Because I am a Woman

This blog is about sex-positivity, sex-ed, feminism, reproductive justice, birth justice, intersectionality, and activism. Because I am a Woman features articles, news, opinion pieces, digital media, and original information posts on all of the topics and more.

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Posts tagged "sexuality"

By: Erin M. 

It is no secret that sex education is severely lacking in most of our schools. Since parents often don’t know how to address the topic with their children, or don’t think the information is important for them to know (presumably because they don’t want their children to be having sex,) many kids end up not getting the vital information that they need. The result is that we live in a society where people are severely undereducated about sexuality and sexual health.

Although this post won’t be tackling the issues around sex education, we will be talking about some rather surprising information that you may not know about sexuality, that can change your sex life for the better!

Fact: 1 in 4 teenagers will contract an STI Each Year

Most people think that getting an STI could never possibly happen to them and you’re only truly at risk if you are promiscuous, which is far from true. In truth, 1 in 4 teens will contract an STI each year. You can contract an STI each and every time you have unprotected sex.

That’s why it’s important to practice safer sex. Using condoms, dental dams, or other barrier methods with each new partner is probably the best way to practice this. Really, the only time it is safe not to use a condom or dental dam is if you and your partner have each been tested, discussed it, and have not slept with anyone else since.

Also, communication is key! Talk to your partner- ask them if and when they’ve been tested and consider going to get tested together. Be honest about your status. Having had or having an STI is not something to be ashamed of.

Fact: 40% of women become pregnant before age 20
Teenage pregnancy is a lot more common than you think. This should illustrate why having access to reproductive health services is so important, both in preventing pregnancy and in terminating it.

Now, as you can probably assume, 40% of teenagers don’t want to have a child. Unintended pregnancy is, too often, the result of a lack of sex education. Teens aren’t learning about how to use or obtain contraception, they aren’t being taught about how to practice safer sex, nor are they learning about what can cause pregnancy (for example, there can be sperm in precum, meaning that any penis/vagina contact can put you at risk).

This fact alone is why we need access to comprehensive sex education.

Fact: You CAN still get pregnant on the pill
No form of contraception is fool-proof; if you’re having penetrative sex involving a penis and vagina, there is always a risk of pregnancy.

The birth control pill is one of the most popular methods of contraception out there, and there are two main types that can be used: progesterone only and combination (that use a combination of hormones) pills. If your pills are progesterone only, you must take it at the same time every day for it to be effective.

If you take the pill correctly, as directed by your doctor everyday, you will have less than 1% chance of getting pregnant. If you don’t always take it or take it correctly, the chances are more like 9%.

No one is perfect, so it is unlikely that you’ll take your birth control each and every day without fault. 

If you are using the pill and worried about pregnancy, consider using a backup method of contraception along with it. Since the pill is hormonal, you may want to use a barrier method, something like a condom or try pulling out.

If it turns out that the birth control pill is not the best method for you, there are plenty of other options out there. The most important thing to remember is to have conversations with your medical provider about what methods will be best for you, your body, and your lifestyle. 

Fact: Pulling Out Can Be An Effective Method of Contraception

Although you’ve probably heard that pulling out is not an effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy, if executed properly, it can be a very effective method to use. Plus, it is free!

If you use it correctly each and every time, you have a 4% of getting pregnant within one year, meaning that it is 96% effective.

It’s those that don’t do it correctly that you always hear about- they have a 27% chance of getting pregnant within one year, making the pull out method only 73% effective.

The key for doing it correctly is communication! You and our partner have to really know your body and have an immense amount of self-control.

Check out this video to learn more about how to use this method if you’re interested.

Do you know of any other surprising facts about sex that were not included here? Reply or reblog this post and let us know! We will check-out everything included and add it in to our next post on the topic.

I wont be doing this again until the weekend, so now is your chance to get something answered if you need a response quickly!

Click here to ask me a question

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By: Alex M.

There are a lot of “cute” little catchphrases I could use to start off this review.  You know, “Sex is like pizza, even when it’s kind bad it’s still kind of good…” har, har, right? I’ve personally always felt sort of left out by those kinds of jokes. Sex is great, and it may be one of my favorite things (and the option to not or never have sex is totally rad too!) but having sex isn’t always easy for me. Because of the way my body works, some not chill things can happen to me during sex. Disability is a hugely personal issue for those who identify within that spectrum of identity, and I don’t want to speak for anyone but myself, however: Sex isn’t always easy. I personally have a lot of reproductive issues, and the sex I have now is honestly only possible through the massive amounts of (usually fun) trial and error experimentation I’ve gone through. 

Luckily for you, my dear readers, we’ve come up with a basic primer on having sex while disabled and having sex with those who are disabled.  This is a very, very, very broad guide meant to reflect the diversity of our bodies. It may be winter right now, but hopefully this guide will be a fun way to prepare for when the birds and the bees show up. 

THE BASICS

Consent: I don’t care who the frickfrack you are, all parties must be enthusiastically consenting in a sex act, (that goes for solo sex too).  Do not sexually pleasure yourself or engage in sexually arousing solo activities unless you know you’re most likely able to handle it emotionally and physically, ( i.e. if you are a person who runs on spoons, don’t feel pressured by society and it’s absurd standards of sexuality to expend them on solo sexytime unless you want to. It’ll be fine- I promise. ) What if you or your partners can’t always or sometimes verbally consent for whatever reason? Work out a system where you and your partner(s) have a definite “yes” and “no” signal that will work 100% of the time even when verbal communication is iffy.

The Big Shabam: Yo, don’t worry if you can’t always orgasm. Sometimes bodies don’t cooperate. Sometimes sex is more about the journey.  Talk to your partner(s) about your expectations and prior experiences and see what theirs’ are as well. Work together to see what aspects of sex are most important to both of you, and agree to try to uphold the spirit of the ideals or engage in crucial actions. 

Remember, sex is whatever you define as sex. Sex can be dry humping, foot rubbing, anything. Sex is wholly defined by the people having it, so disregard what people outside of the experience think. Sex is whatever activity you want it to be.

Break those Schemas: Disabled people can be and are sexy. That cannot be stressed enough. We are neither your tragic victims nor your fetish. We are people, and people that can feel sexy, empowered, or sensual-the whole spectrum. A differently functioning body does not negate sexuality or the fact that we are hardwired to propagate the species. Disabled people like sex too, and can be good at it.  Disability studies have a boat load of media and narrative studies on the ableist idea that disabled people are all asexual or are not traditionally sexually desirable. Read up if this is a schema you feel called to smash. 

Lube: It can never hurt. Test out a bunch of brands to see what tickles your fancy.  Lube can give your wetness a boost, relax you, stimulate you, and allow other orifices to safely and easily fit hands. Lube is the bomb

Safer Sex: Safer sex is a critical component to any sexual relationship. I don’t care if you’re into hardcore BDSM or solely phone or cybersex. It doesn’t matter. Make every effort to educate yourself on STI’s and potential pregnancy risks (if that scenario is possible.) Critically think over past, potential and preferred sexual acts and analyze if any element exposes you or your partner’s body to emotional or physical damage. (I’m talking like infections here, not whips and chains. No one is aroused by yeast infections.)  Barrier methods (internal/external condoms, gloves, dental dams, etc) are crucial here. 

Self Love: Accept and understand your body. Sex is not the time to be fighting with yourself, (it’s okay if you do, though.) Try not to worry about your belly, your various scars, or the way your disorder might make you move. You know why? You are attractive. There is at least one attractive person having sex with you when you have sex, even if it’s only yourself. You’re a babe. Embracing that makes sex so much better. 

NEXT STEPS

Sex Toys: Sex toys are great in that they can really facilitate sex if you’re mobility impaired. Discuss with your partner(s) the possibility of introducing one to pleasure one or both of you during sex acts.  Your own personal sex toy is also pretty swell as well, to help you experiment on your own what works for you. There are a lot of great guides to sex toys that can be found here on BCIAW (try our Post Index and our Resource section) and all around Tumblr.

Talk with Your Doctor: I’m not a psychic or a doctor.  I don’t know everything about every medical condition that can impede sexual function. I highly advise finding a doctor that is sex positive or at least competent and asking them what nuances of your disorder might interfere in sexual function.

Example: Pelvic disorders can cause hardening of arteries which in turn can impede orgasm.  Typically when one is diagnosed, the first question isn’t: “But how will this affect my ability to cum?” And that is fine. However, it would pay off to schedule a visit if you suspect your disability is impeding your sex life in anyway.

Communication: Talk it out with yourself and your partner(s). Make time and space to negotiate your feelings on sex solo and with each other. Communication that leads to understanding is key. You are the world’s expert on your own body and its experiences, thus, only you can tell your partner how it feels to inhabit your body- as a sexual being and as a disabled person. 

Looking for additional information? We’re big fans of the following resources on sex and disability:

Via Advocates for Youth:

Exciting news! Applications to join our Great American Condom Campaign are now open!

The Great American Condom Campaign, a project of Advocates for Youth, is a youth-led grassroots movement to reduce unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by normalizing condom use on college and university campuses. Students from across the country apply to become individual condom distribution points—AKA SafeSites— and upon selection receive a box of 500 Trojan condoms to distribute to their peers. SafeSites are also tasked with educating their peers about safer sex and advocating on campus and within their community for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

This past fall, 1,400 SafeSites distributed more than 700,000 condoms to students on 946 campuses. SafeSites were established in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Sound like fun? Apply for the GACC NOW!

We receive way more applications than we can accept, so make sure your application stands out! Be clear about how you will distribute condoms and why you want to be part of the GACC. To learn more about the GACC and the awesome work of previous SafeSites, go to the GACC Facebook page.

Applications to be a Spring Semester SafeSite are open through December 31st, 2013. It only takes 10 minutes to fill out an application, so start now!

Waiting to hear back about what is essentially a dream job and I can’t stop thinking about it! They called my references two days ago so I am growing increasingly anxious. I’m hoping to distract myself by answering your questions!

Ask away, friends.