Women’s Sexual Health

Recent posts

“Free” Birth Control For Women: Not So Fast

While there are many reasons to celebrate the expanded health coverage for American women under the Affordable Care Act, Tiger Beatdown reminds us that the ACA doesn’t promise women “free birth control” in the fullest sense of the phrase, nor does it extend to offer benefits to every American woman (as many are still uninsured, or their policies will not change until the following year). I believe the ACA is still a step in the right direction, but ideally we’ll see benefits such as better reproductive services extending to more and more of the population over time. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Why I <3 Menstrual Cups

While I was setting up for a women’s health workshop, unpacking the contents of my favorite red carry-on suitcase, an early arrival approached me and asked, “What on Earth are those?” She was referring to the rainbow of menstrual cup demos I had lined up on the table. “How many people actually use those?” Since I hang out with a lot of sex ed-types, my perception is “a lot.” I’d estimate that well over half of the women with whom I talk about menstruation use one. Continue Reading →

Health Care For Women

The controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been upheld in the US, meaning that all Americans must purchase health insurance or face a penalty. A lot of people are unhappy about this, claiming the government is overstepping its bounds, that it’s unfair to impose a penalty, and so on. From a sexual health standpoint? I’m going to call this a win. Especially from women’s perspectives. Continue Reading →

A Biblical Perspective On Abortion

Abortion is a tricky issue, resonating with people on multiple levels (personal, religious, political, among others) and I feel that I should state that in this post I’m not trying to convince someone to think differently here, or come over to my view (which is pro-choice if only because I’m hesitant about people without wombs making decisions for people with wombs, and because I believe that abortion needs to be safely available as part of the effort to provide social equity and begin to fix the socio-economic-educational problems that lead to unwanted babies in the first place). However, I recently discovered that the Bible does not necessarily unilaterally condemn abortion, so I thought I would share some of that information here in case others find it as thought-provoking as I did. I followed a link (I forget from whom) to the site of a Christian blogger who provides close readings of Biblical passages. The first post, What the Bible Says About Abortion, discusses a passage in Numbers wherein God tells Moses that if a husband suspects his wife is pregnant with another man’s baby, they can perform a ritual that will cause the woman to abort. Whoa… Continue Reading →

Ecology of the Nether Region

The world of ecology has just got a whole lot more interesting. Instead of delving deeper into the uncharted waters of our oceans, or the dark recesses of the world’s rainforests, scientists have turned their focus inwards, to the ecology of microbes lurking in the nooks and crannies of our own bodies. Incredibly, bacterial cells that live on and in us outnumber our own cells by about 10 to 1. Collectively known as the microbiome, these microscopic passengers are far from simple free-loaders. Our gut is teaming with bacteria that help us to digest everything from our breakfast cereal to our midnight ice-cream indulgence. Continue Reading →

Reproductive Politics in YA Literature

Everyone’s read The Handmaid’s Tale, right? With its dystopian vision of a future where the few women who are fertile are kept like slaves? Well, with reproductive rights being so hotly contested right now, it’s no surprise that the topic is popping up in literature again. This time, YA (Young Adult) novels offer a variety of perspectives on how a disturbing yet plausible future might emerge from our currently debated policies. It makes you wonder… Continue Reading →

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 →

A Jewish Perspective On Abortion

Discussions of abortion frequently focus on Christian perspectives, as pro-life Christians tend to be the ones out protesting the most visibly. However, other religions certainly have perspectives on abortion. This narrative by my Jewish friend Sarah, on finding support from other Jewish women while choosing to have an abortion, shares an experience that is thought-provoking, interesting, and unique. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Motherhood And Selfishness

In my last post on motherhood, I touched briefly on how women who choose not to have children are often berated for being selfish. I would like to return to this point and explore it a bit further, as I believe it is actually quite multifaceted and functions as a focal point for many of the issues women face today. First, there are many costs, both tangible and intangible, that potential mothers must take into account. These include time spent navigating physical conditions (which could range from negligible to major and incapacitating) as well as the money not only to pay for treatment, but also money lost from not being employed. This article on The Nation analyzes the hidden costs of motherhood, ranging from the unanticipated need to take unpaid leave to outright debt from job loss. Continue Reading →

Women Who Do Not Choose Motherhood

Is motherhood mandatory for personhood? It kinda looks that way, according to the Jezebel article When Motherhood Never Happens. Social pressure is one of the problems with this phenomenon. The author notes: “Women are flooded with mommy propaganda, whether it be celebrity-oriented Unsolicited Uterus Updates and ‘baby weight’ progress stories or Facebook feeds filled with ultrasounds, baby bumps, infant photos, toddler videos and report cards.” If you’re a woman, it’s hard to escape the prevalence of motherhood stories, images, and marketing campaigns. Continue Reading →