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.