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One Bloody Mess: Myths & Realities of Bleeding with First Intercourse

go_warriors_cc asks:

How long after a girl's first time should they bleed for and how heavy should they bleed?

What Are Menstrual Cups?

Looking for an alternative to tampons or pads? A user asks about menstrual cups, and we give her -- and you -- the scoop.

From Us to You: Some Volunteer Aunties Talk Body Image

I know it's only so much consolation to you right now, but the older I get, the more I notice how much easier having a positive body image becomes. I know that's clearly not the case for all older women: after all, plenty of women my age and older are getting sliced, diced and Botoxed to within an inch of their lives. However, it's also not just me. I often notice that women I'm friends with also seem to have a good handle and perspective on their body image, despite the diversity of our bodies. Usually a much better one then they had when they were your age.

But you know, what I wish I knew then that I do know now is that most of my body image is totally up to me. Just like it is now, so it was when I was in my teens: I have control over how positive or negative it is. And that's something you'll find many older women wish they had known back when. You don't have to wait until you're in your 30's, 40's or beyond to get to a better place with yours. You can start doing that right

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My Stake in Abortion Access

I've wondered, with a lot of women's sexual issues, why I'm so passionate it? I am not on the pill, and somehow, I don't think we'll ever be at a point that condoms will be banned, and in the event that any store pulled a CVS, I like to think I'd have the ovaries to look the cashier dead in the face and say, "I would like a size x box of brand y condoms, please. Thanks." This is passing over the fact that most health clinics are well stocked with condoms. Banning condoms is just not happening. It's marginally more likely that women will be barred from buying them, and that too, is highly unlikely. And then even if that did happen, I'd probably don baggy clothes and wear a hat and forego the make-up and beautiful perfume and tell them my name is Virilus Andro Maximus and buy those things. Then I'd offer to do just that for other women for a price, and make some money on the side.

Every three years, I buy a dose of emergency contraception, which, knock on wood, won't actually be useful

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10 Surefire Ways to Prevent Sexual Assault

Just a helpful reminder from Feminist Law Professors if you're looking for tips on how to prevent rape.

We agree with them that these ten tips absolutely, positively can prevent many sexual assaults without fail.

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault th

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Cosmo never ceases to put me on tangents

I do love the ladyblog known as Jezebel, especially for the posts that take down ladymags. Today's fun involves the January 2010 issue of Cosmo. I DNW to link to Cosmo, so I'm going to link to the awesome Jezebel takedown instead. So the "new" (????) male sex habit that can HURT a relationship? Chronic masturbation apparently. Because a man's hand provides more friction than a vagina.

From the Jezebel entry, which quotes the original Cosmo article (again, DNW to link to it):

In the January 2010 issue of Cosmo, sex therapist Dr. Ian Kerner reveals: "The bad economy is leaving a lot of guys without jobs, so they sit at home, bored, and start masturbating more often." Ladies should really police their man's masturbation habits more closely, since there's a good chance he's developing a "solo-sex problem" and will soon be unable to climax during intercourse because "a man's hand can provide a lot more friction than a vagina." So now in addition to other women, we have to fight our boyfri

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UK "Repeat" Abortion Rate for Teens Increases: What Does It Mean and What Can We Do?

Originally written for The Guardian, condensed version can be seen there.

In 2008, over 5,000 UK women under the age of 20 had an abortion that was not their first. As was made clear by the alarmist headlines following the publication of those numbers, this is a big concern for the public.

A woman’s reproductive life often spans 30+ years. Around 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US and UK are unplanned. Contraception isn’t used or used properly. It fails sometimes even in perfect use. Female fertility peaks between the ages of 19 and 24: the reason we tend to see the most abortions (and pregnancies) in that group is because it is the most fertile group having the most sex. (Piccinino, LJ, Mosher, WD. Trends in contraceptive method use in the United States: 1982-1994. 1998. Family Planning Perspectives. Vol. 30(1): 4-10 & 6, Table 1) The UK teen pregnancy rate is the highest in Western Europe: six times higher than the Netherlands, nearly three times higher than France and more than twice

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My Corona: The Anatomy Formerly Known as the Hymen & the Myths That Surround It

The mythical status of the hymen has caused far too much harm for far too long. RFSU shares their fantastic information booklet intended to dispel some of the myths surrounding the hymen and virginity, including a new, improved term for that anatomy, the vaginal corona.

Do You Have Any Children? A Birthmother Speaks to the Personal & the Political

"Do you have any children…?" It’s such a typical question to ask someone, and for many it’s an easy yes or no answer. For me though, I consistently find myself hesitating to respond. Generally when speaking to strangers, casual acquaintances, and even new friends, I opt to answer “no.” On occasion, I brave the consequences and answer the truth: “Yes, I’m a birthmother.”

A Common Condom Misunderstanding

I get the impression that some, if not many of of our users think that condom failure rates are the same as condom breakage/slippage rates. In other words, think that when we explain that in typical use, condoms are 85% effective, that means that 15% of condoms break.

It doesn't: that is NOT what those rates mean. I hate for anyone to be presuming it is and to panic about a potential pregnancy via condom use because of that misunderstanding.

When we say condoms are effective 98% of the time in perfect use, that means that 2% of women using condoms (or, 2 out of every 100) as a sole method perfectly -- as in, following all the directions, including proper storage of condoms -- each year become pregnant. When we say they are 85% effective in typical use -- the way most people use them, which includes storing them incorrectly, putting them on wrong or too late or not using them at all -- that means 15% of women using them that way become pregnant in one year. People often forget that ty

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