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For both Langton and Boehler, the goal of the Chat Room is to educate, while at the same time creating meaningful connections and deconstructing myths about human sexuality propagated by generations of locker-room talk (men want sex more than women, women don't watch pornography or enjoy casual sex, and so on).
"It really was about creating a safe space to have conversations that we rarely have in our lives, and a place where we can connect with people on a much deeper level," Langton says.
There's a second Chat Room geared specifically toward seniors, held once per week at Silver Harbour Seniors' Activity Centre (at least one couple attends both), and according to Langton, the positive response has been overwhelming.
"They were brave enough to take me on after I did a workshop in March," Langton explains. The room was packed, and afterward there was a lineup of people wanting to have a conversation with me.
I ran out of female condoms, which I hand out with my business card." "I was absolutely blown away by the number of people interested in her presentation," adds Annwen Loverin, Silver Harbour's executive director.
Here's a thought experiment: when is the last time you walked into a coffee shop and heard people discussing fetishes, sex toys, masturbation, pornography, anal sex, medication and sexuality, polyamory, boundaries, dirty talk or the politics of orgasm?
Every Sunday, in the conference room of a coffee shop on Vancouver's North Shore, participants as young as 20 or as old as 70 and 80 engage in frank, informal and non-judgmental conversation on these topics and more.
It's called the Chat Room, and its moderators Jane Langton and Clayton Boehler are part of a new breed of sexual health educators -- professionals determined to take sexual education beyond the classroom, as part of a countrywide wave of evolving attitudes toward sex and sexuality.
"I see sex ed as starting right from birth, and going on until death," Boehler explains. It's hundreds of conversations -- and not just about the mechanics of sex.
It covers STIs and birth control, and healthy relationships, and pornography, and sex and the law, and then it goes right back to healthy relationships again." Each session is freeform, often peppered with laughter and covering a variety of themes -- some suggested by the moderators, many brought up by attendees.
The emphasis is on discussion and connection over answers -- though there certainly are those, courtesy of Langton and Boehler, both certified through Options for Sexual Health's sex educator program.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating