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Friday, May 15, 2015

The Origin of Love

A recent conversation with a friend prompted my own question. How do I define sexuality? I think Hedwig said it best.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"DFA" --Down for Anal?

"I was recently reading an issue of Marie Claire and it made me question: Why are more females interested in anal sex? What's in it for the girls?"

Dear Reader,

 A very good question indeed. After all, as many of you may or may not know, for men, penetration of the anus stimulates something called the prostate gland which for many men can provide a very pleasurable erotic sensation. Yet women do not have  prostates, so what gives? I think the answer, like most questions regarding sexuality lies in a combination of psychological and physical factors. For some women, the knowledge of doing something that is more sexually forbidden, such as anal penetration can cause general excitement and perhaps an increase in pleasure. Also, even though the penis (or sex toy) will not hit a prostate, the anus is obviously close by to the vagina and all of the nerve endings women associate with sexual pleasure--therefore stimulating areas in and around the anus can stimulate the same pleasure fields associated with vaginal sex. Some women find that because anal sex stimulates parts of the body not usually touched in any way, it can achieve intense orgasms for them. Others seem to enjoy it because of a feeling of "fullness" in the body.

That said, anal sex can be tricky as the anus does not self lubricate like the vagina. So it is important to use plenty of lubrication to avoid rectal bleeding. Also, never put anything that has been in an anus into a vagina again (even if they belong to the same person!) because the bacteria that live in the anus are not healthy for the vagina!

Overall, I could not comment on whether more women are trying anal sex compared to previous years, but I will say that women who are in sexual relationships where they feel comfortable, are more likely to try different sexual acts with their partners, including anal. Perhaps women today feel more at ease in their relationships? Or perhaps more comfortable trying new things?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What is my period up to these days?

Today's Question : "I recently stopped taking birth control (bc) pills and I don't know what to expect...when am I going to get my period again?"

Dear Reader, Unfortunately, due to diet, environmental factors, and genetics, every period is different and periods these days can be a little "outta whack!" But do not despair, because your body, if healthy, is going to figure out its own cycle post-bc. That said, it might take a while to get there. If you have just gone off birth control, depending on when in your cycle you stopped taking bc, you may experience spotting or bleeding right away or it may take some time. You may get a regular period on the date you expect, or it may disappear for a month or two. If you were taking an oral pill, most likely you were taking 21 days of pill swith hormones, and then 7 days with placebo pills which were merely place holders with no hormones. Generally, it is during the placebo week when women have bleeding. In general, when you stop taking "the pill" you will most likely have two weeks before you ovulate, and two to four weeks after that is when you will have your period.

But remember every body is different so if you are trying to get pregnant, I would recommend having at least one "normal period" before expecting results. If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, be sure to use a barrier method if having vaginal intercourse with a man including condoms, a diaphragm, or cervical cap.

Additionally, some women choose to not take the placebo pills in order to not bleed at all because they are going to the beach, have a special weekend planned, or have difficult symptoms during bleeding including heavy cramping or headaches. Yet, in general I would not recommend doing this for too many months, as psychologically many women need to see the monthly bleeding to be sure they are not pregnant, and you may see some spotting or light irregular bleeding if you do not maintain a regular schedule. However, there are no known health risks associated with continually taking hormonal pills (i.e. skipping placebo pills).

And remember to talk with your health care provider about going off your bc because s/he will also have insight into your body's reaction.

Good luck with the change and remember to be patient and kind to your body! Eat healthy food, make exercise a part of your routine, and get plenty of sleep!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let's talk about sex, baby.

Today's Question: "I want my partner to have the best sex every time we're together, but I'm not exactly comfortable/sure how to talk to her about it.  How do you start a conversation when your pride is potentially on the line?"

Communication is key. Isn't that what we're always being told? And yet why is it so difficult? I think you've nailed this one on the head reader--putting yourself out there is hard! What if her response is less than positive? What if she says you're great but is really just afraid to tell you what she wants? Or even scarier what if she doesn't know what she wants?
   You're already way ahead of the game in that you are thinking about this question--that is step one. Now for step two there is a fork in the road and you can decide to approach the subject one of two ways.
1. Talk to her while you are fooling around/engaging in sexual activity. Try something--a lick, a kiss, a position and ask "is this ok?" or "do you like that?" or "show me where to put my _____." You could also ask her to take the lead and say "today I won't do anything unless you direct tell me where to go and what to do and I will follow!" She may enjoy being in control and that may give you hints to what turns her on.
2. You can talk to her when you are not engaging in sexual activity or foreplay. Just ask matter-of-factly what she likes. When you are watching TV, or on the phone, ask her what feels good when you guys are getting down to business. "Baby, what is the hottest thing we've/I've done while we are making love?" or ask her "when have you been the most turned on lately?" You may even want to try a little phone sex as that will give her the opportunity to describe in words what she finds sexually appealing.

Perhaps the most preferable is that you talk BEFORE you even engage in any sexual activity...try to figure out what she likes before you get into things.

Overall, asking these questions may seem awkward at first but it will get easier, and she will really appreciate you opening the door! But remember, she may not know exactly what she likes or wants either. And she should take the time to explore a little on her own, and try different things with you. Together, you will figure out how to have an awesome time!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ouch! That's my cervix!

Today's question: "Lately I have been bleeding a little after sex. My boyfriend's penis is very long and I think he might be hitting a sore spot way in the back because it hurts when he hits it. What should I do so we can have less painful sex?"

Reader, the spot that you are describing is most likely the tip of your cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the uterus and it is located at the "end" of the vaginal canal (where the penis is entering you). Click here for a diagram. Most men do not reach the cervix with their penis, but occasionally simply based on the fit of the two people engaging in vaginal sex, the penis may hit the cervix and cause discomfort or pain. Usually, the easiest thing to do to avoid this it to change general certain positions will give his penis more or less contact with the cervix. For example, I would avoid "doggy style" (where you are on your hands and knees, lying down, or on knees sitting up and your partner is entering from behind you) generally this angle may be more likely to hit the cervix. Try "missionary position" (where you are facing each other and lying down). Also how well lubricated are you? because chafing (the rubbing together of skin which resulting in irritation) may be causing a little bleeding after sex. If the bleeding continues though or becomes more frequent, definitely go to your gynecologist or a local clinic as irregular bleeding can be a sign of an infection or other abnormality. If you need to use a lubricant there are many out there you will have to experiment to find which is right for you. Try to avoid spermicidal ones though as many people are allergic to them and they tend to irritate the vagina more.
If your body is not quite "ready" for sex--that is your vagina has not had time to lubricate and you perhaps do not feel sufficiently "turned on" (a high feeling of sexual arousal)-- your cervix may not pull up the way it usually does when you are well lubricated. Make sure you take time before your partner enters you to engage in some foreplay--come up with ways of engaging with your partner that will heighten your sexual arousal before beginning vaginal intercourse. Basically figure out what turns you on and be ready to try different positions and find what works for you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Talking to Kids about S-E-X

Today's Question: "I know that when I have children, I want to be open with them about sex. I also want them to feel comfortable with their bodies and excited about exploring them. I want sex to be about fun, connection, and discovery (and obviously safety-using condoms etc)--not this "adult" thing cloaked in mystery and darkness. When do you think is a good age to start talking about those things--sex, masturbation, etc. with children?"

From the moment they are born, Reader! The more you can do to take the mystery out of sex, the less stigma it will have in your children's minds, and the more likely they are to have healthy relationships with their bodies, their future partners, and with you in the future. There are an amazing number of books out there nowadays that are made for little ones and the discussion of sex and sexuality. Do a quick google search and you'll find Amazon loaded with them.
But here are some things to keep in mind:

1. It is important to not stigmatize body parts. Try using the real names for sexual organs and not just "pee pee" or "private part." If your child learns the real word for vagina, penis, or breast s/he will be more likely to mature with a healthy attitude towards sexuality. It's okay to teach your children to cover up but don't act like a two year old who takes his diaper off is an exhibitionist.

2. Don't freak out if your child touches him or herself in the genital area...infants, even fetuses, have been known to touch themselves in the genital area. Scientists aren't exactly sure of the reason but most likely it is for comfort and as the child get slightly older, for pleasure as well. Therefore, in terms of when to talk about masturbation...whenever your child brings it up or you see her touching her genital area might be a good time.
One way to discuss the "privacy" aspect is to explain to your child that the same way picking one's nose is fine but considered "rude" in public, so is stroking one's penis to be done in a private area (like his bedroom or the bathroom.

3. When children ask where babies come from, no matter what age don't shy away from the question/get flushed in the cheeks/tell them to ask their teacher. Answer them! Explain that men and women have slightly different bodies, and each of the bodies has specific things that when put together can create a new person. But just like a chicken in its egg, a baby does not just pop into existence but must grow inside its mother's womb for nine months. Don't be afraid to use the words sperm and can tell them that men make sperm and women are born with all the eggs they will have in a lifetime...these are pretty cool scientific facts! That said, don't feel like you have to unload the whole story (from menstruation to masturbation) all at once. Sex is somewhat complicated and multi-faceted so feel free to introduce different ideas over time.

Also, don't be afraid to explain to your children that you and your partner (if you have one) are sexual beings; that sex can be a healthy and enjoyable part of a human relationship and is something that children should feel free to ask questions about at anytime.

When all else Shira and she will do a presentation for you :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saving Planned Parenthood

New video by Wesleyan students lays out the truth of the matter:

Planned Parenthood provides lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, contraceptive services, and safe haven for women and men who need healthcare and counseling, especially in low-income areas.

Join the fight to save Planned Parenthood...spread this video and its message.