STIs: Syphilis & Chlamydia

Syphillis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is not very common in the college population, though my rates have begun to increase in the past couple of years.  The symptoms occur in stages, the first stage is the presence of a painless, round sore that can appear anywhere on the body. The second stage is a rash on the hands and feet.  If it is not treated, it can go dormant for decades before causing heart and brain problems, blindness, and death in the late stage.  The most famous syphilis victims include Christopher Columbus and Al Capone.  Syphilis is tested for with a blood draw and easily treated with a shot of penicillin.

  • enters body through broken mucous membrane (commonly transmitted during unprotected anal sex)
  • if someone is allergic to penicillin, there are alternative antibiotics
  • 35,000 new cases reported each year in US

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that usually infects the urethra.  It can be tested for with a urethral swab or a urine sample. Chlamydia is extremely common in the college population and should be tested for every year in sexually active people. Chlamydia is easily cured with antibiotics.  If it goes untreated for a long period of time in women, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.  In most people, chlamydia does not present symptoms, but when it does they include burning after urination, discharge, abdominal pain, and spotting after intercourse in women.

  • All sexually active women under age 25 need an annual chlamydia test because it can cause infertility and usually has no symptoms
  • Can also infect eyes, throat, cervix
  • 3 million people become infected in the US every year.

STIs: Herpes & HPV

Herpes

Herpes a viral infection with two types.  One type infects about 66% of sexually active adults and causes cold sores or fever blisters on the mouth or face.  The other type infects the genital region and is present in about 22% of sexually active adults.  Most people don’t know that they have herpes because usually there are not any symptoms.  If the genital version does cause symptoms, they are most commonly swollen glands in the groin and blisters in the genital area.  Herpes can be transmitted through oral-genital contact and it can be transmitted even if the host is not presenting any outward symptoms.  Herpes is tested for with a blood test and though it cannot be completely eliminated from the body, the symptoms can be treated and controlled through daily suppressive medication. 

  • Herpes Simplex Virus I causes cold sores on the mouth/face
  • Most people contract this virus when they’re very young
  • Herpes Simplex II infects the genital region
  • HSVI of the genital region usually only occurs once
  • If symptoms develop, they usually do so in 3-7 days after exposure
  • Herpes lives in the dorsal root of the spinal nerves
  • Asymptomatic viral shedding- HSVII is spread through skin to skin contact (not necessarily during outbreak
  • Immune system keeps the virus down, it may be exacerbated by lack of sleep, poor nutrition, stress
  • Suppressive therapy- a pill taken everyday to prevent outbreaks and transmission (i.e., Valtrex)
  • Herpes test isn’t included in general STD testing (you need to request it)
  • Test only looks for type two
  • Most contagious when sores are open
  • Sores usually last 1-2 weeks

 

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)

HPV is a virus with over 100 strains.  The majority of sexually active women will be infected with at least one strain in their lifetime, though most of the time the body’s own immune system will fight off the infection.  Luckily, women can get vaccinated against 4 of the most harmful strains to prevent infection from these strains.  Some of the most harmful strains can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.  HPV is spread through skin to skin contact and can be transmitted even if the carrier does not have any symptoms. HPV is usually detected through an abnormal pap smear in women.

  • about 30 of the 100 strains are sexually transmitted (other strains cause common warts on hands, feet, etc.)
  • men typically serve as carriers of HPV (aren’t at very high risk for cancer because the cervix is the target of these strains, but can have genital warts)
  • HPV has nothing to do with body fluids, it’s in the skin
  • HPV infection usually does not present visible symptoms (with the exception of wart-causing strains)
  • HPV test not given to women under 30 because body will most likely fight off infection
  • Some HPV infections go away on their own within 8-13 months after infection
  • 20 million people in US infected with HPV at any given time
The Scoop on Semen. There is a list of sources at the bottom, in darker gray, including LiveScience.com, NYTimes, WebMD, and Men’s Health.

The Scoop on Semen. There is a list of sources at the bottom, in darker gray, including LiveScience.com, NYTimes, WebMD, and Men’s Health.

Resources for Male Survivors

redqueenxlt:

letstalkaboutrape:

I posted last week asking people if they knew of some good resources for male victims of sexual assault. Here is the list people came up with:

www.malesurvivor.org

www.violenceunsilenced.com

www.rainn.org

www.pandys.org

www.1in6.org

www.soulspeakout.org

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/

Thanks everyone!

reblog for signal boost

(via slutwalkseattle)

Sex in America: A Snapshot at that who’s, what’s, and when’s of sex. Men’s Health.
These statistics were collected from the National Center for Health Statistics, the 2010 Census Data, National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, and the Durex 2010 Survey.
Aside from the link being named “Is your sex normal?” (face palm), I think it makes for an interesting infographic.

Sex in America: A Snapshot at that who’s, what’s, and when’s of sex. Men’s Health.

These statistics were collected from the National Center for Health Statistics, the 2010 Census Data, National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, and the Durex 2010 Survey.

Aside from the link being named “Is your sex normal?” (face palm), I think it makes for an interesting infographic.

Not being a rapist should not be a symbol of being a hero; it should be the bare minimum for decent behavior. Refusing to sleep with someone who is too intoxicated to consent or who is being forced into sex because someone is threatening her does not make you a “good guy;” it just means that you pass one of the lowest bars for basic humane treatment.

That these movies are using that act as some sort of shorthand for “hero” is troubling. It implies that these men are doing something extraordinary by resisting the urge (and often it is an urge that they have to resist, especially in the films where they end up having consensual sex with the women later) to rape or take advantage of these women. Ultimately, that narrative helps support the idea that avoiding rape is a difficult thing, something worthy of praise.

The truth is that avoiding rape isn’t hard. If you don’t have consent, you don’t have sex. If you’re not sure that you have consent, you don’t have sex. If you are unable to get consent because of the person’s condition, you don’t have sex. If you get consent and you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have sex.

Balancing Jane: Sexual Consent in Pop Culture: Waiting for Consent Doesn’t Make You a Hero (via naomieve)

(via slutwalkseattle)

But even if it were possible for a person’s fingers or tongue to move at the speed of a motorboat, I don’t always want that kind of breakneck arousal from a fellow human being. Sometimes I want the warmth and passion of a lover, whether that means kissing, cuddling, nipple stimulation or oral sex (all of which, I must note, no vibrator can replicate).

- Rachel Kramer Bussel "Is My Vibrator Ruining My Relationship"

A sincere musing on vibrators and masturbation within a relationship from one of my favorite erotica editors. Definitely worth the few minutes spent reading it, and definitely worth some personal reflection.

Self Care for Survivors

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) compiled a list of self care tips and topics that cover physical needs as well as emotional self care. The complete list is linked above:

Good self-care is a challenge for many people and it can be especially challenging for survivors of rape, sexual assault, incest and sexual abuse. It can also be an important part of the healing process.

Physical self-care is an area that people often overlook.

  • Food
    • Food is a type of self-care that people often overlook. People are often so busy that they don’t have time to eat regularly or that they substitute fast food for regular meals.
    • It’s not always reasonable to expect people to get 3 square meals a day (plus snacks!) but everyone should make sure they get adequate nutrition.
  • Exercise
    • Exercise is one of the most overlooked types of self-care. The CDC recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week.
    • Exercise, even if it’s just a quick walk at lunchtime, can help combat feelings of sadness or depression and prevent chronic health problems.
  • Sleep
    • Although everyone has different needs, a reasonable guideline is that most people need between 7-10 hours of sleep per night.
  • Medical care
    • Getting medical attention when you need it is an important form of physical self-care.
    • Some survivors put off getting medical care until problems that might have been relatively easy to take care of have become more complicated.

The whole list is a really good read, and I think I’ll put it into the resources for future use!

SOUNDS AMAZING.
From EtB:


Sultry body worship, sensuous kissing, playful taunting, sex toys, chemistry, and hard core lesbian fucking are what make Lesbian Curves the genre-busting adult film you’ve been craving. This full length feature is full of luscious skin, bodacious bodies and intense orgasms, brought to you by the fiercest femmes in porn, soaking wet and thirsty for passionate, curvaceous, gritty, real lesbian sex.
Starring Courtney Trouble, Kelly Shibari, Betty Blac, Sophia St James, Sandy Bottoms, Kitty Stryker, Peppermint Fatty, and Eden Alexander and shot in full HD.

SOUNDS AMAZING.

From EtB:

Sultry body worship, sensuous kissing, playful taunting, sex toys, chemistry, and hard core lesbian fucking are what make Lesbian Curves the genre-busting adult film you’ve been craving. This full length feature is full of luscious skin, bodacious bodies and intense orgasms, brought to you by the fiercest femmes in porn, soaking wet and thirsty for passionate, curvaceous, gritty, real lesbian sex.

Starring Courtney Trouble, Kelly Shibari, Betty Blac, Sophia St James, Sandy Bottoms, Kitty Stryker, Peppermint Fatty, and Eden Alexander and shot in full HD.

Ableism and Kink

kinkology:

Tough Love Thursdays are about real issues facing alternative sexuality communities.  These can be external pressures or internal struggles - not for the faint of heart.

Ableism permeates our culture and alternative sexuality communities are not exempt from participating in a system that makes people with disabilities or different abilities invisible.  We do this by assuming that everyone’s mind and body work the same.  I was told a story by a top who had to sit down to play.  The side-eyes and negative comments implying they were just being “lazy” made them so uncomfortable they left the space with no desire to return.  This casual ableism can make a play space unsafe for a person with disabilities or different abilities. Ask yourself:

  • When you negotiate a scene, do you check in about a person’s physical capacity? Previous injuries? Emotional triggers?
  • Does your favorite Leather contest provide interpreters?
  • Is the dungeon equipment spaced to accommodate a wheelchair?
  • What can you do to address these issues in your community?

Before you judge a scene or person you are not involved with, remember disabilities and different abilities can be visible or invisible… and that unless a scene is harmful or breaks play space rules, it’s not your job to judge.

(via slutwalkseattle)

I’m generally not a fan of statistics put out by popular women’s magazines, but this one is at least a fun read!
The Average Woman on Sex

I’m generally not a fan of statistics put out by popular women’s magazines, but this one is at least a fun read!

The Average Woman on Sex

For all those celebrating Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday, remember that if you purchase some sexy gifts from Early to Bed through my link, it supports an amazing independent sex toy store, as well as supports me (and this blog!)
Happy shopping, whether it be for a friend, a partner, or yourself!

For all those celebrating Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday, remember that if you purchase some sexy gifts from Early to Bed through my link, it supports an amazing independent sex toy store, as well as supports me (and this blog!)

Happy shopping, whether it be for a friend, a partner, or yourself!

Anonymous asked: i love the content of your blog; it's informative, well written, and interesting. but i find it very difficult to read given the bright contrasting colours you have chosen for your blog settings. any chance you might rethink the colour composition? sincerely, a reader with sore eyes :)

Absolutely! I have muted some of the harsh colors, and hopefully now the contrast with the text and background color is easier to read! Thanks for reading, thanks for the feedback, and let me know if this doesn’t fix the sore eyes problem!

Sex Positive feminist. sexual assault survivor. queer. novice sexual health educator.
rape crisis counselor. LGBT youth counselor. proponent of comprehensive sex ed.
supporter of kinks, fetishes and sexual exploration.



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