The Plank

Not Your Mama's Sex Ed

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I just finished watching a bunch of webisodes of "The Midwest Teen Sex Show." (Apologies for being late to the phenom, but I saw the site blurbed in this morning's WaPo "Health" section.) Perhaps I've had too much sugar this afternoon, but the videos struck me as pretty damn entertaining. (My favorite may be "Condoms"--though "Fetishes," "Boobies," and "Vaginas: America's True Heroes" weren't bad either.) Better still, the basic concept seems to have great potential as a resource for sexually embarrassed and/or experimenting adolescents.

The offerings are the kind of sex-ed Sarah Palin and Phyllis Schlafly have nightmares about, and they may be a little wacky--not to mention graphic--even for many non-winger parents. ("The Green Tongue of HPV," for instance, is set at the Abstinence Academy for Slutty Girls and features a fugly old hag who violates co-eds with her giant green tongue.) But this is precisely their appeal. At no point do they seem preachy or clinical or the sort of candy-coated b.s. one would get from your high school guidance counselor or some dorky pamphlet passed out by your gym teacher. That said, some of the videos direct viewers with serious questions to serious sites such as the Centers for Disease Control and the San Francisco Sex-Information Site (sfsi.org). By themselves, these sites seem too dry and earnest to be a hot draw. But maybe combined with the dada approach of MTSS, they could get the curious and/or ignorant some much needed info. 

Sadly, the Post reports that the videos have been "yanked" from MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook. But you can catch them at Koldcast.tv.

Just don't let your spouse catch you watching the "Hookups" episode.   

--Michelle Cottle

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