So, over the past couple of weeks I've seen a lot of stories pop up about Planned Parenthood 'pushing' BDSM on unsuspecting teens. Damn Planned Parenthood, why can't they stop destroying the lives of decent Americans everywhere? My favourite of these scary stories is the reference to 'torture sex' coupled with the fear that next it will be those damn liberal public school teachers who will start guiding their students in the dark arts of kink. But seriously, typing "Planned Parenthood BDSM" into Google will show you the absolute flood of hysterical reporting that's resulted from a 26-year-old anti-abortion activist posing as a 15-year-old girl and asking leading questions to Planned Parenthood personnel while secretly filming the response.

Amongst all of this hysteria, I kept thinking about how I discovered kink. I suspect that I'm not alone when I say that I found it as a teenager through The Story of O and the Marquis de Sade. The internet was in its infancy - this was the age of the inescapable AOL CD - and while I'm sure there was probably good information about BDSM out there even then, I wasn't about to search for it on my parents' home computer. The library seemed like a safer option. The Story of O and good old de Sade are interesting reads, sure, but they're certainly not responsible BDSM 101 materials. Surely giving teens solid information about kink from respected sources is a good thing? If nothing else, it seems far better than leaving them to their own devices online.

Well it looks like both The Guardian and Salon have looked into this a little further and given the issue some much-needed perspective.

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I particularly like this quote:

There is no red-bricked wall or barbed-wired fence separating sex and "kinky" sex – but there are ways to educate young people in age-appropriate ways, answer their questions honestly and provide them the means to explore their burgeoning sexualities in ways that are safe and consensual for them and their partner(s).