I have to head to work in about 12 minutes, but I wanted to get this post up and off the ground because there’s a chance I’ll be pulling a Ke$ha and leaving for the night (I ain’t comin’ back).
& First of all, despite my not having a Facebook page for the blog (good idea? bad idea?), I absolutely love the ideas from Kira’s post on Her New Leaf about fan-only content.
& Kara of I Just Might Explode and Stuff Kara Made blows my mind. Check out her shop, her 40 before 20 list (which she completed, because she’s a badass), and her classes, if you want some awesome to brush off on you.
& For some reason, I’m always skeptical of low-priced products touted as “high quality”, but I think I might have to make an exception for Ladygasm’s Cici, which is currently on sale for $25. Ladygasm makes their own line of silicone toys and I have to say, they’re really unique. The clitoral stimulator on Cici has little nubbies, which have made me kind of obsessed with it. (Also, remember my love MiMi? Obviously I must own Cici.)
& I really can’t take any credit for locating Laura of Wrapped Up In Rainbows, since she followed me on Twitter and I was like, “Oooh, Rainbows you say?” Just the first few posts on her home page right now include: VW camper vans, ice cream, and a super simple DIY apron tutorial. If you want anything more than that, I just don’t understand you at all.
& All this week, I’ve spent basically every free second reading Epiphora’s sex toy reviews. The woman knows what she likes and she is not afraid to be blunt. Some day, I hope to have amassed the toy knowledge and collection that she has!
So apparently retail is a danger to your health and well-being. Not like, shopping, but working in retail. But actually, it’s probably just my weak-ass immune system, which essential works about 70% of the time. If there’s something going around, I will come down with it. My throat hurts like the dickens.
Luckily for you, this means I’ve had plenty of time to sit in bed looking for Sunday links! Hoorah!
& Throwback: This guest post by Kyla Roma on My Girl Thursday was one of the first posts I read about starting a blog and how to do it your way.
& As you probably know, I love all things Instagram. I’m an Instawhore. Ergo, I was completely giddy when Gala posted Ten Ways to Make Your Instagram Photos Pop, because Gala ‘grams with the best of ‘em.
& I’m always freaking out over being “an adult” – mind you, I have a Hello Kitty toaster and received an Easter basket this year – and the blog Adulting makes it so much easier. If you feel underprepared to be an adult, go. There are tons of tips on everyday things life throws at you that you will need to take care of because mum & dad are no longer responsible for you.
& Stela always posts amazing tutorials on her blog Stelabird; one of my favorites is this zippered mini pouch. Also, she’s a small business owner, so she automatically gets +500 cool points.
& Have you been following Sarah’s 6 Weeks to a Better Blog series? I’m addicted!
I think the rest of today will be spent cleaning and shopping at H&M. I’m in major need of some new summer dresses and skirts, and I’ve noticed that my old clothes just don’t fit my body like they used to. Instead of cramming myself into them and feeling awkward and guilty, I think I’m going to try shopping for my new hips instead. (I gained about 7lb this year, and it all settled on the hips, boobs, and butt… I’m counting myself lucky!) Anyone else in need of a seasonal wardrobe update?
Two sex-related posts in a row? Have I gone mad? Probably. But I’m still gonna do it. Mwahaha.
Did you know, before I have sex with any new partner, I ask them if they’ve recently been tested? You probably didn’t know that, unless we’re friends or we’ve had sex, but yeah, it’s true!
I’ve actually been tested after every partner and before every new partner. Because my school provides free (!!) testing, it’s super easy for me to get discreet test results. My parents don’t see them, and they call me personally on my cell and don’t leave voicemails about my vagina being all nice ‘n healthy. If you have such services at your college or university, what are you waiting for? You get swabbed or pee in a cup or have an eensy bit of blood drawn and shebang – back to banging!
If you don’t have access to a uni health center, you can definitely check out Planned Parenthood. If you have health insurance, see what’s covered under your plan. There may also be a free clinic in your area that will test for free or cheap. There are dozens of ways and places to get tested, and it can all be done very privately.
Why am I such a stickler? I love all ‘em reproductive organs all up in my body! I love my brain, too! But syphilis! Gonorrhea! Crabs! HPV! I don’t love those!
“But Sarah, it’s so awkward to be like, ‘Hey, I really want you in me but first, can we please talk about the health of your penis?’” Why, yes, dear reader, it can be. (An interjection: yes, condoms do protect against STDs. But because it’s not a 100% guarantee (some skin is still exposed, after all), I still bring it up. Every time.) I like to start by saying, “I’m kind of a stickler about my health, so I promise you, this isn’t personal. I would really like for us both to get tested, unless you’ve recently been tested and you know you’re clean.” My honest opinion? Anyone who can’t react positively to something like that is not someone I want to be sleeping with! I’ve honestly had that sentiment work with several past partners, and they were all very kind about it.
To be completely honest, I have an IUD, so if I’m in a committed monogamous relationship, I don’t insist on condoms. When I was on the pill, I still did, but of course that’s up to you and your partner(s) and your gyno. I’m definitely not here to give out medical advice! But, when sleeping with a new partner, it’s definitely no glove, no love over here.
I’m not going to try to scare you with statistics. I have a love/hate relationship with statistics anyway. But, if you respect your body, yourself, and your partner, you should get tested. It’s not shameful – it’s healthy. It doesn’t mean you’re a tramp (and remember, we don’t slutshame here) – it means you’re informed.
Good luck. Go get ‘em, tiger.
Safe & sexy,
I thought it might be time that I addressed why I started this blog, and why I’ve chosen to take it in this direction. I’ve seen some more readers around recently (welcome! thank you all!), and I want to start the dialogue. This certainly won’t be the last time I post on this topic!
Recently, a friend and former colleague of mine, a gentleman probably slightly older than my father, asked me what I wanted to do after college. I told him that I planned on opening a female-friendly sex toy boutique here in Pittsburgh, and I really didn’t anticipate his reaction: he told me he thought we needed that, and that I could do some serious good in people’s lives. I was extremely touched. He told me that he felt we sometimes (or often) mishandled sex in the way that we talk to younger people. I don’t want to give too many details on our conversation, because he has a right to privacy and a right for our former employers not to know his thoughts on the subject, but he really got me thinking.
I’ve been very blessed to grow up in both a tolerantly religious household, and a sex-positive one. When my parents gave me “the talk”, they stressed that they hoped I would choose to have sex first with someone I cared about, and someone who cared about me. They were very level-headed, and answered all of my questions. Still today, I know that I can be open with them. Not everyone grows up in an environment like this. I have a lot of friends who never had “the talk,” whose parents shut those lines of communication, and who had to rely on friends, who were sometimes misinformed. Sex ed where I went to school was a joke. Because so many schools practice abstinence-only education, we leave sex education in the hands of parents, many of whom also drop the ball. What are we teaching them? That sex isn’t to be talked about.
Then comes the real kicker: you can view sex, but you can’t talk about it. Pornography is so popular and so easily accessible. Even more easily accessible, I would say, than a solid sex education. There’s a lot wrong with that. It is a sad state of affairs. I’m personally someone who doesn’t see anything wrong with pornography as a general concept (yes, it is sad that it can become an addiction, and yes, there are varieties of porn that ought not exist), but I do see something wrong with it being easier to find than correct information about sex. This is why, a few posts ago, I posted a link to Scarleteen. I trust their information, and I think everyone, especially those 18 and under, should have ready access to information like this.
So why me? I’m the girl in my group of friends, at my place of work, who can talk about anything with anyone. I am so hard to make uncomfortable. I talk frankly with my friends about birth control, sex positions, sex acts, toys… you name it, I’ve probably discussed it. I just don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with two people discussing sex. It’s not dirty, it’s not shameful. It’s something you do, and the less you talk about it, the more you turn it into this taboo. The less you talk about it, the less information gets out. Kids who don’t talk about sex aren’t going to not have sex – they’re not going to have safe sex!
So, I’m here to talk to you, because you’re all my friends, about sex. Because there’s nothing wrong with being a girl who likes sex. If you’re a sexual being, you should like sex! It doesn’t matter how many people you choose to have sex with, when you choose to have sex, or with whom you choose to have sex. As long as it’s consensual and safe, I think you should rock on. I don’t believe in slut shaming, and I don’t believe in making up rules about what’s right for other people. I only hope, for you, that your sex life is as fulfilling as can be, whatever that means to you.
If you want to discuss sex-positivity in my comments, I’d love that.
Safe & sexy,