Did your parents sit you down at the kitchen table when you were younger to talk about the “Birds and the Bees?” You’re not alone. It can be awkward to talk about sex, but one podcast started by a University of Miami professor is here to destigmatize the subject and dish out some much needed advice.
Marketing wisdom tells us that “sex sells,” so why is it that so many school systems lack a comprehensive, inclusive sex education? The consequence is having tens of millions of young adults interested in sex, yet misinformed and misguided about it. University of Miami professor and passionate sex educator Dr. Andrew Porter has stepped up to help fill this void by starting “The Sex Wrap,” a no-holds-barred podcast that is just as entertaining as it is informative.
“We’re in a world where everything is sexualized, and then the one thing that we’re not supposed to talk about is sex,” said Dr. Porter, assistant professor of public health in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. In the United States, sexual health education is often not accessible or incomplete due to funding cuts, abstinence-based education and heteronormativity, leaving many students with misconceptions and misunderstandings. “The Sex Wrap,” which Dr. Porter runs with co-host Dr. Spring Cooper, an associate professor from the Department of Community Health and Social Sciences at City University of New York, serves to inform college students—and whoever else wants to listen—about anything and everything that has to do with S-E-X.
“Seventy to 90% of our students here are engaging in sexual behavior,” Dr. Porter said, “so abstinence-only education obviously didn’t work.” This begs the question: Where are students getting their sexual health information from? According to Dr. Porter, the answer is often porn. Seeing the scarcity of sexual health education and lack of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness within programs that did exist, Dr. Porter and Dr. Cooper created “The Sex Wrap.”
Listeners—most of which are in their 20s—submit questions for Dr. Spring and Dr. Porter to answer, and the co-hosts “don’t pull any punches,” in doing so, ensuring that all the information they’re disseminating is as “evidence-based as possible.” From butt plugs to blue balls, there is nothing they won’t talk about. But sometimes, Dr. Porter and Spring reframe questions so that they’re appropriate for high school and college students.
The majority of the questions submitted by listeners, Porter said, are focused on insecurities like, “Am I big enough? Am I good enough? Is this right? Do I look right? Does it hang right? Are they big enough?” With “The Sex Wrap,” Dr. Spring and Dr. Porter hope to relieve any anxieties people may have concerning sex and address important social justice issues along the way. The mission, said Dr. Porter, is sex positive communication. “If you want to have sex,” he said, “I want you to have that sex, but I want it to be happy, healthy and consent-driven sex.”
Some of their favorite topics to highlight are problems like racism in porn, which they have a must-listen-to mini-series on. Dr. Spring says she specifically enjoys serious questions, and hopes people will listen to them. For example, the pair recently put out their first episode on abortion, a topic Dr. Spring was surprised the team hadn’t covered until now.
Sitting on the “cutting edge of public health,” the podcast engages with young people by letting them come to the experts, shared Dr. Porter. The crew emphasizes that their show is never supposed to feel like a classroom.
Sydney Stropes, a sophomore intern in the School of Nursing and Health Studies, said she enjoys educating people through a different lens and using contemporary media as a platform to share. “Like here. This is a meme about queefing. That’s something that’s nice and relatable to you.”
According to Dr. Porter, current research about sex often struggles to reach millennials and Gen Z, and while “The Sex Wrap” may not seem like a normal intervention, it engages with young people the way young people engage with the world. “Right now,” he said, “that’s through social media and cell phones.”
Some people, the crew said, don’t understand the need for sexual education “When I mention that I work for a sex podcast, people automatically assume I must be promiscuous when, really, my job is to help people have safer sex and healthier relationships,” said Nina Wojtowicz, a Master of Public Health candidate at UM and lab manager for “The Sex Wrap.”
The hosts tailored some “just the tip” pointers for Distraction readers. When asked about sex positions, Dr. Porter and Dr. Spring agreed that everyone is unique. According to Dr. Spring, there’s no best position—you should experiment with different ones to figure out which kind you like. “The ones that are very gymnastic, no one likes,” she said. “And no one actually likes the wheelbarrow, that’s just for fun.”
When asked about sex toys, Porter had simple advice. “If you have a prostate, you will probably enjoy a prostate massager. And if you have a clitoris, you will probably enjoy a vibrator,” he said. “If you have a penis, you will probably enjoy a fleshlight.” But be warned, said Spring: If a sex toy is super cheap, it might be best not to purchase it, since you are putting it near a very sensitive area.
You might learn about how to have a better orgasm on Dr. Porter and Dr. Spring’s podcast. But there are also other resources on campus. The Student Health Center and Counseling Center give free STI tests at the Adolescent Counseling and Testing Services on the medical campus. Plus, “V’s Take,” the sex and love column in The Miami Hurricane, also dishes out spicy words of wisdom for UM students. And remember, to stay safe and keep it wrapped.
Wrap it Up
Student Health Center
Out of the Closet–Miami (HIV Testing)
Florida Department of Health
Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center
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