges. Just because someone enjoys the pop items on this site does not mean he may not have legitimate opinions on serious matters. 

        Personally, as a teacher I have had to go to more than my share of talks and assemblies, and I don't envy those who have to speak on difficult topics. Forcing, I mean encouraging  kids to read the classics is much easier. That being said, youth is always a bonus when speaking about sex or drugs. The messenger will often be a hit when crass language is used or when they try and relate to the audience, however, the message often  gets lost. A personable manner and solid information presented well usually has better results as far as getting the message across to younger audiences.


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