Body Positivity Tips

How to boost your body image: This is taken from S. E. X. by Heather Corinna, but I’ve added my input.

  1. Make the real ideal: Most people don’t look like the people they see in the media. In fact, less than 5% of people look like models or athletes without lighting, makeup, and retouching. Even some models don’t look like “themselves” without it. I can certainly testify. For instance, right now, I’m at home with my hair up in a bun, in sweats, and I certainly do not look like how I do when I’m done up. Heather Corinna makes the following suggestion: collect pictures of people you admire for different reasons and make your little collection “real.” So, let’s say you choose Oprah– don’t choose a picture of her on the cover of a magazine, but maybe instead something where she’s gardening or baking. Pictures where she looks a lot more like you and me, in our natural and informal state than all touched up. Then for every photo you pick of a model or celebrity, choose 9 photos of people who AREN’T models. So these can include friends, teachers, writers, activists. Choose photos that show their wrinkles and smiles. The parts of themselves that are real, that mean something. And then when you have that, know that this is a realistic inspiring collection of people. You could even make a collage from the pics and put it in your room. It will be a collage of what you view to be whole-person beauty and inspiration not just surface level beauty.
  2. Exercise your enjoyment: Exercise and do something that you enjoy!! So instead of just going to a barre class or a class that promises to make you lose a lot of weight or get you those abs you think you want. Go to a jump rope class, go for a run around the lake, exercise is about staying healthy! You also (and I know I’ve done this!) shouldn’t force yourself to do exercise that you hate. I’ve gone to a few classes, knowing it would give me the results I want, but absolutely hated being there. Exercise doesn’t have to be unbearable. In fact, it should be fun! When I first moved to New York, I would go to these jump rope classes that were so hilarious! I would train it to Brooklyn and walk like 20 minutes, but I did it happily because I actually loved it. It was sort of like P.E. for adults. I would suggest, boxing, jump rope, dance classes, yoga, martial arts, hiking, swimming. Being in Seattle, I like to do exercise that lets me enjoy the day and the beautiful natural scenery.
  3. See every body: This one is really important. And it basically means that you should spend time in places with body diversity. Humans bodies are extremely diverse. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some good places to see body diversity are community centers, public parks, beaches, grocery stores. So basically, real life, day to day activity. And not just in the media. Our idea of what bodies are and look like is usually pretty limited.
  4. Be a body image guerrilla: This one basically states to speak out and up if you see things you don’t like. If you pick up a magazine that makes you feel bad about yourself, don’t pick it up next time. Or even sending in emails of suggestions for the magazine. Also starting with yourself and at home is important: Practicing what you preach. Don’t let social media or media, in general, run your life! Go out for a bike ride instead of sitting at home on the TV. You can just start small and make small, active changes. Heather Corinna has the following awesome suggestion: for one day, count how many times you look in the mirror, touch your hair or clothes, and think or talk about appearance-related things. This way, you can become aware of how much time and energy you are putting into something that essentially doesn’t really matter. Figure out how much you spend each month on make-up, beauty products, gym, diet foods, hair stuff and then work to cut that in half. And then use that money you saved for something you really want! (maybe traveling)
  5. Ditch the dissing: Most of us aren’t aware of how judgmental we are. I catch myself, too sometimes, saying nasty things about people or things that I shouldn’t be wasting my energy on talking about. We call each other sluts, fat, too skinny, ano, cheap, trashy, and it gets to the point where we don’t even realize it. And the reason we do it is because of our own insecurities, or because we don’t have real relationships so instead we chit chat and gossip about other people instead of asking one another how we are really doing. People call each other overweight because they’re insecure about their own bodies. Being more aware and trying to go a bit without talking bad about anyone will do so much for your own self-esteem. This is a great time to note, that when you say it, you’re saying it out of jealousy or just being delirious. So next time someone says it to you, remember that! When someone is bullying you or dissing you, either ignore it or you can let them know it’s hurting your feelings. People will target you because of their own insecurities, remember that.
  6. Look deeper: looks aren’t everything: It’s difficult to have a positive self-image and good self-esteem when we don’t feel accomplished. I know for myself, I didn’t have that good of a self-esteem, or at least it wasn’t as high as it is now, until I launched this blog. I could feel amazing about how I looked but I didn’t feel like I was doing anything of importance with my life, until this came out. And now I have something of which I’m really proud. So, same goes for you! Some suggestions for you might include going out and volunteering; Maybe working in a soup kitchen one day a week; Helping with a big sister, big brother program. When you do something where you see a change, you realize you are helping someone, and you have something to really be proud of. You’ll also see your self-esteem sky rocket! It’s important to also realize that we all have relationships that hold a lot of value, not just our romantic or sexual relationships. I get a lot of Tumblr questions from girls saying they don’t feel like they’re enough because they’ve never had a boyfriend. Or they judge their own sense of self-worth by the opposite sex’s opinion of them. These don’t define you! Remind yourself how many friends you have, family, teachers. How you might even be a role model for people or a sibling. The way people feel about you is important, and not just sexually or how they feel about your appearance.
  7. Dare to bare: According to a study done by Albolene facial cleanser company, 73% of American women wear make-up. And 42% report they don’t leave home without it. Even reading that right now, it seems crazy to me. Makeup and hair products are fun, but they should be used to have a fun day every now and then or when you’re going out at night. You shouldn’t feel like you need it to be beautiful. It shouldn’t feel like shaving, hair styling and makeup are required to look good. That is just perpetuating an unhealthy body image. Have the strength to ditch it sometimes. I don’t wear makeup during the day and it keeps my skin fresh and I have learned to love myself without it. I do this a lot. I don’t wear makeup, don’t do my hair, wear sweatpants and I go out in it. I go walk around my neighborhood or run errands. It’s also really important for sexual relationships to get comfortable together. I know some girls who wake up before the guy they hook up with to freshen up and put on makeup. That’s so unhealthy! You should be comfortable and love yourself in all states, and if someone can’t accept you for what your natural state is, they don’t deserve you all done up. I’m not saying to not brush your teeth, or never wear makeup, or not shower, or wear clean clothes. But I am saying that being bare can be a liberating experience! You will start to realize you don’t need all that junk on your face. And the best part is that you will realize there isn’t that much of a difference. And people will tell you that. You’ll also save a lot of money and time, and you’ll become more in-tune with the bare, natural you.
  8. Self-validate: Remember that no one but yourself can magically improve your self-esteem. Even if someone compliments you, it will make you feel good, but it won’t make you feel that way about your own self unless you do it by yourself. Heather Corinna says, “By basing your body – and self-image on what others think, you put other people in charge of your self-worth.” How true is that? I’m a young adult, so I’m already in a time of extreme personal development and it’s true, we all do it. But the only way we are going to truly feel good about ourselves is if it comes from within us.
  9. Do unto others: Think about how good it feels when someone comes up to you on the street and compliments you. Start your own chain! You have the ability and power to walk up to someone and brighten their day. It will also help you feel better about yourself, especially when you see their reaction.
  10. Make friends with your doctor: Your doctor is a great person to talk to if you have any body concerns– ones that go beyond illness, like if you aren’t happy with how you look, you feel like you need to diet, be at the gym, etc. Your doctor will let you know what you should be doing for your body and what’s realistic and healthy for your age. Doctors also see a huge selection of bodies every day and they have a good understanding of what real bodies look like. They are also more concerned with your health than just the number on the scale.

Body Image

Despite being a hugely important subject to talk about, the media rarely touches on body image. In fact, just two nights ago my friend and I went to Times Square at 3 AM. We were just walking around and the largest ad in the entire place was for Hydroxycut. I was stunned. It was crazy going to Times Square at that hour, because first of all, it was empty, and secondly, it was late at night but due to all the lights, it felt like being out in the day time. And up there in the sky, was this large flashing billboard telling me about the number one weight loss pill. A Pill!!!

We live in a society that is obsessed with weight loss and an unrealistic “perfect” body image. Even seeing that ad, which probably costs tens of thousands if not more to have up there. This ad was just as big as Forever 21. To be the main focal point of Times Square, a dangerous pill that cuts your fat and has been proven to cause heart attacks. It saddened and stunned me, but also made me want to work harder to spread awareness and stories. To let everyone know that it’s not our fault we think the way we do, considering that we get these message pushed in our faces 24/7. But how can we collectively, move towards a more accepting, body loving society?

The term “Body Image” describes how you view your own body. That includes its function, health, experience, and appearance. The term “Self-esteem”, on the other hand, refers to what level of respect and value you have for yourself, not just your body. However, a lot of the time, our self-esteem is directly affected by our body image.

We live in a society that is undoubtedly obsessed with looks. Huge industries such as beauty and fashion, (things I purposefully left out on this blog) perpetuate ideas that there is an “ideal” look. However, there have been some big trends and changes lately of big brands hiring models that don’t fit the usual beauty standard. Aerie just did a campaign (which I’m obsessed with) using plus size models and no retouching for their new swim campaign. I’ve always been a fan of American Apparel because they don’t use your average Size 0 model. As someone who is thin myself, I’m not saying there isn’t a place for thin girls or there aren’t naturally thin girls. I think skinny shaming is just as wrong. But I do think the media has all the power and influence to change how women and men see themselves.

You may ask how this relates to a sex blog. And that’s because when we have good body image, we usually are more confident and powerful. This feeling, in turn, directly relates to making smarter choices in regards to our sex lives. When you love yourself, you are going to love the sex you’re having. And you are going to make choices that ensure that the only sex you’re having is healthy sex that you enjoy. It’s important to have a healthy and realistic body image. That way you can take care of your body to the best of your abilities. I will do another post on dieting, but loving yourself isn’t only about the shape or appearance you have. You should love your body in all states, all functions. When you’re on your period and bloated, and when you’re in a bikini feeling like a million bucks. Great body image comes from within.

We live in a society and culture that puts a lot of emphasis on how we look. And we often forget that it’s what’s inside that matters. It’s who we are and what we do that matters, not something so shallow as our looks. For a long time, I struggled with being deemed an “Instagram” girl and knowing that most of that popularity or following was coming purely from a surface-level appreciation of my looks. With the launch of this blog, I feel like people know me now. They know what I stand for, how I write, my thoughts. It’s definitely been a huge confidence booster and a feeling that I’ve come to treasure.

When I say that we live in a culture that values looks over thoughts, I’m not saying we should ignore our appearances altogether. Being a young adult myself, that doesn’t make much sense. Seeing as I’m at an age when there’s a lot of focus (work related) from friends, family on what I look like. That even if I wanted to ignore it, it’s not realistic. The point I’m trying to make with this post, and with this blog in general, is to de-stigmatize the body and our selves– sexual selves included 😉 People, we have to remember that we all have bodies!! And they’re amazing! Our bodies are made up of complex systems, cells, and nerves, all working together to allow us to move every day to work, to dance, to play, to sit at the computer and write like I’m doing right now. Your body is a big part of who you are. We owe it to ourselves to treat them with love and respect.

The sooner you learn to love yourself and your body, the sooner your life will turn around for the better. Whenever you’re feeling down, make a list of all the things that your body can do. If you’re a woman, one day your body will bring new life into this world (if you want kids). That’s amazing! Every time you have your period, that’s not gross, that’s your body preparing itself to one day create new life. We live in a world that teaches us to be disgusted and scared of our own anatomy. If you can’t love and enjoy your own body, how can you expect to authentically enjoy someone else’s? Your body is yours! It’s your partner for life. You can enjoy pleasure with others and with yourself. Over the course of your life, you will go through phases. You will experience sickness, pain, discomfort. You will go through times where you love your body! You will also experience times when you hate it. When you don’t feel thin enough or your bottom isn’t round enough. This is okay and a part of being human.

I think next time you decide you need to lose some weight to love yourself more, ask yourself if that’s reasonable. Will you love yourself more if you drop weight? And why? And can you do it in a healthy manner? We are all working towards a healthy body image, at least I hope so. Some of us love ourselves and others aren’t quite there yet. I’m going to another post to finish this one on some awesome tips from one of my favorite books on how to boost your body image!

When Your Friend Has An Eating Disorder

Back in high school, one of my best friends was suffering from a very serious eating disorder. I remember watching her struggle with something, that first of all, I couldn’t understand and secondly, I couldn’t help her with. No matter how many times I told her she was beautiful, or getting too thin, she wouldn’t understand or believe it. Being sixteen myself, I was in no place to treat my friend and I didn’t get any guidance from my school on what to do having found myself in this situation.

A large majority of American teens are on diets. People Magazine did a poll that showed that over 80 percent of young women are unhappy with their bodies. As unfortunate as this is, bad body image and eating disorders are extremely prevalent. Eating disorders range from mild to severe. There are people who skip a meal every once in awhile and then there are people who suffer from serious eating disorders known as anorexia (starvation), bulimia (binging and purging) or binge eating.

My friend in high school suffered from bulimia. This meant that after she would eat, she would purge or throw up. Bulimia can be easily hidden, since she would eat at school lunch and at home. She successfully hid it from her friends and family for a few years. She would simply purge in privacy and no one ever suspected anything.

Eating disorders have serious effects on the body. They can cause malnutrition, heart problems, bowel problems, permanent damage to the esophagus or throat, reproductive damage, as well as emotional and psychological issues.

My friend told me in confidence that she had an eating disorder. And although I wanted to remain a good friend and “keep her secret,” I was watching her whittle away before my eyes. And although I wasn’t sure what to do, I ended up telling her mom. I remember being so nervous she wouldn’t ever speak to me, wondering if I was a bad friend for essentially telling her mom something she didn’t want her to know. But her mom immediately got her into treatment and although it wasn’t sudden, by the end of high school she had completely conquered her eating disorder.

As common as eating disorders and poor body image are, we lack the education necessary to know how to deal with them. If a friend or someone close to you is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important to get them help. Even though my friend was upset with me for telling her mom, she ended up thanking me a year later when she had gotten over it, saying it meant a lot that I cared enough to do what I had done.

There is no point in trying to convince someone who has an eating disorder to stop their behavior. You are not a professional and neither am I. I could have told my friend she was beautiful or thin all I wanted, and it still would have made no difference to her. Eating disorders are diseases that will warp your body image. Don’t let a friend with an eating disorder manipulate you into not getting them help. They may threaten to not be your friend, they may cry to you saying how you can’t tell anyone. Yet, you need to realize you are helping them by getting them the professional help they deserve. They might not be able to understand that right now, and that’s okay.

It’s important to seek out help for your friend. After all, eating disorders get worse with time, so the faster you can get them treatment, the better. It also might be hard to get someone to admit their behavior: My friend denied she had any problems for a while! The best road, and from learning from experience would be to tell their parent, a doctor, trusted counselor and let them know what you suspect. That way they can get them the help they deserve and need. It’s also important to be very understanding and kind during the process, although eating disorders are very serious illnesses, mental disorders usually don’t get the same treatment as other diseases. Ultimately, after helping to get them treatment, the best thing you can do is there for your friend to support them during this tough time.


The term “ghosting” is a relatively new expression, even though, I’d imagine that people have ghosted one another for centuries. Ghosting is when you’re being led on by someone, maybe going on a few dates, maybe hooking up, maybe having sex, maybe even dating and then boom, they disappear. They don’t text you or respond. And perhaps the worst part, is they don’t give you an explanation. It’s as if everything you had wasn’t there in the first place. And trust me, having been in this situation myself, I’m then quick to question if what I had with the person was real. Or did they just want to hook up with me, and then once they did, they dipped out– the ultimate player move.

According to a poll conducted by YouGov and The Huffington Post, respondents ages 18-29 were more likely to admit they’ve ghosted or been ghosted more than any other age group. It’s extremely common, and I’m sure we’ve all partaken in either side or at the very least know someone who has.

Living in New York City, I can see a guy and then have zero possibility of ever seeing him again, unless we make plans. Given how large this city is, it’s not like I’m going to run into him at some college party. I wanted to share my personal experiences in order to help anyone out there who has gone through a similar situation. I also wanted to share this because I’m sure there are girls out there who think my life is some perfect little dream but in reality this shit happens to me, as well.

I’m going to be very open now and play devil’s advocate on myself: sharing stories of when I’ve been ghosted and when I myself have ghosted someone else.

Why people ghost?

People ghost for million of reasons, but for the most part they do so in order to avoid their own emotional discomfort and they don’t have another person’s feelings in mind. Basically, people who ghost are selfish. And I only say that because I myself have ghosted. You are only watching out for your wants and needs, and you’re not thinking about anyone else’s. Also, if you have minimal social connection to someone– whether you met them online, or they’re in an entirely different social circle– that makes it seem as if there are less consequences of essentially dropping someone. It’s really important to understand that the person who is ghosting is doing it because of THEM, not you. Sometimes, they’re having cold feet of commitment. Sometimes they straight up lied to you to get what they want, which was sex, after which they want out. Most people ghost because they don’t have the courage or maturity to talk out their feelings, so instead they just ghost. Other people ghost because they’re scared things are getting more serious than they anticipated, and instead of communicating, they choose avoidance and simply dip out. It’s funny how quickly and what length people can rationalize and justify ghosting, but then when it happens to them, it’s like the end of the world. So personally, I think a lot of it has to do with ego.

Why have I ghosted?

I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’m some saint and have never ghosted. I’ve definitely ghosted a good amount of people. But I can explain my reasoning behind each and every one. So that maybe next time this happens to you, you can get some insight into what the other person was thinking. Earlier this year, I went on a few dates with this guy, I wasn’t really interested in him physically. I didn’t want to hook up with him but I enjoyed his company. And to be honest, I probably gave him the wrong idea. I was a bit flirty but that’s a big part of my personality. And after the second date, he tried to kiss me when he dropped me off at home. And I ducked my head and it made me super uncomfortable. When he texted me the next day, I didn’t respond. And when he kept texting me, I kept ignoring him. I had ghosted him. I felt bad, to just be upfront and say, “Hey I’m not interested in that.” But I thought it was easier to just ignore him. And funny, I’ve never really thought about it because realistically we only went on two dates. But I’m sure it hurt his feelings and his ego.

Another time I ghosted, I was seeing this kid for a second (not exclusively) and then I was out and about with friends and ran into this guy and, wow, we just really hit it off. I started hanging with the new guy and in return I just sort of ghosted the other one. And he would still text me and sometimes I would run into him and it was definitely awkward, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to saying “Hey, I found someone that I connect with more than you.”

What have I learned?

If there’s anything I’ve learned from ghosting others, it’s that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the person ghosting!! I never ghosted these guys out of malicious intent. I did it because I was no longer interested. I didn’t want to continue to lead someone on. Everything I did to the people I ghosted, I did because of what was going on in my life. I met someone new, I didn’t want commitment. It was the selfish and easy way out. And as someone who preaches about open communication, I confess that I’ve definitely had my own issues with it.

When it happened to me:

I have a few different stories to share of me myself getting ghosted. What I thought, how I’ve analyzed the situation. Some of the guys or girls, I’ve talked to again much later on and they explained their reasoning. Or I guess, a lot of my insight has come from myself having done it too.

I’m not sure if this is the typical ghosting definition. But I was seeing a guy this year on and off for around 4 months. And as things started to get “more serious,” he became visually less interested. It’s not that I wanted a relationship because being single is very important to me. And I have barely enough time to keep up with friends. But, when we took things to the next level, he disappeared. And I guess this isn’t your typical ghost story because I know for a fact if I texted him, he would respond. But why would I? He got what he wanted out of me and then dipped. And it happens more and more these days. And what’s frustrating, is there’s really nothing you can do about it.

I’m trying to think the flip side of it, although most of the guys I have ghosted were not serious at all. I certainly ignored them (hardcore) and that must of hurt. I know when this happened to me, I spent a few days wondering if I had said or done something wrong. How could someone tell me they care about me, really like me, then just not hit me up again?

Another time I was ghosted by an ex-boyfriend of mine (you can read my article on this.) But basically we were speaking again, things were going great. He told me he loved me, missed me. He invited me to come visit him. Then, boom, out of nowhere blocked me on everything. And when I saw that, I was really upset. How could someone who I was emotionally invested in and was just telling me all this stuff, just all of a sudden decide to block me? Anyways, I know this person really well so I’m able to analyze the situation pretty easily, but just because you know why they do it, unfortunately doesn’t make it hurt less.

How does it feel?

Above all, it makes you feel disposable. Essentially ghosting is cutting off communication without an explanation. It makes you feel used and disrespected. ESPECIALLY, as a woman, if you’re sexually involved with someone. If it’s only been a few dates, it can be frustrating but pretty easy to get over. But if you’ve been ghosted by someone you’ve been romantically involved with or sexually involved with for a period of time, it can be downright traumatic. When someone we care about disappears without an explanation it can feel like we are being betrayed, abandoned or played.

Why does it hurt so much?

Ghosting is the ultimate rejection, and social rejection activates the same pathways in our brains as physical pain. So no, you’re not being dramatic when it hurts because sometimes it really does and it’s out of our control. The worst part, is that you don’t have an explanation. So it’s easy as humans to think of a million reasons or excuses for the other person’s behavior. We may overplay things we think we did wrong, “if only I had done this.” We also tend to be in denial and think “oh they’re busy and will give me a call.” Anything to not accept the fact that, God forbid someone might not be into us. Self-questioning is the result of our basic human desire for understanding our social standing. As humans we have self-esteem and when these events occur they have the ability to lower our feelings of self-worth, thinking we aren’t good enough for someone else. And therefore we aren’t good enough at all. It’s important to remember we are all different. And people vary in their self-esteem levels already, so while ghosting might not affect a friend of yours, it might affect you much more.

Ghosting is giving someone the silent treatment. It’s a passive aggressive — albeit common in 2016– way of dealing with relationships and interactions. And it’s pretty unhealthy. It leaves zero opportunity to ask questions or gain information that might help process a situation. It suppresses your emotions. When we are ghosted, we don’t know how to act, largely because we don’t know what happened.

How to deal with it:

All in all, it’s their problem not yours. When someone ghosts you, it has nothing to do with you or your worthiness but instead says everything about the other person. I could have spent weeks upset over the guy who essentially lost interest in or ghosted me, even though we were a lot more involved than just a few dates. But then I think about it, and I’m like wow he’s an asshole, and that’s his problem not mine. And also, why would I want to waste my time with someone who clearly isn’t that interested in me? I just kept reminding myself, we had good times, and it ended, and that’s chill. And that’s life, and a new, better fitting person will come along.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is next time you get ghosted, try to think about it with the perspective that everything happens for a reason. And someone you connect with more is going to come along one day. And in the meantime, you can work on yourself. You don’t need a man. You don’t need a woman. You just need yourself!

Also, most of the time people ghost because they don’t have the courage or matureness to actually deal with the situation at hand or their emotions. And, instead of confronting things and being honest, they just disappear: In my opinion it’s pretty selfish and cowardly.

People who ghost either don’t understand the impact that it has on others or worse than that, they don’t really care. Basically, ghosting is another way of saying, “hey, I don’t have what it takes to have a mature, healthy relationship with you.” Always try to look at the bigger picture. Don’t get petty. Remain dignified and calm and collected. You are absolutely allowed to be upset, but I would just try to swallow your pride and move on. Trust me, there have been moments where I wanted to call him and be like “WTF” or, honestly, punch a wall, haha. But I’m not going to allow someone else’s immature and bad behavior to change me for the worse. I take that energy and I put it into this blog and all the things I’m working on. And trust me, it has paid off! You only want to be with someone who truly respects you and likes you for who you are. The person who ghosted you wasn’t your match, and that’s totally okay. Your match is out there, I promise.

Benefits Of Masturbating

Masturbating is an amazing way to connect to your body and yourself as a whole. There is often a stigma and negative connotation around females and masturbating, but it can be a really positive and healthy part of your routine and something you certainly shouldn’t feel ashamed of doing. Masturbating has so many health benefits and is something that can be done as frequently or infrequently as you like.

Emotional Health:

If you are having a bad day and need a way to cope or to release your stress, masturbating can be a healthy and accessible go-to. Incorporating it into your daily or weekly routine is a really quick and positive way to release emotional tension. Masturbating can be very therapeutic and calming to many people and there really are no negative side effects.

Mental Health:

Similar to the effect of certain drugs, orgasms release dopamine and oxytocin which make you feel great. These endorphins create a natural high that is healthy, satisfying and uplifting. It can make you feel calm and refreshed to masturbate due to these endorphins being released. Additionally, connecting to your body is important for a healthy mind. Masturbating will help you feel more comfortable, open, aware and knowledgeable about your own body. Not only will this help improve your sex life, it will help you familiarize yourself with your own anatomy and accept it for what it is. Everyone person is unique and it is important to love your body in order to have a healthy mindset and body image.

Physical Health:

When you do any physical workout, endorphins are released. When endorphins are released, stress and anxiety levels are lowered. Masturbating can be so overwhelming (in a good way) that it often takes your mind off of things, thus allowing you to focus on a pleasurable and purely positive exercise. When with a partner, you are sometimes distracted by their pleasure and presence that you may be unable to fully focus on yours. Masturbating, on the other hand, is such personal experience, and as such you are often more likely to find yourself in a more relaxed mindset, focused on your own sense of pleasure and hopefully in a meditative trance. Masturbation can also help relieve physical pain and can rid the cervix of bad bacteria. Additionally, the calm and satisfaction that result from an organism can help you sleep, thereby naturally preventing insomnia.


Before having anal sex, it is common to use an enema bulb. Enemas are used to feel cleaner and to prevent the need or urge of having to go to the bathroom during anal sex. An enema is fluid that you inject into your anus in order to clean it out. Ideally, this should be done an hour or more prior to anal sex. This is so that the water doesn’t come out all at once; having wet, messy anal isn’t fun.

You can get enemas at your local drugstore, but remember to get an enema that’s made for anal douching. Douching can be a great way to clean things out before sex. However, you should limit yourself to doing it a few times a week. This is because it can cause irritation to the colon wall if used too frequently and can also make you on it, which will make going to the bathroom naturally more difficult.

Some tips from Sasha Grey:

  • Lie on the ground with your bottom in the air (like a pile driver position).
  • Use lukewarm water, as cold is more likely to induce cramping.
  • Accept that there will be some spillage, so start near a toilet, with towels and tissue paper nearby.
  • Use lube for the enema, since the plastic can be rough on the edges.
  • Squeeze after inserting the tip, but don’t release the squeeze until after the tip is out again; otherwise, the release will suction the (unclean) water back into the bulb.
  • It might take a few tries to get all the water in.
  • Wait a while (preferably several minutes) before releasing the water, but do so on the toilet, since you might leak.
  • Rinse and repeat until the water is clean.
  • If you use a non-disposable bulb (my preference), then clean it out and dry it out very thoroughly after each use.

Enema artwork done by: @majesstical


What is it:

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is an infection that weakens the body’s ability to fight infections and can cause AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV is an infection with a long history, often misunderstood as something that only affects homosexuals and drug addicts. This is not true, and women, specifically women of color, are currently infected at higher rates than males. HIV or AIDS has not yet been cured and is considered to be the deadliest epidemic of all time.

HIV is the most dangerous STI. About one million people in the US have HIV, and another 56,000 people become infected every year. HIV is spread through bodily fluids, and once infected, a person will carry HIV forever.


HIV is carried in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk and can be transmitted through the following:

  • Anal or vaginal intercourse
  • Oral sex (less commonly transmitted this way although it is possible)
  • IV drug needles (sharing ones that have been contaminated)
  • Needles for bodily modifications (tattoos or piercings)
  • Childbirth
  • Transfusion of contaminated blood products
  • Breastfeeding
  • Accidental pricks with contaminated needles in a healthcare setting


At first, HIV may present itself with symptoms similar to the flu. These symptoms usually occur 2-4 weeks after the initial exposure. During this time, your body is usually trying to fight off the infection. For many people, HIV is asymptomatic (doesn’t show any symptoms) for years after this initial phase. During this time, the infection can be transmitted to other people as you may not know you even have HIV. The following symptoms are ones that occur once the infection begins to reveal itself, even if it’s years after infection:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Ulcers
  • Aching/stiff muscles or joints
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen glands
  • Rashes/eczema
  • Yeast infections
  • Tiredness
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Mental disorders or lightheadedness
  • Thick, whitish coating of yeast on the tongue or mouth
  • Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Purplish growths on skin

Getting a Diagnosis:

It can take up to three months, sometimes more than that, for HIV antibodies to occur. Saliva and blood tests look for these antibodies, so if your test comes back negative you should always repeat it annually or semiannually. Anyone who is sexually active should be tested for HIV!


HIV cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Antiviral drugs, naturopathic remedies, nutrition, and consistent health care can mitigate the symptoms of HIV. Most treatment options work to protect the immune system from obtaining more infections and to prolong the period of HIV progressing to AIDs.


  • Use condoms for vaginal and anal intercourse as well as oral sex
  • Do not participate in IV drug use!
  • Get annual HIV screenings
  • Avoid blood, urine, or any other bodily fluids from coming into contact with the mouth, anus, eyes, or open cuts/sores if your partner is infected

If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, there are anti-retroviral medications that can be taken which reduce the risk of acquiring HIV after you have been exposed. Talk to your doctor immediately after you suspect exposure in order to get these medications!

Works Cited

Corinna, Heather. S.E.X.: The All-you-need-to-know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You through High School and College. New York: Marlowe, 2007. 304-05. Print.

“HIV and AIDS: Treatment & Care.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Planned Parenthood. Sexually Transmitted Infections. N.p.: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2010. Print.

Herpes 101

What is it:

There are two forms of herpes: herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is a form of herpes linked to oral cold sores and blisters around the mouth. HSV-2 is another form of herpes which causes genital sores. Both forms can infect the genital, oral or both areas.

About one million people get herpes every year. Once you are infected with the virus, it remains in your body for life. Although the infection cannot be cured, it will go through cycles: There will be times where it will be completely dormant and there are times when it will break out. In the US, one out of every six people from ages 14 to 49 years old has genital herpes. Herpes is more common in women than in men.


  • Kissing
  • Touching/intimacy
  • Vaginal or anal intercourse
  • Oral sex

Herpes can be passed from the mouth to the genitals or from the genitals to the mouth through oral sex. However, if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2 you can only transfer that type to the genitals or mouth of your partner. When the sores are present, until the time they have scabbed off and healed fully, the virus is most contagious. Although, when there are no symptoms the virus is still contagious. Mucus membranes (on the mouth, anus, vagina, penis, eyes, etc.) are areas that contain the highest susceptibility potential. Herpes can also be transmitted through any type of general contact such as sharing a toothbrush, utensils, or any object.


Symptoms usually appear anywhere from two to twenty days after infection is initially transmitted, but it may also take years before any of these symptoms appear:

  • Recurring rash
  • Clusters sores (itchy, painful, blistering) near or on the vagina, cervix, penis, anus, buttocks, mouth, or anywhere else on the body.
  • Ulcerations (often painful) after blisters break open

First episode:

  • Pain/discomfort around infected areas
  • Itching/burning during urination
  • Swollen glands in the groin
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Run-down feeling


Recurrences are common and often due to lifestyle, emotional, psychological, physical or health-related stresses. During these times, it is very important to avoid touching the sores and wash your hands frequently in order to avoid spreading the infection to other parts of your body or other people. Here are some other factors that can cause outbreaks:

  • Menstruation
  • Mild to serious illnesses or conditions (common cold, etc.)
  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune system
  • Direct trauma to the area
  • Sexual activity

Getting a diagnosis:

  • Blood test
  • Fluid (from sores) examination


There is no cure for herpes. But, with anti-herpes drugs, the symptoms can be mitigated and the number of occurrences can be reduced. These drugs can help to reduce the pain, duration and healing time of outbreaks, making it much more manageable to deal with.


If you or your partner have herpes, you should not participate in sexual intimacy or any form of intercourse while a breakout is occurring until seven days after the scabs have completely healed. People with herpes can also take drugs that help reduce the risk of passing the infection on to their partner. Condoms are a great way to reduce your risk of infection, but herpes outbreaks often occur on areas that go beyond the coverage a condom provides.

Works Cited

“Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

“Herpes Simplex Virus: Type 1 and Type 2 Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Planned Parenthood. Sexually Transmitted Infections. N.p.: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2010. Print.

Gonorrhea 101

What is it?

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is extremely common. It can be transmitted through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Gonorrhea is a bacterium that grows in mucus membranes of the body, and multiplies quickly and easily in moist, warm areas such as the reproductive system, mouth, throat, and anus. There are currently around 40 million infected people within the US.


Vaginal and anal intercourse, as well as oral sex, with an infected person can cause Gonorrhea. During birth, an infected mother can pass the infection to her baby.


Symptoms vary for men and women. 80% of women and 10% of men with gonorrhea show no symptoms. In women, symptoms generally occur within 10 days of the initial exposure, and for men it can take from 1 up to 14 days for symptoms to arise if they do at all. People with gonorrhea can more easily contract and transmit HIV.

* frequent, burning urination
arthritic pain
* irregular menstruation or spotting between periods
* pain in pelvic or lower abdomen area
* pain during sex
* yellow/yellow-green discharge from the vagina
* swelling/tenderness of the vulva
* spotting after intercourse
* swollen glands or burning in the throat (from oral sex)

If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause sterility, arthritis, and heart problems as well as pelvic inflammatory diseases in women. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to ectopic pregnancy or sterility, as it can damage the fallopian tubes.

* pus-like discharge from the urethra
* pain during urination
* swollen glands or burning in the throat (from oral sex)
* painful/swollen testicles

If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a condition of the testicles (which can lead to infertility.) It can also lead to scarring inside the urethra and affect the prostate.

Getting a Diagnosis:

  • urine examination
  • urethral discharge examination
  • vaginal discharge examination
  • cells swabbed from the cervix, throat, urethra, or rectum


Oral antibiotics

(It is important to note that yes treatment will cure gonorrhea, but it can be easy to contract again if your partner is not treated. So if you contract it, be sure to call up and communicate that you have it, so any partners you have had can get treated as well, and discontinue the spread of the infection)


Since Gonorrhea is almost always sexually transmitted it is important to practice safe sex and always use condoms!

  • use of latex condoms
  • getting regularly screened
  • being exclusive with a partner who is also negatively screened for gonorrhea, which in that case you won’t contract it without condoms (although you should use them if you aren’t on birth control even if in a committed relationship if you don’t want to get pregnant).

Works Cited

Corinna, Heather. S.E.X.: The All-you-need-to-know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You through High School and College. New York: Marlowe, 2007. 301-02. Print.

“Gonorrhea.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.

Planned Parenthood. Sexually Transmitted Infections. N.p.: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2010. Print.

Chlamydia 101

I have a ton of friends who have gotten Chlamydia. But once again, I had little to no knowledge of it besides knowing that it is easily curable with antibiotics. I know these articles aren’t the most “fun” to read. They’re definitely not guides on how to give a blow-job or the best position for an orgasm. But it’s really important to know the positives and negatives that comes along with having sex. And although extremely common, Chlamydia left untreated can be very dangerous. So know your facts, which I will work on providing you with, and get tested regularly. This is a Sex-Ed blog, not some kinky night in the bedroom with Eileen blog lol.

What is it?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. In women, it infects the cervix and can spread to your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and urethra. In men, it infects the urethra and can spread to the testicles.


Chlamydia is spread by:

  • Unprotected vaginal or anal sex
  • Oral sex
  • Shared sex toys
  • Contact during childbirth
  • Rarely, from hand to eye


There are usually no symptoms, so it can be easy to miss and not know that you’re infected. That’s a big part of why I stress the importance of getting STD checks regularly, even if you don’t think you have anything.

If you do have symptoms they usually start to occur 5-10 days after infection.

In women:

  • Stomach pain
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Urge to pee
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sex
  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse
  • Fever
  • Bleeding between your periods

In men:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Pus or watery discharge from penis
  • Swollen or tender testicles
  • Rectal inflammation

How common is it?

It is the most common STI in the United States and by far the most prevalent among women and men under 25. In total, around 3 million Americans get it every year. It is so common that according to the Centers for Disease Control, by the age of thirty, 50% of sexually active women will have had it. Additionally, the majority of people with chlamydia don’t know they have it.

Is it dangerous?

If left untreated, chlamydia can cause some serious health issues. In women, the infection can spread from the cervix to your fallopian tubes or ovaries. This can result in pelvic
inflammatory disease (or PID). If left untreated, PID can cause women to become sterile. The condition can also block your fallopian tubes, thereby preventing fertilized eggs from reaching the uterus, and resulting in an ectopic pregnancy — or a pregnancy in the tubes — which can be fatal.

Symptoms of PID:

  • Fever
  • Heavier and abnormal periods
  • Pain during pelvic exam
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness, weakness
  • Pain in lower stomach

Chlamydia can also make men sterile if left untreated. As the infection spreads from the urethra to the testicles, sterility can occur. Six percent of men who contract this condition caused by Chlamydia will develop reactive arthritis. This appears in the form of ulcers in the mouth, eye infections, swelling and pain of the joints. You can see why it’s important as a man OR woman to get tested regularly.


  • Urine sample
  • Lab test of the cells from the penis, anus, cervix, or urethra
  • Examination of the cervix and cervical discharge

How can you avoid spreading it if you get it?

It’s really important, if you have it, to inform any of your sex partners. I had friends in high school who got calls from boys they had slept with, saying they had chlamydia and
then got tested. Some got it, some didn’t. I understand it can be embarrassing, but look at how common it is! It’s not really something to be ashamed of. Remember, it’s important to make that phone call, so it doesn’t get spread around anymore.

Don’t have sex until your treatment is completed

Be sure your sex partners are screened and treated before having sex again, and be sure to use latex condoms every time.


Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics. Once you are treated, it is no longer present in your body, so it won’t come back unless you contract it again. If you have it and get treated, it is very important to tell your partner so they can get tested. Reinfection rates are very high because male partners aren’t treated or during the treatment, partners continue to have unprotected sex, so the infection keeps getting passed between partners.

How can you avoid getting it?

The best way to avoid contracting chlamydia is to always use barrier protection for vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Technically, abstaining from sex is the best way to avoid it, but that’s not an option for those of us who want to have a healthy sex life and still be safe.

Work Cited

Corinna, Heather. “Chlamydia.” S.E.X.: The All-you-need-to-know Progressive Sexuality Guide to

Get You through High School and College. New York: Marlowe, 2007. 300. Print.

Planned Parenthood. Chlamydia. N.p.: Planned Parenthood, n.d. Print.