Lucia O' Sullivan received funding from The Canadian Institutes for Health Research that funded a project that she described in this article.

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When parents and educators fail you, and peers lack credibility, where else are you to turn? Young people turn to porn to find out how things work, but what they learn is not especially helpful.

Porn provides lessons in exaggerated performance, dominance and self-indulgence. Producers rely heavily on shock value and “freak” to maximize viewer arousal, distorting our understanding of what is typical or common among our peers.

Canada’s rate is 1.41 per cent, far higher than many European countries (such as Italy, Greece, France and Germany) but consistently lower than the United States. These rates are a general metric of youth sexual health and key differences in the socialization and education of young people.

They reflect the extent to which we are willing to provide a range of sexual information and skills to young people.

They may seem self-indulgent to you, but then nobody took on the task of saying, “Sex should be fun, enjoyable and a way to connect.

Let’s talk about how it all works.” Did anyone teach you these lessons?

This project came to be after a former colleague at my university’s health centre told me that many young women complained of pain from vulvar fissures (essentially tearing) from intercourse. They had been having sex without interest, arousal or desire.

The standard of care is to offer lubricant, but she began to ask: Were you aroused? This type of tearing increases a young woman’s risk of STIs, but also alerted my colleague to a more deep-seated issue: Was sex wanted, fun and pleasurable?

They know how to enjoy sex while preventing infections and unwanted pregnancy.