Hair dye for down there. With free nail polish!

Posted: September 11th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

I want the pink one!! Or maybe I should become a real blond…was that too much?

http://www.bettybeauty.com/


Permanent Sexual Arousal Syndrome

Posted: September 11th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | 2 Comments »

I’ve never heard of such a thing, but here’s an article about a woman who says she has 200 orgasms a day, from the little respected UK News of the World. Hmmm…

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/article5651.ece

ps she’s hot haha


A hilarious saga involving procurement of Plan B

Posted: August 29th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

hilarious and disquieting, as usual.

Plan B Damned: My Quest for Emergency Contraception

By Nikol Hasler, RH Reality Check. Posted August 29, 2008.

Unless you have Plan B in your medicine cabinet, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get your hands on a morning-after pill the morning after.

The condom broke, came off, or in some other way malfunctioned. He was behind me and I couldn’t tell he wasn’t using one. We just got carried away and he didn’t pull out in time. I forgot to take my birth control. I had an appointment to get on the pill, but we didn’t wait.

There are a whole slew of reasons a woman might find herself in need of a morning after pill; emergency contraception; Plan B. But unless you have Plan B already waiting in your medicine cabinet, it is highly unlikely you’ll get your hands on a morning-after pill the morning after.

I am a middle-class 29-year-old mother of three, living in the Midwest, who sees a physician regularly. I have kept up on the news about Plan B’s availability over the counter at major drug stores. In my line of work, I regularly tell teens and young adults to always use protection, and tell girls of reproductive age who aren’t so into the whole reproduction thing that they should be on birth control.

I encouraged young women and men to seek Plan B if their contraceptive method failed or they forgot to use contraception, telling them it was easy to obtain. But was it?

On a Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., I set out to discover just how easy it would be for me to get my hands on some emergency contraception. It all started with a web search.

Google: Plan B, Wisconsin, Over the Counter

My Internet search lead me to the Plan B website, which was helpful in telling me how the medication worked and what to expect after taking the two twelve-hour staggered doses of the hormone used in birth control pills at a super concentrated dose. When it came to where I could find the medication, I expected a zip code look up function. When I saw that no such function existed, I started to call the local pharmacies.

The sweet sounding girl who answered the phone, didn’t know what the hell I was talking about, and then ran off to ask the pharmacist, told me that I needed to get a prescription from my doctor. Given that I had just read that Plan B was available over-the-counter, this seemed strange to me, but given that this pharmacy indubitably deals with such requests frequently, I took the girl’s word for it. I called my primary physician’s office.

"Does Dr. M have any openings today?"

"Why, yes, he sure does," responds the receptionist. "And your name? Okay, Nikol, what do you need to see him for today?"

"Contraception. Birth Control. It is urgent that I see him today."

"Hmm. Will you hold please? I don’t think we … I mean, appointments are … "

So I hold. I listen to a soothing bit of elevator music and a woman talking about proper nutrition. Just as I am really getting into it and considering if my calcium supplement is really that great, the receptionist breaks back in.

"Sorry, Nikol. We don’t have openings for that purpose today. I can get you in to see him in, oh, two weeks."

"I’d be happy to do that, but for right now I need to know if he can call in a prescription for Plan B for me."

"What’s Plan B?"

"Emergency contraception."

A moment passes where I hear her take this in. It sounds as if she may have breathed in a bit of potato chip. There is some coughing, but not the hearty, openly hacking kind. I am wondering why she is eating potato chips so early in the morning, and thinking of referring her to the hold message so she can better understand the importance of a proper breakfast. Then I realize she is making that noise due to mental discomfort.

"Ohhh. Oh. Oh, well then I will get this message to him right away. Yes, right away."

She seems lost, so I think for her.

"Do you need to know which pharmacy to call and the best number to reach me at? And should we go ahead and schedule that follow up so I don’t have to bother you with this call again?"

"You still want to?"

I am silent. Does she think I am strictly an emergency kind of woman? Does she think I wanted to just give her a jingle every time I had a semen mishap? Perhaps she and I will get familiar with this process. I can imagine dialing her up. "Hey, Janine. It’s me. You know who, silly! Yes, it is that time of month again. Oh, stop it. Stop it! You’d love this one. A real cutey."

We schedule the appointment and I hang up to ponder how I would be feeling if I were really worried about getting knocked up. I wait for the call letting me know that the prescription has been called in. When the return call comes, it’s not the receptionist but a prerecorded message: "Please call me back. I see here in my notes that you have an appointment but want a Plan B."

I call back and hold hold hold only to be told that they are really busy today and will call back. This time I decide that I will use my wait time to contact the local Planned Parenthood. I am surprised to find that there is one very near my house.

Planned Parenthood sends me into into button pressing limbo. When I press "2" as indicated, that recorded voice tells me I have selected an invalid entry. When I press "0" for a person, I am directed into voice mail. I call back and restart my button pressing.

Once I reach a real person things look promising. All I have to do is come in with a photo i.d. proving that I am over 18 and fill out a bunch of paperwork; then they will give me the drug and tell me how to use it. Without my prompting, the woman on the phone talks about the cost.

"We can fund some of the cost, so it is going to cost between twenty five and forty dollars. You need to bring in the past two months’ pay stubs and proof that you were born in Wisconsin."

"What if I am under 18? Not that I am, I was just wondering."

"Well, you would need a prescription."

Meanwhile, a nurse from my doctors’s office calls back and tells me she is confused. A note informed her that I have made an appointment, but need Plan B. Given her response, I assume the desk clerk has not capitalized Plan or B.

"So, what is your plan b?" she asks me.

"No. I need Plan B. A prescription."

"A prescription for what?"

"Plan B."

"What is that plan?"

Can we say Abbott and Costello meets tragic lack of education regarding this drug?

"Emergency contraception. It is called Plan B. I called the pharmacy and they said I need a prescription."

"Oh. Wait. Did you have unprotected sex?"

"Well, er, see. There was a bit of a catastrophe. And I need the prescription."

I feel ashamed as she asks me if I usually have unprotected sex and whether I considered using birth control. That shame is taken over by my amusement at having used the word catastrophe. Being a visually imaginative person, I am seeing a typhoon of semen ripping its way through a island-like vaginal cavity, destroying everything in its path.

"Obviously I don’t want to have this conversation ever again. I made an appointment to talk to Dr. M about birth control."

"Okay. Well, I need to talk to him about this."

"Yes, you would," I respond. "He would need to be the one writing the scrip."

My shame returns. Here I am, a grown woman asking for birth control that I don’t even really need, yet I cannot shake this feeling that I am the town harlot in a back alley looking for the seedy looking fellow with a rusty coat hanger. She may have been right to imply that grown people should know how to avoid this situation in the first place, but perhaps a bit more professionalism and less judgment in her tone would have been appropriate.

Finally the nurse calls again, to inform me that I can get Plan B over the counter. When I tell her that the pharmacy told me otherwise, she says that some pharmacies refuse to fill the prescription or to offer it over the counter based on their moral beliefs.

I call the Pharmacy #1 again. I tell them that I don’t need a prescription and they tell me that I do. I mention that I am over eighteen and they tell me that they don’t have any in stock.

I have more luck at the second pharmacy I call, but the salesclerk tells me they only have one more in stock, so I should come in soon. What kind of strange sales pitch is that? Come in quick, folks, all the emergency contraception is flying off the shelves this summer! I can hear "Time of the Season" running behind that ad.

I go to the closest pharmacy to the grocery store because I need to pick up some fresh basil. While waiting in line I think of all of the people also there, waiting on their various medications, and I wonder how many of them have even heard of Plan B, and, of those who have, how many realize that it isn’t an abortion pill.

When the fresh, bright-faced Midwestern college student calls me to the register, I say confidently, "I am here to pick up Plan B."

She moves to her computer habitually asking, "And how do you spell the last name?"

"No. I need Plan B. Over the counter."

Bless her, too, because when the realization hits her about what I need she seems almost proud to get it for me. She tells me she likes my hand bag and tries not to linger on the guy I am there with — who is purposefully checking out the personal lubrication and condom area.

Forty-three dollars and change, and an i.d. check later, I am told to move to the side so the pharmacist can discuss the medication with me.

"Have you ever taken this before?" The pharmacist turns to me, but focuses on something that I assume is fascinating just beyond my head. I turn to look at it, too, but I guess I don’t find local analgesics as fascinating as this dude.

The best bit of information he gives me is that if I should happen to vomit within 20 minutes of taking the first pill, I should take the second right away. Oh, and he adds, "This isn’t to be used for the, uh, whole time or anything."

I am officially feeling ashamed at this point. I didn’t know that was possible for me, but something about the tone of the pharmacist’s voice as he speaks down to me like I am some sort of idiot who cannot even manage to use protection just brings it home. How must other women feel as the pharmacists of the world give them the stink eye and speak really slowly to them?

When my boyfriend, who has gracefully come along with me on this adventure, approaches holding a bottle of lube, he asks loud enough for anyone nearby to hear how much my medication cost.

"It was $43.00," I tell him, and he offers to pay half, putting his bottle of lube on the counter for purchase. I love him a little just then. He’s helped bring me back to how very natural this process ought to be.

"If you have any problems at all, you can call us," the pharmacist offers. I give him a Fonz style double thumbs up and head to the door, wondering how the fuck people make it through these situations without hating themselves.

***

How much did I even know about Plan B before I spent a day trying to procure some? Very little. I had breezed through a few Internet forums about how it works, but for some reason my head was quite stuck in thinking of it as a mini-abortion. All of the hubbub in the media about this controversial new form of contraception had made me believe that this little box of two super charged hormonal pills was something it was not. Beyond that, I thought purchasing it would be as easy as buying smokes was back when I was sixteen.

The most important thing I have learned because of my work with Midwest Teen Sex Show has had very little to do with sex or even teen sexuality itself. The most prominent among my findings is my realization that, even in knowing more than the average American consumer about sex, I don’t know a goddam thing.


Bartering Sex for Stuff

Posted: August 26th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

I really like the rainforest story, that sounds AWESOME!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/08/25/sex.for.stuff/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

(LifeWire) — While she was studying in Brazil during college, the one thing Stephanie Gerson longed to do before leaving was spend time in the thick of the Amazon rain forest. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a tour that would take her past the forest’s edge.
Survey at college finds 27 percent of men and 14 percent of women willing to trade favors or gifts for sex.

Survey at college finds 27 percent of men and 14 percent of women willing to trade favors or gifts for sex.

So, when a college-aged busboy at a resort she was visiting began flirting with her, she asked him if he thought a tourist could survive alone in the jungle.

"He laughed and told me I was nuts," says Gerson, 27, who works part-time in online marketing for a chocolate company in San Francisco.

Then he told her that he’d grown up in the jungle in a nearby indigenous community. That was all Gerson needed to hear. Although she wasn’t attracted to the guy, Gerson flirted right back in the hopes that he would be her jungle tour guide. It worked. The busboy wormed his way out of work, and the two headed into the rain forest.

"It was amazing," Gerson says of her adventure in 2000. "We built our homes out of palm leaves, I saw animals I’d never seen before, he taught me the medicinal properties of all the plants, we picked fruit off the trees, we swam with and ate piranhas. And, of course, we had sex … for almost two weeks."

Body currency system

Gerson never felt sleazy or uncomfortable with her unspoken arrangement with the busboy.

"It was a good barter both ways," she says. "I got to stay in the jungle, and he got to have sex with a cute, young American girl."

Such trades aren’t so unusual. Throughout history, humans have used their bodies to get what they want — from ancient Egyptian ruler Cleopatra, who cemented her power through liaisons with Roman rulers Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, to the man and woman who were arrested at a Fort Wright, Kentucky, motel in late June for allegedly swapping sex for gasoline. Regardless of our motivation, scientists say we’re hardwired to use our bodies as a bargaining chip.

A recent study of 475 University of Michigan undergraduates ages 17 to 26 found that 27 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women who weren’t in a committed relationship had offered someone favors or gifts — help prepping for a test, laundry washing, tickets to a college football game — in exchange for sex. On the flip side, 5 percent of the men surveyed and 9 percent of the women said they’d attempted to trade sex for such freebies.

And although they weren’t hard up for resources, the students surveyed "recognized the value of this socioeconomic currency system," says Daniel Kruger, research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, who published his findings in the April issue of "Evolutionary Psychology."

"It’s more about getting what you want than getting what you need," he says. "Unless you think everyone needs a $200 Louis Vuitton bag."

The handyman hookup

But unattached coeds aren’t the only ones who barter with their bodies. Some professionals will attest that their skills are, well, sexy.

"Women are turned on just by the simple idea of their guy getting off his ass and doing something for them," says Rocky Fino, author of "Will Cook for Sex: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking."

It works both ways, he adds.

"Give it to me first thing in the morning, and I’ll play [handyman] all day," says Fino, a 39-year-old father of two and part-time construction worker.

Ben Corbett, a 39-year-old contractor from Boulder, Colorado, credits his tool belt with prompting the barrage of come-ons he fields from female clients — most of them married — on a regular basis.

"It starts with the flirting, and it just progresses," says Corbett, who has run a construction and remodeling business for 20 years. "They’ll touch my hand, and there’s all this physical contact. Or they’ll run around in their pajamas."

"Once," he says, "I was painting the hallway right outside a client’s bedroom, and she was lying on her bed like a girl at a slumber party with her legs up and her arms crossed and her head resting on them, asking me if I had a girlfriend.

"It’s all about the fantasy of being taken by the rough-hewn construction guy," muses Corbett, who, despite the temptation, has avoided getting sexually involved with his clientele for fear of jeopardizing his business.

It’s the biology, stupid

Call it crass, sexist or gender stereotyping all you want, but there are thousands of years of biological programming at work here, says Dr. Chris Fariello, director of the Institute for Sex Therapy at the Council for Relationships, a nonprofit relationship-counseling group based in Philadelphia.

Plain and simple, a partner who provides more resources — wealth, shelter, home repairs — is seen as more attractive and stands to reap more sexual rewards.

Or, as Fariello puts it, "I don’t get anybody in my office who says, ‘My husband sits on the couch all day and eats bonbons, and I want to have sex with him all the time.’"


Sex in Olympic Village (can i come?)

Posted: August 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

I am often asked if the Olympic village – the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world’s top athletes for the duration of the Games – is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is. I played my first Games in Barcelona in 1992 and got laid more often in those two and a half weeks than in the rest of my life up to that point. That is to say twice, which may not sound a lot, but for a 21-year-old undergraduate with crooked teeth, it was a minor miracle.

Barcelona was, for many of us Olympic virgins, as much about sex as it was about sport. There were the gorgeous hostesses – there to assist the athletes – in their bright yellow shirts and black skirts; there were the indigenous lovelies who came to watch the competitions. And then there were the female athletes – literally thousands of them – strutting, shimmying, sashaying and jogging around the village, clad in Lycra and exposing yard upon yard of shiny, toned, rippling and unimaginably exotic flesh. Women from all the countries of the world: muscular, virile, athletic and oozing oestrogen. I spent so much time in a state of lust that I could have passed out. Indeed, for all I knew I did pass out – in a place like that how was one to tell the difference between dreamland and reality?

It was not just the guys. The women, too, seemed in thrall to their hormones, throwing around daring glances and dynamite smiles like confetti. No meal or coffee break was complete without a breathless conversation with a lithe long jumper from Cuba or an Amazonian badminton player from Sweden, the mutual longing so evident it was almost comical. It was an effort of will to keep everything in check until competition had finished. But, once we were eliminated from our respective competitions, we lunged at each other like suicidal fencers. There may have been a fair amount of gay sex going on, too – but given the notorious homophobia in sport it was rather more covert.

This sex fest was not limited to Barcelona: the same thing happened in Sydney in 2000, my second Olympics as an athlete, and is happening right here in Beijing, where this time I’m a commentator. I spoke to an Aussie table tennis player this week to check out the village vibe and he launched into the breathless patter common to any Olympic debutant: “It is unbelievable in there; everyone is totally crazy once they are out of their competitions. God knows what it is going to be like this weekend. It is like a world within a world.” A British runner (anonymous again: athletes are not supposed to talk to journalists unaccompanied by a PR type, least of all about sex) said: “The swimmers finished earlier in the week and it was like there was an eruption.”

Ah yes, the swimmers. For some reason the International Olympic Committee insists on bunching the swimming events towards the beginning of the Games with the inevitable consequence that the aquatics folk get going earlier – sexually I mean – than everyone else. So much so that, at the outset of the Sydney Olympics, Jonathan Edwards, a Christian and triple jumper extraordinaire, caused a ripple by telling them publicly to keep a lid on it. Edwards was simply concerned about getting woken up by creaking floorboards, but given his biblical credentials, it became a story about morality. Not that his intervention made a blind bit of difference. There is a famous story from Seoul in 1988 that there were so many used condoms on the roof terrace of the British team’s residential block the night after the swimming concluded that the British Olympic Association sent out an edict banning outdoor sex. Here in Beijing, organisers have realised that such prohibitions are about as useful as banning breathing and have, instead, handed out thousands of free condoms to the athletes. If you can’t stop ’em, at least make it safe.

Which all begs a question, or possibly many questions. First, and most importantly, how can one get access to the village? The bad news is that you can’t, unless, of course, you happen to be an athlete with the relevant accreditation. But secondly, where does this furnace of sexual energy come from? Or, to put it another way, why do sportsmen and women have such explosive libidos? I am not implying, for one moment, that every athlete in Beijing is at it. Just that 99 per cent of them are.

Before we get to that, however, it is worth noting an intriguing dichotomy between the sexes in respect of all this coupling. The chaps who win gold medals – even those as geeky as Michael Phelps – are the principal objects of desire for many female athletes. There is something about sporting success that makes a certain type of woman go crazy – smiling, flirting and sometimes even grabbing at the chaps who have done the business in the pool or on the track. An Olympic gold medal is not merely a route to fame and fortune; it is also a surefire ticket to writhe.

But – and this is the thing – success does not work both ways. Gold-medal winning female athletes are not looked upon by male athletes with any more desire than those who flunked out in the first round. It is sometimes even considered a defect, as if there is something downright unfeminine about all that striving, fist pumping and incontinent sweating. Sport, in this respect, is a reflection of wider society, where male success is a universal desirable whereas female success is sexually ambiguous. I do not condone this phenomenon, merely note it. Not all athletes are finely tuned specimens of perfect physical health, of course. A fair number are smokers, not prepared to give up despite the nagging of coaches and physiologists. At Barcelona, there was an area where the puffers would congregate near the transport mall. At the table tennis events in Beijing, a male player from Serbia and another from Greece have often been out catching a drag during breaks in play.

But let us get back to all the sex going down in the village. One possible explanation centres on the fact that Olympic athletes have to display an unnatural (and, it has to be said, wholly unhealthy) level of self-discipline in the build-up to big competitions. How else is this going to manifest itself than with a volcanic release of pent-up hedonism? It is a common sight to see recently knocked-out athletes gorging on Magnums and McDonald’s, swilling alcohol and, of course, shagging like crazy. Sometimes all three at the same time. Yet this can be only a part of the explanation because most of the athletes I know are as up for it before and during competition as they are in the immediate aftermath. It is as if sportsmen and women have a higher base level of sexual energy. But why? Can it be that one of the underlying drivers of sporting greatness is also the very thing that produces an overactive sex drive?

If so, you can bet your Olympic accreditation that testosterone is implicated. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for many of the differences between the sexes and is also a key physiological driver of aggression, competitiveness and virility. This is particularly so with regard to women. The dual effect of testosterone on female sporting performance and sexuality was demonstrated – somewhat sinisterly – during the state-sponsored doping programme in East Germany. An average teenage girl produces around half a milligram of testosterone per day. In the mid-1980s German female athletes were doped with around 30 milligrams of androgenic steroids per day. The effect on sporting performance was breathtaking – East German women dominated the world in swimming and athletics – but it also produced libidos (according to the testimony of the athletes themselves) that spiraled out of control.

This is not to say that the athletes in the village are all on steroids, or that elevated levels of testosterone inevitably lead to lots of sex. It is merely to say that, at a population level, higher naturally occurring levels of testosterone in both genders would provide a powerful explanation for the combination of sporting prowess and sexual potency.

I also think it is significant that, for most athletes, the village is thousands of miles from home. The old “what goes on tour stays on tour” mantra is still alive and kicking, not just in sport but beyond. There is something deepseated in humanity that leads us to play by different rules whenever we leave town, a phenomenon that has caused instances of terrible inhumanity. When it comes to sex, it simply means that those in relationships no longer recognise, or at least ignore, the boundaries of fidelity and honesty that underpin human monogamy. Philosophers call it moral relativism; the rest of us call it hypocrisy.

There is also a Darwinian component to this. Scientists have measured, for example, how male fertility varies with distance from one’s habitual partner. And guess what? According to a report in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, a man’s sperm count doubles when he spends a lot of time on the road – up from 389 million sperm per ejaculate to 712 million. Which, I am sure you will agree, is a lot of extra sperm.

I suggest that it is the coming together (if you will forgive the expression) of these factors that creates such an explosive sexual cocktail within the security-controlled perimeter of the Olympic village. Not that this is a bad thing. I have always regarded sexual promiscuity – for a single person at least – as a basic human right, even if it is no panacea for happiness or, indeed, anything else. Of course, many athletes will abstain, others may even disapprove. Only one thing is certain: they will never again enter a place quite like the Olympic village. Not, at least, until London 2012.

Olympic romances

Roger Federer and Miroslava Vavrinec: Roger and Miroslava (originally from Slovakia) met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where they both competed for Switzerland. A year later Vavrinec retired due to a foot injury and since has devotedly supported her man.
Boxing win caps record for Britain

Matt Emmons and Katerina (Katy) Kurkova: Shooting stars Katy (Czech) and Matt (US) met in Athens 2004. She consoled him after he fired at the wrong target in his final shot which dropped him from 1st to 8th place. The chemistry was instant and they married in 2007.

Derek Redmond and Sharron Davies: The British swimmer Sharron Davies and athlete Derek Redmond met at the Barcelona Olympics (1992). In 1994 they married and had two children. They divorced in 2000.

Alyson Annan and Carole Thate: Two great international hockey players Alyson Annan (Australia) and Carole Thate (Netherlands) met in Sydney (2000). Their friendship led to a civil partnership in 2005 and they have recently had a son via donated sperm.

The hot gold contenders

Guo Jingjing China’s 26-year-old diving diva is the hottest female athlete at the Olympics. But back off, boys – her boyfriend is the Hong Kong business tycoon Kenneth Fok Kai-kong

Usain Bolt The Jamaican sprinter, who celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday, smashed both 100 metres and 200 metres world records. Let’s hope he doesn’t do everything at that speed

Silver

Eamon Sullivan Swimmer, aged 22, from Perth, ensures that these Games aren’t a complete wash-out for the Aussies

Yelena Isinbayeva The 26-year-old Russian pole-vaulter – “the chick with the stick” – takes the women’s silver medal

Bronze

Laure Manaudou French swimmer, aged 21 and 5ft 10in, takes the bronze medal place for women.

Pete Reed British rower and Royal Navy lieutenant, aged 27, 6ft 7in, 100kg, blue eyes – and he’s ours

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article4582421.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2 cook385_386791a.jpg


Playing the Numbers Game

Posted: August 19th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

good article in response to bad article. here’s the link to the bad:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1039957/So-just-lovers-SHOULD-woman-have.html

AND HERE’s THE GOOD. i agree so much with the 70 lovers by 70 thing. I believe you regret the things you do not do more than you regret the things that you do. If you regret things at all; personally it’s against my principles :)

Sexual Math: A Small Number of Partners Does Not Add Up to Happiness

By Rachel Kramer Bussel, Huffington Post. Posted August 11, 2008.

Yet another reason feminism still has work to do: women who surpass an entirely arbitrary number of sex partners are labeled ‘sluts.’

I’m not going to tell you exactly how many people I’ve slept with, partly because I don’t know, partly because I stopped caring long ago, and partly because it’s none of your business. But I will tell you it’s more than French First Lady Carla Bruni’s reported number: 15. Way more. I share that information to make the point that how and why we choose our sexual partners differs for everyone; there’s no single perfect number that will make you: a) happy and b) not a slut.

But to read Virginia Ironside’s recent tirade against Bruni’s perceived promiscuity is to think you’ve landed back a few centuries. Any hint that we might have come a long way, baby, that there was ever such a thing as feminism, let alone the misguidedly labeled "do-me" feminism, is forgotten as Ironside leaves us with such gems as more than fifteen lovers means you’re "starting to demean sex itself" and "it’s no longer something special that you do only with the chosen few."

Ironside has a lot to learn about sex. I believe that sexual decision-making should be left up to the individual, based on their own desires and values, not some random standard based on what other people think. If your goal is to not be labeled a slut, and you’re a woman, well, good luck. Have even one partner, wear a skirt too short, make out on a street corner and be ogled by a particularly nosy, nasty neighbor, and you’re a slut, plain and simple. Reputation has little to do with actual sex acts and everything to do with perception.

Further, Ironside assumes that the only reason a woman would sleep with many lovers is for "experience," presumably meaning some kind of sex acts she hasn’t done before. "It’s unlikely Carla will ever be thinking: ‘What might have been.’ She’s been there, done that and got the nightdress. But what would be the point of Carla — or anyone else — accumulating more lovers?" This viewpoint is what truly dehumanizes sex, turning it simply into a robotic, mechanical movement of bodies rather than a complex set of impulses, attractions and acts driven by all sorts of motives.

Your number of partners and how "special" the sex is are not necessarily related. To me, sex is special when it takes me somewhere I can’t go alone (and I don’t just mean orgasm). When I’m with my boyfriend, I’m certainly not thinking about my past bedmates, and I highly doubt he is either. If you’re doing it right, you’re fully in the moment, swept away, as it were. Sex is as special as we want to make it, and for some people, that means exclusivity, for others, casual sex, and for many, some amalgam of the two.

Ironside, like many casual sex detractors, needs to place sex within marriage or committed relationships above more temporary affairs in order to bolster her sense of her own morality. I might go that far — 12, 13, 14 or, well, okay, 15 lovers — but 16, and no man will ever want to touch you again!

During the fifteen years I’ve been sexually active (with some pretty long dry spells in between), I’ve been in monogamous relationships, been single, had one-night stands, threesomes, and hookups. I’ve slept with people I loved, and people who I’d just met. Some trysts were amazing, some were forgettable. But isn’t that the same with everything we do?

I can tell you that one of the best lovers I’ve ever had was during a one-night stand. I was hopelessly besotted with someone else, so much so that I thought about him all the time, thrilled when he said hello to me, and was so locked inside my fantasy life I couldn’t see my way beyond it. This other man sweetly propositioned me, and I turned him down, explaining my crush. "Maybe I can help you get over him," he suggested. And that’s exactly what he did. We had a torrid night in his apartment, and he drove me home the next morning and shared some of his own heartbroken moments. It was hot, but also sweet.

The notion that there is one right number for everyone (and by "everyone," we’re usually just talking about women; men seem to be granted immunity from the numbers discussion) crops up every few months, as if to remind women not to take our perceived sexual freedom for granted. I wrote about this topic in June 2006 for The Village Voice, and praised an excellent novel (and fun summer read), Twenty Times a Lady, by Karyn Bosnak. In the book, the heroine backtracks to find her former lovers so that her number doesn’t get too high for her comfort. I quoted Bosnak as saying, "When I’m 70, I don’t care if I’ve fucked 70 people. I want to look back and say I took every chance I could."

I agree wholeheartedly. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish my number were lower, but not because I have some artificial limit on how many lovers I think is acceptable. Rather, there are plenty of people I’ve bedded where, looking back with the power of hindsight, I see how wrong they were for me. But even those experiences have taught me things about myself, and my sexuality, and have informed my future choices.

To Ironside, women are reduced to nothing more than our number of partners; not our sexual comfort level, sexual satisfaction, or any other indicator of sexual health and happiness. It’s the number, not the people informing that number, that matters. That tally becomes the sum total of our sex life, regardless of what we got out of it. It’s possible to try everything under the sun with one person and be completely content, or sleep with 100 people and still feel unfulfilled.

Further, her notion that men are so fragile that they’ll be tortured by the idea of a woman’s prior experience is hopelessly outdated. Sure, some men long for the chaste virgin, but others want a woman who knows what she likes, and doesn’t like, in bed. My fellow Huffington Post blogger Jenny Block explores this conundrum in her book, Open, suggesting that men who hold onto the ideal of the virginal women aren’t always that thrilled once they get her into bed.

Basically, Ironside is saying that if you’ve screwed more than 15 people, you’re a big slut who should hardly dare show her face, let alone expect to date or marry. Bruni is not only showing her face, but proudly claiming her past paramours. So am I, and if you want to call me a slut, go right ahead. That urge says more about you than it does about me. Some, like Ironside, are happy to cast aspersions, make ridiculous proclamations, and pretend they know best for everyone. If that sounds like you, have at it. I’ll be busy doing you know what.

I don’t know about this picture, it just popped up when i googled sex partner numbers…. 071213_p10_sex.jpg


Religious Right Trying To Ruin Sex For Everyone

Posted: August 4th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

Sex in Crisis: How the Religious Right Is Trying to Ruin Sex for Everyone

By Dagmar Herzog, Perseus Books. Posted August 4, 2008.

The religious has right co-opted the language of feminism and the sexual revolution to try and make you feel bad about sex.

Editor’s note: From the book Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics by Dagmar Herzog. Excerpted by arrangement with Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2008

The Religious Right is a capacious tent in which many agendas and approaches have found a home. There are conservative evangelicals who promise worldly prosperity and success (if only you trust enough in God’s plans). There are others who gird themselves for Armageddon. There are the vehement defenders of "Merry Christmas" and school prayer and the enemies of evolution and intellectualism and "liberal elitism." There are highly intellectual (and themselves elite) members of the Religious Right. There are those who see the culture clash with neofundamentalist Islam as the current big threat, and those who work to justify the ongoing war in Iraq as a properly Christian cause. There are those who raise money for and organize tourism in Israel in the expectation that at the End of Days a majority of Jews will convert to Christ. But right-wing evangelicalism achieved power in American politics primarily through its sex activism. And in fifteen years of steady effort, it managed to undo the most important achievements of the sexual revolution of the 1960s-1970s.

This was accomplished through a selective appropriation and adaptation of key aspects of that old sexual revolution. Speaking in graphic detail both about sexual discontent and dysfunction and about the possibilities for ecstatically orgasmic and emotionally fulfilling bliss has been a core component. Without the promise of pleasure, the Religious Right would not have found nearly as many adherents as it has; repression alone is not sufficiently appealing.

Evangelical sexual conservatives took up some of the main concerns of the feminist women’s movement of the 1970s-1980s. An interest in intensifying women’s sexual pleasure has been a central focus of evangelical sex advice from the start. Many women’s frustration at male fascination with pornography and emotional non-presence during sex — another feminist theme — and the need to help men get comfortable with physical and emotional mutuality, have also been taken up. So too have the classic women’s movement themes of concern about domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation of women. More recently, evangelicals have moved to adapt both feminist and mainstream advice about body image, in addition to generating a vast Christian dieting and addiction recovery industry. There is also an antiauthoritarian evangelical youth counterculture.

In its activism around issues of sexuality, the Religious Right has found ways as well to incorporate the insights of the New Age men’s movement in its own program to transform an Internet-ogling insecure bumbler into a virile he-man who is competent at male-male friendship and rivalry as well as hot heterosexual romance. The movement has been wildly successful in part because of its extraordinary ability to present its own program as therapeutic. None of this, however, should distract from the fact that right-wing evangelicals have also been sadistic and punitive, eager to play to the most base human desires to feel superior to others who fail to live up to the expected norms.

While the roots of the Religious Right lie in anti-black racism (a history that has now been largely overcome but still goes woefully underacknowledged), it got its start in American national politics by organizing against abortion and homosexuality. In the wake of the legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973, and in response to the growing public visibility of gays and lesbians in the 1970s and 1980s and their demands for an end to discrimination, evangelical conservatives could count on these two issues, along with more general calls for restrictions on sex education and the restoration of "traditional family values," as their major fundraising and mobilizing tools. All through the 1990s, playing to homophobic reflexes was one of the Christian Right’s most popular tactics. But nothing has been more successful in the early twenty-first century than its ability to hijack the national conversation about heterosexuality.

Initially, telling the heterosexual majority what to do was not even on the agenda. In the first half of the 1990s, the anti-abortion cause had been running into some difficulties. Americans had grown wary. They were beginning to harbor doubts about some of the movement’s more extreme tactics — like shooting doctors. Polls revealed that Americans of both genders remained by a slim but stubborn majority able to identify emotionally with the situation of women who sought to end their unwanted pregnancies. At the time, consensual heterosexual sex still seemed to most Americans like a pretty basic all-American right, and the assault on abortion felt like it could grow into an assault on whatever else anyone might want to do with their lives and bodies as well.

Since the turn of the millennium, the right-wing evangelicals have become emboldened in new ways. A big boost came through the election in 2000 of George W. Bush, the first conservative evangelical Republican president. Putting individuals sympathetic to the Religious Right agenda into key positions in the federal government, and pouring federal funds into projects developed by Christian conservatives, inevitably transformed the power dynamics. Yet just as important were the advent of Viagra and the explosive growth of Internet porn, and the ensuing anxiety about the relationships between desire, performance, satisfaction, and intimacy.

In all of its culture war campaigns, the Religious Right was most effective where it was able to formulate its arguments in secular terms. While Christian conservatives made use of pseudoscientific arguments about physical health in its battles for sexual conservatism, nothing has been as useful as the adaptation of the language of psychological health, and particularly the endlessly inventive invocation of the ideal of self-esteem.

None of us is immune to injunctions to accept yourself but also improve yourself, no matter how contradictory these are. The incessant talk about sex and self-esteem hooks into much wider therapeutic aspects of our culture: like a pendulum that constantly swings from telling us to make peace with ourselves and our situations as they are, in all their imperfect ordinariness, to telling us that we really must do battle with ourselves and our situations, that self-improvement is essential, and greater happiness is always just around the corner. The Religious Right managed to redirect much of the national conversation about sex — with lasting consequences that go way beyond biannual national election rituals — not least because it merged so thoroughly with the popular culture it claims to combat and despise. Moreover, the refurbished focus on psychological damage in sexually conservative arguments manages to lend to the current state of conversation a sense that it is both pro-woman and pro-equality — even when it is neither.

The abstinence campaigns are the most obvious example of the psychologizing strategy. Whether religious or secular in orientation, Web sites and books that plead for premarital chastity invariably contend that delaying the onset of sexual intercourse is a sign of heightened self-respect. Over and over, young people are told that self-restraint is self-empowerment. Scholastic or athletic achievement is presented as mutually exclusive with sexual activity; the prospects for a strong and happy future marriage are said to be in inverse relationship to premarital experience. Secular conservatives also use the language of self-esteem to make their case for a return to restraint.

The success of the Religious Right is most evident in the way many self-defined sexual liberals now rush to concede that a delay in sexual debut is desirable, and that keeping the number of sexual partners in a lifetime to a minimum is an important sign of psychological health and self-valuing. Experience is no longer seen as a resource. Even those who advocate for comprehensive sex education feel the need to insist that "abstinence is a laudable goal" (Deborah Arindell of the STD-awareness group, the American Social Health Association, in 2006), or that all they are asking for is "abstinence-plus" education (as in Representatives Barbara Lee and Christopher Shays and Senator Frank Lautenberg’s bipartisan Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, introduced in March 2007), or that abstinence is what they have been advocating all along, but, alas, one must be realistic and include information about condoms and contraceptives (as in the arguments of the coordinator of sex education in the Baltimore school system interviewed on NPR in October 2007).

Even more momentous is the way the language of psychology has infused the discussion of abortion. Although the antiabortion movement had seemed stalled in the 1990s, it has returned in new forms, and found new adherents across party lines. It has also succeeded in putting in place numerous restrictions at the state level to limit women’s, especially young women’s, access to abortion. A third of all women between the ages of 15 and 45 now live in counties in which abortions are not even available; a quarter of women has to travel 50 miles and, in some parts of the U.S., it is hundreds of miles. Yet one in every two pregnancies in the U.S. is unplanned, and one in three American women will have an abortion in her lifetime; a significant percentage of these are women over age 25 who are already mothers. In few areas of sexual politics is there so wide a gap between the lived experience of ordinary people and what can be discussed in the public domain.

In the year 2007, in Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2003. This act criminalized certain methods of abortion which are used in less than one percent of all abortions performed (0.17 percent, for instance, in the year 2000) — and then only in order to preserve the health of the woman. But doctors now have good reason to fear that all second-trimester abortions could be interpreted as criminal. The language of the majority opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy has even more significant implications for that vast majority of abortions that take place in the first trimester. The decision is likely to serve as the basis for state legislators’ efforts to introduce information into mandatory preabortion counseling sessions about the potential psychological damage having an abortion could supposedly do to a woman. The decision marks a key moment in the efforts of the Religious Right to portray restrictions on abortion not as limiting women’s fundamental right to control their reproductive capacities but rather as somehow beneficial to women. As Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee, likes to say: "We think of ourselves as very pro-woman. We believe that when you help the woman, you help the baby."

Gonzales v. Carhart is the first Supreme Court ruling to reverse the decriminalization of abortion guaranteed since Roe v. Wade. As Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York observed in the wake of the decision:

The Supreme Court has declared open season on women’s lives and on the right of women to control their own bodies, their health and their destinies. Overturning a decision only a few years old, the Court has, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, allowed an abortion procedure to be criminalized. What has changed since the Court last considered nearly identical legislation? The facts haven’t changed. The widely held opinion in the medical profession that this ban would endanger women hasn’t changed. The Constitution hasn’t changed. Only one thing has changed: Justice O’Connor retired and President Bush and a Republican Senate replaced her with a reliably anti-choice vote on the Supreme Court. It is clear today that the far-right’s campaign to pack the Supreme Court has succeeded and that women and their families will be the losers.

Justice Kennedy had himself in the past been a supporter of women’s right to choose. In this new decision, however, his word choices were especially telling:

Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child. The Act recognizes this reality as well. Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision … While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained … Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.

Despite the admission that there was "no reliable data," and despite the concession that negative emotional consequences for the woman were not inevitable but rather "can" follow, the ideas of diminished female esteem and the prospect of post-abortion depression have, in this precedent-setting case, been elevated into judicial concepts.

Justice Kennedy’s words were largely based on a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Justice Foundation, a conservative nonprofit litigation firm. The Justice Foundation brief included statements from 180 women who declared that their abortions had caused them feelings of despair and lasting regret. A typical statement is from Tina Brock of Nicholson, Georgia:

Little did I know when I made that choice to abort my baby 21 years ago that it would affect the rest of my life. Supposing to be [sic] a legal, simple procedure, my abortion sent me down a long road of severe depression. [Someone get this lady a counselor not connected to a church, please.] People need to know abortion hurts women!
[Little did I know how much I would want to punch this idiot in the face! Abortion hurt YOU; that does not mean it hurts ALL WOMEN. You are not eeeeevery woman, like the song. Thank god, since you went before the Supreme Court without grammar checking.]

For several years, abortion opponents have been floating this idea that abortion is psychologically damaging. The office of Representative Henry Waxman of California conducted a survey of "crisis pregnancy centers" in which callers posing as 17-year-old pregnant girls encountered a range of fraudulent information, including the false advice that abortion raises the risk of breast cancer as well as negatively affects future fertility, and that it causes severe psychological distress. Waxman’s report noted that "significant psychological stress after an abortion is no more common than after birth." But at one center a caller was told that in the year after an abortion the suicide rate "goes up by seven times," while another center informed a caller that post-abortion stress was "much like" that seen in Vietnam veterans and "is something that anyone who’s had an abortion is sure to suffer from."

Antiabortion activism has profoundly reshaped the national conversation and deeply affected also supporters of legal abortion. Despite the gap between lived reality and rhetoric, and while a (slim) majority of Americans still support the retention of Roe v. Wade, a majority within that pro-choice group call for more restrictions on access to abortion, especially for teens. For many, abortion is only understandable in dire circumstances; the mere desire to terminate an unwanted pregnancy does sound like an acceptable reason to seek an abortion.

Antiabortion activists worked long and hard to present abortion not as a last-resort method of fertility control when other forms of contraception have failed or not been used, but rather as a horrific form of murder. It has become clear in the last several years that the aim is not just to stop abortion. If that were the aim, then antiabortion activists would do much better if they vigorously promoted contraceptives, handed out sex toys, and recommended a variety of imaginative noncoital "outercourse" practices that produce glorious sensations, but do not result in pregnancies. Instead the aim is to infuse with shame all sexual expression and experience outside of heterosexual marriage. Neither of these campaigns would be nearly as effective if they were presented solely in religious terms.

Click here to buy Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics. Shame_award_1.jpg


Happy National Orgasm Day!

Posted: August 1st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

okay, it was yesterday, and in Britain, but you should still celebrate it today! and take part in the survey…it’s for sexology :)

http://www.orgasmsurvey.co.uk/

http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_releases/national_orgasm_day_31_july_2008_the_2008_orgasm_survey

National Orgasm Day 31 July 2008 – The 2008 Orgasm Survey
Submitted by News Staff on 27 July 2008 – 2:33am. Applied Science

A national survey into the bedroom behavior of British women has revealed that 46% percent never or rarely achieve orgasm. The survey, conducted by Scarlet magazine and the makers of the PelvicToner to mark National Orgasm Day on July 31, polled over 2000 women across the country and found that women with better pelvic floor muscles were also enjoying better sex lives.

The survey is ongoing at http://www.orgasmsurvey.co.uk. The latest survey results can be downloaded from the site.

It has been known for nearly 60 years that a strong pelvic floor muscle is essential to achieve vaginal orgasm. When the muscles are stronger there is more friction and stimulation during intercourse and this naturally benefits both partners.

Arnold Kegel, who developed his exercise program for the treatment of stress incontinence, published a 3000 patient study in 1952 that highlighted this link and demonstrated that ‘sexually dysfunctional’ women taught a resistive exercise programme could achieve orgasm for the first time. Kegel was adamant that to be effective pelvic floor exercise had to involve squeezing against a resistance. Unfortunately this has never been explained to women and an effective exercise technique is rarely taught.

The PelvicToner, for example, is a resistance vaginal exerciser designed to help women meet the fundamentals of Kegel exercise, i.e., to identify and isolate the vaginal (pubococcygeal) muscle and then to exercise it properly against a variable resistance with the appropriate bio-feedback.

Demonstrating and publicizing the link between a healthy and strong pelvic floor and better sex will improve the general health and sexual wellbeing of millions of women, improve and restore millions of relationships, and will reduce the incidence of stress incontinence which afflicts half of all women.

Survey Results:

Of the 2000 women responding so far, nearly half are not achieving (their own) orgasms

Women who cannot identify their G-spot rarely have orgasms

75% of older women claim they have a G-spot, but a third of under 25’s can’t find it

Women with a ‘good’ pelvic floor have twice as many orgasms

72% say they are aware of their G-spot but its location varies significantly

50% place it just inside their vagina and 35% deep inside The remaining 15% locate it elsewhere

46% never/rarely achieve vaginal orgasm during penetrative sex

Only 31% claim to do so often or always

69% are aware that the strength of their pelvic floor muscle is implicated in the ability to achieve orgasm

70% of women claim to exercise sometimes or often but 92% would like to be shown how to exercise properly

Those women who rate their pelvic floor as good or very good, or who exercise regularly, are twice as likely to achieve vaginal orgasms as those that rate their pelvic floor as poor or very poor (42% v 22%)

Two thirds of women who rate their pelvic floor as poor or very poor never or rarely have vaginal orgasms

42% of women using pubococcygeal resistance exercises said they became more aware of their pelvic floor immediately, rising to 85% within 2 weeks

62% of women using pubococcygeal resistance exercises reported an improved sex life within 2 weeks rising to 82% after 4 weeks

62% of pubococcygeal resistance exercises participants said that their partner noticed the improvement in muscle tone/tightness sex_angelina_jolie_orgasm.jpg


Circumcision and HIV

Posted: July 30th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

damn, i didn’t want to circumcize my sons…

How Effective Is Male Circumcision at Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections?

By Kate Bourne, RH Reality Check. Posted July 23, 2008.

go to original for lots of great links:
http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/92046/how_effective_is_male_circumcision_at_preventing_sexually_transmitted_infections_/?page=entire

Adult male circumcision is being pushed as the latest magic bullet for the HIV pandemic. There is good reason for the enthusiasm about a new use for the world’s oldest surgical intervention. But let’s be clear about what circumcision will and will not offer a man and his partner or partners.

Circumcision programs have captured the attention and funding of governments in East and Southern Africa, global funders, and policymakers. Job postings for "male circumcision specialists" are circulating, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the President’s Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), two of the largest funders of global HIV/AIDS programs, have incorporated male circumcision work into their efforts.

First, the good news: Three recent trials have shown that circumcised men are about half as likely to contract HIV from unprotected vaginal intercourse as their uncircumcised counterparts. Circumcision also protects against some other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

But the reality is that circumcision offers only partial protection. A circumcised man still has a significant risk of contracting HIV and other STIs if he engages in unprotected sex with an infected partner. Circumcision does not offer the man’s current female partners any protection from contracting HIV.

On a larger scale, the predictive models that show a significant reduction in the number of new HIV infections assume that between that 80 to 100 percent of men are circumcised. Currently approximately 30 percent of men worldwide are circumcised, although this varies widely between different communities and countries.

Surveys have shown that many men are willing to be circumcised, and the promise of surgical prevention may bring throngs of men into local clinics that do not routinely use health services. It would be shortsighted not to couple circumcision services with education on HIV prevention and safe sex, provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing, and referrals to HIV/AIDS care and treatment.

But given the protection that circumcision provides, men may assume and assert that they are "safe" and insist on having sex without condoms. There are questions about whether newly circumcised men will be willing to abstain from sex for the six weeks necessary for the wound to heal so as to not possibly increase their or their partner(s) risk of contracting HIV or other STIs.

In the communities where the demand for circumcision is high and resources are scarce, unqualified circumcisers may begin offering the surgery to meet men’s demands. It would take only a very few unqualified safe surgeons to taint the safety and acceptability of these programs. We cannot allow this to happen.

Clearly, circumcision is an imperfect solution to HIV prevention. Even so, it promises to be one of the most effective strategies we currently have to curb new HIV infections in men.

So, what about those of us who never had a foreskin?

By the most optimistic predictions, male circumcision will not translate into fewer HIV infections in women for decades. The reality of HIV and the epidemic is that women account for the majority of people living with HIV in the most affected region, Sub-Saharan Africa. For biological reasons, a woman is between two to eight times more likely than a man to contract HIV during vaginal intercourse with an HIV-positive partner.

On top of women’s biologic predilection to infection, gender inequalities have sustained and feminized the epidemic by limiting women’s abilities to negotiate safe sex, refuse unwanted sex, and ask their partners to be monogamous. We must be cautious about how male circumcision may change these realities.

Too often women are blamed for bringing HIV into the household. They are cast out of their homes, subjected to discrimination and violence, and shunned by their communities. Will circumcised men be more likely to blame their female partner(s) if either of them becomes HIV-positive? As fewer men contract HIV, will it increasingly be seen as a women’s disease and become more stigmatized? Will women living with HIV become more vulnerable to violence and abandonment than they already are?

The Way Forward

Male circumcision offers new hope that more men can remain HIV-negative, and this advance is good news for men and potentially good news for women. But it would be inexcusable if we allow a potentially positive advance in HIV prevention for men to harm women.

Women’s health advocates, including those who met at the Expert Consultation on Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention: Implications for Women, are recommending that investments in male circumcision be matched by concurrent investments that directly benefit women. Among these investments is sexuality education, which teaches young women and men how to communicate with their partners about safe sex, to establish equality in relationships, and to respect the right to consent in sex and marriage. And, in this age of rising HIV infections, it teaches young people how to protect themselves and each other.

Sexuality education takes us part of the way by equipping women with the skills to negotiate safe sex, but we must also ensure women have access to male and, in particular, female condoms. As the only existing woman-initiated method of HIV prevention, female condoms offer women a way to protect themselves when faced with a circumcised partner who refuses to use a male condom. Current supplies of male and female condoms do not satisfy the global demand. But the female condom shortage is particularly dire: there are 700 male condoms for every female condom. Protecting women in a climate of male-focused prevention means we must make a meaningful commitment to promoting and widely distributing the female condom.

Although the main beneficiaries of male circumcision will be men in the near and medium term, we must not lose sight of the fact that women are stakeholders in these programs. Before these programs ramp up, women’s health groups, including women living with HIV, should be involved in the analysis of how circumcision will affect women. Once the programs kick off, they should be closely monitored and evaluated in collaboration with these women’s health groups. We must also initiate new research into what biomedical, structural, and behavioral interventions can best help women protect themselves from HIV infection such as microbicides.

Perhaps the most important thing we can do before the snipping begins is to communicate honestly about what male circumcision will, and won’t, do for a man and his female partner(s). We should undertake public education campaigns and individual and couples counseling to ensure that women and men understand that:

*

Circumcision does not completely protect men from HIV. Circumcised men should continue using condoms to protect themselves and their partner(s) from infection.
*

Having sex with a circumcised man does not protect his female partners from HIV. Partners of circumcised men should continue to insist on safe sex.

*

Men must abstain from sex for a full six weeks after circumcision to protect themselves and their partners.
*

A man who is already circumcised is not

necessarily HIV-negative, and if he is, there is no guarantee he will remain so.

Male circumcision is not a vaccine, and it is not a cure-all. It is simply one of the best ways to prevent HIV infections in men, right now. But we cannot overlook the fact that circumcised men, and their partners, are still vulnerable to HIV.


Whoopi Goldberg is HOT

Posted: July 30th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Sex | No Comments »

From some weird gossip site, but I LOVE IT:

During a discussion on The View moments ago, Barbara Walters teased her Friday interviewee, the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni. She pointed out that Bruni "had over 30 lovers."

Sherri Shepherd, [of not knowing whether the world is round or flat fame] who admittedly has gotten around [pre-Jesus loving times], asked in shock, "She told her husband she had 30 lovers!?"

On the other side of the table, however, Whoopi Goldberg was less surprised. She flashed the number of lovers she has had in her life — a feat that required using both of her hands and her feet. Turns out she’s had "about 50." "You should do an album!" Walters said, in awe — in reference to Bruni’s own song lyrics about her lovers.

"It doesn’t matter how many people you’ve been with in your life," Whoopi said, throwing it to commercial. "It’s who you stick with."

Which would have been a sweet sentiment, had we heard it. We were too busy sneezing coffee out of our noses. [oh shut up, whoopi’s hot.] 30_xanadowhoop_lgl.jpg