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Dublin: 15°C Monday 18 October 2021

Youth charity defends advice on threesomes after TD's complaint

SpunOut says the reality is that young people have sex, so it is better to educate them with responsible information.

This page on SpunOut.ie offers advice to teenagers on threesomes - prompting an outcry from Michelle Mulherin.
This page on SpunOut.ie offers advice to teenagers on threesomes - prompting an outcry from Michelle Mulherin.
Image: SpunOut.ie

A YOUTH INFORMATION charity has defended itself after a government TD said she would complain to the Minister for Health that it was using HSE funding to offer advice to young people on threesomes.

Fine Gael’s Michelle Mulherin told the Sunday Independent there was “nothing right” about SpunOut, which is 20 per cent funded by the HSE, offering advice to teenagers on how a threesome could ‘spice up’ their love lives.

A page on SpunOut’s website – which has experienced some downtime today as a result of the traffic spike caused by the furore – advises visitors that while threesomes can be “really exciting and fun, but like all things in life, they have their downsides too”.

It says that while threesomes can act as a ‘sexual adventure’, they also run the risk of causing insecurity and prompting feelings of jealousy between the participants – and offers a series of ‘top tips’, such as establishing ground rules and giving equal time to the other participants.

Mulherin said the advice promoted the idea that people could objectify others “for your own sexual gratification” and suggested the HSE funding meant the content carried a “State seal of approval”.

SpunOut today defended the content, saying young people were having sex ‘whether Mulherin liked it or not’.

“Some of them are having sex with more than one person, and sometimes with more than one person at the same time,” it said in a statement, citing HSE data from 2006 which said the average person first had sex at age 17.

Education needs to begin earlier than the age of first sex and it is widely accepted that sexual education in Irish schools is both of poor quality and inconsistent.

The charity said it believed “in the ability of young people to make the right decision for themselves once they have access to quality and reliable information, such as the information provided by our website.”

It also its advice to young people was not to allow themselves feel pressured into sexual activity, but simply to address the difficulties that older generations had in discussing sexual matters with younger people.

“We should arm our young people with the facts and trust them to make responsible decisions,” it said. “SpunOut.ie is proud to do just that.”

Mulherin has previously argued that “fornication” was “probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country”, and has also argued against the need for the introduction of legislation to permit abortion in line with the Supreme Court ruling in the X Case.

Poll: Should the HSE fund charities offering sex advice to teens?

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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