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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Virgin Cleansing

Here is some reading material re: "The Virgin Cleansing Myth" (in a nutshell: the belief that people with AIDS can be cured by having sex with virgins) which is obviously highly problematic on several fronts. Some links with further info:

On the virgin cleansing myth: gendered bodies, AIDS and ethnomedicine

Rape of individuals with disability: AIDS and the folk belief of virgin cleansing

The 'virgin myth' and child rape in South Africa

- Vivian

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Period Control!

This is a funny clip about how the birth control pill is never marketed for sex/contraception, but as period control. Check it out lol.

Happy Period Control!!!

- Alice

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pharmacists above the law?

Here's an interesting video Friday Feminist Fuck you: Anti-choice Pharmacists.

We're not trying to endorse hormonal birth control use, but we do believe that individuals are entitled to certain rights under the law and should be allowed to take advantage of them when needed! Our purpose is to help people to make informed decisions about sexual and reproductive health.

- Alice

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book review: “Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual”

I found this book really interesting. It’s written by a gynaecologist and her daughter who discuss everything from puberty to menopause. Specifically, they tackle anatomy, menstruation, gynaecology, maintenance, sex, contraception, STD’s, abortion, reproduction, and menopause.

- Really great chapter on “the standard equipment”, outlining all the internal and external parts of the vulva that are often ignored.
- The section on the birth control pill was really informative. I have not yet met a doctor/nurse who has explained the different types of pills (Monophasic vs. Triphaisal and estrogen-progesterone vs. progesterone alone) in this way, instead of just giving a list of the brands that they know or prescribe the most.
- The section on abortion explicitly outlines the different procedures and how they are carried out, the risks involved, and complications that may occur afterwards.

- It’s written from the perspective of a doctor who practises traditional North American medicine. Much of the info. reflects this; although everything is explained very thoroughly.
- There are many times throughout the chapter on contraception where they make reference to long-term monogamous relationships and how they are the safest sex practise. I don’t think that monogamy = safe sex, although in someone's ideal world this might be true. It may sound cynical but things happen and that’s where you can run into trouble (ie: There are people who are married/etc. for years but suddenly contract HIV).
- I feel that the target audience is for the most part white middle-class heterosexual women. (ie: sex = heterosexual intercourse is a common theme)

Although some parts should be read critically, I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a great introduction to the wonderful world vaginas! (Although the correct term is actually the vulva.)

- Alice

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The weakening of vaginal, anal, urethral muscles occurs over time because of gravity, child birth, and aging. First a brief explanation of the internal female organs.

The frontal wall of the colon is the back wall of the vaginal canal. The front wall of the vaginal canal is the back wall of the urethal canal. So if vaginal walls are weak, so too will be the urethral and colon walls. This means that an individual may urinate accidentally and/or have difficulty eliminating feces completely from the colon. So what can you do to keep your muscles strong?

1) Kegel exercises: This should be done every time you urinate (or at least once a day). You do this by first starting to urinate and then trying to stop the flow. If you can stop it completely, hold it for a few seconds before starting again.

2) Headstand yoga posture: To reverse the effects of gravity, standing on your head for a minute or two everyday can help take some pressure off of this area. I've posted a picture to illustrate the positioning of your arms, but you can do this up against a wall to support your backside. First place a pillow on the floor infront of a wall. Kneel down facing the wall. Put your palms together and cross your fingers. Bend your elbows and place your arms on the pillow making a 'v' shape. Bend over and put the top of your head on the floor, aiming for the back of your head to be in the point of the 'v' you've made. Push off from the ground with your feet and stretch your legs vertically up the wall.

- Alice

Masturbation 101 for women

It's difficult for women to feel comfortable masturbating, or even talk about it when faced with a multitude of double standards. If you do it/talk about it you’re a whore/slut/dirty. If you don’t do it or just don’t talk about it then you’re a prude/tease/nun. Everyone has sexual urges, but repressing them may make you feel like you're just not sexual or horny.

Here's a fun way to masturbate for the first time without getting a cramp in your hand or buying a sex toy. Jump in the shower, turn on the water and have the shower head shooting at your clitoris. If you don't have a moving shower head then just lay under the faucet with your legs spread open. It should start to feel good in a few minutes and if you wait a little longer, you just might have an orgasm (or more than one if you're lucky!).

Give it a try. It's free and easy and it could change your life!

- Masturbation method borrowed from "Vagina's: an Owner's Manual" (but I'm sure that they weren't the first one's to try it!)

- Alice

Monday, October 13, 2008

Product Review: The Rock Chick

I can’t remember exactly how I found out about this toy, but the idea that you could have hands-free sex just blew me away. It works by first inserting one end into the vagina, and then rocking back and forth on a chair, bed, the floor, or any other surface. In addition to the hands-free feature, it also has a vibrating cordless bullet to stimulate the clitoris simultaneously. It can also be used in the shower as long as the bullet is inserted past the cap.

My experience: it was my first vaginal penetrating toy so I was pretty nervous, even though I’ve had tampons, menstrual cups, penises, fingers, speculums in there before. I have a sensitivity to water-based lube and so I use silicone lubricants for sex. This is a problem because the rock chick is made out of silicone. Although that makes it really easy to clean (you can boil it or even put it in the dishwasher though I haven’t tried it) and to keep clean (lint/hairs etc. don’t stick to it like pvc toys), you can’t use silicone lube on silicone toys. It may melt or damage the toy.

Some other drawbacks:
- you can’t use it lying down because it starts to come out. You must rock.
- It takes a bit of practise to get it in properly. It’s very flexible so you can bend the v-shape backwards to get it in. It didn’t come with instructions so my first attempt was kind of a battle.
- I read one online review stating that the outer part did not reach the clitoris, but this person said that they were pretty tall and that the rock chick was just too small for them.
- The bullet is a little noisy, and I needed to rock ontop of a pillow because the noise was magnified by my mattress.
- The battery that powers the bullet costs $5 to replace (but you can always rock without the bullet)

Some pros:
- Because it’s hands-free it’s great to use on yourself while stimulating another person at the same time
- the shape of the penetrating part curves up for g-spot stimulation
- made of silicone (which can be good!)
- it’s quite small so it’s a good choice for a first time penetrating toy

- Alice

Friday, October 10, 2008

Female Sexual Anatomy

Putting together an informational pamphlet I found this link. If anybody is interested in briefly learning the W5H of female sexual anatomy, this page is really comprehensive!

- Vivian

Toronto Public Health - Sexual Health

The Sexual Health division of Toronto Public Health has a considerable amount of interesting resources. Here is their website where you can find everything from general information about sexual health, to clinical services, to upcoming workshops. Check it out!

- Vivian

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Diagram of the Vagina

It may be shocking to have a vagina thrown in your face without warning, although you may be pleasantly surprised. Here's a link to The Big Vagina. You'll find several diagrams on this page, including a real live picture. Here's an opportunity to learn about parts of your body that are often ignored. Have fun and enjoy getting to know yourself!

- Alice

Sex, Bladder Infections & Vaginal Health

I've been reading "Vagina's an owner's manual" for the past few days, hence the little bits of info that have been posted. I'll write a book review soon. For now, here's some info about sex & infections that I found interesting:

1) thrusting of a penis or toy into the vagina pushes normal healthy bacteria from inside the vagina into the urethra, which can cause a burning sensation urinating the next day, and/or a bladder infection.

2) Having vaginal penetration many times in one day after a long period of no penetration may irritate the vaginal walls. Having a whole lot of sex suddenly also heats up the vaginal walls, which may cause normal vaginal fungus to multiply and turn into a yeast infection. This sudden increase in penetration will also shove lots of bacteria into the urethra, increasing chances of bladder infection.

So it's better to have sex everyday vs. 3 times in one day, but here's some advice for having lots of sex all of a sudden:
1) use lots of lube to make sure vaginal walls don't get irritated.
2) pee after sex to flush out bacteria from the urethra.
3) drink lots of water so that you can pee/flush bacteria out more often.

"Vaginas: An Owner's Manual" by Dr. Carol Livoti & Elizabeth Topp

- Alice

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fun Facts: Periods

According to Dr. Bruce R. Carr, MD, the average woman in today's industrialized society menstruates 450 times in her life compared to about 50 periods for the prehistoric woman. Today, in agrarian societies around the world, a woman only menstruates about 150 times in her lifetime.

Periods can last from 2 - 8 days and a cycle (from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period) can be from 21 - 45 days.

Taken from "Vaginas: An Owner's Manual" by Dr. Carol Livoti & Elizabeth Topp.

- Alice

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Product Review: Durex Play Ring

This is by far my favourite addition to the bedroom. If you like vibrators and you like sex, this is the thing for you! Small but just strong enough, the ring definitely adds a little something to your sex life. Basically, it turns the strap-on/penis it is wrapped around into a vibrator of sorts. My partner really enjoyed how it felt on him too. You can get it at your friendly neighborhood pharmacy's condom aisle (or anywhere that specializes in sex toys).

Downsides to this great toy:
a) it's expensive (about $10 each)
b) it's disposable (which, on the other hand, is good for sanitary reasons)
c) the battery only lasts about 20 minutes.

I'm planning to purchase a latex ring that will last more than one use for about $30 from Good For Her. I'll review that once i get it, until then, happy vibrating!

- Anonymous

Product Review: Velvet Dream

So far this has been my favourite toy purchase in terms of how the texture of the plastic feels. Like its name. It has a velvety texture. This one is shorter and thicker than my previous vibes, which made it slightly harder to accomodate, but its curved tip and significantly better vibrations have made it a great buy. This was also under $30.

- Anonymous

Product Review: Splash

For me, Splash was an upgrade for the Red Rocket. It had a few more curves intended to help reach g-spot orgasm...which it did. This was also a hard plastic vibrator and waterproof (it would be a crime if it wasn't with a name like Splash). It was under $30, used 2 aa batteries (Ikea ones are great value and last a while). It also had variable speed and it lasted about a year before its motor gave out.

- Anonymous

Product Review: Red Rocket

So this was my first vibrator. It was a cheap (under $20) and lasted pretty long (about a year?). The red rocket is hard plastic, which is my preference as you can better feel the vibrations and it doesn't hurt. This was a great "starting out" vibrator, but once you get over the thrill of your first vibe, you're likely going to want more....

- Anonymous

Uncaria tomentosa

I recently quit my job at a homeopathic clinic and wellness center. One of their most popular prescribed remedies is called cat's claw (or uncaria tormentosa). It is a remedy derived from a vine that grows in South America and it is believed to have really useful properties. I read up a bit about it is most commonly used in homeopathy to treat cancer, AIDS, viral infections, colitis, etc. as well as to boost the immune system. Apparently, though, the only condition it has actually (scientifically) proven to alleviate is arthritis.

Anyway, apparently cat's claw has traditionally been used as a contraceptive in South America, and if taken in relatively large doses, may induce miscarriage. I have a bottle of the stuff and I am a bit skeptical about trying it (as a contraceptive and otherwise) because of the lack of concrete information, studies and research about it that I have been able to find (mind you, I haven't done extensive research on it) but I thought it'd be interesting to mention anyway! I will update if I find new information about this.

- Vivian

In Need Of Members

As it turns out, WASH cannot be renewed as a York student club because our membership numbers are low. So if anyone's interested in becoming an official member, please email your full name and student number to

(We will keep your student info. completely confidential. It will only be used on our application form, and only York University will have access to this form).

Thanks to everyone who has supported us this far!

- Alice & Vivian