All Articles Tagged "protection"

Things To Consider When You Want To Quit Condoms

October 17th, 2016 - By Julia Austin
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If you’ve been with your partner for several years—perhaps you’re married—you know you’re both clean, and you plan on spending your lives together, you might feel that you’re ready to kick the condoms. You feel as emotionally intimate as can be, so you’d like to be as physically intimate as can be. Plus you know sex without condoms just feels better for your partner and you think he deserves to experience that. It doesn’t hurt that you can save hundreds of dollars a year if you stop buying condoms (not to mention avoid those embarrassing moments when your dog tries to eat the condom out of the trashcan, or your mother comes to visit, and there’s a wrapper on the floor). At the end of the day, there are a lot of reasons couples want to stop using condoms, but there are some things to consider before doing so.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

You can give your partner HPV

If you have human papilloma virus (which 79 million Americans do, by the way) and stop using condoms, you will almost certainly give it to your partner. That is if you haven’t already—HPV can spread through skin-on-skin contact in the areas surrounding the genitals.

How To Have Extra Safe Sex When You Meet A New Man

April 1st, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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If you’re a millennial, keeping safe is top priority when you’re sexually active. But waiting to ask every new man for an STD test before you have a little fun isn’t always practical. But that doesn’t mean that you have to play Russian Roulette with your lady parts.

There are ways to make sex even safer than just latex condoms alone. And whether you’re exploring your sexual freedom on the regular, or dipping your toe into the Tinder game for the first time in years, you shouldn’t have to sweat bullets about staying safe.

From new condom technology to better ways to protect against STDs, adding these extra precautions to your sex life will give you peace of mind without getting in the way of your fun. So throw caution to the wind by wrapping it up in new ways that will put the worries to the back of your mind and make room for better things.

Beyonce Get Yo Daddy: Has Matthew Knowles Been Threatening The Mother Of His Baby Boy?

January 21st, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

I tell you, the public perception of Matthew Knowles has gone so far downhill since the days of Beyonce’s “Daddy” track on her first album.  After rumors of infidelity — and then proof of it when Alexsandra Wright got pregnant and sought child support from the man some consider to be the modern-day Joe Jackson — plus a divorce from Miss Tina, even Bey had to distance herself from her papa, at least in the public eye. The lack of father-daughter public appearances likely won’t change anytime soon now that Alexsandra is trying to stick it to Matthew again with claims that he’s been threatening her.

According to TMZ, Alexsandra is asking a family court judge to increase her child support so that she can pay for security to protect her 2-year-old son from Matthew, whom she claims has been sending her threatening emails. In September 2011 (yes, you read that year correctly), he reportedly wrote to her and said, “”You hurt my family. There’s a price to pay.”

Now, Alexsandra is trying to put her own price on Matthew, who already pays $12,000 a month in child support. I’d imagine she could find a decent bouncer already with that type of cash flowing in on a monthly basis, which is why this entire legal stunt sounds more like a case for padding her bank account than a legitimate concern for safety. After all, wouldn’t you seek a restraining order not money for personal security? There’s also a request from Alexsandra for money to cover expenses for private school for their son who, again, is only 2 years old.

Matthew seems to not be stressing this ordeal much, as TMZ reports he expects this move to completely backfire on the mother of his child considering Destiny’s Child is defunct and he hasn’t managed Beyonce for two years now. In other words, his money ain’t what it used to be so the amount of support he pays could actually be reduced once the courts start examining his finances.

Now as far as Matthew threatening somebody? Who knows. But if he really said Alexsandra hurt his family, I’m gonna need this brotha to start with the man in the mirror. Was she the one cheating on her wife? Didn’t think so.


Why More Women Should Embrace The Female Condom

December 4th, 2012 - By Charing Ball
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Recently I was having a conversation about the responsibility of maintaining birth control with a friend of mine and she said, “I can’t until they make effective birth control pills for men. That way one gender wouldn’t have to shoulder the primary responsibility of preventing unplanned pregnancy.”  I feel the same way about STD and HIV prevention too.

And then I read a piece in the Washington Post and remembered the female condom:

“The Food and Drug Administration has approved Female Health Company’s second-generation female condom (FC2). Now the company must figure out how to get it to the markets where it’s most needed. In 2010, the World Health Organization cited HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death worldwide among women 15 to 44 years old. Mary Ann Leeper and colleagues knew that the female condom provided life-saving empowerment to women. It is the only protection against HIV/AIDS controlled by women.”

In an effort to help raise the profile of the female condom, Female Health Company created a number of public-private partnerships in cities across the country including Washington D.C., which has the highest infection rate for African American women in the country.  According to a previous article in the Post, the partnership distributed 200,000 female condoms to beauty salons and community clinics and provided over $400,000 in educational services just in the D.C. area alone.  The results proved to increase acceptance of female condoms among both men and women. While this proved to be a highly successful and clever marketing tactic to get female condoms into the hands of a core demographic, it was also a great way to increase the visibility and produce an adequate buy-in of a product, which has to overcome some stigmas and the popularity of the male counterpart.

As long as I can remember, the commonplace belief has always been the women tend to take care of the birth control and the men, the STD prevention (i.e. condoms).  I get it, it is a lot easier for a man to slip on a jimmy (they still call them that?) than a women to jam some device up in the snatch and apply all those messy spermicidal creams properly. But with the rate of HIV/AIDS still prominent in the community, particularly with African American and Latino women representing a sizable number of Americans disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, we have to ask ourselves if the task of protecting our sexual health in the sole hands of just one gender?

I know from personal experience there is nothing more frustrating than hearing a dude say he forgot to bring a condom. And even if you are among the well-tuned women, who carry around their own prophylactic, there is no guarantee to ensure that your date for the evening won’t decide to take it off (that stuff happens too) during the act.  Therefore, women having power of the condom situation seems like the best course of action to help decrease the spread of sexual diseases – as well as infections.  It is said that the female condom actual provides greater skin coverage, thus not only sharply reducing your chances of STDs and HIV but also providing coverage against more topical diseases like Herpes and the human papillomavirus (HPV).

When they are used properly, it is said that female condoms are 95 percent reliable – of course, that’s if they are used accurately. The most common complaint I heard among those friends I know, who have tried it, was that if not careful, a man can bypass the condom all together. But with a little practice, a woman (and man) can certainly learn the proper way to use them. Heck there are even YouTube videos available for those too shy to seek out help.

However for the female condom to become more popular and acceptable, they are going to have to continue on way to make it more convenient and affordable. A three-count box of FC2 will cost about between $4.49 and $5.99 at Walgreens. While this is way cheaper than what they used to cost (I remember when it was $10 a box), they are still a bit more expensive than male condoms. Also, men have the option of going to the corner bodega or Chinese store, if needed. Women on the other hand, have to seek out a drug store or go to an authorized supplier, which might not be fitting when some spontaneous sex just so happens to spring up (no pun intended).  But it is certainly not a bad idea to one day, while at the drug store, pick up a box and keep them next to your bed stand.  I remember that the year I got a bunch of the FC free from the health clinic. Unfortunately 2010-11 was a bad year for the kid and eventually they dried out before I got a chance to test them out. But I had them – just in case.

What do you think about the female condom? Have you ever used one?

Is There An Advantage To This “Female Condom” Business?

October 2nd, 2012 - By Liz Lampkin
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He doesn’t like to use protection”, “Stopping to put on a condom ruins the moment”, “I don’t want to ask him because he may think I don’t trust him”, “We got caught up in the moment and forgot”. How many times have we heard or said one of the phrases and excuses above, or other phrases and excuses about the man’s use of a condom during intercourse, or the lack thereof? And how many times have these phrases instantly turned into “I think I’m pregnant”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m here for an HIV/Aids test”, or “I’m sorry Ms., but you’ve tested positive for…”

In today’s world of sex, it is vital to one’s health and survival to prep and practice safe measures before engaging in intercourse. With the rapid number of unexpected/unwanted pregnancies, the growing rate of HIV/Aids cases, and other sexually transmitted diseases it is imperative for one to protect themselves during sex. But who is solely responsible for having protection, the man or the woman? The answer to that question is… both! One mistake both women and men make is placing the responsibility of using or being prepared with protection for intercourse solely on the man. I say that both women and men make this mistake because in most cases women expect men to always be prepared with fresh condoms in their wallet ready to pull out for action, and men simply expect women to be prepared with birth control-subconsciously disregarding the fact that sexually transmitted diseases exist;  but neither party would expect for a woman to be prepared with her own condoms. Yes, her own condoms for use in her body. I know many of you have heard of the FC-female condom, but let’s take a crash review course in what it is.

According to, the FC is a thin sheath/pouch that women wear during sex that lines the vagina entirely. There are a variety of female condoms such as the FC, FC2 (which is a nitrile sheath or pouch 6.5 inches long,) the Condom Feminine (VA for short), the Cupid female, etc. Female condoms have flexible rings at each end, and at the closed end of the sheath the flexible ring is inserted into the vagina so the condom will hold in place, while the other end of the sheath remains outside of the vulva for entrance into the vagina. This ring serves as a guide during penetration and prevents the sheath from moving further inside the vagina.  Now that we’ve had an abbreviated course on what the female condom is let’s look at the advantages of a woman using a female condom for both men and women.

Advantage 1- the female condom can be inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse and it won’t interfere with the heat of the moment. Advantage 2- the man is not solely responsible for having protection. Advantage 3-it will save the man money! Advantage 4- a woman can protect herself from unknown sexually transmitted diseases her partner may have (and may be unaware that he has), and she can protect herself from unwanted pregnancies if it is used properly. Of course with every set of advantages come disadvantages. Disadvantage 1-the outer ring is visible outside of the vagina which can be unappealing, and may cause some women to feel self-conscious. Disadvantage 2- some may find the female condom difficult to remove or insert and many women may feel uncomfortable inserting it. Disadvantage 3- female condoms may be relatively expensive.

While it is true that condoms, both male and female, are not one hundred percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies or STD’s, they can be effective if used properly. The safest practice of premarital sex is the practice of celibacy until marriage; however, if your urges to engage in intercourse take over and turn into action, you should always have and use protection. If both parties are planning to have sex, both parties should share the responsibility for their individual safety as well as each other’s. Ladies, there is no excuse for you to not take a stand and protect yourself against the many STD’s that exist. Learn how to protect yourself even if your sex partner won’t because when the sun sets and the moon rises you will be the one at the clinic or in the Doctor’s office, crying, or in a panic state because your world has been turned upside down. Protect yourself even if he won’t protect you. Why? Because your life is worth it.

Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.


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5 Ways He’ll Try to Get Out of Wearing a Condom

May 11th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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It doesn’t matter how charming he is. It doesn’t matter how Hot he is. Your health is still the number one priority.  If you are prepared when he bats his eyelashes and runs his very Hot hand up your thigh, you will stay in control of both your safety and your pleasure. Here are the top five excuses men use to attempt to wiggle out of wearing a condom and the responses you need to stay safe.

Excuse #1: Birth control is the woman’s responsibility.

Sadly this is not a new argument. Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures all thought the same thing, and that is why you won’t see many references to condoms in their ancient literature. In fact, the only references to “male birth control” you may find in their writings refer only to “coitus interruptus”—that’s the “pull-out” method, by the way —and anal sex. Puh-lease!

Find out the other ridiculous reasons why your man may try to get out of wearing a condom at 

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Dealing With Bullies: How Can You Keep Your Child Safe When The Schools Aren’t?

April 9th, 2012 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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I think that as long as people have gone to school, bullies have been a problem. However, it seems that today, kids are dealing with a whole new kind of bully. Almost like a super bully. One whose parents are blind to an issue, or better yet, in denial, and one whose violent and reckless behavior slides past school administrators far too easily. So how are you supposed to watch out for your kids in the hours that make up a school day (and they’re out of your hands) when everyone who is supposed to is not?

I remember when I first heard that my nephew had a bully. He’s one of my youngest nephews, and for his age, he’s a bit small (which makes him a prime target). This bully wasn’t just one of those a**holes I dealt with every once and a while as a kid who would poke fun at you and try and embarrass you in front of your peers. This snot-nosed kid had already put his hands on my nephew. In fact, he pushed my nephew down so hard in the bathroom that he hit his head on the ground and came home with a big knot. I was enraged, and of course, so was his mother–my sister-in-law.

You see, I’ve had nieces and nephews since I was a 4-year-old, and the oldest ones I have are, and have always been major athletes (it’s in our genes actually). Because they could bounce a basketball and get recognition from their peers for swinging a bat, they were deemed pretty popular. Therefore, they didn’t seem to have the burden of dealing with bullies too often (except for a niece who beat up a girl who tried to push her around…). But to finally hear that my little nephew was dealing with one, especially in a time when bullies are, as I stated earlier, super bullies (and more and more kids are committing suicide because of the harassment), I was worried. But my sister-in-law wasn’t having it. After not being able to get through to the mother of my nephew’s bully after telling the school, she went up to the young’n during lunch time, caught him while he was eating and let him know the real deal: “If you put your hands on my son again, you’re going to have to deal with me!” When I heard that she did this, I was kind of embarrassed for my nephew and thought she made the wrong move (what if his mother started coming around throwing threats?)…but that was until I saw the documentary Bully.

10-year-old Jasmine McClain was tormented by bullies so much that she committed suicide in 2011.

The recently released and much talked about film was so jarring because it put faces and names to the issue of bullying, aside from what we already know through school shootings, suicides, and our own personal experiences. They followed every kind of child, from a gay teenager struggling to get an education in peace, a boy with Asperger’s who was literally getting terrorized on the bus every day, to the families of young men who committed suicide, and even a teen who pulled a gun on her bullies while riding the school bus. While their experiences were haunting, nothing was probably more scary than watching a school administrator in the documentary blow off a family’s claim of abuse on their son (“They’re really just angels”), and try to solve a bully-victim issue by having two students shake hands. SHAKE HANDS!? I wanted to shake her. I realized that she was part of the problem and that in schools all across the country, there are many administrators just like her. Blind as bats and living like the society we’re living is a scene from “Happy Days.”

As much as I wanted to say that my sister-in-law had acted crazy a few months ago, while watching the documentary, I realized that there really isn’t a right move to keeping your kids safe when others aren’t stepping up and doing so when it’s their job–as both an administrator and parent. Was she supposed to wait until the bully broke my nephew’s nose or beat him like a mule? The boy’s mother clearly wasn’t going to wake up and smell the coffee (that her child is a heathen), so while I don’t agree with my sister-in-law’s actions 100 percent, sometimes a parent has to do what a parent has to do. Seriously, when you have people turning a blind eye to the bullying, saying it’s kids being kids and thinking things will be solved by having the bully and victim shake hands, it seems as though you really don’t have a choice.

In the end, if you were wondering, beef between my nephew and his bully seemed to calm down; not because my sister-in-law intervened, but because my nephew found a way to put him in his place. While in school minding his business, the bully pushed my nephew and called him a “baby.” Much to the bully’s surprise, my nephew must have downed his Wheaties in the morning, because he pushed him back pretty hard and said, “I’m not a baby!” That troublemaker somehow received the message, and for the most part, he isn’t terrorizing my nephew anymore (or sadly, maybe my nephew just isn’t saying anything anymore…).

In this day and age, it seems that the best way to get a bully off your back is to just stand up to them on your own; but it’s pretty sad to think that it’s left to a cornered kid by his or herself to deal with a bully situation these days.

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7% of Americans Carry HPV Virus in Their Mouths

January 27th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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The human papillomavirus (HPV) sometimes seems harmless because there are rarely any symptoms associated with it, but researchers believe the virus is responsible for the increased rates of mouth and throat cancer during the past 25 years, and new research says 7% of Americans now have HPV in their mouths.

The study, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association is the first to assess the prevalence of oral HPV in the U.S. population, and from the ages of 14 to 69, across men and women, the incidence was found to be 6.9%.

The findings also indicate that oral sex, rather than kissing, is the main cause for the spread of the virus—most likely because people still don’t understand that the practice can lead to disease.

“I don’t think people think of oral sex in the same way they do with traditional intercourse,” said Fred Wyand, director of the HPV Resource Center at the American Social Health Association in Research Triangle Park, NC. “Sometimes younger people engage in oral sex so they don’t have to worry about pregnancy. They may not even make the link between oral sex and STDs.”

Since most oral HPV infections are harmless and oral cancers are still somewhat rare, there isn’t a total cause for alarm, but there could be down the line. This is why the researchers say doctors, parents, and sexual partners need to talk about the use of protection upfront.

“It’s something people are not comfortable talking about, but it is protective,” Dr. Hans Schlecht, assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia who wrote an editorial accompanying the study said in an interview. “If you are going to be intimate with someone, there are some adult conversations you need to have.”

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Teen Sex Offenders: Does the Time Fit the Crime?

January 25th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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A freshman girl dating a senior guy is a common scenario in high school. For some, the story ends with popularity, a high school sweetheart, maybe even heartbreak, but for others there is shame, stigma, and maybe even a charge of statutory rape.

The Daily Beast reports that there are a growing number of parents across all 50 states who are fighting to protect their children from the sex-offender laws that were meant to do just that. From their view, the punishments inflicted on high-school boys are far too harsh and they want the laws to change.

One mother, Francie Baldino, says her son Ken’s prison term was unthinkable. In 2004, the 18-year-old high school senior was arrested for having sex with his girlfriend who was a 14-year-old freshman. Because the age of consent in Michigan is 16, he was sentenced to a year in jail and three years’ probation. When Ken was released from jail he violated probation by resuming his relationship with the girl and then was given a sentence of five to fifteen years. After serving six years behind bars, he’s now forced to wear a GPS device and was told his home address and personal information would be listed in the sex-offender registry for 25 years.

When a guy is in his 20s and a girl is 14, the issue of sex with a minor is a no-brainer, but when we’re talking two high-school students, one of whom may have just become a legal adult, the issue is much more gray. Even Fred Mester, the judge in Ken’s case openly acknowledged the complexities of statutory rape laws when he sentenced him in 2005, saying, “Half my senior class … were dating freshman girls, and I suspect half of them would be in here today.”

While the prevalence of the act doesn’t mean it should be excused, it does call into question whether the law should recognize the difference between teen sex and teen rape. As Ken’s attorney, Cheryl Carpenter says, “The laws often don’t differentiate between a 50-year-old man molesting a 14-year-old girl, and two teenagers having sex.”

But how could that be done? Often times girls who sleep with older boys say the sex was consensual, but in an age where so many teen girls are admitting to being coerced into having sex or performing certain sexual acts, it’s hard to know whether they are telling the truth or protecting boys they are scared of. And as prosecutors argue, the law is there so there’s no need to delve into this issue of distinction at all. They say the law is the law and kids need to follow it regardless of whatever urges or relationships they have.

“The court isn’t imposing restrictions because it’s fun—it’s the law,” Paul Walton, a chief assistant prosecutor in Michigan, says. “You can disagree on the age of consent, but the law says that prior to that age, a person doesn’t have the ability to consent.”

Although following the law truly is the bottom line in these cases and the aim isn’t to encourage teen sex—although that behavior isn’t going anywhere—unfair laws are protested all the time.  With boys like Ken, who has now been taken off the sex-offender registry but remains a convicted felon for life, you have to wonder if their futures are being thrown away before they even get started with these harsh penalties.

Do you think sex-offender laws are too harsh when it comes to teens? Should legislators work to modify the laws or should they stand as they are to protect young girls?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Does Superthin Condom Ad Send the Wrong Message?

December 23rd, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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One thing to keep in mind when looking at this ad is that it wasn’t made for an American audience.

The Durex condom advertisement runs in India and promotes a birth control/STD barrier that is so thin it could leave a woman questioning whether a condom was used or not—as shown.

In the cultural subtext of India, sex is not discussed nearly as openly as it is here in the Western world, so the idea is that a man and woman probably wouldn’t talk to each other about protection but if the woman happened to see the condom wrapper, box, etc. she’d be pleasantly surprised to learn he used one, despite the fact that it wasn’t detectible.

Durex group manager for marketing and branding Vishal Vyas told Audience Matters, explained, “There is still a lack of education as sex is a taboo topic in India. People are opening up and talking about it as family planning, and sexually transmitted diseases have become major issues. We are and will always aim to spread the message of safe and responsible sex.”

Still a few sites—albeit American—have knocked the ad, saying pregnancy and STDs are not pleasant surprises any woman wants to receive and that there’s nothing cute about not knowing whether you’ve put yourself at risk for any of the above.

At the very least, the ad is clever in marketing the ultra-thinness of it’s product, but in a culture where people aren’t talking about something that they should in order to protect their sexual and reproductive health, I don’t think think giving them more reasons not to talk about it is the best route. But at the end of the day, sex education isn’t Durex’s job, they want to sell a product that gives people a feeling of security without the feeling of latex, and that’s what this does.

Do you think the ad sends the wrong message? Could it ever work in the United States?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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