Posts Tagged ‘sex education’

CatalystCon East, 2013

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I spent Thursday through Sunday in Arlington, VA, and Washington, DC, for CatalystCon. So, what is CatalystCon?

CatalystCon is an awesome conference held on the East and West coasts for sex educators of all kinds. I saw everyone from Tristan Taormino to college freshmen, and everyone was there to talk about sexual health, education, and pleasure. If you’re interested, you should see if you can make it to CCon West, or consider volunteering for CCon East next year. (As a volunteer, my conference pass was free.)

Before the conference officially began on Friday night, I went to Tristan’s Sex Educator Boot Camp, and it was amazing. I didn’t know that one person could talk for 4 hours and keep my notoriously short attention span working.

After Boot Camp, I finally met my friends from SheVibe, and Sandra kept bringing vodka cranberries back for me so the night began to get a little fuzzy… Side note: As an introvert, I really needed time away from the conference to recharge, so I spent Friday night in my hotel room, ordering gyros and watching Drag Race with Steve.

Saturday was a blur. Besides sessions, I got lunch with Epiphora and some new friends, finally saw Lilly for more than five seconds, and stuck my hand in Ducky DooLittle’s glory hole during Dirty Bingo. (I got bingo! But I was the second to shout it. So sad.)

Now, I’m not good at goodbyes, so when Sunday rolled around I went to the sessions I volunteered for and then booked it out of the hotel. By the end of any high-impact weekend, I’m in major need of time to myself. But I did get to attend a talk on what became a pretty heated topic: Fifty Shades of Grey. I could write an entire post on my thoughts from that panel, and eventually I will, but today is not that day.

Thank you to Dee Dennis, the Evil Slut Clique, and others in the Girl Gang for making CCon a reality, and thank you so much, SheVibe, for sending me to Boot Camp!

Also, I’m having some issues with my posting – I can’t seem to get the visual editor to work – so links right now are MIA. Help, anyone?

What a Weekend

I’m back from Catalyst Con, and my blog is back from the abyss! …Sort of.


This past weekend I went to Arlington, VA, to CatalystCon, a convention for sex educators. The awesome thing about this conference was that literally everyone was represented: adult film stars, academics, social workers, psychologists, relationship coaches, bloggers, heads of the adult toy industry… It was incredible! Expect a full write-up later this week.


The bad news is that sometime last week, my old hosting at iPage expired. I was under the impression that I had completely moved my blog over to my new hosting with HostGator back in October. Like really, I thought I moved the whole damn thing. Nope! Just kidding! You’re fucked! Luckily, I had made a backup. Unfortunately, that backup was from November 2012. So I lost everything from the past several months.

I’d like to sincerely apologize to my sponsors for losing almost a week’s worth of advertising, and to my readers. I’m most frustrated because I feel like I’ve come such a long way in my writing and my knowledge base in the past few months, and now it’s lost. I definitely plan to work this week on rebuilding, rewriting, and reposting my content. Hopefully I won’t lose too many readers in the process.

If anyone has any suggestions for how to recover anything, please, I would love to hear them!

If You’re Tested and You Know It, Clap Your Hands

Hi pretties.

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,

Sarah

My, my, Mimi.

Hi pretties.

If you read any part of my What’s the Buzz? series, you know that I’m a big fan of the toys from Je Joue.  Je Joue is a luxury toy brand and while their toy repertoire is a bit sparse, the quality is amazing.  Each toy is waterproof, rechargeable, and made of seamless or near-seamless silicone.  The silicone is buttery smooth, and has little to no drag.  Mine doesn’t have a problem of attracting hair or other fibers, either, which is kind of a gross-out that I’ve read about with some silicone toys.  No such issues here!

Before I plonked down a decent sum of cash on Mimi (retail cost: $90), I did as much research as possible.  I found several fantastic reviews on Babeland, EdenFantasys, and independent sex toy review blogs.  Mimi is a very popular lady!  And, I discovered, with good reason.

I did read that Mimi’s buttons can be difficult to push.  If you have larger fingers or long fingernails, you might have a problem, but I honestly did not notice an issue at all.  I thought the buttons were easy enough to press, even without moving the toy once it was doing its thing.

Speaking of doing its thing, Mimi has 5 vibration settings and 5 patterns.  Even as a girl not usually impressed with patterns, I found Mimi’s strong enough and varied enough that the patterns actually did seem to add something to the toy, where I usually think they’re just filler.  To turn Mimi on and cycle through the vibrations and patterns, you press the + button; to turn Mimi off, you press and hold the – button.  Very simple and intuitive, in my opinion, and a quick way to turn off a toy is always appreciated in my book.

Mimi’s vibrations are really, impressively strong for a small toy.  I can comfortably hold Mimi in my hand at several different angles, because the toy has a few surfaces from which the vibrations emanate.  The first level of vibration is really more of a tease – I’ve personally found 3-4 to be a “sweet spot.”  Levels 3 and 4 are substantially stronger than bargain bullets, but I personally found level 5 to be a little bit too strong.  Power queens would probably love it, though.  Sometimes, it’s a bit annoying to have to cycle through if I accidentally click past 4, but the patterns are enjoyable enough that it’s not going to kill my mood.

One of my favorite things about Mimi is that I’ll never have to deal with batteries.  Mimi takes a few hours to charge, and I have heard that you ought to charge Mimi after about 3-4 hours of use, but mine has not died yet.  Mimi charges through a charging cable that magnetically connects to the + and – buttons, keeping with the seamlessness of the toy.

Conclusion: Over all, I would give Mimi a 4.5/5.  The only thing I dislike is having to cycle through every option without being able to just go back.  Like I said, it’s not a dealbreaker, but it would certainly make for a better toy if it were an option.  Mimi is an awesome toy for anyone looking for a luxury clitoral vibrator complete with bells & whistles.

Why I’m Sex-Positive

Hi pretties.

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,

Sarah

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