An invitation to appear in a PSA prompts Minda Honey to reflect on the responsibilities of safe sex, and her imperfect past.
I worried that doing the PSA would make me a hypocrite. Who was I to encourage others to engage in safe sex when there were times I hadn’t? I reasoned with myself that I’d read enough inspirational quotes on Instagram to know my humanity wasn’t a byproduct of my perfection but rather of my mistakes. So I decided to do the shoot anyway, because I was someone who knew what it was like to be so distracted worrying about the possible long-term consequences of my split-second decision not to require a condom that I couldn’t even enjoy the act itself. I was someone who’d felt bashful about asking to be tested because heaven forbid the medical professional I pay to look after my reproductive health, and who I was required to see once a year to re-up on my birth control pill prescription, know that I, an adult woman, was having sex outside of a monogamous marriage for purposes other than conceiving a child. I was someone who was tired of always being the enforcer in the bedroom. It made me feel like a finger-wagging mom-type: “Eat your Wheaties, do your homework, wrap it up!”
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For women experiencing cancer, intimacy is yet another hurdle in which the onus is on them to overcome.
“Doctors aren’t always comfortable talking about it so they aren’t necessarily going to bring it up,” Jean Sachs, the chief executive officer of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, told Healthline.
In Sachs’ experience, she’s found “a lot of responsibility is kind of on the woman to be comfortable enough… Really being able to say, ‘This is important. I’ve already lost a lot with my diagnosis, I don’t want to lose this.’”
Cathy Brown, a breast cancer survivor, explained why sex after cancer is so difficult to discuss.
“In our society, Western society, sex in general is taboo, and then wounded sex, if you will, sex after disease, is even more taboo,” she told Healthline.
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From the New York Times…
By Jen Gunter
People always want to know the most unusual object I’ve retrieved from a vagina.
I’ll never tell.
One, because the woman involved could recognize herself and feel betrayed. Yes, some items are that unusual.
The other reason is that the unfortunate sequence of events that ends with a visit to my OB-GYN practice or the emergency room is almost always the unanticipated consequence of sexual experimentation. Lots of objects seem sexually adventurous until the moment one realizes they are not. And realizes that they are stuck.
Sexual experimentation with household items is nothing new, though the nature of the object has changed slightly to match the times — think along the lines of a progression from a soda bottle to a diet soda bottle to an energy water bottle to a Kombucha bottle — over my 25 years of practice.
Another change I’ve noticed in that time is the increased touting of various “natural” and “ancient” vaginal remedies with household items. The reasons could range from “vaginal maintenance” (a term that, as an expert, I struggle to further qualify) to the treatment of yeast infections to contraception to improving sex lives.
There are two themes at play that seem simultaneously opposing yet complementary: that natural is best and that the vagina is so dirty, fragile or in need of nourishment (or all three) that it is one wrong pair of underwear or wet bathing suit away from complete catastrophe.
And this is how lemon juice (ouch), yogurt, garlic (double ouch), cucumber and oregano oil (super, mega ouch) are finding their way into vaginas worldwide. No, you are not reading a recipe for tzatziki sauce.
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