“We should not be teaching – period – children how to have sex,” so says conservative Christian mother Elizabeth Johnston, as she stands, magazine in hand, next to a fire pit.
She’s flicking through the pages of US magazine Teen Vogue, taking aim at their portrayal of all things from “homosexual sex” to “gender fluidity” and “masturbation”.
Johnston, also known as the Activist Mommy, is a mother-of-10 and current viral sensation, as she espouses the dangers of talking to teens about sex. Her rant, uploaded as a video to her Facebook page, is in response to a piece in Teen Vogue titled ‘A Guide to Anal Sex’ by sex educator Gigi Engle.
If you’ve seen the words anal sex and Teen Vogue populating news sites in the last week or so, there’s good reason. The magazine, growing a reputation for its progressive politics, published the anal sex guide earlier this month. Since then, ultra-conservatives have raged with their raging rage, trolling the magazine and author alike, campaigning for the magazine to be pulled from the shelves.
For context, the piece is a gentle one.
It goes quietly, easing the reader in, brimming with assurances there’s no pressure, this is clinical, let’s just have the the facts in front of us.
“Being in the dark is not doing your sexual health or self-understanding any favours,” Engle writes.
“Even if you do learn more and decide anal sex is not a thing you’d like to try, it doesn’t hurt to have the information. If you’re not comfortable reading about anal sex, that’s perfectly OK, too. We have plenty of other articles around a variety of issues and wellness. Feel free to click out if you’d like! No pressure at all.”
In an era where porn glorifies the most unlikely of sexual scenarios, Engle writes the internet can be a confusing place for someone looking for information about anal sex.
“Obviously there is a lot of stuff on the Internet about anal (we don’t suggest you Google it), but most of what you’ll find is either porn or advice for experienced sexual persons looking to try something new. What about the teenagers? What about the LGBTQ young people who need to know about this for their sexual health?