October is “Let’s Talk” Month, a month set aside to encourage effective communication with teens about sexuality, love, and relationships.  Communication and accurate information are vital to young people. One email I received about it from Power To Decide intrigued me, so I’m sharing part of it with you:

“Birth control has long been a topic that’s not discussed, and as a result, reproductive health awareness, access, and progress—as well as women themselves—have suffered.
We’re partnering with Simple Health for “Let’s Talk” month and asking you to use your voice to ignite the conversation around birth control access.  If you’ve ever struggled to get your birth control—because of cost, insurance coverage, doctor interference, time off—we’re asking you to publicly talk about it.
Share your story on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #KissMyAccess, and for each tagged post in October, Simple Health will donate one month of birth control to an uninsured woman. 
By talking about it, you’re helping uninsured women get access and inspiring women everywhere to own the conversation.”

What a great idea: taking ownership of the conversation and using that as a vehicle to help uninsured women get access to contraception!   

I believe that for a long time people didn’t talk about contraception because it’s such a private subject.  I’m all for respecting privacy.  However, when “respecting” privacy means not talking openly about contraception—and the importance of everyone understanding it, being able to get accurate information about it, and have access to their choice of method—then that “respect” leads to silence which in turn works against progress; it puts contraception on the chopping block for too many people.  That’s what’s happening in the US right now, and open dialogues are vital for changing that.  So I encourage any of my readers who use social media to share their stories on Instagram or Twitter.

With more than 19.5 million women in the US right now living in contraceptive desert—or a county without reasonable access to the full range of contraceptive methods—it’s critical to support women in need. 

And while access to contraception is vital, there are also other ways that opening dialogues about sex, contraception, love, and relationships can be helpful. I’m always so deeply honored by the feedback I get from readers saying that reading OOPS! Tales From A Sexpert helped them with their own communication.  So in addition to sharing your stories, I invite you to share mine: to celebrate “Let’s Talk” Month, I will send a FREE copy of OOPS! Tales From A Sexpert to the first 5 readers that request them.  Please think of someone you know who’d benefit from reading it and email me at Vivian@VivianPetersOops.com with the name and address you’d like the free copy sent to.  And if you want it signed and inscribed, just tell me the person’s name.   

Thank you to all my readers for all you do to help open important dialogues, in October and in the other 11 months of the year!

Vivian

The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not those of Planned Parenthood.