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.
Everything I needed to know about body image I learned in a bathroom in the seventh grade. Well, almost everything.
HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and thus weakens the body's ability to fight disease and infection, even common infections like flus and colds. HIV usually progresses to AIDS. This makes HIV the most dangerous sexually transmitted infection today. It is the fifth leading cause of death for the young under 40 in the United States. At this time, no one has been cured of HIV or AIDS.
I remember when I was seventeen, I tried on some new ideas. One of my ideas was that notions of "right" and "wrong" were false creations of society, and did not actually exist. Yeah, it didn't make much sense back then, either.
The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.
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.
When I was 16, due to a very irresponsible pairing of an impetuous one-night stand and a few days of partying, I woke up one morning to discover I had mononucleosis and walking pneumonia. As if that wasn't enough, my period was late.
If you have NOT gladly and freely consented to and participated in sexual activity -- if you have not in some way said a big yes and wanted to keep saying a big yes -- and someone else had sex with you anyway, that is rape. No matter what ANYONE tells you, it is not your fault. There certainly is fault, but it lies with the rapist, not the victim.