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Author Topic: Issues with an article.
GkWn
Neophyte
Member # 50485

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I recently saw this article on tightness,

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/a_few_choice_words_about_tightness

while I appreciate that the issue in general is one that is greatly misunderstood, IMO this article goes too far in the other direction and presents false information by overgeneralizing and being too broad.

in particular... on the first point, Being "tight" is a good thing. WRONG!I do not think that what the author is talking about, is what most are referring to. indeed, there is a difference between a woman being unaroused and fully aroused, and fully aroused "seems" less tight, but this is not really the tightness that is being referred to. in essence, you are arguing the wrong thing, and between this and the other points, suggesting something that is patently false. that being, that at full arousal "tightness" does not change significantly for anything short of traumatic childbirth. which is simply wrong.

the second point, Being "loose" means you've had lots of sex/had sex recently/etc. Again, absolutely false. falls into the same error. by talking about something that is not the actual topic at hand, misses the point entirely.
I can tell you from first... er, hand. experience, there CAN BE an observable difference between sex with a woman who has had daily sexual activity for a week, and one who has abstained for a week. this is consistent and quite distinctive.
to assert that having sex every day for a year would be the same experience as abstaining for a year, is observably false. (though it takes much less than a year to get to the "cut off point" either direction, where it doesn't make a further difference)

on the third point, Penetration permanently changes the "tightness" of the vagina.
while indeed the immature idea that each sexual encounter loosens a woman's vagina, or whatever like that, is certainly wrong.... to assert that the effects of childbirth are "extremely minimal" is from everything I've heard and read, candy-coating the matter at the very least. while SOME women experience relatively little impact, in large, women who recover 90% of their vaginal "tightness" after childbirth have to work at it. it doesn't (generally) happen on its own.

an additional factor being in the case of childbirth, there are major things going on with hormones and such which cause major physiological changes for the event. the structure of the area changes for that to occur. to act like its comparable to regular sex is simply ignorant.

let me explain further what I mean on some of this via anecdote.
lets say there are two situations.
1) sex with my girl once a day for a week.
2) no sex at all for a week, with her doing kegels daily.
sex after #1, WILL be markedly different from #2. it simply will. I've personally experienced this to be the case. its a very distinctive difference.

vaginal "tightness" (when thoroughly aroused) exists on a large spectrum, and is relative between her size(vaginas can be different in width and depth just like penises can) and his along with other variables. (such as recent activity, size of the penetrating object, or even just her mood/mindset beyond arousal.)
to even complicate it more, if a woman pulls her muscles and such just the right way or has the right mindset to, she can "open up" her vagina such that it feels less-tight without there being any change otherwise!

this may be exaggerated in effect for my personal experience, as I am (as I understand it) on the more well endowed side, and she is, from what we've read, on the smaller side vaginally.

does normal sex permenantly and irretreivably alter vaginal tightness? NO

CAN sex have an impact on relative vaginal tightness that lasts a day or more after the fact? YES. (I have personally experienced this to be true)

the concept of vaginal tightness is indeed misunderstood and has a lot of wrong info spread about it. but you aren't helping matters by debunking some of the wrong-info and spreading other wrong-info.

a "tight vagina" is a "good thing" because between the two extremes, it is in large, the preferable option to have as "normal". and the tightness I am referring to is while the woman is thoroughly aroused.
trust me, theres a HUGE difference for the man, between a woman who has gone a week without sex and has been doing kegels every day, and a woman who had just (within minutes) been fisted. while that is an extreme example... the point stands.

is giving advice that only applies to average people in average circumstances going to help when someone experiences something that is out of the norm?

wouldn't it be better to cover the larger spectrum of experiences, by at least qualifying the answer some, and making it open ended, such as to allow for circumstances that do not fit within that box?

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KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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GkWn,

We're always glad to have users comment on articles. And I appreciate the feedback, as I wrote that particular response.

Before I comment further, let me note that I see you talking a lot about personal experience and anecdotal evidence. I have not personally seen any published studies or information from similar sources that would indicate sexual activity does cause any permanent vaginal changes or changes that extend beyond the period immediately following the activity in question. Are you aware of any large scale studies or other information about this? If so, I would very much appreciate your passing along the citations.

[ 12-07-2010, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]

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Sarah Liz

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GkWn
Neophyte
Member # 50485

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I appreciate preferring studies or similar for an answer, but what I am talking about does not really need that, at least for the point I am trying to make. not to mention that it would be nigh impossible to even formulate such testing beyond a survey of experiences.

and I do appreciate that this matter may be only the case with larger guys. if you read up on http://www.lpsg.org and http://www.fistforum.com/ you will certainly find similar stories, and plenty of people who can tell you the same thing I have. I promise, if you ask those places for stories about vaginas being deliberately(and consensually) made less "tight" in such a way that they remain drastically so for days or weeks. given, fisting or suchlike is not normal sexual activity, that it can have that effect, and certain things can reverse that effect, it stands to reason that it can occur to a lesser extent at lesser extremes as well.

I think that the nature of the issue at hand is such that there can't really be meaningful studies, since there are so many variables and it being so subjective.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I disagree there cannot be meaningful studies because you feel this is subjective or must be. There's nothing subjective about, say diaphragm sizing or tampon sizes. There's nothing subjective about using means of measurement that are not sensory, and doing so in non-sexual exchanges.

I also agree with Sarah that anecdotal information of this type is highly problematic. (As is suggesting any sexual activity is "not normal." Deep manual sex is actually quite normal for some people in their own sex lives.)

I've been working in women's sexual health and sexuality for well over a decade now. Both personally and professionally, I've had quite a lot to do with vulvas up close and personal in quite a few contexts, and also run in circles with other providers and sex educators, and what you're positing, mostly, stands in contrast to all of that information (including some educators who educate expressly around practices like fisting and have for decades). You saying that within minutes of arousal and/or activities with entry there is a noticeable difference is one of the things I would absolutely say is the case, but I don't believe the user in that article asked about that time frame, nor that Sarah spoke about that.

To boot, I pay very close attention to the study of vulvar anatomy, and lecture to medical and/or sexology students a couple times a year about sexual anatomy. Again, like Sarah, I don't know of anything in science or OB/GYN to back you up here on the whole per suggesting some of what you are and that the information she authored was incorrect.

I don't think the links you gave there are sound sources for this information, and I do think that as a sexual health organization, it's important for us to put study before anecdote, particularly from unidentified sources in those kinds of spaces.

We could certainly have more of a conversation about some of what you've put out there, because I think you are without some information that's relevant and was not discussed in the piece, like, for instance, that a woman, to a sexual partner, seeming more "loose" when she's had sex more recently is not easily compartmentalized as anatomical as you seem to be thinking it is (particularly since we cannot separate mind from body when it comes to sexual function: it's impossible). There are also a bunch of factors besides what's going on in people's heads during any kind of sex in all of this that CAN make a noticeable difference, like general health, age (especially when we're talking pre- and post-menopause), the effects of various medications, having given vaginal birth or not (and how recently), even the time in a person's fertility cycle they're at.

I'm glad to do that if you like, but I am uncomfortable with the suggestion that the information Sarah gave was false or incorrect because it is in conflict with the way you have conceptualized your anecdotal experience with your sexual partners.

As well, this becomes even more problematic when you're making these statements which include value judgments -- about what is or isn't "good" -- about a kind of body that it seems you, yourself, do not have and have not inhabited save as a visiting guest staying only in a very small portion of the house, as it were. That's a fairly major issue on a bunch of fronts.

One last FYI, just so you're aware? We ask, in the user registration, for people to email complaints like this, rather than posting them on the boards, particularly in cases like this where it is not a matter of urgency (when so many of the things posted on the boards are). It's simply the more productive avenue for us to evaluate and address these kinds of issues. As well, we also ask people over 25 to step very lightly around here, and understand that we're never going to spend too much time with your/their issues because this is an organization funded to, and intended to, primarily serve those under 25.

[ 12-07-2010, 08:33 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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