plannedparenthood:

image

Someone asked us:

So what’s the truth about hymens being an accurate guarantor of virginity?

Great question, and one that seems to cause some unnecessary stress for a lot of people.

Let’s talk about hymens first. The hymen is a thin, fleshy tissue that stretches across part of the…

parentsproject:

by Cara Giaimo

*****

Language plays a huge part in how we understand and describe the world around us, and how we communicate that understanding to others. Because of this, it can be easy to forget that the dictionary isn’t some infallible, unchangeable document handed…

When we talk about things like rape culture and consent culture, we often don’t give nearly enough attention to the importance of parenting and supporting parents. Parenting is hard work, and it’s a complex job, and there are tremendous social pressures at work on parents, with endless conflicting advice on the ‘right’ way to raise kids. We need to be affirming positive, supportive parenting that helps children grow into independent, confident, assertive people who know their boundaries and respect those of others — and we also need to acknowledge that the burden here isn’t solely on parents.

While I don’t have the responsibility of raising other people’s children, I do have the responsibility of carefully thinking about my interactions with kids. Children are impressionable, especially around the friends of their parents or people their parents admire and respect. That’s a huge responsibility, and it needs to be taken seriously. How would I have wanted to be treated as a child? How can I affirm a child’s right to her own body, feelings, and opinions? These are things I think about even in momentary interactions with children, because children are human beings, and they should be respected.
lanepatriquin:

embroidery april 2014

(White stitching on dark green cloth)
"I am not trapped in my body
"I am trapped in other people’s perceptions of my body"

lanepatriquin:

embroidery april 2014

(White stitching on dark green cloth)

"I am not trapped in my body

"I am trapped in other people’s perceptions of my body"

thebodyisnotanapology:

by Mia Furtado, Guest Writer

image

Source: Red Hot

[Image description: The graphic shows a drawing of six hands, with their palms front and fingers outstretched, arranged side by side at different heights. Each hand is a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. All…

Surviving Daily Verbal Homophobic Attacks (CN: homophobia, bullying)

parentsproject:

Vivek Shraya is an award-winning author whose first book, God Loves Hair, is an autobiographical collection of twenty-one short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates the complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging.

*****

One of the things I often get asked after book readings and presentations is: How did you get through junior high and high school? How did you survive daily verbal homophobic attacks?

I grew up in a time before there were Gay Straight Alliances and rainbow flags in high schools, before the word “homophobia” was so widespread. Without language, without being able to name what was happening to me, it was hard to ask for support at school and at home. Without support, like so many queer kids, I dreamt of suicide.

I wrote goodbye letters frequently, always in dramatic red ink, and even planned out my suicide outfit—not too flashy, not too plain, but rather an understated elegance. But the reason I didn’t go through with it—the number one reason I stayed alive—was my mother’s love. Thinking of suicide was often comforting, especially as relief from another day of torment at school, but only to the point of imagining my mother finding my lifeless body. Then I could imagine life leaving her body too.

The older I get, the more respect and awe I feel for a woman who was then a full-time mother, full-time employee, and part-time student—especially on days when I’m too lazy to cook my own dinner. It would be easy to romanticize my teenage years, but this was a turbulent time in our relationship, when we were often at odds about my early curfew, my close friendships with white girls, and my blasting Tori Amos. Obedience was a prime value in our home, and disobedience was often dealt with strict punishment. But despite this— despite how much we argued, despite not knowing how I was going to say the word “gay” to my conservative parents and if they would even know what it meant, and despite that when I eventually did talk to my parents about what was happening at school, their response was “everyone gets picked on,” I never doubted that my mother loved me. Every gesture of care—preparing our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; nagging us about our homework; asking about our days; picking up all my holds from the library; encouraging me to sing; tucking us in at night; waking us up with a song; hugging us before school—was another reason not to hurt myself.

In recent years, my mother has expressed regret for not doing more for me during that time. The truth is, there is no way my mother could have done everything—no way she could have completely saved me from what was happening at school. And I didn’t have the language to fully express what I was feeling. Ultimately, what mattered most was knowing that there was one place in the world my life did matter—in my mother’s heart.

***

Vivek Shraya’s first book is a collection of twenty-one short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates the complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging. Told with the poignant insight and honesty that only the voice of a young mind can convey, God Loves Hair is a moving and ultimately joyous portrait of the resiliency of youth.

The stories are accompanied by the award-winning full-colour illustrations of Toronto artist Juliana Neufeld. God Loves Hair was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, won the Applied Arts Award for Illustration, and is currently being used as a textbook at several post-secondary institutions.

Read more on The Parents Project, a first-of-its-kind digital resource for parents of LGBTQ kids.

SEE THE THING IS, he said, BIG GIRLS LEAVE MORE SPACE FOR ME TO GRAB AHOLD OF
but
i’m not your handlebars

SEE THE THING IS, she said, BIG GIRLS ARE BETTER THAN SKINNY ONES BECAUSE MEN DON’T LIKE BONES
but
other girls are not graveyards

SEE THE THING IS
a baby girl isn’t beautiful because somebody is gonna hold her
i mean we all wanna be loved but i want her to
love herself
first

a baby girl isn’t beautiful because a man’s fingertips can dig
bruises into her hips, she’s beautiful because
she just is

in nature we don’t say a flower is beautiful
when somebody wants to pick it

in fact we say that nature’s beauty is at the height of purity
when it would destroy you to even touch it

SEE THE THING IS
i would rather be an ocean of danger and deep black and
thick mermaid thighs rather than
a body you want to cruise across
i would rather be the night sky and crush ribs with a suffocating sense that we are all small and purposeless
rather than a landscape of freckles someone happens to think
are akin to constellations
i would rather be storms and lightning and a bright sun rising, i
would rather make you quake in your boots than get your heart
pounding,

i would rather be beautiful like a cold spring stream:
not beautiful because you said so
but beautiful because
i am me.

Don’t really wanna be your girl? Just wanna belong to me? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)
carolrossettidesign:

Vanessa!

"Vanessa is asexual. Most people don’t get it at all, and say she just hasn’t ‘tried it properly’. 
"It’s ok, Vanessa. You don’t have to love in a way that doesn’t match your identity. Love doesn’t happen the same way to everybody!"
We LOVE Carol Rossetti’s designs! 

carolrossettidesign:

Vanessa!

"Vanessa is asexual. Most people don’t get it at all, and say she just hasn’t ‘tried it properly’. 

"It’s ok, Vanessa. You don’t have to love in a way that doesn’t match your identity. Love doesn’t happen the same way to everybody!"

We LOVE Carol Rossetti’s designs! 

[Cartoon image of a pink narwhal with speech bubble: “My body is not yours to comment on.”]

[Cartoon image of a pink narwhal with speech bubble: “My body is not yours to comment on.”]

themidwifeisin:

I get a lot of questions about sexual desire, pleasure, and orgasm.  I thought I’d try compiling them all and answering them all at once.  [Disclaimer: I reference a lot of other articles in this post, and most of them talk about “women” and “female” like they’re the same thing, or like cis women are the only people reading the article.  Sorry.  I wish I could change the language, but the information is good so I still want you to have access to it.]

  1. What is an orgasm?  What does it feel like?  How will I know that I’ve had one?  An orgasm is the cumulation of sexual pleasure and tension in the pelvic muscles that ends in a release of the tension.  Every single orgasm, even for the same person, will feel different.  This can be because of the person we’re with, the things we’re thinking about, how high or drunk or tired we are.  Some will be mind-blowing, some will be no big deal.  Read more here.
    Please read this article about how to figure out if you’ve had an orgasm.
    Learn about the body during a female orgasm.
  2. Why can’t I orgasm during penetration?  Most vagina-owners cannot.  Kind of a bummer, right?  Especially since we’ve seen all of these movies and tv shows where there’s soft sexy bodies rubbing and thrusting and then WOW BOOM BAM KABLAM ORGASM MANIA.  Not so in real life.  Some people do orgasm vaginally, and that’s awesome.  But if it doesn’t happen for you, no stress.  It’s something you and your partner (or your vibrator) can work on, and if it doesn’t happen, that’s fine, since there are tons of other ways to orgasm.  A combination of clitoral and vaginal stimulation works the best for most people.  That can be fingers on the clitoris plus penis in the vagina or vibrator in the vagina plus mouth on the clitoris or dildo in the vagina plus vibrator on the clitoris - the possibilities are endless.
    Try these techniques.
  3. What is “squirting” or “female ejaculation”? Why can’t I do it? Squirting is the term for what happens during orgasm when people with vaginas release clear, non-odorous, non-urine fluid from the body.  It can happen at the height of the orgasm or before.    The Skene’s Glands open up either to tiny holes around the urethra (where pee comes out) or into the urethra itself.  That is often why it may feel like peeing during Squirting.  You can stimulate the Skene’s glands by inserting one or more fingers into the vagina with your palm facing the ceiling and stroking gently at 11 and 1 o’clock, if you imagine the opening of the vagina to be a clock.
    Read more here.
    7 Ways to know if you’re peeing or squirting.
    With Pleasure.
  4. Why am I so dry during sex?  Is it normal to be dry during sex?  Vaginal lubrication during sex comes from stimulation and arousal.  If you’re not aroused, it is easy to be dry, which can lead to discomfort during penetration.  One suggestion is to get yourself more aroused before penetration either by orgasm through vibrator, oral sex, fingering etc before penetration, or by watching porn or reading erotic fiction.  You can also continue to use a vibrator during sex to help you continue to remain aroused.  Use lube.  Use lots and lots of lube.  There are always times when you’re not at 100% aroused but you still want to have sex, or maybe you’re aroused but you still want to be good to your vagina - use lube.  Lube is great, and it helps you to protect the fragile tissue that makes up the vagina.  I labored for years under the false assumption that having to use lube meant I wasn’t a good enough woman, or that I wasn’t a good enough vagina, or something.  I don’t know.  It meant I wasn’t good enough.  But then I realized how absolutely absurd that is!  Lube is fun, it’s sexy, it’s comfortable.  Use it all you like, no matter the situation.  People love to feel wet and to feel that their partner is wet.  But what if that’s not a problem?  I’m 100% aroused and I still dry out really quickly during sex?  Then maybe it’s time to check in with your provider.  There could be a few things going on, and one of them is that when people have vaginal infections like yeast infections or Bacterial Vaginosis, sex can be quite painful for them.  See if that’s going on, and whether it is or not, you can get more information about your body from your provider.
  5. Should sex be painful?  No. No no no no no.  Sex should not be painful, unless you’re in a consensual BDSM relationship in which that is part of your sex play.  If it is painful (the first time or following times), stop.  You can say to your partner, “Wait, this is really uncomfortable right now.  I really want to have sex with you, so let’s do something to make this more comfortable.  How do you feel about going down on me/using a vibrator with me/talking dirty/role play/etc?”  Most of the time, your partner will be just as into it as you, since it is really sexy to make your partner feel good.  If your partner isn’t interested, you can either continue the conversation or say, “Ok, that’s fine.  I think I’m going to wait to have sex with you though, until it’s more comfortable for me.  Let’s try this again tomorrow.”  Or whatever is comfortable to you to say in that situation.
    More about consent.
    Consent is sexy.
    Demystifying Painful Intercourse
    Help for guys who don’t want to have painful sex.

So let’s go over the things we’ve learned here.

  • Orgasms are different for everyone.  They take practice, relaxation, and fun.
  • Use lube.  Use it all the time.  Buy it in bulk.
  • Squirting is fun, it can happen for most people with practice.
  • Try not to get frustrated when things don’t work out right away in your sex life.  Give it time, open yourself up to pleasure.
  • Sex should not be painful.
  • Consent is sexy.

Ok friends, good forth and have fun, sexy, consensual sex!