23 gru 2011

Wesołych Świąt! Merry Christmas!

15 gru 2011

Andrzejki - st. Andrew's Day

It’s almost Christmas but I would like to come back to November because it’s worth to write about an interesting tradition from the Central and Eastern Europe, still popular in Poland, especially at schools. On the 30th of November we celebrate st. Andrew's Day. Not many people know who was it and that it’s the last day of the year in the Catholic Church, but everybody knows that it’s a good occasion to learn something about your future ;)

On the previous day (night) young people gather and perform magic rituals. Now it’s usually organized by schools only for fun, nobody really believes in the results of the future telling. Even 6-year-olds can get to know the name of her/his future husband or wife. I have all good memories from my primary school :)

What do we do? Most customs are connected with love and marriage, for example:

- whose shoe will be first at the door, this person will marry as first
- you peel an apple and throw the skin – it will form the first letter of the name of your future wife or husband
- you write names of potential candidates on the small papers and put in under the pillow. In the morning you choose one and it will be this person.

The most popular and complicated is pouring hot wax through a key to water. Then you interpret its shape. The shadow on the wall pictures something that will happen next year.

It’s better to watch than to read, so I recommend you 2 short films: here and here.

For teenagers and older Andrzejki is a good opportunity to organize a party, dance and drink. Maybe you will also try it in 2012?

4 gru 2011

Polish sexuality 2011

As maybe some of you know I’m a volunteer sex educator (no practice, just the theory!) and I work for young people. I’m very interested in human sexuality and today I would like to comment the recent study on Polish sexuality done by a famous professor Zbigniew Izdebski and TNS OBOP. It’s a big project and many results are not published yet. I also wrote a short article about this report in Polish.

Professor asked 3206 people (mostly heterosexual) about their sexual behaviour. In all poles like this most people (68%) are happy with their sex life. We should ask what exactly does it mean for them, especially when for 63% of men and 50% of women sex is important. 71% have sex at least once a week – not so bad!

Do people lie? Especially in this kind of poll they probably tell what they think they are expected to. On average Poles have 4,5 sexual partner in the whole life. Really? Only 30% of women declare that they masturbate – it’s still a huge taboo in Poland. For sure the one reason is Church which considers masturbation as pure evil. But Poles are not so religious as you may think. The Church is present everywhere but only 4% of people connect sex with sin.

52% tried oral sex (more than before) and 15% anal sex.

21% of men and 12% of women admit they cheated. What is interesting the relationship remained the same. According to the report Polish women look for something else because they feel bored with their partners.

51% of men i 31% of women think that a woman HAS TO satisfy her partner. Patriarchal patterns persist!

Only 9% of Poles have ever done a HIV test. HIV isn’t VERY dangerous in Poland but for sure the situation will be worse. In Eastern Europe and Middle Asia the number of infected is growing very fast!

66% of Poles use condoms. Hormonal contraception is still not very popular. 21% think that a withdrawal is a contraception method!

Only 25% of Poles consider homosexuality as normal. 35% would like to cure it!