This summer, I went to my clinic to see a general practitioner (GP) for an annual check-up.
Officially I’m a certain GP’s patient, but I see the residents that she supervises whenever I go. When I made the appointment, I did not have any particular concerns, but I wanted to get a pap smear and STI testing.
In the past, I have made some unsafe decisions, and I have also been in situations where a partner has not respected my condom-use wishes. Since then, I have had several clear results from pap smears and STI tests, but I have been going at least once a year as a precaution.
When I was growing up, I often turned to my mother for relationship advice. We had our differences, but we were close, and I valued her opinions. However, I also found myself grappling with many of the things she said, because in all of it one thing was clear: for her, the only kind of acceptable sexual relationships are monogamous, heterosexual, long-term commitments.
From the start, I had some questions about this concept. What if I did not want to sleep with men at all? What if I did not feel interested in the marriage-and-kids thing?
I'm excited to introduce and welcome Robin Mandell as our new volunteer Assistant Director!
I worked right up until the day before I delivered my baby. In hindsight, I wish I'd had some time off beforehand. It would have made life easier and less stressful. However, we don't always have ideal situations.
I spent the last week of my pregnancy talking to baby a lot about making sure she waited until our scheduled date and time. Or, at the very least, if she was going to come early to try to do so during regular business hours on a day where my OB was working so that I didn't have to worry about being delivered by someone else.
May I suggest that if it can be avoided, moving to a new home while in one's third trimester during the hottest summer on record and trying to work at the same time should be avoided if at all possible? Because it should.
It struck me today that folks might sometimes wonder why, with an organization focused on sexuality, sexual health, and sexual relationships, we spend quite a bit of time talking about friendship. We do it in articles and blogs, and we talk with users often in our direct services about their friendships.
What's that got to do with what we do?
A lot. Perhaps far more than you'd think.
It's been a few months now since Heather posted "Back Up Your Birth Control Backup Day" making it crystal clear that, despite some pretty unethical misinformation given to young people seeking it, emergency contraception in the US is totally legal to sell to people 17+ without prescription.
It was few days later over here in the UK that I read a blog-post from a student in London that she had been refused emergency contraception, but not because of her age.
Which had me asking myself what the law actually is in the UK.
I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I was with at the time had not honored my request. I wound up on Scarleteen to ask about pregnancy risks, and was advised to test for STIs.
I've been feeling pretty good lately, other than being hot beyond all belief. I know now why everyone kept telling me last time that I was "lucky" not to be pregnant during the hottest part of the year here. Trying to keep my body temperature regulated is a constant struggle.
So I feel like it's finally time to talk about this birthing thing on the blog.
Bad news first...I failed my 1 hour glucose tolerance screening.