Editor’s note: In order to accurately report on the event in question, and provide a picture of the thought patterns behind some current-day sex “educators” of young people, this article contains some graphic references to sexuality that may be offensive to some readers. Please use discretion in deciding whether to read it.

It was more of the same when this year’s Women’s Health Matters Forum and Expo took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Jan. 17 and 18. The event, presented by General Motors of Canada Ltd., created a sensation last year when it featured a few explicit sessions aimed at adolescent girls, most of whom were bused in from Toronto-area schools on field trips.

Workshops staged by Planned Parenthood and the Bay Centre for Birth Control, in particular, were characterized by language and instruction that could only be described as pornographic.

The unholy duo were back this year, with a provocative session entitled, “Safe Sex = Fun Sex!” Sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Berlex Canada, Inc., emphasis was put on pleasure and familiarizing adolescents with the female condom, as a model of that item was passed around the room by the facilitators.

“We’ve got 40 minutes to talk about SEX!” exclaimed one of the session leaders to whoops and hollers from the adolescent girls present, about half of whom (according to a show of hands) were under 15. “You can be as outrageous as you want to be!”

“Anna,” from Planned Parenthood Toronto, noted that her organization sells “cheap birth control” and provides free and confidential “counseling.”

One facilitator asked how many girls had looked at their private parts and added that, “Having fun with sex starts with you. It’s really important. You need to know what feels good.”

“Anna” urged the adolescents to take a mirror and examine their private parts. She also advised them to take the time to pleasure themselves sexually. “Take some steps to feeling really good about your body,” she said.

Karen Wong, a physician at the Bay Centre for Birth Control, advised the girls to do some exploring with their bodies in order to find their “G-spots.” She also instructed them on ways they could pleasure themselves sexually. “The only goal is to feel pleasure,” she said. Wong also emphasized the need for girls to have fun before the act of intercourse. “How many ways are there to have sex? Well, how creative are you?”

“Creativity can be anything,” chimed in “Anna.” “Make it fun. Get condoms that taste good.” She advised girls to take a Saturday afternoon and go exploring Toronto-area sex shops.

Wong then advised the girls to use condoms and lubrication during anal sex.

In response to a question from her audience about how lesbians can have sex, Wong noted that “penises aren’t all they’re cracked up to be” and that “there are lots of ways to have pleasure.”

Over at a session called Sex on the Couch, sponsored by pharmaceutical firm Wyeth Canada, pleasure was also emphasized as Global TV “weather girl” Susan Hay held court along with Dr. Santina Andrighetti, Charlotte Lombardo and Anu Sharma. “It’s just what makes you feel good!” exclaimed Hay, summing up the tone of the session. The adolescents also heard that it’s normal for people to watch pornography while pleasuring themselves sexually and that it’s likely notm dangerous for a woman to be on the birth control pill for a long period of time.

A slight note of temperance was struck as one panelist observed that less than half of 16-year-old youths are having intercourse.

At the third session, sponsored by pharmaceutical company Organon Canada – A Grrls (Sex) Life: A Celebration of Our Sexuality, Toddlers to 20s – sexual health “educator” Kim Martyn described methods of sexual self-pleasure and advised everyone to “be accepting of other’s people’s differences.”

“To speak openly about sexuality is such a gift,” she said, adding she was raised in a religious environment where sex was seen as bad. “Sexuality is often twisted and oppressed. Our religious upbringing can bring us very negative images about our bodies.”

As with last year, free condoms were plentifully available both at the sessions and in the exhibit area.

Complaints about last year’s Women’s Health Matters Forum and Expo – which included talks by noted pro-abortion advocates Nafis Sadik and Sheila Dunn – were generally ignored by event sponsors and the Toronto District School Board. Those sponsors that did respond generally emphasized the positive nature of the event, in terms of how it dealt with other, legitimate women’s health issues. A spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board, meanwhile, said the board was “satisfied” with explanations given by Planned Parenthood Toronto and the Bay Centre for Birth Control about their explicit teachings to adolescent girls.