If you want to make a difference and help others while learning about sexual health and keeping yourself safe, then you need to join SMART Youth! You can come to any of our events around the city or come to one of our movie nights or Open Mic events. Check out our schedule to learn what we are doing or e-mail

Thursday, February 19, 2015

[Taboo Talk V] Sex-R: Despicable Me – BDSM and Other Fetishes

We held our final Taboo Talk workshop, titled Despicable Me, about the world of BDSM and other fetishes.

We’ve posted about fetishes here on our blog before and explained what fetishes are and if it is healthy to have one or not.
Just to recap, the definition of a fetish “specifically refers to a strong sexual preoccupation with an object, material, or body part.” This object, material, or body part – the specific thing that is fetishized – often needs to be present, incorporated, or at least thought of in order for the person to reach sexual satisfaction. A fetish is a type of paraphilia, which generally “means compulsively responding in a sexual way to an unusual or socially acceptable stimulus."
For this workshop, we focused specifically on BDSM. BDSM stands for a combination of acts and philosophies: Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism.
BDSM involves role-playing with the behaviors of dominance/submission and by receiving or inflicting pain, humiliation, restraint, and other un-equal power dynamics. This role-playing can be situational (called a session), or can be long term (sometimes playing a specific role 24/7). There are many roles a person can play, including a dominant/top/master/dominatrix (this person does the controlling) and a submissive/bottom/slave/brat (this person is the one being controlled).
The key to BDSM is that all parties must consent to all activities and rules decided by each person, so much so that the motto of the BDSM community is “Safe, Sane, and Consensual.” This means that activities must not cause unwanted or permanent harm, participants must be aware and sane to consent, and that all participants must consent.
Although many sexual acts (such as penetration) are included in BDSM play, not all play has to include them. Many activities like spanking, whipping, bondage, verbal degrading, etc don’t involve sexual activity.
We had some safety tips mentioned in our blog post about fetishes, but we’ll list them here again:
  • Do research on your specific fetish/paraphilia. What are the community’s philosophies? Do they provide support or resources on how to begin and how to be safe.
  • Be mindful of which communities (physical or virtual) you’re connecting with. If you feel like you’re in danger, that you cannot trust the people you’re with, or that they’re involved in illegal activities, you do not have to be a part of that group.
  • Establish rules of consent and safety with your sexual partners.  An example of this is using safewords. Safewords are specific words or phrases that are mutually agreed upon and used to let others know that we want to stop sexual activity. This is most commonly used in BDSM, where words like ‘stop’ or ‘no’ are not taken at face-value and are considered part of role-playing.
  • Be safe if you’re meeting someone from the internet. You can find great tips here.
What’s most important is that it be your choice to participate in BDSM activities if you want to, and that you are practicing them safely.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Valentine's Day Event - Something for Everybody!

SMART Youth will be hosting our annual Valentine's Day event this year. It is titled "Something for Everybody," and it is the finale to our Taboo Talks: Sex-R weekly workshops. 

There will be food, fun, and prizes! 
We hope you can join us! 

Please RSVP at by February 9th if possible. 

Event Details:Date: Friday, February 13th
Time: 6-8:30PM
Location: MCCNY Charities (446 West 36th street b/t 9th & 10th avenues)

See you there! Be ready to mingle!

[Taboo Talk IV] Sex-R: Inside Out – Pornography

Last week was our fourth workshop of our Taboo Talk series. Pornography was the topic of the week, and our Sex-R movie reference was the soon-to-be-released movie Inside Out.

Pornography is a complex topic that many people have different feelings about. In a previous blog post, we stated some of the good, bad, and ugly sides that porn can represent. During our meeting, we were able to hear these differing opinions about pornography directly from our youth.

We talked about the pros and cons of porn. Some pros included learning about what you like or don’t like sexually, using it as foreplay for masturbation or partner sex; while some cons included getting unrealistic expectations about what sex is or what our genitalia should look like.

The decision to watch pornography is a personal one. What’s important about these pros and cons is that it allows you to form your own opinions and make your own decisions about viewing pornography.