Women’s Sexual Health

Recent posts

Product Review: Renew Toy Revitalizing Cleanser

Our friends over at Good Vibrations recently sent me a new product to review. It’s like Christmas all over again! The Renew Toy Revitalization Cleanser is such a handy little thing! Forget about interrupting sexy times to run to the bathroom to clean a toy- a swift pump of this little spray bottle and you’re good to go! This comes in handy especially if you share a bathroom- I can’t tell you how awkward it is to try to clean a sex toy in a dormitory bathroom. You get all kinds of weird looks. Continue Reading →

My Mentor, Sex Therapist and Author Sallie Foley

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One of my mentors during my graduate studies was Sallie Foley. Sallie has been a social worker and sex therapist for 30+ years and currently runs the Sexual Health Certificate Program at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. Check out that amazing program here. My first contact with Sallie was when I was the Peer Education Coordinator at the University of Michigan and I helped to put on ”Sexpertise”, the University’s annual conference on sexual health. Sallie was an integral part of this important conference and one of the premiere speakers, talking about her research and giving workshops on sexual pleasure. Continue Reading →

Advances In Women’s Health Politics (Plus Ninjas Against Rape)

If you have the time to read it, I highly highly highly recommend checking out Echo Zen’s Feministe post “How Women’s Health and Social Media Won 2012: Retrospective.” This link-rich essay describes the political events of 2012 in relation to women’s health, the amazing role of social media, and the rise of feminist advocacy by everyday women. Zen points out that what the social media strategies of 2012 exposed is “the violent rhetoric that once came from GOP quarters about how women’s healthcare isn’t real healthcare, since only sluts and prostitutes need contraception and family planning. If the extremists have learned anything from this cycle, it’s that openly campaigning against women’s lives is no longer a winning strategy, just as relying entirely on the white Christian vote is no longer a viable tactic.” This underlines how politicized an issue women’s health has become. Continue Reading →

The “Delayed Notification” Phenomenon

It’s bad juju to publicize your pregnancy before you’ve reached the second trimester. This delay in notification is practiced widely in Western culture, but nobody has really asked why we keep our early pregnancies a secret. As a component of a recent research paper I wrote about miscarriage and fetal personhood, I anonymously interviewed 17 women who have given birth in the past seven years about this practice. The results were striking. According to my survey results, 10 out of the 17 women chose to keep their pregnancies secret until after the three-month mark. Continue Reading →

Why I Refuse To Use The Term “Pro-Life”

In light of Savita Halappanavar’s death due to being refused an abortion after miscarrying, using the term “pro-life” to mean “anti-abortion” is increasingly problematic. As therapist Lyla Cicero points out, “when a choice must be made between a mother’s life and a child’s, choosing abortion is still being pro-life, isn’t it?” Her piece on a pregnant teenager who identified as pro-life yet choose an abortion exemplifies this dilemma: the girl was choosing her life, choosing to delay having children, choosing to commit her time to working her way out of poverty. The irony, as Cicero notes, is that “The politicians who so vehemently call themselves pro-life are the same politicians who would resent [the teen mother's] living off the government.” That quote leads into the connections between pregnancy, poverty, and abuse. Continue Reading →

Girl-Driven Sex Education In Haiti

This excellent article discusses how peer-driven sex education is gaining momentum in Haiti. Due to the lack of institutionalized sex education, there are very high teenage pregnancy rates, which worries not only those trying to plan the country’s future, but also many teenage girls themselves. One high school student says of the club that promotes sexuality awareness: ”Thanks to the club, we avoid having babies before we are ready, and we also avoid getting infected with illnesses that potentially could cause us to die.” Clearly, everyone should have access to life-saving knowledge. If you’re lucky enough to have access to thorough and accurate sex education, maybe consider what you can do to help others? Continue Reading →

Vaginal Tightening Gel Makes You Feel “Like A Virgin”?

It seems that almost every day, I come across a new product that somehow offends me on several levels. “18 Again,” a vaginal tightening gel produced by an Indian pharmaceutical company Ultratech, is no exception. According to the article from the NY Daily News, Ultratech’s goal is to “empower the new age woman.” Now, while I understand that it could be considered empowering to take the status of your vagina into your own hands (literally), the fact that the company is essentially telling millions of women that they are only worthwhile if they have so-called virginal vaginas is far from empowering. Continue Reading →

Your Period: Interesting Facts and Word Origins

Random facts interest me (it’s part of why I adore the magazine Mental Floss), so a list of 68 facts about menstruation is totally up my alley. I especially appreciate that the list includes citation for all of the facts given. While not all women have periods (and not all women have vaginas), the eighth fact on the list is that women who live in modern industrialized places will have, on average, 450 menstrual cycles in her life time – which I would have never guessed. And, women in prehistoric times only had around 50 periods (this is courtesy of Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual). Those who know me well, know that I love hearing about the origins of words. Continue Reading →