If we gotta use lube, then he ain’t doing it right…REALLY?!?!
Nov 2011 18

If we gotta use lube, then he ain’t doing it right…REALLY?!?!Comments Off on If we gotta use lube, then he ain’t doing it right…REALLY?!?!

Posted In blog,Brittnee

A couple of years ago one of my close friends was throwing a birthday party for her boyfriend, and she wanted a piñata full of condoms. I had connections with the local health services, so I got about 100 condoms for the piñata, and because they were from the health services center, they came with lubricant. She was grateful that I was able to get the condoms, but she asked “does it have to come with lube…I mean, if we have to use this…that means he’s not doing something right.” —WRONG.

After many talks with my girlfriends that seems to be the consensus, that lube is something that is not acceptable. But the reality is, women can be completely aroused and be unable to produce their own lubricant (simply put…I can want to have sex and not be wet).

That is where products like K-Y, Liquid Silk or Sliquid (that comes in all kinds of flavors) come in handy. Not everyone produces their own liquid in quantities that allows them to have pleasurable sex for hours on end. For those of us who can…great…for those of us who can’t…buy some! Lol.

Using lubricant says nothing about our sexual ability or inability; if anything it says that we are knowledgeable about safer sex, able to realize when we need a little extra boost, and can effectively communicate those needs to our partners.

Side Note: Just keep in mind when using lube, make sure it is water-based or silicon-based. Oil-based lube is a NO GO especially when using latex condoms. The oil degrades the latex making it easier for condoms to break, tear, or rip. Another reason is because water based lubes are less messy. Water and silicon easily wash out of sheets and clothes and they work well with latex condoms. Oil is also a lot harder to get out of sheets, clothing (or anything for that matter). Vaseline is also a no go because it too is oil based and will degrade the latex condom.

Lesson for Today: Lube is your friend, not your enemy.

STI Spotlight – HPV
Jan 2012 17

STI Spotlight – HPVComments Off on STI Spotlight – HPV

Posted In blog,Brittnee

Each month (starting this month) I thought it would be nice to highlight a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and give a little more than just the basic definition that is found in the sex dictionary. Along with identifying the transmission, we will also identify symptoms, treatment, prevention, screening, and any other information that may be relevant in the discussion (possibly any media coverage, or public service announcements (PSAs) recently aired). So….without further ado…this month’s STI is… (space for dramatic effect)

 

HPV (Part I)

 

Genital Human Papillomavirus is known as HPV, the virus that is responsible for genital warts and some forms of cancer. There are more than 40 types of HPV that can infect not only the genitals of both males and females but also the throat and month, making HPV the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. It is also important to note that people can be infected with more than on strain of HPV at a time.

HPV can be passed through both intercourse and oral sex (so any combination works… genital -mouth contact, penile-vaginal penetration, penile-anal penetration) and majority of people infected do not realize they are carrying the virus. Basically, HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

While most individuals will not develop any symptoms or health problems from HPV, there are potential health risks such as genital warts and cervical cancer (or other HPV-related cancers).

Genital warts can appear as a small bump or a group or cluster of small bumps on the genital area and can possibly resemble cauliflower (be it the penis or the vulva). The bumps can appear to be flat or raised, and can differ in size and shape. Normally these bumps are painless and have a flesh-like color. Most outbreaks appear within weeks or months of contact with an infected person, and can be diagnosed by a Healthcare provider during a visit. Without treatment it is possible that genital warts can go away, remain unchanged, or increase in number and size. It is important to note that genital warts do NOT cause cancer.

Cervical Cancer is another risk associated with HPV. Most people do not have symptoms until the cancer becomes advance and is harder to treat. It is recommended that women get a pap smear once a year to screen for possibilities of cervical cancer that is associated with HPV.

The pap smear (cervical screening) are checking for cervical dysplasia (or changes in the cells on your cervix). The changes are categorized as: Low- Grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), High-Grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), and Possibly cancerous (malignant).

There are various treatments for genital warts, from a cream that is applied directly to infected site to freezing off the warts. For cancer, most health care providers monitor the changes in cells over a period of time (you may have appointments every 3-6 months) to insure that the changes in the cervical cells do not progress into cancer. In about 90% of individuals that do have HPV, the body’s immune system will clear up the virus in approximately two years, however there is always a possibility of recurrence.

With all that said…there is prevention against HPV. Gardasil (Cervix is the generic brand…does the same thing) is a vaccine that is given in a sequence of three shots that protects against four strains of HPV. These four strains are those that are most commonly associated with genital warts and cervical cancer.

Stay tune for media coverage…HPV (Part II)

References:

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – [Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC]

Cervical Dysplasia – [National Institute of Health – NIH]

Screening Guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Disease – [About.com]

 

 

 

Sep 2012 30

A Dental What?!?!Comments Off on A Dental What?!?!

Posted In blog,Brittnee

Everyone talks about condoms as a form of protection and recently there has been more discussion on the female condom (Ayyyee!! But that might be a topic for another blog), but it seems that little attention, if any is paid to dental dams.

The lack of discussion about dental dams is such a shame. For one, they are fairly easy to come across and dental dams are another barrier method that can protect you and your partner(s) against STIs like herpes and HPV.

So what is a dental dam?

Basically a dental dam is a square piece of stretchy latex or polyurethane that can be used on the vagina or anus as protection during oral sex. And while it is true that oral sex is a low-risk sexual practice, if individuals have been diagnosed with STIs that are easily transmitted through skin to skin contact (the first ones that comes to mind are herpes and genital warts, which is caused by HPV) dental dams can provide you with protection while allowing you to have some fun!

Where can I get a dental dam?

Most good sex stores have dental dams in the condom section. Other places to get dental dams include local clinics and Planned Parenthood in the Flint area. However, there are ways to create dental dams from condoms or things from the kitchen.

With condoms, creating a dental dam is simple. Unroll the condom (unlubricated condoms work better) and using scissors remove the ring at the opening. Then take the scissors and cut or tear the condom down on side. And there. You’ve just created a dental dam.

If there are no condoms in sight…not to worry, walk into the kitchen and locate some plastic wrap (as much as you need). Just make sure it’s not the microwavable kind, because that can have holes in it and STIs or other pathogens can go through the holes.  Usually it’s the cheaper/store brand that don’t have “microwavable” written on it that work best!

Other quick tips about dental dams:

  • Remember dental dams are normally used for vaginal-oral and/or anal-oral sex play
  • You can add lubrication to each side of the dental dam to make the experience more enjoyable for ya’ll!
  • A new dental dam should be used for each sex act

Remember what side you are using! You can do this by writing a letter that is not symmetrical like B, Q, R, P, L, D, F…that way you are always aware of what side you started on.

I know…you’re thinking –  isn’t this gonna be kinda awkward…using this dental dam!? Well, like everything new, it just takes some getting used too. I mean, practice makes perfect…right!?! Not to mention, you have the added bonus of knowing that you’re protecting yourself and your partner(s)!

 

References: Palo Alto Medical Foundation 

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