Monthly Archives:

September 2014

Education, Featured, Your Body

September 10 Is International Gynae Day

Millions of women every year will suffer from a Gynae (Gynaecological, Gynaecological) related condition or sexually transmitted infection. At Polkadotsi we talk frankly about all of your lovely lady gardens (sorry, not sorry!)

So many women remain sorely unaware of what is normal when it comes to their GYN health – and on September 10th we here at Polkadotsi are joining the cry of Viva La Vulva with Kath Mazzella to break down the stigma of your Sexual and reproductive health.

Kath has been campaigning for more awareness of GYN health for the past 20 years and has made some huge progress promoting her cause in Australia and around the world.

I interviewed Kath about where International Gynae Day came from, and what she is hoping to achieve in 2014!

September 10th is International Gynae Day, tell us how that came about?

IGAD came about after I placed an advertisement in  Women’s Day  seeking others with GYN issues. I was overwhelmed with the stories and stigma from so many women who were dealing with these issues behind closed doors.

So I formed GAIN Inc. to give voice to these women. I want the doors opened so we can all learn about it in a more open environment and we can all learn from each other.

After receiving the letters I rang Senator Amanda Vanstone’s office to see what could be done about the suffering in silence, and to raise awareness of Gynaecological Health.

Senator Vanstone’s reply was have an National GYN Day. I said How do I do that?

The answer was simple declare a day! So I declared and international GYN Day was founded.

If I had to wait for the government bureaucracy to do something, I won’t be on the earth and many others won’t either.

That it is SO important to talk about Gynae. The more we talk, the more we know, the more we understand, the more we rid of the fear factor surrounding GYN health issues.

What do you feel is most important for women to understand about Gynae?

That it is SO important to talk about Gynae. The more we talk, the more we know, the more we understand, the more we rid of the fear factor surrounding GYN health issues.

The shame and silence surrounding  GYN health discussions promotes depression, shame, stigma,  not only for women but the men/partners of these women who seem much in the dark as women are.

What message would you like women worldwide to take away from Gynae Day?

Gynae health is nothing to fear, but something to embrace in order to empower yourself and those around you, your mothers sisters, daughters, neighbours and work colleagues!

 I met a woman who said she has bad endometriosis, a work colleague commented once that she didn’t need to take a day off work just because she has a period. One million women have Endometriosis, 1 million Australian women have Polycystic Ovaries, many of these in the work place without a voice.

GYN health can have a huge ripple effect including depression, obesity, infertility, domestic violence, body image, the list goes on…  I try to break down these stigmas – the undies and quilts are doing the 20 years of lobbying for me.

At Polkadotsi this month we are going to run some fun trivia all about your body and GYN health. Follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #Gynaemight

You can find out more about Kath at www.kathmazzella.com  and www.gynaeday.com

 

Body Positive Activism

Slut Shaming And Cyber Theft And Are YOU A Perpetrator

Unless you have been living under a rock (And admittedly I spend a great deal of time under a rock) you would know that several hundred pictures of celebrity women were stolen and posted online. Now fess up here, did you seek out the photos? Were you overwhelmed by curiosity to see celebrities nude? And in doing so, are you nearly as guilty as the thief who stole the pictures?

This has sickened me. Apparently because these women are celebrities, they are public property. Apparently because they are women they shouldn’t be taking nude selfies and storing them on their phone, or the cloud, and according to what seems to be the overwhelming public opinion they are to blame for their pictures being posted online.

Hold the phone!

At no point did these women consent to their pictures being accessed.

At no point did they consent to their pictures being shared.

What the hacker who Stole these photos did was a crime. And a Sex Crime as far as we here at Polkadotsi are concerned.BwclwLFIgAAqTv3

What is more disturbing is the attitude of the general public, with celebrities like Ricky Gervais (who we normally love, but his humour is in really poor taste this time) tweeted that the women should make it harder for hackers to steal their photos by…. not taking them in the first place. Can we spell Slut Shaming with a capital S please Mr Gervais?

Here’s the problem:

Humans are sexual creatures. Sometimes we express our beautiful creativity with nude pictures of ourselves. Those pictures are for us and who we consent to sharing them with. None of the celebrities who’s pictures were stolen are any less moral/worthy/sexually permissive/ than they were before the pictures were stolen.

  • They are not sluts.
  • They are not now available for ogling, judgement, or critique.
  • They are not the property of the general internet at large.

They are victims of a sex crime, and if the perpetrator is caught, we truly hope that they are punished as such.

We’re with Lena Dunham on this one:

 

“The way in which you share your body must be a CHOICE. Support these women and do not look at these pictures.

“Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay.

“Seriously, do not forget that the person who stole these pictures and leaked them is not a hacker: they’re a sex offender,”

 

 

A footnote:

We have actively chosen not to reference the high profile names in our headline – we feel that those folks who are actively seeking out non-consensual pictures of naked women are nearly as guilty as the folks who shared them, and frankly, Polkadotsi ain’t down with that.

 

 

Education, Featured, Safer Sex

LELO’s Top 10 Tips for Sex Toy Safety

The good folks from Lelo know a lot about sex toys, and I have had the pleasure of chatting with their some of their team members. One of the things I love about Lelo is how dedicated they are to producing, promoting and encouraging healthy sex toys.

So it is my pleasure to share the following tips, as well as Lelo’s giveaway for World Sexual Health Day!

What Can You Do?   LELO go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that nothing gets in the way of your pleasure, but there are many things you can do to preserve your own sexual health when browsing products across the industry.

  1. Look for certifications, avoid fakes

The pleasure product industry, like every industry, has its fraudsters who copy popular products, produce them cheaply and cut all the corners to make a profit. You can steer clear of these products by checking certification and buying from reputable retailers. Check the box also for the phrase ‘novelty use only’ – it’s basically the same as saying ‘we are not accountable for the safety of this product’.

  1. Never, ever settle for second best

When it comes to issues of intimacy, pleasure and health, you shouldn’t compromise. Don’t buy a cheap pleasure product because it looks like an affordable version of a more trustworthy brand. It’s just not worth the risk.

  1. Keep your toys clean

Love your pleasure products and they’ll love you back. Treat them well, and they’ll treat you well. Wash them before using them, store them properly, check the materials for breaks, and use anti-bacterial wipes.

  1. Sharing is caring, but…

If you’re sharing toys in the heat of the moment, it’s best to cover them with a condom and replace it each time. It’s just good sense, really.

  1. Avoid the jellies!

A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to using pleasure products. For example, the ‘jelly rubber’ many sex toys have been made of is a material that’s been treated with one of any number of plastic softeners, or ‘phthalates’. Phthalates are potentially harmful, even carcinogenic. It’s that kind of information that will help you make the right buying decision and keep you safe.

  1. Choose silicone…

Silicone is a remarkable material, resistant to bacteria and widely used by the most reputable brands in the pleasure product industry. Smooth, comfortable for use and easy to clean, it’s generally a sign the manufacturer is doing things right. Just avoid the sticky kind of silicone, which can attract dust.

  1. … and pay attention to glass and metals

While these products are excellent for cleaning, make sure any glass products of high-quality and perfectly smooth, while be sure to avoid any metals that may cause allergic reactions.

  1. Read Reviews

Go online and check out what people are saying about the pleasure products you’re interested in. There’s a massive online community of sex toy bloggers and reviewers who can be trusted to give you all the information you could need.

  1. Website Checks

Make sure you check out the website of the brand who produces your sex toys. If they haven’t invested in a website, perhaps they won’t invest in safety either.

  1. Nose-Testing purely for pleasure

And not to forget the pleasure aspect, if you are browsing for products in your local store, try looking like a professional and raising gently to your nose like a wine connoisseur. If the vibrations are strong enough to make you want to sneeze, it’s likely to bring full satisfaction when used elsewhere.

 

For more information and to see how you can get involved, check out the World Sexual Health Day website here.

LELO’S TWITTER EVENT Put Thursday the 4th of September in your social media calendars and join us for LELO Twitter Trivia for a whole day! We’re going to post questions about LELO and World Sexual Health Day –it’s a competition and winners will receive one of the following prizes: Mona 2, Ida or LUNA BEADS. The questions will be tweeted at 10 am EST (US & Canada), 3pm EST (US & Canada) and 8pm EST (US & Canada). Get on Twitter and Check out @Lelo_Official for all of the details!

The lucky winners, one for each product, are going to be announced on Twitter on Friday, the 5th of September at 10 am EST (US & Canada). Just make sure you send us a Direct Message with all your name, address and phone number and your favorite color for your LELO prize.