Have you ever had the sex talk? With children as a parent/a teacher, or as an adult with your own parents/family members? Was it relaxed or was it more like the channel had to be changed as soon as the hero and the heroine looked into each other’s eyes? Do the questions
“where do babies come from” or “what is homosexuality” give you a massive coughing fit that requires a sprint to the bathroom? You know you should be talking to your kid about sex. But you just don’t know where to start.
Do you wish you had someone who could talk you through the process, providing handy tips and how-tos on the topic? Here’s a list of the sex-educators both independent and via organisations, you wish you’d had when you were a kid. No need for history to repeat itself! The list will keep growing, and we hope that you will help us add to it by writing to us with the names of other sex-educators you think we can add to it!
+91 9900094251/ 080-25520489
Languages: English, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam
The founders of Enfold India are Dr. Sangeeta Saksena and Dr. Shaibya Saldanha, two women who want to empower children and adults with education in sexuality, personal safety and life skills, basing their teachings in values and human rights, to create safe spaces.
They believe that there should be conversation around sex, and that the sources we use when there is no information available, like porn, is grossly misleading. Sex education is learning about a part of your personality and your body and not only about how to have sexual intercourse, they clarify. It is not only about a person’s safety, but should also be about acceptance. It is this, that they believe, will create safe spaces for children and adults alike, in society.
Enfold India has multiple programs which include, but are not limited to, conducting workshops on sex-ed and sexual safety conducted in schools, colleges, corporate spaces, counselling and coordinating with counsellors and medical institutions for psycho-social support, collaborations with the State and NGOs for work with the queer community, training programs for volunteers and facilitators, rehabilitation programs for child sexual abuse victims, and more.
VIDYA BHAT – HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS
Rates: Ranges from INR 900-1500 per hour, depending entirely on the counsellor’s discretion.
Languages: English, Kannada, Hindi
Happy Relationships was co-founded by Dr Sandip Deshpande, a sexologist who also runs his own practice, and Vidya Bhat. They are a team of sexual health and relationship counsellors, who work on both online and offline platforms. Apart from providing consultations on sexual health and relationship wellness for public, they take sessions at schools (for students) and for parents about sexual health. There are some sessions that are informative, and some which are therapy-oriented. While the workshops and public sessions are on a hiatus now, thanks to the COVID lockdown, Happy Relationships continues to coordinate counselling sessions across Bangalore. Depending on your availability, physical access, and location proximity, sessions can be attended either in person (in which case Happy Relationships will connect you to a counsellor in your area), or via video/audio calls.
Languages: Telugu, Hindi, English
Rates: Ranges between INR 2,000-4,000 for a day-long session
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Srinidhi takes different kinds of sessions from understanding your body, to discussing anatomy, integrity, consent, pleasure and desire. She also talks about how women’s bodies are perceived, and the problem with objectifying. She takes sessions in schools and colleges, as well as training young women and girls in villages. She tries to create an environment of openness in her sessions, using audio-visual materials to further challenge any taboos or stigmas — so that everyone can visualise how the parts she’s talking about actually look. She talks about a previous class she had once taken, “The class was initially shy, but as they realised this was a non-judgmental space they began to talk about how no one had ever used the word masturbation above a whisper.”
To read about Srinidhi’s experiences as a sex educator, you can head over here.
ANJU KISH – UNTABOO (Previously called Out of the Box)
Hotline: +91 9819457204 (10am – 6pm) Except Sunday
Untaboo is an organization dedicated to sex-sexuality-safety education, that was started in 2011 by Anju Kishinchandani, a sex educator, who believes conversations are the doorway to change. Untaboo was started as “Out of the Box,” since sex-ed was still an out-of-the-box idea at that point; this is something they believe is now changing. The company works to promote conversations on sex-ed, sexuality and sexual safety, in hope that this will help break the taboos surrounding it. They believe that conversations educate, thereby creating responsibility and ultimately inspiring change.
Untaboo conducts workshops for children, varying according to age – My Body Is Mine (5-8 year olds), Positive Puberty and Safety Program for Girls, the Responsible Teens Program, and Let’s Talk – a program for conversations on sex, sexuality and safety with 15-17 year olds. They also have what they call “Break the Wall of Silence Talk,” a mind-unblocking conversation with people from 18-80 years of age on the significance of sex-ed in today’s world. Untaboo is also known for their performance of Growing Up, a musical discussing puberty and the different issues coming with it, in a light tone.
To get a talk organised by them at your school reach out to [email protected].
MAITRI SAHASRABUDDHE – LOKMANYA SEVA SANGH
Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
Rates: INR 500 for a 45-minute session, occasionally on an honorarium basis
Maharashtra, primarily Mumbai
Maitri works in school and college environments, as well as her clinic, to raise awareness about STIs and guide parents on how to handle questions around sexuality and bodies from their kids. Her clients range from 3 to 20 year olds. She thinks that parents sometimes display either one of two extremes: they do not share any information at all, or they share too much without any sensitivity to their child’s age and circumstances. Maitri believes in scientific, age-appropriate and culture-specific sex education. She currently also works for Lokmanya Seva Sangh in Vile Parle, Mumbai, an NGO that works towards women and youth empowerment by hosting a wide range of programs including crèches for children of working mothers, a child-parent guidance centre, mental health and sexual abuse workshops in educational spaces, sex-ed awareness in municipal schools, and much more.
The organisation had put a halt to many of its programs during the pandemic, but they are all geared to restart from the 1st of April!
BREAK THE SILENCE
+91 9848029625/ +91 9848017317
Languages: English, Telugu
While Break the Silence does not deal specifically with the broader subject of sex education, they focus on spreading awareness around child sexual abuse. Break the Silence is a citizen’s initiative, that was started out of a collective realisation of the need for child safety education for both adults and children. A small group of like-minded individuals from the twin cities (in Telangana) came together to help spread awareness around child sexual abuse (CSA) and safety. Tulir, an NGO that works towards the prevention of CSA, helped train the group to equip them to conduct workshops and information sessions in schools. These awareness programs include workshops for teachers/support staff, workshop for parents in order to sensitise them and train them to respond to their children in situations of need, and personal safety training for children. They also host panel discussions, training workshops, counselling sessions, and even interactive performances in hope that by spreading awareness around CSA, “every child will one day be safe in all ways.”
THE YP FOUNDATION
Email: [email protected]
Phone Number: 01204310292; 01204308690
YP foundation, known then as the Young Parliament was founded in 2002 by Ishita Chaudhry, when she was 15 years old, to start conversations among young people on their rights and freedom. YP has a number of programs dedicated to sex-ed for young people, including Feminism and Adoloscent Youth-led Action – a campaign aimed at bringing rights-affirming education to 10,000 children in Rajasthan, and their recent The Access Project, which attempts to understand the quality, accessibility and youth-friendliness of sexual and reproductive health services, specifically in North India, and Know Your Body Know Your Rights (KYBKYR) – a rigorous CSE curriculum to build leadership skills in young people to advocate for sexual rights. KYBKYR is set to launch its new on-ground + virtual CSE curriculum, tailored for early adolescents of ages 9-13, which covers components such as menstruation, gender stereotypes, attraction, consent, diversity and more.
ThatMate is an organization in Satara, Maharashtra that started out to discuss issues that usually go undiscussed in rural areas. Their aim now is to bridge the sexual health and mental illness awareness gaps in society by approaching sex-ed through technology and classroom based learning, in order to provide information that, in their words, “Google does not”.
Their educational content is taken to teens in the form of workshops, comics and interactive stories, that help think through unanswered questions that arise in their minds. ThatMate’s counselling services can be booked through their app/website, and have counsellors who host sessions entirely online, with the option to discuss concerns via chat or call. They also have a 24×7 chat platform available, a bot+human driven chatbox.
+91 11 2437 770
CREA’s founders Geetanjali Misra and Pramada Menon are development professionals working with reproductive health, sexuality, violence against women, media, and women’s rights in India for more than fifteen years. CREA, as an organisation, advocates for the growth of women and other non-major genders in hope of a feminist world. Their programs are designs to approach sex-ed through a feminist lens, promoting conversations around women’s sexual and reproductive health, rights including that of abortion, sexuality related harm, and more. One such initiative ‘It’s My Body’ is targeted to start discussions about girls’ bodies, stereotypes, and more through sports – a traditionally gendered activity. CREA has a variety of other programs and campaigns for children, encouraging them to critically engage with ideas about gender, sexuality, their own bodies, stigma and policies that aim to protect them from sexual harm and thereby from exploring sexuality. Their website is full of this info – so make sure to take a peek!
+91 98738 40621
Simran is a sex-ed facilitator who has been practicing for over a year. She facilitates workshops and listening circles to promote conversations around sex and sexuality exploration. The workshops are generally open for all, and include people of all ages, from adolescents to adults. Simran’s workshops are sometimes conducted through organisations, and at other times held at specific locations to target intended groups of people.
Her Instagram profile S.E.H.M.A.T. contains details about upcoming sessions, both online and offline, and one can also connect with her via email or phone if looking to host workshops or counselling sessions.
TARSHI (Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues)
TARSHI is an NGO in Delhi that aims to create SISA spaces (safe, inclusive, sexuality-affirming). TARSHI works to bring accurate information to young people on sexuality through workshops, training sessions in schools, campaigns on sexuality and education, and their infoline IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System) which aims to provide young callers with info about sex and gender identities, sexual health, reproductive health, STDs, contraceptives, safety and pleasure through their pre-recorded automated system. Their YouTube channel has videos and infomercials about their CSE curriculum. TARSHI also has a range of publications including a talking book (an audio book with info about sexuality and relationships), the Blue and Red Books (with sex-ed journeys and answers for kids of different ages) and the Yellow and Orange Books (with info for teachers and parents on how to teach children sex-ed), all available for purchase and individual consumption. Their CSE workshop for teachers and educators now has an online course on incorporating CSE as well.