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!

Coming Out Still Matters

Hi everyone!

I’m having some technical issues with my video studio, and I’ll need to replace a part that is absolutely vital to recording. I had hoped to have a video post up today, talking about National Coming Out day, but it doesn’t look like that is in the cards. I’ve tried everything I can think of to fix the problem and I just can’t get it fixed. 

In lieu of that video, I would like to share this blog post that I wrote a year or so ago about the love and friendship between myself and my best friend from high school.

Coming out still matters because if everyone comes out, some day, coming out won’t be a big deal.

Gaymer X Writeup by GeekPinata!

I was unable to attend GaymerX last weekend, so I decided to do an impromptu giveaway via twitter and my facebook fan page.  I used a random number generator to choose the winner, and I was thrilled that my friend Crystal won!  Crystal runs her own blog, Geek Pinata, and I asked her to do a writeup of the convention for me.   Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Talk DOMA and Prop8!

I am blurry and I don’t understand why my autofocus failed so hard.

Anyways, YAY FOR STEPS FORWARD FOR EQUALITY!

Tearjerkers

My emotions today have reached a heretofore unprecedented level of sappiness.  I kid you not, as of 1:30pm Pacific time, I have cried over three different things I have seen online.  I’ve decided to share them with you here.

First up is Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDx talk, where she discusses the potential psychology behind the cybermob that attacked her so viciously over her Tropes vs. Women kickstarter project.

I teared up at the end.  Male and female video game characters pander so excessively to the heterosexual male fantasies that it leaves little room for those of alternate genders or sexual orientations to also indulge in the fantasy.  I love playing video games.  Love it.  But just once, I’d like to see a female character that isn’t weak, or aggressively sexualized.  Am I really asking too much when I ask to play a female character who isn’t wearing a chainmail bikini over the balloons on her chest?

And then there’s this picture.

That is Dan Savage (one of my personal heroes, though we disagree from time to time) and his longtime partner Terry, getting their marriage certificate signed in Washington state.  I wept like a baby.  I am so happy that my home state has made same sex marriage legal.

Finally, the fact that this is an actual film that will be shown at SXSW 2013 did me in.

I am so very excited for this film.  Wonder Woman is a personal favorite superhero of mine (and really, she should be for anyone else too!).  I recently read The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and the entire premise of this movie ratcheted my geekcitement up to 11.  I’m interested to see how the filmmakers will compare with the author of The Supergirls.

Has anything touched your heart today?  Maybe made you squee a little?  Share your excitement with me in the comments below!

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?

Random Ramblings

I am suffering from some serious writer’s block.  I was unexpectedly too busy to post yesterday, but I’ve had a couple of hours to write, and I just don’t have a topic that I can write a full post about today.  So today, you get snippets of things that are rolling around in my brain.

First off, can we please STOP calling other women “whores” and judging them for having sex?  One of my family members shared this on her Facebook wall, and it made me see red.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have definitely judged other girls that I didn’t know well, and called them “whore”.  But you know what?  I look back at those times, and every single time, it was an insult made out of jealousy.

You heard me.  I have called other women awful names because I was jealous.  I was jealous because I thought they were prettier, or because they had a nicer body, or they wore clothing that I could never pull off, or they were more socially confident than me, or they were better at flirting, or they had the attention of the guy that I thought was cute/dating/liked.  Look deep within yourself when you decide to label someone “whore” or “slut”.  Unless that person actually works in the sex industry, chances are, the reasons behind your loathing of another person is actually emotions that you’re directing at yourself.

Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.  – Cady from 2004’s Mean Girls

I’d like to add that calling someone a whore doesn’t make your sex or love life any better.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to be funny on the Nice Girls twitter account, and joked that The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino was so sexy, I was scared I’d run out of batteries.

One of my followers, who is also a friend of mine in real life, said that I should invest in a Hitachi Magic Wand.  When I replied that I didn’t really have the money to spend on it, she actually bought me one!  It gets delivered tomorrow, and you can expect a review after I’ve taken it for a test drive.

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There are some really amazing conferences that I want to attend, but I always find out about them too late.  I really wanted to go to CatalystCon, the Good Vibrations Sex Summit, and I barely found out about Arse Elektronika in time to attend one day of the conference.  How does one go about getting on the mailing list for these things?  Readers, if you hear about an interesting sex conference that you’d like to see me at, or read about on Nice Girls, could you let me know about it?

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I read what seemed to be a really amazing, sex positive, open relationship positive book called Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles.  I say that it seemed to be that way, because up until the final chapter, it was purely discussing how women and men are programmed to seek out partners outside of their primary relationships, and it even had some interesting theories regarding homosexuality.  In the last chapter, it had a cloying story about an elderly couple and how being monogamous throughout their entire lives was the best possible reproductive strategy.  It seemed like an odd way to end an otherwise open minded and rather engaging book.  I’m still wrestling with how to review it properly.

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In the interest of giving Nice Girls some more diverse voices, I am approaching some of my fellow sex educators about writing articles or columns for this blog.  I’m also planning on starting a YouTube channel, so that I can interview some of the interesting people I come across in this line of work, and you can see it all!

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Finally, today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  I’d like for you all to take a minute, and take a look at that website.

And now, I’d like to challenge you to be a transgender ally.  When you see injustice, bullying, or any sort of hate-motivated violence (whether physical or verbal), take a stand.  Make sure that your words are not going to hurt another.  Intervene.  Call the police, and then stand witness when they arrive.  Make sure that those around you, whether straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, know that you won’t stand there and let someone else hurt them.

Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Kink

When visiting my local Good Vibrations a couple of weeks ago, I was very excited to see a copy of Tristan Taormino’s newest book, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge, displayed prominently among fetish accoutrements.  I eagerly picked up a copy, and devoured it from cover to cover in three sittings.

I have previously discussed my adoration of Ms. Taormino’s work before, and she showed once again how well she understands the world of non-normative sexuality.  Instead of writing the entire book herself, she sought out the experts in each subject and asked each of them to write an essay about their experiences.

The list of authors in this book reads as a veritable who’s who in the space of kink, and each voice shines through when they are talking about their area of expertise.  Midori, Mollena Williams, Ignacio Rivera, and Madison Young (sites are all NSFW, depending on your workplace) are among the contributors who bare their souls and their sexuality for the sake of education.  Each chapter covers a different subject, and every area is discussed thoughtfully and with respect to the practitioners.

With topics ranging from the topics people usually think of as kink: sadism, masochism, bondage, submission and dominance; to the less public faces of kink, like age play and edge play, this book is as close to perfect as possible.  If you are interested in kink, either intellectually or would like to practice, this book is a great tool to learn to articulate your thoughts and desires.  Longtime practitioners, who are generally in a never-ending quest to learn more about their desires and the desires of their partners, will also find the viewpoints interesting and informative.

Overall, I highly recommend The Ultimate Guide to Kink.  Ms. Taormino, thank you for putting together such a fantastic overview of the broad spectrum of kink.  Once again, I tip my proverbial hat to you.

 

You can help support Nice Girls by purchasing The Ultimate Guide to Kink through the Amazon link above.  A portion of each sale goes towards keeping my blog up and running!

Oppa Condom Style! And a Poll!

With reports from North Korea showing that the general populace has a hard time finding any sort of contraception, a group of South Korean activists have launched several balloons, hoping they will drift across the border and find their way into the hands of North Koreans.

Among other essential items like sanitary napkins, toothpaste, underwear, socks, anti Pyongyang information, and flashlights, over 5,000 condoms were airlifted to drift north.  According to this article, the groups who normally send balloons like these are North Korean defectors, Christian groups, and the South Korean right wing party.

Does anyone else find it somewhat incongruous to see that list?  I did a double take.

[I would like to give thanks to someone on the Jezebel fan page for the title of today's post.  I'm unsure if I should thank them by name, due to Google searches, but thanks anyway.  It made me giggle.  If you don't know the reference, what, have you been living under a rock this whole time?  Treat yourself to the magic that is the Gangnam Style video.  Heck, do it even if you've seen it before.]
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Today, the Director of the CIA, David Petraeus has resigned his post, citing an extramarital affair as the reason for his resignation.  While I know that within the military there are laws against adultery, and his affair could have had the potential for blackmail and a subsequent security breach, I am outright disgusted at the way the media is treating this entire situation.

I have seen no less than 10 news stories questioning who he had the affair with, and, sure enough, someone has dug it up.  Why are we, as a nation, delighting in what has to be an incredibly painful situation for General Petraeus, his family and friends, and his alleged mistress?  He has resigned his position, and is effectively bowing out of the public life, and has done so with dignity and grace.  To be quite honest, I am looking forward to my imagined utopian-esque future when non-monogamy is no longer a Big Deal for the media.  Give the man some peace.  He’s done the right thing here, and no one should be getting blasted by the media.

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San Francisco has decided to no longer prohibit gender reassignment surgeries from the list of covered medical treatment under the city’s Healthy San Francisco program, a sliding scale health care coverage system that can be used by everyone in San Francisco.  Though the city currently does not have the capacity or surgeons who are skilled in this particular type of surgery, so this is a mostly symbolic move for the city.  Transgender patients currently are able to receive hormone therapy, counseling, and regular medical care under Healthy SF.

While I am glad that the city takes these concerns seriously, gender reassignment surgeries are extremely expensive, and can go into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the specific services provided.  As someone who is cisgender, I can’t imagine the mental anguish of someone who doesn’t feel that their body matches their identity and mentality.  I am glad that there may be a solution for the transgender in my community in the next few years.

But to be honest, as someone who is currently covered under this program, I’d like to see Healthy SF start providing some other services first, specifically preventative and non-emergency dental care.  So many other medical problems can be circumvented with regular cleanings and filling of cavities that seems rather odd to me that there hasn’t been a big push for this sort of service.

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In other news, I am considering offering a weekly podcast compilation of each week’s posts.  Do me a favor, and cast a vote below to let me know if you’d like to hear my dulcet tones reading my posts each week!

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