Lena Chen

is a reluctant sexpert, a feminist and queer advocate, and a walking case study on bad publicity. As a Harvard undergrad, she authored the blog Sex and the Ivy about her college sexcapades and misadventures. Her reputation has never quite recovered. Want to give her a book deal, send her hate mail, or misquote her in an article? Read her daily musings at The Ch!cktionary and check out her full bio.

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Here are some snapshots from last month’s second annual Sex, Love, & Dating Conference at Rutgers University :) Since I had a big gap between my two workshops, I took the opportunity to sit down and chat with some really lovely students.

Below are the workshop descriptions - I’m becoming bored of talking about the hook-up culture, to be honest. After writing my thesis on the topic and blogging at length about it, it seems like I’ve learned all that I can. That said, I’m thinking of developing the slut-shaming workshop into a full-length talk for next year…

Hooking Up & Getting Down: The State of Casual Sex & the College Romance

Half a century after the sexual revolution, premarital sex is today the norm, and social conservatives lament the rise of the so-called hook-up culture. What does dating in college look like today? Are abstinence advocates onto something when they warn that casual sex has effectively killed romance? Will fooling around before marriage endanger your future marital bliss — or even make you less likely to marry?  What if you want to opt out of hooking up altogether? Part-interactive workshop, part conversation, this talk takes a humorous look at dating through the ages and encourages audience members to explore modern courtship through their personal experiences. Come prepared to share your opinions and questions on topics like first-date sex, consent, peer pressure, and dating rules.

Slut Walks, Walks Of Shame, & Sexual Double Standards

Hussy. Whore. Harlot. Tramp. “Slut-shaming” may be a modern term but the stigmatization of women’s sexuality has a rich cultural history. The fear of social reprisal can affect everything from the way we dress to how we communicate with our sexual partners and peers. In a society with supposed sexual freedom, how does slut-shaming reinforce existing gendered norms and threaten young people’s identity and emotional well-being through cyber bullying and real-world harassment? How does the “slut” label limit our ability to vocalize our desires or express ourselves, and how are double standards stratified by race, class, and religion? Most importantly, is there a way to reappropriate the term “slut” and reclaim it in the name of sexual liberation? This talk discusses the speaker’s personal experiences with “slut-shaming”, the “fallen woman” as a social construct, and the ways these stereotypes manifest themselves in pop culture and in our everyday lives.

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In the latest episode of Sexy Times, I give advice to girls who aren’t quite ready to come out yet. Do you have an obligation to tell your friends and family about your sexual orientation? What happens if you aren’t ready yet? Watch the above video and check out the past editions of the Sexy Times series over at gURL.com.

(Source: lenachen)

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Headed to California for Sex:Tech & Pomona College event

Hey guys! I’m headed to San Francisco to attend Sex:Tech, the 5th Annual Isis Conference on New Media, Youth, & Sexual Health, where I’ll be speaking on a panel about online intimacy and relationships. Then I’ll be in Los Angeles from April 3rd to 6th to do an event at Pomona College. It’ll be a hectic week of work and travel, but I’m hoping to see both of my parents and some friends while in town. I’m going to try to make it back to California at least one more time (when I don’t have any professional obligations) before I make the big move to Berlin. And maybe next time, I can bring the two boys?

Below is the info on the two events :)

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xoxosms: Authentic Relationships and Online Identities
11:30am, Monday, April 2nd at Stanford Court Renaissance in San Francisco, CA

How do we navigate online identities and relationships? Can you really “know” someone you’ve never met? Is it safe to form relationships online? Enjoy a film screening of “xoxosms”, a new short documentary by Nancy Schwartzman that follows two star-crossed lovers in the digital age. Following the screening, we’ll discuss the idea of “digital intimacy”, and the authentic and healthy relationships to be found and nurtured online. Featuring Nancy Schwartzman (Filmmaker and The Line Campaign), Cory Silverberg (sexuality.about.com and ISIS Board Member), Heather Corinna (Scarleteen), and Lena Chen (Sex and the Ivy).

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Writing Sex Positively: A Discussion with Lena Chen
7pm, Thursday, April 5th at Pomona College in Claremont, CA

What is sex-positive writing, and at which point does it become a political act? How has the feminist or sex-positive blog-o-sphere reshaped social activism and cultural criticism? Is the Internet an effective tool for social change or does it merely maintain the status quo and replicate offline power structures? In a moderated conversation, Lena Chen, a “reluctant sexpert, a feminist and queer advocate, and a walking case study on bad publicity”, will discuss her career as a blogger, speaker, media commentator, and activist. She’ll answer questions about the future of new media and publishing, professional options for feminists and progressives, and the pros and cons of working within the non-profit industrial complex. RSVP for the event on Facebook.

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My Sex In The Digital Age panel was really fun/funny. (Perhaps to be expected when one is on the same panel as the person who first broke the story of their sex scandal, hah.)

If you couldn’t make my #digitalsex panel, check out coverage from NOW Toronto and The Daily Texan (or on Twitter).

My Sex In The Digital Age panel was really fun/funny. (Perhaps to be expected when one is on the same panel as the person who first broke the story of their sex scandal, hah.)

If you couldn’t make my #digitalsex panel, check out coverage from NOW Toronto and The Daily Texan (or on Twitter).

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It’s the debut of Sexy Times, my new web series airing weekly on Alloy Digital’s gURL.com! So I filmed this way back in the fall of 2011 - and while I think the opening credits and overall editing are rocking and SO worth the pain, I remember a brutal shoot in which I sweat like a pig and thought, “These hot lights rival Bikram yoga in intensity.” Glad that part of the ordeal stayed on the cutting room floor …

Check out episode numero uno (above) on what to do when you want to use a condom but your partner doesn’t, let me know what you think (pretty please!), and keep an eye out on a new clip every Friday with some handy sex and relationship tips.

Hint hint: gURL.com’s target demo is younger girls and teens, but I like to think that I give all-ages advice ;)

(Source: lenachen)

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Going To Austin For SXSW?

Catch me at this SXSW Interactive panel next week … I arrive in town this Wednesday and will be there for six days. *Very* excited to see Austin!

SEX IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Monday, March 12 12:30PM - 1:30PM
Driskill Hotel - Driskill Ballroom

As the Internet has become an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, it’s transformed virtually everything about how we live—from how we communicate with friends and family, how we get our jobs done, and, yes, how we flirt, find lovers, and explore our sexuality. In many ways, this evolution has been a positive one, bringing us amazing new ways to connect with the rest of the world, but it’s also had some unforeseen consequences. Just over a decade ago, when the country was reeling from the aftermath of the Lewinsky scandal, who could have imagined that one day a congressman would be forced to resign from his post after a scandal that involved no sex, no illicit meetings—in fact, nothing more than some online flirting and a few ill advised sexts?

Sex in the Digital Age examines how the Internet has transformed our relationship to sexuality: what it’s given us, what it’s taken away, and how it’s transformed our ideas and expectations about how our friends, lovers, and public figures can—and should—behave.

(Source: lenachen)