If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: http://fyseq.tumblr.com/ask, though check out http://fuckyeahsexeducation.tumblr.com/FAQ!
A new survey of black, white and Latino youth in the US on LGBT activism has shown a sharp divide over the prioritising of different LGBT issues between racial groups.
Inserting a cup shouldn’t be much more uncomfortable than using a tampon. However, if you aren’t comfortable reaching into your vagina to insert and pull it out, this is probably not the best option for you. It may feel a little strange the first time, but generally it shouldn’t hurt.
Not having had penetrative sex doesn’t impact you ability to use a cup, in fact many menstrual cups come in smaller sizes for those who haven’t had penetrative sex or who just haven’t had children. If you end up deciding to purchase one, shop around for different sizes from different brands, (for example many people report that even the DivaCup’s smaller size runs larger than other cups).
Lunette also has some great tips for teens/people who haven’t had penetrative sex which include instructions on inserting a cup for the first time:
Tips for first time insertion
- Relax and take your time: Choose alone time when you can focus without distractions or interruptions. Perhaps after a warm bath when you are relaxed. If you are too nervous, the vaginal muscles will tighten, making it uncomfortable, if not impossible, for successful insertion.
- Get Acquainted with yourself: It is always a good idea to know your own body. Take some time to locate the vaginal opening and even insert a finger to locate your cervix. It feels exactly like the tip of your nose. Knowing where your cervix is will help you to position the cup properly and not insert it too high.
- Practice during your period: The vagina is more flexible and the blood works as a lubricant. OR …
- Take a “dry run” before your period: You might be more comfortable practicing before your period if you feel squeamish about touching blood. In this case, use water as a lubricant.
- Try different folds that accentuate the insertion point: Most women use the typical C-fold. However, there are many ways to fold a Lunette. The video here will show you nine different folds.
- Proper insertion direction: Be aware that the direction of insertion needs to be aimed towards the small of your back — not straight up.
- Be patient: Know that it may take several times before you are successful. If you begin without the expectation of perfect insertion, you are more likely to be relaxed and pleasantly surprised when success happens.
- Assess the stem: Once inserted, you will need to decide whether or not to keep the stem. If it protrudes, it will be uncomfortable. In this case, you likely won’t need the stem and can trim it off. However, if not, you may need it to assist with removal.
Course Description This course explores the historiography of gender and sexuality in Africa. Through reading a selection of classic and recent works, seminar participants will engage some of the c…
Hey there anon - That sounds super rough. Sorry to hear it. As you seem to have found out, there’s not that much information specifically about clitorodynia out there. I’ll go through the things I have been able to find, but you might think about searching out a specialist in your area. You can google “vulvovaginal specialists” or even just “vulvodynia specialist” + the name of your town to see if there are any nearby. Treating issues like cliterodynia takes a little bit of art, and even though your Ob-Gyn might know the appropriate steps to treatment, they might not have the finesse necessary to give you the time and energy a full treatment entails.
Vulvodynia is defined as “vulvar discomfort, most often described as burning pain, occurring in the absence of relevant visible findings or a specific, clinically identifiable disease.”
Clitorodynia is essentially the same as vulvodynia but localized to pain in the clitoris.
Vulvodynia can be generalized (affecting the entire vulva) or localized (specific to one location, like clitorodynia); provoked (happens with touch) or unprovoked (happens at any time).
It is very important to have comprehensive testing done to look for other factors before beginning with vulvodynia treatment, since most treatments for vulvar/clitoral pain include masking the pain instead of curing the underlying ailment.
Non-medicinal steps to begin with:
- Avoid: Use of scented products, dyes, chemicals, or contactants directly on the vulva or on clothing that touches the vulva; tight, synthetic, or uncomfortable clothing; abrasive activities, such as biking or horseback riding, daily use of mini-pads
- Try: Hydration through 5- to 10-minute sitz baths in comfortable warm water two times daily followed by application of a thin film of petroleum jelly to seal in the moisture. Avoid prolonged, hot soaks.
- Try: keeping a gel pack in the fridge or freezer to wrap in a soft cloth for applying to the vulva to soothe burning.
- Visit: a (sex) therapist to find support for this chronic pain.
- Eliminate: acidic or stimulating foods from diet if you also experience urinary symptoms (burning with urination). For example: tomatoes, alcohol, foods with citric acid, chocolate, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and spices.
- Consider: discontinuing your hormonal birth control.
- Accept: that this is going to be a long journey. I’m sorry. It’s going to take a while for any of these or the following treatments to make a difference.
- Combine: any of the following medicinal treatments with pelvic floor therapy, acupuncture, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and massage therapy.
- Lidocaine gel: can be applied directly to the location of the pain. Numbs the area. May be applied up to 6 times a day.
- Estrogen/testosterone creme: If the pain was related to hormonal birth control, discontinue the use of hormonal birth control and use a topical estradiol 0.03% & testosterone 0.1% creme. Expect results with 12+ weeks of use.
- Gabapentin, amitriptyline, ketoprofen, or ketamine: these gels are not available commercially but the pharmacy may be able to make them for you in order to avoid the side effects that the oral medications can cause.
- Capsacin: The results are unclear with this - some people have good results using this and others cannot tolerate it. Capsacin is the burning ingredient in hot peppers. The general theory is that you apply this burning solution to your vulva and allow it to burn (like getting hot peppers in your eyes) until it essentially burns out the pain receptors.
- Botox: Just like in your face, the paralytic botox can be used for some forms of vulvodynia. There is not extensive research, though the articles that do exist show good results. It is expensive an rarely covered by insurance.
- Lubrication: silicone lubricants are excellent for any form of penetration, assuming the pain is being managed by another treatment at the same time.
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Desipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, has been shown to be helpful for localized provoked pain, but was no better than lidocaine or placebo in studies. However, I wonder if it would be helpful to double up on both Desipramine and lidocaine? Nortriptyline is another.
- Gabapentin: a medication that manages nerve pain. Don’t expect to see results until you have been using the medication for at least 3 months.Must be weaned off.
- Pregabalin: Similar medication to gabapentin. Can be taken less often, but may have more side effects.
- Venlafaxine & Duloxetine: SSRIs (antidepressants) that work for some patients. Both have many drug interactions and side effects. Must be weaned off.
Long term treatments:
- Nerve block: Like with getting lidocaine in your jaw for the dentist, a nerve block is an injection of numbing medication into the nerve that is located where you have pain. It can be done by an anesthesiologist, and should be repeated over a series of weeks. Some people experience complete relief, others have good relief, and some have no relief.
- Surgery: This includes either the permanent block of the nerves of the pelvis or a removal of the part of the vulva that has pain. This is a method of last result, and does not often work.
Q: How do I become a Doula?
There are a few organizations that give doula certifications. What I’d do is research your area for doulas, doula organizations, birthing centers, midwife organizations, or doula training. It can be difficult to find training in your area and it can be costly to go all over the place to try and find the right training. For example, there’s a doula organization in my town and a birthing center in the next town over. I follow both of them on facebook and other social media so I found out there was a DONA International training in the next town over later this year. I then went to the DONA International website and found a list of things you need to do get certification through them:
(http://www.dona.org/PDF/Birth+Doula_steps+to+cert_website_07-13.pdf) From there I just went down the list and found a free nursing class online that counted, I got in touch with multiple local places that do birting classes and found one that was DONA certified and that they’d let me participate for free. If you need any help finding natural birthing/midwife/doula resources in your area I’d be happy to search for you.
Some Doulas are able to work without certification, in my town this would be really difficult and certification opens up many different resources like working with the birthing center.
A Buyer’s Guide: First Time Buying Condoms
The first time you buy condoms, it can be somewhat of a confusing ordeal because without being fully informed, it’s hard to know which condom is right for you and your partner.
Take this info, ladies and gents. Safe sex regardless of genitalia or gender identity is so very important.
One of the reasons I decided to become a doula is the parallel I saw in my work as a sex educator and the myths I dispel about sex and issues that I work on and childbirth and the myths that need dispelling and the issues that need working on.
Especially with my work talking about painful sex, how to cope, and how to treat conditions that can cause painful sex a lot of these same coping strategies and treatments are the same or similar as treating and relieving pain during a natural birth. Just like fear and misinformation about sex causes the muscles to clamp down and make things painful the fear and misinformation about childbirth does the same thing.
It’s like I’ve already been a sex doula, and as I learn more and more about being a birth doula it further affirms the similarities of the work I’ve spent the last several years doing and the work I’m doing now and plan to do in the future.