Bodies

Recent posts

Sex, Love, and Life Advice for Women

In my role as a sex educator, I am often asked – especially by young women – to give one single “must-know” piece of advice about sex. Something that if they knew, their sex life would be better for it. While I can never boil my advice down to just one thing, here are 7 pieces of advice that I wish more women would take to heart:

1. Your vagina smells just fine. You don’t need to douche, spray, or wipe it with anything scented. Continue Reading →

Labia Modification in Mozambique and Australia

In the last month, I’ve heard a couple of anecdotes about changing labial length that I found intriguing. In the workshops I teach on sexual anatomy and physiology, I always like to mention that the length of labia minora varies and that longer labial length has no correlation with sexual experience (a myth I’ve been asked about previously). One of my favorite quotes about natural labia length comes from sex educator Becca Brewer, who said in one of her workshops that “labia minora are like sisters, not twins,” meaning that it’s completely normal for them to not be identical. After a recent workshop I taught, a colleague of mine shared with me that in Mozambique (her home country), women are taught before they get married to lengthen their labia minora. She described how women will gently stretch their labia minora in the hopes of making it longer and better able to “wrap around the penis” and increase both partners’ sensation. Continue Reading →

Keep Your Cancer Off Facebook

I just posted about how Facebook banned a woman from posting pictures of her newborn son, and now here’s a story about Facebook banning a woman’s mastectomy photos. I’ve seen other inspirational photos of women who have battled breast cancer, so I’m not surprised that someone shared their photos on Facebook. Joanne Jackson from the UK had photos taken after her mastectomy, and chose to share them on Facebook. I love what she had to say about the photos: “I am not one who is shy but these pictures weren’t as much about me as about other women who had maybe just been diagnosed with breast cancer. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence and there is life after a mastectomy.” Continue Reading →

Appreciating Your Body

Sensual University’s piece “This Body” is a beautiful rumination on how our bodies forgive us for mistreating them, give us space to think and feel and be, and love us unconditionally. If you’re feeling heart-sick (or any kind of body-part-sick) from negative media messages or from self-hatred, give this a read and try to practice acceptance and compassion for yourself. Thanks to @cayswann for the link! Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Your Man Reminder

Worried about breast cancer? TLC is a great way to help detect it early. But what exactly is TLC? Watch this video and learn. I stumbled upon this lovely video earlier this week and was smitten when I realized it wasn’t a joke (as in, those apps really exist!). So remember, if you’re worried about breast cancer, follow Anthony’s (the cute blonde from the video) advice:

TOUCH your breasts. Continue Reading →

Breastfeeding In Public… And On Sesame Street?

The radio program AirTalk on KPPC (which my dad listens to in Los Angeles and sent my way) recorded this show on breastfeeding on Sesame Street and its broader public implications. Apparently, in the 1970s, breastfeeding was depicted on the children’s show Sesame Street in order to help educate children about how breastfeeding is normal and healthy. This ceased in the 1990s, but now there is a petition circulating to reintroduce breastfeeding on the show in order to take advantage of its wide viewership. The radio show host was joined by a gender studies professor at USC who discussed the sexualization and commodification of breasts, as well as hosting multiple nursing mothers who wished to contribute their perspectives on nursing. The conversation touched on important topics such as the public stigmatization of breast feeding and how difficult it can be for new mothers who agree with the logic but whose bodies are not (yet) cooperating. Continue Reading →

Women On Fantasy Novel Covers

Fantasy author Jim Hines makes this amusing point about how women are depicted on fantasy novel covers (including one of his own, as he’s an author) in stereotypical and downright uncomfortable poses, by striking those poses himself! The post includes a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, griping about muscle cramps, and ruminating on gendered depictions of women who are narratively strong but posed as though sexiness is their main concern (which is irrationally common). Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Breastfeed In An Ice Cream Truck

People seem to be fairly passionate on the issue of public breastfeeding. More and more workplaces are now offering breastfeeding rooms so if employees need to pump their breast milk they are not stuck sitting on a toilet seat in the restroom. In Pittsburgh there is now the Milk Truck, which bills itself as a “Mobile Breastfeeding Unit.” Artist Jill Miller created the Milk Truck from an ice cream truck, and is considered to be “a combination of guerilla theater, activism and a little slapstick humor” – it’s a truck with a giant breast on it, so it can’t take itself too seriously. Ms Miller wanted to created a positive and supportive environment for women to breastfeed in, which I think is wonderful and would love for more of these to be in other cities. Continue Reading →

Bald Is Just As Beautiful As Blonde

Over the past few days, a new campaign has been spreading like wildfire over the Internet — and that campaign is for the creation of ’Bald Barbie’.  The movement began less than a month ago, when two friends decided to make a Facebook page in order to catch Mattel’s attention (the maker of Barbie), in hopes that they would consider making the toy. The “Beautiful and Bald Barbie” Facebook page reads:
We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania . Also, for young girls who are having trouble coping with their mother’s hair loss from chemo. Many children have some difficulty accepting their mother, sister, aunt, grandparent or friend going from a long haired to a bald. Continue Reading →

Thoughts On Life Changes, Size Acceptance, And Bellies

Debby recently posted some provocative thoughts about size acceptance as it relates to a healthy sense of self and sexuality, to which I would like to add based on my own experience with life changes forcing me to come to terms with, among other things, my belly (which you can see in the photo to the right, playfully protruding from my coin belt at a dance performance). You see, I am a belly dancer – yet one who, for the majority of her life, has not had much of a belly to speak of. Whether due to my genes or my active life style, that’s just not where my body tends to store fat. Because of this, I’ve had to confront some uncomfortable body policing, such as when people tell me I “can’t” be a belly dancer because I don’t have enough of a belly (um, I’m sorry, if you’re the belly dance police you’d better show some documentation! oh wait, haha, there is no belly dance police, it’s a totally open dance form that accepts people of every body type, age, size, and gender!). Continue Reading →