Itching like nobody's business down south? Have a curdled discharge? Candida Albicans may be the hoodlum to blame.
At least once every couple of days, someone posts or writes into Scarleteen reporting that vaginal entry -- usually intercourse or manual vaginal sex, and usually (but not always) with male partners -- is painful, uncomfortable, or unfulfilling for them. Whatever sort of vaginal entry we're talking about -- with fingers, a penis or a dildo, with partners of any gender -- not only doesn't have to be painful, it really shouldn't be. More than that, any kind of sex shouldn't be about a lack of pain, but about the presence of pleasure.
Puberty: we hear everybody talking about it, attributing everything from the development of breasts, the desire for sex or you being in a crap mood on Tuesday to it, but what is it, really?
There's a reason for taking things slowly, for putting off intercourse, or taking it away from center stage that often gets overlooked. I'm not talking about slowing things down for religious or moral ideals or social pressures. Not slowing things down to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Not even slowing things down for legal reasons or because of your age. I'm not talking about Just Say No, and I'm not talking about not having sex at all. I'm talking about PLEASURE.
After a few years of being the postergirl for alternative approaches to menstruation – writing articles, being interviewed, doing workshops, selling washable pads to women and getting involved in too many party conversations on the topic to possibly count – something is starting to give. The truth is, I’m starting to get a little bit tired of being nice. I’ve lost my patience with trying to pussyfoot around the issue until women are willing to talk about their own blood. And so, as a form of cleansing for me and education for you – should you choose to engage in it – I have penned the following set of arguments dispelling the myths about washable menstrual pads and your period. So there.
Vaginal discharge and secretions are normal and usually healthy. The vagina is a passageway between the outside of the body and the internal reproductive system. Vaginal secretions are how the vagina cleanses and regulates itself -- how amazing is that? -- in the same sort of way that saliva helps keep your mouth clean and healthy and part of the fertility cycle.
There are certain physical, hormonal and psychological mechanics that come into play when it comes to human sexual response, and understanding those is essential to lay the foundation for understanding how sex works for ourselves and for our partners. Once we understand how our bodies work when it comes to sexual response, we've won half the battle of learning how to enjoy that and incorporate it as a healthy part of our lives, both alone and with others.
Want to know what to expect at your first gynecologists' or reproductive health exam? We've got the lowdown for you here.