Book Event at the Norwich Bookstore – SEX, COLLEGE AND SOCIAL MEDIA by Cindy Pierce

Cindy Pierce will be presenting her new book, Sex, College and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture this Wednesday, January 18th at the Norwich Bookstore at 7:00 PM

In her new book. Sex, College, and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture, raconteur Pierce weaves together expert opinions, personal anecdotes, and the real feedback of today’s college and high school students, to help make those difficult conversations a little less difficult for everyone.

Please make a reservation by phone (802-649-1114) or email (

For more information about Cindy and her work:


American Girls by Nancy Jo Sales makes it resoundingly clear that the impact of social media is moving so quickly that even teenage consumers struggle to manage their social lives. Parents and educators feel left behind and therefore reluctant to face the complicated reality their kids are navigating. Some parents choose to avoid the conversation because they don’t feel equipped. Many parents cross their fingers and hope it works out for their kids, counting on their kids to apply the values they taught them to this social arena, unfamiliar to parents. The social lives of kids are played out through their phones on multiple platforms invisible to most adults. While our kids are scrambling to stay socially relevant on their screens, it can appear that everything is fine. Without clear evidence of an issue or incident, parents don’t see the need to step in and guide their kids. When the drama and complexity of a situation is forced out of the virtual world into full view, parents are often shocked when it is clear how entangled their kids have become in social media. Continue reading


“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

—Socrates, 470/469–399 BC

Even a couple millennia ago, elders as revered as Socrates were worrying about the poor manners and morals of the young. Socrates, people! Adults’ observations of kids have not changed. The context in which kids grow up, however, changes radically with each generation. Parents and educators must give kids increasing independence and responsibilities while at the same time providing guidance and advice along the way. It’s a dicey balance. The parenting adventure is filled with conflict, delight, overstepping of bounds, recalibration, missed cues, getting off track, realignment, connection, miscommunication, and rebooting. The relationship between parent and child is ever changing, and requires an open heart and a willingness to invest in what matters. Continue reading

Thoughts on “We’re Casual About Sex and Serious About Consent”

Cindy’s thoughts on “We’re Casual About Sex and Serious About Consent”

Healthy sexual choices are not often made under the influence of alcohol and optimistic arousal. The unspoken social contract among young people dictates that hooking up is the way busy people conduct their sex lives. “Hooking up” is a conveniently vague term that allows people to evade judgment. The hookup culture has created an accepted reversed dating scene. Students of all ages laugh in agreement when I share the following quote from a fifteen year-old girl, “If you hook up once, one of the two people is interested. If you hook up twice, both are interested. If you hook up a third time, it’s a thing.” In other words, physically connecting with someone with whom you are emotionally disconnected is part of the deal and a way to see what might shake out. When students tell me it would be “awkward” to ask for consent, I say, “You are naked. That is awkward! Speak up and get to the other side of awkward or get dressed.” Freitas’s research aligns with my findings over many years of interviews with college students: Hooking up leaves many young women AND men feeling emotionally unfulfilled. The assumption that guys just want to get off is NOT true regardless of what guys say with a group of friends. Girls and young women also feel emotionally unfulfilled and rarely have orgasms in a hookup. The normalization of casual sex has made it a rite of passage, a way to join the club, feel wanted, and evade judgment. Many assume more sex leads to more skills. I have had a number alarming interviews with young men who have had many female partners and are relied on as the source of guidance and information for their peers. These guys are misinformed about female pleasure and misguide their peers. Without a connection, communication, and shared trust, people end up having a lot of below-average sex – one’s practice becomes his or her practice.


Sex-Ed: US Colleges Should Take Note of Canadian Efforts to Prevent Campus Rape

I enjoyed this thought-provoking article from New York Times contributor Jan Hoffman on college rape prevention programs.

Jan Hoffman is right on with her conclusion that comprehensive rape prevention programs are our best chance to make changes on college campuses. I hope the success this program has brought to three Canadian colleges will inspire colleges in the US to adopt this approach. While more programming for men is needed, we should continue to address this issue from every angle with women, men, and campus faculty. One aspect of my aim as a high school and college speaker is to educate and engage boys and men to take part in changing the culture of their schools. I openly talk about the collision of factors that impact sexual decisions under the influence of alcohol in a normalized hookup culture. Sexual expectations are often skewed by the acceptance (often encouragement) of excess drinking, less face-to-face interactions contributing to less adept social skills, and hyper-sexualized messaging from porn and media. Alcohol, drugs, devices, and porn will always be accessible, therefore it is essential to educate consumers and users through a variety of programming to help change the lens for men. One positive shift I have seen is that more college men are open to conversations on topics like consent and bystander behavior, because they were educated about them in middle school. This kind of programming should be required, but it is also important to continue teaching girls and women about assessing risk, practicing self-defense, and defining personal sexual boundaries. – Cindy Pierce, author of SEXPLOITATION: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World

COMFORT IN THE STUMBLE – October 24th – Brattleboro, VT

20131019-pierce-gh-287Contact: Meghan McGeary – 802-448-9750

(Brattleboro, VT) – Comedian Cindy Pierce will perform her show Comfort in the Stumble on Friday, October 24th at the New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro, VT. All ticket sales will benefit Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) and their plans for a new health center in Brattleboro.

Self-described as an “Incident Magnet,” funny lady Pierce will share stories on the healing power of oatmeal, wrangling humor in the birthing chamber and more.

“Planned Parenthood is leading the charge on sexuality education and policies that give women choices about their sexual health,” said Pierce. “These issues are very important to me both personally and professionally. In all of my work as a comic storyteller, I hope to empower more people to get the information, support, and awareness they need to make healthy choices. I am honored to work with Planned Parenthood.”

PPNNE is raising funds for a new, state-of-the-art health center in Brattleboro to better serve the community and enrich patients’ experiences as they seek reproductive health care. The current health center, an old Victorian house, lacks the infrastructure necessary for modern health care, including adequate space to efficiently see patients and space to mentor the next generation of practitioners.

“Time and again, our Brattleboro patients rave about the health care they receive,” noted Meagan Gallagher, PPNNE President & CEO. “Unfortunately, the space does not reflect the quality of care we provide. And it’s time to change that.”

In 2013, more than 1,400 patients received reproductive health care at the PPNNE Brattleboro health center, totaling more than 2,200 visits. 69% of these patients had incomes at or below the federal poverty level, $17,235 or less for a single person.

Comfort in the Stumble is hosted by Lisa Ford, Melany Kahn, Leah Nussbaum and Rita Ramirez. Doors open at 6:30pm, where show-goers can enjoy snacks, a cash bar, and a raffle. The show begins at 7:30pm. Comfort in the Stumble is adults only and contains some graphic sexual language.

Tickets may be purchased at or through


About Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE): PPNNE is the region’s largest provider of sexual and reproductive health care. In 2013, PPNNE served more than 42,000 patients at 21 health centers across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, including 11 health centers in Vermont alone.

About the PPNNE Brattleboro Health Center: 1,464 patients received care at the Brattleboro health center in 2013, totaling 2,289 visits. 17% of the patients were teenagers and 46% were in their twenties. 69% of patients had incomes less than the federal poverty level. In 2013, the health center provided 499 pregnancy tests, 262 pap tests to screen for pre-cancerous cervical cells, and 2,930 tests for HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.

About Cindy Pierce: Cindy Pierce is on a mission to bring truth about sex and relationships to the forefront through comic storytelling. Cindy has been honored as one of “14 Remarkable Women of the Arts” in New Hampshire magazine and a Pioneer with three others in the category. In 2012, she won the Nantucket Film Festival’s Late Night Storytelling competition in the amateur category. Cindy lives in Etna, New Hampshire with her husband and three children, where they own and run Pierce’s Inn.

The Tom Brady Doom Squad

tbradypatsOptimists make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Boston Sports Media seemed so desperate for news and viewers this week that they were making chicken shit out of chicken salad. Yes, Tom Brady is aging, but is still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. The Patriots are poised to have a great run. Many would argue they have what it takes to get to the Super Bowl. They have talent and depth in all phases of the game, enough to withstand the usual number of injuries and setbacks. Tom Brady is healthy and on fire with a strong back-up quarterback. We have been waiting for this. Why such endless doom chatter?

You don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict that Tom Brady will retire in the next 2-5 years. He is in his late thirties. He has stated he wants to play into his 40s, which is possible for Brady who continues to prove that he is a tough-as-nails badass. Why undermine this goal with all the doom when energy could be spent focused on all that is aligning for the New England Patriots right now?! It isn’t even worth our time since Bill Belichick doesn’t really have a problem disappointing people. In the unlikely case that Brady loses perspective, we can count on the smart, savvy and salty Belichick to send Brady on his way.

I feast on Patriots news of any and all kinds wherever I can squeeze it in. Not this week. By mid-week, I vowed to stop watching until kick-off time on Sunday. The Sports Media Doom Squad would not stop riding the idea that Tom Brady is fading, won’t be able to recognize when the time comes to retire, or will get traded to another team because that is how this business works. Most the commentators don’t believe him when he says he will stop playing when he sucks.

I know it is the job of sports media to get our hackles up, to get us thinking and to make our blood boil here and there. It is entertainment for a lot of people to watch sports commentators take sides, sling opinions, fill the time with banter and fight about who was or is going to be right or wrong. Thought-provoking banter is good stuff, but this week of news about the Patriots was tiresome.

I know the commentators like to be the first to predict outcomes, so they can remind each other and us when they were right. If they didn’t remind us as often as they do, we wouldn’t know because we don’t really spend much time remembering when they are right or wrong. We tolerate their squawking and bickering for the nuggets of news in and between all that. The constant reminding on air of who was right or wrong inspires some viewers with time on their hands to tell them when they were wrong, which leads to more madness. Most of us are busy people moving on to the next thing. Since I am not watching news about the Patriots this week, I have time for this rant.

Early in his career, people loved how Brady was squeaky clean, but then it irritated people that he is actually a fine, genuine person on top of being an amazing athlete. The adoration-Shadenfreude-worship-resentment swirling combination ultimately causes people to eagerly sniff for mistakes with the media or in his personal life. It has been over a decade, and the guy remains pretty darn squeaky clean. He is a gifted quarterback, intelligent, well-spoken, a family guy, kind-hearted and unreasonably attractive with a supermodel wife. Yes, the guys is hot. In fact, he could be held responsible for kicking the collective libido of many women in New England up a few notches. Everybody wins with that, people, but I digress. It is hard for the haters to justify their hate for Tom Brady. Instead of wasting our time and energy on negativity, let’s cheer this amazing guy on as he leads our favorite team to a great season.

* By the way, for anyone out there who thought Giselle was “just a model” without much else going, watch her new Under Armor ad. It turns out Giselle is a tough-as-nails badass lassie herself. Good for her!!

Cindy Pierce’s New Show – COMFORT IN THE STUMBLE

A new show by Cindy Pierce
Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM doors and bar open at 7:00
at The Tupelo in White River Junction
Tickets: $25 – follow this link to buy tickets.

Ever wonder about the healing wonders of oatmeal? Could you ever imagine feminist wisdom being gleaned backstage at a strip club? Ever struggle to find lady clothes that set you free? Answers to these and other gems from the Incident Magnet herself, Cindy Pierce

Adults only. Contains graphic sexual language.

Follow this link to download a high-res. PDF of the poster for printing!

Amplify the Healthy Voices – Challenges We Face: Confronting Sexual Violence

Check out our new website: Amplify the Healthy Voices. Eric Barthold, Emma Creeden and I created a website to keep inspiring and enlightening articles, videos and links in one place. We hope you enjoy our latest post about Confronting Sexual Violence. Eric wrote the summary in this post.