Dirty Little Secrets: The Flip Side of Denying Girls Pleasure


Cohen also discusses sexting and cybersex in an admirably nuanced manner that forces us to see the sensationalist stories blown up by the media for what they are, and consider the real problem, which "is not necessarily that girls are victims of predatory males. It's that they are victims of very narrow definitions of sexual desirability, and in many ways, sexting is one more way girls wind up viewing sexual behavior as completely removed from their own desire." That said, Cohen also suggests we consider sexting as a safe way to explore sex, that "sexting is not only safe but also keeps kids safer than if they were having real-life sex." And that online resources and positive communities can be a good place for youth to turn for real, frank information when conversations with parents can be embarrassing.

In her final chapters, Cohen provides advice to empower grown women, and suggestions for how to talk to teens about sex, including sexual desire, "outercourse," masturbation, and emotions, all thoughtfully and accessibly written.

Quizzical mama, aka Anne G. Sabo, Ph.D., is a former academic turned public educator, author, speaker, freelance writer, and mama- and sex blogger. LOVE, SEX, AND FAMILY is a resource site she founded devoted to progressive human sexuality information. This piece was originally posted there.

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