Being inclusive means never showing a whole body naked from head to toe. It means conditional words such as “some,” “most,” “usually,” and “often” — not absolutes. It means giving the clitoris and the penis an equal word count. It means not attaching the words “woman” and “man” (or “mommy” and “daddy”) to specific types of bodies. It means leaving space for discussion. It means illustrations that present a world of color, of joy, and of difference.
It means moving beyond a man with sperm, a woman with eggs, and a bed with intercourse.
That idea grew out of a conversation with a woman who adopted her daughter on her own. We were talking about how long she waited for this baby, this baby she didn’t know but she spent literally years imagining. That act of imagination is an act of love. And it is no less powerful or important than the parent who is pregnant and waiting nine months for their child to be born. Most of the time we give all the credit to parents who get pregnant and deliver their children. I wanted to end the book in a way that honors all parents who love their kids regardless of the role they had in the biological baby making part.
Sex educator Cory Silverberg was the perfect person to write these books. His mom was a feminist and a children’s librarian; his dad was a sex therapist. Growing up, there was no word for how he felt — except “outsider.” Now he identifies as queer. In 1997, he co-founded Come As You Are, a cooperatively-run feminist sex shop in Toronto. In 2007, he co-wrote The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability, and since 2005 he has served as the Sexuality Guide for About.com.
What Makes a Baby was inspired by one of Silverberg’s friends, a trans dad who was not biologically related to his children. One day he asked Silverberg, “what is the least bad book you can recommend, or better: have you written yours yet?” The masses also desperately wanted an inclusive children’s sex ed book, as evidenced by the book’s wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. Donations exceeded the project’s initial goal by over $50,000.
Silverberg’s second children’s book, Sex is a Funny Word, was just released. This one is geared toward children ages 8 to 10. In interviews with The Hairpin and Lambda Literary, Silverberg discusses his upbringing, what it’s like to collaborate with illustrator Fiona Smyth, and why he avoids giving definitive advice in his books He also talks about the challenges of writing and illustrating Sex is a Funny Word, particularly in the chapter about masturbation:
We were really struggling with how to illustrate it. I didn’t want a hands-down-the-pants picture. For one thing, masturbation isn’t just about touching your genitals, but I also didn’t want anything explicitly sexual in a book for seven-to-10-year-olds. Fiona came up with the image of each kid having a biodome that represented their bodies and their sensations, with places like Tickle Country and Sore Valley, which brilliantly conveys the point that through exploring your own body you are going to learn all sorts of things about it and how it feels.
A third book is in the works, which will complete the trilogy and offer inclusive sex information to children 10 and up. To follow along, become a fan of the books on Facebook. Plus, check out Cory Silverberg’s recent interview on Tristan Taormino’s Sex Out Loud Radio, in which Taormino calls Sex is a Funny Word “one of the most inclusive books I’ve ever read on any subject for any audience.”
Welcome to She Bop’s blog!
She Bop is a women-owned sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education. Our mission is to promote healthy and safe sexuality by offering quality products and educational workshops in a fun and comfortable environment. She Bop welcomes people of all genders and sexual orientations.
- May 4, 2017 – Beyond Monogamy
- May 17, 2017 – Wet & Wild: G-spot and Squirting Orgasms
- June 1, 2017 – Back That Ass Up!: Anal Sex 101
- June 4, 2017 – Curvy Girl Sex: Body Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life
- June 11, 2017 – Sex and Survivorship: Navigating Sex After Cancer
- July 2, 2017 – Your Gender is Awesome: A Class for Trans Youth
- Join mother-daughter duo Leslie Heron + our educator Gretchen for an informative & fun class on cancer & sexuality. https://t.co/rJqKvzxfd0
- A film crew has blocked off parts of Mississippi Ave this morning. They should be done in an hr. We recommend parking near N. Borthwick Ave!
- Today is the last day to support @CalltoSafety by shopping with us. 10% of your purchase goes to their amazing work. https://t.co/dzkMi7Vmzh
- If you've been interested in kegel balls but unsure about the cost, these are very reasonable at only $26! NICE! https://t.co/0fZBY5rgc0
- Do you have a trans, gender variant, or genderqueer youth in your life? We have a new class just for under-18 peeps! https://t.co/8dLHndMSFa
- Have you been to Whoopee! yet? We spoke with show creator, @Amory_Jane, about her sex-positive variety show! https://t.co/oPAVcQUdq0
- 10% Tuesday is upon us! Visit us in person or shop online today & 10% of our sales will be donated to @CalltoSafety. https://t.co/dzkMi7Vmzh
- Orgasms will not be mythical with the Unicorn Wand! We could not resist this powerful vibe with unicorn attachment. https://t.co/BCf2iMTMm8
- We know how much you've been clamoring for a G-spot and squirting class! @stellaerotica is teaching one in May! https://t.co/8JmtMTTWYU
- Looking for a set of introductory vibrating anal beads? @rocksoffltd's Petite Sensations Beads might fit the bill! https://t.co/Q55aiWJ2Tr
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