FindMyMethod.org, a contraception-awareness website, hopes to build a community where people can freely discuss sexual and reproductive health.
With a vision to normalize discussions around sex and help women navigate and access contraception, FindMyMethod.org (FMM) – an informational website about safe sex – launched an online forum on its website.
“The idea is to facilitate access to comprehensive information about sex, contraception and sexuality in a safe, reliable and prejudice-free space,” says Cecilia Gonzalez, FMM’s Program Manager. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed huge gaps that exist in contraceptive access and sexual health services in many countries, making digital spaces where clear information is provided even more critical than ever.”
Aiming to build a diverse global community, the forum has regional/country rooms such as India, Nigeria and Mexico for context-specific discussions, where users can chat in their local languages. Registration is quick and simple, and users have the option to be anonymous if they prefer. The platform is highly accessible and easy to use with topics neatly organized into categories and tags and an interface equipped with features such as reply, upvote and share.
“Young women often feel stigmatized asking for information about contraception and sex – let alone ‘taboo topics’, such as sexual pleasure or abortion,” says Tisha Gopalakrishnan, the Director of FMM’s parent organization, Woman First Digital (WFD). “In these restrictive settings, the internet is a great resource but is often filled with misinformation which is why we created a website so that women could access the information they desire from a trusted source.”
With a digital landscape full of options to connect and share, Gonzalez adds the forum will be a place where people can talk about something they normally wouldn’t discuss on social media – their sex lives-“For intimate topics like this, women generally look for a safe space and a person they can trust. The forum will provide that space.”
Gopalakrishnan agrees, saying the forum offers users a platform to have open-minded discussions. “A big fear that many women have about contraception are the side-effects often associated with them, or which doctors or facilities they can go to in their city or town to get high-quality and judgement-free contraceptive counselling and services. The forum aims to offer a platform for that kind of peer-to-peer engagement and knowledge sharing around women’s experiences with contraception, and products and providers in their countries that they can vouch for. And in the context that emphasizes their right to pleasurable sex,” she says.
Program Director at DKT International Nigeria – an organization working for family planning and HIV prevention – Nirdesh Tuladhar said a forum which allows people to post their questions will help millions of individuals with their sexual health. “It is a wonderful initiative to normalize the dialogue between contraception, sex and pleasure. Not only does it provide excellent information on access to contraceptives by country, it also allows engagement. This I feel is crucial. An interactive forum to turn to for answers without the fear of being judged or embarrassed,” he concludes.