Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Top Stories This Week

1. Coronavirus in jails and prisons;
2. Florida’s forced parental consent law;

3. Social media’s sexual violence discourse;
4. The politics of people behind bars;
5. Phone sex as a path toward healing; and
6. PrEP’s contributions to a sexual revolution.

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(Piero Cruciatti: Getty Images)

The Coronavirus Could Spark a Humanitarian Disaster in Jails and Prisons (Slate) 

Premal Dharia writes about coronavirus and its potential impact on incarcerated folks: “As the number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus starts to creep up in states around the country, fears are rightfully sparking about the impact of this outbreak on a critically vulnerable group of people: those incarcerated in our jails and prisons. These concerns are very real and should be urgently addressed. But there is another danger that is getting lost as we start to address them: that jails, prisons, and court systems may, in response to the pandemic, reflexively heighten restrictions on the people they have incarcerated, thereby worsening their conditions, and also chilling the criminal justice process by which their rights could be vindicated and their freedom granted.” Read more.



Why Florida’s Forced Parental Consent Law Will Hit Immigrant Families Hardest (Rewire.News) 

Ellen Friedrichs explains Florida’s forced parental consent law and the devastating consequences it poses for immigrant families: “Florida has a parental notification law, but starting in July, minors who wish to obtain an abortion in the state will be required to produce written permission from a parent who is also required to provide government-issued identification. The ID component can be a tough ask for a lot of people. In a state that bars immigrants without documentation from obtaining a driver’s license or state ID, it can also be an impossibility.” Read more.


(darlene: Unsplash)

The Inescapability of Social Media’s Sexual Violence Discourse (Bitch Media) 

Gabrielle Alexa Noel discusses social media’s sexual violence discourse: “As we’ve long seen with other high-profile cases of sexual violence, the media’s Weinstein coverage isn’t always about holding him accountable. [...] Those survivors are harmed when the media generates sympathy for a rapist. They are harmed, as well, by a news cycle that is constantly serving us secondhand trauma. In fall 2017, when the Weinstein allegations first broke, rape-crisis helplines saw a sharp increase in calls from people experiencing flashbacks, anxiety, and feelings of guilt.” Read more.


 (Babita Patel: The Marshall Project: Slate)

What Do We Really Know About the Politics of People Behind Bars? (The Marshall Project) 

Nicole Lewis, Aviva Shen, and Anna Flagg present data from The Marshall Project and Slate’s first-of-its-kind political survey inside prisons and jails across the country: “The results suggest that many incarcerated people are still interested in politics despite being temporarily (or in some cases permanently) stripped of their right to vote. Many said they get their news by watching local TV stations or cable news and said they discuss politics with family or friends occasionally (as opposed to very frequently, frequently, rarely, or never). However they differ politically, there is one issue most agree on: 76 percent supported restoring voting rights to currently incarcerated people regardless of their crime.” Read more.


(Wear Your Voice)

For Some Survivors, Phone Sex Can Be a Path to Healing (Wear Your Voice) 

Bry Reed shares the role of phone sex in her healing process from sexual assault: “Phone sex—including sexting, Snapchat, Facetime, and voice calls—helped me set boundaries and explore new kinks at a pace that allowed me to regain control after experiencing sexual trauma. It became a part of my normal flirting and sex routine. I set my limits and explored new areas of my sexuality that brought me pleasure. More and more, I learned about how to make myself happy while including partners along the way.” Read more.


 (Getty Images:Wesley Johnson)

PrEP: The Story of a Sexual Revolution (them.) 

Gabriel Arana tells the story of PrEP and sexual revolution: “[It] is impossible to ignore the profound ways that PrEP adoption has changed gay cultural mores in what were once the epicenters of the AIDS epidemic. In study after study, gay and bisexual men report that it has freed them from the fear and anxiety once endemic to sex. They feel they have greater control over their sex lives. They feel proud of the small part they play in curbing the epidemic. They are less likely to rule out sex or relationships with HIV-positive people. As one study participant told Canadian researchers, “Sex has been liberating again, thanks to PrEP.’” Read more.


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