dizzy

I'm a down-to-earth, no-nonsense, straight-talking sex toy and nature geek. When not testing sex toys and writing reviews, I can be found caring for the flora and fauna around my home. I don't sugarcoat the truth and my honesty sometimes gets me in trouble. I am determined to educate the world about the vulva. I expect it won't be long until I'm known as the vulva police.

Sep 182017
 

It was a complete surprise when one day, the Fun Factory Fun Cup Explore Kit showed up in my mailbox. I’ve been interested in menstrual cups and have heard/read a lot of opinions about them. As luck would have it though, I currently have no need for menstrual products otherwise, I would have kept these for myself.

So, I asked Fun Factory if I could run a giveaway for the kit and they liked the idea. I would really love it if the winner of the Fun Cup Explore Kit would write a short review about their experience with it, to be published on this site. If you have your own blog, I’ll definitely include links and a bio if you’d like.

Obviously, I can’t force anyone to do this but I think it would be great to get someone’s opinion on the Fun Cups since, I can’t really give my own. There will be a mandatory entry option that says you agree to write a short review. We’re on the honor system here because the winner could always decide not to but I hope they will.

Terms:
This giveaway is open to the US, UK, CA and AU. Winner will be responsible for any customs or other fees. I will be shipping the prize to the winner. I will contact the winner by email and you will have 3 days to respond otherwise, a new winner will be drawn. Must be 18+ to enter. Giveaway ends 10/18 11:59PM EST

Fun Factory

Fun Factory Fun Cup Explore Kit Giveaway

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Feb 042017
 
Women's March

Credit: NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/if-women-s-march-was-beginning-resistance-what-s-next-n711031

At 5am, my alarm went off. I was tired and annoyed, but I worked my way down the side of the bed and off the bottom. I did my best not to disturb my boyfriend, but he woke up anyway and kissed me. “Good bye. Stay safe. Have fun.”

I was going to the Women’s March in person. I’d heard about it less than two weeks before, and I didn’t understand it. However, I understood that history was being made, and more people were gathering than I had ever heard of. I didn’t know what to protest because there were so many things. Instead of over-planning and preparing my life, I packed some snacks into a hiking bag, put on my most comfortable shoes and went.

I got to the closest Metro station at 6:30 and I found a parking spot. I saw so many pink hats and angry women. I almost called them nasty, but I realized that I wasn’t there to protest Trump’s view of women. I wasn’t there as a woman even.

Every morning I wake up and ask myself “What’s my gender today?” I try out some pronouns in the mirror and choose clothing to see what fits. That morning, I simply walked out the door, knowing I was going to be a part of history and never asked why. I watched these women of purpose all over the train. Some with signs and some without. Some were in couples and others were with children. I saw men who looked like they might have voted for Trump holding signs that said “Impeach the Monster.” I scolded myself for judging people I didn’t know.

When I started talking to a couple from Indiana, they informed me that they didn’t know where to get off and I told them to follow me. Yvette and Belinda bought me coffee and offered numerous times to buy me a shirt, a hat, or breakfast. I said no to everything. I wasn’t there to protest, but I sure wasn’t there to get anything either. I was truly being nice for the sake of being nice.

Before we left the train, a girl came through handing out signs. She wasn’t white, but she smiled at me and I looked closely, wanting to pick a sign that felt right. After all, this whole day had been me following my instincts. In big, bold letters, I read “Black Lives Matter.” It felt right, and I carried it proudly from the metro while Yvette asked “Why did she give you THAT one?” I informed them that I chose it as soon as I saw it. Though I am white and ignorant, I am not close-minded. This was my instinct and it was right.

We walked from Union Station into the heart of Washington, D.C. I’ve walked along the Mall so many times in my life, but this time, my feet just took me where I needed them to. I couldn’t tell you what drove me towards the center of a crowd I would normally avoid. I couldn’t say why I stayed on the street instead of finding some grass. The map said 3rd and Independence. We managed to slide in through the side street to 4th.

I could see the stage in the middle of the block, next to the Native American museum. I watched as many folks from every walk got onto the stage and told me their stories. It all felt right. From the people pushing past me to get to the bathroom, to the stranger who stepped on my foot as she passed. I received a free hand-knitted hat from a kind human who had an extra. I was outfitted to protest, and I was angry.

Only, I still didn’t know what I was protesting. I woke up that morning not even knowing myself. What was I doing. I watched as one by one, every speaker told their personal stories. I made those stories my own. I listened. I walked down every road presented. And a song began, which honored the victims of excessive force by police officers. The anger that rises against the black community rose against so many and ended their lives. I held my sign as defiantly as I could as I shouted “Say their names.”

And I knew by then. I wasn’t there to protest. I was there to stand with those who shouldn’t stand alone. By choosing a sign that said “Black Lives Matter,” I made sure to cover a base so far away from myself that I could stand with everything between. I am angry and yes, I am nasty. I wasn’t there to protest Trump. He is just one person who serves as the catalyst for my anger. I was there to protest what has happened to fellow humans. Women of all kinds are being divided by phrases like “Pussy Power” and “Not My Vagina.” Human beings of all colors are being lost in the anger of my race.

I am woman. But I am also man. That is my nature. I am all the things between, and some things outside of those. I can only identify as white, but I can identify with others. I can see myself in the black man who was killed by police. I can stand with the Native American protecting her tribe. I can stand with the Palestinian-American who is just practicing a religion.

The injustices to them are injustices to my well-being. I cannot walk in their shoes, but I can and will imagine it every day. I can and will fight for their freedoms. My life is not filled with cis people. My life is not filled with white people. The diversity in this world creates a wonderful picture of color, where I see myself more clearly because I am surrounded by an outline of wonderful, diverse stories.

At the Women’s March, I learned who I am not. And because I could learn that, I finally learned who I need to stand with.

This post was written by Indigo Wolfe. Indigo is a genderfluid, demisexual human who enjoys adult toys, adult beverages, and adult situations. They review all of these things at their blog, Indigo is an Adult. Recently, they’ve found a love for educating others on sexuality, sexual health and sex, so they are now pursuing degrees and a career to help with those passions.

Huge thanks to PeepShow Toys for sponsoring this post and supporting That’s Not a Vagina – a blog with a great cause! All commissions earned through TNaV will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Please show PeepShow Toys some love and get your sex toys there. I sincerely appreciate the support that they give to the sex blogging community.

 Posted by at 10:11 pm
Jan 212017
 

I’ve been asking for submissions to TNaV for awhile now and have gotten some great posts. From the very beginning, I felt bad for not being able to compensate the bloggers as much as I wanted to. Being a blogger myself, I understand that our work has worth.

I also decided that all commissions I make from this site will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Not only because it’s for a great cause but I didn’t want bloggers contributing content that might lead to me making commissions. I also thought more bloggers would like to get behind this project if it ultimately benefited Planned Parenthood.

Still, the compensation I offered was really more a gesture of goodwill and I wanted to do more. So, I’ve set about asking the affiliates I feature on this site if they would like to sponsor guest posts by compensating the author with a $25 gift card. So far I’ve asked two companies and I’m thrilled that they said, yes! PeepShow Toys and Tantus have agreed to sponsor posts.

I’d like to get all the companies on board, that way each company only sponsors a post about every 5 months or so. Since I’m just launching this project, the first contributor would get their choice between a PeepShow Toys or Tantus gift card but going forward, each contributor would get a gift card from whichever company was next on the list (if more join). I do regret that I can’t make this retroactive for the folks who’ve already submitted posts. I hope ya’ll understand. But you’re more than welcome to submit content from this point on and get the gift card.

So pitch me your ideas! I’d love to feature educational posts, opinion pieces or, personal experiences about anything related to having a uterus, ovaries, vagina, vulva and all those things that make us awesome.

Update: Vibrant has agreed to sponsor posts, along with PeepShow Toys and Tantus, with a $25 gift card to the author!

 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Jan 022017
 

vulvasWhen I was taking my Intro to Psychology class in college, I had this really great professor. She was all about discovery-based interactive learning, doing projects and activities to figure things out instead of listening to someone lecture and taking notes. One day, we did an exercise about slang words. She divided us into small groups and told us that she was going to put some words up on the screen, one at a time. In our groups, we were to come up with as many synonyms as we could think of for each of the words. The words were things like “penis,” “testicles,” “vagina,” “breasts,” “menstruation.” The word “vulva” did not appear on the screen.

After we finished the exercise, the professor had us look at which words had the most synonyms as a class. “Testicles” won, intriguingly enough, and there were also a lot of slang terms for “breasts”. The professor asked us what we thought this might mean. Why do we need twelve or more different words or phrases to talk about testicles but only three or so for vaginas? Our professor talked about how as a general rule, when a culture values something highly, it comes up with lots of synonyms for that thing. If we’re going to talk about something a lot, we’re going to need words for formal, informal, rude, polite, familiar, and academic conversations. We want different words with varying connotations and nuances. Connotations can be crucial: “beautiful” and “attractive” might be listed as synonyms in the thesaurus, but if you’re talking about how aesthetically pleasing your dog is, only one of those words is going to be socially appropriate. Speaking of “beautiful,” we have a lot of synonyms for it because as a culture, we care a lot about aesthetics and we like beautiful things. My professor finished the exercise by saying “So one could say that we have a culture of tits and balls.”

Words are important because they are an indicator of what we value, and conversely, the words we have also shape our perception of the world around us. One other thing my professor pointed out is that bio-sex male humans also have breasts, and that our slang words made no acknowledgement of that fact. We don’t value the breasts of non-female humans very much, and our language reflects that. Perhaps more interestingly, the words we use can change the way we think. Not having words for the breasts of male persons means that we don’t think about them when we talk about breasts. If we have certain categories, we will place the things we come across into those categories. As our type, number, and definition of categories change, so does the way we view our world.

Here’s how I see our cultural reluctance to use the word “vulva.” Our culture doesn’t value the non-vagina parts of female genitals very highly, so we don’t talk about them much, especially outside of scientific contexts. Since we don’t talk about vulvas very often, we don’t come up with vulva-specific slang terms. Individuals don’t want to use scientific, academic language in situations where slang might be more comfortable (like, say, dirty talk or erotica), so they instead use slang words that are less accurate but more situationally appropriate. In doing so, they reinforce the idea that we shouldn’t use the word vulva, and that vulvas aren’t of value to the erotic conversation.

We can break the cycle. We can talk about vulvas. We can come up with cool slang words that specifically refer to vulvas. We can bring vulvas into our erotic discussions and insist that vulvas belong there. Words can shape our perceptions and our values, but our perceptions and values can also shape our words. If we value vulvas, we should talk about vulvas. If we talk about vulvas, we can shift our culture towards valuing vulvas, and by association, recognizing the inherent value of people with vulvas. That sounds like a world I want to live in.

Annamarie Myers is a sex blogger with lots of opinions about genitals, culture, words, sex toys, and tea. You can find her at annamarieinthemiddle.wordpress.com and on Twitter @myers_annamarie.

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Dec 272016
 

Perhaps you’ve seen the notice in my left sidebar or saw me tweeting about it but if not, I’d like to formally announce my plans for this site.

This site started out as sort of joke between sex bloggers, while also being educational. A few posts were published and then the site went dead for over a year, until I had an idea. What if other bloggers contributed content to the site? I don’t expect bloggers to work for free and I do offer a payment but it’s more a gesture of goodwill than anything else. I can’t afford a lot.

I’ve been openly asking on Twitter for folks to contribute articles and so far, I have gotten several really great posts. I’m hoping many more bloggers join in because I have bigger plans for this blog.

I intend to donate 100% of the commissions made through the links and banners on this blog. I know the notice in the sidebar says “a portion” and I need to change that (fixed) because I’ve decided that all of it should go to Planned Parenthood.

The banners and links on this blog are set up in a way that I can track the commissions that come from this site rather than my review site. Not all affiliate platforms make this an easy task so, I’m only adding the companies that use platforms that allow for easy tracking. I made one exception for PeepShow Toys and just created a separate account since their affiliate program doesn’t allow me to generate reports that show commissions earned from links with a tracking code.

My plan is, at the end of next year, I’ll see how much this blog has earned and I’ll donate it directly to Planned Parenthood… in Mike Pence’s name of course, even if he is VP. I’ll post a screen shot as proof of the donation. I’m nothing if not honest so believe me when I say, I won’t be keeping the money for myself.

How can you help? Well, if you’re shopping for sex toys or lube, you can clear your cookies, click on my banners and links and make your purchases. Clearing cookies ensures that this blog gets the commission. There is no additional cost to you.

You can also help by donating your time toward writing posts. As I said, there is a small payment but your content will be going toward the greater good. There are so many stories to be told and I don’t feel qualified to tell them all.

What sort of things can you write about? Anything related to vulvas, uteruses, vaginas, and all manner of women’s issues. Posts can be opinion pieces, educational, or personal experiences.

So, that pretty much sums it up. I would love to see this blog become a community resource and generate significant earnings to donate to Planned Parenthood. If you want to write something, just contact me.

 Posted by at 1:04 pm
Dec 262016
 

 

POCOS Awareness

Original graphic edited for gender nuetrality

First, let me say this: If this is your first introduction to uterine anatomy, stop and read this before you come back.

The women in my family all started their periods at the age of 13. I remember hearing the calls of my sisters from the bathroom. “Mom! It’s started.” I remember hearing about cramps and watching them pick out pads. They discussed tampons over dinner when Dad wasn’t around. So it was no concern to me when one day, there was blood on my underwear. I simply grabbed the pads and moved on. This was at the age of 12, one year before average for my family. It might have been a sign of what was coming, but I had no idea.

It seemed common enough. My period would last for about 7 days and then go away. Sometimes for a month, sometimes for two months. At its longest, it was gone for a solid three months, and then it spotted back into existence. I waited patiently for the hormones to even out.

One day, I started bleeding. It was heavy and thick. There was PMS. There were cramps. I was tired. For personal and family reasons, I rarely thought to keep track. I would mark it out some times, but I wasn’t diligent. This time, I did keep track. Something that felt like a few days passed. During these days, I would go through the largest pads I could, often three or more in a day. It didn’t stop blood from occasionally trickling down my leg. My mother said this was normal and had happened to her on many occasions. (Here’s a hint, mom: not to this degree.)

At long last, I thought to myself, “actually, it feels like forever since I started packing extra pads to school. And I’m awfully tired.” Upon looking at my calendar, I realized that it had been two solid months of heavy bleeding. My mother almost didn’t believe me. I was 13 and trying to convince her that I might be dying.

When I finally went to a doctor, we found out I was anemic from the blood loss. I also found out that I would need to make several different appointments with many types of doctors to figure out what was going on. I jumped through hoop after hoop. I took some pills that made me really angry and they didn’t help. When the doctor wanted me to try the same pills again (just to be sure, I assume), I noped out of there as fast as I could.

Finally, I found one doctor who set up a plan. That plan involved no pills, but an ultrasound. I finally had a name for this disorder: PCOS.

This is a common ailment among folks with vaginas. It’s called PCOS, which is short for Poly-Cystic Ovary/Ovarian Syndrome. This name is almost a misnomer because PCOS has been used in recent history as a catchall for a lot of symptoms that have nothing to do with cysts on the ovaries. However, it’s important to know that one particular set of symptoms is consistently associated with the ovaries. This list commonly falls under the diagnosis of PCOS.

The ovaries are responsible for producing hormones related to sex and reproduction primarily. In the interest of accuracy, these hormones also regulate breast growth, hair growth and acne in some cases. In the interest of humanity, folks with vaginas are not exclusively for sex and making babies. The ovaries do so much for our bodies, that I cannot overlook these things with a clean conscience.

When the ovaries are not functioning within certain parameters, negative consequences are likely to happen. Regardless of the cause, the consequences will be similar across the board. That’s why I don’t feel so strongly about the diagnosis of PCOS for problems that don’t involve cysts.

So what is PCOS?
There are three common types of PCOS:
When the ovaries fail to properly produce or drop the ovum
When the ovaries have cysts (fluid sacs attached to an organ)
When there’s a high amount of androgens (commonly known as “male hormones”) present.

These three things can all be a cause for PCOS. Some folks with vaginas have just one or two. Some folks have all three. It’s common for folks to have just the high levels of androgen and failed ova, but not actual cysts.

In many cases, PCOS causes anovulatory infertility. This simply means that infertility is caused by the lack of an ovum in the fallopian tube or uterus, as opposed to a deformation of the other organs, or in some cases, fertilized ovum being unable to attach to the uterine wall.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?
The most common symptom of PCOS is irregular periods. (Mine was truly a horror story among PCOS-havers). Other symptoms include excess body/facial hair, acne on the back and shoulders, skin changes, and others. For a full list of symptoms, I would recommend this page.

How is PCOS diagnosed?
These days, it’s very common to use no tests when diagnosing PCOS. When I was diagnosed, I was also given a hormone test (my androgen levels were the highest she’d ever seen), along with my ultrasound. However, this was years ago, and it’s ultimately not worth the work and time anymore. PCOS is common enough to diagnose by the symptoms, and it’s easier to place folks with PCOS on proper controlling meds without those tests.

Which brings us to this: How is PCOS treated?
PCOS is not treated outright. Since PCOS is lacking research and the curiosity of doctors everywhere, it is most common to treat the symptoms of PCOS, instead of treating the underlying cause of the syndrome.
With the irregular periods, birth control is the most common method. To treat the excess hair, birth control is again, the most common. Though there are other prescriptions that can be used. A drug known as Metformin is often used to help lower blood sugar (which is often raised by the presence of PCOS). Weight gain is often controlled with diet and exercise.

There have been many reported cases of PCOS being cured or extremely reduced by weight loss. However, a result of having PCOS is that it makes weight loss much harder to achieve. (This is a reminder that weight-shaming is wrong and many folks who struggle with weight, struggle for reasons they can’t control.)

What puts you at risk for PCOS?
No one knows for sure, but there is a correlation found in folks whose parents also had PCOS. Correlation is not causation, but since conditions of the body are often genetic, it would be reasonable to draw a dotted line between PCOS occurrence and genetics.

In short, PCOS is a complex condition that can have many different symptoms and levels. My storybook ending? I found some really good birth control, which helps me keep my symptoms in line. These days, I use an IUD and don’t experience bleeding at all anymore. Either way, I haven’t had blood down my legs for about a decade, and it’s a dream come true.

For other resources, see below:
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000369.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024506/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/basics/definition/con-20028841

This post was written by Indigo Wolfe. Indigo is a genderfluid, demisexual human who enjoys adult toys, adult beverages, and adult situations. They review all of these things at their blog, Indigo is an Adult. Recently, they’ve found a love for educating others on sexuality, sexual health and sex, so they are now pursuing degrees and a career to help with those passions.

 

team amazeballs

 Posted by at 10:10 am
Dec 192016
 

sliquid-swirl-lubes

OK yeah, that title is a bit melodramatic but not by much. The simple fact is, nothing is going into my vagina without lube – not fingers, not a penis and not a dildo or vibrator. I simply don’t make a lot of natural lubrication. It’s been that way as long as I remember. And you know what? There’s not a god damn thing wrong with it.

I’ve never been shamed by a partner for using lube but I have heard from ignorant dudebro trolls on the internet, who said that my man must not be doing things right if I need lube. I seriously can’t roll my eyes hard enough. Now run along little boys.

The vagina can naturally be very wet or very dry and surprisingly, it’s not directly proportional to arousal. Someone can be taking a calculus test and their vagina could be secreting natural lubrication. On the flip side, someone might be ready to have their brains fucked out but still be dry as the Sahara. And again, you’re not broken if you need lube. You just need lube. That’s all it means.

I highly recommend using lube even if you feel like you have plenty of natural lubrication because it’s my belief that lube makes everything better. And just a side note: if you’re putting anything in your ass, you better lube it up good. But that’s another story. It should also be mentioned that most folks don’t want your fingers coming at their clit without some lube on them. And spit, really doesn’t make great lube.

So, there’s this thing called arousal nonconcordance. It’s a fancy way of saying that our bodies don’t always respond the way we think they should in sexual situations. I could try to explain it but another blogger, who’s read up on the subject, and given me permission to post a lengthy excerpt, already has. Her name is Sarah and this is what she has to say about arousal nonconcordance:

Have you ever heard of arousal nonconcordance? It’s the best kept secret that really ought to be common knowledge. It’s not even a new discovery – it just heavily contradicts our cultural understanding of arousal. But once you know, it’ll change your life.

It is neither wrong nor uncommon for your physiology to not match your mental experience of arousal, and vice versa. What does that mean? In short, it is 100% possible to be mentally aroused and for your genitals not to be responding in the way that you think they should. Likewise, genital response (erection, lubrication) are not a reliable indication of someone’s mental arousal.

Let’s say that you’re making out with someone you’re really into and things are heating up. You feel relaxed with them but also very excited about what might be happening. You’re super enthusiastic, definitely turned on… and your genitals don’t seem to agree. You’re either not getting/maintaining an erection, or you don’t feel ‘wet’. What gives? Does this mean you aren’t into them after all? Does it mean there’s something wrong with you?

Nope. Arousal nonconcordance. It just is what it is. If you’re mentally a yes and your body isn’t doing what you’ve come to expect it to do, that’s actually perfectly normal. The more you stress about it, the harder it will be to relax and enjoy yourself. And sex really should be about enjoying yourself, right? I know that performance anxiety is a big issue for a lot of people, but it’s not a performance. It’s a collaborative experience of fun.

When you understand arousal nonconcordance, you can be easier on yourself and on your partners. You don’t have to worry when someone says that they’re really into you but their body isn’t doing what you’ve come to expect. Trust them. If you’re not getting hard or not getting wet, don’t stress. Create an environment where you can relax and explore.

What does this have to do with lube? It turns out that folks with vaginas tend to experience more arousal nonconcordance than folks with penises. According to some studies, their mental arousal and the genital response may only match about 10% of the time. If you have a vagina and you’ve often experienced not ‘getting wet’ but being totally turned on and ready for sex, then you’re 100% normal. Better still, there’s a lube out there for you.

So, you see… it’s totally natural for our bodies to respond in ways that society has taught us is not normal. Society is wrong, plain and simple. It’s wrong about a lot of things but right now, I’ll just stay on topic.

Now what do you do? Go lube shopping, of course! But not just anywhere and not just any lube. Although lube selections are starting to improve in grocery and drug stores, they are still where you’ll mainly find what I like to call, “vag poison”. Some of that stuff is just awful for your vagina and contain ingredients that shouldn’t go anywhere near it, like petrochemicals and glycerin.

I’ve written a whole big long post on lube science and how to choose a good lube so, I don’t need to waste anyone’s time and repeat it all here. Just make sure you head over to my other blog and read it. I will say just this one thing, stay away from KY and Astroglide lubes – which are mainly what you find in drugstores. Those lubes can seriously fuck up your vag.

What are some vag-friendly lubes I recommend? Well, pretty much everything Sliquid makes is great. All of their products are formulated to be compatible with vaginas. Rarely, I have heard of folks being sensitive to aloe and you can avoid that by using lubes from their Naturals line rather than the Organics line. I have also heard that some people may be sensitive to citric acid. That might be a little harder to avoid. It really all depends on the concentration of it in the lube and just how sensitive a person is. But better lube manufacturers use it as an alternative to parabens, which are kind of nasty chemicals that some people can be allergic to and are best avoided.

Also, silicone-based lubes tend to be more inert in the vagina than a lot of water-based lubes. Water-based lubes are where you really need to check the ingredients. Good silicone-based lubes should only have around 3 ingredients but you shouldn’t use them with some silicone sex toys. And contrary to what I’ve read in more than one place, silicone-based lube is safe to use with latex condoms. It’s oil-based lube that can weaken latex condoms.

Besides Sliquid, I also adore Good Clean Love Almost Naked. It’s vag-friendly and has a nice thick consistency. More recently, I discovered a newer lube made by System JO called AGAPÉ. I’ve never recommended anything made by them before but what caught my eye was that they were advertising the lube’s osmolality (you need to read that post on my other blog to understand what that is and why it’s important). I checked the ingredients list and it all looked vag-friendly so, I tried it. It’s a pretty good lube but I wouldn’t trade it for my Sliquid. I did like the fact that a company was disclosing its lube’s osmolality. It’s almost like some of them are starting to listen. And the more we demand good lube, the more companies will step up and start making it.

Moral of the story? There’s nothing wrong with you if you need lube. You should try lube even if you think you don’t need it and choose a good lube that will be nice to your vagina.

Huge thanks to Sarah for allowing me to use an excerpt from her post!

team amazeballs

 Posted by at 1:23 pm
Dec 122016
 

gladrags pantyliners

I’ve been suppressing my period with the birth control pill for so long, I don’t remember when I started doing it. But I haven’t had a full blown period in easily over 5 years. I know some people have opinions on doing this but many medical professionals say that there is no medical reason to have a period when one takes the birth control pill – but that’s not really what this post is about.

Every now and then, my mail order pharmacy doesn’t send my refills soon enough for me to skip the inert pills and start the next pack. So, I might have a little spotting here or there. The last time this happened I tried using some god awful plastic-y disposable pantyliners and they totally rubbed me the wrong way – literally. I mean, not only were the pantyliners made of some terrible material but my vulva had grown sensitive since I hadn’t needed to use pads for years.

I had heard of GladRags somewhere on Twitter and promptly made my way to their site and purchased 7 of their cloth Pantyliners. When they arrived I couldn’t wait to get that disposable sandpaper pantyliner out of my underwear. I affixed one of the GladRags Pantyliners with the snap closure, pulled up my undies and experienced sweet relief. It was exponentially more comfortable than those disposable liners. And my vulva could breathe!

Keep in mind, I wasn’t dealing with a heavy flow. GladRags has other pads for that but for the light spotting I sometimes have, the Pantyliners are perfect. I do think I would have been better off purchasing some of the Pantyliner Plus pads because they’re a bit longer and I feel like I need more coverage. But that was my mistake for not ordering the right product for me.

I have absolutely no complaints with the GladRags Pantyliners. I’m not sure how I’d feel about using their cloth pads with a heavy flow but there are folks out there doing just that. I love the idea that I’m not throwing more crap into a landfill and I’m supporting a small business that makes its products in the USA.

Why would anyone want to use reusable cloth pads?

Good for your body – Conventional disposable products can contain plastics, artificial fragrances, adhesives, and chemical gels – things you don’t want next to one of the most sensitive parts of your body!

Good for your budget – Once you purchase a full set of GladRags, you’ll have reliable menstrual protection for years to come.

Good for the planet – A menstruator will use 12,000 to 16,000 disposable pads, pantyliners, and tampons in their lifetime.

Want to see what their products are like? Well, it’s gonna be someone’s lucky day because GladRags is giving away one Pantyliner Plus (choice of print or organic) to one of my readers. I think once you feel the difference, you’ll be sold.

gladrags logo

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GladRags Pantyliner Plus Giveaway

 Posted by at 12:10 am
Dec 052016
 

In 2012, feminist Lindy West wrote on Jezebel, “I will never, EVER stop saying ‘vagina’ when I mean ‘vulva.’ Yes, I know the difference. No, I don’t care how mad you are about it. Yes, I think your outrage is misdirected and humorless and pedantic and boring. No, I’m not sorry.”

While she’s certainly free to use whatever terms she wishes, I think any self-proclaimed feminist would be preaching the correct terminology for the female genitalia from the mountain top. I mean really, should we be reduced to just a vagina – the place where a penis goes? Should we ignore the fact that we have anatomical structures that are there just to make us happy and bring us pleasure?

Our sorry state of sex education in this country neglects to teach teens about anything other than the penis and vagina. Basically, all of the focus is on reproduction. Teens don’t learn in school that women have a sex organ that rivals that of the all important penis. A clitoris has around 5000 nerve endings whereas a penis has around 30001. So, if teens don’t learn it in sex ed, many of them go through their adult lives not knowing about all the wonders internal-clitorisof the vulva.

Historically, there’s been a lack of interest in women’s sexuality and that’s probably why it wasn’t until the 1990’s that we learned the true scope and size of the clitoris. By then, we pretty much knew the penis inside and out.

It’s not just the part you can see. It actually has a large internal structure with erectile tissues, much like that of a penis and, as far as we know, its sole purpose is to make us feel good. When we gloss over the specific structures of our sexual organs and simply call everything down there a vagina, it erases all those other parts of us. It’s like accepting that our pleasure isn’t that important and the man can just do his thing and be done with it.

I think it empowers people to learn and use the correct terminology. It can help them develop a deeper appreciation of what it means to be a woman. I think any feminist would demand the use of correct terminology, because maybe some men think that all we are is a vagina. And imagine the harm that’s caused if we go around substantiating that?

We are whole beings with our own intricate sexualities. We’re not just here to make babies or to be penis receptacles. Our pleasure should matter and it starts by recognizing that there’s more going on down there than just a vagina. Studying and understanding our sexual functioning is just as important as the attention given to that of men. I don’t want society to reduce me to just a vagina. We are complex creatures and I think it’s a fiercely feminist act to demand that we are recognized as such.

This post was written from a cishet point of view because honestly, that’s all I know. It’s my reality and I don’t feel qualified to speak on behalf of folks who are not cishet.

  1. I have seen different figures on the exact number but it’s a fact that the clitoris has many more nerve endings
 Posted by at 1:52 pm
Nov 222016
 

woman-1782021_1280Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) includes a group of disorders causing abnormalities of the pelvic floor. It does not discriminate against gender or sexual orientation, however it has a tendency to play favorites. It’s predominate diagnosis is for someone with a vagina, but penis owners can and do suffer this dysfunction as well. I will be addressing owners of a vagina in this post. If you are the owner of a penis and have questions, please reach out to me via Twitter @afterrdarkk or email through my blog. It is a long standing and very frustrating problem.

What Is The Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles in the pelvic region. Their only job is to support the organs in your bladder, uterus (women), prostate (men), and rectum (the area at the end of the large intestine where your body stores solid waste) like a sling.

What Does It Do?

The pelvic floor is large and in charge of the most important bodily functions. Need to pee? Need too poo? Want to orgasm? You need a healthy pelvic floor to be able to do those, or not do those, as you wish. By contracting and relaxing these muscles, you control your bowel and bladder movements and orgasms.

The Highway To Hell

The levator ani muscle is the Interstate, or major highway if you will. That’s the big boss, applesauce of your pelvic floor.  The levator ani muscle is more than one muscle. It’s paired symmetrically in sheets. The iliococcygeus, pubococcygeus, and puborectalis are the exits, or off ramps of the highway.  The puborectalis is a U-shaped muscle that attaches to the pubic tubercle1. All of these muscles connect to other back roads, detours and no man’s land, i.e., hamstring and glutes to name a few. This highway runs North and South, hot and cold and there’s always a traffic jam even if you’re just just relaxing in your favorite overstuffed recliner.

pelvic-diaphragm-female

Source: http://www.mfi-therapy.com/period-pains-cramps-infrequency/

The pelvic floor is always active. There’s residual exercise to the pelvic floor in everything you do from bending over to get something out of the crisper in your refrigerator to stretching to reach something high above your head. It doesn’t get any rest. If it did, everyone would be bedwetters or be wearing diapers, and toilets would be a thing of the past. That’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m hoping to have made my point without scaring anyone needlessly. The pelvic floor is a busy little bee.

That’s what it is and that’s what it does. Where does the dysfunction come into play? A person suffers from either hypertonicity or hypotonicity. I’m really sorry about the medical terminology, but distinction in diagnosis is imperative to understand because the treatments vary.

Hypotonicity is a disorder with a primary presence of incontinence. For the record, that is not part of aging. It’s a health condition that can be treated. Your bladder can empty if you jog, jump on a trampoline, laugh too hard, or even cough too hard2. I’m the exact opposite. I’m hypertonic3. I have no voluntary muscle relaxation below the waist. None. Zero. Zip. Diddly. Nada. Zilch.

A Body In Broken Pieces

How do I live with this? It doesn’t involve any fun and games. If I want to empty my bladder, I have to use a catheter. In the very near future, I’m hoping to be the recipient of a bladder pacemaker. I don’t eat very many solid foods. I don’t have sex of any type. I have a constant pain in my left ass cheek. I fall flat on my face when my muscles are locked so tight I can’t even move my left leg. I’m probably bitching too much, but I am not exaggerating in the least.

My pelvic floor dysfunction is the result of years of vaginal and pelvic trauma. You can read the full story here. No one could have reasonably expected my current condition as a result. For me, this is permanent, but it’s very rare that it can’t be treated and corrected with very specific exercises to increase blood flow and internal physical therapy with a therapist who specializes in pelvic floor health.

I have had physical therapy for over a year and I’ve had trigger point injections into my levator ani. It’s basically a shot through your vagina into your butt cheek. That procedure brings a whole new meaning to pain, but it is beneficial.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section about pelvic health or vaginal health. If I don’t know the answer, I have a Obstetrician – Gynecologist who contributes to my blog. You can also ask him your questions directly and he will answer as time allows. Make sure to subscribe to afterrdarkk.com to follow my journey. In the very near future I’ll be discussing the benefits and consequences of Kegel exercises and devices.

I’d like to thank #ThatsNotAVagina for giving me the opportunity to tell my story and provide readers with education about a rarely discussed dysfunction. Be on the lookout for my next guest post. I’ll be reviewing a Womanizer4 for #TeamAmazeballs.

About the Author:
I’m a Midwestern farm wife and country redneck.  I believe in working smarter, not working harder.  I work with locally owned businesses to help them with time management and increased productivity.  I’m passionate about education. I’m outspoken, stubborn and opinionated. I have a cat that hates me and a husband who loves me.  I’m spoiled rotten. I’m as organized as a ping pong ball in a hurricane.   I talk too much and too long.  I enjoy reading, writing, growing, hunting, fishing and prefer to be outdoors in the summer.  You couldn’t blow me out of the house in the winter with a light armored weapon.  I look forward to making new connections with people.
team amazeballs
  1. small palpable projection at the anterior extremity of the crest of the pubis about 2 cm from the symphysis; site of insertion of the inguinal ligament. Or, part of the pubic bone.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3411204/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498251/#sec2title
  4. Which will be featured on Toy Meets Girl