Porn literacy: why we need to educate ourselves on the impact of pornography

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In 2022, adult sites regularly outperform the likes of Netflix, and sexualised content is omnipresent on social media. So why is talking about it so taboo? Here, an ethical porn director and a clinical sexologist discuss why we need to examine, and educate ourselves on, the impact of porn

Porn literacy: why we need to educate ourselves on the impact of pornography

"My story is not that different from other young women’s stories. For me, porn was part of trying to figure out who I was. But it brings up mixed feelings. It’s both about watching images and feeling turned on, but at the same time the images, often, are representing scenarios that made me feel uncomfortable.

“Little by little, I realised that my male friends had a very, very easy time with pornography. They use it in their lives, they like it, they enjoy it, and they haven’t really thought much about it – whereas most of my female friends, they had a similar experience to mine.”

I’m speaking to Erica Lust, an award-winning erotic filmmaker whose cinematic films are starkly different to the clips that might first come to mind when you think of ‘porn’. These days, she heads a global business, and works with directors from the United States, the UK, Berlin, Finland, Colombia, Venezuela, Australia – the list goes on. But it all started in 2004 with her first indie erotic film, The Good Girl, a tongue-in-cheek take on the classic pizza boy trope and, she says, an experiment in breaking the mould for erotic stories. Since then, she hasn’t looked back.

Porn literacy: why we need to educate ourselves on the impact of pornography

If you’ve ever wondered what could qualify someone to direct pornography, consider this. Beyond her cinematic know-how, Erica has a degree in political science and gender studies, and she notes how this first prompted her to deconstruct and analyse the power imbalances that are so often present in pornography. As she sees it, porn is a discourse about sexuality, about masculinity and femininity, and the roles we each play sexually, so understanding who’s directing that discourse is key.

“The more I was thinking and learning about it, I came to understand that it’s all about the creators who are making it,” Erica says. “The stories we have seen in porn repeated time after time, it’s the white, middle-aged, fit, hetero man’s story, and his vision of sexuality and what he finds sexy. You know what that is – that is breasts, and butts, and fancy cars, and cigars. It doesn’t matter if he’s from Los Angeles, Stockholm, Barcelona, Budapest, or Sydney, it’s the same guy.”

In Erica’s films, performers practice safe sex, they communicate, they have conversations about consent, and – crucially – they behave in such a way that the viewer can see they respect one another. But it’s not just about creating an authentic film for the sheer pursuit of realism – many young people, and adults learn about sex from porn. Porn literacy – a framework for breaking down and understanding how, what, and why sexual images affect us – has, therefore, never been more necessary. In 2022, it’s a kind of virtual life jacket for teens and young people, but

Friday Faves

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Hi hi! Happy Friday! How was the week? Ours was a bit of a blur (the Pilot was flying nights), but I’m so pumped the weekend is here. I’m going to the Sebastian Yatra concert with some friends, we’re having friends over for dinner on Saturday, and then celebrating my dad’s bday on Sunday. I hope you have a fun and wonderful weekend ahead!

We’re into Self-Care September with Fit Team, and it’s been inspiring to to dive into some self-care and nurturing habits, especially since we’re about to head into the busy fall and holiday season. If you’d like to join us, enrollment is technically closed, but email me ( and I’ll get you a link!

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves

Read, watch, listen:

Adding so many books to my to-read list. 

Don’t forget to check out this week’s podcast episode with Laura Varney here.

Mindset shifts to stop worrying about what other people think.

Another study demonstrating the value of consistency.

Fitness + good eats:

30-minute bodyweight-only barre workout.

Lots of meal inspo in this post.

Pumpkin season is HERE and I’m making these asap.

Tips for running with a baby.

Fashion + beauty:

I keep thinking about canceling RTR Unlimited, but then we have a vacation or event, and I’m so glad I have it. I realized I haven’t shopped much for myself lately (besides a couple trips to lulu!) because I’ve been enjoying rotating through these 8 pieces each month.

Wore this skirt the other day:

(tank is here, shoes are here)

and this dress yesterday 🙂

(shoes are here)

Labor Day Sales!!

Labor Day weekend is here and there are so many great sales!

Here are some of my top picks:

The BEST Labor Day sale is t

30 back-to-school affirmations for kids

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Support kids with the return to school, with these motivating and uplifting affirmations

30 back-to-school affirmations for kids

With the school holidays coming to an end, and the school gates looming, it’s only natural that children will experience a host of different emotions. Mixed in with excitement about seeing friends and returning to routines, children might also experience anxiety about the coming school term. With academic pressure, friendship rifts, and growing pains, school can be a challenging place to be, sometimes.

This is where affirmations come in. They’re short mantras or sayings that we can repeat to ourselves to reinforce a positive self-belief. They can be used any time, any place. They can be said out loud, or in our heads. And they’re short and sweet, so easy for children to memorise and use themselves.

The key to a great affirmation is finding one that resonates with the individual. But, to start you off, we’ve got 30 affirmations to help kids with the back-to-school transition.

1. I am safe

2. I can ask for help if I need it

3. It’s OK to take my time with problems

4. I am interesting

5. I am ready to learn

6. I have good ideas

7. I am a good friend

8. I deserve to be treated kindly

9. I am focused

10. It’s OK to get things wrong

11. If I am worried, I can tell an adult

12. I treat others with kindness

13. I am clever

14. My thoughts are important

15. I can say ‘no’ if I want to

16. I learn from my mistakes

17. I am curious

18. I am in control

19. My voice matters

20. I am calm

21. I am creative

22. I can try again

23. I am growing and learning

24. I am talented

25. I am loved

26. I am supported

27. I can do the things I put my mind to

28. I ask questions when I need help

29. I try my best

30. I grow a little more every day

Interested in family counselling? Connect with a professional using

How to reset your routine and prevent back-to-school burnout

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With the back-to-school season well underway, we’re taking a look at how families can use this time to reset and shape new routines to prevent burnout

How to reset your routine and prevent back-to-school burnout

Just like that, the summer holidays are over and as we see the beginnings of autumn, we also see children returning to school. Despite the buzz in the air from the kids, it can also be a time of doubt for parents who are faced with the dreaded early starts and school runs - and that’s all before they start their own working day.

It’s six o'clock and you’ve probably grabbed your first of many coffees that’ll get you through the morning. After ushering everyone out of bed and trying to get them ready, you’re faced with the great breakfast debate - who’s having what cereal and in what coloured bowl? Hair, teeth, coats, bags, shoes, and a whirlwind of multitasking later, you’re finally ready to head out the door for the school run until… “I need the toilet!” All before 8:30am.

As exciting as it can be watching your child grow, the back-to-school season can also be a time of heightened emotions for parents. The truth is, after a long summer and perhaps a lovely family holiday, the struggle of going back to work is real, let alone doing the school run too. Upon returning to work, you might be expected to remain positive and breezy, when actually you’ve already faced your battles for the day and it’s not even 9am.

Luckily, there are some things you can do as a family that can help ease the hustle and bustle of the school morning routine.

Tips for resetting your school routine

1. Plan ahead

This seems easier said than done. The last thing you want to do after a long day at work is get everything sorted for the following morning, but your mind and body will thank you for it.

Try to establish an early evening routine before you wind down for some much-needed family time by gathering everything you and the kids need for the following day - does homework need to be completed? Make sure school bags are packed, lunch boxes are at the ready and you could even set out plates, bowls, and cutlery in time for breakfast.

You might also want to leave coats, bags, and shoes at the front door to save time (and the panic of trying to find that one missing shoe buried at the back of the cupboard). To really make the most of it, encourage the children to get involved in the evening routine, such as making lunchboxes together. This will not only give them some independence but also allows you to spend time with them catching up on their day.

2. Meal plan

The above also applies to preparing dinners. Batch cooking is a great way to ensure the whole family is getting hearty, nutritious meals at a fraction of the time it would normally take to cook them. You could spend some time at the weekend thinking about what you’d like to eat that week and store it in the freezer. This makes for a quick and easy way to whip up dinner for the whole family, whilst still allowing for ‘you time’.

Struggling for inspiration? Try these batch-bake recipes.

3. Prioritise

Throughout the week, make sure you prioritise doing the things that really need to be done, and toss those that can wait to the side. The easiest way to keep track of this is by writing a to-do list. Maybe you need to do the laundr

108: Prenatal fitness + shifting fitness perspectives with Laura Varney

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Hi friends! So excited that the podcast is BACK 🙂 I anticipate summers being more low-key on the podcast front, but now that we’re back in a routine, I have interviews stacked up and so much content to share with you guys. Please subscribe to the show if you’d like to be notified of new episodes as they go live!

For today’s episode, I’m chatting with Laura Varney about prenatal fitness, birth experiences, and how fitness perspectives can shift over time.

108: Prenatal fitness + shifting fitness perspectives with Laura Varney

We talk about:

– Her background and how she started working in the fitness industry

– Prenatal fitness tips

– Her experience in the bikini competition world

– How fitness perspectives and messaging have changed over time

– Her tips for being Healthy in Real Life

and so much more.

Here’s a bit more about Laura and her background:

Laura’s mission is to create a more empathetic approach to wellness – especially for those entering motherhood. Laura is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and registered yoga teacher in Los Angeles. Her vigorous resume includes the specialization of strength and functional training, pre/postnatal training, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and power vinyasa yoga.

She is the founder of The Baby Body: a 35-week prenatal exercise designed to keep women strong throughout all stages of pregnancy, during labor, and while being a parent. Laura’s passion for seeking an “unrestricted” life has catapulted her into the pursuit of empowering, supporting, and inspiring the women around her.

You can check out her website here and her Instagram accounts here and here.

Resources from this episode:

If you’re listening to this episode when it first launches, it’s Labor Day Sale sitewide at HigherDOSE, the makers of my favorite portable sauna blanket. Use this link and the code LDW22 for 20% sitewide! If you’re catching up on this episode later, you can use FITNESSISTA15 for 15% off! I LOVE the sauna blanket, PEMF Go Mat and red light face mask.

I love love love the meals from Sakara LifeUse this link and the code XOG