Photo by Luke Collinson on Unsplash

I spent over $1,100 to get into a Ph.D. program. I’m sharing the details both for people who are considering applying to grad school and want a clearer sense of the cost, and for people who might otherwise never consider what these costs could look like.

What I spent $1,100 on

The biggest piece was application fees. I applied to 8 Ph.D. programs, which seems to be a pretty normal number. Application fees ranged from $60 to $105, averaging around $75, with a total cost of $625.

I spent about $35 on prep for the GRE test, getting just one book and a set of…

“Safe sex” implies a clear division between sexual activities that are high risk and ones that are risk free. But most sexual activity has some risk, and the amount of risk for different activities varies along a continuum.

Penetrative sex with condoms is safer than penetrative sex without condoms, but mutual masturbation is safer than penetration.

“Safer sex” is preferable because it emphasizes that practices like condoms lessen risk rather than eliminate it entirely. And you can take precautions that make sex safer even if you know you have or think you might have an STI.

Sometimes “safe sex” is…

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. Some relationship are monogamous and some are non-monogamous. Some include sex and some don’t. Some progress through moving in together, getting married, and having kids, and some don’t do any of these things, just do some of them, or do them in a different order. Relationships aren’t one-size-fits-all. It’s all about figuring out what’s the best fit for you.

Relationship choices are shaped by personal taste, life ambitions, and social pressures. Money can be a big factor too. Sometimes financial considerations push people towards more normative choices (like monogamy and marriage).

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

If you have an STI, it’s best to tell your partner before having sex. But there’s a bunch of reasons people find that hard to do. So if you want to know about your partner’s health, you should step up and start that chat. But how do you actually do it? Just asking “do you have an STI?” isn’t really enough.

Your partner may not feel safe telling you they have an STI.

There is a ton of shame around sex and STIs, and people with STIs are often unfairly portrayed as dirty and promiscuous. …

Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

When a friend of mine mentioned to his doctor that he was in a non-monogamous relationship, the doctor immediately warned him about his “high risk behavior.” But without a lot more detail, there’s really no reason for the doctor to make that judgement. This characterization of non-monogamy as inherently higher risk is based on a series of flawed assumptions.

Non-monogamy doesn’t always include sex. A person with multiple romantic partners isn’t necessarily having sex with any or all of them. There are a variety of reasons a relationship, whether it’s monogamous or non-monogamous, might not involve sexual activity.

Non-monogamy doesn’t…

Photo by Alex King on Unsplash

Metaphors can be a helpful way to talk about sexual consent, but they can also sometimes fall short. So here’s a close look at some of the ideas that metaphors convey successfully and some of the nuance they leave out.

Simple as Tea

“If you are still struggling with consent, just imagine instead of initiating sex you’re making them a cup of tea. You say, ‘hey would you like a cup of tea?’ And they go, ‘oh my God I would love a cup of tea, thank you!’ Then you know they want a cup of tea.”

This video is a nice introduction…

SexEdPlus Dan

Sex educator, researcher, and writer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store