All Articles Tagged "safe sex"

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 www.avert.org, 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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My Goodies, Not My Goodies: Reasons You Should NOT Give Up the Cookie

September 22nd, 2012 - By Brooke Dean
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Digital Vision

We can all make a compelling argument for why we SHOULD have sex. After all, it’s fun, it feels good and is good for you, and it’s the most intimate way you can share yourself and your love with your partner. But there is a flip side to that frisky coin, and varying attitudes towards sex show that there are plenty of reasons why you should hold off on doing the do. If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should have sex with a new guy, or for the first time ever, here are some things to consider before going all the way.

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Why “She Takes Control” Should Take a Seat…and Actually Talk to Our Youth

August 1st, 2012 - By Toya Sharee
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Source: takecontrolphilly.org

When I worked as a sexual health educator, no one could tell me that I didn’t have the most dynamite job in the world.  The information I taught almost couldn’t compare to the things I learned from my students.  The “Blue Waffle”, “Red Pancake” and “Ear Wax STI Test” were just a few of the highlights from a sexual culture created by today’s teens.  I enjoyed the fact that young people felt comfortable enough to open up to me about their fears, confusion and curiosity about sex while at the same time trusting me as a resource for factual information.  The best part is they felt they could be themselves around me.  I didn’t fidget uncomfortably every time someone dropped an F-bomb.  I didn’t launch into a Sunday school lecture when students told me intimate accounts of losing their virginity in an empty school auditorium.  And even though I may have been cringing on the inside, I never came across as judgmental which made students feel trusted, listened to and valued.

See when it comes to making positive impact on the behavior of our young people, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that it’s not enough to tell them how to change their behavior, you have to make an effort to understand why they are making unhealthy decisions in the first place.  You have to sit down and LISTEN to them, even if it hurts.  Which brings me to She Takes Control, a recent campaign launched by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, encouraging women to carry their own condoms.  Before you take my words the wrong way, let me make it clear that I am in total agreement with the intentions of this effort.  Although I am leery of the marketing which is reminiscent of a rejected “Just Another Girl on the IRT” movie poster, I applaud the encouragement of women to be empowered about their sexual health and speak out about what they allow to happen to their bodies.  In fact, when I discuss with friends the adventures I encounter as I travel from high school to rec center meeting diverse groups of young men and women, most assume that pregnant and sexually active ones were the ones who were skipping class, being loud in the hallways, spending more time in the club than they did in class.  But the truth is I had a fair share of quiet, reserved bookworms who shared the same sexual health issues.  You meet enough teens and you’ll notice whether they are doing homework in homeroom or hooking up in the hallway, they ALL have hormones.

I argue that most teens know how to use a condom better than adults, the problem comes in with how young people are defining love, relationships, respect and sexuality.  The longer I work in this industry the more I begin to believe that high STI rates and unplanned pregnancy are more an ethics and values problem then it is a lack of sexual health resources and knowledge.   Instead of abstinence-only education and comprehensive sexuality education going head to head, they should actually be meeting in the middle.  Youth need factual information about STI’s, condoms and pregnancy, but they also need honest discussions exploring their values.  Whether those values are waiting until marriage to have sex or being truly comfortable having open relationships.  Most teens aren’t even trying to learn themselves or define a code of conduct to live by.  They are simply reacting to the pressure of situations they are put in.  The reason why it’s not enough to hand them a condom and hope for the best, is because they aren’t critically thinking, mostly because they haven’t been taught how to do so.

Meeting In The Bedroom! Survey Shows How Big Cities Get It On

July 15th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"SexSurveyLead"

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Looking to charge up your sex life? You might want to visit New York, Miami or Atlanta.

So here’s the thing: condom brand Trojan surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults about their sexual habits and these cities topped the list in quite a few of the categories. The survey shows that Miami is at the top of the leaderboard with the average number times sex is had per year at 177 while the rest of the country “only” averages out at 151 times per year (New York is second at 156 times per year). I guess more than just the temperature makes it “muy caliente” down there.

Not to be outdone, New Yorkers seem to be more vocal about their sexual desires. At 27 percent, New Yorkers are at the top when it comes to expressing their fantasies to their lovers and 78 percent are open to trying a vibrator with a partner during sex.  If you’ve ever walked through the West Village and took stock of all the “toy stores” that are there, this won’t surprise you that much.

Oh but I didn’t forget you, Atlanta.  The survey says that at 72 percent, Atlanta is the most sexually adventurous city and they also have the highest sex drive (7.2 out of 10). It’s no wonder the residents confessed to having an average of 25 sexual partners in their lifetime (Atlanta is at the top of that leaderboard too). Yes, you all are keeping it “hot” indeed.

The survey doesn’t mention sexual orientation of those surveyed but it’s funny that these cities topped the list in most categories (the survey was done in a total of 10 major cities) because women claim in all these cities that they’re not really getting any because there’s a shortage of men.  I’m not just talking about black women either; peek your head into the conversations of our white sisters (if you’re not already cool with them) and you’ll see that they’re having the same issues many of us seem to be having.  But hey, a woman’s got needs just like any other man would so we’re “getting it in” even with the issues some of us seem to be having with our deeper relationships.

Check out the survey here. Do you consider yourself sexually “free?”  Would you like to try a little something different to spice up your life?

What a Catch! Chad OchoCinco Tweets Picture of Evelyn’s Birth Control

May 31st, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: HelloBeautiful.com


Looks like Evelyn and Chad have no plans of relinquishing their reigning title as one of the tackiest couples in history of coupledom. In a not-so-surprising TMI moment the New England Patriot tweeted a picture of Evelyn’s birth control pills. There really are no words. Just disapproving grunts and slow head shakes because we’re not the least bit surprised. The only bright side of this situation is that these two won’t be reproducing anytime soon.

See how Evelyn responded to the tweet and accompanying image at HelloBeautiful.com 

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We’ve Got To Be More Careful: The Double Standards of Safe Sex

May 22nd, 2012 - By Toya Sharee
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When it comes to maintaining our sexual health, the odds are already stacked against us just for being female.  STIs can cause a lot of complication in anyone’s life, but for women especially, STIs can cause complications and irreversible damage that simply just won’t occur in the lives of our male counterparts.  Take a look at the list below for several facts that give women a disadvantage when it comes to practicing safe sex:

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

May 11th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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From YourTango.com

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 YourTango.com. 

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In Between The Sheets: Things All Women Are Insecure About In Bed

April 14th, 2012 - By Julia Austin
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"Woman looking at boyfriend in bed"

terrancedean.blogspot.com

Next time you’re watching professional Adult Videos (if that’s something you’re into) just remember the camera person knows just what angles make the female look the hottest.  The female herself isn’t really enjoying herself so she can actually think about every little movement she makes, and some moments of the, um, encounter were left out of the finished production altogether. If only we had such finesse in our own sex lives. Luckily, real couples have a lot more fun, but these uncomfortable dynamics still exist….

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Teen Pregnancy Rates Drop Nationwide

April 12th, 2012 - By Toya Sharee
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Source: MomLogic.com

The CDC released a report recently, revealing the U.S. teen birth rate decreased again in 2010. Almost every state saw a decline in teen births from 2007-2010, but Arizona experienced the biggest drop at 29 percent.  In fact, U.S. births by mothers of all ages dropped in 2010, and experts cite the economy as the biggest factor.  Although the highest rates of teen births are still found within the Black and Latino communities, the decline was seen among all races and ethnicities.

Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana still lead with the nation’s highest teen pregnancy rates.  New England states including New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey continue to have the lowest teen birth rates in the country.  The report defeats the stereotype that teen pregnancy is limited to urban areas and sex education and pregnancy prevention efforts may have also significantly influenced the falling rate.

With an unstable economy and employment rates staggering to grow, it may very well be that teens and people in general are seriously considering the costs associated with building a family.  Offered more options when it comes to accessing birth control and relieved from the pressure of affording sexual healthcare, more women are choosing to take advantage of the contraceptive options that are available to them.   What’s important about this study is that somewhere, for some reason, young people are listening and actively choosing not to become teen parents.  It brings to light that traditional, more conservative states may benefit from welcoming alternatives points of view when it comes to sex education.

Why do you think that teen pregnancy rates are decreasing?

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Campaign Wants You to ‘Check-In’ and Share Safe Sex Experience

March 5th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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With Social Media, we virtually tell people what we’re doing and where we’re doing it every minute of the day, why not add sex to the mix—only if it’s safe, of course. That’s the aim of a new web-based campaign from Planned Parenthood called Where Did You Wear It.

Using scannable QR codes on the back of condoms distributed by Planned Parenthood, users can log on to a location-based site and share their protected sexual experience. A sample check-in would look something like this:

An under 20 girl and a guy whose relationship is all about love, and have already talked about safer sex and STDs, used a condom in the bedroom to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. It was ah-maz-ing — rainbows exploded and mountains trembled.

The approach seems to be that nothing’s wrong with safe sex so why not share it, although for some this is a bit TMI. There’s also an element of “see everybody’s doing it” but in a positive way. Maybe if people see how many other people are having positive experiences discussing and having safe sex, they won’t think twice about doing it themselves.

The site isn’t all about poking into stranger’s love lives either—although you can search who’s doing what by age, gender, orientation, and state. There’s also health information on STDs, proper condom usage tutorials, and a search engine to find the nearest Planned Parenthood health center. You can’t deny Planned Parenthood is thinking outside the box.

What do you think about the Where Did You Wear It Campaign? Will it really encourage people to have safe sex?

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

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