Monthly Archives:

January 2014

Body Positive Activism, Featured

Hey Good looking! Let’s Celebrate Attraction

A few months ago, as I walked through Dubai airport alone, enjoying moving my body freely after sitting for eleven hours straight with a toddler on my lap, an attractive man in his ‘Taekwondo Team UK’ uniform walked past and almost stopped to look over his shoulder at me. Presumably he wanted to see if the front looked as good as the back. I smiled back but shook my head slightly – my partner and child were waiting for me. It had been a very long time since I had felt that attractive.

As I am sure you know an interaction like that can really make your afternoon. It’s no wonder that teenagers like to wear micro-shorts. I have heard concerns that woman who dress in revealing or sexualised clothing are objectifying themselves. Well so what if they are? If we are honest we all objectify people during the brief encounters with strangers in public life.

As you walk past a fine human specimen on the street, you don’t have time to wonder about their views on global warming or whether they’ve had a nice week, you have probably been too busy ‘reducing’ them to a sex object.

But why do we say ‘reduced’, as if sex is bad and sexuality is unimportant? As long as our young people know that their sexuality isn’t the only thing valuable about them, then we shouldn’t have qualms about appreciating and being appreciated for our physical attributes.

I think we are foolish to think that a person can dress anyway they like and be treated exactly the same as if they were dressed in a more reserved manner. If you are going to wear ‘The Dress’, the one that for some reason, makes you exude sexual energy regardless of the amount of flesh showing, then you need to be prepared for people to respond to that.

This does not mean we should expect to be treated disrespectfully, harassed or sexually assaulted. Quite frankly men are not animals that are driven to harassment due to some cleavage. In my experience harassment has come from men deeply uncomfortable with a woman being in what he perceives as ‘male’ space. The independence of a woman traveling freely at night, or working in an engineer’s office is unfortunately still perceived by some men as a threat to their control.

The independence of a woman traveling freely at night, or working in an engineer’s office is unfortunately still perceived by some men as a threat to their control.

Although, if there is no nearby ‘male territory’ to defend, I suspect that the person who comes onto a women with a wolf whistle or obscene language is really a coward. Unable to express their appreciation in a direct manner for fear of being of rejected, they are rude to protect their egos.

What if we had the self-confidence and the manners to give people we are attracted to a genuine complement? Imagine how confident, sexy and nourished we would be if instead of fearing harassment we were receiving complements. Instead of being ashamed of our own desires let’s be honest and celebrate them. Perhaps if we exchanged compliments more often, we could be sharing phone details, orgasms and even love more often as well.

Have you ever given a stranger a complement on their appearance? Have you ever received one? What do you think we could do as a society to celebrate sexuality, sensuality and beauty an inclusive way?

 

Photo credit:© Andres Rodriguez – Fotolia.com

Body Positive Activism, Education, Featured

The C-Word Dilemma. Do You Say It?

Like an orgasm there is something primal, powerful, and releasing about using a few choice words to express your feelings; the ‘c-word’, being the most shocking and offensive choice. Many of us have heard ‘You’re a Cunt!’ spat out and harsh from one man to another like it is the most horrible, disgusting thing a person could be.

Really? A word for the portal of the heights of human pleasure, life and death is offensive? While it is true that dick and prick are used in a disparaging way as well, they are used in a significantly more light hearted way than the word cunt. At the heart of a society that holds ‘cunt’ as the most hostile thing you can call another person, is a culture that is still hostile to sexuality and in particular empowered female sexuality.

When I first began writing this article I couldn’t think of a single situation in public life were I wouldn’t find cunt offensive and aggressive. However, on Saturday night I was walking to a music gig when a taxi load of drunk men pulled up next to me at the traffic lights and started verbally harassing me. ‘Cash for a flash of the slash,’ one of them called out repeatedly. ‘I do not have a ‘slash.’ I have a hairy, non-labioplastied, full grown women’s cunt!’ I replied, in my head, after the lights had changed off course.

All that those men had heard from me was passive silence, ingrained from childhood, ‘Ignore him and he will stop’ or worse ‘It means he likes you’. I no longer want to be afraid of offending someone or appearing aggressive when I need to defend myself, saying cunt loud and clear may just be the remedy.
So should we be using cunt as often as often as we use dick? Certainly some feminists think so, claiming it is empowering and will eventual normalise the word and therefore normalise female sexuality. I wonder if continuing to use and promote using the words for genitalia as profanity just reinforces the attitude that sex is bad and dirty.

The ‘Cunt’ spouting feminist can also reinforce the stereotype that to be a feminist you must be aggressive, perhaps contributing to the low number of women comfortable with identifying themselves as feminist.

Cunt is powerful and sexual in a way that vulva isn’t. A woman that uses the word cunt to describe her lady bits certainly sounds like someone in control of her sexuality happy to stick the finger up at society’s expectation for her to be a nice, passive girl. Perhaps some will still see it as degrading yourself; creating excitement by embracing the taboo, ‘dirty’ implications of the word. If it is your free choice to be degraded and it turns you on then who am I or anyone else for that matter to interfere?

Vulva gives women an accurate and inclusive way to describe her genitals but it does have the whiff of a mouldy anatomy text book about it. I think women do need an arousing way to describe their genitals just as a man is more likely to say cock than penis in a sexual context.

Cunt vs Vulva what are your thoughts? Would you call someone a ‘cunt?’ I think I now have the courage to say cunt and I have found it empowering and sexy; in the right context. I no longer have a pussy; tame, accommodating and passive. I have a cunt, with its own pleasure agenda. I also doubt that I will ever call anyone a dickhead again – there are far more creative ways to insult someone’s intelligence.

Image credit:© Andres Rodriguez – Fotolia.com

Education, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Menstrual Cups

Menstrual Cups For After Childbirth

Congratulations you just had a baby!

For the first couple of months after birthing, don’t use a cup. Your cervix is closing, your body is healing, cups and tampons aren’t vagina friendly items. For your lochia, and if you’re unlucky enough to have your cycles return right away after birth – use cloth pads. (If you’re in the market for Cloth Pads, you can’t go past www.scarleteve.com.au our personal favorites, and simply fabulous pads)

Pregnancy and birth are important and unforgettable milestones of your life. While you are beginning a new chapter of your life, some things will return to give you a glimpse into your former life. Starting your cycles again is a timely reminder of the ebb and flow of womanhood. Welcome back to the red tent!

At the same time that you are rejoicing your life and body is somewhat turning back into normalcy, there are obviously things that have changed!

Giving birth stretches your muscles, and generally weakens your pelvic floor to some degree. For some women, there might not be any noticeable difference at all, and for other women, your vagina might feel looser, and naturally your old cup might not fit like it used to.

The great news is most cup manufacturers like (Luna cup, Meluna, and Divacup) cater for weaker pelvic floors with a slightly firmer and larger cup model. If you have a favourite cup that you’re using, switching to the larger size might be all you need to do.

Or, you might have a fussy lady garden (haha yes, I’m sorry… I do sneak it in there) that no longer gets along with it’s pre-pregnancy friends, and needs to get out and meet new cups. You may need to try a different model cup to find one that suits you in terms of size, squishiness, and pop open comfort.

There is something else to consider. The changes might not be permanent. It takes a woman’s body a year to fully recover from pregnancy and birth according to most doctors (And frankly we say it takes a woman closer  to THREE years to be anywhere NEAR recovered fully from childbirth).

So, whatever is happen now might not happen six months to a year from now, particularly if you’re diligent with rebuilding your pelvic floor strength, and haven’t had any birth injuries. So do not worry to much if your menstrual cups don’t fit or leak. It might be just temporarily.

Learn to love your post natal body. If you can’t get your cup to play nicely, try switching (even temporarily) to cloth pads.

Menstrual Cups

How To Clean Your Menstrual Cup (Don’t boil them in soup)

How To Clean Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups have a lot of advantages. They are more comfortable and less noticeable than tampons. They give out less odor than both tampons and sanitary pads. Menstrual cups are not known to be dangerous or increase the chances of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

One of the main concerns of those new to cups is how to clean them.

Traditional menstrual products provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to infection and other diseases. Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone which is better for you than tampons and pads.

Keeping your cup clean is a cinch. It’s really easy! Different manufacturers have different instructions, with some suggesting boiling your cup, and others suggesting washing with proprietary products. 

During The Menstruation Cycle

While using the menstrual cup during your cycle, there are two ways to clean it. One is to just wipe them off with toilet paper. This is good enough to insert it back in. The second way to rinse it off with water (some women carry a drink bottle in their purse for this purpose) You can also give it a daily clean with a mild, water based detergent (some women use products specifically made for cups, like Diva cups cup wash). Practise good hygiene, be sure to wash your hands before and after.

Before Or After Your Cycle Use or Once a Month

Sterilizing your menstrual cup is recommend at least once a month. There are two ways to do this, and it depends on the material of your cup. So, before you decide which method to use, be sure to check directions from the manufacturer.

The first is to boil your menstrual cup for about 10 – 15 minutes. Make sure to fill the pot up so that your cup floats. (Don’t do what a friend of ours did, and boil it in stock… oops!!)

The second method is to wash it with either feminine wash, sterilization alcohol wipes, or just diluted vinegar and warm water.

Some women put their cups through the dishwasher, although this method ISN’T recommended by the cup manufacturers.

Image credit:© britta60 – Fotolia.com

Diva Cup and Keeper Menstrual Cups
Menstrual Cups

Menstrual Cups: Buy Safety, Choose A Good Supplier

Why You Should Buy Menstrual Cups From A Reputable Supplier

One of the many reasons why women switch from traditional menstrual products to menstrual cups is because of cost. Menstrual cups are a much better investment than pads and tampons. However, there is a line to be crossed when it comes to saving a penny or two. Safety and quality should also be put into consideration. While there are many suppliers of menstrual cups out there, there are only a handful that can give you the quality and safety that you need and are looking for. When you are dealing with something you are putting inside yourself, you should only consider getting your menstrual cups from a reputable supplier.

Safety And Quality First

Most of the reputable brands of menstrual cups make their products of medical grade silicon or thermoplastic latex. These materials are rated for sanitary and being hypoallergenic. This is to ensure when they are inserted inside us there would not be a reaction, or leach toxic chemicals into our bodies. When you buy from an untrustworthy source, the quality of the material might not sub-par thus can cause allergic reactions or even infection. It is not worth the couple bucks to risk your body like that.

In order to be sold in Australia, menstrual cups need to pass the rigorous guidelines of the Therapeutic Goods Association. In the United States, they need to comply with FDA (Food and Drug Administration guidelines). Most countries have similar governing bodies that oversee the manufacture and sale of menstrual cups.

It always pays to be knowledgeable about what you are putting in your body. At the end of the day, you are the most accountable and responsible person.

Secondly, menstrual cups from reputable brands are carefully design with every needs of every type of women. So, when you get them from a reputable source, you can be a part of a loyal community that can help you if anything goes wrong. On the other hand, there is a high possibility of your menstrual cup breaking and leaking. That is taking away some of the benefits of using an alternative menstrual product. When things go wrong, there probably is not anyone you can turn to for help. Without information, there won’t be a customer base where you can ask for suggestion and experience to refer from.

Some popular brands are:

Diva Cup

Meluna

The Keeper

Lunette

JuJu Cup

Photo Credit: Greencolander

Education, Orgasms, Your Body

The Vaginal Orgasm Myth. How To Have Better Sex Than A Porn Star.

If you grew up watching the occasional sex scene on television or in a movie orgasm seems pretty straight forward; you get naked you instantly feel turned on, penis in vagina and a few short minutes later hey presto orgasm!

Lesbian sex in films and media is also fairly inaccurate but at least there is some foreplay. The reality may come as a shock to young people when they do come to getting down and dirty. The male half of the equation may easily climax from the media standard of ‘sex’ but the poor women may be left wondering what is wrong with her.

It Takes Time

Female orgasm takes time, good orgasms take even more time. It generally takes woman longer to get aroused and longer to orgasm than men. There is nothing wrong with you if by the time Bridget Jones is smoking a cigarette your juices have only just started to flow. If you are not turned on its ok to ask your partner to slow down and wait until you are begging for genital stimulation or penetration. Maybe the need for foreplay is Mother Nature’s way of saying, ‘Hey girl, make babies with the attentive, patient and caring man he’ll make a better Daddy’.

Most women cannot climax from vaginal stimulation alone. The number of women you have seen acting an orgasm from penetration alone on film, television and porn is probably the same number of women that can actually orgasm that way in the whole entire world. If you want orgasms the clitoris is the key for the vast majority of women. Even the women who can orgasm from penetration alone usually need clitoral stimulation first or a previous clitoris-focused orgasm.

There Is An Upside

This might be sounding like a lot of work, you may be wishing life was a bit closer to the movies. However, there is something fun that the movies have mostly left out; many women can have multiple orgasms while most men cannot. Men usually need at least half an hour before they can become aroused again whereas many women can be ready to start working on the next climax almost immediately. But unlike sequels in the movies Orgasm 2 is usually as good if not better than the original.

The best way to learn how to orgasm or orgasm a multiple of times is by teaching yourself. Starting out much more gently and slowly than you would see in the average porn clip. Do not underestimate the power of a sizzling fantasy to help you along. Plus there are a wonderful range buzzing helpers available today. Once you have taught yourself you can run classes on your orgasm for your partner as well as giving yourself a helping hand during the deed.

So ladies take your orgasm into your own hands and forget the Angelina Jolie impression and have slower, better and more orgasms instead. We want to know; what was your first orgasm or multiple orgasm like? What moves got you there? Did you feel like something was wrong with you because your orgasms are so different to what is shown in the media?

 

Image credit:© detailblick – Fotolia.com

Green Eyed Monster
Education, Featured, Relationships

Slaying That Green Eyed Monster : Jealousy is my bitch

There’s a green-eyed monster potentially lurking in everyone’s relationship closet – jealousy. And this insidious and complex beastie has jaws that bite and claws that catch. Sharp pointy claws that dig into your heart and gut, bringing feelings of anger, anxiety, inadequacy, helplessness, resentment and the big, fat FEAR of loss. Grendel-like it will suck out the marrow from a relationship and devastate it with emotional, psychological or physical threats of violence. The Jabberwocky, Jubjub bird and Bandersnatch all rolled into one ain’t got nothing on this dude (non-gender specific by the way).

 

“Oh beware, my lord, of jealousy!

 

It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock

 

The meat it feeds upon.” (Othello, Act III Sc. i.)

We are programmed into believing that when it rears its dirty little head that this is a sign of true love and devotion. Mistakenly believe that the outpourings of bile and suffering that it brings are but sweet indications of the strength of our love towards our chosen love or lover. Poppy COCK. Yes, what a crock of COCK. And no, I’m not about to swallow that.

If we examine this beast we become aware that it seems to have some rather peculiar bed fellows. The emotional response of jealousy and the reasons behind it seem to be couched in cultural terms, beliefs and values that are, frankly, all a little ‘economical’. We bristle and spit when our emotional ‘investment’, ‘possession’, ‘property’ or ‘security’ is threatened or we feel our ‘resources’ are being eyed up by others. Indeed, some research even suggests that jealousy decreases as our partner’s ‘reproductive value’ decreases. Do we really want to be involved in this kind of ‘market’? Or do we want to engage in a relationship that is not about trade, but actual unconditional, bad-ass cupid bow and arrow and shit love?

Well let me get out my vorpal sword…

Here’s how to slay that jealousy monster:

1)      Scope it out and learn the signs

 Learn to track the attributes, behaviour, characteristics and patterns of this beast – when does this emotion arise? What are my triggers? What other feelings and responses arise at the same time?  What effect does it have on others?

 Become aware of its signs and indications. For example, take notice of where in your body you feel this emotion arise, so that when it mounts an attack you are ready.

2)      Grab that mo-fo by the tail

 You need to get a handle on this emotion and identify the mistaken core beliefs that are causing it to arise. You need to OWN this emotion and take your focus beyond it.

Ask yourself, why am I jealous? What is making me jealous? Why do I feel threatened? What programming that we have learnt from our past experiences is causing it to arise? Often our jealousy arises because we feel that we are not enough, that we are fearful of being left alone or that we are not safe if others do not ‘care’ for us.

 

3)      And then deliver that final blow

 Change your mistaken core beliefs that no longer serve you or your relationship with others. This is often easier said than done – so fake it till you make it!

Create an affirmation as your daily meditation/thought for the day that is in direct opposition to your previously held mistaken beliefs.

For example, if you are jealous because you feel unsafe when your partner talks positively about a work colleague then your affirmations would be “I AM SAFE”. Imagine what that feels like, create it in your mind, feel it in your body, repeat it to yourself – grow that feeling and thought.

 One of the most effective antidotes to the poison of this beast’s gnashing teeth is to rejoice! Celebrate others and appreciate all of their amazing positive deeds and qualities – we are indeed, all pretty amazing beasties ourselves. That jealousy dragon ain’t got nothing on us.

Learn from your jealousy, trust yourself and recover your own

 

Image credit: © Jürgen Fälchle – Fotolia.com

Education, Sex Ed

Kill Your Television: Sex Games You Can Play Tonight

Your favorite television show may be filled with intrigue and excitement, but could it be killing your sex life? Too much time in front of the idiot-box can drain our energy when it comes to other more active pursuits, so dedicate at least one night a week to spicing up your bedroom antics with some naughty games for grown-ups.

Sex games aren’t just fun – they can also be a great, relaxed way to keep the lines of communication open with your partner. Here are five of our favorites.

Sexy Truth or Dare

To play this game, all you need is some paper, pens, a bowl, and your imagination. Each of you writes down as many questions and dares as you can think of, putting them into the bowl. You then take turns to draw a piece of paper from the bowl and ask you lover, “truth or dare”. Guaranteed to get some giggles and inspire action.

Playing Doctor

Okay, you don’t exactly have to play Doctor, but you get the idea. Choose a role-play scenario you both would enjoy and then act it out. You can keep it simple, letting your imaginations do most of the work, or you can go all out, creating or purchases costumes to make the experience more tactile.

Strip-Anything

Have a deck of cards or a board game at home? You can strip to anything – all you need to do is adjust the rules slightly so articles of clothing are removed whenever someone loses a hand or a round. Strip poker is a classic, but you could also play strip Monopoly, strip chess, or even strip beer-pong. Use your imagination and get ready to rid yourself of your inhibitions.

Torrid 20 Questions

This game can be a lot of fun, but also offers a fun, low-pressure opportunity to reveal your fantasies and desires to each other. Think of your sexiest secret fantasy, and then invite your partner to guess what it is by asking 20 yes-or-no questions. They might ask, “does it involve role play” or “does it take place outdoors” or “would you be in control”. If they guess right, you might reward them with something they can’t get enough of.

Grown-Up Spin the Bottle

If you ever played spin the bottle as a teenager you’ll remember the rush and giddy excitement of having the bottle point at your crush when you spun it. As an adult, you can up the ante with this naughty classic, without needing to add more people to your private party… unless, of course, you’d like to. Grab a sheet of paper or cardboard around twice the size of a bottle of wine, and draw a large circle on it, dividing the circle in to eight segments. Take turns writing a sexy request or action in each segment, then place the bottle in the center and give it a spin.

 

Image  credit: © Piotr Marcinski – Fotolia.com

Nirvana Sex Position - Polkadotsi.com
Sex Positions

Sex Position: The Nirvana Position

The Nirvana position is a change up on the missionary position. It’s a little bit kinky, a little bit cheeky, and very fun!

You’ll find this sexy move in the Kama Sutra!

The woman lies on the bottom, but rather than opening her legs up to receive her partner, she keeps her legs together – it makes it harder for her man to penetrate her, and when he does, it adds sensation by squeeezzzzzzinnngg around his cock.

For him, this adds more sensation and  the mild kink factor of having to “work for it”!

For her, this position means shallower penetration, rubbing right on the g spot and clitoris.

Definitely try this position somewhere where you have space to reach above your head to leverage yourself off something solid – bedheads, walls, the um…. tea towel rail in the kitchen 😉

 

If you’re after more positions, and entertaining things to learn about in the bedroom, check out School of Squirt

Female Condom
Featured, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Product Reviews

The Female Condom: A Review

Have you tried the ‘other’ condom?

What’s wrong with a regular condom you may ask? Well in my experience the biggest challenge with using male condoms is remembering to put the damn things on! Apparently I am not alone; up to 15 women per year will fall pregnant using male condoms due to incorrect usage. Requiring the male condom user to be aroused (not the best frame of mind for sober, logical decision making) and then to press pause on the fun times is a major design flaw in my view. The female condom is a great alternative which can be inserted up to eight hours before sex.

The female condom has all the advantages of other barrier methods of contraception; 95% effectiveness for pregnancy prevention and protection against STI’s. However, very few couples have tried them, the female condom accounts for less than 0.2% of condom sales worldwide. It is also known as the internal condom as it can be inserted into the vagina or anus. This condom provides protection by covering the vagina and vulva with a nitrile sheath kept in place with flexible internal and external rings.

Safe For Oil Based Lubes

My favourite aspect of using the female condom is the ability to use oil based lubricants. The nitrile sheath will not break down when in contact with oil like the latex in a male condom will. Fantastic for those who have allergies to latex or water based lubricants. Plus nothing beats natural oils such as coconut oil, shea butter or olive oil for enhanced sensation.

There are some disadvantages, primarily the cost, they are 4-5 times more expensive than a male condom. Also, the female condom’s appearance can be a little disconcerting for many users. The first couple of times using the female condom I couldn’t get over the feeling that I had a daggy sock hanging out of my vagina. Not the sexiest feeling in the world. Initially I would scurry off to the bathroom to insert it in privacy.

It Takes Practise To Put In

It is very similar to inserting or a menstrual cup and isn’t difficult with a little practice. I would then saunter back to the bedroom with the outer ring tucked between my thighs to hide the unfortunate sight from my partner. Eventually I couldn’t keep the sock joke to myself and since a shared laugh really has got mood enhancing properties I have come to embrace the female condom’s unfortunate visuals. Besides, the dangly bit at the end of a male condom is not all that appealing either but we have learned to live with it. Perhaps if the outer-ring was reshaped to look more like a butterfly or a flower with an inbuilt clit tickler sales would really take off.

As the male condom is not fitted to the penis it has a wide range of user benefits. The unfettered movement can result in a more natural feeling compared to the male condom and the internal ring can create a pleasant sensation also.

Extra Pleasure?

Men in Zimabwe have embraced the female condom even inventing a phrase, ‘kaytec-yenza’ to describe the extra ‘tickle’ the internal ring can provide. The outer ring on the clitoris isn’t bad either. All the glorious variety in penis shapes; bendy, petite, wide, long and everything in between can be accommodated by the female condom. For many men fitting into and keeping on a ‘standard shaped’ male condom can be a significant barrier to their use.

As you have probably figured out by now I am a fan of the female condom, which leaves me wondering why they remain so unpopular? Is it still a taboo for women to take control of their sexuality, sexual and reproductive health in a way that the female condom allows? Is the required familiarity with female anatomy a constraint? Are man put off buying them because of the name? What are your thoughts? Why not have a try and let us know. Female condoms are available in Australia through Condoms Australia: www.condomsaustralia.com.au/ and worldwide from www.luckybloke.com

 

 

 Image credit:© Nastasia Froloff – Fotolia.com