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Ellen Friedrichs

Health & Sexuality Educator & Writer

Location icon United States

I'm a health educator and writer. My book, "Good Sexual Citizenship: How to Create a (Sexually) Safer World" will be out Sept. 2019 from Cleis Press. My writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the HuffPost, Rewire News, and Back in the day I ran's LGBT Teens site and was the sex ed expert for These days, I answer sex and relationship questions on the Okayso app. Much of my writing is related to health and sexuality (both of the adolescent and the adult variety), and some of it covers my experiences parenting. Contact me at [email protected]


Assorted Articles and Blogs

Here's How I Explain Our Blended Family To My Toddler.

Growing up, my mother loved to tell stories of her father, a family doctor who had died while she was in high school. I heard about things like his dramatic wartime escapades, his subsequent three-pack-a-day habit, and his practice of exchanging medical services for the art of dubious quality that decorated my childhood home.

How to Stay Solvent in a One-Income Household

A few years ago, I unexpectedly found myself raising two kids on one income. In my case, the situation was the result of my partner's sudden death, so the change was utterly unexpected. The loss was devastating. But even during that difficult time, I knew that I was fortunate, since I had a steady job.

5 Must Dos to Put on Your Estate-Planning Checklist

At the end of 2012, my partner died suddenly. He was 40, I was 37, and our two kids were only 3 and 6. His death from a rare heart condition was a devastating shock. But so was the matter of closing out his estate, something I assumed we were decades away from having to address.

Rewire News

Articles on teen sexuality and sexual health and how our current approaches aren't really doing the trick.

Five Ways Adults Can Help Support LGBTQ Youth - Rewire.News

I have been teaching sex ed for nearly 15 years, and keeping pace with an ever-changing world has meant regularly adjusting the topics I cover in class. But this year, I realized a lesson that I had stopped using not too long ago had once again become sadly relevant.

All my articles as a contributing writer for the site
Everyday Feminism

Check out some of my favorites, to the right and below.

Everyday Feminism
4 Ways We Teach Boys It's Normal to Pressure Girls Sexually

by Ellen Friedrichs If you grew up in the United States, it is almost inevitable that you've been subject to a few standard aphorisms. These include things like: "Anyone can make it here if they try hard enough," "Nothing worth having comes easy, " "Hard work pays off, " "Winne rs never quit, and quitters never win," and "Success is no accident."

Everyday Feminism
4 Ways Parents Can Battle How Society Hypersexualizes Their Children

One day, when I was about twelve, my younger cousin Sasha and I were dancing in our grandmother's living room as my mom and a few other adults chatted in the kitchen a few feet away. At one point, Rod Stewart's old song "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" came on the radio.

Everyday Feminism
4 Reasons Why We Should Stop Stigmatizing Women's Body Hair

News flash: Women have body hair. Armpits, legs, genitals - even faces. And it's become a widely accepted rule that they must remove this hair. Some women choose to do this freely, and some women choose to defy this standard. But the stigma runs even deeper than that.

Everyday Feminism
Your 5 Most Common Questions About Alcohol and Consent - Answered

The first time I formally learned about was in grad school. I was training as a peer sexuality educator, and we did an exercise where we had to decide which activities needed to be discussed with a partner: "Do you need consent to hug someone?" the facilitator asked. "To hold hands?

Modern Loss

A number of personal essays I have written on raising my kids following the sudden death of my partner.


Here I've written about parenting, money, feminism, and estate planning.

Nature Medicine
On the Pill

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the approval of oral contraception in the US, and the Pill's age is starting to show. Problems abound with its delivery, dosage and side effects. Ellen Friedrichs investigates how researchers have conceived of new ways to deliver birth control.
SexEdvice Blog

Posts on all manner of teen sexuality and relationships.

Speakeasy Blog

My blog on reproductive rights, sex education, voting, teen pregnancy and more for Alternet.

LGBT+ Teens

Here is where I ran the LGBT+ teens site for many years and covered current events, pop culture, health, sexuality and more!

Recent Presentations

Everything Your Kids Want To Know About Sex…. And How To Tell Them
Park Slope Parents

Recommendations for what to say to your middle schooler, what you can stop worrying about, and how you can make this communication as healthy, informative, and comfortable as possible.


The American Prospect
Safe Words

Check out my comments on sex ed in this great article.

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