July 25, 2014

Anonymous said: Has having herpes negatively affected your sex life?

In a short answer ‘No’ in a long answer ‘Not really?’

Each person’s relationship with themselves, with sex, with current and future partners will be unique. A better question is, does HSV have to negatively affect your sex life? Nope, not one bit, but negativity is relative.

Do I have to self care more and be aware of stress? Yes.
Do I have to have a conversation with my partners that may result in us not being sexually involved? Yes (but it hasn’t happened to date!)
Do I get hurt over people shaming HSV casually as if they or 10 of their friends don’t have some form of it? Yep, frequently.

But, more importantly-

Am I better able to advocate for myself sexually now? 
Am I better informed about my body, health and safety?
Am I learning the importance of intimacy and putting myself first?
Am I seeking out healthy, emotionally fulfilling romantic and non romantic relationships?
Am I living in the moment more and worrying about other people’s judgements less?
Am I more in tune with my body?
Yes, yes and fuck yes.

So, in short, Yes Hsv has changed me, but mostly it’s increased my own awareness and I can’t say that that’s negative.

July 21, 2014
"

Romantic love, as we understand it, is a colonial construct. It is an all-consuming, possessive, lifelong, monogamous endeavor that works to sustain capitalism and white supremacist heteropatriarchy via the nuclear family. We are told that this romantic love is essential, shaping it as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Were we to sustain ourselves on self-love, platonic love, and love of community, what could change?

We could see the beauty of our interdependence, rather than individuals competing for higher wages and standards of living at the expense of each other. The formation of families, rather than communities, creates hierarchies of which people are worthy and deserving of our attention, protection and devotion. With a restructuring of romantic love as comparable to community/platonic/self-love, we begin to prioritize the care and livelihood of entire larger groups of people as equally important as our romantic partner/s.

"

Caleb Luna

July 21, 2014
On Being Fat, Brown, Femme, Ugly, and Unloveable -

July 21, 2014
Abstinence sex education doesn't work. It teaches lies to ill-informed virgins

Teens – whether you like the idea of them having sex or not – deserve information that can keep them healthy. Anything else is criminal

These false, ideologically-driven programs are turning out sexually illiterate young people whose lives and health are put in literal danger by “educators” handing out false information. All this, just so your teenager might be scared straight enough to forgo sex for a few extra months.

In the wake of a human rights complaint by a Canadian student and her mother, the Edmonton Public School board agreed last week not to use the curricula and program provided by the Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre. The religious center is part of a large network of “crisis pregnancy centers” that aim to stop women from getting abortions, often through lying and bullying tactics.

According to student Emily Dawson, the abstinence instructor shamed students, refused to talk about the needs of the LGBTQ community, and gave out false information about contraception and single-parent homes.

"It was basically composed of false information about the effectiveness of condoms,and birth control and any form of contraceptive. When questions about LGBTQ were asked, they were immediately shot down with ‘we’re not here to talk about that,’" Dawson told CBC’s Radio Active.The teacher also told students that gonorrhea could kill you within three days and that girls should “watch what they wear” because boys don’t have self-control.

When Dawson’s mother complained, she was told her daughter could opt to write an essay – forgoing sexual education entirely – or fail the class. That’s when they moved forward with their complaint.

Students need sexual education that’s comprehensive, medically accurate, and free from shame and ideology. Not just because sexuality is an integral part of our humanity, but because when you withhold medical information about sexuality from children and teens, you are endangering health and lives. That some students today are actually learning less than their parents did in sex ed is a scandal. Do we really want our children to be less-informed than we were?

But that’s exactly what’s happening. Abstinence-only education programs in the US – over 80% of which were found by a 2004 congressional report to have “false, misleading or distorted” information – is still widely utilized and well-funded.

When I wrote The Purity Myth in 2009, I spoke to dozens of young women. One told me that in her ninth-grade class in Virginia, students were taught that it was illegal to have premarital sex – and that if they were caught, they could go to jail. Another woman in Florida outlined how her middle school teachers instructed abstinence: They showed the students a wrapped gift, and the girls were told they shouldn’t give their gift away until marriage. If students did give away “their gift”, it would be ruined, they were told. Teachers demonstrated this by sending the wrapped present around and having each student stomp on it.

Outside of the bizarre teaching methods, abstinence programs simply don’t work.

Some students who have had abstinence-only education or took virginity pledges will delay sexual activity by a few months, but given that these same young people are much less likely to use contraception, that extra time as an ill-informed virgin hardly seems worth forgoing a real sexual education.

Just ask Bristol Palin, the famous teen mom of Sarah Palin, who went through abstinence-only education and later called it "not realistic". Or the pregnant 17 year-old daughter of Republican congressman and Louisiana Senate candidate (and abstinence-education proponent) Bill Cassidy. Abstinence-only education didn’t help them abstain from sex, just from protected sex.

Dawson and her mother were right to report her religious sex-ed class as a human rights violation – because that’s exactly what it is. Teens – whether you like the idea of them having sex or not – deserve access to information that can keep them healthy and safe. Anything else is criminal.

July 20, 2014
/breathe/

/breathe/

July 19, 2014

July 17, 2014

trans-folx-fighting-eds:

T-FFED Team members encourage you to join our Visibility Project for trans and gender non-conforming/non-binary folx struggling with ED issues!

The ED treatment funding org Project Heal recently sponsored a photo exhibit entitled ‘The Many Faces of Eating Disorders,’ featuring the same archetype of mostly white, young, female, cis, able-bodied folx: http://www.refinery29.com/2014/06/70126/eating-disorder-recovery-photos#slide  We want to situate EDs firmly in a social justice context; demonstrating what eating disorders REALLY look like and who suffers (often in silence) when we look at the folx most likely to struggle and least likely to be able to afford/access culturally competent and relevant treatment.

Let’s interrupt the total lack of marginalized community representation in ED media portrayal and draw attention to the epidemic of EDs in our trans and gender-variant communities, esp. low-income communities of color who cannot afford boutique recovery programs. Lack of representative research and access to affordable, gender-literate treatment does NOT eclipse the fact that we struggle disproportionately! Come join us in increasing visibility of EDs in our communities and in mainstream ED spheres! Find out more information and learn about how we’re working to transform the face of eating disorder recovery at www.transfolxfightingeds.org!

(via transmentalhealthdirectory)

July 16, 2014
Genital Herpes and Your Sex Life

You can have a fulfilling sex life if you have genital herpes, even though it may be more complicated than it was before your diagnosis. Now, you must be careful about what you do and when you do it.

Avoid these sexual activities when you have sores on your genitals, or when you feel a herpes outbreak coming on:

  • Vaginal sex
  • Anal sex
  • Receiving oral sex (fellatio, cunnilingus, and analingus)

Between outbreaks, it’s OK to have sex, as long as your partner understands and accepts the risk. HSV can be transmitted even when you don’t have symptoms or sores. To help prevent transmitting your partner, always use a latex condom for vaginal sex, anal sex, and receiving fellatio. Condoms are not guaranteed to prevent transmission, but research has shown that they provide some protection. Use a dental dam for cunnilingus and analingus.

As long as you don’t have herpes sores on your mouth, you can perform oral sex on your partner at any time, including when you have an outbreak of genital symptoms. Otherwise, use your imagination. There are many ways people can express themselves sexually without having genital-to-genital or mouth-to-genital contact. Exploring them can enrich your sex life and make up for having to avoid other activities because of genital herpes. Consult a health care professional if you have any doubts about what’s safe and what is not.

For example, you could try mutual masturbation, which poses almost no risk: You could masturbate together — side by side, facing each other, or back to back — or masturbate each other manually. Just make sure you don’t have any broken skin on your hands, and wash hands with soap and warm water afterward. Also, never touch a herpes sore and then touch your partner, and make sure no bodily fluids could be exchanged by accident. If you and your partner like vibrators or dildos, you could try using them on each other. Make sure you wash the toy before and after, and don’t share it.

A Drug for Genital Herpes May Be Right for You

You might also consider taking antiviral drug therapy for genital herpes to reduce the amount of virus you shed. A recent study shows that daily suppressive therapy (taking a drug daily to sharply reduce the frequency of outbreaks) may help keep your partner from being transmitted. (You should still use a condom, however, because suppressive therapy was just 50% effective in preventing transmission.)

Daily therapy isn’t the only option, or necessarily the best one for you. If your outbreaks are few and far between, you might set your mind at ease by keeping a supply of antiviral pills that you could take in case of a flare-up. Ask your doctor if you could benefit from taking medication for genital herpes.

Another consideration may be that the friction of sex could irritate the skin and trigger outbreaks. If that’s a problem for you, try using a water-based sexual lubricant. K-Y jelly and AstroGlide are two brands available at many drugstores. 

Don’t use an oil-based lubricant, however, because the oil can break down latex. Also, do not use a lubricant containing the spermicide nonoxynol-9. Nonoxynol-9 may cause tiny rips in mucous membranes (such as those on the genitals) that can let viruses like herpes and HIV enter the body more easily.

July 15, 2014
Not how it works

Not how it works

July 15, 2014
"It saddens me to see girls proudly declaring they’re not like other girls – especially when it’s 41,000 girls saying it in a chorus, never recognizing the contradiction. It’s taking a form of contempt for women – even a hatred for women – and internalizing it by saying, Yes, those girls are awful, but I’m special, I’m not like that, instead of stepping back and saying, This is a lie…The real meaning of “I’m not like the other girls” is, I think, “I’m not the media’s image of what girls should be.” Well, very, very few of us are. Pop culture wants to tell us that we’re all shallow, backstabbing, appearance-obsessed shopaholics without a thought in our heads beyond cute boys and cuter handbags. It’s a lie – a flat-out lie – and we need to recognize it and say so instead of accepting that judgment as true for other girls, but not for you."

— Claudia Gray

July 15, 2014
Tips and Resources: Disabled People Need Sexual Health Care Too - SaferSex.Education | Brought to you by Lucky Bloke

Most safer sex guides take it for granted that all of us are going to have the manual dexterity (ability to move our hands) to unwrap and use a condom, that getting STI testing is as easy as booking (and keeping) an appointment at a free or low-cost sexual health clinic, and that communicating with a partner about safer sex is as easy as having a few face-to-face conversations about it. For those of us who have any sort of physical, cognitive, or psychological disability, these and other “basic” safer sex strategies may not be so easy.

It doesn’t help that disabled people are assumed to be nonsexual, or to have more important things to worry about than the “luxury” of sexual feelings or a sexual relationship, or any number of other myths about sex and disability all of which miss the mark in one way or another.

People with disabilities who are sexually active, or planning to be sexually active, need to practice safer sex, and get regular sexual healthcare, just like anyone else.

Read More

July 15, 2014
“Alternative” Modeling: Another Space For Cis, White Women

We’ve heard of “alternative” modeling before: It is a phenomenon rejecting the narrow standards of beauty impressed upon us by mainstream media and celebrates the unique and experimental looks of women across the world. Or so we think.
What are the parameters where “alternative” beauty ends and “normal” beauty begins? Is there even a line, or is it just a self-described ideal to which any women can ascribe themselves?
A look at the popular and controversial SuicideGirls website, which espouses appreciation of “alternative” women by posting photos submitted by tattooed and pierced women, may illustrate the overall example we have come to associate with alternative modeling. A multitude of tattoos, edgy piercings, bold hair colors and eccentric outfits (if there’s any clothing at all) have become synonymous with this alternative modeling subculture.
Magazines like Inked Girls also emphasize and explore the unique beauty held by tatted and pierced women, which is seemingly much more relatable than the towering, size zero teen supermodels bounding down catwalks in international fashion shows.
Yet communities created by SuicideGirls and similar websites can be narrow in their beauty standards as well. Look at any “alternative” magazines, websites or modeling agencies, and the main image you will see is thin, white, and biologically-female.
What about women of color, women not “petite” enough to fit into size zero to size three pants, women born biologically male, or, even more excluded, women with disabilities?
The truth is, alternative modeling as it has come to be known, is a rapidly growing industry not as “extreme” as it once was. Tattooed women have become sex symbols, holding a powerful position in an industry revolving around one’s physique and beauty.
The world of alternative modeling can be sexist, racially exclusive, and worse yet, ableist. In its exclusion of individuals with physical circumstances different than those we consider able-bodied, a definition questionable in itself, the fashion industry and subculture describing itself as accepting and tolerant still does not feature models whose appearance falls outside of the boundaries of acceptability (i.e., “alternative” in their sense of the word) very often.
Read More

“Alternative” Modeling: Another Space For Cis, White Women

We’ve heard of “alternative” modeling before: It is a phenomenon rejecting the narrow standards of beauty impressed upon us by mainstream media and celebrates the unique and experimental looks of women across the world. Or so we think.

What are the parameters where “alternative” beauty ends and “normal” beauty begins? Is there even a line, or is it just a self-described ideal to which any women can ascribe themselves?

A look at the popular and controversial SuicideGirls website, which espouses appreciation of “alternative” women by posting photos submitted by tattooed and pierced women, may illustrate the overall example we have come to associate with alternative modeling. A multitude of tattoos, edgy piercings, bold hair colors and eccentric outfits (if there’s any clothing at all) have become synonymous with this alternative modeling subculture.

Magazines like Inked Girls also emphasize and explore the unique beauty held by tatted and pierced women, which is seemingly much more relatable than the towering, size zero teen supermodels bounding down catwalks in international fashion shows.

Yet communities created by SuicideGirls and similar websites can be narrow in their beauty standards as well. Look at any “alternative” magazines, websites or modeling agencies, and the main image you will see is thin, white, and biologically-female.

What about women of color, women not “petite” enough to fit into size zero to size three pants, women born biologically male, or, even more excluded, women with disabilities?

The truth is, alternative modeling as it has come to be known, is a rapidly growing industry not as “extreme” as it once was. Tattooed women have become sex symbols, holding a powerful position in an industry revolving around one’s physique and beauty.

The world of alternative modeling can be sexist, racially exclusive, and worse yet, ableist. In its exclusion of individuals with physical circumstances different than those we consider able-bodied, a definition questionable in itself, the fashion industry and subculture describing itself as accepting and tolerant still does not feature models whose appearance falls outside of the boundaries of acceptability (i.e., “alternative” in their sense of the word) very often.

Read More

July 14, 2014
21 varieties of traditional African homosexuality
At least 21 cultural varieties of same-sex relationships have long been part of traditional African life, as demonstrated in anew report  that is designed to dispel the confusion and lies surrounding Uganda’sAnti-Homosexuality Bill.
The following discussion and the 21 examples are from that report, “Expanded Criminalisation of Homosexuality in Uganda: A Flawed Narrative / Empirical evidence and strategic alternatives from an African perspective,” which was prepared by Sexual Minorities Uganda:
In their work anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe provide wide‐ranging evidence in support of the fact that throughout Africa”s history, homosexuality has been a ‘‘consistent and logical feature of African societies and belief systems.”
Thabo Msibi of the University of Kwazulu‐Natal documents many examples in Africa of same-sex desire being accommodated within pre-colonial rule.”
The work of Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe is cited in the new report by Sexual Minotrities Uganda on traditional forms of homosexuality in African cultures.

Deborah P. Amory speaks of ‘‘a long history of diverse African peoples engaging in same-sex relations.”
Drawing on anthropological studies of the pre-colonial and colonial eras, it is possible to document a vast array of same-sex practises and diverse understandings of gender across the entire continent.
Examples include [Read More]

21 varieties of traditional African homosexuality

At least 21 cultural varieties of same-sex relationships have long been part of traditional African life, as demonstrated in anew report  that is designed to dispel the confusion and lies surrounding Uganda’sAnti-Homosexuality Bill.

The following discussion and the 21 examples are from that report, “Expanded Criminalisation of Homosexuality in Uganda: A Flawed Narrative / Empirical evidence and strategic alternatives from an African perspective,” which was prepared by Sexual Minorities Uganda:

In their work anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe provide wide‐ranging evidence in support of the fact that throughout Africa”s history, homosexuality has been a ‘‘consistent and logical feature of African societies and belief systems.”

Thabo Msibi of the University of Kwazulu‐Natal documents many examples in Africa of same-sex desire being accommodated within pre-colonial rule.”


The work of Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe is cited in the new report by Sexual Minotrities Uganda on traditional forms of homosexuality in African cultures.

Deborah P. Amory speaks of ‘‘a long history of diverse African peoples engaging in same-sex relations.”

Drawing on anthropological studies of the pre-colonial and colonial eras, it is possible to document a vast array of same-sex practises and diverse understandings of gender across the entire continent.

Examples include [Read More]

July 13, 2014
Making The Cut

[Read More]

July 13, 2014

masakhane:

image