Blog Archives

To Keep Or Not To Keep… Pubic Hair

Okay, so I had planned on doing a video today, but then I realized that pretty much all of my clothing that isn’t black is currently in the laundry, and I don’t have an alternate backdrop for the studio I film in.  If I were to film in my comfy black sweater, you’d see nothing but a floating head and a lot of hair.  This lead to the realization that if I waited until it was done, then it would be really late, and no one would see the video.  So you get another blog post, yay!  And I put on a ton of makeup (before said realization) for no reason at all, yay!

Someone sent me an anonymous request (via my Survey Monkey!) to do a video or blog post about the debate that rages regarding pubic hair.

I’ve been doing some variation of hair removal for over a decade now.  When I was a teenager, and I was still using pads, I would often trim my pubic hair while sitting on the toilet, with a pair of scissors.  When I had my period, I would often pass clots of blood and tissue, and they would sometimes get tangled in my pubic hair.  I reasoned that it would be easier to clean up during my period if the hair wasn’t quite so long.

Then I read an article in a teen magazine.  A girl had written in, saying that she was nervous about wearing a bathing suit in front of boys because her pubic hair would peek out the sides of her swimsuit bottoms.  She was actually given really good advice.  She was told not to worry about it, and that any boys who made fun of her for it were just immature.  But she was also told that if it really made her nervous and she wanted to, she could use the same razor that she used on her legs to clean up the sides of her pubic hair.

I was about to start doing swim lessons in high school, and it was a co-ed class.  Suddenly, I was nervous about my pubic hair showing on the sides of my bathing suit.  So I started shaving the sides of my pubic hair.  I kept doing this for years: trimming the long stuff near my labia, and shaving the sides when I knew I was going to be in a swimsuit.

I am pretty sure that my initial decision to actually go ahead and shave all of my pubic hair was out of curiosity.  I had read about it in ladies magazines (yes, again, my beauty and hygiene regimen was influenced by someone else having issues about their body), I had heard friends talk about it, and I was curious what it would feel like. So I took an extra long shower and decided to shave it all off.  My (now ex) husband really liked it, and asked me to keep doing it.

It felt weird, but it didn’t feel more weird than the sensation after shaving my legs.  I was really aware of the fact that my entire vaginal area felt different for a couple of days afterwards.  And then the hair started to grow back.  It itched.  It was prickly.  Some of the hair had trouble breaking back through the skin, so I had ingrown hairs, and not only did those itch too, but I had to take a pair of tweezers to my skin to get them out.  Even weirder though, was that the hair that grew back in was different.  Before I shaved my pubic hair, it had been curly and kind of rough.  Now, much like the hair on my head, it was straight and smooth.  I let it grow out a little more, but now that it was growing differently, it became hard to have sex without the hair being pulled (and sometimes, even pulled out).

So I continued shaving and letting it grow out and repeating the process.  I’ve also waxed the hair, and I find I actually prefer to do that over shaving it.   I would prefer to just let it be, but unfortunately, I can’t, unless I want to have pain during sex.

The makeup wasn't a waste!  YAY!

I didn’t intend on giving the personal history of my pubic hair, but there you go, I suppose.

Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of removing your pubic hair.  This list goes for anyone who is considering removing it, whether you identify as male, female, or any other gender.

Pros:

  1. Some people think it feels better to have no hair on their genitals.
  2. Long history!  People have been doing it since the days of Ancient Greece and Egypt.
  3. No stress about pubic hair peeking out of your bathing suit, if that’s the kind of thing you stress about.
  4. Pubic lice?  Not a problem.  You’ve destroyed their natural environment.
  5. Some people have a preference for minimal body hair.

Cons:

  1. Razor burn
  2. Ingrown hairs
  3. Awkward to actually do by yourself
  4. Creates microscopic tears in the skin
  5. Increased risk of contracting an STI due to the microscopic tears (they’re open wounds!)
  6. Some loss of sensitivity in the area (those hairs have nerve endings in the follicles)
  7. Increased friction between your skin and your clothing.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you.  Hair in your pubic area isn’t gross, or unhygienic.  It has a purpose.  It’s also okay to remove it, but you have to take extra precautions with preventing infections.  Above all, don’t do it if you’re just worried about someone telling you that you should remove it.  It is your body.  Do with it what you want.

When To “Lose It”: Let’s Talk About Virginity

Whew.  It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it?  As much as I enjoy this season, I’m feeling relieved that the holidays are almost over.

I got this wonderful question in my Survey Monkey, and it’s an important one.

I read your blog about vaginal discharge and stuff. it helped me too cus I was having the same problem. here is my question: everyone was talking in school about whether they are virgins or not. they asked me and I just skipped the question. I am a virgin. should I lose my virginity just so people wont make fun of me for it. I think I am ready, but I don’t know if I should

I’m glad you enjoyed my previous post, my dear!  I love hearing that I’ve helped someone.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that people generally don’t find out about until much later in life: Virginity, meaning whether or not someone has had sexual intercourse, doesn’t matter at all.  Really.  No one is going to think differently of you when you’re an adult if you’ve never had sex.  They aren’t going to think of you differently if you have had sex.  It flat out doesn’t matter when you’re an adult.  I can think of two people that I am friends with (one male, one female) who have never had sex.  Both of them are in their mid-twenties.  No big deal.  Now, I know that doesn’t help you out right now, but it is something to think about.

The answer to your question is no, you should not lose your virginity just so people don’t make fun of you for it.  You should only have sex when you actually want to do it.  That previous sentence will be true for the rest of your life, not just about your first time, so let me say it again: You should only have sex when you actually want to have sex.  If you feel pressure to have sex because you think your friends are all doing it, and that sounds like the case here, then you should wait.  If your friends make fun of you for the fact that you haven’t had sex yet, then they aren’t very good friends.  It’s okay to say that you aren’t interested in having sex, or that you want to be in a good relationship first, or even just that you don’t think you’re ready yet.  All of those are valid reasons for waiting.

I know that in middle school or high school, it can seem like everyone else is “doing it”, but that isn’t actually the case.  Some people have, some people are lying because they want to look cool or they think that other people will judge them for not having sex yet.   In a study that was done a few years ago, they found that the average age that someone has sex for the first time (male or female) is 17.

There’s another thing to consider.  You said that your friends were making fun of you for not having sex yet.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t generally go away even if you do have sex.  You’re at an age where everyone gossips about everyone else.  People will probably talk about you and your sex life (or no sex life), if you and/or your partner are talking to other people about it, no matter what you do.  Teenagers and adolescents can be mean.  Try to not let the opinions of other people, even your friends, make you decide to do something if you aren’t comfortable with it.

If you and your partner want to have sex, then go for it.  Have fun, and be sure to use barrier contraception.  You can go to that link to find my blog post about barrier methods for heterosexual (male and female) couples and learn about condoms.  You should always use a condom, especially for your first time.  You can go to this link to learn about how to have safer sex with another female (and these safer sex practices also apply to heterosexual sex too!  Especially using a dental dam!).  You should make sure that your partner respects you, likes you (maybe even loves you), and isn’t pressuring you to have sex before you’re ready.

Sex of any kind will pretty much always be awkward the first time.  And yes, I mean every kind of sex.  Oral sex (giving a blowjob, more properly called fellatio; or “going down” on a girl, more properly called cunnilingus) is still sex, giving someone a “handjob” or “fingering” is still sex, and anal sex is still sex too.  It is so important to know that it’ll be weird: your bodies will make strange noises, there are new smells, putting on a condom is generally awkward (please stock up, and read the instructions!), and if you still have your hymen then it might be a little painful too.  Having a partner who you care about and who cares about you will make it more fun than awkward.

I’m not saying this to scare you, or to try and make you not want to have sex, but to give you as much information as I possibly can in a short blog post.  Get some books and read about sex.  I can recommend S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College.  It is a great book with a LOT of information (and if you buy it through that link, then you help me make some money!).  If you feel comfortable, talking to the school nurse might help too.

I can’t tell you when to have sex.  Only you know when you’re ready.  But I can tell you that you shouldn’t do it if you are looking to avoid being teased, or to make your friends happy, or even to make your partner happy.  You should only have sex when you want to do it.  I really hope this post has helped you.

Do you have a question about sex or relationships?  You can go here to ask me anything, completely anonymously!

Vaginas Are Magic!

Wow, I completely dropped off of the face of the earth for awhile there, didn’t I? I could sit here at my computer and start making excuses, but we would all know that they’re excuses. My life has taken some crazy twists and turns, but I hope you all know how much I appreciate that you read the words I throw out into this gigantic void we call the internet. I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I hope we’re still friends.

I logged into my SurveyMonkey, and found a few really awesome questions that had been languishing there, and one that made me raise my eyebrows a little.

To the young man who sent me the same question in at least three different forums (YouTube comment, Google+ post, and through the SurveyMonkey) about his penis size: if your penis is actually the dimensions you are stating, you might have a real shot at candidacy for the Guinness Book of World Records. You would certainly have a lucrative career as a star in pornographic films, if you chose to pursue that as an option.  Quite frankly, I think you were exaggerating and you decided to send me a fantasy of yours. I can assure you, there are almost certainly other people on the internet who would love to read about it. If you enjoy writing fantasy of this nature, you may want to look for erotic literature sites that allow users to upload their own stories. I have a particular fondness for Literotica, myself.

Now on to the real questions!

Hi Suzanne! I am a 15 year old girl and my older sister recommended your blog since I am starting to get curious about my body and the changes I have already started going through. I usually have vaginal discharge throughout the month (I have a regular menstrual cycle and started getting my period at 13) and am not sure if I should be worried about it or not. Is discharge normal? p.s. I usually get discharge more often about a week or two before my period. The odor is also more potent during that time. The odor is kinda salty I guess? Not sure how to explain it. Thanks!

Hello my dear!

Let me start off by reassuring you that vaginal discharge is totally normal, and nothing to be worried about. In fact, when you start learning the reasons behind vaginal discharge, you might think it is actually pretty cool. I know I do, but it’s my job to think these things are really cool.

Female Reproductive System

 

Take a look at that image above.  Vaginal discharge is actually a mucus that is secreted by glands in the cervix.  Normal colors of this mucus are clear, white, and off-white.  It has several different functions, but it is primarily there to make sure that your vagina stays clean.  The discharge cleans out the dead bacteria, and keeps the vaginal canal moist and comfortable.  If you were to do a pH test, you’d find that the vaginal discharge is mildly acidic.  This helps prevent infections, and also helps keep the normally occurring bacteria at healthy levels.  The acidity also means that the mucus may discolor your underwear, especially black underwear.  I didn’t know that this was totally normal for the longest time, and I actually started wondering if there was something wrong with my vaginal discharge.

You’ve already noticed that there is a difference in your vaginal discharge throughout your menstrual cycle, and again, that is totally normal!  The mucus changes in consistency when a woman is ovulating, because the cervix is making sure that the vagina is as clean and healthy as possible when an egg is released.  As soon as you hit puberty and start menstruating (yes, even at 13!), your reproductive system works together to try and make sure that you always have the best of conditions to get pregnant if sperm is introduced into the vagina during this time.  I have always thought it was really interesting and, again, super cool, that our reproductive systems actually clean themselves.

There are a few things you can do to help make sure that your vagina stays healthy.  Wearing cotton underwear as your everyday underwear is probably the most helpful.  The fabric allows air to flow freely, and helps prevent a buildup of sweat and keep harmful bacteria from being introduced to your vagina.  There is evidence that eating yogurt with active cultures also helps keep the bacteria in your vaginal canal healthy and in balance.  Some women, especially those of older generations, will douche after their menstrual cycle.  Douching is forcing water and a cleanser into your vagina, and it is really really unhealthy.  Please don’t ever do this!  It can kill those naturally occurring bacteria, and will make you more susceptible to an infection.

If you feel self-conscious of the vaginal discharge, you might find that wearing a pantyliner on a regular basis will help you to feel more confident, but you should avoid the ones that are scented.  This goes for everything that goes anywhere near your vagina!  Using pantyliners, pads, or tampons that are perfumed can actually irritate the sensitive skin on your labia. You said you have noticed a difference in the smell of your vaginal discharge depending on the time of your menstrual cycle.  I promise, no one else has any idea that the smell is different.

If you find that your vaginal discharge changes in color or smell in a way that is unfamiliar, especially if you are sexually active, you should make an appointment to go see your doctor or gynecologist.  This can indicate an infection, and it should be treated as soon as possible.  Not treating an infection for an extended period of time can actually lead to serious complications, including making it impossible for you to ever get pregnant or have a baby.  I know you’re probably not thinking about getting pregnant right now, but making sure that things are always healthy will help you in the future!

Lastly, thank you so much for your question.  I hope my answer helped!

Do you have a question for me?  You can go here to ask me anything about sex and relationships, completely anonymously!

You Are Loved

This is not a typical post for my blog, but it is something that has been affecting my life and the lives of those around me recently. Let’s talk about depression.

Scumbag Genetics

Yeah, this sounds about right.

scumbag geneticsDepression (and mental illnesses in general) is a genetic joke. There are studies upon studies relating creativity, intelligence, and mental issues. Pretty much any incredibly talented artist you can think of suffered from some sort of mental illness. There shouldn’t be any shame related to it.

Unfortunately, many people feel shame about their mental illnesses. I know that I often feel ashamed of mine. I find myself thinking, “you have this amazing opportunity to do something that you love, you live in an amazing city, you have awesome friends, and your fiancé is loving and supportive. You have everything that you need and pretty much anything you want, so why do you feel shitty? You know that there are people out there with REAL problems, right?” and on and on and on. All that shame, negative self-talk, and personal berating only serves to make myself feel worse and makes getting back to normal even more difficult. It is ten times worse when someone else says these things that I find myself thinking.

I have suffered from depression, off and on, for pretty much as long as I can remember. In the tumultuous life that I have lead, depression has been one of the few constants in my life.

When I was dealing with the death of my biological mother at the age of eleven, despite being in therapy, I was depressed and suicidal. I was better for a few years, but high school was particularly hard. I honestly thought that everyone around me had their entire lives figured out already, and I was in a constant state of panic that I hadn’t chosen a career path yet. I was fourteen years old, and I was stressed, anxiety ridden, and depressed.

My mental stresses manifested themselves in several physical ways. I barely slept at night. I would sleep for 30 minutes, and then be awake for an hour and a half, sleep ten minutes, be awake for forty-five minutes. The sleep I did manage to snatch from my overloaded brain was not restful, as I was grinding my teeth and having disturbing nightmares. I managed to grind my teeth so hard that the plate of cartilage between my jaw and skull slipped forward, and prevented me from opening my mouth fully. I had to go to a specialist, get a night guard, and take Valium in order to actually get some rest. I am terrified at the fondness I still feel towards an opiate.

This may come as a shock to my friends at the time, but I was also severely bulimic. In general, I would eat the bag of chips in my packed lunch, throw the rest away, and drink as much water as possible so that they would soften in my stomach, and come up easier. I spent a minimum of 45 minutes in the bathroom after dinner, hoping and praying that no one would hear me as I tried to rid my stomach of all the food I had ingested with my family. I was so severely dehydrated that I would faint from time to time, especially after gym class. The scars on my knuckles have mostly faded, but I fear that I may have done irreparable damage to my metabolism.

I also developed some OCD-like behaviors. I would find myself counting people, or specific things in a room, and unable to stop. There were certain things in my life that absolutely had to be a certain way, or I was convinced some unspeakable horror would occur. I plucked my own body hair: legs, armpits, pubic region, eyelashes. I couldn’t stop.

During my adult life, my depression has taken a few different twists and turns. I found my OCD behaviors moving towards a fear of germs, especially when raw meat was concerned. I would almost hyperventilate while walking in the meat section of the grocery store. I had a particularly bad episode when I had to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. I stood in front of the refrigerator, crying, because I couldn’t bring myself to touch the raw turkey. My hair plucking moved to skin picking, and I still have a very difficult time leaving a blemish or a scab to heal naturally.

I have been suicidal. I have considered the probability of dying with minimal pain by walking into traffic, crashing my car into a cement barrier, taking too many painkillers, using a knife on my own wrists, and, of course, simply wasting away by not eating.

I have been through all of these things. I am just now pulling out of a nine month struggle with some pretty severe depression. I still have bad days, days where I just want to sit in bed or on my computer, eat nothing, produce nothing, and feel nothing. I have wonderful days where I am ready to take on the world, and I get a lot of things done. I hope this explains the sporadic nature of my blog updates in the past few months. Thankfully, with the help of my fiance and my dear friends, I was able to catch myself before I reached the suicidal thoughts stage.

Happy mountaineer standing on the top

I like to compare getting back to “normal” during a depressive episode to attempting to hike up a hill that is covered in gravel. It is mentally and physically exhausting. It can help to have a walking stick (anti-depression drugs), or a guide (therapist), but sometimes you have to make the journey on your own. Sometimes you slip and fall, and you end up sliding back down to the bottom. If you already know the way up, and you have accepted that sometimes you are going to slide back down, you’ll have an easier time of it and you’re less likely to quit out of frustration. I slide around a bit, and sometimes I end up riding on my butt all the way back down the hill, but I always get up, dust myself off, and try again. It is the only way to get back to feeling like myself. The struggle and the bruises are always worth the time and effort.

I am not a trained therapist nor am I a counselor. I have no education or background in helping someone with depression or suicidal thoughts. I do, however, have a sympathetic ear. I can commiserate with how difficult it is to feel like something is wrong, and to not be able to put a finger on the problem, let alone know where to begin to fix it. I can help find a therapist, or tell silly stories for a laugh.

I am heartbroken each time I hear about a friend who is dealing with the suicide of someone they love. And the person who is gone is always loved. Always.  Suicide means that those who are left behind are plagued with thoughts of “What could I have done? How could I not know? I don’t understand.”  I think that the grieving process is especially hard when someone commits suicide, because it wasn’t a natural death.

Please.  You are loved.

Please, Call this Number if You Need It.

Next week (September 8-14th) is National Suicide Prevention Week in the US. If you or someone that you love is suicidal, there is free help available. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a counselor in your area, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It sounds trite, but suicide is a permanent solution to what may be a short-term problem, and it leaves waves of devastation in its wake.  You are loved.  Don’t give up.

Her Name Was Susan Cox Powell

Her name was Susan Cox Powell.

We went to high school together.  Though we didn’t know one another very well, we had a lot of mutual friends.  I remember her as someone who was gracious, intelligent, and kind.  Susan had a beautiful smile.  She disappeared in 2009.  Interviews with Susan’s friends have shown that her relationship with her husband was abusive.  He shoved her, slapped her, wouldn’t allow her to buy groceries for the family, and locked her out of the house.   Her father-in-law had a disturbing obsession with her, and took voyeuristic photographs of her.  Susan left a will in a safe deposit box that said if she disappeared it “wouldn’t be an accident”.

Her sons’ names were Charlie and Braden.

They were taken on an impromptu “camping” trip at 12:30am, in the middle of a snowstorm, by their father, the night that Susan disappeared.  Three years later, Charlie and Braden had started talking about that night.  Braden drew a picture of a car with three occupants, and when he was asked about his drawing, he said “Mommy’s in the trunk”.  One year ago today, they were killed by their father, who took a hatchet to their tiny bodies before setting a fire that would ultimately kill all three.

I am convinced that Susan’s husband killed her.  I am convinced that we will likely never find her, her friends and family will probably never have closure.  I am convinced that we should learn from this, that we should be tireless advocates for those who are abused by their partners.

  • Intimate partner homicides account for 30% of all deaths of women.
  • Everyday, in the US, three women are murdered by their partner.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.

It is easy to think that you are smarter than a woman in an abusive relationship.  It is easy, to look at the situation, and think “she should have left him”.  In reality, it is incredibly difficult to leave an abusive relationship, especially when you have children.  It is common for abusive partners to use children as a way to get their partner to stay in the abusive relationship.  According to her will, Susan’s husband told her that he would “destroy” her if she tried to leave him.

It is hard to be the friend or family member of someone who is in an abusive relationship.  It is hard not to have those thoughts.  It is hard to watch someone’s personality deteriorate in the face of abuse.  It is hard to be supportive, to lend an ear, to watch your friend or family member walk back into the home they share with their abusive partner.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline has some very helpful tips on how to help a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship.

Since the National Domestic Violence Hotline was established, domestic violence and intimate partner homicide has taken a drastic downward turn.  The Hotline is funded by the Violence Against Women Act.  The VAWA is currently being debated by our nation’s elected leaders, and it may not be re-authorized.  This would be an unspeakable tragedy.  Please, write to your senator, write to your congressional representative.  Tell them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Her name was Susan Cox Powell.

Her sons were Charlie and Braden.

I am burning a candle in their memory today.

I am also emailing my representatives, in their memory, to try and make sure that other women in her situation have the resources necessary to leave abusive relationships.

 

Edit: For those of you who would like a form letter, please see the one I have drafted below.

Dear Senator/Representative/Congresswoman/Congressman   ,

I am writing you today in memory of  Susan Cox Powell, and her sons, Charlie and Braden, to urge you to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

This act provides the funding necessary to assist women who are in domestic violence situations, and since its inception in 1994, the number of domestic violence incidences have decreased dramatically.

Decreasing domestic violence is not a partisan issue.

Sincerely,

AsapSCIENCE

There is a lot of misinformation about Plan B, also known as the Morning After pill.  I’ve found that a lot of this is spewed by the same people who fail at basic chemistry (I’m looking at you, people who believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old!), and this video does a pretty fantastic job at explaining exactly how Plan B works.  Contrary to what those protesting Planned Parenthood would have you believe, Plan B is not an abortifacient, in fact, if the fertilized egg has already implanted, it cannot harm the zygote.  I know so many people who actually believe that Plan B is the same as RU486, the abortion pill.  This is patently untrue.  Plan B prevents unintended pregnancies, and RU486 aborts unintended pregnancies.

Another cool video from AsapSCIENCE explains some of the biological responses that men and women experience during orgasm.  I’m sure that little in that video will be surprising to readers of this blog (savvy smart people that you are).  I did find it both interesting and slightly vindicating that there is actual research to prove what many men and women in the BDSM scene have been saying for ages: that pain and pleasure are linked.

I’m really looking forward to more videos explaining the science behind sex.  What did you think of these videos?

DrinkSavvy

Because I am a terrible procrastinator, and I am desperately trying to stop doing so many “This thing makes me so ANGRY! HULKSMASH!” kind of posts, I was browsing Tumblr earlier for some post ideas.  I found a few really awesome things, like the Hawkeye Initiative, where a talented artist has taken to re-drawing the poses of female comic book characters as Hawkeye.  If you need to giggle a bit, and then weep when you realize how ridiculous female comic book characters are drawn, take a look.  But that wasn’t enough for a whole blog post.

But this?  This is seriously cool.

DrinkSavvy is the brainchild of Mike Abramson, and his invention could save lives.  How many times have you heard to “never leave a drink unattended”, or “watch your drink, you might get drugged”?  I know that I have definitely had my drink spiked by someone that I trusted, while I was dating him.  Normally, this sort of advice is directed towards young women, but the creator was inspired after being drugged himself.

DrinkSavvy is a series of products (cups, glasses, straws and stirrers) that actually change color in the presence of GHB, a common “date rape” drug.  Although it has a slightly salty taste, GHB is colorless and odorless, and can be difficult to detect in a flavored drink.  Here’s what GHB can do to a person, according to Wikipedia:

Its effects have been described anecdotally as comparable with alcohol and ecstasy use, such as euphoria, disinhibition, enhanced sensuality and empathogenic states. At higher doses, GHB may induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia, unconsciousness, and death. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, or even longer if large doses have been consumed. Consuming GHB with alcohol is dangerous as it can lead to vomiting in combination with unrouseable sleep, a potentially lethal combination.

If these products become widespread, then we can effectively eliminate one tool in the date rapist’s arsenal.  Do me a favor, share this indiegogo campaign on every social media platform you currently use.  I want to see these used in every bar in the US.

I donated to the campaign, will you?

Dear Jezebel: Your Sex Advice Column is STILL Crap

Jezebel’s new sex advice columnist is still absolute crap at giving advice.  Here’s my responses to the questions directed at “Slutever”.

Dear Slutever, I do not engage in any sexual activity unless my prospective partner and I both get full STD testing. In the past five years, not one woman that I dated agreed to this. Why are so many women against getting tested prior to sex?

Sincerely, Alan

Hi Alan,

While I agree with Slutever’s assertion that you should probably start presenting this in a different light to your dates (and using condoms!), I’m more concerned with your reasons behind this request.  Would you stop seeing someone if they tested positive for an STI?

As someone who has struggled with germ phobias, I would suggest that you engage the services of a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy so that you can get past this particular quirk.  Condoms and dental dams, when used correctly, are extremely effective at preventing transmission of most STIs, and I suspect that you know this already.  So, before jumping into the sack with someone, even if they’ve shown you a clean bill of health, take care of yourself first and talk with a trained professional about your concerns.

 

I’ve been at war for the past three years but I’m coming back next week, and I really need to take my mind off things and want to lose myself in some self-love. I’m in a small town with little access to sex shops, so I was wondering if you had any unique ideas for sex toys I could fashion out of household items, or any tips that would help achieve a great orgasm experience. I really need something to get excited about!

Thanks, Steven



Hi Steven,

First of all, congratulations on finishing your tour of duty!  I really wouldn’t recommend fashioning your own sex toys or using things from your kitchen.  There are intricacies of the human anatomy that are better left to the experts.  Fortunately, although you live in a small town,  you can easily order masturbatory aids online that will be shipped to you in discreet packaging.  Smitten Kitten comes to mind immediately!  As for interesting sex toys, there are a plethora that you can choose from!  If you are interested in penatrative objects, there are items like the NJoy butt plugs, or vibrating butt plugs/perenium massagers.  If it tickles your fancy, you could also experiment a bit with sounding, though I can’t find any online retailers that I would wholeheartedly recommend.  For other masturbatory aids, there’s the ever popular fleshlight, and along the same lines, you can purchase a Tenga egg masturbation sleeve, or the slightly more elaborate Tenga 3D masturbation sleeves.

Just make sure you eat and drink plenty of fluids, use lubrication, and go out of the house every once in awhile during your “me time”.  It would be tragic to see a headline like “Soldier Starves to Death During Marathon Masturbation Session.”



I am a 31-year-old woman who has been married for 5 years. We still have frequent and awesome sex, but I have an issue that (oddly) seems to be getting worse with age. I orgasm way too quickly! And then I’m basically over sex. I’ve never had multiple orgasms, ever. I have one gigantic, eye-popping orgasm after about 3-5 minutes of intercourse and then I’m ready for sex to be over.  I’m constantly telling my husband to slow down or stop totally during sex so I can prolong it enough for him to get off too, but it’s getting to the point where he’s a little hurt that I can’t “hang on.”

Love, Caitlin

Hi Caitlin!

Much like last week’s column, I would recommend that you spend a lot more time on foreplay, concentrating on getting your husband close to orgasm.  It would also help if you talked about this outside of the bedroom, and make sure that he knows you are asking him to slow down or stop because you want him to enjoy sex too!  The numbing agents that Slutever recommended can help, but you also might have an adverse reaction to them.  I know a lot of women, personally, who find that creams or lubricants that are supposed to numb their genitals give them a burning sensation instead.

It is uncommon for a woman to orgasm that quickly, especially if there isn’t some sort of direct clitoral stimulation during intercourse!    A little more communication between you and your husband can really go a long way here.

 

I think this is going to be a regular post for Nice Girls, at least until Jezebel hires a better sex advice columnist.  Some of Slutever’s recommendations are downright dangerous or unhealthy, and I hope my responses provide a needed balance.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sex Positivism In Medicine

It looks like medical professionals are getting on the sex-positive bandwagon, and it’s about time.

Yesterday, the American Association of Pediatrics recommended that pediatricians give their young female patients advance prescriptions for Plan B.  For those of you outside the US, if you are under 18, you cannot get Plan B over the counter, and need a prescription.  Plan B has been available over the counter for those 18 and over for about a year now.

The FDA originally decided that it should be available over the counter to everyone, regardless of age, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA’s decision because of her doubts that young women under 18 would use it properly.  This is despite Plan B being safer to use than aspirin or ibuprofen, especially since it is impossible to overdose on Plan B.

This comes one week after the American College of OB/GYNs has recommended that hormonal birth control pills be available for everyone over the counter, just like condoms.  I can’t tell you how excited this makes me.  It is so important that young women have access to things like this, so they can engage in healthy sexual activity without fear of parental judgement, pregnancy, or the heartbreaking choice of abortion.

With studies showing that teenagers in the US have less sex than teenagers in other first world countries, but are getting pregnant more often, access to emergency birth control in conjunction with comprehensive sex education could help that pregnancy rate continue to decline.

No More Nudity, San Francisco

In a somewhat sad turn of events, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has voted to ban public nudity.

Yeah, I can understand the sentiment behind the ban.  The number of people who are grossed out or who find public nudity disturbing far outweigh people like myself, who find it mildly amusing at best.  I always giggled a little when I saw our resident nudists in the Castro, and I found it outright hilarious when one of the gentlemen decided to go to Fisherman’s Wharf and give the tourists an eyeful.  There were three women who were running from him and screaming while laughing.  I’m sure they will be regaling their friends back home with the story of “that weird naked guy” they saw in San Francisco for years to come.

San Francisco has always been the place to go to push the envelope and challenge the status quo. From the Summer of Love in 1969, to Harvey Milk, to the Pride Parade, to Folsom Street Fair (don’t google that at work, please), we are a haven for those who don’t fit in with mainstream society.  The nudists were part of that push against normalcy.

As a part of our mainstream society, it seems that people automatically equate nudity with sexuality.  Naked bodies mean sex in popular culture.  If you are a parent taking an adorable picture of your child in the bathtub, you’re suspected of child pornography, not thinking your child’s chubby thighs are cute.

If you want to sit outside and sip your coffee while naked, then you’re assumed to find the idea that someone is looking at you arousing.  But that’s not what nudity is about.  Just like any other subculture there are cultural rules, like putting down a towel before you sit down somewhere, and becoming visibly aroused is explicitly within the realm of Not Okay for nudists. It is about being free from clothing, not exhibitionism or voyeurism.  It has absolutely nothing to do with sex, and I really think that is what the general population doesn’t understand.

I find it sad that the Board of Supervisors have banned public nudity.  It seems like a cultural step backwards for San Francisco, especially considering the city’s rich history of being socially progressive.  No one was being harmed by the city’s nudists.  In fact, it forced me to re-think my attitude about nudity, and come to the conclusion that my initial feelings of “ewwww” were due to cultural conditioning.

There is nothing gross about the human body.  It’s a pity that we can’t all just grow up and say, “If you don’t like it, don’t look!”

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