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:

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


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
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.



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 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.
  4. Which will be featured on Toy Meets Girl