I am fortunate to live in Toronto, one of North America’s most progressive cities which embrace LGBTQ culture. In June, the city truly comes alive with the celebration of Pride Month. Everywhere is awash in colour and the city is abuzz with an electric energy and excitement, culminating at the end of the month with the annual Pride Parade. There is no bombastic celebration this year, due to COVID-19, so I’m left to reflect on my previous experiences at Pride; one such observation from last year’s festivities runs contrary to Pride’s message of inclusivity and acceptance.
The stigma that surrounds periods is still alive in society, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Cishet men are still making jokes about people on their periods or thinking it’s ‘disgusting’, and folks who have periods are more likely to hide their menstrual products than to openly hold them out in their hands. This is especially true in public settings like high school, college/university and work. What makes this stigma worse is folks with periods shaming others for using pads rather than tampons or even a DivaCup.
It’s 2020 and we’re still fighting for mainstream media to ditch slut-shaming. There are issues with commercialising queerness and feminism just to sell us capitalist-wrapped products rather than empowering ideas. However, in a cisheteropatriarchy it’s still refreshing to see adverts that are sex-positive! And I’m not saying that I’m a fan of sex-positive feminism that makes people a little bit uncomfortable… but I am, and I think some of these ads will do so.
I wasn’t the only person to marathon Season 2 of Sex Education as soon as it dropped on Netflix. From open discussion about unsolicited dicks to embracing ugly come faces, it was absolutely worth the wait. However, while there are lots that it got very, very right, there are some moments where it slightly missed the mark.
Where do you buy your lube? It’s 2020: you can pick up a good water-based lube – along with condoms and sex toys – in your local supermarket or pharmacy.