Platform - Provincial

OUR PROVINCIAL PLATFORM To realize a sex-positive culture we need to: a) change our education system b) repeal sex-negative laws and regulations c) support sex-positive community. The provincial government has responsibility in each of these areas.


Teach sexual gradualism in schools
Canadian studies indicate that the quantity and quality of sexual health education and sexual health services being provided to our youth are inadequate.

The Sex Party would establish a comprehensive education program in sexual health and hygiene. But we would go further. We favour a school sexual education program that encourages sexual activity - but in a gradual and disciplined way. Our youth need to know that sex is enhanced in both the short and long term by a step-by-step process of sexual gradualism, whereby extensive sexual experimentation precedes first intercourse. Virtually every other learning system involves a gradualist approach, and children naturally embrace it.

Instruction in sexual gradualism would teach a teen a way to explore the erotic responsiveness of his or her own body without contact with another person. Teens would also learn how to set the stage for healthy and satisfying sexual liaisons. They would learn, for example, that trust, emotional intimacy, relaxation, and verbal communication are all key to an optimal first sexual experience. As well, a course in sexual gradualism would teach young people about erotic massage and would emphasize the importance of non-coital erotic experimentation prior to intercourse.

Parents play a key role in the sex education of their children, although that role is usually unconscious. The Sex Party would introduce a program to support parents in their vital role as sex-positive educators.

Teach Tolerance
A key omission in all existing school sex education programs is the lack of any information about the prevalence of irrational attitudes to sex and about the system that generates those attitudes. Sadly, schools are breeding grounds for many intolerant attitudes toward sexual minorities and sexuality generally. The Sex Party would introduce a school program that teaches about the ethic of tolerance generally and specifically about tolerance in a sexual context.

Intolerance in schools is especially harmful to lesbian, gay and bisexual youth. A recent Task Force on Safe Schools in BC heard reports from nearly every BC community about bullying based on sexual orientation. Currently there is no provincial policy aimed at such harassment. The Sex Party would establish a code of conduct in all provincial schools that prohibited harassment based on sexual orientation. We would require school districts to create policies to support lesbian, gay and bi-sexual youth, including the support of gay-straight alliances and peer counseling. We would also require school districts to establish professional support programs for teachers and administrators to deal with discrimination aimed at lesbian, gay and bi-sexual students.

Sexual Studies Department at UBC
The Critical Studies in Sexuality program at UBC offers students a minor in sexual studies. Sexology is a burgeoning field with a promising future and the advanced education system of the province must give far more attention to the subject that it presently does. The Sex Party would establish a department in Sexual Studies, offering courses in all aspect of sexology, including its medical, psychological, educational, technological, legal and sociological aspects.

The Institute for the Advanced Study of Sexual Policy
British Columbia is the home of many world-class think tanks in the areas of medicine, technology and social science. No significant research program focuses on human sexuality and especially its public policy aspects. The Sex Party would provide provincial funding for an institute to conduct high level research into several sexuality policy issues, including enhancing sexual education throughout the lifespan, and eradicating sex negativity systems in the media, religion, the law, and family life.


Public Nudity
The federal Criminal Code prohibits all recreational nudity in public areas. The provincial government controls the enforcement of these provisions. At present there is no systematic enforcement policy. As a result of history or geographic isolation, enforcement policies tolerate recreational nudity in specific areas, such as Vancouver's Wreck Beach. Relatively few such areas exist. Recreational nudists are denied rights to the vast majority of accessible public lands.

Public nudity has many social benefits for both nudists and non-nudists, chief of which is to normalize all parts of the human body and de-stigmatize human sexual organs.

The Sex Party would pass legislation requiring all public parks and beaches larger than one hectare to designate areas reserved for nudists.

Sex work
At present federal criminal law prohibits almost all form of commercial erotic touch. Such a blanket prohibition has been implicated in the stigmatization of sex workers, which in turn contributes to violence towards this vulnerable social group. British Columbia is the setting for one of the most horrific mass killings of sex workers in the modern world. Despite this unspeakable violence against an identifiable minority, successive federal and provincial governments have done almost nothing to change the inhumane prohibitions aimed at sex workers.

Twenty years ago the Fraser Commission undertook an exhaustive study of these prohibitions and recommended radical change. Nothing has happened, except the deaths of dozens of sex workers.

Criminal sanctions against sex workers are within federal responsibility. However the province has control over enforcement of these provisions. The Sex Party would:
a) urge the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Fraser Committee with respect to the repeal of laws prohibiting consensual, adult sex work in private;
b) adopt enforcement policies of the existing laws such as to achieve the same effect as if the existing criminal laws were repealed as provided in the previous paragraph;
c) establish the Sex Worker Empowerment Program (SWEP), a provincial agency providing counseling, education, and advocacy to provincial sex workers.

Municipal bylaws also prohibit most forms of indoor sex work. The Sex Party would amend provincial legislation such that municipalities had to impose on sex workers no more onerous zoning or licensing regulations than those applying to other touch professionals.

Sex Toys
The Municipal Act and Vancouver Charter allow municipalities to effectively prohibit the sale of sex toys in their jurisdiction. Typically a municipality uses this power to define the sale of sex toys as "adult entertainment" and then to confine that business to a zone where there is no land available for rent or purchase - a de facto prohibition. The result is that pre-existing sex stores, which are almost always seedy and intimidating and purveying mainly mass market pornography, have a monopoly on the sale of sex toys. BC law effectively prevents the establishment of wholesome, woman-friendly, sex-positive businesses that sell sex toys. By protecting only seedy style sex stores, BC law helps stigmatize the erotic products industry.

The Sex Party would end such negativity and provide that sex-positive sex toys businesses could operate in any municipality in the same locations any other retail store could operate.

Sexually Explicit Private Gatherings
At present many federal criminal prohibitions inhibit sexual expression in which only willing adults participate and observe. For example, the criminal code prohibits any "immoral, indecent or obscene performance, entertainment or representation." British Columbia police forces have used such provisions to threaten to charge adult, consenting artists and entertainers who seek engage in sexually explicit conduct before willing adult audiences. The criminal code also prohibits the keeping of a place where "indecency" regularly occurs. In jurisdictions outside BC these provisions have been used to attack bathhouses where open sexual expression occurs, and gatherings of practitioners of group or fetishistic sex. Terms such as "immoral" or "indecent" have no objective meaning. Such laws unduly restrict sexual expression and send sex-negative messages about human sexuality.

Criminal sanctions are within federal responsibility. However the province has control over enforcement of these provisions. The Sex Party would:
a) urge the federal government to repeal these provisions
b) adopt an enforcement policy that formally terminated enforcement of such laws in all cases where sexual expression involved only willing adults, and could be observed only by willing adults.

Sexually Explicit Films, DVDs and Videos
BC legislation provides that the sale of any video or DVD with any explicit sexual content is absolutely forbidden, unless a bureaucrat gives permission.

The Sex Party would repeal this legislation. The federal criminal code already affords sufficient social protection in prohibiting the sale of pornography depicting children or violence. The effect of the provincial regulations is to ensure distribution of only mass market pornography and to prohibit the distribution of sex-positive media, because the market in the former justifies the expense of the approval system, while the market for the latter is too small to recoup such expenses. Hence only the mass market porn, often depicting sex-negative messages, is freely available, while sex-positive material is totally excluded.

Sexual Entertainment in Licensed Premises
BC liquor laws prohibit in licensed premises, sexual entertainment including sexually explicit films or videos and sexually explicit performances, except exotic dancing.

While regulations designed to protect erotic performers and to ensure public health and hygiene are necessary, the BC prohibitions go far beyond serving those interests. They prohibit erotic entertainment which is entirely safe, healthy and hygienic. Why? Because they reflect the sex-negative idea that all sexual entertainment other than the stripper variety is "bad" and thus must be excluded from liquor areas.

The Sex Party would repeal these sex negative regulations and replace them with provisions that allow all forms of sexual entertainment that are consensual, adult, safe and hygienic.


Long Term Care
Many people in long term care find great comfort and meaning in sexual expression. Most long term care facilities have no policies respecting the expression of sexual needs. This usually results in stifling sexual expression or forcing it to occur surreptitiously.

The Sex Party would require all long term care institutions to articulate a sexuality policy that is non-judgmental about residents' sexuality and that aims to facilitate any desired activity among willing partners, who can be either fellow residents, visiting friends or spouses, or sex professionals.

The Sex Party would institute a program at provincial nursing schools for specialized sexual care nurses. Their duties would include sexual counseling, risk assessment, and facilitating sexual expression desired by residents, including washing, undress and positioning residents before and during sexual activity, administering erection-producing injections, fitting condoms and helping patients with cleaning and dressing, providing sex toys and erotic material and facilitating contact with sex professionals.

Sex Positive Press Council
Often unconsciously, the media plays a key role in perpetuating sex-negative attitudes. Because the media is generally unaware of their role, they need assistance in recognizing it. Examples of such negativity include:

a) Overt Censorship
1) in images accompanying news stories involving nudity, the media digitally blurs the genital region of the body or female breasts, or hides them via camera angles. See examples from the National Post and Vancouver Sun and the New York Times.
2) the print media censors the spelling of sexual terms, such as depicting the word "fuck" as "f---". See an example from The National Post.
3) the audio media censors behind a beep sound the sounds of sexual words
Such censorship violates several principles of journalistic ethics and communicates negative messages about genitals and sex and the words, sounds and images that describe genitals and sex.

b) Subtle censorship
The news media has specialists covering every major aspect of human existence, including food, health, education, travel, the environment, business, the media itself, fashion, cars, and wine. Yet not a single journalist in a mainstream media organization focuses on sexuality. The subject deserves at least the same attention as fashion, cars and wine.

The Sex Party would create a Sex-Positive Press Council that would expose the overt and subtle censorship practiced by BC media.

Sex-Positive Holidays
The provincial Victoria Day holiday in May commemorates a monarch legendary for her negative attitudes towards female sexuality. The Sex Party would change Victoria Day to Eros Day to celebrate and encourage sex-positive expression.
There is no provincial holiday in February. The Sex Party would proclaim Valentines Day as an official holiday