In case you haven't already heard, the female condom (FC) has had a recent redesign. Yippee! (And how much do I love "put a ring on it" as a slogan for female condom use? I love it a whole lot.)
I was able to catch up with Mary Ann Leeper, the Female Health Company's Senior Strategic Advisor and past President/COO to ask her a few questions people seem to have about it. Check it out!
Mmkay I'm 13. I want to have sex really bad but I still don't have a boyfriend and blah blah blah. I KNOW how to not have sex with a guy that I JUST met. I like to go out with a guy for awhile before I do anything like sex. But when I do have a boyfriend for like a year I would like to have sex. But I am always freaking out about getting pregnant! But I can't wait if I find someone that I like for awhile and stuff! And like I would like to do oral. But I am scared if I will get herpes or something. I'm always so paranoid about this! :|
It's amazing how well my generation - those in their late teens and early 20's - can distance themselves from topics that have everything to do with us. For example, driving fatalities and alcohol abuse. It's staggering the number of teens who die from car accidents related to substance abuse, as well as those who spend their high school and college years with a beer bottle in hand.
It's even scarier to look at how many teenagers don't know BASIC FACTS about sex and sexuality. This is something I've known for a long time as a Scarleteen staff member, but it doesn't change reality.
Earlier this week, I drove over to my very awesome local sexual health clinic, willingly had my upper left arm anaesthetized, and got a matchstick-sized piece of plastic jammed under the skin just for the heck of it. Well, okay, not exactly...
I have a history of sexual abuse which I have just started working on in therapy--including repressed memories. I have never willingly engaged in sexual experiences and I am 25 years old. A few years ago, during an ER visit for extreme pain (kidney stones) I was given an internal exam which felt out of my control. In fact, seemed forced and I left feeling very violated. Now, I have never seen a gyn even though I am much overdue. I feel like I should for health reasons but I am terrified I will have flashbacks again if the doctor touches my vagina. How do I deal with this? It has impacted this and my ability to seek relationships because of fear of being touched vaginally.
MMkay, so I'm 21, being doing all the right things with yearly exams, getting the tests I need, etc. I just read an article about how the vagina does not substantially change after intercourse, but the first time I had a pelvic exam my doctor said "you're lucky you're getting this done here, a lot of college clinics don't have virgin equipment." What? If there's no substantial change (which I am FAR more inclined to believe) then this makes absolutely no sense. I would ask what she meant, but her practice has moved and I see a different doctor now.
UNRELATED question that I always wanted to ask her but was too afraid to- I was sexually abused when I was little, and raped when I was 16. That for me also confuses the whole issue of what she said- first of all, I wasn't a virgin, and secondly, (my real question) how was it possible she thought I was a virgin, as my guess would be there would also be some kind of signs of past trauma?
As a note, I'm in counseling and doing pretty well but I'm scared to ask because of the oh-man-if-my-doctor-was-right-then-maybe-I'm-overreacting/wrong problem... I'm usually pretty good at trusting myself on this issue, but this is one place I'm always afraid to go because it would be so concrete. (I also just moved for grad school and am seeing someone new and feel comfortable, but I will make a point to ask her too.)