Friday, October 25, 2013

Key Area 2: Healthy Relationships --> a personal story

There are three key areas that CSHC is focused on: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Relationships and Healthy Communities. These focus areas speak to the core of our work; they support our vision for the community and the mission we are on to achieve it.

In this series of blogs, we present some of our success stories that highlight a program from each of our three focus areas.
In this blog, we look at a "Healthy Relationships" personal story. We believe good relationships and sexual health are inextricably linked. Our emphasis on healthy relationships means that our programs are having an impact on the issues of bullying, homophobia, and violence prevention, just to name a few. Whether it’s with parents, professionals or youth, our programs discuss healthy decision-making, communication, self-esteem and awareness of your own boundaries and values.
Healthy Relationships:  Leslie’s Story - WiseGuyz
“It’s all boys all the time,” laughs Leslie McRae, Vice Principal at Sherwood School.
Leslie McRae, Vice Principal at Sherwood School
(photo credit: Evolution New Media)
Those boys are a small group of grade nine students taking part in the WiseGuyz program at the school. Once a week they meet in a designated classroom for part of the school day and Tristan from Calgary Sexual Health Centre facilitates the program.
To someone peeking inside the classroom, sometimes it looks like a regular healthy sexuality class, sometimes it looks like boys roughhousing and joking around. But something more important is really going on.
This is a program that teaches boys about consent and healthy relationships, not just STIs and anatomy. It’s challenging the boys’ views of masculinity and teaching them to look critically at the media messages they see every day. It’s tackling bullying and homophobia. It’s a program about respect and empathy.
“This is really the only thing out there that’s just for boys,” says McRae. “It’s so important to have something directed just to them about things they wonder about, delivered by people who can address those things.”
“They have somebody who’s open to hearing things that they’re talking about and lets them be silly and ask weird questions.”
She recently saw the impact of the program when an RCMP officer came in to talk to the school.
“It was a fairly deep presentation; he talks about things like suicide and bullying, family issues that you don’t talk about. The boys who stayed behind after the assembly to shake his hand and say thank you were the WiseGuyz.”
“They grow from the program, and they feel more confident,” she says. “They start to look at bigger issues, rather than just ‘if it’s my issue’ – that’s really what I see from their actions.”
McRae also says that one of the most unexpected outcomes for her is the bonds the boys make with one another: “There are boys who are friends because of the program who never would’ve been friends without it.”
When asked why the boys want to be there and keep coming back, her answer is simple.
“They know they’re valued,” she says. “For some boys it helps keep them in school, helps keep them engaged, helps keep them connected to somebody who, if or when things go south in the future, they have one more positive adult role model to look to.”
McRae can’t say enough good things about the program and looks forward to working with WiseGuyz again in the new school year.
“It’s hard to be a teenager, whether you’re a girl or a boy,” says McRae. “The more people you have in your life telling you positive things, helping you be informed, creating a structure you can access resources from – it’s not such a big unknown world.”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Celebrated Leader of Sex Positivity to visit Calgary

Dr. Charlie Glickman Tackles Sex, Shame and Love for Calgary’s Diverse Communities
CALGARY, AB - - Shame influences and shapes sexuality for almost everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and individual desires.  Many experts believe that if we want to overcome and move past sexual shame, we need to understand how it works and how it affects us. Next week, Calgary will welcome Dr. Charlie Glickman, an internationally renowned sex educator and speaker, to explore and understand this issue through conversation.
At a public talk presented by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre (CSHC), Dr. Glickman will unpack the mechanisms of shame, discuss how it impacts sexuality, and what we can do to build shame resilience.
“When we have the tools to deal with this difficult but inevitable emotion, it becomes much easier to resolve jealousy, loss, and fear so we can create more space to give and receive love, explore our authentic selves, and build the relationships that suit us,” explained Dr. Glickman.
“As a sex & relationship coach, I've seen how deeply shame affects individuals and couples. Part of the challenge is that it's hard to even talk about it,” Dr. Glickman continued. “But when we can get a handle on how shame works, we can start letting go of it and create happier relationships and healthier sex lives. My presentation "Sex, Shame, and Love" has helped others take their next steps towards that and I'm looking forward to bringing it to Calgary.”
The event fits well with the overall work of CSHC, an organization that has worked in the Calgary community for over 40 years to deliver comprehensive and non-judgmental sexual health education and advocate for important changes in our society on sexual health issues.
“At our organization, our work is deeply rooted in reducing the shame connected with people’s sexuality. Our education, outreach and counseling programs help people examine the roots of shame and oppression which affect people’s ability to have healthy relationships,” said Pam Krause, Executive Director of CSHC.  “We provide people with the knowledge and resources to move forward, build confidence and address how shame is impacting their self-esteem and relationships.”
The public event is taking place at the University of Calgary’s Rosza Centre on October 10th at 7:00pm. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit Tickets are $20, however if cost is a factor, please contact CSHC at 403-283-5580.
(More details also available in the news release.)
Talks in the Series
Sex, Shame & Love
Thursday October 10th.  7:00pm-9:00pm
Rosza Centre (Evans Room). University of Calgary - 2500 University Dr NW
Presented by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre
Early Bird/General Admission Tickets at:
Don’t Blame Me. Creating a Culture of Consent on Campus
Friday October 11th. 11am – 1pm
Mount Royal University
Free Workshop Presented by SAMRU Pride & SAMRU Sustainability Centre
Earlier this month, campuses across Canada were put into the public spotlight for 1st year frosh rituals that promoted rape, assault, coercion and violent acts towards women.  Dr. Glickman, who started in peer support when attending university, will meet with students leaders and the MRU campus community to discuss why young men (--and others in their peer groups) feel compelled to perform masculinity through such acts. Little is actually known about how masculinity is defined, taught and enforced. Together with the MRU community, he will discuss new ways that compassion,  accountability and a culture of consent can be integrated on campus.


Anal Sex & Prostate Pleasure
Friday October 11th. 7:00pm-8:30pm
Advanced Tickets Only at:
Are you curious about anal play? Have you heard how much fun prostate pleasure can be? Or maybe you’ve tried it and want some tips to make it even more fun? Charlie Glickman wrote the book- literally! He'll give you all the info you need to discover the thrill anal sex. And if you or your partner (or both of you!) have a prostate, he'll tell you all about this amazing erogenous hot spot. Come learn all about easy and pleasurable anal penetration, prostate massage, which toys work best, pegging, combining prostate pleasure with other kinds of sex, and much more. Whether you’re just starting out or you already enjoy these pleasures, you'll end up with lots of new tips and ideas! You can also purchase a copy of Charlie's book The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure!


Queer is a Verb
Saturday October 12th -
1:00pm-2:00pm Workshop/2:00pm -3:00pm Q&A
Presented by Possibilities – Calgary’s Bi-sexual and Pan-Sexual Community
Community Wise Resource Centre - 223 12th Avenue SW
Regular Admission & By Donation Tickets at:
What does it mean to queer something? In a world that's full of sweeping statements and gender essentialism, what happens when we think of queering as an act that we can engage in, rather than an adjective or an identity? How does it shift our thinking about the Myth of the Normal, the gender binary, and inflexible sexual categories? When we make queer a verb, it becomes a powerful tool for exploring, transcending, and transforming boundaries and definitions. It allows us to play with the rigid limits that are often imposed on sex and gender. And it can inspire us to create new ways to build the world around us. Charlie Glickman PhD, sex & relationship coach and certified sexuality educator, will discuss some of the ways that thinking of queer as something we do rather than something we are can offer new perspectives, and explore some tools for engaging in the practice of queering sex, gender, and sexual orientation.


Saturday Night Fever - An Intimate Evening & BBQ with Charlie Glickman
Saturday October 12th
Have you ever wished you could ask a sex expert anything? What would you do if you could get any question about sex or relationships answered? Charlie Glickman PhD is a sex & relationship coach, a certified sex educator, and has been studying sexuality for over two decades. He's here for a private evening for select folks to get together and get lots of in-depth info you can't get elsewhere. Charlie is an expert on open relationships, BDSM & kink, sex & shame, gender & masculinity, top-notch communication skills, and more. Come join us for a night full of fun, insight, and discovery! Participation is Extremely Limited.