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Orgasm Inc & Dating Confidential in the Georgia Straight!

By Michelle Reid On February 06, 2012 | 0 Comments

Orgasm Inc posterThis Thursday, February 9th, Hello Cool World will be hosting a free screening of the great documentary Orgasm Inc!

If you're just hearing about it now, we're sorry to tell you that all seats are now reserved, but you can buy a copy of Orgasm Inc on our webstore (Canadian and US).

Following the film, there will be a great panel discussion taking on the topics in the film, and featuring experts in sexual health and sexuality. To learn about the panelists, check out the event e-flyer.

Dating Confidential, a research study that we have been collaborating with for the past several months, is also a sponsor of the event. The study, by PhD candidate and Hello Cool World research associate Cindy Masaro, examines the way older women are building relationships and taking risks. If you are over 25, female and living in North America, please see if you are eligible to take the study!

This past Thursday, there was a great write-up by Gail Johnson in the Georgia Straight about Dating Confidential and Orgasm Inc. It is a great read for anyone interested in the marketing of female sexuality and how studies like Dating Confidential and films like Orgasm Inc are crucial to developing a better public understanding of sexuality and sexual behaviour. The misinformation and myths about how women "should" feel or behave sexually are not only inaccurate but can also have negative health consequences.

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Michelle is a freelance writer and anthropologist with a Master of Public Health from UBC. Her passions are promoting health and building community. She's worked in grassroots community organizations in Vancouver, Victoria and Oceania.

It's World AIDS Day!

By Michelle Reid On December 01, 2011 | 0 Comments

I love December 1st, not only because it's the day when men all over Canada shave off their terrible (but philanthropic) moustaches, but also because it's World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day ribbon

It's a cause close to my heart- I spent a summer in the Cook Islands interning with the Pacific Island AIDS Foundation and have worked, volunteered or researched for various HIV/AIDS projects and organizations.

This World AIDS Day, I encourage you to check out It's Different Now, a great new BC campaign advocating for routine HIV testing. If you've ever had sex, you should know your status!

Here are some sobering facts about HIV/AIDS in Canada:

  • As of 2009, there were approximately 65,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Canada
  • More than a quarter of them (26%) are unaware of their status
  • Aboriginal Canadians comprise 11% of new diagnoses, but are less than 4% of the population.
  • Prior to 1999, women represented 12% of all positive HIV tests in Canada prior to 1999; as of 2009, they are 26% of positive HIV tests.**

Those numbers can be frightening, but the truth is the vast majority of HIV tests are negative. And in the unlikely possibility that your test was positive, HIV is more like a chronic illness than the death sentence it was in the 1980s. There are effective treatments and therapies, and more being developed all the time. When it comes to your health, it's always better to take action.

I had a rapid HIV test during a recent UBC Sexual Health Fair, and even though I'm low-risk I felt a twinge of nervousness: What if the test was positive? What would I do? How would I react? Fortunately, there were kind and informative nurses to talk me through the process, and the relief I felt on seeing my negative test result outweighed my nerves. It's gratifying to know that I am informed about my health.

If you've never had an HIV test, get inspired by World AIDS Day! It's Different Now has a map of drop-in clinic sites. Talk to your friends about testing. Talk to your parents! During Pap Awareness Week we encouraged you to make a Pap test into a bonding experience and encourage the women you love to go to the Pap clinic with you. On World AIDS Day, we'd like you to take a friend to get an HIV test. You'll be doing the responsible thing and educating yourselves.

** Statistics from AIDS Committee of Toronto

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Gearing Up for Dating Confidential Push!

By Katherine Dodds On November 17, 2011 | 1 Comments

Calling on Sexual Health Promoters to support Important Survey! Help us get our quota by December 15! is a website with a survey that could provide very interesting information on how to reach women over 25 with sexual health information. A project of Univerity of British Columbia PhD candidate Cindy Masaro, Hello Cool World is helping to promote the survey.

Women over 25 are a population that is under-surveyed, and since many women who have been previously relatively monogamous, are finding themselves entering a dating world that is different than what they were used to the first time around. Particularly with online dating sites, and all the electronic communication modes that are part of everyone's life these days, there are new factors that are driving new narratives about sex, romance, and all the lovely logistics of 'hooking up." 

Does this new world mean women will be more at risk for STIs? This is question Cindy is exploring, and as she points out, much of the existing research is on gay men, younger people in general, or those pervieved as the traditionally more at-risk communities. But are the newly divorced the new "at risk" group? It's a question worth asking.

And Cindy, as a 11-year veteran nurse at the BC Centre For Disease Control's STI clinic, knows first hand all kinds of people are having all kinds of unprotected sex, and many do not have an accurate idea of what constitutes risk in this day and age.

If you can help us promote this survey please Join us and we'll be in touch!

We have also created two e-flyers that can be forwarded as emails, or linked to as webpages -- one to encourage health promotors to help us promote the survey, and one that can be used BY health care promoters for general sharing and  to send to their networks.  Check them out!

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Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of Good Company Communications and Trained in renegade advertising & branding through her work with Adbusters in the '90s, Kat's early induction into the possibilities of the web-world was inspired by the term hypertext, which she immediately found comforting. She is dedicated to cause-related communication and to the development and use of tools that promote democratic processes.

Pap Awareness Week: Do you know if you need one?

By Michelle Reid On October 11, 2011 | 1 Comments

Do you need a Pap?Since I joined the LACE Campaign way back in February, I've talked to a lot of women about Paps- friends, family, strangers at parties, people on the bus.

From all those conversations, I've learned that many women are confused about Pap tests- what they test for, why they're important, how they differ from other types of tests. With Pap Awareness Week only 12 days away, I thought it was time for a post. If you're not sure whether you need a Pap, read on! Then find your nearest clinic and plan to drop in.

  • A Pap is not an STI test. A pap will only check for pre-cancerous changes to the cervix. It's a great time to ask your doctor about any other tests you might need, but Paps won't detect STIs- and STI tests won't detect cervical cancer.
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This website & blog is a space to showcase our Sex Ed clients and reflect on our work and philosophy around sexual health and advertising. It's a portal to campaigns, but it's also an exploration of our process, as well as our beliefs around what works to promote safer sex, healthy relationships & sexual rights, and why we think the key to being effective is to address "the pleasure deficit" in sexual health education.



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