I’ve been getting a lot more questions as of late, and although it may be obvious, I’d like to say that you are always welcome to send in questions about anything this blog covers!
I may not always have the answers, but if I am not sure, I will research it and report what I find.
So ask away! No question is too long, short, simple, hard, etc. And no question is stupid!
This series of posts on birth control methods will not cover condoms and other barriers to be used during sex. For information on condoms and barriers, see this post. None of the birth control methods discussed during this series are effective at preventing the transmission of STDs and STIs.
An intrauterine device, also known as an IUD, is a small (no thicker than a tampon string), T-shaped object inserted into the uterus to mess with the way sperm moves and intercept it from fertilizing an egg. There are two main types of IUD, Mirena and Paragard. The Mirena IUD is hormone-based, and the Paragard IUD is copper. Once inserted, an IUD lasts for several years (up to 12, depending on the kind) before it will need to be removed and/or replaced.
An IUD is one of the most effective forms of birth control, right up there with sterilization. Less than 1 out of every 100 people using the IUD method of birth control will become pregnant when an IUD has been placed properly. It is also easy to use and maintain. The insertion process takes about 60 seconds and you are protected from pregnancy immediately after insertion. After insertion, assuming that there are not complications, you do not have to worry about the IUD until the point where it needs to be replaced or removed. It is discreet and private, many people who use an IUD say that their partner(s) cannot even tell that it is there. Occasionally, the string that hangs down from the cervix (for removal at a later point) can be felt during intercourse, but this can be trimmed if needed.
The Mirena IUD is hormone based. It works by secreting a small amount of progesterone each day. It contains no estrogen, so there are fewer side effects than other hormone-based forms of birth control, but there are still some hormone-related side effects for certain users of the IUD. The Mirena IUD lasts for 5 years as stated by the manufacturer, but in Europe it is approved for use for up to 7 years. Side effects at first include unpredictable and irregular bleeding, but it is usually only spotting. After the first 6 months, most people’s periods stop altogether, or are much lighter and shorter.
The Paragard IUD contains copper and is hormone free. It is the ONLY super-effective hormone-free form of birth control available, other than sterilization. It lasts for 10 years as stated by the manufacturer, but many studies have shown evidence that it is effective for up to 12 years, and many establishments that provide Paragard insertion services (Planned Parenthood being one of them) agree that it is effective for 12 years. Most users of the Paragard IUD experience heavier, crampier periods for the first few months, but most people’s menstrual cycles return to normal after 6 months.
In a healthy person, regardless of age and whether or not one has given birth or had an abortion, IUDs are a viable option. IUDs, however, are not right for every person. An IUD could be wrong for you if you have any of several health conditions. You should not use an IUD if you: have had a pelvic infection following a birth or abortion in the past 3 months, have or might have an STI, have or might have a pelvic infection, are pregnant, or may be pregnant, have untreated cervical cancer, have cancer of the uterus, have unexplained vaginal bleeding, have pelvic tuberculosis, or have a uterine perforation during an IUD insertion.
The Mirena IUD in particular is not for people who have severe liver disease, or who have, or might have, breast cancer.
The Paragard IUD in particular is not for people who have, or might have, an allergy to copper, or who have Wilson’s disease, an inherited disease that blocks the body’s ability to get rid of copper.
If you are interested in using an IUD as a method of birth control, see your doctor - either a OB/GYN or your general practitioner should be equipped to discuss it with you.
Hi, everyone! Thanks for following, and thanks for the support. It’s incredible to see and I am very grateful.
A question, though: What topics for original content would you like to see on Fuck Yeah, Sex Positivity?
There are a few posts underway in the Drafts at the moment (one post on birth control methods which has already been started, and an outline for a post on healthy relationships, and another outline for a post on masturbation), and I also have a running list of potential future topics that I’d like to take on. But I’d like to see where y’alls interest lies, and what you would like to see here.
So, what would you like to see featured here?
The rebloggable version, by request!
[Text: Anonymous asked: “Why are you posting asexual stuff on a SEX POSITIVE blog”
fuckyeah-sexpositivity answered: “Because, dear anon, sex positivity does not mean erasing or shaming the experiences of those who are asexual.
Actually, I think we need to have this conversation.
I actually am of the mindset we need more perspectives of asexuality within the sex positive movement. Because there’s an all too common mantra within our movement that goes, “Sex is beautiful and natural and everyone wants to have sex so it’s nothing to be ashamed of!”
And I agree, sex is nothing to be ashamed of. But there’s one little detail there: not everyone wants sex or gets pleasure from it. They’re roughly 1% of the population. And with 7 billion people on the planet, 1% equals 70,000,000. Seventy million people is a lot of experiences to erase.
So, roughly 70,000,000 people on this planet don’t want sex. Or they want sex in certain contexts. Or they kind of sometimes want sex but not often. Or they have sex to satisfy a partner, but don’t get much out of it for themselves. Or they have a sex drive, just… not towards other people. Or they can’t stand the thought of sex.
And that’s okay too.
Sex positivity for me is accepting that whether you have sex a lot, or you never have sex, whether you have a million kinks or you can’t stand sex outside the missionary position, whether you are gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, sapiosexual, autosexual, objectumsexual, or asexual, the way you look at sex and attraction is valid and normal, as long as it’s not hurting anyone.
So that is why I am posting asexual content on a sex positivity blog. And that is why I will continue to do so.”]
With any sexual activity that involves genital contact, barriers are important, and unless you and your partner have decided to be fluid-bound to each other, or unless you are sure that all parties are STD free and pregnancy is not a worry, it is advised that you use them any time you have contact with a partner’s genitals, whether with hand, mouth, or your own genitals. It is also recommended to use a barrier with any sex toy that is used by, or has the potential to be used by, multiple people.
Condoms, especially external condoms, are the most common and widely talked about and used form of barrier.
The external condom, as mentioned above, is the most widely discussed form of barrier. In many cases, it is the only one mentioned. It covers the penis during intercourse and catches the semen upon ejaculation. They are often made of latex, but polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin condoms are available to those with latex allergies. (It is worth noting that lambskin condoms can prevent pregnancy, but are not highly effective at preventing the transmission of STDs and STIs.) External condoms are easily accessible, as they can be found at almost any store that sells cosmetics and health products (drug stores, Walmart, gas stations, etc) and there is a wide variety available, such as condoms with spermicide or without, flavored condoms, textured condoms, condoms with different kinds of lube to “enhance” the sexual experience, even glitter and glow in the dark condoms!
An external condom is effective at preventing pregnancy as well as most, if not all, STDs and STIs. The transmission of genital herpes (HSV 1 and 2) cannot be completely prevented using a condom, however, there is a lower risk of transmission while using a condom. (Effectiveness with perfect use: 98%. With typical use, 82%.)
The internal condom is fitted inside the vagina prior to intercourse and come in various sizes. They are most often made of nitrile, but polyurethane is relatively common as well. They are more expensive than external condoms and harder to find for purchase, but many say they prefer them to external condoms, especially in cases where external condoms, even larger sized ones, have been reported to be uncomfortable or too tight around the penis. There is also less variety with internal condoms than there is with external ones.
Internal condoms are slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy and STD/STI transmission, but are still highly effective with perfect use every time. Some say that transmission of HSV is less likely when using an internal condom rather than an external one, because of the larger area covered, however, there is no official research on the subject. (Effectiveness with perfect use: 95%. With typical use: 79%.)
- Dental Dams
Dental dams can be placed over the vulva or the anus before cunnilingus or anilingus to protect against oral transmission of STDs. It may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but only one side of the dental dam should come in contact with your mouth. Flipping the dental dam over exposes you to the bacteria that you were likely trying to avoid to begin with. You can use lube with a dental dam to make it more comfortable for your partner, or to make it taste a little better. If you are using a latex dam, though, be sure to use a water-based lube, because oil-based lubes can weaken the latex.
Dental dams are often made of latex, but for those with latex allergies, dental dams made of silicone are available.
If you don’t have a dental dam, you can make one out of a condom (internal or external, both work) by cutting the end/s off and cutting down the side so that you have a rectangular piece, which can then be used exactly as a dental dam. You can also use non-microwaveable Saran wrap, but be sure that it is non-microwaveable, as microwaveable Saran wrap has pores which allow it to be microwaved, but are larger, and can allow some pathogens through.
There has been debate over whether or not using medical gloves (made of latex, vinyl, nitrile, or perhaps other materials) while fingering someone, vaginally or anally, is necessary in all cases. However, it is strongly advised that one wear a glove while performing manual sex if they have any cuts or hangnails on their fingers or hand, to prevent infections and the transmission of harmful bacteria.
It is possible, however, that invisible cuts may be present on the hand and could allow pathogens to enter the bloodstream, so especially if you are unsure if your sexual partner has any blood-transmittable STD or STI, use a glove when performing manual sex at all times possible.
Yvonne, CSPH Social Media Intern Summer 2012
[Part of our weekly Sex Positive Saturday series! Visit http://thecsph.tumblr.com for more, or to submit your own definitions.]
For our first proper original post here at Fuck Yeah, Sex Positivity, we’ll touch on an appropriate topic: the first time you have sex.
Making your sexual debut - or as some like to call it, “losing your virginity,” can be an important event in one’s life, and it can also be confusing, nervewracking, exciting, or any combination thereof.
When having sex for the first time, there are a few things to consider and remember.
Are you doing this because you want to?
You should be sure that you’re not being pressured to have sex if you feel you don’t want to or aren’t ready. Being unsure or nervous is okay and even normal, but you should be sure that you’re doing this for you, even if you are a little unsure if it’s right! If you start, and feel that you want to stop, it is okay to stop and try again at a later point, if you want to. Be sure that your partner is responsive to your wishes and that you are communicating with them your feelings about the situation.
Communication is key.
This applies to all sex, whether it be the first time or the 4681562th time. But it’s an especially good thing to keep in mind when you’re having sex for the first time. Be sure your partner knows what you’re comfortable with and what you’re interested in trying, and make sure you listen to their concerns as well. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort of any kind.
Safe sex is important, even the first time!
It’s a common myth that you can’t get pregnant the first time you have vaginal intercourse where there is a penis involved. Another common myth is that if both people have never been sexually active before, STDs aren’t a problem.
Both of these are, as the word “myth” implies, UNTRUE.
Firstly, one can become pregnant at any time after they ovulate for the first time. If you have unprotected sex, it is possible to become pregnant, whether it is your first time or your hundredth time. If you do not want to become pregnant, always use some form of birth control when having vaginal intercourse.
Secondly, while the phrase “sexually transmitted” makes people think that sexually transmitted diseases and infections are only a problem if one has been sexually active before, STDs and STIs can be transmitted in a variety of ways that do not involve any sexual contact at all. The phrase “sexually transmitted” refers to the sharing of bodily fluids that most often causes the transmission of these infections, which is most often, but not always, a result of sexual contact. Unless you have been tested recently, do not ever assume that you are completely free from worrying about such things. Get tested before every new partner, and take steps to make sure that you and other people are protected!
Sex, in its simplest definition, is about pleasure. Relax, and enjoy yourself, and help your partner enjoy themselves too!
Behold, the brand spankin’ new Facebook page of Fuck Yeah, Sex Positivity. It is bare bones at the moment, but I’m hoping to get it up and running and buzzing with exciting things soon enough.
“Like” to see news and updates, current events regarding the topics covered here, and to be notified via your News Feed whenever new original content appears on this blog!
There are two things I have been thinking of doing for this blog as of late, and I want y’alls input!
One: Should I set up an email for this blog? Doing so would allow readers to contact me and and ask longer questions that they would prefer be answered privately, or submit posts in a different way (not on the Tumblr platform, that is). Basically, it’d just be a new way of communicating, but I’m not sure if it would be used at this point, so I don’t know whether or not it’s worth it. Would y’all like the option to send emails to me, for any reason? Thoughts on the idea?
Two: What about a Twitter account? It would probably be linked to this Tumblr, and be updated with every new post, and it would also be used for news and maybe some other things, as well at the standard retweeting of snarky political statements, of course. The other option would be a Facebook page, used for pretty much the same thing - I am certainly not big enough on the interwebs to warrant both a Twitter and Facebook at this point (as well as the fact that I can only juggle so many things!), but is there an interest in one of these? Which one would be preferable, if either?
Give me your input, in the replies, or send me a message!
You know you’re a sex positive blogger when…
Currently working on a few posts - the one I’m currently working on (in the midst of my insomnia) is about barriers for safe sex, and I am doing all the fact checking. Even learning a thing or two on the way. You never do know everything!
This is Fuck Yeah, Sex Positivity’s very first guest article! I mentioned this blog to my partner, who asked if ze could write this article and submit it, and I happily said yes!
Ze can be found in the Tumblr-verse at slenderkindling.tumblr.com.
There are a lot of different things we enjoy in sex. There are some who keep it pretty simple and focus on feeling it and being in the moment. There are others who like to mix it up, make it more daring. Any way you choose to have sex with your partner(s), communication is key. At any point, if you feel uncomfortable, you have to be able to tell your partner(s) that.
More than just talking through the sex so it’s best for all participants, you should be prepared in case something goes too far. In a lot of cases, just saying “no” should be enough, if it’s remaining consensual. If it’s not, then you have a much larger issue on hand than whether or not you’re comfortable with the direction the encounter could be going. However, there are some circumstances in which you’re trying out roleplay or participating in BDSM where saying “no” is just a part of the fantasy. When this is the case, all participants should agree on a safe word for someone to say if they don’t like where the situation is going. It’s best for it to be something that wouldn’t usually be said during your usual sexual experience, as well as being short and easy to say.
Some recommendations I’d have are the names of fruits, (banana, apple, kiwi); boxers, (Foreman, Dempsey, Tyson); or sports teams, (Patriots, Rangers, Orioles). However, it’s up to the people involved.
There is one more detail to take into consideration, and that is whether or not anyone engaging in the experience will not be able to speak for periods of time. This can happen if gagging or breathplay are included in some of the sexual acts the participants engage in. If this is the case, I would personally recommend coming up with a sign or action that will let them know if a participant is having difficulty breathing, in pain, or generally uncomfortable. I recently had this conversation with my partner so I could feel more comfortable in engaging in breathplay with hir.
From here on out, this is my own personal preference and recommendation. You do not need to take this part of the post to heart, only the part leading up to this.
Before I was sexually active, I was an avid wrestler, (I still am,) and felt it could offer a lot of parallel from the ring to the bed. Mainly in the tapping out that is essential to safe(-ish) wrestling. So even if my partner is able to speak at all times when we have sex, I still use tapping out as the primary mode of communicating discomfort or pain. The reason I believe in it is that it allows the person tapping out to indicate where they’re having issue on their body or where we’re interacting. It can be the case that they’re fine with breathplay but you’re being a bit too rough in other areas. Tapping out allows you to tap that specific area. It also is something I can understand easily and quickly, so I can respond appropriately. Again, this is only an example of what someone can do in order to communicate effectively with their partner(s) during sex.
At any point that you have sex, it is essential that you have agreed on a way to communicate that something’s wrong to your partner(s).
Thanks for reading, I hope you take some of these options into consideration for the next time you have sex!
So be on the lookout for that. :)
And, if you’d like to request a specific topic, send me a message or fanmail and I’d be happy to add it to my list of topics to work on! I have a list currently of potential topics, so it may be a while before I get around to any request, but it would be really nice to know where the interest lies.
It’s just one of those days.
She then went on to say “Both sides could be very well argued” and made no further comment, so I’m not sure if she picked up on the fact that my “strictly my opinion” was actually a sarcastic jab at hers. But I’m not going to get back into it.
Sometimes it makes me sad that even women hold this kind of internalized misogyny.
(“K” is the one who made the status to begin with, since the top is cut off.)
We’re a brand new blog, devoted to sex education, sex positive things, and breaking down the construct of what sex is supposed to be. Sex is so much more than cis, hetero, vanilla, monogamous, able-bodied. This blog is here to tell people that, and also just to talk about sex in general.
We also have no followers! (Well, we have one. But it’s the mod, following hir own blog.)
Hence this shameless self-promotion. Let’s get the word circulating!