How to Talk about "Being Horny": Answering Difficult Questions

How to Talk about

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
June 7, 2017

I received a question from a reader this month about how to answer the question “Why are guys always so horny?” – or just generally how to talk about the cultural context of “being horny.” She remembered being confused as a teen because it seemed to have a bigger meaning than just “desiring sex”, but what was it that everyone was talking about?

The Right Time: Answering Difficult Questions

The Right Time: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
May 11, 2017

At a training a few weeks ago, our Executive Director told us a story from early in her teaching career. A student, viewing her as a trusted adult, approached her with a difficult question: “My boyfriend wants to have sex, but I’m not sure yet. Should I have sex with him?” She shared with us that, as a theater teacher and young professional, she didn’t have the skills to answer the question the way she would now. She nervously just said “No,” thinking that’s what the student’s parents would have wanted her to hear. And with that, the conversation ended.

The Right Thing to Say: Answering Difficult Questions

The Right Thing to Say: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
April 13, 2017

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2017, all of Colorado Youth Matter's blogs in the month of April will be focused on issues surrounding sexual assault, including personal stories and insights from our staff. In this week's blog, Ruthie Kolb addresses how to answer questions from students and youth about sexual assault. 

CONTENT WARNING: This blog discusses sexual assault and rape. 

Gender Inclusivity: Answering Difficult Questions

Gender Inclusivity: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
March 9, 2017

Our student question for this month is: 

“Can a person who is transgender still have babies?”

Students are curious about LGBTQIA-related issues. There is nothing unusual or shocking about the questions we hear from youth. They may have very few venues that allow them to ask honest questions and get respectful responses.

For many educators, however, teaching about sexuality isn’t something we had modeled for us in our youth, let alone the training to comfortably teach about sexual orientation and gender identity. At first glance, we can find ourselves tongue-tied and stumped.

Sexting Distress: Answering Difficult Questions

Sexting Distress: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
February 9, 2017 

Millennials aren’t getting a lot of love these days. Between being blamed for the downfall of everything from relationships to golf, they also get criticized for being lazy, entitled, and apathetic. This isn’t anything new; every generation is sure that “kids these days” are ruining society with their irresponsible and immature behavior.

What is new, however, is the age of the smartphone. Almost every young person today has constant access to the Internet, to their friends - and to their romantic flames. Combine older generations’ determination to criticize youth, their anxiety of technology, and the terror of young people having sex, and voila: sexting creates a perfect storm of moral panic.

Talking about Abortion: Answering Difficult Questions

Talking about Abortion: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
January 12, 2017

In last month's TRUST blog, I discussed how to talk to young people about reproductive rights in the age of Trump

In the month since that blog, the political climate has been further revealed to us, including a bill in the House that promises to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. This is a strong statement about the intent of the incoming administration to make rapid changes to Americans’ access to reproductive health services.

Tough Questions in the Age of Trump: Answering Difficult Questions

Tough Questions in the Age of Trump: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
December 8, 2016

Recently, many educators and other caring adults have approached me with their concerns regarding talking with young people about access to reproductive health services. In light of the country's current political changes, people are worried how youth rights to reproductive and sexual health care may be affected. So this week, I am going to address a difficult question you might face considering the political concerns behind it:

Teaching Pleasure in Sex Ed: Answering Difficult Questions

Teaching Pleasure in Sex Ed: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
November 10, 2016

Have you read Jessica and Holly's recent blog on talking about pleasure in sex ed? They did an awesome job. If you haven't read it yet, it's worth it.

While they covered very compelling arguments, as educators sometimes when you're standing in front of a classroom it doesn't seem very possible. You might think, "I want to prevent sexual violence and help young people find their own healthy view of sexuality, but these are other peoples' children. I don't want to introduce them to anything. I don't want to shock them or overstep my boundaries." Those are real fears for an educator. You are the one who has parents at your door at the end of the day.

5 reasons youth need Trusted Adults

5 reasons youth need Trusted Adults

By Blaire Ward, Evaluation Coordinator 
September 22, 2016

What does it mean to be a Trusted Adult? It’s easy: it means that the youth in your life feel comfortable approaching you with personal problems, difficult or uncomfortable questions, and overall feel safe and respected in their relationship with you. It also means that you as an adult feel confident and comfortable approaching the young people in your life about sensitive situations and issues.

Becoming a Trusted Adult takes time and patience; after all, trust has to be earned, and can be easily broken. But recent data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey shows that the time and patience required to become a Trusted Adult is well worth it. 

Trusted vs. Askable: Answering Difficult Questions

Trusted vs. Askable: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
October 13, 2016

Raising The Bar is less than 24 hours away! And with Raising The Bar in mind, I am taking a break from our regularly-scheduled programming this month to talk about why I am writing this monthly blog about answering questions from youth. A few weeks ago in our TRUST series,  Blaire explained 5 reasons youth need Trusted Adults – But why “trusted” adults instead of “askable” adults? Who can be a Trusted Adult? And what exactly does it look like to be a Trusted Adult?

Virginity is a Tricky Subject: Answering Difficult Questions

Virginity is a Tricky Subject: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
September 8, 2016 

If I had oral sex, am I still a virgin? 

We receive SO MANY questions from youth about virginity. What exactly makes a person a virgin? When does a person lose their virginity? Is it tampons, hands, oral, vaginal, anal? Which one counts? Which one is "The Moment" everyone is talking about? 

This is the Start of Something Beautiful: Answering Difficult Questions

This is the Start of Something Beautiful: Answering Difficult Questions

By Ruthie Kolb, Training Manager
August 11, 2016

“Can I keep you in my pocket for when my students ask a REALLY difficult question?” That question, folks, is the #1 comment I receive from our trainings. And I understand it. It’s a real concern. It’s a question about that panic that you feel when you think, “What if a student asks such a doozy of a question that I couldn’t even begin to anticipate if I wanted to?” And you can picture the scene: your face feels like it’s on fire, and your words get twisted around in your mouth, and you say something that will have parents knocking down your door, and OMG, by tomorrow you will have no job.It’s over.

It doesn’t actually happen like that, but it sometimes feels like it will, right?

Copyright © 2015 Colorado Youth Matter

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