Archive | February, 2012

Single Women And The Absence Of Contraceptives

21 Feb

Even in today’s society, with all of its medical and scientific advancements, many women still fail to use contraception. The use of contraception can help reduce the risk of STD/STIs and prevent many unwanted pregnancies, yet it falls by the wayside for many women. There are many factors that go into a woman’s decision on why she chooses not to use a form of contraception.

Many women’s religious beliefs forbid the use of contraception. They are told that sexual intercourse is only for the production of children, therefore they do not need to use methods against childbirth. They are however permitted to use the “rhythm method” or cycle beads. These forms rely on counting days or beads to determine fertile days. These methods are highly unreliable because women’s cycles change and are not the same amount of days each month.

There can also be societal factors that would make them uncomfortable talking, let alone, seeking out, contraception. Some women can be embarrassed when it comes to talking about sex and then there is also the fear of rejection from their partner. Many men are guilty of trying to talk their way out of wearing a condom with excuses like “if you loved me you would let me without one”, “I just don’t want anything between us”, and “I’ll pull out.’

There is also the notion that many women do not know the wide breadth of contraception options there are out there. For many, the only type of sex education they have received has been abstinence only sex education which only mentions abstaining from sex to avoid pregnancy. They also may be in an area where they cannot access contraception.

Also, some women, and men, operate under the “superman complex” and don’t feel the need to take steps to protect themselves against STD/STI’s and pregnancy because “it can’t happen to them.”

Respect your sexuality and sexual health. Take some time out to evaluate what works for you. Get educated, ask questions, and find out which method fits your lifestyle the best. Have fun, be safe, and when it comes to sex, everything is OK here.

Sex, Drugs, and You

17 Feb

Many of us have heard the saying “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll” before, but is that actually what the cool kids are doing? I mean it sounds like fun, right? Many people consume alcohol or drugs to help them relax, feel more confident, or less inhibited, but is that a safe mix? Different substances can affect the way you operate in sexual situations and may make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. It can land you in compromising situations like having unprotected sex or nonconsensual sex. Here are a few substances, legal and controlled, and what their sexual side effects can be.

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is a depressant. Many equate its effects to being an aphrodisiac or an “ice breaker” because it is known to lower inhibitions. Alcohol consumption thins the blood and can reduce muscle coordination. People react to alcohol consumption in different ways that can range from a happy feeling to combative. In large amounts, alcohol can cause blacking out, poisoning, vomiting, and even death. Some men are unable to achieve an erection or ejaculate depending on how much they have consumed, colloquially known as “liquor dick”. People who find themselves inebriated will sometimes engage in risky sex behaviors like unprotected sex.

Marijuana is unique in the sense that it acts both as a stimulant and a depressant. The receptors in the brain that control pleasure and muscles have a high density of cannibinoid receptors. The body becomes more relaxed under the influence of this drug. Users may have a higher propensity to engage in sexual activity that would not ordinarily do without concern for pregnancy of potential STD/STI exposure. This is from the euphoric feeling that comes over them due to the high. Both men and women have reported an increase in both sexual desire and enjoyment while under the influence, as well as an increase in tactile sensation. Many also report that an increase in orgasm intensity is noticeable as well.

Cocaine is a stimulant. It creates an intense high where users can feel an increase in energy, alertness and sexual intensity. There is an increase in heart rate and respiration. Because this is a short lived high, users may have a craving to do more of the drug to sustain their high. Due to its euphoric properties, users have reported an increase in sexual pleasure and satisfaction when engaging in sexual activities while under the influence.

Amyl nitrate, or “poppers”, is an inhaled substance that is used to increase sexual sensation. Its effects on the body are short lived but very intense. It has been purported to be an aphrodisiac due to its vasodilatory effects on the body. It can cause flushing over the body and an involuntary relaxation of the muscles, especially those of the anal sphincter. It also has slightly euphoric properties. Persons using this drug can expect to have an increased heart rate and sometimes shortness of breath.

The details of the sexual effects of these substances were not intended to entice you to use them; rather, inform you of potential situations you could get yourself in. Remember that sane, consensual and safer sex are of utmost importance in keeping you healthy sexually. Respect your sexuality and try to make the best decisions that you can. And when it comes to sex, everything is OK here.

Condom 101: Wrap It Up

1 Feb

Not only is February Black History Month, it is National Condom month as well!

Condoms have been around for the past 400 years and their basic intention is still the same; prevent disease and pregnancy. Now while earlier models were made from things like animal entrails and linen, today’s products are made with latex, polyurethane, and some still with animal membranes. Not all condoms are created equal, so try different kinds until you find the one that works for you.

Latex is probably the most popular condom material and it has amazing elastic properties. Drawbacks to using latex condoms come from people who have a latex allergy or when the condoms are combined with oil based lubricants which can compromise the condom and cause breakage. Stick to water-based or silicone lubricants.

Polyurethane is another type of condom material. It is thinner than latex and can conduct body heat better, giving the wearer a more “natural” feel. All lubricants, including oil based ones, can be used with this type of condom.

Animal membrane condoms are commonly known as “lambskin” condoms. The name is a misnomer because the condoms are actually made from sheep’s’ intestines. Unlike latex and polyurethane condoms, animal membrane condoms do NOT protect against most STD/STI’s, including HIV. Because this is a natural material, there are holes in the membranes that are large enough to allow in viruses, but small enough to stop sperm, which are larger.

Condoms can also come in different varieties as well. Some may be studded or ribbed to add additional external pleasure to the receiver. Some are flavored which can be beneficial because many find the taste of unflavored condoms unpalatable. Some may be colored, glow in the dark, or come in different sizes.

Speaking of size, men, be honest with yourselves and buy the right kind for you. As you know, penises come in many shapes and sizes. Some men do need to wear larger sized condoms because their penises do not fit in average sized ones. They run the risk of breaking the condom due to the tight fit and friction. Not to mention, it can be very uncomfortable wearing an overly tight condom. You want the fit to be snug, not strangled. Now at the same time, men with average sized men should not use the larger size condoms because it won’t properly stay on their penis and could potential slip off into their partner.

Here are some tips the next time you reach for your love glove-

  • Don’t keep condoms in your wallet. The constant pressure, rubbing, and friction can compromise the condom and lead to breakage.
  • Don’t open it with your teeth! Open it with your hands and save the teeth for elsewhere.
  • Only put a condom on an erect penis.
  • Use a new condom for every act of intercourse. If you’re doing PA and want to switch to PV, grab a new one.
  • Keep condoms at room temperature. Extreme temperatures can also compromise the condoms integrity.
  • After ejaculation and before the penis goes soft, hold the base of the condom and carefully pull out of your partner ensuring that no semen spills out.

Condom Brands that I recommend are

Durex – www.durex.com

Lifestyles – www.lifestyles.com

MAXPRO – www.maxprocondom.com

Trojan  – www.trojancondoms.com

Sensis – www.sensiscondoms.com

And if you reside in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, or Tennessee, you can find condoms and more at your local Cirillas store. Shop 24/7 at www.cirillas.com

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite “not for television” condom commercials and as always, when it comes to sex, everything is OK here.